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Welcome to Melbourne


Melbourne Holidays & Flights

Deemed the most liveable city in the world, the capital of Victoria and the second most populous city in Australia, it is easy to see that holidays to Melbourne are a great choice for an Australian getaway. Melbourne, known as Australia’s “culture and sporting capital”, is famous for its literature, theatre, music and sport. It is the birthplace of Australian Rules Football and the Australian film and TV industries. Situated in the bay area of Port Philip, Melbourne is a modern city with historic and cultural roots. Melbourne holidays and flights are the perfect way to enjoy this cultural centre of Australia.

Information & Facts

Being the cultural capital of Australia, there are lots of things to do in Melbourne with over 100 art galleries, dozens of jazz clubs and music festivals taking place throughout the year. Sports fans can visit the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, The Rod Laver Arena and AAMI Park with The Australian Open taking place around mid to late January in Melbourne Park each year. You could be visiting these famous venues on an all inclusive Melbourne holiday and flight package from Abbey Travel.
One of the best ways to view this beautiful city is from the Eureka Skydeck, the southern hemisphere’s highest vantage point at 297m high. If being suspended in a glass cube, almost 300m above Australia’s second largest city isn’t for you, there are plenty of ways to see the city at ground level. Sightseeing Tours Australia offer a sightseeing tour of the city by coach that also includes a Yarra River cruise. Cheap Melbourne flight and holiday packages from Dublin are a great way to experience this incredible city at unbeatable prices.

Melbourne is best visited in the summer months (November to March) when temperatures are warmer (about 77°F/25°C). Winter can be fairly chilly with an average July temperature of 55°F (13°C). Some rain can be expected throughout the year.


English is the official language of Australia.


The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

This historic town of great elegance and charm is the gateway to the goldfields. The name is an Aboriginal word meaning 'resting place', which is well suited because a tranquil lake and botanical gardens are the focal point of the city. The main Avenue of Honour is lined with 4,000 trees as a memorial to citizens who served in World War I. The city is steeped in the history of the Gold Rush era. Visitors enjoy the Eureka Trail, a two-mile (3km) walk that retraces the route taken by the police and soldiers during the Australian rebellion of the Eureka stockade in 1854. It is also possible to undertake a self-guided Heritage Walk through the inner city's streets.

The Chinese Museum was established in 1985 to preserve and display the history of Chinese Australians since the mid-1800s. It has become a living part of Melbourne's modern Chinatown, with its five levels of galleries, showcasing artefacts and photographs depicting the life and culture of Chinese Australians. The museum is also the home of Dai Loong, the world's largest dragon. There are numerous other museums catering to different national cultures in the heart of Melbourne.

This cottage was originally built in the village of Great Ayton in Yorkshire, England, in 1755 by James and Grace Cook, the parents of Captain James Cook. When the cottage was offered for sale in 1933 it was bought by a prominent Melbourne businessman, Sir Russell Grimwade, for 800 British Pounds. He arranged for it to be taken apart brick by brick and transported via ship and train to Melbourne. In early 1934 the cottage was rebuilt on its present site in Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne. Today it provides visitors with the opportunity to glimpse what life was like in 18th century England.

The Eureka Tower is the tallest building in Melbourne and the tallest residential building in the world, standing at just over 984ft (300m) tall, offering 360-degree views over the city. There is a public observation deck on level 88, the Skydeck, which affords visitors with a head for heights a testing experience: a chance to be suspended above the city in a glass cube (The Edge) that extracts itself from the building by 10ft (3m) to hang out over the city far below. On entry into the cube, the glass is frosted and moves out over the edge of the building, but as soon as the cube is in place the glass unfrosts to the sound of smashing glass.

Occupying a whole city block, Federation Square is one of Melbourne's major attractions. A cultural nucleus, Federation Square hosts over 2,000 events a year, in its outdoor public spaces, St Paul's Court and The Square and vibrant covered space, the Atrium. Renowned for its unique design, the triangular shapes that characterise Federation Square actually create an abstract map of the Australian Federation. Affording spectacular views of the city, Southbank and the Yarra River, visitors can not only explore the peculiar design of this cultural precinct, but also visit the many galleries, cinemas, museums, restaurants and shops that surround it, most notably the Ian Potter Centre and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Government House is the official residence of the Governor of Victoria, located within the Botanical Gardens. The house is built in the style known as Italianate, and is one of the finest examples of this type of architecture in Australia. The house was built during the gold rush and is said to be the grandest house in Victoria. Tours of the state apartments start from La Trobe's Cottage (home of Victoria's first Lt Governor, Charles la Trobe) on the corner of Birdwood Avenue and Dallas Brooks Drive, South Yarra.

The lofty summits and ridgelines of the Grampians region provide for some inspiring natural beauty in a park that is home to a variety of habitats, unique wildlife and more than one third of all plant species found in Victoria. The park is particularly well known for its colourful displays of springtime wildflowers, particularly during October. There is an abundance of wildlife in the lowlands, including emus, kangaroos, possums, koalas, wallabies and more than 200 species of bird. The park also has some interesting Aboriginal art sites among its 167,000 hectares of woodland, heath, swamp, forest and sub-alpine zones.

The Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic coastal roads you could drive on in the world. It stretches for 243 kilometres from Torquay to Geelong. There are many tours ranging from 1 day to 3 days. Other tourist landmarks along the Great Ocean Road include The Blow Holes, The Grotto, Thunder Caves and many lookout points into the Bass Strait Sea.

A popular attraction along The Great Ocean Road is the Twelve Apostles.  These are limestone stack formations just off the shores of Campbell National Park. The Apostles were formed by erosion, which stand at 45 metres high. Strangley these stacks became known as The Twelve Apostles even though there were only ever nine stacks. In July 2005 one of the stacks fell into the sea and today there remains only eight stacks. Enjoy the many walking trails or take a helicopter ride to appreciate a panoramic view.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is one of the most impressive stadia in the world, and is well worth a visit, even for non-sporting types. Originally built in 1853 for the Melbourne Cricket Club (who are still based at the MCG), the stadium has undergone major redevelopments in its history (most recently, for the Commonwealth Games in 2006) - and now stands as one of the most beautifully-finished, spectator-friendly grounds on earth. The MCG also houses the National Sports Museum - comprising the Olympic Museum, the Australian Sports Hall of Fame, the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, and the Melbourne Cricket Club Museum - all of which contain interesting sporting memorabilia. The MCG is used for cricket in the summer (try catch a Boxing Day test match), Aussie Rules football in the winter, rock concerts, and a host of other cultural events - and with a 100,000-seat capacity, anything you're able to attend at the MCG, is bound to leave you with a resounding memory of the state of Victoria.

A fascinating museum complex situated in the Carlton Gardens, the Melbourne Museum is the largest in Australia, with over 30 different exhibits covering history, culture, science, animals and more. Its most notable galleries include the Bunjilaka, which explores the history of Aboriginal culture in Victoria, the Science and Life Gallery, focusing on insects and spiders, the marine world and Australia's local flora and fauna; and the Children's Museum, housed in a tilted cube, which offers colourful and interactive displays. Opened in 2000, the Melbourne Museum is a showcase of modern exhibition standards, with a three-dimensional Imax theatre screening documentary films and a resourceful public research centre, where visitors can investigate any subject they wish.

Housing more than 350 different animal species, Melbourne Zoo is a worthy stopover, in a country famous for nature conservation and interesting diversity of animals. Built in 1862, certain areas of the zoo have been preserved as historic zones, demonstrating to visitors the significant changes the zoo has undergone. Famous for its endemic inhabitants such as the kangaroo, wallaby, koala and wombat, the zoo also has elephants in the Asian Rainforest area, a gorilla exhibit, Orang-utan Sanctuary and Butterfly House. Only four kilometres from Melbourne city centre the zoo is situated in a breathtaking botanic garden setting that extends 55 acres, covers over four different ecosystems and has a biodiversity of 70,000 plant specimens.

The National Gallery collections are divided between the redeveloped gallery at St Kilda Road, which houses Victoria's impressive international collections (including Picasso's Weeping Woman) and the Ian Potter Centre, the spectacular new home for the country's most important Australian collection.

Victoria's oldest surviving remand prison gives visitors a chilling insight into prison life in a model 19th-century gaol. Behind the thick and forbidding walls Ned Kelly, the infamous bushranger, was one of 135 men and women who were hanged on the gaol's scaffold. Visitors can view the Hangman's Box, the Particulars of Execution book and other exhibits relating to this grim period of Victoria's history, as well as the death masks used in the study of phrenology to predict criminal behaviour. The Women in Prison exhibition reveals the fascinating stories of the crimes committed by the female inmates. There are free performances every Saturday of The Real Ned Kelly Story - Such is Lifeat 12.30pm and 2pm, and night performances on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with hangman 'Michael Gately' as he recounts stories of the gaol by candlelight (not for the faint hearted or children under 12 years of age).

If you are planning a picnic at Birrarung Marr or the Botanic Gardens or just looking for some affordable souvenirs, head to the Queen Victoria market, one of the largest open-air markets in the Southern Hemisphere, with almost 50 percent of the market dedicated to the sale of fresh produce, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, seafood, cold cuts and cheese. A popular meeting place for locals and foreigners, this cosmopolitan market is best visited on a Sunday when adjacent Queen Street is closed down and converted into a sidewalk café area, where buskers entertain passers-by and children's rides are available. Officially opened in 1878, the Queen Victoria Market has been affectionately frequented by Melbournians for more than 125 years and still proves to be the best place for perusing a myriad of clothing, shoes, jewellery, bric-a-brac, antique and toy stalls.

Established in 1846 by the first Governor of Victoria, Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens are considered one of the worlds finest. They contain extensive landscaped gardens covering 35 hectares (86 acres) and are home to more than 51,000 individual plants, representing over 12,000 different species. The gardens have become a natural sanctuary for native wild life including black swans, bell birds, cockatoos and kookaburras, filling the air with their distinctive song. Free guided walks are available.

A visit to Melbourne would not be complete without a good look at its main river system, the Yarra River. Often the centre of many jokes due to its brownish colour, it is actually not dirty, just muddy. The Yarra has become the focus of much development in the central business district, with many new buildings, walks and parks having been created along its banks in recent years, including the relatively new Riverside Park. For the best view of the Yarra River walk to Princes Bridge, St Kilda Road, or take a cruise along the river from Princes Walk (below Princes Bridge).

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