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Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

Knoxville, TN
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Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

Ok, coming from the US and never having been across the "big pond" we will be visiting my daughter in Townsville (Queensland) for most of our trip (doing the GBR and past Cairns to the rainforest). We have added 4 days in Melbourne before returning to the US to hopefully see another part of Australia. We are game for renting a car and want to try to see a variety of things to get a true feel of the area. Want to see some of the city, but wonder what side day trips would be the best, as this is September when I now read the weather will not be the warmest. Do we stay in a hotel in the city the whole time ( I need to book this soon) and do day trips in a rental car or do we stay there the 1s night and maybe the other 2 nites on the coast, etc. Help, please. I have done some reading, but just enough to be more confused. Thanks!

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1. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

There are many day trips you can do from Melbourne. These include the Great Ocean Road, (2 days minimum) Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsular, The Grampians, Bendigo, Ballarat and Healesville Sanctuary.

It really depends on what you like to do and how long you want to spend in each place.

hong kong
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2. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

I took guests on a walking foodie tour of Melbourne. It lasted a couple of hours and everyone enjoyed it. If you go to the Great Ocean Road, definately stay 2 nights. The grampians is a big day trip. Beechworth is a nice country town with wineries nearby but stay overnight to enjoy it. If the footy finals are on, go to a pub with a big screen and watch. It's hard to plan because Melbourne's weather is so unpredictable. There are hot springs and spas at Hepburn springs which are popular.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

There are lot of good attraction the scenery have in Melbourne that you will enjoy. People are very accommodating and have a delicious foods.

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4. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

You can also go to Phillip Island to see the penguins. We took visitors from the US and they loved it. You don't have to stay overnight. It's quite easy to hire a car and drive around Victoria.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

When in September will you be in Melbourne? Our football Grand Final is on Saturday afternoon, 29 September 2012 - as 'HongKong...' said, go to a pub and watch the game on TV - the atmosphere will be fun and lively, even if you're not a big sports fan. The lead-up finals will be also held throughout September. All this means accommodation is likely to be more difficult to find and may be more expensive, so book as soon as possible.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

Hi CoopK - some good suggestions from fellow Melburnians. I'd also add a few others for you to consider:

If you're into galleries/museums, there are two wonderful exhibitions on in Melbourne while you're here.

The first is the Napolean exhibition at the NGV International on St Kilda Road. Incredibly well curated and links the life of Napolean in an Australian context, so a bit of a twist on seeing a Napolean exhibition elsewhere in the world.

The other exhibition is the Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia which is on at the Melbourne Museum. I haven't been to see this one yet, but the reviews have been great.

If you decide to do a day trip to the Yarra Valley (about 1 hours drive outside of Melbourne) for wine tasting, I recommend the following wineries - Yering Station, Chandon and Coldstream Hills. Lunch at the Healesville Pub is also a great way to spend the afternoon.

Hope that helps - and enjoy your visit!

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

You can spend a whole day in the city. Take the city circle tram which is free. Visit the Botanic Garden which is lovely. The Melbourne Musuem is also very nice and informative.

For the next two days, you can consider doing some day trips either on your own or with a travel group. We rented a car and visited places outside Melbourne City on our own. Since you do not have very much time, you need to be very selective about your activities. What do you really like? Does wine-tasting sound interesting to you? The Great Ocean Road is not to be missed. You can spend 2 full days there.

Am sure you will have fun in Melbourne.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

Be sure to try some chocolate from the finer chocolate boutiques in Melbourne. Melbourne can do good chocolate. Better than Godiva, at any rate.

Melbourne (CBD) hotel prices are usually horrendous. And if you are there around our football finals time, the rates will jump even more. Driving thru the CBD is annoying at peak times, and there's right hand turns from the left hand lane on a 2 lane carriageway (for you, on a 2 lane carriageway, like turning left from the right hand lane. Actually easier than it sounds.), and trams (like cable cars) to dodge, not to mention the parking hassles and cost. Unless you need the "hotel" experience, I'd definitely keep the car, but stay somewhere a little out of town, near a good train line, and catch the train (or tram) in for looking around the CBD. Just depends on what sort of accommodation you are after. If staying out of town, make sure there is free parking. Attractions just outside of the CBD, eg Melbourne Zoo, by all means drive. Melbourne is a bit like San Francisco; it's only the city blocks you want to avoid. And avoid peak hour everywhere. Having recently driven through both, I can tell you that peak hour in Melbourne is worse than in LA or San Francisco. B/W 10.00 am and 4.00 pm it's fine.

You can get an all day travel pass for all public transport but the fools in their infinite wisdom have recently made this a lot harder for tourists in that at many train stations you can only use the new "Myki" plastic card rather than the good old "Metcard". The "Myki" card is an additional purchase cost on top of your fare. If you could stay near a station that still has Metcards, I'd do that. Otherwise it's another one-off $6 on top of your daily fare of about $6.50 (Zone 1), or $11.50 (Zone 2) depending on which zone you start in (so stay in Zone 1 !) . I've probably made it sound harder than it is - in reality it's quite easy to get a ticket .

Hope you enjoy your stay.

Edited: 01 July 2012, 14:15
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9. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

My family of 5 were in Australia last Sept. We did Melbourne for 3 days. We rented a car and drove one day to Phillips Island it was nice to drive ourself so we took the whole day to explore the island then watched the Penguin Parade it was really cool! Did the Great Ocean Road up to the 12 Apostle Area in one long 12 hour day we enjoyed the freedom to just stop at any place that caught our eye,but had I known before booking our hotels I would have stayed in one of the little towns on the way and we wouldn't have been quite so rushed. Just a side note -being from the stated be prepared to pay extra for ketchup etc. and pop and candy are very expensive!

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10. Re: Trip of a lifetime - 3 full Sept.days in Melbourne area

For spectacular beautiful beaches, you can't miss the Great Ocean Road. Go as far as Lorne if you only have a day or two. It's about 2 hours drive from Melbourne and gives you a great taste of the coast. The 12 Apostles are about twice as far. You can stop for lunch on the way back to Melbourne on the waterfront in Geelong. There are quite a few cafes there now.

For Aussie history, Sovereign Hill at Ballarat (1 to 1 1/2 hours drive from Melbourne) is fascinating. It's a reconstructed town from the 1850's during the gold rush, complete with characters in period costume.

If wineries are your thing, as stated above, go to the Yarra Valley.

I recently booked a 5* hotel in the city on www.wotif.com for $180 a night in July. I booked a 'wotif mystery hotel', knowing it would be five star but not which hotel, and got the Grand Hyatt on Collins St. The shopping is fantastic and Melbourne is famous for its lane ways and cafe culture. The museum and art gallery are worth visiting too. You will be spoilt for choice with restaurants to dine in - I love eating out in Melbourne! Also Queen Victoria Markets in Flemington on the North West side of the CBD are worth a look if you enjoy a traditional produce market and a real part of the ethnic flavour of Melbourne.

Have a great trip!

Edited: 02 July 2012, 11:36