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Vacation - Melbourne Vic.

Updated on December 19, 2015
The Art Center Spire in Melbourne
The Art Center Spire in Melbourne

A Melbourne Vacation.

I live in Melbourne and have for many years, in fact I have spent more than 30 years here.

What I know is that when vacationers  come to Melbourne for an extended vacation they really should consider the inner city as the choice location to base from.

Superb world class accommodation and dining abound in the Melbourne Central Business District.

Inner Melbourne has the wide Yarra river right at the city centre with wide shaded walkways You can be in dense forest within a five minute walk to The Royal Botanical gardens which comes right down near the river in the heart of the city and trees are everywhere providing shade, atmosphere and shelter.

You can sit in a garden or have a barbecue or picnic, take a boat up the Yarra river and disappear in to the bush if you like, although you will find a hundred secluded places inside the Botanical gardens and all along the miles of open space right in the city centre.

All this and so much more at your fingertips! If you are near the Flinders St railway station just walk across the Flinders St Bridge and drop down through the cool walkway on to the river bank.Coin operated barbecues are strategically placed all along the wide slopes of the river bank overlooking the CBD. What a city!

Not only is Melbourne a beautiful place to live, it is a waterside city with trams in all the major streets, an underground rail loop that can drop you at all the strategic places in this wonderful CBD with an extended rail and tram system that covers the inner and most outer suburbs, although the trams do not go down the peninsula or in to the Dandenong ranges, or some distant suburbs.

You are never far away from transport, and taxi's are always on the road, but this is a city that covers a bay 90 miles long, so new freeways can keep travel time down but get used to wide open spaces once you leave the city proper. I love it.

Day or night, Melbourne is a vibrant modern city with first class hotels and accommodation. It is also home to the Crown Casino, and the perfect city for vacationers who want it all close to their hotel.

Great places to eat.

Grossi Florentino.

Inner city. On Bourke Hill

The ultimate Italian restaurant. Beautiful decor, class to the last. Florentinos has more to offer than the restaurant. The grill and the cellar bar Also have a food menu.

The restaurant is luxurious. The walls are lined with wonderful art. Service is first class in this Melbourne icon. Very fashionable place for the rich and famous to meet for dinner.

Summery: Florentinos is a fabulous place for a special meal or just to lift your spirits. Formal by Australian standards. Expensive, but great value for money!

25 Collins St City.In the Sofital Hotel on the 35th floor


OK The view is fantastic from up here!

So is the food! Great selection of wine, fabulous service and attention to detail. Huge glass walls with towering ceilings, you sure get a sense of space up here!

Summery: No35 is right up with the best in this city of great restaurants, as different experience as you can imagine from Florentinos,

Many locals love this modern style of eating. The decor is warm despite the high ceilings.Formal by Australian standards. Expensive, but again, great value for money.

249 Little Lonsdale St city.

Match Bar and Grill.

This is a very popular meeting place, with an 80 seat restaurant with a large balcony that is a very special feature.

the decor is mostly furnished with bench seating and stools along the bar. Very modern and sleek, with DJ's and live music.

You can dance at the Match Bar & Grill as well.

Summary: The Match Bar & Grill has great food and atmosphere. Informal.Reasonable prices for great food


Situated on Toorak Road in the Toorak Village.Romeos has a good variety of food, great friendly service, great choice of wines and beers right in the middle of one of Melbourne's premium inner suburbs.

Romeos has always been a benchmark for less expensive Italian restaurants. The rich in Toorak like value for their dollar!

The wall of Federation square.
The wall of Federation square.

Federation Square.

Opposite the historic Swanston Street Railway Station in the heart of Melbourne is Federation Square.You will want a photo of both in the one frame if you can, as both buildings are architectural marvels and at opposite polls when it comes to design and appearance.

This is the wall you see from outside Swanston St Station. Quite a contrast, the new Federation Square has theaters, art galleries, a museum, restaurants, exhibitions, shops, bars and open public spaces and entertaiment for the kids as well as aboriginal artwork displays and much more for the vacationer.

All the big worldwide hotel groups showcase their hotels in Melbourne. Downtown there are two Hilton Hotels, one on the park, the other in Russel St. Check them both out as they are very different in location and market segment and both are first class.

Melbourne CBD has wonderful old buildings among the newer skyscrapers, walkways and arcades are everywhere but unlike Sydney, a lot of the shopping is above ground, so sheltered footpaths and awnings are common..

Huge department stores like Myer and David Jones transverse whole city blocks with overhead walkways to get from block to block without crossing the busy street., little side streets full of restaurants of all nationality, fine dining that is world class, this is Melbourne.

Architecture is varied and much of it could have been lifted out of London, marble buildings with huge doorways, massive Victorian arcades, use of granite blocks for foundations or whole buildings made of granite stone from convict days, beautiful Sandstone buildings from the same period, sculpture and the arts featured on major streets, the inner city is a magic place with a free tram to get you around.

Melbourne has a very modern Art Center (shown on right) and old world bridges right in the heart of the city, with Flinders St railway station backing on to the Yarra river.

Downtown can be as busy as New York with pedestrians especially at lunchtime on a week day.

Flinders St. Melbourne.

The old and new.
The old and new.

The heart of Melbourne

In the heart of the city, as you approach the Swanston Street Bridge you will spot the art Centre Tower. It is lit with movable colored lights and looks like a fairy tale image at night.

This area has a daytime market in the warmer months, and there is another market down the bottom of a wide set of steps that leads down to Southbank and the Crown Casino.

The Crown Casino attracts many big money gamblers, who like to dine out on the quality food in the many restaurants on the river as you stroll down to the Crown Casino.

They offer a mouth watering variety of quality food. The competitive is fierce to get the edge here and the customer is the winner! Hooray!!.

There are places to eat inside the casino Crown Casino which has it's own world class restaurants. Many of the other streets of inner Melbourne have fine restaurants and Yum Cha restaurants in Chinatown up the Russel St end of Little Bourke St are world class as well.

Entrance to the Melbourne Zoo the oldest in Australia.
Entrance to the Melbourne Zoo the oldest in Australia.
Riga the laid back gorilla at the Melbourne Zoo
Riga the laid back gorilla at the Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo

I know many major International cities have Zoos, but ours is huge and starts right at the top of the city centre on a very large piece of land.

Melbourne Zoo is the oldest Zoo in Australia, established in 1832 . More than 350 different animal species from all over the world can be seen in the zoo’s attractive enclosures and purpose designed botanical settings.

You will also be able to wander through rain-forest as in Africa and Asia displaying tigers, otters, gorillas, pygmy hippopotamus, mandrills, or see an extensive collection of Australian animals.

The natives include kangaroos, wombats Koala's and platypus. Other highlights include the steamy Butterfly House (where hundreds of Australian butterflies alight upon the visitor), the Wonderful New World of Bugs, the Trail of the Elephants and regular meet-the-keeper opportunities throughout the day. You can get close to life-size animals, or at least several touch and feel statues that let you feel the size and shape of a number of animals, including the Australian platypus, a most unusual mammal.

Orangutans may greet you at the Melbourne Zoo
Orangutans may greet you at the Melbourne Zoo

See unique animals in the city

Unless you travel a bit in Australia you may not see a kangaroo, and as for the elusive platypus, unless you know exactly where to look is near impossible to see.

You can see both at the Melbourne Zoo without leaving the city, along with other unique natives.

Eureka Towers in Melbourne
Eureka Towers in Melbourne

Eureka Towers

Melbourne's tallest building the Eureka Towers is located in the CBD and is 300 meters high.

That makes it one of the worlds tallest building, if you do not include the towers on the top of other worlds tallest buildings it is right up at the top of the list.

Built by a local Melbourne company, we are very proud of this landmark building.

It has a skywalk experience that takes a brave heart! The glass floor is too clean and you feel you are suspended in space!

Just going to the top without the skywalk will be enough excitement for some.

There are many other towers over 200m in the CBD just like major US cities.

The old and the new have been blended in Melbourne to keep a sense of propriety old world class with ultra modern high rise.

This city is one of the worlds greatest in many ways. Clean, with a wonderful bayside location and the best food you will find.

Melbourne restaurants cover every cuisine you can imagine with the Asian and European foods cooked with Australian vegetables and meat, it tastes better than where it originated from, and Melbourne is a fine place to eat out with fine dining resaurants all over the city.

Eureka Skydeck a frightening experience for most!
Eureka Skydeck a frightening experience for most!

The skydeck at the top of the Eureka building.

If you want to see who the real hero is in your family you could go out on the sky deck, which hangs out of the building.

I have done so, and even as an ex climber, it scared the daylights out of me!

If you look at the floor area you can see what it's like to be out there, pretty scary!

Rialto Hotel Melbourne


Many of Melbourne's big name hotels are very modern as is the Rialto Hotel pictured, but the Rialto people chose to keep the beautiful old facade from the 1800's which gives the building an amazing effect by contrasting with the very modern hotel behind it.

Needless to say accommodation is first class at the Rialto as in all these big name International hotels, with fast cabled networks in all rooms and brilliant IT service.

I have recommended this hotel to friends often if they have needed to be in that part of town.

I agree with the whole idea of keeping these old buildings or at least their facade as this is Melbourne as it was, handcrafted by craftsmen, many of whom were convicts.

The Windsor Hotel Melbourne

The Windsor is another Melbourne hotel that has remained in the old building situated at the top of the city on Spring St near Government House and the cinemas in Collins and Spring Streets.

I have spent some time there over the years and one of my friend's wedding reception took place there. The food was fabulous, the service old world.

The Windsor Hotel is an experience not to miss, even if you just drop in for a quiet beer.The cricketers bar is full of cricket history and it is a fine place to sample our beer on a hot day in the city.

The Windsor was the home of a well known Melbourne eccentric for many years. He had the whole Penthouse to himself, and people always wondered where he got the money for his lavish lifestyle!

The Hilton in Russell St is a very nice Hotel with lovely rooms and great restaurants which are a major meeting place for visiting businessmen.

Innovative cuisine and a huge range of desserts and cakes are always on hand for quick meetings over wonderful coffee.

I like the restaurant at the front of the hotel for a meeting place when I am downtown for convenience, and many visiting business friends have chosen the Hilton over the years I spent as a downtown businessman in Melbourne and it is still very popular today.


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