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Cathedral Arcade

Melbourne's City Arcades

Victoria

"The block" is the term for a century-old form of cruising Melbourne's city arcades that to this day takes in cutting-edge artwork, independent fashion, imported music and stunning design. Start at Block Arcade, which links Collins Street and Little Collins streets via a glass canopied, mosaic floored laneway and be tempted by the cake displays at Hopetoun Tearooms, decadent jewellery and homeware window displays, rollicking tunes at the subterranean Basement Discs, and a selection of al fresco eating options. Cross over to Royal Arcade, which is guarded over by the giant statues of mythical figures Gog and Magog. The high glass roof of the arcade houses shops dedicated to babushkas and boardgames, jewellerya nd sweets. High end fashion and streetwear can be found up an unassuming set of stairs beneath the clock. Back over Collins Street to Flinders Lane is Cathedral Arcade, featuring an impressive dome, stained glass and leadlighting. Local experimental fashion store Alice Euphemia is a Cathedral Arcade stalwart, as is the American vintage purveyor Route 66. Beneath Degraves Street is Campbell Arcade, where commuters are given something to smile about by the latest installations from the Platform Artist Group, one of Melbourne's oldest artist-run initiatives. Decent coffee is also readily available, as is indie fashion and accessories, hip-hop vinyl, and a world of 'zines. All the cafes, bars and restaurants scattered around "the block" ensure you can maintain your energy levels to do it all over again. Any tram along Swanston or Elizabeth streets will deliver you to Collins Street and Block Arcade, or hop off at any of the 13 stops along the free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle route.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Victoria

The Great Ocean Road region hugs the contours of Victoria's rugged south west coast and offers one of Australia's greatest and most spectacular coastal drives with a glimpse of the famous 12 Apostles. Start your journey in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula and discover beautiful beaches, great eateries, a fascinating heritage and an enormous range of recreational opportunities, from fishing and golfing to diving and surfing. Take in the colourful and lively ambience of bayside Geelong, Victoria's second largest city, or discover quaint Queenscliff's rich maritime history and heritage hotels. Follow the coast to the seaside resort towns of Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay for stunning beaches and water sports as well as incredible rainforest scenery in the nearby Otway Ranges. One of the most visited stretches of the Great Ocean Road is around Port Campbell. Buffeted by wild seas and fierce winds, Port Campbell's coastline has been sculpted over millions of years to form a series of striking rock stacks that rise majestically out of the Southern Ocean. Known as the 12 Apostles, they are one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Victoria. A helicopter ride to get a bird's eye view of these famous natural wonders is the ultimate Great Ocean Road experience. The Great Ocean Road is characterised by its rich maritime past. The historic towns of Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland give you a taste of seafaring village life, with their fishing wharves, preserved colonial buildings and maritime museums recounting the stories of ships that have foundered off the rugged shipwreck coast. The Great Ocean Road is a two-hour drive from the heart of Melbourne. The Great Ocean Road itself stretches for over 400 kilometres from Torquay to the South Australian border. Alternatively, take the inland route along the Princes Highway from Geelong to Warrnambool.

Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges

Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges

Victoria

Travel through the charming villages dotted around Victoria's Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges region and celebrate the enriching effects of water, from the luxury spas, the decadent food and wine, the lush environment, the thriving arts and crafts community, and the holistic therapies. Travel just an hour north-west of Melbourne to an area boasting the greatest concentration of naturally occurring mineral springs in Australia. Daylesford and Hepburn Springs were built up around these springs and you're spoiled for choice of spa and wellness centres, each using the water's mineral properties differently to ensure maximum relaxation and wellbeing. Head to these towns for the added indulgences of restaurants serving sumptuous local food and wines, luxury accommodation, and shops and galleries displaying unique local wares. Impressive mansions, striking landscapes and some of Victoria's finest gardens combine to create the old world ambience of the nearby Macedon Ranges. Tour Mount Macedon's heritage gardens, explore the 19th century streetscapes of Woodend and Kyneton lined with art and craft galleries and vintage emporiums, or visit the legendary Hanging Rock, the haunting backdrop to The Picnic at Hanging Rock book and film. The Macedon Ranges is also a cool-climate wine region known for producing outstanding sparkling wine, pinot noir and chardonnay. Visit the cellar doors of over 40 wineries and spend time chatting to winemakers. Find excellent shiraz and cabernet in the wineries around Sunbury. You'll also discover an abundance of local produce, with even the smallest regional towns offering award-winning restaurants, provedores stocked with the best local preserves, farm gates selling the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheeses and meats. Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges region is just an hour north-west of Melbourne along the Western Freeway or the Calder Freeway.

Gisborne

Gisborne

Victoria

Make Gisborne your starting point for a journey through Victoria's historic goldfields and indulgent Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges region. Spoil yourself at local wineries and stroll through rugged state parks and lush botanical gardens. Enjoy country delights in a cosy cafe or savour a picnic lunch beside Jackson Creek. Plan your trip to the Macedon wine region, where you can meet winemakers and taste their vintages at cellar doors. Improve your game at the Gisborne Golf Course. The ancestral home of the Woiwurung people, Gisborne has a rich and varied past as a stopping point for diggers on their way to the goldfields. Admire heritage buildings that detail the town's 160-year history. Wander the leafy streets searching for treasures in antique and craft stores, or time your trip to visit the popular Gisborne Market on the first Sunday of each month. Venture into nearby Lederderg State Park and spend a day bushwalking or rockclimbing. Test your kayaking and rafting skills on the Lederderg River, or just enjoy a spot of swimming or fishing. Discover 500 million years of geological history in the 300 metre deep slate and limestone gorge, or mountain bike along the tough trails. Gisborne is about 45 minutes from Melbourne along the Calder Freeway.

Mount Beauty

Mount Beauty

Victoria

The picture-book alpine village of Mount Beauty more than lives up to its name from its prime location at the foot of Mount Bogong, Victoria's highest mountain. Tucked into the fertile Kiewa Valley, Mount Beauty is surrounded by welcoming farm gates offering the freshest locally-grown produce, tranquil Kiewa River with its abundant fish, and a handful of wineries making the most of the distinct terroir. Combine premium sparkling wines with a gourmet lunch in stunning surrounds at Annapurna Wines or gobble up French fare and pinot noir at Bogong Estate. The stunning Alpine National Park offers excellent hiking and mountain biking and some of the freshest air you'll breathe. The High Plains and their historic huts are best explored on horseback in honour of the courageous and skilled cattlemen who once roamed the High Country. Mount Beauty's proximity to the ski resort of Falls Creek makes it a great place for wintery weekends, skiing and snowboarding on the mountain and staying in the village's indulgent alternatives to on-mountain accommodation. Mount Beauty rocks out to blues, roots and world music at its annual music festival each April. Magnificent views of Mount Bogong and the Mount Beauty village can be seen from Tawonga Gap, and the scenery is increasingly breathtaking on the 230-kilometre Bogong Alpine Way (part of the Great Alpine Road), looping through Bright, Mount Beauty, Falls Creek and over Mount Hotham. Mount Beauty is almost 400 kilometres or four hours from Melbourne on the Hume Highway.

St Arnaud

St Arnaud

Victoria

Settled during the gold rush of 1855 as 'New Bendigo', St Arnaud in Victoria's Grampians region boasts postcard-perfect heritage streetscapes and the distinction of a pub for every couple of hundred residents. Grand old buildings with cast iron lacework verandahs line the streets of St Arnaud, originally dubbed 'New Bendigo' but soon renamed to honour the Commander of the French forces in the Crimean War, Jacques le Roy de Saint Arnaud, who lies buried with Napoleon in Paris. This history is celebrated at the annual At Arnaud Festival in November. In 1861 the town's streets were surveyed by W.M. Wills who later tried unsuccessfully to cross the continent with fellow explorer Robert O'Hara Burke. St Arnaud's historic precinct features the 1866 post office, the old court house, Victoria's oldest fire station, and a host of notable pubs for refreshing drinks and chats with the locals. St Arnaud's manicured gardens and surrounding bushland can be surveyed from the lookout atop Wilsons Hill. The town is edged by St Arnaud Range National Park and Teddington Reservoir with their abundant native flora and fauna, and nearby lakes and rivers that are well stocked with fish. St Arnaud is approximately 240 kilometres from Melbourne, or just under three hours by car along the Calder Freeway and the Wimmera Highway.

Horsham Botanical Gardens

Horsham

Victoria

Discover refined regional recreation in Horsham, the capital of the Wimmera district and home to manicured botanic gardens, art and cultural treasures, and sweeping sunsets over the renowned Wimmera plains. Horsham lays claim to a relaxed, country atmosphere and a moderate climate. Originally grazing lands, the Wimmera became better known for wheat production and Horsham was quickly developed as a centre of economic activity for the region. The banks of the Wimmera River and the striking surrounds were immortalised by artists Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan and still provide inspiration to a dynamic arts community. Artistic and cultural treasures abound at the renowned Horsham Regional Art Gallery, housed in a 1930s art deco building, and the Wool Factory produces some of the finest wool in Australia. The William Guilfoyle-designed botanic gardens on the banks of the Wimmera River will account for many hours. With a host of things to do in and around the town, Horsham is also an excellent base for exploring the surrounding natural attractions, including Mt Arapiles-Tooan State Park, Little Desert National Park (where you can spot the intriguing Mallee Fowl) and the northern Grampians. Be inspired by the rock climbers as they test their skills on the daunting Mt Arapiles and capture the sunsets that can be seen on the vast flat plains of the Wimmera and the northern Grampians. Horsham is the region's showcase greens golf course and is recognised as one of the best public courses in Victoria. Come for the Horsham Golf Club Annual Tournament in September or the Racing Cup Carnival in October. Horsham is 301 kilometres north-west of Melbourne and is a 3.5 hour drive. Travel by car via the Henty, Glenelg or Western highways. Coach services are available daily from Melbourne.

Chiltern

Chiltern

Victoria

Venture off the High Country's beaten tracks and stumble upon tiny villages like Chiltern, which came of age following the discovery of gold in the 1850s. These days over 20 buildings in Chiltern are registered or owned by the National Trust. Wander through the village's well-preserved nineteenth century streetscape and imagine you're on the set of an Australian period film. Take a self-guided walk past the historic post office, courthouse and masonic hall, as well as the original police cells. Visit the Federal Standard newspaper office and Dow's Pharmacy and discover how much things have changed since the nineteenth century. Visit Lakeview House, the elegant former home of distinguished author Henry Handel Richardson, who penned the Australian classic The Getting of Wisdom. Uncover goldfield relics and native bird life on quiet forest trails through the Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park, and enjoy 360-degree views over the countryside from the Mount Pilot Lookout.

Chinatown

Chinatown

Victoria

Absorb the heady mix of Australian-Chinese history, sumptuous aromas of Asian cuisine and contemporary nightlife as you enter Melbourne's Chinatown through its imposing arches. Explore the nineteenth century buildings on the strip of Little Bourke Street between Swanston and Spring streets that comprises Australia's oldest Chinatown, now intermingling with hip bars and fashion boutiques. Feast in renowned Chinese and Asian restaurants such as Shark Fin, Supper Inn, Dragon Boat and Westlake where yum cha is the word for brunch, or try the fabulous Flower Drum, Cantonese fine dining at its best. Choose the perfect spot for dinner as you stroll under streetlights, lanterns and neon lights. Afterwards disappear down a laneway or up a flight of stairs for cocktail sorcery at the Croft Institute, New Gold Mountain or Fad Gallery. Learn the Chinese-Australia story at the Chinese Museum in Cohen Place, and get the hidden history with a guided walk through Little Bourke Street's buildings and laneways. Each year Chinatown hosts many traditional Chinese festivals and activities such as the Asian Food Festival and the Chinese New Year. Reach Chinatown by walking two-and-a-half blocks north from Federation Square, or taking any tram along Swanston Street to Bourke or Lonsdale streets. You can even catch the free City Circle Tram to Parliament House on Spring Street, then walk to Little Bourke Street, or jump on the free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle.

El Dorado

El Dorado

Victoria

El Dorado is nestled on the banks of Reedy Creek, downstream from the historic town of Beechworth and at the end of the Woolshed Valley. It is central to the Rural City of Wangaratta, the renown Milawa Gourmet Region and to the famous wine region of Rutherglen. Although little of the original architecture remains, miners' cottages, churches, public buildings, almond orchards, ancient fig trees and mining relics are a reminder of the town's bustling past. The name El Dorado came long before gold was discovered. In 1841, Captain William Fury Baker a settler and previously a Royal Navy Captain, renamed his Barambogie property, near Chiltern, "El Dorado". Here, Baker had found his utopia, his 'pot of gold' and the means to a rich life. Little did he know that hidden beyond the boundary of his property lay vast wealth with several floors of alluvial gold and tin and that the miners to come would adopt the name El Dorado for the town. In recent times El Dorado has attracted people seeking a quiet country environment and lifestyle within short distances to larger towns. While in El Dorado explore the History Museum (formerly the school), and El Dorado's three historic churches. Visit the cemetery, walk along Reid's Walk through the mining areas, and drive or ride the Woolshed Valley and read the interpretive panels telling the stories of the mining era. The immense Heritage listed Cock's El Dorado gold and tin mining dredge floats at its resting place on the edge of town and is well worth a visit or picnic and swim at the local Top Cut, a large open sluice mine area.

T-QUAL

O T-QUAL Accreditation é a parceria do governo australiano com o reconhecimento, a classificação e os programas de certificação do turismo de qualidade. Seu logotipo, o T-QUAL Tick, é um símbolo de excelência que identifica empresas e operadores de turismo de qualidade na Austrália. Para obter mais informações, clique aqui.