Monday, March 17, 2014

Magical Melbourne &Beyond



Cosmopolitan, elegant, creative and chic, Melbourne has a passionate soul and welcoming heart that makes every stay a truly memorable experience. Also discover beautiful coastlines along the Great Ocean Road, the sweeping vineyards of the Yarra Valley, the tranquil beauty of Phillip Island, the gold trail in Ballarat, the old gold mining town of Sovereign Hill and picturesque Mornington Peninsula all within an easy drive from Melbourne. 

From thrilling world class events and renowned architecture, to cafĂ©-lined streetscapes and verdant parklands, there’s always something new and magical to discover in Melbourne. Victoria's capital, Melbourne, sits on the Yarra River and around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. Known as the capital of fashion and coffee, the home of art and culture, and the sports hub of Australia, there is little that Melbourne doesn't do well. 


Lauded for its sense of style and elegance, Melbourne boasts glamorous festivals and events, Australia's best shopping, a lively passion for eating and drinking, and a flourishing interest in the arts. Visit the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium with the 360 degree Oceanariumthat houses giant sharks and stingrays; the Eureka Skydeck 88 withits awe inspiring views of Melbourne; and the Melbourne Cricket Ground with its famous Long Room and the MCC Museum. Experience the thrill of hot air ballooning over Melbourne at sunrise as you watch the city waking gently and transforming into a bustling metropolis.


Melbourne is a natural starting and finishing point for your self-drive journey through some of Victoria's unique, enchanting and varied landscapes. Experience the romance and exhilaration of a drive down the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives boasting of a breathtaking stretch of astonishing seascapes, magical forest and sprawling farmlands. Take in highlights like the spectacular Otway Ranges, famous Bells Beach, thedramatic rock formation of the Twelve Apostles on the Shipwreck Coast, and the excitement and heritage of the goldrush in Ballarat. 


Capture the awe-inspiring splendour of the iconic Twelve Apostles with its majestic limestone stacks rising up out of the oceanon a scenic helicopter flight or from a boardwalk for easy walking and great views.Embark on an enthralling journey of discovery, tragedy, illusion and intrigue as you experience SHIPWRECKED!, a sound and light show that brings to life the tale of the Loch Ard, wrecked in1878. 

Experience the gold fever that gripped Australia in the 1850’s at the Ballarat Goldfields. Pan for real gold in the creek at Sovereign Hill,an outdoor living museum that re-creates the days of the goldfields. See blacksmiths at work, visit the Gold Museum adjacent, dress up in Victorian costume, ride in a horse drawn carriage and be entertained by the street performers in this replica of an old gold-mining town. Spend a while at the Ballarat Wildlife Park where you can pet the koalas, wombats and wear a huge Boa snake around your neck.



From world famous wines to fabulously fresh food and breathtaking scenery, the hills of Yarra Valley are a charming experience. The birthplace of Australian winemaking, the Yarra Valley is studded with more than 50 vineyards and a host of stylish cellar doors and restaurants.Visit Healesville Sanctuary which showcases over 200 species of Australian wildlife. The Puffing Billy Steam Railway, Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world operating since 1900, winds through the beautiful Dandenongs and offers a unique travel and dining experience.


Just 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island is renowned for its penguin parade, wildlife, surf beaches and motorcycle racing. Each night at sunset see the world’s smallest penguins waddle ashore to their sand dune burrows at Summerland Beach. Tour the Grand Prix circuit - home to the Australian Moto GP. At Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolates, see a chocolate waterfall or create your own chocolate bar!

Drive along the coastline with cliff top mansions, Mediterranean jewel-like bays, rugged surf beaches and lush bushland to discover the picturesque Mornington Peninsula region. 

Melbourne and the rest of Victoria offers you the best of Australia’s natural attractions, coastal scenery, history and heritage – all in a flexible, compact touring package.

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