3 Full Days in Melbourne, need advise

Feb 25th, 2005, 04:24 PM
  #1  
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3 Full Days in Melbourne, need advise

We are 55+, very active and want to see and do it all. We are spending 3 1/2 weeks in AU and I'm approaching the touring in small sections, as it can be overwhelming. Problem is putting things in order without wasting time so we can do it all. We arrive in Melbourne 9:15am on Friday. Staying at the Kings Boutique across from the Carlton Gardens. We have reservations for the Colonial Tramcar (dinner inc) at 8:35pm on Fri. We are leaving on Sun at 8:00pm (airport). We would like to do the following: Puff Billy Railway,Rialto Towers, St. Kilda(on Sunday),Great Ocean Road tour, Queen Victoria Market, Ferry around the Yarra River,shopping is South Yarra, tram around the city. Do we have time for everything? What is the best way to approach this? We can forego the Penguins.Also would like ideas for great restaurants. Any suggestions appreciated. jb
jbstrig is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 09:17 PM
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Hello jbstrig,

Yes, much of your wish list is feasible. Try this:

FRIDAY

Land in Melbourne.

Catch cab to accommodation.

Check in or, if too early for check in, ask staff to store your luggage and put it into your room for you later.

Walk to Queen Victoria Market.

Have lunch in the food court at Queen Victoria Market.

Look around Vic Market.

Catch the free City Circle Tram that goes around the perimeter of the central business district.

Do 1-1/2 circuits of the City Circle Tram.

Disembark at Flinders Street Station.

Catch the Sandringham train (a Zone 1 ticket, encompassing the innermost of 3 concentric zones, will do).

Disembark at Prahran Market. You can walk, or use the tram along High Street to reach Chapel Street. (I imagine this is what you meant when you said South Yarra shopping.)

IF time permits, return downtown and go up the Rialto Towers. Of all the things you've mentioned, this is my least favourite attraction (but there are people here who love it). Anyway, in my opinion, if you have to sacrifice one thing, then I suggest that this be it.

Dine in the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.

SATURDAY

Get up early. Collect rental car. Drive the Great Ocean Road. See GOR directions in this thread:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34573529

In the evening go for a dinner cruise on the Yarra River. (Reserve in advance.)

SUNDAY

Go on the Puffing Billy steam train in the morning. Drive to Belgrave or alternatively catch a regular train from Flinders Street Station, downtown, to Belgrave Station (70 minutes). Then switch to the Puffing Billy line. Ride about half of the PB route. With your tight timetable, I suggest you go no further than Emerald Station. Turn around and go back to Belgrave and the Flinders Street Station.

In the afternoon go to the St. Kilda Craft Market. You can get there on the No. 16 Tram from Flinders Street Station.

After browsing through the market, walk along the Esplanade.

Return to your accommodation. Pick up your luggage. Catch a cab to the airport. Fly out.

NOTES

1. This is a pretty rushed itinerary, but that's what you seemed to be asking for.

2. I very much enjoyed the experience of riding around Melbourne in the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. It was fun to see the city passing us by as we dined. However, the food, while it was pleasant enough, wasn't anything to write home about.

3. Ditto for the dinner cruise that we did on the Yarra River. We loved seeing the sights. The food was fine, but it wasn't worth raving about.

4. I honestly don't know how you could fit in a couple of truly great restaurants and still do everything you say you want to do in the amount of time you have available.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 05:08 AM
  #3  
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Judy-
Thank you so much for your input...you did exactly what I had trouble doing and I will take your advise and make reservations where needed. Yuo made my day! JB
jbstrig is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Judy's advice is good but as a local, I would recommend that you don't do the dinner cruise after driving the Great Ocean Road. That will take you all day - the road is winding and at times travel is slow. You don't want to be beating the speed limits just to get back for a cruise on the Yarra.
On Friday, instead of going to Prahran market (which is good but not nearly as good as the Vic market), take a river cruise to Williamstown.
I'd also suggest that you either do Puffing Billy OR St Kilda on Sunday. It would be really rushing to try to do both. If you decide on St Kilda and have some time left over, there two excellent art galleries on St Kilda Road - the Ian Potter gallery (Australian art) at Federation Square and the National Gallery of Victoria on the other side of the river.
If you want to shop until you drop, try Bridge Road in Richmond (ten minute tram ride from the CBD) for factory outlet shopping.
marg is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 02:47 AM
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Just got back from Mlb. I had both Puffing Billy and Williamstown ferry on my agenda before I left home as things I hadn't done on previous visits. In the end did neither - both are weather dependent - don't you think? - and weather for the last few days was clement but not sunny.

Each to his own picks on the must sees. But neither of the above would feature in my first time list. The GOR for sure - but never done it as a day trip.

I do recommmend Federation Square - have a walk around if nothing else. The architecture is memorable. Last time I was in MLB there was only the one Nat Gallery of Victoria building. Now the collection has been split and the Oz Art is in the new Ian Potter Building.

Q Vic Mkt always fun.

I think really that you are over-reaching yourselves.

And if it rains and rains, check out the Immigration Museum. And if it doesn't, but you wake up late and miss that tour - try walking in the Botanical Gardens!
alice13 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 06:01 AM
  #6  
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Marg-I think you are right, we will not do the Yarra cruise, driving and taking our time on the GOR is top prioity. Where do the boats leave for Williamtown? Is it a ferry? Do we need reservations or do they leave regularly? St. Kilda seems more attractive than Puff Billy, do you agree? Shall we rent a car for the whole 3 days or just to take the drive and public transportation to St. Kilda? Thank you, jb
jbstrig is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 09:19 PM
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I'm glad you decided against a night cruise on the Yarra. I was thinking about it again last night (lying awake after the possums had performed a dance on our roof wearing hobnailed boots and finished their performance by a flying leap into the tree outside the window). To see the best of GOR you need to drive almost to Port Campbell which is 249 km west of Melbourne. As I said previously, the road is very winding and you won't want to rush. I would suggest as 'musts' looking at Loch Ard Gorge and the Twelve Apostles, plus if possible Mariners' Lookout at Apollo Bay. I'm sure you will want to stop and look all the way along, plus lots of places to eat, shop etc.
I'd only hire a car to do this drive, don't bother with a car in and around Melbourne. Parking is difficult (as in most big cities) and we have some very funny hook turns to accommodate the trams. Public transport is good and you should be able to get a senior's ticket - from memory, we pay about $2.50 for a full day's transport (trains, buses and trams).
The boat trip to Williamstown goes from Southgate. There are a few companies who do the trip. I think they run on a fairly regular basis. Try these websites - http://www.bayandrivercruises.com.au...es.com.auThese two websites ae good for general information - www.visitvictoria.com.au or www.thatsmelbourne.com.au - those websites may give you details. There are often free concerts around the city and you should be able to get details there.
St Kilda is fun, particularly on a sunny day. Lots of people watching. If you walk a bit further along the Esplanade, you will end up at Acland which has the most fantastic cake shops. Take the tram down St Kilda Road which will take you past some of the city gardens and the Shrine of Rememberance.
Incidentally when you pick up your hire car, make sure you ask about the City Link tollways. It is electronically operated and you need a pass to use it without being fined. Just a trap for overseas tourists.
Let me know if you want more info. Hope you have a great holiday.
marg is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 04:59 AM
  #8  
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Marg-You have given me a wealth of information...many thanks, jb
jbstrig is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Hi - just a comment on the Queen Victoria Markets. I have been away from Melbourne for 10 years and probably hadn't been to the QVM for some 5 years before that. Always remembered it as a vibrant market full of clothing manufacturers selling off their sample and seconds stock, great shoes, manchester, kitchen wear, leathergoods and absolutely packed with people looking for a bargain.

My mother and I went there the weekend before last and were very disappointed. Many of the stalls were empty and what was available was mostly of pretty poor quality (same sort of clothing you see in cheap stores at shopping centres). Don't know whether this was a common reflection of the market these days or just a isolated incident. This was a Sunday (usually the busiest day) and even the crowds were way down. I trust the food/produce stalls are still buzzing on the days they operate but I must say for a couple of chicks looking for clothing and shoe bargains we were bitterly disappointed.

Does anyone know if this is how the market commonly is now? I commented to mum that if someone had come from interstate or overseas and had this on their tourism must do's they'd be pretty disappointed - especially with the number of vacant stalls which gave it a very empty appearance.
Daneille is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:51 PM
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The Queen Vic market can seem quiet on Sundays as a lot of the fresh produce stalls are not open but don't miss going there as it is a really great place. Saturday is the best day. The French croissant shop in Elizabeth Street has great pastries and coffee, or try the doughnuts from the doughnut van.
marg is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 01:13 AM
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The information so far is great, you mentioned the rialto towers, do that second for a fab view of the city from high up. But first take the circular tram around at least one full circle and get a fabulous view of the city from low down and a great way to get your bearings. One thing not to miss (IMHO) is Melbourne Gaol we really enjoyed it there, wished I could have locked the teenagers in the cells and left them..lol.
I know people may frown but one of the best meals we enjoyed was at the Melbourne Hard Rock Cafe, it was a fabulous atmosphere reasonably priced and thoroughly good entertainment, good food too.
If you want to see some Penguins there is a cruise down the river, the full details I will have to dig up, but Marg will remember if she's about.
If she's on her hols I will dig up the info for you.

Have fun

Muck
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