Planning Your Time

The free City Circle Tram is an easy hop-on/hop-off way to see many of the city's sights in a short time without exhausting yourself. The Parliament House tram stop goes to the Princess Theatre, the grand Windsor Hotel, Parliament House, the "Paris End" of Collins Street, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Get off at Flinders Street to take a peek at the infamous Chloe painting in Young and Jackson's pub, and then walk over the Princes Bridge. There you can stroll the banks of the Yarra, looking back at Federation Square, before checking out the restaurants, shops, and the casino in the Southbank precinct. A trip to the Eureka Skydeck, the southern hemisphere's highest viewing platform, puts the city into perspective, and from there you can decide whether to head northeast to Fitzroy for an amble along groovy Brunswick Street, or north to Carlton to immerse yourself in Little Italy.

You might squeeze in a bit more exploring at the Treasury Gardens and Captain Cook's Cottage in the adjoining Fitzroy Gardens, or meet the sharks at the Melbourne Aquarium, opposite Southbank. On your second day, stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens and see the Shrine of Remembrance. Afterwards, take a tram along St. Kilda Road to the hip Acland Street area, in the suburb of St. Kilda, for dinner. On Day 3, tour Chapel Street's shops, restaurants, and bars.

If you have additional time, head east to the Yarra Valley for an organized winery tour or ride on the Puffing Billy steam train, which leaves from Belgrave and travels through the fern gullies and forests of the Dandenong Ranges. On the way back, stop at a teahouse in Belgrave or Olinda and browse the curio stores. If possible, take an evening excursion to Phillip Island for the endearing Penguin Parade at sunset. A trip to the Mornington Peninsula wineries and Arthurs Seat, just 90 minutes south of Melbourne, is another great day out.

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