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Victoria and Melbourne Travel Information

The smallest mainland state but home to one of the most visited cities, Melbourne.

Famous for performing arts, live theatres and of course its cricket ground and the Melbourne Cup.


The city is a superb base to explore Victoria within a few hours.

Fine Victorian architecture, tree-lined boulevards, open air cafes and some of Australia's finest wines make Melbourne a must see!

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Melbourne - Victoria

With its cafe culture, handsome Victorian buildings and famous ‘four seasons in one day’ weather, Melbourne has an easy going, cosmopolitan atmosphere with an English twist.

The "Central Business District" (CBD), as the city centre is called Australia, is a compact grid, 1.6km (1 ml) east to west and 0.5 ml (0.75km) north to south, with grand GPO building with its designer stores at its geographical centre, much like the City of London. The comparisons with London continue in the Southbank, a central riverside area with expensive restaurants and bars.
The western side is a mix of Victorian buildings overlooked by glass and concrete office blocks including the stock exchange building and, tallest of all, the Rialto Towers on Collins Street with its observation deck.

The east side of town is more like the West End of London with Collins Street and Swanston Walk mirroring Oxford Street for both department stores and tourist sleaze. Little Bourke Street is Chinatown. East to west streets are alternately wide avenues, with trolley-bus tracks down the middle, and narrow one-way canyons. Traffic is heavy but well-disciplined and gardens and parkland to the north and south east offer some breathing space.

For beach-lovers, the residential seaside resort of St Kilda, with its 30s-style seaside theatres and amusement arcades, is 7.5km (5 mile) to the south, but there is not the variety of beaches found in Sydney.

In the south east of Australia, in the state of Victoria. 780km (440 mls) south west of Sydney. 644km (400 mls) south east of Adelaide. 23km (14 mls) south east of the airport.

Central Melbourne lies on the north bank of the Yarra River, about 4.8km (3 mls) inland from the huge and nearly closed circle of Port Phillip Bay. Low-rise suburbs spread for miles in all directions over mainly flat land towards the distant surrounding hills.

Lots of plush 5-star hotels aimed mainly at business people. Plenty of other accommodation throughout the range with the few tourists who do come here settling for the simpler but perfectly adequate 3-star level where the yuppies are not so thick on the ground.

Daytime: there are no outstanding sights to see in Melbourne, although there are a wealth of handsome Victorian buildings, parks and gardens, museums, galleries, churches and cathedrals.

Famous sporting events include the Australian Open tennis (Jan), Melbourne Cup horse racing cup (Nov) and F1 Grand Prix motor racing (dates vary).

People watching in the cafes on Fitzroy Street near St Kilda beach is popuular and the Olympic Park, site of past Olympic Games, is a well-used sports venue.

Nightlife: apart from eating and drinking, culture is the name of the game here, with plenty of music, opera, drama and ballet at the Victorian Arts Centre or several theatres; smaller venues offer jazz; casino on the S bank of the river.

Vast choice of eateries from Thai, Chinese and Japanese through French, Italian and Greek to "international" and home-grown Australian. As with most places, the smarter the restaurant, the larger the bill.

Upmarket designer shops, jewellers etc are found the length of Collins Street and in much of Bourke Street. Department stores and serious shopping are to be found in the Bourke Street Mall near the GPO building. Swanston Walk offers less stylish and often touristy merchandise at more realistic prices. A large market operates daily at Queen Victoria Market just north of the city.

Sovereign Hill (re-creation of a gold-digging town from the 1851 "Gold Rush" days). City river cruises and the old Melbourne jail are few excursions. Drive along the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles with its surf beaches.

Extensive sandy beaches, occasionally with some fine grit mixed in, extend from Port Melbourne, south west of the city, to St Kilda Beach next to the marina, about the same distance due south. These are backed in places by small dunes with tussocks of grass and are not as well manicured or serviced as their Mediterranean counterparts.

Visitors can use the free shuttle bus or distinctive City Circle Tram which runs throughout the city and beyond. Trains run under the city centre and overground to many suburban areas. Buses and taxis also abound.

Those visiting friends or relatives, business travellers, sports fans and destination "collectors" who want to say they have "been there, seen it, done it".

A vibrant, multi-cultural city that is passionate about he arts, sport, food and wine, Melbourne is know as the cultural capital of Australia, with glorious tree lines shopping boulevards, arts and cultural centres, bustling markets, old fashioned trams and outdoor cafes.

In the evening there is plenty to do, from the magnificent Crown Casino and entertainment centre along the river, to theatres and cafes, as well as an array of excellent restaurants.

Capital of Victoria, the Garden State.  Melbourne blossoms with tree lined boulevards and beautiful parks.  Trams still run through the city centre and are a fun way of travelling around.  Sophisticated and cosmopolitan, Melbourne has a delightful mix of nationalities with rich traditions and customs.

A few minutes drive from the City, discover South Yarra for elegance and style, an area of endless cafes and chic designer shops. Or take the tram to St Kilda Beach - a lively cosmopolitan seaside playground.

One of the most spectacular drives in the world is the 'Great Ocean Road'. Starting in Melbourne weaving along Victoria's inspiring coastline to Adelaide.

The Famous Melbourne Cup Horse Racing Trophy

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