Melbourne & Environs - itinerary advice pleeeze!

Oct 17th, 2007, 06:02 PM
  #1  
scn
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Melbourne & Environs - itinerary advice pleeeze!

We (being 2 adults, one 4yo) will be in Melbourne for 10 nights at the beginning of December. This is the general plan, anything worth changing????

1st night is sorted (Novotel Glenwaverly) as will then be going in the direction of yarra valley, puffing billy & then down mornington peninsular.

Perhaps then 2 nights in Sorrento, (any accommodation recommendation would be most helpful, preferable self catering).

Can't decide on Phillips Island or not, it would be our one chance to get to see the penguins (how would you say it compares in "wow factor" to the bird colony in Port Fairy, different species aside, which we have been to earlier , it was pleasant enough...)

Over on the ferry then 2 nights in Lorne (maybe Phoenix apartments - is that place still well rated?).

Remaining 5 nights somewhere in Melbourne CBD, preferably an apartment rather than hotel. We have previously stayed at Pacific Internation Exhibition and would be happy to go back there, although it is always nice to try somewhere new. any ideas.

Thanks in advance.
scn is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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If it is this December my advice is to make your bookings at Lorne and Sorrento immediately. They are major holiday destinations for Victorians and even now you may be lucky. I always think Phillip Island is worth it as there are not too many places where you can see one of nature's wonders i.e. 700 plus Penguins waddle across the beach at dusk. Everybody loves it. Pacific International has some good apartments in excellent locations. I like the one on City Road, Southgate for its convenience.
DownUnder is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 10:17 PM
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You can take a boat trip from Southbank to see penguins in Port Philip Bay. There may not be as many but it would save a long trip to Philip Island. I understand it goes most evenings and includes a BBQ.
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Oct 20th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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That boat trip from Southbank is nowhere near the spectacle of Phillip Island where the Penguins emerge from the ocean after a days fishing, waddle across the beach and then find their individual burrows. Aso PI has koalas and seals.
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Oct 20th, 2007, 06:51 PM
  #5  
scn
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Thanks for your replies. Appreciate the reminder to get on with booking accommodation. At this stage probably will skip PI in favour of more time in the vineyard area!
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:10 PM
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I suggest that you spend 2 days and 1 night in the Yarra Valley / Dandenong Ranges area. Stay the night in the Dandenong Ranges .I assume you are hiring a car and driving yourselves ? Some lovely accomodation in Olinda .In the Yarra Valley don't miss Tarrawarra Vineyard and Gallery.Superb setting with lovely vistas , wonderful gallery and very nice food for lunch in the tasting room .See yarravalley.com.au and dandenongrangestourism.com.au . Also think about Marysville for a night .A wonderful drive about 1 hour from town through the Black Spur , which is a road lined with huge mountain ash trees , until you reach this lovely old town that has been a "retreat" town for 100 plus years .Some lovely spots to visit such as Stephensons Falls and also very good accomodation at reasonable prices .J
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 06:59 PM
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I like JohnFitz's suggestion - and would add, in the Dandenongs, the William Ricketts Sanctuary. You will be enchanted, as will your 4yo.
http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/resources/04_0217.pdf
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 10:02 PM
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I agree Bokhara that it is charming.Ironically our " country " place is nearby .Just an hours drive from the city and we are in another world.
scn , also consider lunch at Ripe in Sassafras ( just past Miss Marples Tea Rooms )Only uses regional produce , kid friendly and wonderful food - breakfast ,lunch and snacks only. Hot chocolate made from Lindt chocolate etc .Surrounded there by nice shops - antiques , fabulous toy shop for the 4 year old called Gepettos .Also the Sky High restaurant at the top of the Mt with lovely views .

In Melbourne checkout any rentals at Paramount .In Bourke St near corner of Exhibition , parking etc
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 10:56 PM
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Hi JohnFitz; I've just had a fantastic few days in "your backyard" ... lunch at The Rocks at Mornington, then across to Inverloch, down to Tidal River & back up through that jaw-droppingly gorgeous Gippsland country to stay with friends on an acre at Croydon. Took the road across the back way from Loch - Leongatha, Launching Place etc. Gosh, there's some stunning spots down there! I lived in Melb for a year & this just reminded me (again) how much I love Victoria. Oooohhh, the colours in those huge boulders going through Wilsons Prom Nat park (sorry, scn - just couldn't help myself!)
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Oct 24th, 2007, 12:48 PM
  #10  
scn
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JohnFitz - thanks for your suggestions - we will do some more looking at maps etc. It would certainly be nice to travel somewhere we have not been before. For accommodation in the first week of December would you say it would be best to pre-book eg in the Olinda area.
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Oct 24th, 2007, 01:39 PM
  #11  
scn
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Thanks Bokhara I've looked at your website link for William Ricketts& it would be worth stopping if we are on that route. Looks like a manageable stroll/walk with a 4 year old & will be good training for hours of walking thru shops in the city in the days following. !!

JohnFitz - I checked those links as well, Linden Gardens looks lovely, not sure if they welcome kids though! YarraValley website still a work in progress.

We'll do further trawling thru websites etc. We have 6 days/5 nights with a car to travel outside of the melbourne CBD.
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Oct 26th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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Sorry for the delay in responding SCN. Booking will depend if it is a weekday or a weekend .I recommend you book a self contained cottage at "Lochiel" in Olinda . It is a small group of about 5 cottages built about 3 or 4 years ago .Look at www.lochielaccommodation.com .Very simple unfussy decor - one of the few in the hils that does not have brass beds and lace .It is about 3 minutes walk up to cafes etc and a few minutes down to a little shop that stocks basic groceries and milk ;the Mt Dandenong Bakery ( lovely bread and baked sour cheery cheese cake- my weakness ) ; a fruit shop ; the local hotel which does a good pub meal ; an antique market / shop selling from $1> and run by very nice people who always offer 10% discount even if paying by credit card; nice pizzas etc .So you get the drift ?.If you do stay the one place I must advise you avoid is a cafe , I think still owned by the people who own Lochiel called Credo . They offer discounts etc to guests at Lochiel . Do not eat there. It used to be fine simple well cooked careful food but last 2 times we went ( albeit 2 years ago)the food and service was a disgrace .As a result we vowed to never go back .There a lots of nice alternatives .Woods at Sherbrooke Forest on the forest road is lovely .If you like gardens go to Cloudehill which is a nursery( expensive ) with a lovely open garden and a very smart attached cafe. It is at 89 Olinda Monbulk Road, Olinda .Happy to answer any other questions for you but I am a bit slack about regularly logging on so be patient . J
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Oct 31st, 2007, 01:17 AM
  #13  
scn
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Thanks JohnFitz. Just logged in again & seen your comments which are gratefully received, must confess we had trouble finding a place that did not show pics of 4-poster beds & floral stuff everywhere, but had previously spotted the one you recommended (lochiel). We are nevertheless thinking we will probably stay in Healesville, (a great sounding place opening for business mid November) which is a bit further out than we originally planned. As it will mean 2 nights now in that area (at the cost of overnighting in Sorrento), we will definitely do the Dandenong tourist road & stop at some of your recommended places. Also very grateful for your earlier Tarrawarra recommendation which looks promising.
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Nov 1st, 2007, 07:27 PM
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My pleasure and have a lovely time .
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