The Australian Open Tennis Championships are under a week away so as the stars prepare to battle it out, here’s what you can expect.
The metropolis of Melbourne will welcome the likes of Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for nearly two weeks of the world’s finest tennis.
It’s the first major Grand Slam of the year and will celebrate 15 years at its Melbourne Park venue this January.
It’s also next to one of Australia’s finest pieces of sporting architecture, the Melbourne Cricket Ground – scene of another Australian victory in the fourth test of the most recent Ashes series.
Andy Murray will be keen to exact a small measure of British revenge by adding to his Grand Slam haul, although he enters the tournament with injury concerns.
A centralised location
Based in the city centre – barely a ten minute walk from the thriving shopping regions – the venue is ideally suited for anyone travelling in from any of the city’s suburbs.
The city is the leading financial hub in the region and features a mix of many cultures spread out across a vast urban sprawl.
It regularly features in the top ten lists for the world’s most liveable cities and is certainly a must-visit destination for anyone looking to get a true taste of Australia.
Known for its widespread culture, the city is home to many buildings of historical interest, as well as a zoo and national gallery which are certainly worth visiting.
Plenty to see and do
Significant economic growth has led to massive scale developments all across Melbourne and this has subsequently led to a thriving city, both during the day and at night.
Helped by the world’s largest tram system, the infrastructure of the city means that all locations are easily accessible by a number of different means.
Much of the city is very open in design and covers a significant area, with greenery a common aspect in almost all areas.
With the Australia Open held in the height of the Australian summer, temperatures can regularly top 40 degrees.
However, the city is known for its rapidly changing Oceanic climate, so preparing for all eventualities is recommended.
Melbourne thrives on its sporting legacy and heritage, a notion which is obvious at almost every turn.
Travelling with a prepaid travel card can help to prevent any nasty surprises upon your return as there will be no additional bills to worry about.
You’ll also have the additional security that comes from not needing lots of currency or travellers’ cheques when enjoying your time away.
Expert Comment: When travelling to Australia from the UK, consumers can benefit from using a Australian Dollar (AUD) travel card as provided by Prepaid Financial Services or take up a Travelex card in AUD. If the AUD card does not prove to be attractive, then carrying a GBP Sterling travel card is the best way as the FX rate on the card is likely to better than your bank card. Whatever you do, do not carry a USD/EUR Travel card as you will end up losing money converting from GBP to USD/EUR when you load it, and from USD/EUR to AUD when you spend using your card down under! – Amit Sharma
Amit Sharma is the CEO and Founder of www.prepaid365.com and a senior prepaid industry consultant. You can follow him on LinkedIn.