Saturday, November 9, 2013

Moving to Melbourne temporary stay tip: Get some pre-loved wheels!

Moving to Melbourne but not permanently? My #1 transport tip is to get a used car!

With Melbourne public transport being not quite up-to-scratch by international standards (please read my old-but-still-very-valid article “Get Around, Get Around .. I Get Around ..”) and the city being so spread out, having your own car is essential.

But don’t let the fact that you won’t be here permanently stop you from buying your own set of wheels. This hot tip will work just as well whether you are here on a 6-month work contract or a few years as a student.

Go buy an old used car – around at least 8 to 10 years old. When you are ready to leave, give yourself a little bit of time (a month or so will do) and sell your car through the classifieds, Gumtree or Ebay. As an older car, most of the depreciation would already have occurred and with a little bit of smart bargaining, you will find that the loss is minimal.

For example, a friend of mine bought an old 1999 Suzuki Jimny a couple of years back and sold it just recently after finishing her studies. The difference in price? Just around $600!

This works out way better than hiring a car. And it will provide you with heaps more flexibility and (trust me) a lot less headache dealing with Melbourne’s public transport.

Hope you find this tip useful! :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Melbourne Cup Carnival and "The Race that Stops the Nation"

Starting tomorrow, the week-long Melbourne Cup Carnival starts bringing horse racing fever to Melbourne! 

An event rich in tradition and history spanning over 150 years, the Melbourne Cup carnival is a truly unique Melbourne experience not to be missed!
For many, it is an excuse to dress up to the nines, go to races, have the once-in-a-year horse race bet and generally have a good time with friends. In fact, a great tradition is to go to the track car park and have a picnic (with lots of champagne of course!). Many don’t even watch a single race!
The major race days during the Carnival week are:

  • Victoria Derby (1st Sat) – The most exciting day for serious punters with the many top level races taking place.
  • Melbourne Cup Parade (Mon) – Not a race day but an event not to be missed! Come and watch the jockeys and horses taking part in the Melbourne Cup parade down the streets of Melbourne CBD. The streets will be packed with tens of thousands of people so arrive early to get the best vantage points.
  • Melbourne Cup (Tues) – The Race That Stops The Nation! The pinnacle of the carnival is undoubtedly the Melbourne Cup race day. It is held on the first Tuesday of every November at 3 pm and is also a public holiday! I’m not sure what other places in the world have a public holiday for a horse race but there can’t be too many!
  • Oaks Day (Thurs) – This day is centred on the Ladies! Fashion parades, best dressed contests, etc. Not surprisingly, the highlight race of the day is for female horses only!
  • Stakes Day (2nd Sat) – A relaxed family oriented day to close off the carnival. Kids are encouraged to come with lots of activities and entertainment for children. There is even a Children’s Fashion contest to select the best dressed kid!

So put on your best suit or frock - not forgetting the fancy hats ladies - and see you at the races ! 

P.S. Many people take the Monday off work, have an extended 4-day weekend and a short holiday break. So book your accommodation early to avoid disappointment if you are planning to visit the popular holiday spots during this time!
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