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How to go about this....

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Frankfurt, Germany
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How to go about this....

I love these forums and all the input everyone is willing to give to help out fellow travelers. Thank you so much for all the tips for visiting new places.

Here is an idea of our plan:

GOR from Dec.20 or 21-22

Melbourne from Dec.22-27

Drive from Melbourne to Sydney Dec.27-29

My question is, how would we go about using our time best during our stay in Melbourne? It is just my husband and I traveling. We are interested in doing all the "touristy things" in the Melbourne area (ie.Puffing Billy, Dandenongs, Phillip Island, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula,etc...) Of course we still want to do the things in town (ie. St.Kilda, City Shuttle, Eureka Skydeck, Ghost Tours, etc...)

I guess the big thing is... Since we are there over the holidays, will we still have access to everything or will many places be closed down? Also, would we be best using the days we planned to get to Sydney exploring some of these areas on the "outskirts" of Melbourne? We could also use one of the days to do an overnight in Phillips Island or Yarra Valley, or would that be best done as day trip from Melbourne?

As a side note, we do have tickets for the Boxing Day match on the 26th. We will also be staying most likely in the CBD area, although there is still the option of St.Kilda.

I know we won't be able to do it all, and I will have to accept that some things will be missed. My hope is to try and see and do as much as we can with the time that we have. I'm hoping that someone out there has a great idea as to how to best going about this.

Thank you in advance for everything you can offer and I look forward to the suggestions!!

Frankfurt, Germany
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12 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: How to go about this....

I forgot to mention.....

We are not really interested in doing shopping so that is not a priority. We are more interested in seeing what the city and surrounding areas have to offer... Even if it means picking berries :-)

Thanks again!! :-)

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: How to go about this....

A lot of places will be closed Christmas day, however there will still be a lot of places open (possibly with restricted opening hours). eg Eureka Sky Deck, ferry to Williamstown, Melbourne zoo and Healesville Sanctuary are open, and many restaurants, bars and pubs will be open. For any other day of the 'holiday season' pretty much everything is open and operating as normal in Melbourne - opening hours may vary slightly on special days such as Christmas eve and boxing day.

Wander and explore Melbourne's laneways and arcades to get a great feel for the city. Walk or cycle along the Yarra River.

Mornington Peninsula is a great day trip, or can be added on as an extra day to your GOR trip by crossing the bay on the Queenscliff / Sorrento ferry.

The Dandenong Ranges (& Puffing Billy) can be combined with the Yarra Ranges (wineries, Healesville Sanctuary, etc) with an overnight stay, or can be done as separate day trips. Could do both in one day, but a bit rushed.

Philip Island can be done as a day trip, but if you want to see the penguins you wouldn't be back in Melb much before midnight (penguins don't arrive on the beach till it's dark). So an overnight on Philip Island would good and you can drive around to Inverloch and maybe Wilsons Prom the next day before returning to Melb. You could visit Wonthaggi either on the way to PI or on the way home and do the historic State Coal Mine tour.

GOR - allow at least 2 days, and if you want to explore in more depth (eg. hinterland) then allow 3 days.

Accommodation will be pretty tight at that time of year, and many places will have a minimum night stay of at least 2 nights. You will need to book ahead asap. Consider B&B's as well as hotels/motels.

All trips best done with a hire car. You won't need a car in Melbourne itself.

Edited: 24 October 2012, 20:41
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3. Re: How to go about this....

Hello muffin,

I'm pretty sure you have posted before and got a lot of helpful information, but looking at what you have on this post, I've done some thinking.

Effectively, you are devoting two days, possibly three, 20, 21,22, to the GOR and possibly inland places like the Grampians or going on as far as Port Fairy before heading back to Melbourne. That is wise to take it slowly enough to actually be relaxed. Because you would not in all likelihood get back to your Melbourne hotel until late on the 22nd, you then have three days for Melbourne things, 23, 24 25 (Christmas Day when much will be closed, check with individual actractions for opening hours) and the 26th devoted to the Boxing Day test at the MCG with perhaps a slap-up meal somewhere that night or a theatre event.

Melbourne-Sydney drive 27,28,29. My suggestion is this - leave Melbourne earlyish on the 27th with a view to relaxing in the Dandenong Ranges for a few hours, including lunch. Arrive mid-afternoon on Phillip Island so you have time to see some things before the evening penguin parade from dusk onwards. Next day head off in good time in an easterly direction (lunch in Lakes Entrance?) as you will have a big day to make it to Merimbula or further along the NSW coast for the night of the 28th, then on to Sydney arriving late on the 29th. On this leg of your journey, except for Phillip Island and Lakes Entrance, you would not see the ocean whilst in Victoria as the main roads are inland a bit, but once in NSW you will have lots of contact with the wonderful coastline.

This is a do-able exercise, but you will not have much time for sitting around. What it does is save you back tracking given your limited time. Someone else has mentioned that your time here is at the peak holiday season, so getting one night bookings could be a difficulty. Persue all avenues of accommodation and you will surely find somewhere. If all else fails, perhaps you might have to consider some sort of van so you can sleep in your hired vehicle. And have you heard of www.airbnb.com ?

Frankfurt, Germany
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4. Re: How to go about this....

Thank you so much for the info so far and for the suggestions. I really like the idea of how to handle the 27-29 from Melbourne to Sydney and I will definitely look more closely into make that work.

We actually don't pick up our van/camper until January 2nd from Sydney to head up the coast to Cairns, so we would be doing hotels until then. I have actually used www.airbnb.com before and they sometimes have good deals. I am also able to get discount on Accor hotels so I have looked into some of those. The Sofitel Melbourne on Collins was suggested so I am trying to find out if that would be a good location. One of the other options was Novotel Melbourne St.Kilda so I had posted previously about whether or not to stick with CBD or St.Kilda.

Guess I need to sit down and plan out each day a little more carefully. I had hoped it could be more of a "see how it goes" type of thing, but as you have mentioned it is the holidays where some things will be closed. I can use our two weeks along the east coast to "take it as it comes" instead :-)

Melbourne, Australia
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for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
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5. Re: How to go about this....

You do need to have your accommodation booked wherever you go in January. The coastal area's are very popular during school holidays & even with a campervan, campsites & hotels will have very limited availability.

6. Re: How to go about this....

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