Picture bustling streets filled with shopping bargains, cafes and restaurants. Then picture a tranquil, tree-lined park with people relaxing in the sun during their lunch break. Picture trams and multi-storied buildings, then picture long stretches of grapevines and vineyards. Picture a square filled with art galleries and restaurants and with a big TV screen with a crowd of people cheering for their footie team. Then picture the sedate pilgrimage of little fairy penguins in the still of night making their way from the sea to their nests. This is Melbourne. Diverse, ever-changing and always exciting! This city captures the hearts of many a traveller and the locals wouldn’t swap it for the world. Melbourne is all about lifestyle from the cafes and shopping to the sporting events and facilities through to the vineyards, restaurants and theatres. ... read more
There is plenty here to keep you busy for a lifetime! The culture is as diverse as the activities and the Greek and Italian influences are prevalent in the many superb restaurants throughout the city. Known for it’s superior cuisine, you can dine in a different restaurant every night and compliment your meal with one of the many award-winning wines made locally in the outlying areas surrounding Melbourne. Sports fans delight in Melbourne with the famous MCG playing host to local football games as well as international events.
Then there’s the tennis played in January each year and of course, the Melbourne Cup that sets the city afire! Melbourne is a city of arts and you can always find a show, performance or concert to enjoy. Add to that the museums and art galleries and there is enough here to keep even the most avid art-lover enthralled. For those with families, the Melbourne Zoo is always a highlight as is the new Melbourne Aquarium, Healesville Sanctuary and the famous Phillip Island Fairy Penguin Parade. The Puffing Billy steam locomotive is also a hit with the young ones. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, Melbourne hands you this on a platter with luxurious hotels, vineyards, live performances, candlelit restaurants and plenty of activities that you can enjoy together. Whatever the purpose of your holiday, prepare to fall in love with Melbourne. Somehow it just manages to find a special place within your heart.
Melbourne is a great destination all year round. The weather is very changeable so even if you travel in the middle of summer you may still find that it rains. Conversely, you may travel in winter and end up with hot, sunny days. It is very unpredictable so it pays to be prepared for everything. Before you book, check what it is on in the city case there is a special event happening at the time you wish to travel. During these times, accommodation can be at a premium and most hotels will charge a surcharge over the dates of the event.
Melbourne for Families
Usually Queensland springs to mind when you think about family holidays in Australia, but keeping the kids entertained in Melbourne is a piece of cake! There are activities and attractions for families of all ages and accommodation options range from the budget through to luxurious. You may like to book an apartment style property that has separate bedrooms and a kitchen. The flight to Melbourne isn’t too long and the schedules are relatively frequent so you can usually find a flight time that is child-friendly! Activities abound with museums, theatres, wildlife parks and more. Even just riding the trams brings a smile to their faces but there is plenty more for them to see and do. Start with the Melbourne Zoo, Australia’s oldest zoo with one of the largest ranges of animal species in Australia. You can pack a picnic and spend the whole day here. The new Melbourne Aquarium is an instant hit with the underwater tunnel, myriad of fishlife and the ever-intriguing sharks. Well worth a look and the kids will love it. The Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary lets the kids get up close to Australia’s native wildlife and the chance to feed kangaroos and maybe hold a koala is always a highlight in a child’s holiday. Combine the Healesville Sanctuary with a ride on the steam locomotive “Puffing Billy” and you have a fantastic day out … and the kids will sleep like logs at night! WHAT TO PACK: Most things are readily available in Melbourne so if you forget something, it’s not so much of a drama. You will probably do quite a bit of walking so taking the stroller and some good walking shoes is definitely a good idea. If your kids aren’t used to traveling or being away from home, a favourite toy or their nighttime teddy bear/blankie etc can ease anxiety when waking in the middle of the night. Special activities or treats for at the airport and on the plane can also be a good idea and make the journey much more enjoyable for all involved! For the real littlies, be sure to pack a supply of nappies, bottles, formula, wipes etc for whilst you are at the airport or flying too. Some airlines will provide these but they can be limited and if there is a delay in your flight departing, you don’t want to be caught short! If you have babies that are still in a bassinet or cot, enquire before you go about requesting bulkhead seats. These are the seats at the front of each section of the plane with fold down basinets so that your child can sleep more easily. The airlines won’t guarantee these but it is definitely worth making the request at time of booking. You may like to pack a first aid kit too as whilst everything is available in Melbourne, it can be expensive if you suddenly need something in the middle of the zoo for example. A small supply of your child’s paracetamol can also be handy so that, should you need it, you can give them something they are used to having rather than trying a new medicine whilst overseas.
Melbourne for Honeymoons & Romance
Melbourne is Australia’s answer to Paris! Whilst “gidday” might not have the same ring to it as “bonsoir” you can be assured that Melbourne can be just as romantic as any European city. The historic buildings with intricate architecture, candlelit restaurants and international stage productions exude romance and the luxuriously appointed hotels set the mood for a wonderfully intimate holiday together. The city itself offers a variety of activities and attractions to enjoy together or you may wish to head out of the metropolis and into the wine country for a relaxing break away from it all. There are some fantastic hotels ideal for honeymooners or romantic escapes such as The Windsor with it’s old style grace or perhaps one of the more modern, luxurious hotels with spa facilities where you can enjoy his and hers massages. Wherever you stay and however busy or relaxed you would like to be, the romanticism of Melbourne can’t be denied. It is a wonderful place to spend some time together or to start your married life.
Melbourne for Adventure
Bring it on! Get the adrenalin pumping with a whole host of adventure activities that will take your breath away! Here are just some ideas of activities you can do in and around Melbourne and surrounds: • Cycling • Skiing • Snowboarding • Mountain biking • Rock Climbing • Sky Diving • Ballooning • Scenic Flights • Hang-gliding • Canoeing • Kayaking • Rafting • 4 Wheel Driving • Horse riding • Abseiling • Caving • Scuba Diving • Waterskiing And you thought Melbourne was just for art-lovers and shopaholics!
Melbourne for Culture & Art
Melbourne is the arts capital of Australia! With galleries, exhibitions, shows, sculptures and more, it is a art-lovers delight! The city is alive with performing arts, international productions, plays, concerts and local shows so there is always something to see. Sculptures line the sidewalks and exhibitions are plentiful and varied. For a lesson in the heritage of the Aboriginal people, be sure to do the Aboriginal Heritage Walk where you will learn about native plants and their culinary and medicinal purposes, tools, ceremonies and customs. It is an informative tour conducted by native Aboriginal people. For the art lovers, there are too many art galleries in Melbourne to list them all so here are a few recommendations to get you started! • ACCA • ArtPlay (for children under 12 years) • City Gallery • Bundoora Homestead Federation Centre for the Arts • Heide Museum of Modern Art • Ian Potter Museum of Art • La Trobe University Museum of Art and Collections • Manningham Gallery • MARS Melbourne Art Rooms • Monash University Gallery • National Gallery of Victoria • Stonington Stables Museum of Art Deakin University • RMIT Gallery Dozens of musicals and theatre productions are staged each week n Melbourne. Here are just some of the most popular current or upcoming shows: Phantom of the Opera – Princess Theatre Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Regent Theatre Monty Python’s Spamalot – Her majesty’s Theatre from November 2007 Guys and Dolls – Princess Theatre from 28 March 2008 Wicked – Regent Theatre from July 2008
Melbourne for a Weekend Getaway
Perfect! Melbourne is a great spot to have a weekend away as there is so much to see and do in such close proximity. You may have to take an extra day due to flight schedules but you actually really need to have at least three or four days just to fit everything in. There is plenty to see and do within the city centre so you don’t have to waste time travelling in and out so you can really make the most of your weekend there. Melbourne is perfect for a romantic weekend getaway as there are so many places to pamper yourselves and some great restaurants for dining out. If you’re heading to Melbourne with a loved one, be sure to pre-book a show or Tramcar Restaurant dinner before you go to avoid disappointment if they’re fully booked once you’re there. Great for a shopping weekend with the girls, you can do some serious credit card damage in just a couple of days in Melbourne so maybe a weekend away is all that’s needed! Of course if you want to stay longer there are plenty of shopping spots to keep you busy for a week!
Melbourne for Shopping
Bring it on! Be sure to pack an extra suitcase, or two! Melbourne is a shopping mecca and you can find all kinds of bargains to tempt you and your credit card with everything from the markets through to designer gear and everything in between! Some of the best places to shop include: Chapel Street – the capital of young designer fashion! You can find some new and funky items here and even some great recycled and vintage bargains. Toorak Road – A bit more upmarket than Chapel Street where you can find jewellery, homewares, imported fashions, restaurants, tailors and everything exclusive. Bridge Road – great for those on more of a budget with everything from factory outlets through to designer boutiques. Lygon Street – very Italian so you can expect lots of shoes, handbags, coats, bookshops and more. Brunswick Street – for something alternatively different with an ethnic feel. Unique shops with handmade goods and original or recycled wares. Victoria Markets – for the bargain hunters with everything here from local produce through to clothes and leather goods. A lot of the stalls sell the same goods so you can often barter with the stall holder to get a good deal. Malls – of course Melbourne also offers the bigger department stores and even in the main streets of Melbourne you can find some great deals. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes and some foot rub because the shopping here is addictive! Just when you say that’s enough, you stumble across another little arcade or mall and off you go again!
Melbourne for Cuisine
Dining out is mandatory in Melbourne as the cuisine is simply too good to miss! You’ll find some of the best Italian restaurants outside of Italy on Lygon Street and the atmosphere in some of these restaurants is so authentic you would be forgiven for forgetting you’re not in the homeland! Melburnians know how to enjoy their meals and the array of dining options is seemingly endless. Some of Melbournes best restaurants include: • Interlude • Circa • Scusami • Ezard • Va Tutto • The Point Albert Park • The Press Club • The Botanical • Bottega • Café Italia For a real treat, try the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant with its European Pullman style décor. Travel through the streets of Melbourne whilst enjoying fine cuisine and the best of Australian wines. Incredibly romantic! Foodies tours are available where your hosts take you on a guided tour through some of Melbourne’s best, oldest and newest restaurants and you can taste some of the local produce. Or the decadent meals may tempt you to try your own hand at one of the cooking schools. The markets also offer locally produced goods. For wine lovers, the vineyards of Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and the Macedon Ranges offer sumptuous meals accompanied by equally divine wines and are well worth a visit. Even if you are not a food connoisseur, you can’t help but enjoy the dining experience in Melbourne. You may find that your clothes are slightly tighter by the end of your stay but it is well worth it!!
Melbourne for Country Side & Self Drive
The first thing to ask yourself when planning a self-drive holiday is which way to go? Victoria has so much to see outside of Melbourne that you could spend months exploring and still not see everything! One of the most popular self-drive itineraries is The Great Ocean Road that stretches along the coast from Melbourne right through to Adelaide. There are so many places to see along the coast that you could stop every few hours if you have the time. Lorne and Apollo Bay are lovely little seaside resort towns with beautiful beaches as well as some of Australia’s best rainforest scenery in the nearby Otway Ranges. Further on, you will across Port Campbell where you find the famous Twelve Apostle rock structures that have to be one of the most spectacular natural formations in Australia. This region has seen many a shipwreck and the Flagstaff Hill maritime museum makes for an interesting visit to see this area in its yesteryear. Add in sleepy villages with their relaxed pace of life and you have a wonderfully relaxed yet enlightening tour of this scenic part of Australia! If goldmining interests you, head up into the regions of Bendigo and Ballarat, rich in history of the old gold miners and the gold rush era. Explore the quaint shopfronts and miner’s cottages and learn the history at the former mining site of Sovereign Hill. Here you can pan for gold, enjoy a re-enactment of the events leading up to the 1854 Eureka Stockade or visit the Gold Museum to see the vast collection of nuggets. For the wine lovers, meander through the Yarra Valley with its delectable wines and foods and some of Victoria’s most picturesque rolling landscape. Then for further vineyards, explore the Mornington Peninsula with its seaside villages, country roads, coastal walks, cliffs and lighthouses. This is great area to explore at a leisurely pace and enjoy the cafes, boutiques and galleries. In the east, the landscape diversifies around Gippsland with the contrast of beautiful, unspoilt beaches to the mountainous ranges and beautiful lakes. Dotted through this area you can find wineries, cheese makers, markets and fruit and berry farms, with the odd historic gold town or maritime village thrown in. Hiring a car is easy and accommodation is usually readily available. You can find some lovely little motels and bed and breakfasts throughout Victoria. Or you may prefer to hire a campervan and not have to worry about packing and unpacking. The choice is yours but whichever you decide be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to explore at your leisure.
Melbourne for Events
Melbourne is host to numerous events throughout the year. Visitors come from all over the world for the international sporting events and the atmosphere during these events and festivals is electric! The city hums with activity and the events themselves are a sight to behold. Some things to remember when traveling to Melbourne for a special event: • Book well in advance – some hotels book up a year before the event • Most hotels will charge a surcharge for the nights leading up to and including the event • Most hotels will ask for full payment well in advance to guarantee your booking • Pre-book tickets to the event to avoid disappointment • Whilst transport is readily available, allow plenty of time to get to the venue as taxis etc will be at a premium Here are some of the events to be held in Melbourne in the coming months: 2007 OCT 03- 22 NOV Spring Racing Carnival OCT 11-27 Melbourne International Arts Festival NOV 02-05 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz NOV 09 – 11 Beechworth Celtic Festival NOV 23-25 Queenscliff Music Festival NOV 25 The Age Spring Harvest Picnic at Werribee Park DEC 26-30 Melbourne Boxing Day Cricket Test 2008 JAN 14-27 Australian Open Tennis Championship FEB 9-10 Chinese New Year Festival FEB 15-17 Echuca Moama’s Riverboats, Jazz, Food and Wine Festival FEB 16-17 Yarra Valley Grape Grazing Festival FEB 22- MAR 05 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival FEB 23 Pako Festa FEB 24 Age Harvest Picnic at Hanging Rock FEB 29 – MAR 02 2008 Yamaha Phillip Island Superbike World Championships MAR 13-16 2008 Formula One Australian Grand Prix MAR 19 – APR 13 Melbourne International Comedy Festival MAR 22 Antipodes Festival Melbourne MAR 23 Awakening of the Dragon APR 02 – 06 Melbourne International Flower and Garde Show APR 03-13 Rip Curl Pro MAY Warnambool May Racing Carnival MAY 17-18 Buddha Day and Multicultural Festival JUL 30 – AUG 03 Melbourne Art Fair JUL Melbourne Design Festival AUG Melbourne International Film Festival NOV 20-23 Equitana Asia Pacific 2009 MAR 24-29 Australian International Airshow
Melbourne for Golf
If you are in Melbourne for two weeks you could play a different international course every day without traveling more than 30 minutes from the central city! Some of the best known courses include the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Metropolitan Golf Club, Huntingdale Golf Club, Kingston Heath Golf Club, Yarra Yarra Golf Club, Commonwealth Golf Club and Victoria Golf Club. Visitors can have access to these courses but you will need to produce documentation stating that you belong to a golf club and have a registered handicap. A quick reference to other popular courses is as follows: • Albert Park Golf Course • Anglesea Golf Club • Brighton Municipal Golf Course • Bundoora Glf Course • Chirnside Park Country Club • Churchill Park Golf Club • Craigieburn Public Golf Course • Dorset Golf Course • Flinders Golf Club • Freeway Golf Course • Geelong Golf Club • Glen Waverley Public Golf Course • Keysborough Golf Club • Kingston Links • Lalor Golf Course • Malvern Valley Golf Course • Nyah District Golf Course • Portsea Golf Club • Shearwater Cape Schanck Resort • Sorrento Golf Club • The Dunes Golf Links • The Yarra Yarra Golf Club • Tullarmarine Country Club • Whittlesea Country Club • Yarra Bend Golf Course
Melbourne for Spas
Melbourne spas have pampering down to a fine art from standard facilities such as facials and massages through to the exotic treatments like Vichy shower, Reiki, Hydrotherapy, hot rock therapy and Iridology. Many of the larger hotels offer spa facilities although they may not be as intensive as some of the full Day Spas. For true spa pampering, you can’t go past The Sebel Heritage Yarra Valley where you can participate in a tailor-made three day Wellness Retreat Programme. Starting each day with yoga, pilates or tai chi, followed by a healthy-start breakfast and a daily activity programme designed specifically for your health and fitness, this is a true haven where you can restore balance to your life and re-energise your body. On the Mornington Peninsula, Peppers Moonah Links Resort combines one of Australia’s finest golf resorts with an Endota spa. Here you have to try the Endota Spa Experience – four hours of complete bliss beginning with Endota’s signature treatment – ‘Drenched’. Relax with a Billabong footbath then luxuriate in Australian natural ingredients like Lavender and Lime cleanser, honey exfoliants, yoghurt body cocoon and a scalp massage. Finish off with a facial, massage and pedicure. It doesn’t get much better than that! For something a little different, the Mizu B&B Retreat & Spa has a distinct Japanese influence with minimalist décor, shoji screens and a peaceful setting perfect for letting that stress slip away. Enjoy yoga, massages, cocoon treatments and stone therapy facials. If you can’t spare a few days to spend at one of these Spa resorts, at least book in for a relaxing facial or massage at one of the hotel spas. It is truly heavenly after the hectic pace of Melbourne!
Melbourne for Conferences
Melbourne is ideal for conferences! With a variety of venues ranging from a small meeting room in a hotel to the full convention facilities of the Crown Entertainment Complex, Melbourne can cater for groups of all sizes. No matter how simple or how elaborate an event you wish to put on, Melbourne can provide a successful and memorable event. The flight schedules allow for short or long stays and if you have delegates arriving at different times on different days, it is easy to arrange transport and accommodate lots of different requirements. Leisure activities for during or after the conference are endless. You may wish to organize a wine tour, a visit to the MCG, golf or spa treatments or even a show. The city is easy to get around and even team-building treasure-hunt style activities are easy to organize. The facilities along with Melbourne’s natural charm and sophistication make it a wonderfully memorable location for conference and incentive groups and it’s no wonder that some companies return to Melbourne year after year.
Population: Approximately 3.75 million Flying Time from NZ: Approximately 3.5 hours ex Auckland Climate: Melbourne can sometimes experience four seasons in one day! It is common to have rain during summer and brilliant sunny days during winter so it is a good idea to be prepared for anything! Electricity: 240 volts AC, mainly three-point plugs Currency: Australian Dollar Credit Cards: Major credit cards are accepted at most shops and hotels. Banking: Banking hours are generally 9.30am-4pm Monday to Thursday and 9.30am-5m on Friday. Some banks offer extended hours and are open on Saturday mornings. ATMs are available throughout Sydney.
Top things to see and do
1. Shop, shop, shop!
2. Visit the MCG – if you’re lucky, go to a game there – the atmosphere is electric!
3. Dandenong Tour – takes in the wineries at Yarra Valley, Puffing Billy steam locomotive and Healesville Sanctuary. Three great attractions all in one tour!
4. Melbourne Aquarium
5. Phillip Island Penguin Parade
6. Take in a show – there are always plenty to see.
7. Melbourne Observation Deck for fantastic views over the city.
8. Melbourne Zoo – the oldest and perhaps most famous zoo in Australia.
9. Federation Square – Art Galleries, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, restaurants, bars and a large TV screen where people gather to watch special events.
10. Melbourne Museum – the largest museum in the southern hemisphere and the home of the famous race horse Pharlap.
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