Melbourne - September 2009, Travel Digest


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Feature I wrote on Melbourne for the September 2009 issue of Travel Digest. I travelled to this destination as part of this writing assignment.

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Melbourne - September 2009, Travel Digest

  1. 1. Real Melbourne Bike Tour, along Melbourne’s Yarra River. Must-see Melbourne A range of exciting new developments in Melbourne are contributing to its appeal as a leading world city and expanding its reputation as a “must-see” international destination, as SARAH WEEKS discovers on her first visit to this truly cosmopolitan city. I f you’re a first-timer to Melbourne, such Brunetti, famous for its lavishly designed Docklands, is home to the main public as myself, I highly recommend a Real cakes. With 15 full-time pastry chefs and an precinct, which boasts an exciting ongoing Melbourne Bike Tour. Not only is it a extensive selection of divine sweet and programme of events and festivals and visitor good way to gain your bearings of the savoury treats, it’s easy to see why this place attractions. To further enhance Melbourne’s city, but it’s also the best way to get up close is always packed out! shopping experiences, recent additions to the and personal with the “real”’ side of The famous original Queen Victoria precinct include the open air Harbour Town Melbourne. Melbourne-owned and operated Market is also a popular stopover on this shopping precinct, containing a variety of since 2002, this bicycle tour company runs tour. With everything from fruit and brand direct outlet stores offering shoppers daily tours from the riverbank at Federation vegetables, fresh produce and delicatessen up to 70 per cent off the regular retail price - Square. Hop on your bike and explore the goods to clothing, plants and pets, the market a great place to grab a bargain! The city’s grooviest streets, parks, shops, cafes, is renowned as a gourmet paradise with its development also includes a Costco shopping hidden laneways and multicultural vibrant and friendly atmosphere. Its origins outlet, which opened in August this year. To neighbourhoods. All tours are in small date back to 1857, with many of its buildings assist access, tram infrastructure is also personal groups making for a fun, informative classified by the National Trust. being upgraded to facilitate the City Circle and easy way to learn about some of From the very old, to the very new, free tourist tram service to the site, which Melbourne’s exciting history. Group tours Melbourne’s latest development, Docklands, will be completed this year. can also be customised to include particular is irrevocably changing the look and feel of If you love living life on the edge, then sights of interest and tour guides never follow the city. The area is quickly evolving into a prepare yourself for awe inspiring views from the same path, creating a unique experience premium waterfront destination for an the highest viewing platform in the Southern for each tour. Lunch is included at one of the estimated 20 million visitors each year, home Hemisphere at Melbourne’s iconic Eureka many famous Italian restaurants in Lygon for another 20,000 people and a thriving Tower, currently the world’s tallest Street, also known as Little Italy. During our workplace for 25,000. Waterfront City, a residential building. Skydeck 88 is tour, we stop at the delightful patisserie, 19.3 hectare, $1 billion mixed-use precinct at Melbourne’s newest “must see” attraction. Travel Digest, October 2009 23
  2. 2. melbourne InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto. Two dedicated lifts propel visitors to Level 88 in under 40 seconds – and only Skydeck 88 can give you the world’s only Edge Experience – a switchable glass cube which slides out from the building – with you inside! For those who are looking to venture out of the city, Oceania Tours and Safaris offer day tours from Melbourne to Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road in small groups of up to 12, which are offered in four languages (English, German, Italian and Spanish). Being the nature and wildlife lover I am, a visit to Phillip Island seems like the perfect option during my stay. Only 90 minutes from Melbourne, penguins parade across the beach, treetop boardwalks lead alongside koalas, farm animals grace an island-farm and a new marine centre invites wild discovery at Phillip Island Nature Parks. The world-famous Penguin Parade is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and must-see if you’re visiting Phillip Island. Each night just after sunset, the world’s smallest penguins, the Little boardwalks and viewing stands allow guests to enjoy all the penguin Penguins, emerge from the sea and waddle ashore as fast as they can action, without harming them or their burrow homes. (they’re very shy creatures!) to their sand dune burrows, where their Nearby the penguin action, the Koala Conservation Centre female companions lie waiting for their return after a day’s fishing at enables guests to encounter koalas from tree-top boardwalks that sea. This is a truly memorable natural wildlife experience. Elevated meander through a natural bush setting. Phillip Island Nature Parks will open a new Koala Conservation Centre with a strong focus on environmental sustainability and education to complement koala viewing in December this year. Australia’s newest marine attraction, the Nobbies Centre, provides an awe-inspiring view of the spectacular “nobby” headland formation, which supports the country’s largest Australian Fur Seal colony close to the Penguin Parade. Inside the Nobbies Centre, guests can enjoy live cameras that allow enthusiasts to zoom in and out when photographing the seal colony or unwind in the café after exploring the coastline on boardwalks that weave through nesting bird colonies to a blowhole formation. Crown Towers is a rare haven of luxury located on the southern banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River in the heart of the city’s arts and leisure precincts. As soon as you arrive in the hotel foyer, you are instantly transported into a world of luxury as you are greeted with marble floors, a grand staircase and elegant chandeliers. Crown Towers hotel has recently completed a comprehensive enhancement of the property’s luxurious accommodation rooms and suites. The result is arguably Australia’s most refined and inviting hotel experience offering guests an unrivalled level of luxury, comfort and technology. My personal favourite feature is an LCD television actually set into the bathroom’s mirror above the deep soak bath - the perfect way to relax and unwind after a busy day! Adjoining the hotel is the Crown Casino, one of the largest and most dazzling gaming facilities in the Southern Hemisphere offering an incredible array of gaming options in a vibrant and sophisticated setting. The main gaming floor stretches for more than half a kilometre – enough entertainment to keep you going all night long! Causeway Hotels, Melbourne have recently opened the new Causeway 353 Hotel, which joins two other city-based hotels in the Causeway group. Offering a variety of deluxe, spa and suite 24 Travel Digest, October 2009
  3. 3. melbourne FAST FACTS accommodation within its 142-rooms, the facilities and services expected of a luxury ● Airlines flying to Melbourne hotel’s location is the primary attraction with international hotel, including a variety of five include Air, New Zealand, Qantas, only a brief walk to the major shopping star dining establishments and bars, Club ● Currency is the Australian dollar. precinct, festival venues and other attractions InterContinental which overlooks Collins $NZ1.00 equals $A0.81. of Melbourne, including world-class Street, private business environments and a restaurants and a variety of theatres. The unique collection of suits that take advantage ● Melbourne Spring Racing hotel has an in-house gym, wireless internet of the building’s gothic heritage. Each room Carnival, Australasia’s premier and an in-house restaurant – not to mention has its own unique character and one horse racing event, from 30 September to 18 November, with the five-star service offered by the wonder- interesting feature is the remote-controlled Melbourne Cup day on 3 ful staff! blinds, adding that extra special touch in November at Flemington If you’re looking for accommodation that the evening. Racecourse. mixes old with new, a stay at the recently The new $150 million, 20-storey Hilton opened InterContinental Melbourne The Melbourne South Wharf, opened its doors ● Australian Open Tennis, Rialto is just the ticket. As the only luxury for the first time this year. Located in the the grand slam of Asia / Pacific, hotel in Melbourne’s financial district, it has city’s evolving South Wharf district, the hotel Melbourne Park, 18 to 31 January been transformed from one of the city’s last provides guests with easy access through the 2010. and best remaining examples of 19th century hotel lobby to the new Melbourne ● Australian Grand Prix, gothic architecture into a world-class Convention Centre. All 396 rooms feature including motor shows and air international hotel. The hotel combines the striking wood interiors complementing the displays, Albert Park Grand Prix historical aspects of a true architectural icon floor-to ceiling glass windows that provide Circuit, 25 to 28 March 2010. with an exciting and unexpected one of the best views of the city and the ✈ contemporary design and offers all the Yarra River. Hotel Causeway Causeway 353 Hotel Causeway Inn • Accommodation Executive Room • Accommodation in Deluxe King/Twin Room • Continental Buffet Breakfast • Continental Buffet Breakfast On The Mall • Newspaper to the room • Newspaper to the room • Continental Buffet Breakfast • Use of our Gym and Steam Room • Use of our Gym and Steam Room • Accommodation in a Queen Room AUD $168 .00 AUD $140 .00 AUD $126 .00 per room per night per room per night per room per night (2 night minimum stay) Reservation code: TVLDG. Rate valid until 30 November 2009 excludes special events. Subject to availability. Hotel Causeway Causeway 353 Hotel Causeway Inn On The Mall 275 Little Collins Street 353 Little Collins Street 327 Bourke Street Mall Melbourne Vic 3000 Melbourne Vic 3000 Melbourne Vic 3000 Tel: 61 3 9660 8888 Tel: 61 3 9668 1888 Tel: 61 3 9650 0688 Toll Free: 1 800 650 688 Travel Digest, October 2009 25