Australia is a country that covers a vast area and is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world. From intriguing wilderness areas to bustling cities, it offers tourists a wide scope of activities and interests that will cater to all types of holiday maker. One of the most exciting cities in Australia is Melbourne. Located in the south east of the mainland, it is the capital city of the state of Victoria.
Melbourne is a lively city that can provide culture, entertainment, good food and wine. It has a public transport system that gives tourists an economical and efficient way of seeing everything the city has to offer.
Described as one of the most complex construction projects in Australia, Federation Square is made up of an entire city block that brings together cultural attractions, dining experiences, special events and shopping.
Federation Square is a popular venue for festivals, exhibitions, live performances and concerts and is the perfect public space to enjoy a variety of shows scheduled throughout the year. As well as hosting cultural events and art galleries, it is a shopper’s paradise, with arts, crafts and souvenirs on offer. After enjoying a day’s shopping or a visit to an art gallery, tourists can choose from a variety of dining experiences, from restaurants specialising in native and international cuisines to cafes and burger bars. There is a culinary option to suit all tastes and with every kind of budget. In addition to great restaurants, there is also a good range of bars and clubs. Visitors to the city can enjoy one of the laid-back cocktail lounges or something more lively such as a nightclub.
Ian Potter Centre
Among the cultural attractions of Federation Square is the Ian Potter Centre, which showcases the history of Australian art dating back to the colonial period. It also has many modern-day exhibits. Among the 20,000 items on display there are paintings, sculptures, photographs and textiles. The centre is renowned for having one of the most famous collections in the country.
Australian Centre for the Moving Image
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is another interesting attraction. The ACMI was the first of its kind to showcase moving images, including film, TV and digital media.
Royal Botanic Gardens
For a peaceful escape from the busy city life, the Royal Botanic Gardens can be a haven and they have been described as among the finest in the world. The gardens are located on the south bank of the Yarra River, just outside the city. There are 38 acres of land and over 10,000 species of plants. It is a natural sanctuary for Australia’s native wildlife.
The Royal Botanic Gardens are renowned for the contribution to plant research they have made, which is carried out through the National Herbarium of Victoria. This is home to over 1.2 million dried plant samples, along with innumerable books and academic journals.
Southern Star Observation Wheel
Located in the Docklands area of the city, the Southern Star Observation Wheel is the country’s first such structure. The wheel is made up of 21 glass cabins that provide a magical view of the city, as well as Port Phillip Bay and even further afield.
St Kilda Beach
St Kilda Beach is an attraction for the day-time or night-time visitor. During the day, visitors can stroll along the shoreline taking in the scenery or enjoy watching the penguins that are often spotted on the beach. There is also the option to go sailing, windsurfing or kite surfing. For those that love shopping, there is an arts and crafts market situated on the esplanade.
At night, St Kilda Beach offers fine dining and specialist seafood restaurants. Some of the most popular hotels in this area also provide live music and entertainment.
Along South Victoria’s coastline there is a dramatic rock formation known as the 12 Apostles. The 12 Apostles were formed over 10 million years ago by the erosion of the limestone cliffs, which then eroded further to create caves within the cliffs. The caves then turned into arches which collapsed into rock stacks over 45 metres high.
The rock structures are at their best at sunrise or sunset. Depending on the position of the sun, the 12 Apostles change colour from dark to bright yellow.
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is 273 kilometres of scenic coastline that includes the 12 Apostles, the Otways Rainforest and Bells Beach. It is also a great place to see local wildlife such as koalas. Whale-watching and swimming with dolphins is also available on this picturesque route.
The Otways Rainforest has what is perhaps Australia’s most beautiful natural scenery. Visitors can walk among the tall trees and plants and take in the magnificent waterfalls. Bells Beach is a popular destination for surfers but also offers fantastic views over the coast.
The Yarra Valley area of Victoria boasts famous wineries that produce chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling-wine varieties. The Yarra River runs along the east side of Melbourne towards Port Phillip Bay. As well as sampling some of the best wines in the country, there are other attractions in the Yarra Valley. Healesville Sanctuary is home to some of Australia’s most famous native wildlife species, including koalas, kangaroos and platypus in their natural habitat.