Backpacker Melbourne

Backpackpacker Accommodation Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital of the State of Victoria and with a population of over 3 million it is Australia’s 2nd largest city.

Melbourne is wrapped around the shores of Port Phillip Bay, with the city of Melbourne or CBD about 5 kilometres from the bay on the northern bank of the Yarra River.

Melbourne is a planned city laid out in a tidy, balanced grid making it an easy city to get around.

It is connected by an extensive train, tram and bus network.

Melbourne’s trams have been modernised and no visit to Melbourne is complete without a ride of our world famous trams.

In addition, the Yarra River runs through the centre of Melbourne and a boat trip on the Yarra – “the river that flows upside down” is not to be missed.

Melbourne’s climate can best be described as variable.

It is not unusual to experience all four seasons in one day.

Summer (December to February) can be warm to hot with an average temperature of 26C (79F).

Winter (June to August) is cold and damp with averages of 12C (54F), nowhere near as cold as Europe or the USA and there is no snow.

The annual average rainfall is 600 mm, October being the wettest month and March the driest.

Melbourne is a vibrant city being home to people from over 40 nations.

Every racial, religious and ethnic group coexist in this most multicultural of multicultural cities.

BACKPACKING IN MELBOURNE

Melbourne offers backpackers many varieties of hostels and accommodation homes scattered throughout the suburbs and the CBD.

There are over 40 backpacker hostels in Melbourne ranging from the very large Multi storey establishments usually in the CBD to smaller boutique backpacker/hostels in the suburbs.

The hostels are mainly situated in the CBD and surrounding suburbs or alternatively in Prahran/Windsor and St Kilda, usually where a backpacker would find fabulous bars, clubs and nightlife.

Melbourne is very backpacker friendly and it is easy to ask anyone in the street for directions or advice about where to go.

Backpackers would find Melburnians extremely helpful and accommodating.

Backpackers coming to Melbourne can enjoy its unlimited facilities.

Melbourne has been voted the World’s most liveable city.

MELBOURNE – WHAT TO SEE WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO

SPORT

Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia.

Football

It is where Aussie rules football was born. This has now spread throughout Australia.

Aussie rules football is played in the winter months from March to September culminating in the Grand Final which is held on the last Saturday in September which is a major event for Australia in the home of football the MCG.

In excess of 100,000 people attend the game and hundreds of millions watch it on TV around the globe.
The ball is an oval shape unlike a soccer ball.

The rules are quite different.

Cricket

In the summer months cricket is played throughout Melbourne with inter club and interstate matches.
The Australian cricket team plays one day internationals and 5 day test matches against other cricket playing countries.

The showpiece of Australia’s summer of cricket is the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Cricket personalities known world wide are Shane Warne, an Australian, who is now the world’s greatest spin bowler, living in London, the current captain being Ricky Ponting.

Tennis

Melbourne owns a world class tennis centre known as the Melbourne Tennis Centre or Rod Laver Arena.
The Australian Open Tennis is the first Grand Slam event of the year. The world’s best tennis players are in Melbourne to compete for the Australian title in January.

Tickets are always very much sought after and booked months in advance.

The tennis centre has a sliding roof and on wet days it is closed and the match is conducted indoors.

Golf

Melbourne has the largest number of championship golf courses in Australia.

Also there are private course such as Metropolitan, Royal Melbourne, and Kingston Heath which have all hosted world championship golf.

Located in the heart of Melbourne is the Albert Park public golf course and driving range where anyone with even an hour to spare can have a hit of golf.

Soccer

Australian soccer has steadily gained in popularity.

The Australian soccer team "The Socceroos" have won a place in the World Cup to be held in Germany in 2006.

Increasing numbers of young Australians are now taking up the world game and as a result the standard of soccer in Australia in Australia is reaching world’s best.

Horse Racing

Melbourne is host to world class horse racing.

There are daily and weekly races.

The highlight is the Spring Racing Carnival which culminates in the world famous Melbourne Cup – "the race that stops the nation".

The Melbourne Cup is the only horse race in the world which merits its own public holiday (Melbourne Cup Day) first Tuesday in November.

Motor Racing

The Australian Forumla1 Grand Prix is held at Melbourne’s picturesque Albert Park Lake in early March.
The Grand Prix is a four day extravaganza of speed and glamour around the Albert Park Lake which is close to the centre of Melbourne, almost within walking distance.

The worlds’ fastest cars and the world’s most exciting drivers converge on Melbourne for this weekend of hype.

Motor Cycle Racing

Victoria’s Phillip Island is the world’s best motor cycle venue.

In October the Motorcycle Grand Prix is held over seven action packed days at this spectacular venue.

DINING

Melbourne has over 2000 restaurants from gourmet dining to casual bistros.

One can be spoilt for choice in the vast spectre of Melbourne’s dining culture.

Melbourne has, over several generations,gained its nickname of the Dining Capital of Australia.

Chapel Street hosts a variety of wonderful restaurants such as Cafe e Cucina, Tusk, Tokyo Tepenyaki, where you can sit and watch the many interesting and sometimes famous people strolling by as you enjoy a meal or a cafe latte.

Commercial Road near the corner of Chapel St, is the gay capital of Melbourne.

It is dotted with restaurants, cafes and bars.

Toorak Road is famous for its more upmarket restaurants.

M Bar in Toorak serves Modern Australian with a touch of Europe.

Romeos’ next door is a great pasta and steak eatery.

France –Soir in South Yarra is famous for its authentic French cuisine.

Toorak Road extends into South Yarra where there are restaurants after restaurants from cafes to 5 star dining such as Lynch’s and Bacash.

Victoria Street Richmond is another Saigon.

Vietnamese restaurants fill this street which can be walked in perhaps half an hour.

They abut each other and you can chose from at least 50 eateries, among the most popular is Tho Tho’s which serves authentic Vietnamese food in a modern 5 star setting without the 5 star price.

All you need do is walk the strip and find a restaurant of your choice.

Melbourne’s CBD hosts some wonderful restaurants.

For that special night out you cannot go past Flower Drum which should be ranked amongst the best Chinese restaurants in the world.

Ezard at Adelphi serves exquisite modern Australian food with Asian influence for that special night out.

However there are many casual fine eateries that would suit all budgets and pallets.

All ethnic groups are represented in the CBD. The most prominent being in Chinatown in Little Bourke Street, with dozens of Chinese restaurants where you can either do Yum Cha all week or weekend or pop in for lunch or dinner.

Not far from the CBD is Carlton and the famous Lygon Street which offers many Italian restaurants and cafes open till the wee hours.

You can stroll along Lygon St and eat gelati at any time of the day or enjoy your pasta in a bistro or restaurant.

A little further along is bustling Brunswick St. Fitzroy one long boulevard with countless restaurants of every style and ethnicity.

Acland St and Fitzroy St St Kilda offer formal and casual dining at its best.

There are too many to suggest but in Acland St you will find continental cake shops run by all ethnic groups with probably 6 languages spoken at once. Buzz, excitement and vibrant!

Pubs & Bars

In Chapel St you are surrounded by pubs and bars.

The College Lawn and Station Hotel are located just off Chapel St in Greville Street.

The Old Windsor is in Chapel Street as is the Candy Bar.

Windsor Castle

Prahran Hotel is in High St near Chapel and then you cant go past the Boutique bar.

La La Land in Chapel St rages most of the night.

The Back Bar is (saloon style), with its ornate furniture is a contrast to the others. It is located in Green St. near the corner of Chapel Street, across the road from one of Melbourne’s funkiest backpacker hostels, the Back of Chapel.

We are negotiating drink deals with this bar.

The Espy in St Kilda is a Melbourne legend with local bands playing in the front bar.

The Melbourne Wine Room in Fitroy St St Kilda is for wine lovers as is the Vin Cellar Café in High St Prahran.

The Armadale Hotel is well known for its social life and live shows in High St Armadale.

The Botanical is a pub/bar with a first class restaurant adjacent to it and across the road from the famous Botanical Gardens.

If beer is your thing you must try the Belgian Beer Café in St Kilda Road, which is the premier boulevard of Melbourne.

Gardens

Victoria is known as the Garden State and Melbourne is dotted throughout with magnificent parks and gardens.

The famous Botanical gardens are of world class standard, minutes from the heart of the city.

It is a tranquil oasis of natural beauty surrounding a serene lake scattered with ducks, swans and geese.

Located adjacent to the gardens is the Sydney Myer Music Bowl which hosts concerts and live shows in a garden setting.

Fiztroy Gardens are located on the other side of the CBD and is another wonderful showpiece of Melbourne.

Shopping

Melbourne’s CBD has 2 major department stores, Myer Melbourne and David Jones.

There are in addition hundreds of speciality stores within the Melbourne Central, and along all the other major streets of the city, housing many designer stores and some bargain shops also.

Small lanes cris cross the city with some exciting finds for the adventurous.

Shopping malls exist in many suburbs with Chadstone being the largest in Melbourne, with hundreds of shops including major department stores and smaller exclusive shops all undercover on three levels with easy parking.

There are many Westfield shopping centres around Melbourne's suburbs.

Melbourne’s premier retail fashion district is located in Chapel St- South Yarra Windsor and Prahran.

Chapel St has over 1000 shops all within walking distance.

It is a place to be seen and has established a reputation as Melbourne’s style capital at the cutting edge of fashion and style.

You can find World famous designers next door to funky hip fashion.

The expensive abuts the grunge.

Just off Chapel St is Greville St, its edgy atmosphere has pulling power for the young, creative and the innovative.

Fascinating shops and boutiques, funky colourful fashions, eclectic gifts, unique jewellery books and music.
There is a street market every Sunday.

The Jam Factory houses numerous shops as well as a cinema complex and dining facilities and also the famous Borders Book Store where one can find books on any topic imaginable and a wide range of music.

Other exciting shopping areas include Bridge Rd Richmond, Malvern Rd Hawksburn and High St Armadale.

Markets

Queen Victoria market is just north of the CBD and is the largest market in Australia. It has been trading since 1859 there are over 1000 stalls which sell everything imaginable at affordable prices.

On Saturday morning Melbourne’s population descends here for the gourmet delights, fruit and vegetables, seafood, and deli fair . on Sunday the market resembles London’s Portobello road with bric a brac second hand goods, souvenirs, all manor of clothing and Australiana.

This is where you can find the now world famous Ugg boot at cheap prices. These were worn as slippers by the locals until Kate Hudson wore them out in the Street in Los Angeles. The average price is under $100aud.

Prahran and South Melbourne market are interesting places to visit for fresh fruit and vegetables and gourmet delicatessens, where you can take away or eat in.

Museums

Melbourne Aquarium is on the banks of the Yarra River.

It offers an interactive journey into the aquatic world over 4 levels of modern design and distinctive architecture.

The Melbourne museum is situated in the heart of Melbourne and is one of Melbourne’s great museums.

You can stroll through a lush Australian forest, see how Melbourne evolved, view magnificent indigenous objects and even stand face to face with the legendary race horse far lap.

The museum features an IMAX theatre and Australia’s only interactive cinema game ice immersion cinema experience.

Science Works is Melbourne’s award winning science and technology museum offering a unique interactive experience. It features the new Melbourne Planetarium the only Planetarium in the Southern Hemisphere to feature digital technology creating a virtual reality of space travel and moving through the universe.

Sites to see

Victorian Arts Centre, Parliament House, Federation Square, Young and Jacksons are all located in Melbourne’s CBD.

For a panoramic view of these sites and of all the sites of Melbourne take the express elevator to the top of the Rialto Tower the tallest office building in the Southern Hemisphere.

The soon to be completed Eureka Tower, will be the tallest residential tower in the world and will house on its top floor an observation deck 88 storeys above the Southbank precinct.

Williamstown is a historical village where you can stroll the beaches or shop on the market. One can get to Williamstown via a ferry from St Kilda Pier, cheap ride, from where you can spot the Melbourne skyline.

The Melbourne’s zoo has recreated sympathetic habitats for all its animals which road almost freely in familiar environs.

The local ferry penguins, kangaroos, platypus and koalas live next door to the exotic species of the sub continent and Asia.

Cinemas and Theatres

Melbourne is home to Australia’s best live shows.

Theatres abound the CBD such as Her Majesty’s Theatre, Princess Theatre and the Regent Theatre which is showing The Lion King.

Melbourne’s theatres are often heritage listed magnificent buildings which could be seen as an architectural delight to enthusiasts of heritage buildings.

The Victorian Arts Centre encompasses the Melbourne Concert Hall, Arts Complex and National Gallery, beneath a soaring spire.

The Astor theatre in Windsor, which is walking distance from Back of Chapel backpackers, houses multicultural theatre as does the Victory in St Kilda.

Theatre life abounds during the Melbourne Arts Festival late in 3rd quarter of the year and the Comedy and Film Festival.

Melbourne has hundreds of cinemas in shopping strips and shopping centres and malls as well as in the CBD.

The latest movie releases from around the globe are featured at the same time in Melbourne.

Beaches

Melbourne is located on Port Phillip Bay with its many secluded beaches.

The most popular of these is St Kilda beach where one can roller blade or bike ride freely on the purpose built track adjoining the water.

Cafes and restaurants surround the green environs abutting the beautiful white sand.

Sporting events such as netball and beach volley ball often are played by teams on the beach.

There is the Esplanade Market a few steps up the hill on edge of St Kilda Beach which is on every Sunday.

Luna Park is adjacent to St Kilda Beach full of fun rides such as the big dipper railway line for the thrill seekers or the merry go round for the young at heart.

Melbourne’s beaches continue along the south east coast line all the way to Portsea, Sorrento also being a popular vacation destinations for Australians as it offers both a surf beach and a calm bay beach.

Crown Casino complex has not only casino but entertainment with multiple theatres, restaurants, shows, right on Southbank. It is a world class casino and entertainment complex with bars and restaurants, food hall, games room even suitable for children. Hourly fire show nightly on the Yarra River. A must see.

TRAVELLING BEYOND MELBOURNE

Dandenong Ranges

Anhour’s drive from the city are the beautiful Dandenong Ranges with towering forests of Eucalypt Ash and Gum trees and native ferns.

Native fauna includes the protected Lyre bird.

The Dandenong Ranges National Park cover 3215 hectares with the 633 metre Mt Dandenong as the highest point.

You can explore the craft and antique shops dotted throughout the charming cluster of villages of Kalorama, Sassafras, Monbulk, Emerald and Kallista.

The historic Puffing Billy train starts from Belgrave and “puffs” its way through a 25 kilometre trail of forest sites and scenes to Gembrook.

Healesville Sancturary is a great way to see Australia’s flora and fauna in a natural settting.

Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley has been home to some of the countries vineyards producing some of Australian’s finest wines. It is an hour east of the city.

Wines can be tasted and purchased and there are numerous excellent restaurants in wineries.

Great Ocean Road

Is a must for all travellers. It is one of the worlds most spectacular scenic drives arguable in rivalling the Riviera.

The road was blasted out from rock with curves and bends along breathtaking cliff tops with the sea just below.

If you take the road all the way you will end up in the famous sea side town of Lorne with many other beaches on the way offering world class surfing.

Further along are the 12 Apostles which rise majestically from the ferocious waves of the southern ocean.

These dark and brooding monoliths change colour with the passage of the day and are one of the worlds most photographed natural phenomena. Watching the sunset over the 12 Apostles is an experience not to be missed.

www.gowest.com.au

Mornington Peninsula

Within 1 hour drive of Melbourne the Mornington Peninsula embraces rolling hills and pastoral lands, sparkling bay beaches and rugged surfing enclaves hugged by breathtaking coastal landscapes.

You can swim, surf or visit the numerous wineries.

The Red Hill Community Market attracts hundreds of people from the city and nearby areas.

The Portsea Back Beach has some of the best surf.

The seaside resort of Sorrento is a popular holiday choice. You can take the car ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula, the gateway to the Great Ocean Road

Phillip Island Penguins

The unique Phillip Island is accessed by bridge from the mainland.

It is 125 kilometres south of Melbourne.

This holiday island is renowned for the enchanting Fairy Penguin parade . Famous throughout the world the penguin’s nightly parade from the sea to their sandy burrows on Summer Land Beach attracts thousands of spectators.

www.gowest.com.au

Snowfields

The Victorian ski season officially begins on the Queen’s birthday weekend in June and extends to September.

Both downhill and cross country skiers are catered for in a wide range of destinations all just a few hours drive north of the city.

Falls Creek in the Victorian alps is renowned for its European styled village, quality of its snow and length of the ski season.

Mt Buller is 3 hour drive from the city and caters for all skiers from beginners to the most experienced
Mt Hotham, the “powder capital of Australia” can be accessed by plane in just 21 minutes from Melbourne.

Grampians

Situated 260 kilometres from Melbourne, close to the South Australian border is the stunning Grampians National Park. The Park is characterised by sharp, sandstoned peaks, sheer cliff faces and jagged rock formations.

Halls Gap particularly in Spring and MacKenzie Falls are two of the highlights of this beautiful region.

Goldfields

Gold was discovered in Victoria in the 1850’s. The historical towns of Bendigo, Ballarat, Maldon and Castlemaine are a reminder of the gold rush earlier times.

Malden 137 kilometres north east of Melbourne has been classified as the best preserved town in Australia of the gold mining era.

In Bendigo there is still architecture reflecting the enormous wealth generated by the gold find.

Ballarat as well as being remembered as a gold mining town is also famous for the Eureka Stockade when a band of diggers rebelled against the government of the day.

This is the only time in Australian history when Australians have taken up arms against the Australian Government.

Sovereign Hill historical park is one of Victoria’s main tourist attractions. A living museum which recreates life on the 1850’s goldfields.

Visitors can pan for gold, ride a Cob and Co. Coach and stay overnight in an authentic 1850’s lodge. There is a gold museum and a Chinese museum.

Gippsland, Lakes and wilderness

The Coast of eastern Victoria is breath taking. It is wild and untamed.

Three hours drive from Melbourne is Wilson’s Promontory, the largest coastal wilderness in the state.

Gippsland Lakes are a unique phenomena where the waters of five rivers terminate.

This results in Australia’s largest inland waterway with lakes, lagoons, rivers and beaches.

The Ninety Mile Beach is spectacular and separates the lakes from the ocean.

Eildon Weir is one of Australia’s largest man made lakes, an hour and a half drive from Melbourne.

One can hire a houseboat and enjoy the wonders of tranquillity.

Spa Country

In the Hepburn Valley is Hepburn Spa Resort.

The area has several mineral springs whose waters are considered to have health giving qualities.

Nearby Daylesford situated on Lake Daylesford provides excellent accommodation including the Lake House which has one of Victoria’s best restaurants.




Copyright to Leah Freilich 2006

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