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Short Escape

Great DrivesWith a population of over three million, Melbourne is the nationís second largest city. Located on the Yarra River and close to vast Port Phillip Bay, this is an elegant, European-style metropolis that is unlike any other Australian city.

A great way to get your bearings is to start your Melbourne sightseeing from the Rialto Towers Observation Deck - from fifty-five storeys up youíll have an astounding view of the bay, the city and its surrounds. Other City Centre attractions include Chinatown and some great shopping around Collins Street and the Bourke Street Mall. Remember that itís easy to get around this central area on the free City Circle Tram.

North of the City Centre, you can visit the Old Melbourne Goal, bustling Queen Victoria Market and the excellent Melbourne Zoo, while the eastern city district contains the legendary Melbourne Cricket Ground, worth a visit for its museum and tour, and the Spring Street area, featuring leafy Fitzroy Gardens, St Patrickís Cathedral and Parliament House.

Take some time out from sightseeing for a leisurely cruise on the Yarra, then head across the river to the vibrant Southbank Promenade area. This is the home of the Southgate shopping and dining precinct and the vast Crown Casino, one of Melbourneís newest attractions. South of here, donít miss the National Gallery of Victoriaís fine art collection and the delightful parkland of the Royal Botanic Gardens and neighbouring Kings Domain.

Melbourne is famous for its colourful suburbs, with their excellent dining and shopping - head north to multicultural Fitzroy and Italian-style Carlton, and south to St Kilda, where youíll find a beach and pier, the Luna Park entertainment complex, many cafes and bars and plenty of lively street life.

Where to Stay

Time Required: Anything from 2-4 days.

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