Melbourne is set out in a large rectangle on the banks of the Yarra River. The city center is approximately five kilometres from Port Phillip Bay.
Melbourne as a cosmopolitan city combines a love for the creative arts, good food and good living with a statewide sports habit to make this city unique. It boasts lively markets, shopping, restaurants and a strong business culture.
One glance at a map and it shows that Melbourne remains tidy and neatly balanced. Within this order and balance lies a creative energy pushing back at the city’s extensive tradition and conservative life. The CBD is made up of precincts, including Southbank, Lygon Street, Flinders Street, and Chinatown, each a distinct expression of a unique cultural heritage, replete with their own flavour and charm.
Fitzroy and Carlton provide havens to both the alternative and Italian communities across Melbourne. You will find the finest coffee stores as well as authentic Italian pizza in Carlton, especially on Lygon Street. Trendy, hipster cafes are located in Brunswick and you can also discover quality Lebanese restaurants and bakeries. Richmond, driving further east, has extensive Greek and Vietnamese restaurants amongst great shopping. Driving south of the Yarra River are the upmarket suburbs of South Yarra, Toorak and Prahran. There remain numerous designer clothing stores to be found within these suburbs, including Gucci and Prada.
Driving west of the CBD, the bayside suburbs of Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and Albert Park are a great place to find entertainment, markets and fine food. The Australian Formula One Grand Prix is held in Albert Park every year. A drive to St Kilda is further south, located on the seaside of Port Phillip Bay, and has become a melting pot of people and cultures. Balaclava is a European enclave where the old and the new cultures of Europe and Australia remain in harmony. Located near Balaclava, Elsternwick has numerous Jewish bakeries producing authentic bagels.
Trips Around Melbourne
If you want to get away from the hustle of Melbourne, take a long walk by the sea or enjoy a fabulous lunch in the countryside, Victoria has just what you need. You don’t have to drive for long either to get there. A day trip or short stay at most. Travel east of Port Phillip Bay and through the countryside to the Bellarine Peninsula. A day tour of the Mornington Peninsula gives you the chance to enjoy the Bass Strait beaches and the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay down to Sorrento. Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD are the Dandenong Ranges. The Dandenongs allow a drive through tall trees and cool fern gullies, as well as stopping off for a picnic at one of the most iconic gardens in Australia. The Yarra Valley offers access to the state’s best wineries through cellar door openings as well as plenty of fresh local produce in local markets and tours. As part of the lush surrounds of Melbourne, it also offers live entertainment events such as Music on The Green. Alternatively, you can take the family on a trip to Phillip Island. You can feed pelicans as well as watching the famous nightly penguin parade as they return from the sea. Phillip Island is also home to the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. A trip down to Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, on the western side of Port Phillip Bay, allows you to explore Geelong and the historic mansions, zoos, surf beaches and wineries that surround the city.
Travel and tourist sights around Daylesford
Daylesford is located just 90 minutes from Melbourne, and along with Hepburn Springs, boasts the highest concentration of mineral springs in the country. There remain award winning day spas as well as romantic hideaways and cellar doors available for you to discover. Both Daylesford and Hepburn Springs reflect an old world charm when Swiss-Italian miners and other immigrants settled in the area and first developed access to the mineral springs. These days the Shire provides an extensive artistic community, along with fine dining and fresh market food, to the discerning traveller. Relax in Victoria’s Spa Country with a hired car from East Coast Car Rentals.
Travel and tourist sights within Gippsland
Gippsland covers the region east of Melbourne along the Bass Strait coast to the New South Wales border. Great tourist sites like Phillip Island, Sorrento and Lakes Entrance provide excellent day trips to explore Victoria. With waterways from Metung to Lakes Entrance, Gippsland is blessed with natural flora and fauna such as dolphins in the lakes. If you want to get away from it all, cruise and fish the Tambo, Mitchell and Nicholson rivers. Not only does Gippsland offer majestic waterways, but also lush rainforests and pristine beaches. With the southernmost tip of Australia at Wilsons Promontory, Gippsland provides camping and walking trails. Phillip Island provides the nightly Penguin Parade as well as the host to the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. If you want to explore the numerous sites of Gippsland, hire a car in Melbourne from East Coast Car Rentals.
Victorian Surf Coast travel and tourism
Bells Beach is named after the family that took up a pastoral run in the 1840’s in the area. It now is the home of the world’s longest running surfing competition: the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival. It has been held annually since 1961. Located approximately 100km south-west of Melbourne, on the Great Ocean Road, Bells Beach has an extensive surfing pedigree. Its waves attract the world’s best surfers. They have been making the pilgrimage to Bells since the 1930s.
Surf World in Torquay is recognised by the International Surfing Association as a significant centre for world surfing heritage. It houses the houses the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame and remains the world’s largest surfing and beach culture museum.
Explore Victoria’s Surf Coast with a rental car from East Coast Car Rentals.
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