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Melbourne: City Guide (Lonely Planet) Paperback – October 1, 2006
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I may update my review after my trip, but from my first reading of the guide, I found it to be fairly comprehensive. It covers the city as well as some things to do in the immediately surrounding region. There are sections which cover the culture (`City Life', `Arts',' Food', `History'), the area (`Neighbourhoods'), and most importantly for the traveler, things to do (`Eating', `Drinking', `Sleeping', `Walking Tours', `Entertainment', `Sports, Health, & Fitness', `Shopping', and `Excursions').
I found this guide to be very helpful in my planning, and only found a couple areas where it wasn't accurate. The first was in hotel costs, and that is undoubtedly due to the fact that I am going to be there during a holiday. The guide is also from 2004, so there would undoubtedly be changes each year anyway. The other area where they might want to update is for getting a visa. Tourist visas for many countries can now be applied for online, but they do not mention that. I feel that one of the most useful sections of this book will probably turn out to be the `Directory' section, which covers a wide range of topics from transportation, money exchange, embassies, tipping, tourist information, and much more.
As the city guide for the city in which Lonely Planet is based, my expectations were very high, and so far they have been met for the most part. As I indicated earlier, I may come back and edit this review after my trip, but for pre-planning, these is easily a four star reference. However, I do see that the 6th edition is due out in October of this year, so if possible I would suggest waiting for the more up-to-date version of the guide.