Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seeing Melbourne by train and tram for tourists part 1, trams

I wonder if I have written the same post before, or similar. I really can't remember.

This is targeted at older tourists who visit Melbourne and have some time to explore by public transport. You will need a Myki card, full fare $6, concession $3. Check your eligibility at the PTV website. $10 credit on your Myki will more than see you clear for a day's travel. Perhaps $5 for a concession.

I assume you are staying in a city hotel and if not, adjustments need to be made.

Every tourist visiting Melbourne will want to travel to St Kilda. There are different trams to catch to St Kilda. Route 96 is the most direct and marginally the fastest and has replaced a former train line. It travels along Bourke and Spencer Streets and terminates at the end of Acland Street, the street being very popular with tourists, with many cafes, cake shops and other things that interest tourists. Apart from the last part, the journey is not so interesting, although it does pass by Crown Casino, if that is your thing.

Along Collins and then Spencer Street you could catch 12 tram, and have quite a pleasant journey through South Melbourne and some bayside suburbs. The final part of the trip will take you past the once modest but now much renovated homes in the expensive areas of Middle Park and St Kilda West. It should be a very calm and relaxing trip, although not terribly exciting. Again, you can catch this tram to the Casino.

I quite enjoy going to Port Melbourne by tram. The 109 takes you along Collins Street and Spencer Street and again past the Casino. It runs along an old railway line reservation too, so it is a quite a quick trip. The terminus is Station Pier, where overseas cruise liners moor, along with the daily Tasmanian ferry. I can't say there is a lot of interest there but there is the historic Princes Pier to visit and you won't be short of somewhere to eat. The map is very out of date.



The creme de la creme of Melbourne tram journeys is from the busiest tram street in the world, Swanston Street, on the route 16 tram which also takes you to St Kilda, as does the 3A on weekends and holidays. You travel down the beautiful boulevarde of St Kilda Road, past some lovely parkland, the army barracks and a number of historic properties, including a large synagogue  The route 16 takes you right through St Kilda and on to Balaclava. Balaclava is full of hipsters, Jewish, recent immigrants, mentally unwell and every type in between. From there you be in Caulfield, full of nice older houses and modern expensive apartment blocks, mostly Jewish owned, along with cheaper rental flats. With a couple of twists and turns, you will be in Malvern, travelling along Glenferrie Road with its expensive designer shops, past the huge and historic tram depot right in the middle of the shops and onto the expensive and grand housing that line Glenferrie Road. You will pass by four railway stations on the journey. Numerous other tram lines intersect the route, including the route 8 tram to the most exclusive area of Toorak. After travelling down a steep hill and crossing the train line at Kooyong, you will pass by The Kooyong Royal Grass Tennis Courts, once the home of the Australian Open tennis and the very posh Scotch College, and then climb the very steep hill to reach Hawthorn, a rather mixed area of cheaper and expensive. The tram will probably crawl through Hawthorn to ultimately terminate at Cotham Road in Kew. You will have seen so much housing of those who have plenty and very expensive private schools. International students will have been on and off the tram, as will have old people who rely on trams to get around. There will also be passengers who clearly can afford to drive in their own cars, but choose not to.

Well, you have ticked that off and don't want to make the almost 90 minute return journey to your city hotel. You don't have to. At the 16 terminus in Kew is the 109 tram, which will take you back to town much more quickly. It travels to the city via the expensive area of Kew and once across the river, into Richmond, or Little Saigon as it is at times known. You will also see the grandeur of another boulevarde, Victoria Parade and the grand former Treasury building at the edge of the city before you travel along Collins Street. You might also notice St Patrick's Cathedral as you pass by.

With an honourable mention is the route 55 tram which runs from William Street on past the zoo and through Royal Park parkland. If you use this tram to get to the zoo and you are weary after your zoo visit, catch the much quicker train back to the city.



28 comments:

  1. Good information for visitors to our country always good to know these things, when in Paris we were lost most of the time spent a lot of the time just wandering around trying to find our way back to the hotel but we did see a lot of the city, it would have been helpful if we had knowledge of the public transport system.

    Merle...............

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    1. Merle, that is not a bad way to see things, except you don't know what you saw, or where it was at least. Usually by the time you start to work out the public transport properly, the holiday has finished.

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  2. I should use this as suggestions for future visits. By the way I have theatre visits booked for March and May.

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    1. Victor, we will catch up with you for one of those visits, at least. Yes, if you have some time to kill, it's not a bad idea.

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  3. Spot on re the 96! The restaurants, pubs and parks down Fitzroy Street are super, The Esplanade and the beaches are perfect.. and Acland Street St Kilda is my favourite part of Melbourne.

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    1. Hels, have you seen the completed plaza at the end of Acland Street yet? It wasn't finished when we were last there.

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  4. Crikey Andrew ..... that sure was nice of you, mate!! Could I ask a BIG favour? Mum, Dad and I will be travelling down south in March and April. We stay at pet friendly cottages all the way down and we have a beaut one we stay at in Melbourne but was wondering if you knew of things that can be done in Melbourne with well behaved blokes like me in tow and if there are any good restaurants or cafes that you know of where I'm welcome. I'm very good. I just sit on my mat under the table and you wouldn't even know I was there. They can't leave me behind in the cottages because I'd freak out. They do get to do things without me because they usually manage to find someone to sit with me. I'm not a wuss ...... honest! I'm out there. I just don't like to be left alone. Could I go on a tram?? Crikey I'd like to go on a tram.

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    1. Charlie, you don't have to be too specific, but roughly what area? In spite of this, https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/getting-around/luggage-bikes-and-animals/animals-on-public-transport/ , I have seen people just hop on and off trams and trains discreetly with dogs. Many cafes with outdoor seating will have water bowl outside if you get thirsty, and no one minds a well behaved dog, but no, you can't go inside. It should still be warm enough to sit outside.

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    2. Oh I don't mind sitting outside Andrew and Mum and Dad don't either. Just as long as they can eat it's ok with them. They are a bit fussy as to the quality but have found Melbourne is very good on the food front. We stay in the Brighton area, Andrew.. Mum's going to look at that site now. Thanks for suggesting it. Hmmmmmm I can be discreet you know!!!!

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    3. Crikey ..... thanks for nothing Andrew. Mum just found out I can travel on Metro trains BUT ..... I've got to wear a muzzle. Fair dinkum ...... are they serious???? Mum is ..... she's off to buy a muzzle and she thinks I'm going to learn to wear it. What would SHE know???????? Thanks for nothing, Andrew!!!!!!!!!

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    4. Charlie, then look out for the soon to be published second part, trains. Maybe your Mum could just carry the muzzle and you would have to only put it on if you were challenged, which is unlikely. While I am sure you would not get cross, always lavish on the charm with officialdom.

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  5. Thank you. If ever I get down your way I will remember this. I like public transport for a range of reasons (except when I am disliking it - also for a range of reasons).

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    1. EC, as I say to R, when it works well, our public transport is terrific. It does not always work well.

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  6. There people who laugh at basic public transit system doesn't matter what they are. Including the basic stop sign.
    The little I've use transit it worked for well for me.

    I've been looking to take a train trip to see my son and his wife in Medford Oregon. Which is about 655 miles (1,054KM)
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, that is a bit further than Sydney is from Melbourne. I suspect like here, it would be quicker to drive, but then more expensive and not as relaxing.

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  7. good information Andrew. you did well with all of that.
    past times in Melbourne always took a taxi-they the driver didn't know which way to go always so got a tour each time but of course detours cost more...

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    1. That's why they do it. Give them a direct route to follow and save the money for coffee when you get there. thank heavens for GPS in taxis now.

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    2. Margaret, taxi horror stories are too frequent. When I use taxis in strange cities, I always act as if I know where I am, like saying to R, 'ah, look. That has changed since we were last here'.

      River, that happens, but in my experience of Melbourne taxi drivers, it is mostly just incompetence.

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  8. Before I read the whole post, does Melbourne have free travel for seniors? During off peak travel times, 9am to 3pm for instance? 24hours on weekends and public holidays?

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    1. River, no, except for weekends when it is free for seniors. There is at time a distinction between seniors and concession card holders (pensioners) but I forget what it is now.

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  9. Seniors are people 60 years and older, and seniors cards get discounts at various places for things like haircuts, restaurant meals, cinema tickets etc. Seniors cards are not able to be used outside of state of issue.
    Pensioners are people 65 and older who may have government issued pensioner concession cards, these need to be applied for and get discounts on things that I don't yet know about apart from travel, I don't know if they are allowed to be used nationally or just in state of issue.
    Other concession card holders may be younger people on low or no income and these cards are used for travel concessions and health/dental costs.
    It's my opinion that a seniors or pensioner card should be allowed to be used nationally, not just in state of issue, after all, we're 60-65+ everywhere, not just at home.

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    1. Thanks for the clarification, River. I have to check each time we travel interstate as to what is R's entitlement for PT travel.

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  10. I always stayed in Rathdowne Street, Carlton when I visited Melbourne during my Hinchinbrook Island period; and from there I just about walked to wherever I wanted or needed to go.

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    1. Lee, I love Rathdowne Street. Between the busy tram streets of Lygon and Nicholson Street, it has a certain peacefulness about it and is a very attractive street.

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  11. If only Australia wouldn't be on the "other" side of the world, the long journey puts me off !

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    1. Gattina, it is a journey to be undertaken with at least one break for a couple of nights, or as we do, with drugs and alcohol.

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  12. I wonder how you would rate our public service Andrew.. maybe I shouldn't have said anything ☺☺

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    1. Grace, it was very good, as we experienced it, but then your buses don't have to deal with extreme traffic congestion and huge passenger numbers that our trams and buses do.

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