Melbourne Magic 2020
2-8 March 2020Download PDF Itinerary
Melbourne Magic 2020- Find what's around every corner of this vibrant metropolis!
Melbourne is a pleasant mix of old and new, with its Victorian buildings and trams, through to the zany modern Federation Square and its many sports arenas. Experience its bustling markets, witness city scape views and interact with modern arts! Wind your way along the Yarra River and journey through the serene Dandenong Ranges aboard the Puffing Billy. We get out of the big smoke with a day on Phillip Island and another adventure into the Macedon Ranges; this Australian city getaway has it all!
Monday 02 March - Wellington to Melbourne
Pack your bags and have your passports ready for our transfer to Wellington Airport to check in for our mid-afternoon flight to Melbourne.Then sit back and relax as the Qantas crew take care of us during our Trans-Tasman flight. After clearing Customs and Immigration we will be met by our coach captain and local tour coach; to make the 50-minute journey into the city to settle into our hotel. The Savoy on Little Collins, with a beautiful Victorian façade and internal grandeur of an Art Deco heritage building, is in a great central location, as we rest in preparation to set out tomorrow, eager to uncover the heart of Melbourne!
(Meals included: inflight refreshments/dinner at hotel)
Tuesday 03 March - Exploring Melbourne
We begin our Australian city getaway with an amazing birds-eye experience from the Eureka Skydeck.Enjoy the thrilling ascent as two dedicated lifts propel us up for awe-inspiring views of the city. Back on the ground, we head to the Queen Victoria Markets. This vibrant centre of trade is where you’ll spend time discovering unique souvenirs, entertaining buskers and wonderful fresh produce. There will be time to purchase lunch before setting off to explore more of marvellous Melbourne.Melbourne really is a grand city! Within the parks and gardens around the city centre are many gracious buildings such as the Old Treasury Building and the Exhibition Building, built for the Great Exhibition of 1880. You will discover a pleasing mixture of the old and the new as we drive past zany Federation Square, the Victorian Arts Centre, the War Memorial, the Botanic Gardens and the Rod Laver Tennis Arena. Returning to our hotel we have time to relax and freshen up before a wonderful dinner out. This evening we enjoy waterside dining at the Berth Restaurant in the Docklands, before moving on to coffee and cake aboard the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel as we witness the twinkling city lights below! The perfect introduction to our host city.
(Meals included: Breakfast at hotel/dinner at Berth Restaurant)
Wednesday 04 March - Dandenong Ranges and the Puffing Billy
This morning we drive through the eastern suburbs into the Dandenong Ranges that overlook the city.One of the most famous and enjoyable things to do in the Dandenongs is to take a ride through the lush mountainside from Belgrave to Emerald Lakeside on the historic “Puffing Billy”. We share the grandeur and charm of rail travel as we meander past lush fern and towering Mountain Ash trees, breathing the fresh rainforest air and hearing the clickety-clack of the rail beneath us. We enjoy lunch at Cuckoo Restaurant, a Bavarian style chalet with wonderful hospitality, before taking a wander through the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, set in the magical surrounds of the forest. The
Garden features a national rhododendron collection, but seasonal changes ensure the Garden is a delight all year round.
We return to our hotel for relaxed dining in this evening.
(Meals included: breakfast and dinner at hotel/lunch at Cuckoo Restaurant)
Thursday 05 March - Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges
Travelling to the Daylesford area today, we find the Convent Gallery, nestled on the crest of the charmingly named Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens.Boasting views of the countryside and township below, this historic country boarding school for girls is now a feast for the senses with a gallery of fine art displayed within its 19th century walls. Meeting our guide, we are led on a tour of the gallery before enjoying lunch here.
Continuing on, we discover a place that prides itself in making the world a better place for humans and non-humans alike. At Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, a rescue shelter for animals in need, we listen to the moving stories of the animal residents and walk the “kindness trail”, leaving us with an understanding and perception that will inspire. We then move on to Paramoor Winery, a truly interesting venue. Converted from old stables, its relaxed ambience and thoughtful displays of history are as much of an attraction as their wines. We are given a talk about the winery and its wines, as well as a tasting. A fabulous way to end our day!
(Meals included: Breakfast and dinner at hotel/lunch at the Convent Gallery)
Friday 06 March - Phillip Island
With a full day arranged, we head straight to Phillip Island to discover its Chocolate Factory.Enjoying morning tea here we then explore the factory with its many quirky displays, from chocolate waterfalls to a miniature village crafted completely out of chocolate. Next on the agenda is a unique opportunity to interpret and understand
the experience of veterans at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum. Home to a huge collection of artefacts, detailed information, imagery and audio facilities, this museum will keep you very much engaged. We enjoy lunch here before a visit to the Koala Conservation Centre. Stroll through the eucalypt woodland along the elevated treetop boardwalk, meeting these gorgeous cuddly characters in their natural habitat. We then head to The Nobbies, a magnificent rocky headland on the south-western tip of Phillip Island. At the Nobbies Centre we immerse ourselves in the new Antarctic Journey: an interactive virtual journey to the Southern Ocean and the world’s most extreme continent!
Dinner is at the Phillip Island RSL Club this evening then on dusk, we watch the Penguin Parade. To see the little penguins come out of the surf in small groups and waddle up the beach is a fascinating spectacle. It will be quite late by the time we return to Melbourne, but what a fantastic day!
(Meals included: Breakfast at hotel/lunch at National Vietnam Veterans Museum/dinner at Phillip Island RSL Club)
Saturday 07 March - Melbourne’s Docklands District
After our full day yesterday, we enjoy a relaxed morning before heading to the Docklands District for a little bit of retail therapy and time to purchase lunch.Afterwards we join Melbourne River Cruises for their ‘River Gardens’ trip. Within moments of departing Melbourne’s arts precinct, we are cruising through picturesque gardens, parklands and some of the most famous sporting arenas. Returning to the Docklands, an interesting visit awaits at the Artvo 3D Gallery, Australia’s first interactive art gallery. Unlike normal art museums, here we are encouraged to touch, photograph and interact with the art. With a collection of entertaining moments captured we return to our hotel and freshen up before a relaxing dinner at our hotel again this evening.
(Meals included: Breakfast and dinner at hotel)
Sunday 08 March - Homeward Bound
What an amazing holiday we have experienced getting to know Melbourne, from vibrant city life to tranquil surrounds.However, it is now time to pack our bags and enjoy an early breakfast before we are transferred to Melbourne Airport for our morning flight to Wellington. Here we will be met by transfer vehicles to return us to our homes, completing a memorable holiday to share with friends and family.
(Meals included: Breakfast at hotel, inflight refreshments)
The cost of the tour includes
- Return flights Wellington-Melbourne with Qantas Airlines
- All coach travel
- All accommodation
- Dinners and breakfasts
- Melbourne: Eureka Skydeck entry to Skydeck 88
- Melbourne: Berth Restaurant dinner and a beer or wine
- Melbourne: Melbourne Star Observation Wheel coffee or tea and cake flight
- Dandenong: Puffing Billy Railway one-way Belgrave to Lakeside
- Dandenong: Cuckoo Restaurant lunch
- Daylesford: The Convent Gallery entry, tour and lunch (alternate drop)
- Daylesford: Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary
- Macedon Ranges: Paramoor Winery tasting
- Phillip Island: Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate, morning tea, guided tour and tastings
- Phillip Island: National Vietnam Veterans Museum
- Phillip Island: entry to Koala Conservation Centre
- Phillip Island: entry to Nobbies Antarctic Journey
- Phillip Island: Phillip Island RSL Club, dinner
- Phillip Island: Penguin Plus
- Melbourne: Artvo 3D Gallery entry
- Melbourne: Melbourne River Cruise with commentary, tea and coffee