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Good Base for a stay in Australia

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My husband and I are planning around a 6 week trip to Australia in January/February 2016 time frame. We do not like to pack up every few days and go to a new location. We like to pick one place and really get to know it and take day trips from that location (maybe one or two overnights). With that said I would like to hear suggestions what location to make our base. Right now I am thinking of flying into Sydney and staying for 5 nights. Then making Melbourne our base for a month and then maybe one location in New Zealand at the end of the trip for a week or so. We do like to stay in city locations but also love the beach. We are big foodies and love to try many restaurants. We are not big hikers but do love to walk around beautiful scenery. Would appreciate any input. Thank you in advance.

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