City meets beach and old meets new on holidays to Melbourne. The cosmopolitan capital of Victoria bustles with culture, sports, nightlife and shopping. Sitting pretty on the estuary of the Yarra River, it's built on a natural bay and boasts an array of beaches. The Victorian buildings that sprung up in the Gold Rush are still standing, but you'll also find modern skyscrapers and malls. Tennis, cricket and the Grand Prix are all big news here, with many people timing their Melbourne holidays around major sporting events. The city is also a renowned cultural hub, with a packed festival, arts and music calendar. Whilst Melbourne is a vibrant metropolis, it's also home to a plethora of beaches – meaning you get to kick back by the sea, too. Out of town, discover wildlife, vineyards and wonderful road trips. Melbourne is often the starting point for multi-centre holidays to Australia and we can help you build your dream itinerary to the Land Down Under.
The seasons in Australia run opposite to those in the UK. Spring lasts from September to November, summer falls December through February, March through to May is autumn, leading into the cooler winter period of June to August.
There's plenty of sightseeing to be done on Melbourne holidays. First up, get your bearings on the free city circle tram, a great way to find your way around the city. If you want a bird's eye view, soar to the 55th floor observation deck at the Rialto Towers. Great days out the zoo, an aquarium and tours of the Neighbours set. For a history fix, visit Old Melbourne Gaol, or relax in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Go shopping in glossy malls, modern boutiques and the open air market, or simply relax on the beach. You don't have to head far out of Melbourne to see some of Australia's most beautiful spots: try a hot air balloon trip over the Yarra Valley, or a stroll along the Otway Fly Treetop Walk, built high in the forest.
Dining out in Melbourne is a thrill for your taste buds. Try the oriental food in Chinatown, high class dining in South Yarra, or the array of international cuisine served up throughout the city. Don't miss the local Kilpatrick Oysters, fish and chips and the ubiquitous Aussie barbecue.
There's an array of culture in Melbourne, as well as plenty of drinking dens. Discover smart venues tucked down the city's narrow lanes, or cross the Yarra River to Southgate for riverside bars. Roll the dice at the casino in the Crown Entertainment Centre or enjoy musicals, theatre and opera performances at Her Majesty's, Princess and Regent Theatres.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.