By Christine M. Soltis

Step into the Southern Hemisphere with a trip to Melbourne, Australia.   Indulge in the intrigue of this cultural center where you will find a creative mixture of art galleries, royal gardens, sports museums, beaches, rivers, and so much more.  

To visit Melbourne, Australia, the closest airport to this destination is Melbourne International, otherwise known as Tullamarine Airport (MEL).   By using the following link, can help you book your flight here: ( While you're at it, don't forget hotel accommodations here: (

Begin your tour with a roundabout view of Melbourne atop the Rialto Towers & Observation Deck.   The tallest building in the area, this deck can be found on the 55th floor and allows for observation of Melbourne, along with Port Phillip Bay. recommends utilizing binoculars and cameras to make your view more up-close and personal.   Stay a little longer and watch the Rialto Vision introductory video, which gives a summary of top spots to visit within Melbourne and Victoria.

Next, suggests you head to the center of Melbourne and take some time at Federation Square.   Here, you will find a plethora of attractions, one of which is The Ian Potter Centre- The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).   With over twenty galleries to peruse in their oldest public art gallery, you'll see photography, textiles, drawings and more.   Within is a vast scope of Australian works ranging from contemporary to Colonial. recommends a stop at the separate second branch of The National Gallery of Victoria as well, which houses even more works of art.   Also dubbed NGI International, this second branch reopened in 2003 after extensive renovations.  

Keep a steady pace of exploration and afterwards, take a trip to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.   You will be able to see popular culture movements via photography, video, sculpture and more.   But don't stop in this bustling city! recommends you move on over to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.   Here, you will see one of the world's first and largest galleries of screens dedicated to the moving image, ranging from the inception of film to the digital advances of now.    

For outdoor ventures, suggests a walk or hike along the Yarra River to enjoy more of the exciting city view.   After your walk, take a dash past the sporting shrine known as Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).   First opened in 1853, MCG is widely used to host a variety of sporting events. thinks you should continue your outdoor trek with a visit to the spectacular landscapes of the Royal Botanic Gardens, where you will see a magnificent blend of plants from across the world.   Take this moment to relax just enough to observe beautiful black swans in action.   Check a local calendar for the area's seasonal events and festivities.  

If you run out of time, on your next day of outdoor adventure, don't forget a trip to Melbourne Zoo.   Take some time to see exotic animals at the oldest zoo in Australia, which is also the third oldest in the world.   Thereafter, recommends a journey into deep waters without getting wet at Melbourne Aquarium.   Come face to face with coral reef atolls, sharks and more in their numerous halls.   If this gets you pumped up for more outdoor adventure, take a trip out to Brighton Beach.   Create excitement in your day with views of decorated sheds, more city skyline views, tempting blue waters and inviting beach sands.   Or take a day to travel further out of the city to enjoy the wilderness of the outback, skiing options, mountain views and exotic wildlife.  

When the day wears you down, indulge in the city life of Melbourne with a stop in a stylish cafe.   For dinner, join in on their love for food with a wide range of restaurant choices.   Multi-cuisines are possible, with Japanese, Indian, Asian food and even more.   After dinner, suggests choosing a jazz venue, bar or club for drinks and to soak up even more of the stylish blend of another culture.

Melbourne, Australia; it may not be right out back, but it's certainly a place where you will long to go back.


  • 1. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
  • 2. National Gallery of Victoria
  • 3. Melbourne Museum
  • 4. Melbourne Zoo
  • 5. Saint Andrews Church
  • 6. RAAF Memorial
  • 7. Werribee Open Range Zoo
  • 8. Immigration Museum
  • 9. Saint Kilda Beach
  • 10. Shrine of Remembrance


  • 1. Montsalvat Jazz Festival - January
  • 2. Summer Music Festival - January
  • 3. Asian Food Festival - February
  • 4. Irish Festival - March
  • 5. Melbourne Food and Wine Festival - March
  • 6. Melbourne International Comedy Festival - April
  • 7. Next Wave Festival - May
  • 8. Maverick Arts Festival - July
  • 9. Melbourne Fringe Arts Festival - September
  • 10. Spring Racing Carnival - October/November


Sheraton Melbourne
27 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia
By Joanna Lee

Situated in the midst of the Central Business District of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel is only minutes from many of the city's key attractions and about 12 miles from the Tullamarine Airport and around a mile from the Southern Cross Railway Station. Other nearby transportation is available. Check in begins at 3 pm and check out at 11 am. For guests with a car, self-parking and valet parking are available for a nominal fee. Another notable service offered is luggage storage.

Guests can also book the Executive Terrace and Federation Terrace Suites or the Treasury Garden Terrace Suite. Traditional rooms overlook the city streets and are equipped with a 40-inch LED TV. Accessible rooms are available on request. Superior Rooms offer a stunning view of the city skyline with a 47-inch LED TV. Deluxe Rooms come attached with adjoining water closets and bathrooms. Grand Deluxe Rooms are located on the higher floors where guests can admire the Treasury Gardens and the Melbourne Cricket Ground. All rooms have the option of either a single king-size bed or double twin beds. Terrace Suites feature living rooms and furnished balconies overlooking the city and Little Collins Street. The Treasury Garden Terrace Suite is located on the 14th floor with views of the Treasury Garden and is equipped with a living room and a dining room. Standard amenities for guests include a safe for laptops, a complimentary newspaper, and nightly turndown service. Wireless Internet access from guest rooms is available for a nominal fee.

There's plenty to see and do during your stay at the Sheraton Melbourne.   The Melbourne Museum, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and Queen Victoria Market are all only minutes away, and as bustling as the city is, there are several forms of transportation to get you there, like the bus, train, or tram. There's plenty to check out back at the hotel as well. Relax at the spa or get your adrenaline pumping at the indoor pool and the 24 hour gym. When you're tired and hungry from seeing the sights of the city or a day at the gym, get a bite to eat at the Terrace Bar, Little Collins St. Kitchen, or simply dining in your room. For anyone wanting to surf the Internet, complimentary Internet access is available in a meeting room and in Link@Sheraton.

For more information to begin your Melbourne adventure with the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel, visit (


Westin Melbourne
205 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia
By Sarah Hay

Whether you're in Melbourne on business or pleasure, you can't find a more desirable location than Collins Street, and you can't find a more desirable hotel than the Westin Melbourne, found in the midst of the Central Business District. Flanders Street Station, Federation Square and the Arts Centre, are all a short walk from the hotel. The bustling city of Melbourne and all its shopping, dining and art attractions surround the Westin, and guests will find Australia's famed coastlines, wildlife reserves, and rainforests just an hour's drive away.

Business guests will find a host of corporate offices nearby, including KPMG, Westpac Banking Corporation, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as Melbourne Exhibition and Convention centers. The hotel offers a dedicated floor of seven meeting rooms, which hold up to 160 guests, along with complimentary wireless access throughout all meeting rooms.

Your relaxation begins with the Wellness Centre, which features a lap pool and sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, WestinWORKOUT gym and massage room. The Westin Melbourne even offers on-call beauty therapists, who can help restore your tranquility with facials and manicures. Entering your guest suite, you'll immediately feel at ease, with amenities that make you feel pampered and rested. Every room features a 42" LCD TV, iPod docking station, broadband high speed Internet access, for a slight fee. If you're hungry, there is 24/7 room service, coffee and tea amenities, a bathroom telephone and hairdryer, a digital desk phone with international direct dialing, and the hotel chain's famous Westin Heavenly Bed.

Guests looking for a nibble, or more, will love the Westin's Allegro restaurant, lobby lounge and martini bar. If you're up for an evening on the town, the metropolis of Melbourne is waiting for you to discover all its wonders, whether by tram or on foot. With a check-out time of 11 a.m. and a check-in time of 3 p.m., you'll find plenty of reasons to stay a day longer at the Westin Melbourne. Here at, we can get you the best deal possible! Just click on this link: (


Pullman Melbourne On The Park
192 Wellington Parade, Melbourne, Australia
By Janelle Clark

Enter the entertainment and sports district of East Melbourne and stay at Pullman Melbourne On The Park (formally called the Hilton On The Park Melbourne hotel), check in is at 2 p.m. It is approximately 12.5 miles from Melbourne/Tullamarine International Airport (MEL) giving an easy access to a fairly priced stay at contemporary well-furnished hotel to give a comfort close to home. If need be parking is available with the option of valet. The rooms have great views of the city and encourage an elegant stay at Pullman Melbourne On The Park.   Views also include the Fitzroy Gardens, Rod Laver Arena and Melbourne Park for those sports lovers.

Every room contains high-speed internet access and large luxurious overviews to the city. For a bit of an upgrade the lovely style Boutique rooms have separate contain bathe rooms with an excessive amount of space and seating areas separated for a bit of privacy. If wanting a fancier stay the Executive room would be perfect, Executive Lounge access would suit a lavish leisurely stay. Free breakfast and refreshments throughout the day and pre-dinner drinks in the evening are also included in the Executive room for a nourishing stay. This suite is family oriented, it is wheel chair accessible, rooms two adults and a child, and contains baby sitting and room service.

Grab a bite in the Gallery Restaurant with kitchen demonstrations, or maybe unwind at the Park Lounge bar. Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool for visitors, relax at the spa and indulge in the Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and whirlpool, and even salon. Take a walk on the busy streets of the city, if preferred take a train or rent an available bike for faster transportation. Travel five minutes into town to indulge on shopping and various choices of restaurants. Watch the Australian Open Tennis Championships and horse racings at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and outdoor Moomba Festival are also go sees to really feel out the Melbourne experience. When the Melbourne stay is at its peak checkout is at 11 a.m. Check out at ( for a good deal.