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Melbourne

Introduction

Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria. It is Australia's second largest city and is a great place to have a City Break! Melbourne is known for its cultural attractions and has a wealth of galleries and museums. The city is also known as "The Sporting Capital of the Nation" and is home to the Australian Open Tennis in January and the F1 Grand Prix in March as well as the Spring Racing Carnival in November. Through the winter months the city goes Aussie Rules Football mad. Make sure you pick a team!



Getting there

Air: Melbourne International Airport is around 30 minutes drive north of the CBD at Tullamarine. It is around $40 in a taxi to the CBD or you can catch the bus. Melbourne is a major airport and has a wide range of international destinations including London and Dubai as well as Bangkok and Hong Kong. To search for flights to Melbourne look at Expedia.com.au

Rail: There is an extensive rail network in the Melbourne area including links to the other large towns in the state as well as interstate destinations such as Sydney.

Road: Driving distances in Australia are huge. If you are on a road trip you can drive easily between Sydney and Melbourne or Adelaide as well as numerous destinations inland. Various coach firms offer an alternative to driving.

Accommodation

Melbourne has a wide range of hotels to suit all budgets as you would expect from a large tourist destination. Search for great value city break hotels at Expedia.com.au

What to See and Do

Melbourne's numerous atttractions include the following:

St Kilda: Take a trip on one of Melbourne's trams to the suburb of St Kilda on Port Philip Bay. Have a swim on the beach and then treat yourself in one of Acland Street's famous cake shops! Rather than getting the tram back to the city you can take the boat from St Kilda Pier to Williamstown on the other side of the bay. You can stop here for fish and chips before catching another ferry back up the river to Southbank via docklands.

Yarra Valley: An hours drive east of Melbourne is the Yarra Valley. This is one of the top wine regions in the country with numerous cellar doors available for you to visit and taste the local produce! Also in the Yarra is the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary where you can see and interact with many of Australia's native animals. This is a world class attraction and should not be missed!

Museums: The Melbourne Museum is located in Carlton Gardens just north of the city centre. This well laid out and diverse museum includes everything from native Australian displays to an old set from the soap opera "Neighbours" which is filmed in a Melbourne Suburb. The National Gallery of Victoria adjacent to Southbank is another highlight. As well as the usual attractions the NGV also regularly features touring exhibitions from top European galleries. The Immigration Museum in Flinders Street details how the Australian Nation grew in population over the past 2 centuries.

Getting Around

The best way to get around in Melbourne is to use the extensive tram network. Buy a Metcard which gives you 10 trips and save on the change! There is also a free City Circle tram that runs round the city centre and is very convenient for the tourist.

If you wish to visit the outer suburbs you could consider a train. The main suburban train station is Flinders Street which is adjacent to the Yarra river in the CBD.

If you wish to hire a bike and cycle around the parks or along the river you can find a bike hire location on the South Bank of the Yarra next to the rowing clubs on St Kilda Road.