“Stylish, arty Melbourne is both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and it’s proud of its place as Australia’s sporting and cultural capital.” Lonely Planet
Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is widely known as the foodie capital of Australia. The city is a hub for dining and its coffee scene is legendary. The famous laneways of Flinders and Hoiser are filled with colourful street art, bohemian Fitzroy offers coffee roasteries and street culture. You can literally eat, drink and shop your way around the city.
Melbourne is also an epicentre for major sporting events. Both the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) home of the famous Boxing Day test and the Rod Laver Arena where the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the tennis season is held, are located in the heart of the city.
St. Kilda can be reached by tram from the city centre. The beach is a hive of activity with kitesurfers out on the water, runners and rollerbladers pounding the promenade. There’s a small pier, plenty of trendy bars and restaurants and Luna Park, the retro amusement park that is also in North Sydney.
Just outside the city lies Brighton, a strip of beach lined with colourful Victorian bathing boxes (beach huts) just like its counterpart on the Sussex coast in the UK. In fact some many place names in Victoria were given by English explorers and settlers back in the day that it was like being at home. Nearby Port Melbourne has lots of dining options and people watching.
In complete contrast to the busy city Mornington Peninsula, which is just an hour’s drive from Melbourne in Southern Victoria, offers a slower pace of life that’s home to stunning golden beaches, cute seaside villages and award winning wineries. Upmarket areas of Portsea, Sorrento and Mount Martha have amazing properties and some great places to stay with an abundance of dining options and activities. We took the Arthurs Seat Eagle (gondola) ride to the highest point on the peninsula for panoramic views across the bay.
Just across Port Phillip Bay on the Sorrento ferry is Queenscliff where you start your coastal road trip along the famous Great Ocean Road (GOR). We passed through villages of Torquay, Anglesey and Lorne enroute to see the 12 Apostles, the famous rock stacks in the ocean (sadly New Year’s traffic prevented as from making it that far). Instead, we stopped at Aireys Inlet for the walk up to Split Point lighthouse and enjoyed a cream tea in a cute cafe, another very British thing to do.
Our short trip to the city over the festive period meant we didn’t get to explore all the areas that we wanted to see. Here’s a first look at our trip in pictures….
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2018. All rights reserved.
Read more about Australia in my previous posts HERE