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gloriajames Melbourne - A travel report by Gloria
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Melbourne,  Australia - flag Australia -  Victoria
4121 readers

gloriajames's travel reports

Melbourne - the Paris of the Antipodes.

  19 votes
Page: 1 2
Why do many fall in love with Melbourne? Take a look carefully and you will notice that almost every car plate in Melbourne reads either as “Victoria - the Garden State” or “Victoria - the Place to Be” or “Victoria - People on the Move”.


Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station
Melbourne, the capital city of the State of Victoria, has been recently voted as one of the top three most liveable cities in the world. Breathing a life of its own, this multicultural city is home to people from over 140 nations.

The city has the delightful reputation of being stylish, for having the best restaurants, art galleries and shopping outlets in the country. The city is also appreciated for its splendid gardens and parks.

There are many things to do and see in Melbourne and let me highlight the best to you.

Start your journey with a trip to the SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE, a War Memorial, to commemorate those who died in World War I. The temple-style structure is designed so that at 11am on Remembrance Day - the 11th day of the 11th month - a beam of sunlight passes over the Stone of Remembrance in the Inner Shrine and rests on the word 'Love'.

Next proceed to the 100 acres of the ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS where there are many species of native and imported plants and trees, and lakes with ducks and swans. Pay a visit to the COOK’S COTTAGE which was built in 1755 in Great Ayton, England and purchased in 1933 as a centenary gift to the State of Victoria. It was rebuilt in the Fitzroy Gardens to commemorate the voyages of Captain James Cook.

To soak into the arts scene, a must do is the VICTORIAN ARTS CENTRE which is Melbourne's most important cultural landmark and the venue for performances by the Australian Ballet, Australian Opera and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. At night, look for the centre's spire: lit with brilliant fibre-optic cables, it creates a magical spectacle.

If you want a bird’s eye view of the city, head on to the 55th floor of the RIALTO TOWERS OBERSERVATION DECK. The 360-degree panorama provides superb views.

For the sports lovers, a must do is a visit to the MELBOURNCE CRICKET GROUND. On my visit there, I decided to watch an aussie style football called the “Footy”.

Favourite spots:
Werribee Mansion
Werribee Mansion
1. VICTORIA’S OPEN RANGE ZOO - This is a unique wildlife safari. Hop onto the safari bus and enjoy close up views of grassland animals from Africa, Australia and Asia. Here, the rhinos roam free with giraffes, zebras and antelopes, whilst hippos wallow in the waterholes and kangaroos graze nearby.

2. MANSION at WERRIBEE PARK - Australia's grandest mansion and the gardens will sweep you back to the 1880s. Learn all about the romance and tragedy of the mansion through a self-guided headset tour. Do remember to take a walk in the Garden of Roses.

3. QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET - There are about 1,000 stalls covering two city blocks, making it a good place to wander and look even if it is raining. You can buy almost anything here. Be sure to bargain!

4. FEDERATION SQUARE – Its geometric-patterned exterior is an eye-stopper and is Melbourne’s latest landmark. Go on and explore the art galleries.

What's really great:
Panning for Gold!
Panning for Gold!
1. BALLARAT is one of the gold field towns in Victoria. Rich in history, glowing with colour and culture. This is where the past and the present unite. The town booms with the grandeur of her rich, magnificent history. Extravagant architecture and stately homes with showpiece gardens grace broad, tree-lined avenues. Visit Sovereign Hill which is a living museum of an 1850's mining town complete with houses, shops, dusty streets, stage coaches, period costumes and blacksmiths. Pan for gold or go deep underground along mineshafts for an experience of the gold rush period.

2. DAYLESFORD SPA COUNTRY is a fabulous retreat for anyone seeking quiet rest and relaxation in this historical town. It’s a place that has the largest concentration of mineral springs and is also known as an artist’s colony. Settle back to a soothing massage, health or beauty treatment. Have lunch at the Mediterranean-style restaurant at the Convent Gallery which is renowned for its artwork.

Sights:
Cuddly Koalas!
Cuddly Koalas!
1. FLINDERS STREET STATION - This impressive bronze-domed building remains one of Melbourne's most vital public buildings and is the city's busiest commuter station. Facing the Yarra River and the South Bank, this building is at its best during the night and makes memorable photo taking opportunities.

2. HEALESVILLE SANCTUARY - This wildlife park is about an hour’s drive outside of Melbourne and where one can hang out with kangaroos, interact with koalas, wombats and birds of prey. Take this opportunity to see other animals such as the Tasmanian devils, dingoes and emus.

3. THE DANDENONGS & PUFFING BILLY - Board the Puffing Billy Steam Railway as it winds through the spectacular forests and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Alternatively, go on a forest walk, or camp at the National Parks.

4. YARRA VALLEY - In under one hour from the centre of Melbourne, you can be in the beautiful Yarra Valley, home to some of Australia's greatest wines.

Accommodations:
Shrine of Remembrance
Shrine of Remembrance
1. DUXTON HOTEL – (www.duxton.com) located at 328 Flinders Street is a 4½* hotel and provides very easy access to the city centre and is just next to the impressive building at Flinders Station.

2. CROWN TOWERS – (www.crowntowers.com.au) located at the Crown Casino, with easy access to its 24hrs gambling den!

3. KINGSGATE HOTEL – (www.bookmelbourne.com.au) for budget travelers.

Nightlife:
Crown Towers and Casino
Crown Towers and Casino
CROWN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE
This 24-hour entertainment complex is a dazzling, shuffling, beeping playground of flashing lights and glamour incorporating state-of-the-art cinemas, cabarets, discos, clubs, theatre venues and a casino.

Hangouts:
Hard Rock Cafe (to collect souvenir t-shirts!)
Hard Rock Cafe (to collect souvenir t-shirts!)
There are several and to name a few is tough. My advice - It’s best to explore the hubs of Melbourne, such as Chapel St Precinct, Yarra, Toorak, Williamstown, Carlton, Fiztroy and Brunswick for interaction with the locals and the food each hub is famous for. I found Little Italy and Little Greece towns particularly exciting as I could not tear myself away from the mouth-watering pastries, cakes and chocolates!

Restaurants:
Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
I truly recommend you to go on THE COLONIAL TRAMCAR RESTAURANT. This glossy, burgundy restaurant on wheels is the only travelling tramcar restaurant in the world. The atmosphere is cosy, the service friendly and the decor as inviting as the colonial period it reflects. One may also enjoy the fine cuisine and drink the very best of Australian wines. The dining is not only a culinary delight, but also a trip into a little piece of Victoria's history. Sipping champagne, you will travel along Toorak Road, renowned for its stylish shops. See the famous 'Paris end of Collins Street', tree-lined and stately St Kilda Road, the city's imposing Arts Centre and the gaping jaws of Luna Park. It costs under A$100 per person and journey time is about 3hrs. NB: Kangaroo Meat is served!

Other recommendations:
St Kilda
St Kilda
ST KILDA - A beachside suburb is one of the most sophisticated and coolest place to see and be seen, and a great place to chill out by the sea. Washed with great bars, restaurants and cafes, taking a walk around St Kilda means you would be tempted to pop in for a bite or a cuppa.

Published on Sunday December 5th, 2004


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Fri, Mar 09 2007 - 04:22 AM rating by quikflikchiq

i love melbourne! i could move here. great report

Wed, Feb 21 2007 - 05:56 PM rating by travler

This is my favorite city in Australia. It helps when you have friends and family who live here.

Sat, Jul 16 2005 - 12:22 PM rating by mkrkiran

Very detailed and interesting report

Mon, Dec 06 2004 - 11:34 AM rating by bear495

Another wonderful report, Gloria. Keep them coming. Thank you for the series of Christmas photos.

Russ

Mon, Dec 06 2004 - 08:37 AM rating by magsalex

Thanks for a great report. Have to say Melbourne is one of my favouite cities!

Sun, Dec 05 2004 - 02:09 PM rating by mistybleu

I really enjoyed reading this report, you provided lots of detail which is inviting me to visit the city. Well done...
Regards Misty

Sun, Dec 05 2004 - 07:01 AM rating by britman

A winner, great writing and some superb pictures. Well done GJ another *****

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