Melbourne, Capital of Victoria
Currency: Australian Dollar
Tax Refund: Tax refund on goods and also WET for wine can be claimed if you spend more than 300AUD in a single receipt. If you are leaving Australia within 60days, similar to the EU, it can be done together on your final destination of departure from Australia
From Melbourne Tullamarine to Hotel and vice versa
I would assume that one would be staying in the CBD area. The most efficient way would be either a Cab or the Skybus. The economic way is definitely the Skybus which takes you from the airport to Southern Cross Station in the CBD from there you can connect to various places in the CBD using the free tram zone. Furthermore, there will also be free transfers from the station to various hotels in the CBD. The Skybus cost 18AUD. However if you are in a travelling party of 3 or more I would recommend a cab straight away. A typical cab ride including surcharges would be around 60AUD to the CBD.
If you are heading to elsewhere from the airport, you would probably be renting a car anyway.
Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens
The landmark 19th century exhibition building with a dome and the surrounding super complementing gardens are an attractions definitely worthy of your time. Built for the international exhibition movement of 1880 and 1888, the reason why they are still standing today is a reason already for us to visit. Right on the north east edge of CBD, the building now is currently being use for events. Inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, this place is minimum worth looking with your naked eye. A guided tour may also be available when there aren’t any event taking place, usually at 2pm.
Parliament House of Victoria
Located on Spring Street, this has been the seat of the Parliament of Victoria since 1855. Open public everyday throughout the year the facade of the building is at least worth a view, if interested, public could also attend the parliament session when the house is in siting. The place is accessible through the tourist tram system. Public tours are also available and free of charge. Conducted at 9.30 am, 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.00 pm (Express Tour), 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm , 3.30 pm and 4.00 pm (Express Tour) on weekdays (excluding public holidays) when Parliament is not sitting. On sitting Tuesday tours are offered in the morning at 9.30am and 10.30am.
Melbourne City Town Hall
The central municipal building of Melbourne, located right off the corner of Swanston and Collins Street. Completed in 1887, besides being the local government seat it is also used for schools concert, exhibition and also theatrical plays. The organ located inside is a must look. There is also usually a lunchtime concert.
General Post Office
Located in the heart of the city, this iconic heritage listed building used to be one of the central post office in Melbourne. Since now it has been converted to a boutique style shopping mall. While the mall consist of retailers such as H&M, much left to be desired. The main attraction here is coming to admire the gorgeous Victorian era exterior and classy interior.
Shrine of Remembrance
Roughly about a mile off the CBD area in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne lies the Shrine of Remembrance, a memorial towards all the men and women whom have served Australia. An iconic building, this place is great to admire, enjoying the greenery and also learn a little history. Open from 10am to 5pm daily with the exception of Good Friday and Christmas. Subject to availability, tours are available at 11am and 2pm.
Fitzroy Gardens & Cooks’ Cottage
This historic 26 ha garden in the city centre is a gem with sculptures, pathway lined with magnificent Elm trees and flowers. The floral display are gorgeous and another place house in it is the Cooks’ Cottage. Cooks’ Cottage, historic home of Captain James Cook, built in Yorkshire in 1775, it was shipped to Melbourne and now lies in this gorgeous greens. The oldest building in Australia, this place is definitely worth a visit. Open from 9am till 5pm daily, tickets are required to enter the cottage and it cost 6.20 or 4.50 for concession. The gardens are just a short walk away from the Treasury and Parliament House.
State Library of Victoria
This state library is located right in town on Swanston Street, built in 1856, this place has all sorts of reason for you to be here. With over 2 million books, it’s one of the largest library in the world, but the highlight should be its facade and interior which is gorgeous. A picture definitely have to be taken at The La Trobe Reading Room. Open from 10am daily and till 9pm on Mon to Thurs and till 6pm on Fri to Sun. Free Tours are available at 2pm, meeting point at front foyer.
Flinders Street Railway Station / Federation Square
With the square built on top of the station, this two places in Melbourne can be known as her heart and soul, it is also where the city lives on, full of vibrant people, restaurants and stores. The railway station is also a classic attractions in the city, with a yellow façade and arch entrance, the distinctive clocks are a must see.
ANZ Banking Museum
Housed in the iconic Gothic Branch located on Collins Street, at the lower level lies the Museum, perfect place to spend a little time in the CBD, it shows the Australia banking system through exhibitions, banknotes, coins, moneyboxes, equipment and stuff. Best of all, it’s free. Open on weekdays from 10am to 3pm.
St Paul Cathedral
The Gorgeous iconic Anglican Gothic cathedral, located right in the heart of the city on near Finders street station. The striking building is your best navigation tool. This is definitely a place not to be missed. Great for some photo taking.
St Patrick Cathedral
The other partner of the cathedral in Melbourne, this is another beautiful spot not to be missed. Located near the Treasury Gardens and Parliament house, this 19 Century Cathedral is a must visit for tourists.
Queen Victoria Market
The greatest market of all time in Melbourne, breakfast, lunch, shopping, fruits, food, clothes and must visit deli. You could find all of them here, funny souvenirs and Australian typical stuff are much more affordable than central Melbourne. You will be able to walk or take the free tram to Victoria Market. You’ll find all you need there and the price is usually a half or a third of the prices in the souvenir shops downtown. Despite everything, it is a heritage landmark too! The market is close on Mon and Wed, open from 6am to 2pm on Tues, Thurs, till 5pm on Fri, 3pm on Sat and 4pm on Sun. Crowd are expected, so come early. The winter night market on Wednesday is also a must visit.
A tiny laneway from Finders Street to Finders Lane, this street is full of cafes and buskers, perfect to idle the afternoon away. One great café to visit here would be Degraves Espresso Bar. Some laneway shopping and coffee tasting, the afternoon will be well spend.
A bluestone and cobbles laneway in the city which is well known for its graffiti and street art. The graffiti covered walls and art installation have become well known for being backdrop for fashion and wedding photography.
Short quiet and narrow, however this lane is scenic and quaint! Connecting Bourke Street Mall and Little Collins Street, the causeway is currently flanked by small boutiques shops, cafes and sushi bars. The building house an awesome Laurent shop and this place is perfect for some pictures
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Located on the south bank of the river, this picturesque gardens is a great place for a treat, to your eyes. Entrance is free to the gardens and open from 730am till sunset every day. Located roughly about 15 to 20 mins walk from Flinders Station.
Brighton Bathing Boxes
Dendy Street, Brighton, Victoria 3186, Australia
A visit to the iconic colourful beach house can’t be missed when you are ever in Melbourne. Built well over a century ago, this is a gorgeous photo spot. Located roughly around 35 mins from the CBD makes it a perfect detour on the way to Yarra Valley.
Yarra Valley Chocolatier & Ice Creamier
35 Old Healesville Road, cnr Melba Highway, Yarra Glen, Victoria
A fantasy destination in Yarra Valley with chocolate and ice cream combine with a picturesque view of the Yarra Valley. Indulge in chocolate tasting, handmade ice cream and the amazing lawns. Open daily from 9am to 5pm. Located roughly around an hour from central Melbourne.
Warratina Lavender Farm
105 Quayle Rd, VIC 3139, Australia
Located only an hour drive away from central Melbourne and a short drive from coldstream, this lavender farm is open 9am to 4pm daily except Tuesday. Although the place is a little quiet during winter it is still nice to see the winter flowering lavender and enjoy some lovely scones with tea at the café.
60 Schoolhouse Rd, Woori Yallock VIC 3139, Australia
Located in Yarra Valley, this is another stop you got to make on your drive here. A boutique fruit orchard providing tours, UPick and bottling workshop. Adventure tours and UPick are available from 9am to 4pm daily with different fruits every season. The Tour cost 25 AUD per adult while all fruits picked will cost 5AUD per Kilo. It is about half an hour away from the Chocolatier or Domaine Chandon.
727 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream, Vic 3770
The greatest and best Sparkling Wine producer in Yarra Valley, owned by Moet, it is a must visit in Yarra Valley, the Tasting bar is open from1030 to 1630 daily while the brasserie is open from 11am – 4pm on weekends and on 12pm on weekdays. The tasting bar and tour route is also open from 1030 to 1630 daily. Perfect to get a couple of bottles back home too.
878 – 880 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream, VIC 3770 An awesome winery located in the scenic Yarra Valley that house a restaurant with a vineyard setting with a cellar door. Wine tasting are available all day and it cost 5AUD. Winery is open from 9am to 5pm.
864 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream, Vic 3770
Named Winery of the Year for 2012, this winery has tours and events which can be check at a later date. Great buy includes the 864 series and the exclusive cellar door wines. The Cellar Door are open 7days from 10am to 5pm. Located onsite also lies the gorgeous restaurant which is open for lunch 7days a week with great views over the Yarra Valley.
Yering Station (Recommended)
38 Melba Highway, Yarra Glen, Vic 3775
Located in the gorgeous Yarra Valley with magnificent view over the vineyard and surround area. The restaurant is of superior quality matched with self-made wines. Be sure to grab a bottle back as the wines here are great and hard to find outside. Reservation for the restaurant are highly recommended as seats literally flies off, lunch are available from 12pm and reservation are necessary. Situated on the upper floor of the Cellar Door also lies the Matt’s bar, an informal dining experience with bar food and drinks.
Dominuque Portet Winery
870 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream, Vic 3770
Open from 10am till 5pm daily, the winery is set in a Mediterranean atmosphere with many activities at their cellar door. Their wines are usually ranked among the top few from Yarra Valley. Highlights of this place would be their tour and oak barrel tasting which cost 15 per person. Have arrange for a barrel tasting at 4pm on 13th June. Need to arrange prepayment by 4th June.
Innocent Bystanders Restaurant & Winery
336 Maroondah Highway, Healesville, Vic 3770
One of the greatest place to be on earth. Part restaurant, part winery, part bar, this place has everything. They make numerous brands of wines and their restaurant is a definitely must try. Reservation is compulsory. Tasting for the Giant Steps are 10 per person and requires a booking, fee refundable with purchase while the tasting of the innocent bystanders range are free. Recommend coming here for dinner or lunch. Open 7 days a week, from 9am till 9pm on Sun – Thurs and till 10pm on Fri and Sat.
Maddens Rise Winery
Cnr of Maroondah Highway & Maddens Lane, Coldstream
Open only from Fri till Mon at 1100 to 1700, this is a small scale boutique kind winery that is worth visiting, more human involvement is involve here and it is worth seeing how different the wines are. From handpick grapes, small batch production to biological farming methods. Definitely worth visiting if you are heading to Yarra Valley in those days.
Great Ocean Road
Do note that the GOR is a daunting journey and exhaustive one to be done in a single day unless you have a couple drivers and also some great planning. Some tips including taking into consideration of the daylight you have and it is crucial to stock up on some food and water. Also travel with comfortable space. Do make use of inlets on the road to change driver and take a short break, stretch those legs. I left Melbourne in the morning about 645am and we drove for roughly 7-8 hours in total. Below is my Itinerary!
1. Geelong (1hr from Melbourne and 76km)
Geelong is a port city located on Corio Bay and the Barwon River. Enjoy the beachfront city with laid back vibes and chill out towns. Have a short break here also, getting a snack or adding petrol, Petrol station are available here. Check out some of the restaurants or cafes nearby or you could head to Hungry Jacks at High Street, there are numerous other fast food and stuff here also such as Macs.
2. Split Point Lighthouse (1hr from Geelong and 48.5km)
Federal Street, Aireys Inlet Victoria 3231
A lighthouse located in Aireys Inlet, a small town on Great Ocean Road, constructed on 1891 this lighthouse was converted to automatic operation in 1919. Towering over 34meters tall, you can’t miss this full of history place. Perfect for a short break and some pictures taken. Nearby are also some places for a short break and food.
3. London Bridge (1hr 35mins from Apollo Bay and 104km)
Great Ocean Rd, Peterborough VIC 3270, Australia
7 km off Port Campbell, Search for London Bridge on Maps
From here we will head to the furthest point on our road trip, London Bridge to witness some of the marvellous natural wonders on earth. There is one car park at the site with access point to the platform for the views. It frames a point in time where the section between the rocks collapse on January 15th 1990. It has upper and lower viewing platform to take in the sweeping views of the vistas and birds. Furthering on, we will head to Port Campbell for Lunch.
5. Port Campbell Jetty (10 mins from London Bridge and 8km)
2-10 Lord St, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia
An attraction by its own, with great views of the bay, cliffs and the jetty with the pristine waters. Do note that Port Campbell is the only town in the vicinity. Be here for a short break for a great lunch with great views to accompany. Parking are widely available, petrol can be found here also.
6. Loch Ard George (7mins from Port Campbell Jetty and 8km)
Great Ocean Rd, Peterborough VIC 3270, Australia 7 km off Port Campbell, Search for Loch Ard George on Maps.
Natural razor back formation that have been formed literally over the years, if you ask what is history, this is. Take your time here and soak it in. offshore stacks, blowholes and island arch, this is like a walk in geography lesson. Spend about an hour here, including the main carpark there is 3 separate carparks here. Recommend to park at the Loch Ard Wreck Lookout at the main car park.
7. 12 Apostles Visitor Centre & Gibson Steps (5mins from Loch Ard and 4km)
The main attraction of the whole road trip, the visitor centre is open from 10am till 4.30pm with toilet access also. There is a large sealed carpark with parking spaces. Around the visitor centre are many viewing area. Spend some lovely time here.
Next head on to Gibson Steps, the iconic view of the 12 Apostles from the beach, you could either choose to walk from the visitor centre or park directly at Gibson Steps. From the centre, it’s roughly a 1km walk.
8. Melbourne Central (2hr 45mins and 228km from 12 Apostles)
We will return to hotel for the day using the shortest road, via princess highway and M1.
87 Collins St / 1c/268 Flinders Ln
Definitely have to at least make a visit and get some back as the products are made here in town, many stores are located throughout the city such as Collins street and Flinders Lane.
Albert Coates Lane, ACL 26, QV Melbourne. Melbourne 3000
Selling great and discerning business shirts, well known for their quality and price to match also. Totally a lifestyle store for the fine gentleman. Since you are in the origin city of the brand, why not check it out and see if the prices are more affordable than the in Singapore. Located in QV, the store is open from 11am till 9 on fri and 6-7pm on other days.
269 – 321 Lonsdale St, G-030 Emporium Melbourne
Given that Melbourne is one of the most famous coffee city on earth, you probably feels weird coming here to get some capsule, but prices here are much more affordable than Singapore
Linked to the adjacent train station, Melbourne Centre location and accessibility is undisputable. Shops may be one thing but the main icon would be in the centre of the shopping mall with a tower under the dome, known as shot tower. Open daily from 10am till 7pm or 9pm on Thursday & Friday. Located on the corner of LaTrobe and Swanston Streets.
Established since 1892, this iconic arcade has withstand the part and parcel of history, currently still standing in the heart of Melbourne. Located on Bourke Street lies the two giant statue of Gog and Magog, which struck the hour on the Gaunt’s clock. This arcade is known for the collection of quality boutiques and stores, with gifts, cafes, chocolate and other amazing stuff.
Located in Melbourne central business district, Block Arcade is a heritage shopping arcade, the Golden Mile heritage walk runs through the arcade. With mosaic tile flooring, glass canopy and carved stones, this is a perfect example of a 19 century arcade. The iconic Haigh Chocolate is found in there too.
Bourke Street Mall
Bourke Street is one of Melbourne’s best known streets. Historically been regarded as Melbourne’s “second street”, with the main street being Collins Street, and “busier than Bourke Street” is a popular catchphrase. Running from east to west, it dissect the CBD. Bourke Street is only a pedestrian and Tram access street, it is also home to 2 of the largest department store in town, Myer and David Jones.
DFO South Wharf
Right of the edge of the CBD area, Direct Factory Outlet is just a stone throw away if the shopping cells are acting up in you. With more than a couple of stores, expect to find brands such as Armani, Aldo, Adidas, Fossil, Typo, here at a huge discount. Open daily from 10am till 6pm.
In the quirky and trendy Fitzroy district of Melbourne, Smith Street lies north of the CBD, besides having great vibes and feel, the place is a haven for shoppers, having numerous outlet shops on the street.
45 Collins Street, Collins Place, Sofitel Forecourt
Enjoy bistro type dining in this place right off the Parliament, open all day long, this is a perfect place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is built on daily market fresh and seasonal ingredients. Open from 0730 till late on Mon to Fri, dinner is only served on Sat and Sun is closed. An affordable option would be their EAT PEI QUICK menu which is serve till 3pm. Their Lunch and dinner menu is great too. Reservation are recommended.
Cup of Truth
12 Campbell Arcade, Degraves St Subway (Below Flinders St Station
Another one of the hottest café in town. This is perfect for takeaway coffee and baked goods, the location is perfect too. Open from 0615 till 1530 on Mon to Thurs and till 1445 on Fri. Close on weekends.
Hammer & Tong
412 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
An all-day brunch dining establishment café with rustic chic décor and serving up modern Australian cuisines. Located in the heart and vibes of Fitzroy, one of the oldest district. Housed by Chef Simon Ward, the must try includes their soft shell crab sliders, pancakes, if you would like something sweet, the lavender yogurt custard is simply the one to order. Open from 7am to 4pm 7 days a week.
8 Rankins Lane
Vintage, Chic, Electric, this hype up hard to find café serve up delightful coffee and bagels. A much recommended dish would be their 12 hour slowly cooked pulled pork bagel. Open daily from 7am on weekdays and 9am on weekends till 5pm.
Crown Complex, South Bank, Melbourne
Located on the other side of Yarra River lies the well-known Neil Perry restaurant, being the most iconic chef of the down under. Located in Crown Melbourne, this place is open every day, however lunch is not serve on Saturdays. Price is pricy, but definitely can be said as fair given the quality and branding. Reservation are definitely recommended.
Vaults, 1-9 Federation Wharf, Vic 3000, Under Princess Bridge
Known as the urban beer market this place is great for some dinner drinks and hearty food. Open from 8am till late daily, they serve up all times of the day from breakfast to night snacks. Order some drinks and plates to share, taking in the fresh cooling Victorian breeze, the night is well spend.
177 / 183 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Well established and known Greek restaurant in Melbourne since 1978. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this place never rest and has a delivery services. Prices are affordable. Sometimes it is great to try something new and fresh. Located just a short walk away from the hotel, straight up.
24 Centre Place, Melbourne, Victoria
Located off Finders lane, in a small alley called centre place lies Aix. A salon that is perhaps so small that you won’t realise it. Aix serves up delicious crepe at affordable prices. This place is prefect to rest your leg and try out some of the most original creations. It is a must try, such as the raspberry and coconut crepe. Open from 6am to 5pm.
La Petit Creperie
There are two location in town, one full fledge café on Hardware Lane and the other is a reformatted newsstand selling just crepes on the corner of Little Collins and Swanston Street. The newsstand is just a stone throw away from the hotel, which makes things perfect. The café have more offerings though, their breakfast are well prices and affordable. The café is open from 9am till evening on weekdays and 8am from weekends and public holidays. They closed around 5pm and the only exception is Friday where they are open till 9.30pm. The street stall, however, is open from noon till 10pm daily.
16/309-325 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia Located inside the classic arcade shopping centre, this joint serve up a fusion of Thai Gourmet Burgers, this place is reasonable and have a great variety of burgers. Open daily from 11am to 4pm.
Mr Burger Food Truck
Melbourne Central – 211 Swanston Street 10am to 9pm
Queen Victoria Market – 93 Therry St 11.30 am to 3.30pm
Various other stalls as they have 7 truck and 4 stores, check a week ahead on mrburger.com.au for specific location. Perfect food truck experience, great burgers and fries!
Toasta Sandwich Food Truck
Location varies, check out Instagram, Facebook, Twitter for updates. Serving up no fills, delicious and unique sandwiches, expect, savoury handmade gluey sandwiches that are sure to fill your stomach.
Banh Mi Boys Food Truck
Usually located in Melbourne CBD area, check out their Facebook for updates. Check them out for the best Vietnamese food available in town, must try are their lemongrass pork belly baguette which are delicate and stomach appealing.
American Donut Kitchen (Queen Victoria Market)
Located right outside the market, check out the long queues at their van with freshly donut fragrant leading the way. Open from 7am till sold out which is roughly around 2pm. Grab a donut and wander thru QVM. Donut cost 6 for 5AUD or 1 for 90 cents.
Borek Stall (Queen Victoria Market)
Shop 95, Deli Hall
This stall is one of the must visit for freshly made borek. Popular choices include the ones with cheese and spinach, lamb, potato with vegetables. Costing from 3AUD, it’s one of the cheapest lunch in Melbourne.
535 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
The got to visit in Melbourne, you could never miss out this place and forgotten to make time for a bite on the world famous gorgeously decorated and made donuts. Sink your teeth in and you will never go wrong, located right in town. Opened only on weekdays from 7am till 4pm or while stock last. The creations sure blow you off your mind.
357 Collins St, Melbourne 3000
At the rear of the street which you will be able to enter via Fulham Place off Finders Lane. Offers great burgers and beer, price are considered affordable given Melbourne standards. Open from 11am to 10pm from Mon to Fri and 11.30am on weekends.
Rose Garden BBQ
435 Elizabeth Street
Offers good and affordable Chinese food, perhaps the great place to go to when we think of Singapore! Most option are under 10 AUD. Chicken Ribs are recommended. Open from 11am to 9pm daily.
Degraves Espresso Bar
23 Degraves St
As per mentioned above, this gem is found in Degraves Street. Nothing could go wrong with Panini and great freshly brewed coffee. A wooden bar and cinema seats, the vibes are never wrong here. Open from 7am till 11pm at night.