Melbourne has EVERYTHING!
It's been 18 years since I was last in Melbourne and going again last week reminded me why I enjoyed it so much the first time.
With the airport located only 20 minutes from the city centre and airport shuttles operating every 10 minutes, it's really easy to get to your accommodation on arrival, plus taxis are also available (approx $45 o/w). Either way, the outline of the city as you approach is magnificent. And once in the city, you're presented with wonderful tree-lined boulevards, with parking down the middle of the streets in some areas, stunning Victoria-era architecture and pretty much something impressive around just about every corner.
We collected a handful of 'City of Melbourne' walking maps from the Information centre and made our way from the city to East Melbourne to look at the elaborate ironwork and lofty verandas of the quaint little houses built in the 1880's that have been lovingly preserved and cherished. Two hours and many photos later - we were back in the city centre to begin a new walk - a simply great way to see this city!
Well, where to start... firstly you have the Paris end of Collins Street where you'll find a number of the world's best fashion houses, across Swanson Street you've got the affordable fashion shops, and over the river at South Wharf you have the Direct Factory Outlets, DFO shops and if you're really out for a bargain - there's Victoria Market at the top of Queen Street.
Melbourne by night
My favourite views and photos are those of Melbourne by night. Waking across Princes Bridge, both sides are just stunning, and then down onto the Southbank Promenade that simply comes alive with people every night. We passed some fantastic restaurants with inside and outside tables, lots of buskers and street artists, families enjoying the play areas and people just out for a wander. On one of our nights, we were outside the Crown Tower Hotel & Casino in time to see the incredible display of fire shooting out of 6 pillars. After nearly jumping out of my skin at the noise, it was a great sight to enjoy against the dark sky.
Long or short - it's a great getaway option
I'm certainly not going to leave it for another 18 years before I get back there again... and nor should you as it's the perfect destination for a quick trip away, or as a starting point to explore the other delights that Victoria territory has to offer.