Australia’s capital for all things cultural, Melbourne is the cool choice for a holiday down under. As well as the multicultural delights of the city itself, the surrounding state of Victoria supplies a huge variety of experiences for travellers, making Melbourne the perfect base for a couple of weeks of exploration.
The city is regularly ranked among the best cities in the world to live in, and it’s just as exciting to visit. From the city’s buzzing yet relaxed atmosphere and historic architecture to the incredible beaches and Yarra Valley winemaking region just down the road, Melbourne more than makes up for its notoriously fickle weather!
Gippsland/Ninety Mile Beach
Image via wikipedia
Within driving distance of Melbourne lies the Ninety Mile Beach – actually just over 90 miles of unspoilt golden sands which separate the area’s large lakes from the ocean. The waters are not generally suited to either surfing or swimming, but beaches at Seaspray and Woodside are fine, and have lifeguards during the summer.
Photo by emmettanderson
Wilson’s Promontory is the southernmost point of Australia and is a National Park, with wildlife such as wombats, kangaroos and koalas and stunning coastal scenery. Human occupation of the area dates back more than 6500 years, and the Aboriginal clans Boonerwrung and Gunai/Kurnai call it ‘Yiruk’ or ‘Warnoon’.
Photo by Lauri Väin
Also a National Park, Mornington Peninsula boasts a huge variety of beaches and scenic walks. Known to Melburnians simply as ‘The Peninsula’, the area also has wineries, and water sports are popular and widely available.
Photo by John_McClumpha
Located near the coast of the Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island can be reached by a bridge connecting the island with the town of San Remo. As well as being home to a nature park colonies of both Little Penguins and fur seals, the island boasts some of the best surfing beaches in Australia and also a rich history of motorsports, hosting the Superbike World Championship every year.
The Great Ocean Road
Photo by Lucid-Dreams
Not too far from Melbourne is one of the world’s best road-trip roads. Stretching more than 150 miles from Torquay to Allansford, the road hugs the dramatic coastline of what is known as the Shipwreck Coast, and takes in the renowned Twelve Apostles rock towers seen in the image here.
Photo by bratha
Only about an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to more than 50 wineries, as well as breweries. This scenic area alone is well worth the price of your flight to Melbourne, giving travellers the chance to sample some of the best Australia’s wine right at the source.
Coffee – Centre Place
Photo by etcname
Melburnians are as serious about their coffee as the rest of Australia, if not more so. To sample the city’s best, head to Centre Place for a flat white and take in the local street art as you do.
Photo by nicolas.boullosa
For a taste of Melbourne’s indie cool, head to Brunswick Street, running between Fitzroy and Fitzroy North. The area is great for cafes, gig venues and indie fashion.
Photo by wikipedia
The suburb of Balaclava is home to much of the city’s Jewish community. The area also boasts some impressive architecture dating back to the late 1800s, such as the terraced housing in this image.
Section 8 bar
Photo by Gerard Ward
A cool stop-off for a drink in the CBD area of Melbourne, Section 8 is an outdoor-only bar run out of an old trailer. Section 8 serves wine, spirits and great coffee, as well as a tasty selection of sandwiches and sweet treats.
Top image by Linh_rOm