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Why fly to Melbourne?
A drive down Ocean Road will tell you why Melbourne is a city to soothe the nature lover's soul.
Melbourne is a bit of a secret since its larger sibling Sydney often takes the spotlight. But Australia's second most populous city and the capital of the state of Victoria is growing into its own. The Ocean Road winds along the Victoria coast and has views that are far more than just photo-sharing worthy. The sun set and sun rise should be captured printed and hung.
The city is located in the bay of Port Philip and is strongly connected with the local and neighboring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, which refer to the city as Kulin Nation. Numerous galleries in the city feature arts and crafts from the communities.
Over the recent decades the city has become home to a large international community and no where is this as apparent as at a little not-for-profit restaurant called Lentil as Anything. The vegetarian and vegan restaurant is largely volunteer-staffed by these new Melbourne residents and you only pay what you think your meal is worth. So fly in for the great natural beauty and then get to know the local community a little better with a feel-good-for-you meal.
Melbourne is a city of festivals and celebrates many throughout the year including the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival among many others. Numerous performance halls support a thriving cultural scene.
For a beautiful day out of the city and a chance to see animals in their natural habitat, head to Phillip Island and see little guys in tuxedos. The island is home to thousands of penguins. Then make your way to the Koala Conservation Center on the island for a cuddly koala experience.
The Royal Botanic Gardens located near the Yarra River are a source of city and national pride. A tour to the gardens will shed light on indigenous Australian species as well as plants from around the world.
Melbourne is also a big sports city and hosts many events, among the largest are the Australian Open, Australian Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup.
Melbourne weather is fairly mild throughout the year. Winter temperatures don't fall much below 5 degrees with August usually being one of the cooler months. Summer in the city means a warm 20 degrees in December through until early March. Rainfall throughout the year is moderate.
When to fly to Melbourne
Flights to the city are at their most expensive in December and January due to holiday season as well as the warm weather in the city, especially for travelers from Western countries who fly into the city to escape the cold. January is also when the Australian Open takes place and results in seats selling out fast.
Book early enough and head to the city for July and August at a reasonable rate due to the cold weather. If you are looking for warmer weather and a deal then November and March may be your best bet.
Getting into Melbourne
You will fly into Melbourne Airport, which is also known as Tullamarine Airport locally, it is the second largest airline gateway in the country. The airport is just 20 minutes outside of the city center and you can use either the airport shuttle, public bus transport or taxi to reach your destination.
Getting around Melbourne
Although the city is highly reliant on automobiles, an old and established public transportation system exists. The city boasts a city-wide integrated tram system and extensive bus service. Ferries and taxis run on the Yarra River. For an Eco-trip around town the city also provides a bike-sharing service.
- For a truly original Melbourne taste experience head to Josie Bones. The restaurant serves up beer with various dishes using every part of the animal, at times combinations you would never imagine. For example, enjoy smoked eel parfait with chicken skins and grill hop-smoked ox tongue with piccalilli.
- Head to the Queen Victoria market for some shopping and be saturated in the hubbub of activity. Start your trip off with a nice lunch at the market and then dive in and check out arts and crafts from around the world. You can also pick up some fresh produce if you happen to be staying in a place that will allow you to cook or add something to the kitchen.
- Head to the Melbourne Zoo and find a fascinating range of animals from from meerkats to orangutans. A visit to the zoo is especially is especially great for children who can get up close to the animals and also participate in the zoo's learning program.
- The Oceanarium at the Melbourne Aquarium is also a great learning adventure and a chance to get up close and personal with sharks, if you would like to have that experience of course.
- If you are headed into Melbourne in the winter head to the Chill on Ice Lounge and Ski Lodge located near the Yarra River. A drink at this lounge is truly a unique experience, just bundle up because everything is made out of ice including the seating.
- Compare flights to Melbourne from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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