2011's tourism hotspots: What to do in Melbourne, Australia
Tuesday 05 April 2011
Melbourne has been sidelined by the tourism bulldozer that is Sydney for as long as anyone can remember, but Australia's thriving second city looks set to reclaim the spotlight in 2011.
The recent series of new hotel and restaurant openings helped Melbourne earn a place on the New York Times 2011 destination roundup, and its fame was bolstered domestically last month with the news that it has overtaken Sydney in terms of popularity for domestic travellers.
High hotel prices in Australia's traditional tourist mecca no doubt helped, but Melbourne has been making a name for itself as a very different experience for travellers thanks to its exceptionally strong creative industries and arts scene.
Often described as more European by visitors thanks to the abundance of parks and sidewalk cafes, this is a city which has now firmly found its footing in terms of international tourism - so what can visitors do in Victoria's capital city?
Walk in the park - Melbourne is jokingly referred to as Australia's garden city, and boasts green spaces filled with rare plant species and neatly landscaped grounds.
Admire the art - With an art scene acknowledged by many to rival those of leading cities such as Berlin, London and New York, Melbourne caters for almost all tastes thanks to its countless galleries. Visitors in May have the additional bonus of being able to visit the internationally-renowned Art Melbourne fair (May 19 -22).
Shop - Melbourne's shopping scene is fairly diverse, but for the really unique experiences, visitors have to dig deep. Converted buildings, hidden basements, unlikely arcades and the city's famous covered laneways, home to many stores offering one-off items.
Eat - Melbourne's Food and Wine Festival, which occurs annually in March, only serves to highlight the city's incredibly diverse range of restaurants, which range from Asian imports to celebrity homegrown favorites such as Attica's Ben Shewry.
See the sea - Melbourne's beaches are most popular with sun-seekers between November and March, but even out of season they offer a range of watersports activities such as sailing and windsurfing.
See a show - Dozens of theatrical productions are staged each week in Melbourne, well known as the cultural capital of the country. International productions made their way to the theater district, where grand facades which would look more at home in London or Paris make for a classic night out, while local productions dominate the scene at the Southbank theater hub.
Drink coffee - Melbourne has become known as Australia's coffee capital, with plenty of sidewalk cafes to enjoy a freshly-brewed cup while watching the city's hordes of business people rush by.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Yorkshire man to win £10,000 off a £1 bet placed six years ago if Dan Jarvis becomes Labour Party leader
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 4 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 5 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
£24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...