Melbourne

Panoramic view of Federation Square, Yarra River and Southbank, Melbourne VIC

Melbourne

Discover Melbourne’s secret laneways and rooftops, the cultural hub of Federation Square, buzzing bars, boutiques and eateries, and the iconic MCG. Experience St Kilda, the Royal Botanic Gardens, bohemian Brunswick Street and the nation-stopping excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival. Join world class events such as the Australian Grand Prix.  Day trip to the Mornington Peninsula or to Phillip Island for fairy penguins.

Melbourne is a maze of hidden laneways, opulent bars, exclusive restaurants and off-the-beaten-track boutiques. Here you can soak up culture, hit the sporting grounds, taste the dynamic food and wine scene, dance til dawn or wander the parks and leafy boulevards.  Visit Federation Square, the city’s landmark cultural space, and enjoy a sunset beer on the St Kilda promenade. Shop till you drop on funky Brunswick Street or upmarket Chapel Street. Wander Southbank’s cafes, bistros and bars and get a world tour of cuisines in Carlton, Richmond and Fitzroy. Take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and cheer with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

There’s no time for sleep in Melbourne, a city where culture buffs, sport nuts, fashion lovers and foodies all have their niche. Discover cafes, bars and boutiques in city laneways sprawling secretly off ordered streets. Soak up the vibrant riverside atmosphere from Southbank and visit Federation Square, where creative and café culture meet. Cruise down the Yarra and wander the lawns and lakes of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Soak up the unique energy of the city’s diverse precincts, from upmarket South Yarra to beachside St Kilda and edgy Fitzroy. Then day trip to the beaches, wineries, galleries and golf courses of the Mornington Peninsula.

You never quite know what’s in store when you wander off Melbourne’s grid of city streets into the maze of gothic laneways behind them. Even the locals find surprises here, where the venues for food, fashion and art are small, quirky and sometimes hidden.  Discover a late-night jazz bar or watch the world go by from a tiny trattoria, browse the boutiques and check out urban art. You can unlock the city’s real secrets in these distinctively Melbourne streets.

For inventive use of city space, look no further than Melbourne, where bars, cinemas and restaurants roll out across the rooftops each summer.  Drink in the city skyline from all angles as you listen to live music, relax in balcony bars and watch movies beneath the stars. Combining modern innovation with the sophistication of a bygone era, Melbourne’s growing rooftop venues are perfect places to spend a languid summer afternoon or evening.

Find art, fashion and food on Melbourne’s Soho strip. Boredom isn’t an option on Brunswick Street, the vibrant Melbourne strip where people from all walks of life go to shop, eat, drink, meet and dance. Here in Fitzroy, the city’s bohemian heart, you’ll see long-haired urban nomads sipping lattes next to the clean-cut businesspeople and second-hand stores next to high-fashion boutiques.

Federation Square is Melbourne's meeting place. It is a unique cultural precinct which brings together a creative mix of attractions, museums and galleries, along with many restaurants, cafes and bars. Federation Square is also Melbourne’s events centre, with more than 2000 events held annually, including multicultural festivals, markets, film screenings and sporting events. It can hold up to 10,000 people at a time.

Just six kilometres from the CBD, St Kilda is Melbourne’s seaside playground. St. Kilda is part of the City of Port Phillip which includes the suburbs of Port Melbourne and South Melbourne. St Kilda Beach lines the shores of Port Phillip Bay, a safe sandy beach with a long palm-lined boardwalk where you can enjoy a range of beach activities such as beach volleyball or beach cricket or just a leisurely stroll.

Australia might stop for the Melbourne Cup, but for the rest of the Spring Racing Carnival no-one in Melbourne sits still. This whirlwind of horse racing, fashion and fun starts in September and doesn’t end until mid-November. Flemington Racecourse is the stage for big-name race days such as Derby Day, the Melbourne Cup, Oaks Day but all tracks across the state are part of the action.

In Melbourne, there’s no missing the Australian Grand Prix, which takes over Albert Park for four days in March. You’ll hear the distinctive pitch of elite Formula One racing cars across the city. At the purpose-built track, watch the world’s fastest drivers vibrate past you at speeds of up to 300km an hour. See a showdown between Australia’s V8 Supercars or check out luxury models such as Ferrari, Porsche and Lotus at their rubber-burning best. Off-the-track, you can do a lap round the bars, dance out your adrenalin at a music festival or a post-race rock concert. In March, Melbourne also hosts a whole range of other exciting events. Which means you can go from the city’s racetrack to its runways, restaurants and flowerbeds.

Enjoy January in Australia with a courtside view of the tennis greats. Start the new year watching eight prestigious pairs of men and women play at Perth’s Hopman Cup. See international players warm-up for the Australian Open in sunny Brisbane and historic Hobart. Get spectator seats to top tennis at the Apia International in Sydney’s Olympic Park. Watch the world’s best men, women and doubles teams compete in Melbourne’s Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, at the end of January.  Off-court, enjoy a host of live entertainment and the vibrant summer lifestyle of Australia’s cities.

Australia may be secular nation, but religious fervour is the only way to describe the mood at a game of Australian rules football – or AFL – in Melbourne. Here in the sport’s birthplace, players are local heroes and teams command a tribal following. But Melbournians aren’t the only ones who are nuts about this athletic and balletic game with the oval ball. Today AFL is Australia’s most attended sporting league, with passionately-supported teams in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.

Life really is a breeze on the Mornington Peninsula, a summer paradise dotted with seaside villages, vineyards, beaches, national parks, galleries, golf courses, day spas and restaurants. Offering romance, relaxation, indulgence and adventure, it’s easy to see why Melbournians love this place for a week or weekend escape.

In today’s manic world, a trip to the Yarra Valley is a magical, time-stopping escape.  By car, it’s less than an hour from Melbourne to the region’s vineyards, villages and tall, mist-cloaked forests. Taste wine in Yarra Glen and drink Devonshire tea high in the Dandenong Ranges.  Linger over a long lunch in a winery restaurant or picnic next to waterfalls on fresh local produce. Puff through Sherbrook Forest  on a steam train or float over the countryside in a hot air ballloon.

Combine Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide with beaches, wineries and World Heritage-listed wilderness on a journey through Australia’s south-east. From Melbourne, you can meet wildlife in the wild on Phillip Island, visit vineyards in the Yarra Valley and explore golf courses and food and wine on the Mornington Peninsula. From Hobart, Tasmania’s pristine national parks are all within reach.

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