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Melbourne Holidays

Reference WW41205
Holidays to Melbourne

Book your holidays to Melbourne and visit Australia's second-largest city which is the capital of Victoria. It is the most European in style city in Australia, with trams rattling through streets past historic buildings, parks and outdoor cafes. The city centre is laid out in a simple grid pattern, with wide north-south streets gently sloping down to the Yarra River, crossed by a mix of narrow lanes, and the main shopping streets such as Bourke and Collins Streets. The Central Business District is easily navigable by foot, and if a rest is needed after a session of sightseeing or shopping there are numerous pretty parks to rest in, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens and Carlton Gardens. The burgundy-coloured City Circle tram is free, and taking a ride is a good way to get your bearings upon arrival as well as explore the inner city.

Melbourne's population of over three million is made up of a variety of cultures, including Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Lebanese and Greek communities, which have all added their flavour to this thriving city. A fierce rivalry exists between the cities of Melbourne and Sydney, but local residents bask in the satisfying knowledge that Melbourne beats Sydney hands-down on the cultural front, noted for its wide variety of high standard performing arts, as well as its sport. The city plays host to world-renowned sporting events like the Melbourne Cup, Australian Open Tennis and Qantas Australia Grand Prix.

Beyond the city, within an hour's drive, there are numerous places worth visiting, including the Macedon Ranges, which is Australia's spa capital and boasts world-renowned mineral springs. The spectacular Great Ocean Road winds along the coast, passing stunning rock formations such as the Twelve Apostles.

Top 5 Things to do in Melbourne

Great Ocean Road - The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243 kilometres stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford.
Federation Square - Federation Square is a mixed-use development in the inner city of Melbourne, covering an area of 3.2 ha and centred on three major public spaces – St. Paul's Court, The Square, and The Atrium.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne - The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne are internationally renowned botanical gardens located near the centre of Melbourne, Victoria.
Yarra Valley - The Yarra Valley is the name given to the region surrounding the Yarra River in Victoria, Australia.
Old Melbourne Gaol - The Old Melbourne Gaol is a museum on Russell Street, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It consists of a bluestone building and courtyard, and is located next to the old City Police Watch House and City Courts buildings.

Detailed City Overview

Melbourne in detail

Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne, capital of Victoria, is the most European in style, with trams rattling through streets past historic buildings, parks and outdoor cafes. The city centre is laid out in a simple grid pattern, with wide north-south streets gently sloping down to the Yarra River, crossed by a mix of narrow lanes, and the main shopping streets such as Bourke and Collins Streets. The Central Business District is easily navigable by foot, and if a rest is needed after a session of sightseeing or shopping there are numerous pretty parks to rest in, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens and Carlton Gardens. The burgundy-coloured City Circle tram is free, and taking a ride is a good way to get your bearings upon arrival as well as explore the inner city.

Melbourne's population of over three million is made up of a variety of cultures, including Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Lebanese and Greek communities, which have all added their flavour to this thriving city. The city plays host to world-renowned sporting events like the Melbourne Cup, Australian Open Tennis and Qantas Australia Grand Prix.

Beyond the city, within an hour's drive, there are numerous places worth visiting, including the Macedon Ranges, which is Australia's spa capital and boasts world-renowned mineral springs. The spectacular Great Ocean Road winds along the coast, passing stunning rock formations such as the Twelve Apostles. One of the most popular self-drive routes for tourists to follow is the circular Great Southern Touring Route, which includes spectacular scenery and takes in some of Victoria's most beautiful, scenic and cultural attractions.

Getting around

The best way to see the city and central suburbs is by tram, a fast, cheap and convenient system that is one of the largest and oldest in the world. It provides commentary and the trams a very convenient way to tour the city centre, providing a service that passes many of the city's main attractions. The suburban train network is extensive and is the fastest way to reach outlying suburbs, and also has an underground city loop. Buses cover the areas that trams and trains don't reach, as well as those they do, but are little used by visitors; on weekends there is a limited night bus service. Taxis, highly visible in bright yellow, are numerous but expensive. Car hire companies are available throughout the city.

Nightlife

Melbourne has a vibrant nightlife encompassing cocktail lounges, pubs, underground dance clubs and international theatre productions. There is no distinct party area; instead, various entertainment pockets can be found in Melbourne.

Melbourne's Central Business District was once very quiet after dark but the last few years have heralded a resurgence of nightlife which is now home to plenty of bars and nightclubs. Hotspots include King Street and Swanston Street.

The most famous nightlife districts are the Collingwood and Fitzroy neighbourhoods in northeastern Melbourne, where night-time entertainment venues centre on streets including Brunswick, Johnson, Smith and Fitzroy. The LGBT nightlife hub is Commercial Street.

The charming St Kilda neighbourhood is also a good bet after dark as the crowds of beachgoers tend to move into the pubs and bars as the sun goes down.

Shopping

Shopping in Melbourne is fun and varied as the city offers both enormous malls and department stores and small quirky side-street boutiques and speciality shops. From various shopping precincts, malls and markets, there are purchases available to suit all tastes, budgets and needs. Most stores are open all week from 10 am; many stay open till 9 pm on Fridays.

The main shopping strip is on Bourke Street with Bourke Street Mall at its heart, while the east end of the street has mainly fashion boutiques and bookshops. There are bargains galore to be found at Queen Victoria Market, while Melbourne Central is the place to find leading Australian and international labels. There are laneways and arcades throughout the city offering everything from magic spells and antique books to eclectic fashions and household goods. Chinatown, encompassing Little Bourke Street and the neighbouring lanes, offers Asian grocery stores, Chinese medicine, music and jewellery. Sunday's Market at the Art Centre is good for unique jewellery, ceramics and glassware.

A goods and services tax refund is available to tourists so it is a good idea to keep receipts from large purchases - to qualify for the tax refund at the airport travellers need to have spent $300 or more.

Sightseeing

The second largest city in Australia, Melbourne is brimming with a wide variety of attractions to enthral just about every kind of traveller. Whatever your taste or interest, there is bound to be something in Melbourne for you.

Art lovers will enjoy the National Gallery of Victoria; history buffs will relish touring the Old Melbourne Gaol, and culture vultures will love exploring the Chinese and Melbourne Museums. Those with a fear of heights should steer clear of the Eureka Tower, but thrill-seekers will be in heaven on the 88th floor of Melbourne's tallest building, which offers breath-taking panoramic views of the city. Children of all ages will love the Melbourne Zoo which boasts more than 350 different species of animals, and a day in the Royal Botanical Gardens is not to be missed.

For Kids...

With miles of coastline, fascinating and unique attractions and fabulous weather, Melbourne is a children's playground - literally. With everything from exciting museums and gardens to beaches and trails, Melbourne has a lot to offer in culture and its outdoors.

Pack a picnic and head to the Royal Botanic Gardens or enjoy a leisurely stroll with the kids if they need to be tired out! Older kids will love walking the Bay Trail from St Kilda to the seaside town of Brighton which encompasses all kinds of scenery past parks, cafes, yachts in the bay and marinas. A trip to the Children's Animal Farm is a must for little ones where a picnic can be enjoyed while the children pet the animals, while the Melbourne Aquarium showcases animals of a different nature. Children looking for a bit of excitement should visit Luna Park to enjoy exhilarating rides and games.

The Fox Classic Car Collection Museum makes a great outing for dads and their sons, as does the Geelong Naval and Maritime Museum, while a trip aboard the Puffing Billy Steam Train through the Dandenong Ranges makes an ideal excursion for the day and a great way to see Melbourne's surrounding areas.

Resturants

One of Australia's most cosmopolitan cities, Melbourne has a diverse and exciting dining scene and eating out in this vibrant city can be anything you want it to be. With just about all types of cuisine on offer, the variety of restaurants in Melbourne is astonishing and will see visitors coming back for more.

Although originally based on traditional British food, Australian cuisine has been strongly influenced by its Southeast Asian neighbours and elements of this can be seen in many Australian dishes. Travellers can enjoy sampling some of the most innovative and exciting fusion food in the world as Melbourne offers many of Australia's top-class restaurants. Korean, Japanese and Thai eateries abound in the city.

William Street is the place to go for authentic Indian fare. Chinatown, in Little Bourke Street, is the best for authentic Chinese food. Brunswick Street in Fitzroy boasts an eclectic mix of eateries where visitors will have a hard time choosing where to start. Downtown Melbourne is where the more low-key restaurants can be found, and the chic St Kilda and Chapel Streets are the trendiest restaurant districts for those wanting to sample Melbourne's latest nouveau cuisine.

Melbourne HIghlights

Magnificent Melbourne City Sights & Yarra River Cruise

From £54 per adult, £26 per child (2-15)

Experience the wonderful blend of historic architecture and modern skyscrapers, vibrant cafes and cosmopolitan restaurants, colourful parklands and beautiful waterways.

You will be collected from your hotel and taken to the corner of Flinders & Russell Street at Federation Square, the departure point of your tour. At 8.15am join your coach to commence a morning tour of Melbourne.

View examples of Melbourne architectural splendour including St. Pauls Cathedral and the Princess and Regent Theatres. See the Royal Exhibition Buildings and Federation Square, stroll around Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. View the Fitzroy Gardens and see Captain Cook's Cottage (entry at own expense).

When to Visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Currency Australian Dollar ($)
  • Flying time from UK The average flight time from the UK to Melbourne is 21 hours 15 minutes.
  • Primary Language English
  • Passport & Visas UK nationals must have a passport valid for intended period of stay. A pre-arranged Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required for stays of up to three months.