The Grampians National Park is a 3.5 hour drive out of Melbourne City on the Western Freeway. The most convenient and reasonable way to get to the Grampians is on a private car. If you can't hire one or don't have one on your own, you're stuck with day tours through one of these companies:
APT Day Tours:
Fondest memory: Walking. Exploring. Discovering.
These are my favourite walking trails in Grampians National Park:
1) The Pinnacle
2) Mackenzie Falls
3) Mount Stapylton
You can find a long list of different walks that suit all levels of experience and difficulty here:
Like Sydney, not many people actually live in Melbourne. Most live in the suburbs and come to work, shop, and play in Melbourne. You can drive down Victoria to the suburb of Richmond, however. The main drag seems almost like a page from Hanoi. It doesn't stay as Vietnamese when you get off Victoria, but no matter which section you want to be in, you can see a little of how people in the area live. Sadly, I had waited until the last day before leaving to come out here. if I had it to do over again, I would have spent more time in the suburbs and less in Melbourne.
Fondest memory: A conversation I had in the grocery store while buying TimTams.
While you're in Melbourne, do consider renting a car. There's lots to explore outside the city. You can drive around Port Phillip bay and visit the picturesque little towns, like Portsea or Queenscliff. Or take a hop down to Torquay - the surfing capital of the world and explore it at your leisure. But the main reason you will want to drive is to get a chance to explore the Great Ocean Road properly. Driving this coastal road heading West from Torquay is an experience that you should not take in from a seat on a tour coach. You
have to explore it on your own - making stops when you want to, and staying in any one place for however long you want to. Besides, if you were on a coach, you'd likely never get a chance to meet this little guy going about his business in the brush just off the side of the road!
So you have heard how dangerous Footscray is and that it is the drug hole of Melbourne where the Vietnamese gangs roam the streets. Truth is, this is also a place where normal people like you and me live. You'll probably have equal chance of getting mug/beaten up/abused/shot to death in the city, and I've been walking with my boyfriend from Western Hospital where he was doing an elective study to the train station at night without any problem for a month. Half an hour is not a short walk. One of the VT'er said that's because I'm Asian, I'm like one of them (thank you :)), that's why I haven't encounter any problem. What about my white Polish boyfriend who had to walk back to the hospital alone after sending me off? I don't understand where that logic came from. Asian, and therefore safer in Footscray, HA. Perhaps I'd pass on my immunity to my boyfriend. Yeah right.
Anyway, if you want to experience Melbourne's multiculturalism, go to Footscray in the day. Everything except a couple of restaurants are close at night, so no point. It's a different experience, but I won't eat in the restaurants. There was a food poisoning case resulting in death of a few people and dozens in hospital, awful. Don't remember the name of the restaurant though, doesn't matter, just don't eat in any restaurant (even though we did and came out alive, but then again someone might say that's because I'm Asian ;)). The bakery near the train station is safe, however. Love the custard bun.
Favorite thing: So there I am, all on my own, in the middle of Melbourne for the first time. Where to go, what to do, and how to get there? Fortunately for me, I stumbled across a couple of charming gentlement dressed all in red and ready to help me find the tram I needed. City Ambassadors are volunteers, ready to help the visitor to Melbourne. You will find these Ambassadors around the central areas of Melbourne, and they are ready to help you with directions, ideas - any general queries you might have. A brilliant idea!
Favourite thing about Melbourne? Clean public toilets. :)
If you can't stand dirty toilets (I doubt anyone can ;)), be rest assured that those in Melbourne are extremely clean, even the one at the market. Some even have a nice smell and I'm not being sarcastic. ;)
I saw this pic in my sis' PC. She's doing her archi. project on public toilet. ;) This one is next to the Melbourne Town Hall at Collins Street. You'll find a number of them dotting the city.
The best place to go to obtain the most comprehensive view of Melbourne, its suburbs and surrounding geography is the Melbourne Observation Deck on the top level of The Rialto Buildings. The Rialto is situated in Collins Street in the financial district of the city.
Of course there is a good restaurant and viewing facilities. Before you go to the top, a viewing of an introductory film is a must. It is available at the booking office on level one.
Fondest memory: A quiet walk through our magnificent Botanic Gardens. So very close to the city and an easy escape from the pressure and hubbub. Include a rest on the grass beside the Garden's decorative pondage and then experience the tranquility of the flowing waters of the Yarra river and of the rowing teams at training. You can also smell the tantalizing aroma of steaks and sausages being barbercued on the facilities provided along the river bank. The main disturbance coming from the greedy sea-gulls squabbling for a morsel. It's all part of the lovely atmosphere which is Melbourne.
Barry Humphries aka Dame Edna Everage has been starting off 'her' TV and stage shows with 'Hello Possums' for longer than most of us can remember - after all 'she' started her show business career back in the 1950's and has been poking fun at us ever since.
OK back to the business at hand - Possums. Nocturnal they can be heard scampering around older houses and particularly those surrounded by trees. They eat almost anything that grows - fruit is their favourite, but they'll also 'knock off' (that's Aussie slang for steal) flowers, seedlings and vegetables.
Our own garden in suburban Melbourne seems to be inundated with possums - the common bushtail photographed - and almost every night we can hear them stomping on our roof. About the size of a domestic cat, they can pack a punch with their rapier like claws and healthy teeth. Their growl can be heard and for those not used to the noise, it can sound like a much larger animal.
The possums are a protected species and cannot be baited or killed.
Visitors to Melbourne wishing to see possums should head to the Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne at night.
The following web site may assist you if you are experiencing a 'possum problem': http://www.nana.asn.au/n2-possum.htm
While in Melbourne, you MUST visit MCG.
Absorbing the big-occasion atmosphere of the stadium is a wholly unforgettable experience cherished by all sports lovers!
Watch a Aussie Rules Football match....you'll love it!!!!
Fondest memory: ...A ticket for a game there was my birthday present!!!! :)
The city of Melbourne was built on the banks of the Yarra River, and there is a big distinction between the North and South banks of this river. The northbank holds the CBD, big business, financial firms, Australia's Wall Street, while the Southbank is home to the Crown Gaming Complex, the Victorian Arts Centre, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
The main path that connects these two distinct regions is the Prince's Bridge, which also happens to be St. Kilda Blvd. The bridge stretches from Flinders Station and Federation Square south to the Victorian Arts Centre and the park system.
Enjoy a tram ride, or bring your bike out for a day around North and Southbank and make sure you view Prince's bridge from one of the banks. It has recently been restorated, and re-painted, which took 6 months or so. Luckily we have been here for 9 months now, so we could see it!
Since the Second World War, Victoria State, along with the rest of Australia, has had a steady flow of immigrants, mainly from Europe, but also from South Eastern Asia and the Middle East.
Many of the immigrant population do not speak English as their first language, so don't be surprised to spoken to in Greek, Slavic or Vietnamese.
These cultures, mixing with a society of mainly British and Aboriginal descent, have produced a cosmopolitan and egalitarian cultural climate.
Fondest memory: Melbourne is considered to be Australia's cultural capital, offering a wide range of music, opera, theatre performances and culinary expertise.
For these reasons Melbourne has a special part in my travel plans... this marvelous mix of cultures encourages the diversity in the retail sectors... you to will soon realise Melbourne is the shopping capital of Australia and for good reason!
Go to the Grampians, and the Great Ocean Road. Try surfing in Torquay, and the tranquility of Wilson's Promontory... there are millions of things to do... but the important thing to do is not to try to cram too much into little time. Choose a few things, and make sure you do them properly... that way you'll be able to really appreciate what you do see...
Fondest memory: The countryside... the green sloping hills in Winter, with lambs bouncing around dam edges... the thunderheads billowing over the enormous horizon in summer, skinnydipping in the freshwater creeks where no one can see you... clear nights where there are no lights from cities, towns or farmhouses, and all you can see are the stars... My favourite part of Australia, is the farm that I grew up on. The differences in the countryside with the season changes are phenomenal, and I love it whatever state it is in... The photo shows how dry it gets in summer (very dangerous for bushfires), but in the winter, this exact place is lush, and filled with the deepest varieties of green...
Melbourne is internationally known for its opportunity and its achievement. Home to one of the richest Gold Rushes the world has ever seen, this town tends to be rather opulent in the buildings and historical markers it creates to attract the world community.
One of these wonderful exhibits is the Royal Exhibition Building, whose main purpose was to bring international recognition to Melbourne as a result of its rich Gold Rush days of the late 1800's. The world answered in 2004 as it recognized the building as a World Heritage site.
Even outside of this magnificent building, the vision of Melbourne's world class status is the Carlton Gardens, which has a beautiful range of colours and is constantly being revised and re-planted to give this building a wonderful look.
The interior of the building is just as magnificent as the outside, and features wonderful wood floors, and large ceilings. There are tours of the building every day at 2pm, and are $5AUD.
Fondest memory: Date: 25/06/2005 - 31/12/2007
Days: Every Day
2.00 pm - 3.00 pm
Phone: 13 11 02
Venue: Main Foyer, Melbourne Museum
Address: Nicholson St, Carlton, Melbourne
Melway reference: 2B J10
Phone: 61 3 8341 7777
Fax: +61 3 8341 7778
The Victorian state flag was created as a colonial flag - a British Blue Ensign with the badge of the colony added to the blue field. Because some of the Australian state badges were originaly created to represent the Governor (as distinct from the Colony) they generally showed some element of British royal heraldry - the main criteria being that it be different from similar badges used in other parts of the Empire. The Crown Victoria badge represented the status of the Governor as representative of Queen Victoria in the Colony. Victoria adopted the Southern Cross in 1870 initially for use on the HMCS Nelson - one of the early warships of the Colonial Navy. The Southern Cross had become fairly well associated with Australia during the 19th Century.
If you were to ask someone what my favorite thing about working in Melbourne is, it would have to be the coffee shops. When I first arrived in Melbourne, I thought it was ridiculous that people would drink 4-5 cups of coffee with milk and sugar in it, but now that I have been here for 9 months, it has really begun to grow on me.
I also used to be of the generation that would take his coffee tall and black, but now I find myself drinking it with milk and sugar.
If you are in town, I would recommend that you grab a coffee at Brunetties, or one of the other wonderful 1000 coffee shops throughout town!
Enjoy that Cuppa!
Panoramic city views are breathtaking from this ideal location on the famous South bank Promenade....more
When it comes to luxury and service the Crown gets it right. Crown Towers is located on the banks...more
Everything was really good at this hotel, well located, comfortable, decorated with excellent taste,...more