One of these days I really do need to get down to Melbourne. I spoke with Ian of Travellr and Get Flight fame over the weekend and he couldn’t believe I’d never made the $50 flight down to Australia’s #2 city and had a look for myself.
Until I do manage to get myself down to Australia’s sporting and arts capital, you’ll have to make do with another guest post on the subject. So without further ado, here’s a quick look at Melbourne.
A Quick Look at Melbourne
Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and undoubtedly its cultural capital. Probably most famous in the UK for its soap Neighbours, this is a sunny place perfect for holidays. Australia is a popular country for dissatisfied ‘Brits looking to relocate and an ideal holiday destination for anyone looking for a break from the UK’s dreary weather.
Cheap flights to Melbourne can be found online but usually tend to hover around the £850 mark. It should be noted that Melbourne actually has two airports, the centrally located Melbourne Airport and the Avalon Airport in the suburb of Lara, meaning that there is more than one place you can fly into.
The perfect way to start exploring this idyllic city is by hopping on its free City Circle tram (number 35) to get a feel and a view of the place at no extra cost. The Eureka Skydeck has an observational point, ideal to get an eyeful of amazing views of the city, so you can get a taste for it as early as possible.
Melbourne Cricket Ground, bearing the affectionate moniker “The MCG”seats around 100,000 and is the first port of call for any cricket fans visiting the area. Federation Square is an impressively designed meeting point that occasionally hosts cultural events and if you want a break from sightseeing then Fawkner Park is the perfect place to sit down and rest your pins. Whether you want to walk the dog or play some impromptu frisbee, this is the place people come to let down their hair.
The Flagstaff Gardens are another ideal escape from the city bustle and St Kilda foreshore is one of the best beaches in the area. A perfect place for those who love to spend their holiday lying in the sun. Albert Park Lake and its trademark black swans provide another escape from city life and boasts the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre nearby.
Thought to be the cultural center of Australia it boasts a host of arty events including the Melbourne International Film Festival in August and Melbourne Comedy Festival in April. The Royal Exhibition Building built in 1880 and gaining UNESCO World Heritage status in 2004 is a beautiful architectural ode to the Industrial Revolution. The Melbourne Art Fair is held here, as well as many other intimate creative events.
The Melbourne Museum is probably the best museum in this gem of a city, with an emphasis on education and interaction and complete with an exhibit dedicated to Aussie legend Phar Lap. Boasting the amazing Bunjilaka, the Aboriginal Centre; a living forest gallery and a small shrine to the TV show Neighbours this is a great place to keep the kids occupied as well as topping up your knowledge of Australian history.
The Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria Australia is a haven for Australian art through the ages featuring artists from Bill Henson to Sidney Nolan if you want a further glimpse into the culture.
While Sydney might be many a visitor’s first port of call when visiting the land downunder, Melbourne is a must for any travel itinerary. Its mixture of fine food, culture, and first class sport makes it place that really does offer visitors a little bit of everything.