The Bureau of Consular Affairs website (http://travel.state.gov/visa/) is a great place for visa information for American travelers. American tourists need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) subclass 976 visa before reaching Australia and Victoria. It can be obtained online for a cheap price. Canadian, Japanese, and Singaporean are among the other national travelers that can obtain the ETA visa.
Health and Safety
Victoria is a relatively safe state, although as in most areas around Australia visitors need to use their common sense to stay safe at night. Avoid outer suburb train stations after dark if traveling alone. Some central suburbs of Melbourne, like Footscray and Collingwood, are not overly safe after dark. The once dangerous gangland war of Melbourne has now fizzled out too.
There are no real threats of disease in Victoria. However, with the ample number of outdoor activities on offer, getting injured while participating in one of these is not uncommon. This is why tourists should always purchase travel insurance to cover medical costs before arriving in Victoria.
Be wary of the intense heat during summer days. Victoria is renowned for its heat waves, which will require sun safety and rehydration regularly. Bushfires are a common threat in the state of Victoria. They usually threaten the bushland outside Melbourne and occur also in the rural reaches of the state. If bushfires are about, then stay indoors and listen to the locals as they are usually well educated in fire emergencies.