Melbourne, VIC, Australia cruises
Your guide to Melbourne.
Melbourne is a green and welcoming city, teeming with cultural institutions as well as cafés, bars and restaurants serving a spectrum of international cuisine. Melbourne is also an event city, home to the Australian Open Tennis, the Melbourne Cup and numerous other sporting occasions. Anyone who gets to know the city finds it has a kaleidoscopic character. Signs of Melbourne’s heritage are everywhere, and yet the city bears the glass and steel hallmarks of a modern metropolis. A visit here guarantees myriad experiences, most within easy walking range, and others a short ride aboard one of the historic trams that criss-cross the city.
Melbourne offers much to see and experience and a port call here is never lacking in things to do. Arts Centre Melbourne is the city’s cultural heart, offering live music and theatre alongside a Sunday market. State Parliament House on Bourke Street is one of the city’s finest heritage buildings. The Eureka Skydeck offers unparalleled views of the city, accessed by a lift that ascends to the 88th floor in just 40 seconds, while the Royal Botanic Gardens is a wonderful place to lose yourself in sweeping lawns flanked by exotic plants. Federation Square, also known as ‘Fed Square’, is a cultural precinct in the city center offering shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as the Melbourne Visitor Centre.
Eating and drinking.
Melbourne cuisine offers everything from South East Asian and Middle Eastern influences to the sunny flavors of the Mediterranean. The city is divided into pockets, all with a different feeling and flavor. Southgate has a sparkling multi-storeyed restaurant and bar complex overlooking the river. Carlton is Melbourne’s own Little Italy while Lonsdale Street doubles as Melbourne’s Greek hub. Chinatown offers some of the best Chinese restaurants in Australia and in Acland Street, the fine food influences of Vienna, Warsaw, Budapest, Prague and Tel Aviv are the flavor of the day. Chapel Street in ultra-fashionable Toorak offers an eclectic mix of restaurants with clientele to match.
Melbourne is a fashion-forward destination with many boutiques stocking Australian designers. It’s also the place for Persian rugs and vintage finds as the city is inundated with thrift stores and antique shops. Melbourne City Centre is famous for its ornate 19th-century arcades while Toorak Road is the destination for exclusive boutiques selling the latest fashion and footwear. For a memento of the city, authentic Aboriginal art can be picked up in dedicated Aboriginal art centers and specialist galleries. Opals are another popular purchase on a trip to Melbourne, though take care to ensure outlets display the Australian Gem Industry Association logo.
Around two and a half miles north of Melbourne brings you to Melbourne Zoo where the Australia Bush area offers the chance to see wombats, kangaroos and koalas up close. Dandenong Ranges, 31 miles east, is a lushly green region dotted with fine houses, restaurants, fern gullies and gardens. Small towns like Olinda and Belgrave are lovely places to visit and the Puffing Billy - a steam railroad - curls from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park. Mornington Peninsula, 60 miles south, is a seaside playground with bay swimming and surf beaches. There are also many excellent wineries within easy reach of the city as well as Victoria’s finest historic homes and Point Nepean National Park.