The ‘other’ gateway to Australia, Melbourne is the cultured cousin to brash and boisterous Sydney. Regularly voted Australia’s most liveable city, Melbourne is the Aussie capital of sport, music, fashion and the arts. Fly to Melbourne from Glasgow Airport and experience Australia’s sophisticated side.
First-class second city
Melbourne and Sydney are tied neck and neck in the battle to be Australia’s favourite city. Sydney may have the bright lights and beaches, but Melbourne has the culture and the penguins. The waddling waterfowl are centre stage in the seaside suburb of St Kilda and on Phillip Island, south of the city at the entrance to Western Port. Culture takes centre stage in the museums and theatres of downtown Melbourne – essential stops include the futuristic art spaces of Federation Square (corners of Swanston and Flinders Streets), the National Gallery of Victoria (180 St Kilda Road) and the Melbourne Museum (Nicholson Street, Carlton Gardens), the largest in the southern hemisphere.
The British seaside resort gets an Australian makeover in Melbourne. Rainbow-coloured beach huts face onto rolling Australian surf at Brighton Beach, while the descendants of Scottish islanders built the pastel-coloured pier and seafront Esplanade at St Kilda. A trip to the Luna Park in St Kilda is still Melbourne’s favourite sunny day out. The Oz-meets-the-old-country vibe continues along the Great Ocean Road, at iconic surfing towns such as Torquay and Anglesea.
Take a trip along the Yarra Valley to see Melbourne at its most refined. The suburbs of Toorak and South Yarra are Melbourne’s most exclusive postcodes, where millionaires’ mansions have private yacht moorings on the Yarra River. Upstream, the valley morphs into wine-growing country, with a string of elegant wineries offering tasting tours. When Melburnians need space to exhale, they head for the hills, or more specifically the lush green hills of the Dandenongs and Grampians. In Grampians National Park, a dramatic sandstone ridge thrusts skywards, decorated by Australia’s richest collection of Aboriginal rock art.