Located in Victoria, the southernmost state on mainland Australia, Melbourne is the state capital and Australia’s second most populous city. Voted by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the world’s most liveable city for five years in a row, Melbourne is situated on the large, natural Port Phillip Bay and extends into the hinterland toward the Macedon and Dandenong mountain ranges. Also located on the outskirts of the city, approximately 1 hour from the CBD, the popular vacation destinations of the Mornington Peninsula and wine country of the Yarra Valley await.
Melbourne is a coastal city of Victoria known for its tree-lined boulevards and stately 19th century architecture. The centre of the city is an eclectic mix of historic buildings and striking modern development including the iconic Flinders St Station directly opposite the contemporary Federation Square precinct. Cut by the famous Yarra River, the city is studded with plazas, cultural events, bars and restaurants. Across the river, Southbank boasts Melbourne’s Art Precinct home to a performing arts complex and National Gallery, displaying Indigenous and modern Australian art.
A funky city with a bohemian vibe, Melbourne is home to grand old buildings, fantastic shopping, a famous foodie scene and vibrant nightlife dominated by a thriving live music scene. Home to the largest functioning tram system in the world, Melbourne is famous for its intriguing laneways. A melting pot of culture, Melbourne boasts galleries, boutiques, antiques, retro and collectibles and has a diverse dining scene thanks the influence of migrants from Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Asian and African backgrounds.
Considered the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne is the birthplace of some of the nation’s most time honoured traditions including Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industry, the Australian impressionist movement and contemporary Australian dance. Melbourne is a major centre for theatre, music and street art and is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature. Melbourne is also home to some of Australia’s oldest and largest cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the State Library of Victoria, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building.
Further outside the city of Melbourne, the remaining state of Victoria is also home to a variety of popular attractions, including one of the most famous, the Great Ocean Road. Just 45mi from the city of Melbourne begins one of Victoria’s most famous attractions. A spectacular natural landmark and scenic coastal drive, the Great Ocean Road is an iconic experience stretching 215mi from Geelong all the way to the South Australian border. Hand built by returned World War 1 soldiers, the Great Ocean Road is a breathtaking coast road taking you on a journey of famous natural and tourist attractions including a shipwreck tour and the iconic Twelve Apostles.
Along this scenic coastal route you’ll discover many of the ships which have been battered by the rugged coastline of the Bass Strait along Torquay’s Historic Shipwreck Trail. You’ll also find famous Bells Beach in Torquay before giving way to Anglesea and Lorne and the Angahook-Lorne State Park. Continuing along Apollo Bay, you’ll pass through Princetown and Port Campbell, arriving at Peterborough and perhaps the most iconic attraction along the Great Ocean Road, the limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles.
Located approximately 4 hours along the Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are a group of limestone stacks located off the coast of the Port Campbell National Park and are a naturally occurring phenomenon that have become icons of Victoria’s and Australia’s spectacularly rugged coastline. Continue along the route to reach Warrnambool and attractions such as the Flagstaff Maritime Museum, a small passenger steamer, 2 functioning lighthouses and the breeding grounds of Southern Right Whales. Further along in Port Fairy the historic buildings of timber and stone are an incredible sight to see. If you follow the Great Ocean Road all the way to the end you’ll finish up in Portland and Nelson where Battery Point, heritage buildings and Cape Nelson Lighthouse all reward you with incredible views of the coast.