Melbourne has an excellent network of public transportation. It boasts the world's largest tram system, the second largest train network in Australia, and over 300 bus routes.
Travel is managed by the myki reusable smart card. The card itself costs $6.00 and can be purchased online or in many news agents and convenience stores; you can then add funds to the card to use public transit. When you get on and off trams, trains, or buses you'll tap the card against the card reader. Monthly and annual myki plans are available, which offer discounts. Students and seniors also receive discounts.
HAVING A CAR IN AUSTRALIA
We all get attached to our cars, but you should think twice before you bring it with you to Melbourne. Importing a used car into Australia will nail you with a $12,000 duty imposed by customs. (Note that this duty will go away starting in 2018.)
The flip side of this argument, if you will really need a car, is that cars in Australia are incredibly expensive. Luxury cars can be two or three times the cost of vehicles elsewhere. A 2011 report found that a Lexus LS460 that cost USD $66,000 in the United States would cost AUD $191,000 in Australia – and that was a time when the two currencies were at parity. Even with the fall in the Australian dollar, that's still a significant premium.
And even used cars – very used, undesirable cars – can be expensive. A clunker that would be a few thousand in the U.S. can be $7,000-9,000 in Australia. You'll also need to get handy driving on the the left-hand side of the road if you come from the majority of countries that drive on the right.
Still, having a car in Melbourne does offer the freedom to visit the Yarra Valley wine country, drive the Great Ocean Road, relax at the mellow Mornington Peninsula, or any of the other amazing places close to the city.
HELPFUL TRANSPORTATION WEBSITES
Journey Planner - The official Victoria Transport site has a great planner that helps you plan your trip and shows you timetables.