Melbourne the capital of Victoria State is the second largest city in Australia and while the weather may not be as hot as Sydney nevertheless attracts many visitors.
Melbourne the capital of Victoria state is located on the northern shore of Port Philip Bay.
Victoria Harbour Melbourne City
Moving beyond the trams and bars, lies the fantastic Victoria Harbour, home to Melbourne’s exclusive professionals.
The luxury yachts berthed at the dock here signal the type of local cliental here. This is the mix that creates Melbourne what it is today, a melting pot of the alternative and professional lifestyle, where quirky has become the norm.
The Docklands is home to the Docklands Stadium (or what has become the Ethihad Stadium).
It’s primarily used for Aussie Rules Football, the AFL. Victoria is the home of the AFL and cricket, with rugby taking a back seat in this state.
The capital of the Victoria State, Melbourne possesses a deeply distinctive European feel absent in Sydney. Melbourne is undeniably cool.
It is the alternative hotspot for Australia and a mere five minutes spent walking its streets will confirm this. Its streets are connected in a labrynth of laneways dissecting each other at odd angles. These laneways are home to some of the coolest bars in the entire country.
Many of these are hidden to the outside, few stumble across these without knowing where they’re going. Berlin Bar is illustrative of what to expect in the rest of the city. With no signage out front, the bar is divided into two separate parts (inspired by the city itself once divided). Each half starkly contrasts to the other, echoing the experience of the city.
While this is just one example, quirky bars spot the landscape if you know where to look. Sport plays a central role to life in Melbourne with the Australian Tennis Open taking place here, alongside many international Cricket matches and the majority of the Australian Football League matches.
The Yarra River runs right through Melbourne, bisecting the city into two. Near the docklands, the river is actually a confluence of the Yarra and the adjoining Maribyrnong River before it runs into the large and well protected Port Phillip Bay.
Down at Southgate or Princes Walk, there are many boats willing to transport tourists along the river stopping off at numerous points along the way.
The waterway itself hosts a number of festivals, most notably the Moomba Festival (a traditional festival held every year on labour Day) and the Dragon boat Festival (the Chinese boat racing event held every April).
Things to see
Melbourne has become known for it's great sport events and it's unusual artistic flare.
Street Art Things to see
Melbourne has become home to some of the world’s greatest street art. It is broadly encouraged by the local government, with commissions set every year.
However, they are currently cracking down on illegal graffiti. The city was one of the first to embrace stencil art and give credence and acceptance to street art.
It also held the first stencil festival in 2004. The art is confined to certain areas such as Abbotsford, Brunsick, Northcote and South Yarra (there are more, but these have a dense concentration).
One of the tennis championships which constitute the Grand Slam events, it is held annually over the last fortnight of January.
Since 1988 it has been played on hard surface rather than on grass. Given its timing, in the height of Australia, it has been frequently interrupted by extreme temperatures.
Most recently in 2014, played was stopped numerous times after the collapse of tennis players.
It takes place at Melbourne park, which has one of the highest audience capacities in the world.
Philip Island is about 140 km from Melbourne. The island is approx. 25 km by 10 km and is home to a Koala Reserve, Nature Park and the Victoria Grand Prix circuit..
Koala Reserve Philip Island
Phillip Island is located about 140km to the South East of Melbourne. It is situated at the edge of Westernport Bay, serving as a breakwater for the shallow waters there. The island is visited by over 3.2 million tourists a year, so don’t expect to be alone. Connected to the mainland by a short bridge, the island is easily accessible by car.
Aside from wildlife, Phillip Island also has some of the most reliable and varied surf spots in the South and incredibly beautiful and secluded beaches.
Koalas: The Koala conservation Centre is also a big draw for the island.
Its raised boardwalks allow for a fantastic face to face viewing of Koalas who tend to laze high up in the tree tops. They also offer great information about the campaign to maintain the wild Phillip Island population and their natural bush ecosystem.
Philip Island Coast
While on the island, why not visit an open farm, where you can see sheep shearing and other farming type activities.
Koalas: The Koala conservation Centre is also a big draw for the island. Its raised boardwalks allow for a fantastic face to face viewing of Koalas who tend to laze high up in the tree tops.
They also offer great information about the campaign to maintain the wild Phillip Island population and their natural bush ecosystem.