The MCEC conference venue is located on the south-west corner of Melbourne city center (‘CBD’). It can be reached easily from the main Tullamarine airport (code: MEL), using a taxi or the cheaper SkyBus bus service. The trip takes 30-45 minutes and costs range from about $60 for a taxi to $19 for the bus, and both services depart on the ground level of the airport, near to the baggage claim area. For the SkyBus, the Docklands Express service stops directly outside the MCEC conference venue, as well as several other stops nearby. The SkyBus also runs a Melbourne City Express to Southern Cross train station, which is a short 15 minute walk from the conference venue. Those contemplating renting a car for the trip, be warned that parking in the city centre can be difficult and costly.
If you do arrive at Melbourne’s second airport, Avalon (AVV), which services the cheaper carriers, you also have both SkyBus or taxi options, although note that travel times to the city will be about 15 minutes longer.
Melbourne is famous for its trams, and has one of the most extensive tram networks in the world. The CBD is designated a Free Tram Zone, meaning that you can ride any tram for free, although beware, as the Free Tram Zone finishes one stop short of the conference venue and ticket inspectors frequent the fringes of the zone trying to catch out those who ride without a ticket, and are infamous for their intolerance (including tourists). If you wish to catch a tram beyond the Free Tram Zone, you will need to purchase a Myki ticket from a newsagent or one of the many vending machines at tram stops, and ‘touch on’ each time you get on a tram. Note that if you touch on within the Free Tram Zone, you will be charged. No, not the most user-friendly system in the world, but there are clear announcements in the trams of whether you are in the Free Tram Zone or not. The same Myki ticket will work on local trains and buses, should you need to travel further afield. Google maps gives a good overview of public transport options, as does Public Transport Victoria and their PTV phone app.
Uber operates in Melbourne, and can be cheaper than taxis for short trips.
The conference promotes a positive and inslusive environment and will enforce the ACL anti-harassment policy.
July is winter time in Melbourne. The average daily maximum is 14°C (58°F), and you may experience rain or squally winds (along with some sunshine) during your time here as part of the notoriously changeable local weather. Naturally, you should check the forecast.
The following meals are provided as part of your registration fee:
- Mid-morning breaks include coffee, tea, water, and snacks in the Melbourne Room and level 2 foyer
- A light lunch of sandwiches and a muffin is provided during each of the midday poster sesions on Monday–Wednesday, in the Melbourne Room and level 2 foyer
- Mid-afternoon breaks include coffee, tea, water, and snacks in the Melbourne Room and level 2 foyer
For other meals there are several cafes and restaurants within a few minutes walk of the convention centre. Head to the in the South Wharf area (west), where you’ll find many good places to choose from, including a food court in the DFO shopping complex. There are many more eating options available if you head east along the river to Crown and further along at Southbank, including cafes, restaurants and another food court in the Southgate shopping complex.
Crossing the river and walking a little further to the CBD is worthwhile, where you will find the highest density of restaurants in greater Melbourne. In general, the streets to the east of Elizabeth Street, especially, east of Russell Street, are best for evenings. For an outstanding gelato experience, with experimental flavours, drop into Gelateria Primavera. Chinatown has its spine along Little Bourke Street, including the long-standing Golden Orchids. Closest to the conference venue, the most vibrant area is near the corner of Katherine Place and Flinders Lane. Further east along Flinders Lane, you can find Dukes coffee roasters. Degraves Street, either side of Flinders Lane, is packed with cafés, and is very popular with visitors and locals alike.
There are several quality rooftop bars in the CBD, including Bomba, Siglo, Campari House, Rooftop Bar (Curtin House), Madame Brussels, and Red Hummingbird. For a view of the city, and of local commuters rushing for their trains, head to the delightful Arbory. Either side, along the Yarra River, Ponyfish Island and Riverland are gems.
Explore Melbourne’s laneways: some of them have amazing places to eat (Hardware Lane, Centre Place, Degraves Street), some have fantastic artwork (Hosier Lane), some are just a little scary looking.
To browse a list of curated cafés, restaurants and other notable places interactively on your smartphone, please check out the following Google Maps Places.
Local print shops offer poster printing services, including:
- Officeworks several close locations, including South Melbourne and Elizabeth Street
- Kwik Kopy 45 William Street
Things to do in Melbourne during your stay
Stuck for ideas on what to do while you’re in town with your free time? Here is a laundry list of things you can do to get the full Melbourne experience:
- watch a match of out unique brand of football, Aussie rules. Take a look at the AFL fixture to find a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Etihad stadium, which are both within easy reach. Games are played Thurs-Sun, in the afternoons and evenings. Be sure to rug up with a warm coat and scarf!
- listen to Proximities (with welcome song sung in Woiwurrung, the language of the original inhabitants of Melbourne) on the William Barak Bridge early in the morning, looking across the Yarra and back at the Melbourne skyline
- take a walk or bike ride along the Yarra river, along the attractive riverside paths. A few kilometres upriver you will reach Yarra Bend, home to more than 10,000 fruit bats (flying foxes). They roost during the day and take to the air at dusk.
- visit one of Melbourne’s many rooftop bars. Another rooftop of sorts is the Eureka Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Melbourne (and the world, for a brief time), which affords a panoramic view of the city.
- imbibe at one of Melbourne’s quirky drinking holes such as Holey Moley Golf Club, a cocktail bar and mini-golf course, and Pony-Fish island, a tiny bar located on a tiny pontoon on the river.
- take a walking tour of the city, e.g. “I’m Free Walking Tours”, which leave from the State Library or Arts Centre
- enjoy the street art in several small lanes in the city centre, including Hosier Lane and AC/DC lane
- get your Art fix at the National Gallery of Victoria. On Friday evenings there is evening entertainment with live music, bookings essential.
- learn about crime and punishment from Australia’s colonial past at the Old Melbourne Goal. The gallows are a particular highlight. You can also see the handmade metal armour of our most infamous 19th century villian, Ned Kelly, in the State Library, replete with bullet marks.
- visit one of the many excellent markets, such as Queen Victoria Market (see the Winter Night Market on Wednesday nights, 5pm – 10pm), South Melbourne Market, where you will fall in love with freshly-shucked Tasmanian oysters (best in the world!) at the oyster bar, and St Kilda Esplanade market on Sundays. A European night market also runs on Fridays in Madame Brussels Lane.
- visit the Melbourne Museum and the Melbourne Zoo, which both have extensive Australian exhibits. The zoo has many furry marsupials and a platypus enclosure. For a more extensive Australian animal fix, head to Healesville Sanctuary, which is about 1 hour north-east of the city.
- walk along Brunswick Street and Smith Street in Fitzroy, some of the oldest parts of Melbourne, cafes, bars and Street Art.
- experience some amazing vegetarian food at the Vegie Bar, a Melbourne institution specialising in wholesome and abundant vegetarian food, Lentil as Anything, a “pay as you feel” vegetarian restaurant, or the Moroccan Soup Kitchen, a restuarant with a purely spoken menu
- watch the Little Penguins coming in to nest in the evenings on the beach near to St Kilda pier. More penguins can be seen on Philip Island, a few hours south-east of the city. While in St Kilda, be sure to partake in the impressive food establishments, including Milk the Cow, where you can get your cheese fix, as well as fancy restaurants like One Fitzroy Street and Stokehouse.
- Visas: information about visas for visitors from outside Australia
- Accommodation: information about hotels including access to discounted rates
- Local Activities: events on in Melbourne around the time of the conference
- Get the handbook
For general inquiries about the conference, please email email@example.com.