Travel Time – A Date with Melbourne

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Arguably Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne is undoubtedly the home of outstanding food and spectacular art, coupled with world class sporting events and superior sightseeing. if you haven’t been to Melbourne lately, then you’re really missing out.

It’s true that Melbourne is still home to many of the things we all know and love, like trams and football, but with its multiculturalism, edgy street art and limitless choices for extraordinary food, some say Melbourne has overtaken its nearest rivals.

If it isn’t enough to be the cultural kings, then consider the blue-ribbon sporting events that Melbourne serves up each year. Many world events call Melbourne home and bring festivals and activities to accompany them. The Australian Open, a premier Grand Slam event on the world tennis calendar has called Melbourne home since 1972, whilst 2016 will be the 55th year of the world’s oldest and most prestigious surfing event held annually at Bells Beach. Closer to home, Melbourne is home to a football culture like no other, where they proudly house 10 out of the 18 professional AFL teams.

Melbourne is a melting pot of cultures, and this is reflected in their food. You can find everything from street food through to the finest dining in the country, with a sample of every possible cuisine within walking distance of the food streets of Lygon St and St Kilda Rd. Take time to wander through the laneways and stop in at some of the country’s finest casual dining, or if you’re lucky (and rich) enough, then consider booking into Melbourne’s premier entertainment complex, Crown – the short-term home to world renowned Chef, Heston Blumenthal, who has temporarily relocated his 3 Michelin star London restaurant, the Fat Duck.

Within driving distance of Melbourne is some of the finest sightseeing in the country.  Heritage listed and stretching 243 kilometres between the cities of Torquay and Allansford, The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s best coastal drives and the ideal viewing platform for the magical 12 Apostles. For an eclectic mix of stunning white beaches interposed with hi-octane motor sports, then don’t miss the opportunity to visit Phillip Island. Make the pilgrimage to the Penguin Parade to observe the penguins as they emerge from the sea and waddle across the beach to their sand dune burrows, or soak up all the action at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Hire a car and escape from the city to indulge in the finery of the Yarra Valley food and wine region. Fine wines and local produce are housed in historic surrounds, all within easy reach from Melbourne. Or if luxury is on your mind (and budget), then consider spoiling yourself with gourmet food and indulgent accommodation in Daylesford, known for its natural mineral springs and fabulous local produce. 

With direct and affordable flights from Coffs Harbour, there is no better time to hop on board and explore Melbourne and all she has to offer.

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