A valid visa and current passport are essential for entry into Australia. Though, it’s wise to carry an ongoing ticket out of Australia and proof of funds to sustain your stay, in case those are also requested. The only exceptions are current New Zealand and Australian passports.
Unless you're an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you'll need a visa to enter Australia. A tourist visa is for people visiting Australia for a vacation, sightseeing, visiting friends or relatives and other short-term non-work activities. Once in Australia, a visa is not needed to enter Victoria when travelling from other states.
The US Embassy is located in the Australia capital city, Canberra, and US Consulates are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The High Commission of Canada is located in Canberra and the Canadian Consulate in Sydney. The Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil is located in Canberra and the Consulate of Brazil is located in Brisbane.
Automatic Teller Machines (or ATMs) are found scattered across the state. Be aware - money is generally deposited in $20 or $50 notes and some banks charge a small fee to withdraw.
Here in Australia, tipping is not expected. Instead prices are generally inclusive of GST, and tipping is reserved for exceptional service (around 10% at restaurants).
Major credit cards are widely accepted, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club. Traveller's cheques are also accepted in Queensland, though a fee is often charged for cashing them in.
Australia’s national currency is the aptly named Australian Dollar (AUD), which is decimal, with the dollar the basic unit. Keep in mind that 100 cents = $1 dollar. Notes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 denominations, while coins are available in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations.
The Melbourne international and Domestic Airport is located within a forty minutes' drive from the melbourne CBD and is easily accessible by hire car, taxi or airport shuttle bus.
Hire cars can be picked up and returned from/to the airport and you will find many hire car booths there on arrival in the lounge at both terminals, however it is much cheaper to prebook.
IT Connectivity & Mobile phones
The GSM mobile phone system is available throughout Australia. Check with your own mobile phone provider for service coverage in this area under your service.
Upon arrival in Australia one option is to purchase and have installed a local SIM card for use while in Australia. These cards often include a certain amount of free calling back to your home country, depending on which SIM card provider you choose and which country you are from. SIM cards are available at overseas entry airports in Australia, the booths are usually are in close proximity outside the exit from Customs and Immigration. There are many options, prior to leaving for the AAAP24 meeting do some research online and find the option that best suits your needs. Then check the availability of that option when you arrive in Australia.
Internet and email access
Free high speed wireless access is available in the Melbourne Convention Centre, as well as at all the conference hotels. High speed wireless access is also available in most other hotels in Melbourne, but be sure to check before making reservations.