Melbourne - 2nd leg proposed itinerary

Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 10:55 AM
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Melbourne - 2nd leg proposed itinerary

This is our second leg of our journey in Australia when we will be staying in Melbourne for 4 nights after our 2 days on the road of the Great Ocean Road for and the off to Cairns.

In Melbourne will be staying at Travelodge Southbank. Not thinking of doing car hire but using public transportation to get around. Let me know what your recommendations are. ? Regards Brazoo

Sept 17 ? Arrive in Mel around 9 am and get car at airport and head out on the GOR staying in Port Campbell at Twelve Apostles Motel & Country Retreat. Taking in the sites of The Twelve Apostles, the Marble Arch, the London Bridge, Loch Arch Gorge.

Sept 18 ?back on the GOR heading to Melbourne for the evening and a tour of the Rialto Towers Observation Deck

Sept 19 ?Queen Victoria Market for the Sunday market. Also if time go to St Kilda esplanade market with time permitting. In the afternoon head to the Melbourne Zoo followed by a Melbourne Yarra River Cruise

Sept 20 ? Go out to the Healesville Sanctuary and take in some Yarra Valley Winery tours on the way. Thought of using public transportation but might hire a car just for today.

Sept 21 ? Morning tour both the Fitzroy Garden and The Royal Botanic Gardens and spend rest of day visiting with my wife?s 20 yr pen pal from Australia.

Sept 22 ? Morning shop in Federation square and in the afternoon trip to see the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island with koalas and seals. Want to take public transportation if available instead of a tour and not wanting a car hire.

Sept 23 ? Depart for Cairns around 10 am for third leg of trip outlined in another posting on the board.

Here are a few other things we were thinking of doing in the area and not sure after the shopping what to add or drop:
- Shopping for an Opal for my 10 yr. wed anniversary gift to wife ? Any recommended Jeweler
- Sydney Olympic Park visit
- National Gallery of Victoria
- Melbourne Museum
brazoo is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:42 PM
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Hello Brazoo,

The two days for the GOR looks good. I think you could do more to consolidate the activities that require a car. The Penguin Parade is difficult to do without a car or guided tour. Phillip Island is quite far from Melbourne, and there isn't public transportation that goes all the way out there -- not that I know of anyway. I haven't attempted it myself in real life, but when I did a Google search about it a while ago, I also got the impression it would be tricky to get to Healesville by public transportation.

The good news is that sunset occurs at a more reasonable time in September than it does between Christmas and New Year, when I went to Phillip Island. When I attended the Penguin Parade, the penguins came ashore pretty late, and it made for a late return to Melbourne (well past midnight). The penguins should give you an easier time than they did me.

I also feel you might be overdoing the animal thing. I mean you're thinking of Melbourne Zoo, Healesville, maybe the koalas at Phillip Island, you have at least a couple of animal viewing opportunities built into your Sydney itinerary, and you have something along those lines tentatively pencilled into your Cairns itinerary as well. If you love animals, go for it, but I think you're missing out on opportunities to see some other special things.

So, in the next message, I will post a suggested revision of your itinerary.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:44 PM
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Fri, Sep 17 - Arrive in MEL, get car and head out on GOR.

Sat, Sep 18 - Return on GOR, head to Queenscliff. Take ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento, and drive from there to Phillip Island. Observe Penguin Parade. Overnight somewhere in the vicinity of Phillip Island. I'm not aware of too much accommodation being available out there, but a previous Google search has brought up some B&Bs in the area.

(Suggest moving Rialto Towers Observation Deck, which you were planning to do on Saturday night, to Wednesday night.)

Sun, Sep 19 - Drive from Phillip Island to Healesville and wineries. Drive to MEL by evening, and drop off rental car.

The advantage of this plan would enable you to consolidate your car-intensive activities into 3 consecutive days. The disadvantage of it is that you would miss St Kilda Esplanade Market, which is rather fun, but is not a "make or break" activity, IMO. Actually, the St Kilda Esplanade Market is the only one of the Melbourne activities you'd originally said you wanted to do that is just not feasible with this tweaked itinerary.

Consider scrapping Healesville and wineries and visiting the temperate rainforest-covered Dandenong Ranges instead. Perhaps go to Belgrave and catch a ride on the Puffing Billy steam train. Then check out places near Olinda : Rhodedendron Gardens (for the cherry blossoms), Mount Dandenong Lookout (for a view of Greater Melbourne), and William Ricketts Sanctuary (for an experience that I can only describe as magical).

If you do either of the above itineraries, it will have been a pretty full day. Suggest you postpone Yarra River cruise till Monday night.

Mon, Sep 20 - Morning walk through King's Domain and The Royal Botanic Gardens. Maybe skip Fitzroy Gardens which, while they are lovely, are not quite as great as the Royal Botanic Gardens, and are a little out of the way from the cluster of things I'm suggesting for today.

See if you can fit in the Shrine of Remembrance as well. I found it interesting and moving. It's right next door to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Afternoon at National Gallery of Victoria. Really worth it, most especially if you do the free 1.5 hour guided tour that explains the progression of art in Australia from the start of European settlement onwards.

The benefit of scheduling these activities on the same day is that they're located in a walkable cluster.

You would be very well placed, geographically speaking, to board a Yarra River Cruise after the above-mentioned activities. Also, I don't think the Monday activities would have been too tiring, so I think you could enjoy the cruise.

Tue , Sep 21 - Queen Victoria Market. It's closed Mon & Wed, so Tue morning is your chance to see it. Spend rest of day visiting with your wife's Australian pen pal.

Wed 22 - Morning at Melbourne Zoo, afternoon at Federation Square (combined with opal shopping, perhaps?), evening at Rialto Towers Observation Deck.

Thu 23 - Depart for Cairns.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 03:21 PM
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brazoo: All three legs look good - well planned. If it were me, however I'd make it a lot less city and a lot more country as that is what makes Australia unique. Count up how many wildlife parks you're going to - Healsville, Koala Park, Featherdale, Wild World. Seems to me the best place to see wildlife is actually in the wild. suggestion would be to take an extra day on the GOR for additional exploration. And, in Cairns, take an overnight trip out to Undarra. I know there are day tours from Cairns available but that seems like a very long day indeed. See a recent post of mine:

Cheers, Ralph
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 10:56 PM
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You could consider stretching your two day trip along GOR to three days and returning via Port Fairy, Mt Eccles National Park (koalas), the Grampians (kangeroos, koalas, emus, and great scenery) and then into Ballarat (old gold town, lots of interesting buildings; the Gold Museum and Sovereign Hill Folk Museum are both worth visiting, also the sound and light show in the evening).
Don't try to do Phillip Island and Healesville by public transport - almost non-existent and very time consuming. Either hire a car or take a tour. You could stay overnight at Cowes on Phillip Island (lots of motels) and cut across country to Healesville without back tracking into the city. If you want to see penguins without the long trip to Phillip Island (about 90 minutes each way), there is a tour from Melbourne CBD to a penguin colony in Port Philip Bay a short boat trip away.
If you hire a car to visit Healesville, it's worth driving 15 minutes further along the highway through the mountain ash forests outside Healesville.
In Melbourne look out for the free City Circle tram. If you are visiting our art galleries, there is a great collection of Australian art in the Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square and also the National Gallery of Victoria (just across the road) has a fantastic collection of paintings and other art.
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Old Jun 8th, 2004, 08:39 PM
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As you are in Melbourne in September during finals fever for Aussie Rules football, you might like to consider attendance at a finals game at the MCG(unique atmosphere) you can check the AFL website for ticket availability closer to the time (
The Royal Agricultural Show is also on whilst you are in melbourne. Easy to get to the Showgrounds either by the special show trains from Flinders St station or the 57 tram from Elizabeth st. It is open at night up to about 9pm, so could be a late afternoon excursion
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 10:33 PM
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Just to follow up on Marg's response regarding art.
From 17 June to 26 September, the National Gallery on St.Kilda Rd is hosting an Impressionist exhibition. 94 paintings representing the best of Impressionist art, with works from French galleries, USA and Australia. The first time all theses paintings have been exhibited together.
It is only in Melbourne and will not tour around any other galleries
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