The best penguin display I have ever seen although I am sure Antartica is better. Well worth it, was located just near the casino which was also really good
These relatively new gardens (opened in 2006) are both a visual delight and an uplifting educational experience at any time of the year. A firm commitment to the environment and the Aboriginal heritage of the land is evident as clearly marked walking tracks take you on a journey of discovery of Australian landscapes such as 'the red sand garden','the rock pool waterway', 'the arid garden' or 'the eucalypt walk'. Each area portrays the the subtle beauty and diversity of Australian native plants. A number of themed exhibition gardens show clever ideas for a suburban garden and expert volunteers are available to answer questions. Add a native orchid house, excellent visitor centre, garden shop, cafe, picnic and barbecue areas, bush walks to discover birds and wildlife as well as helpful information guides, you have a full-day visit that leaves you inspired and appreciative of the rugged natural beauty of Australia.
A beautiful temperate rain forest. Rolling hills covered with magnificent tree ferns and mountain ash (a form of Eucalypt and also Australia's tallest). The freshest air you could imagine and wildlife (including Lyre birds) to boot!
1.5 hrs drive from Melbourne. Take the train to Fern Tree Gully, Belgrave or Lilydale.
The 'Show' - where city and country get together! Once a year, the country invades the city at the showgrounds and lets city families see what the country has to offer.
In addition, there are quite a few competitions where our farmers and country folk can show off the best bull, pig, horse or who can cook the best sponge or grow the best pumpkin.
Sheepdog and poultry competitions are favourites. City kids also have a chance to see new lambs or piglets or chooks. There are enough circus rides, face painting areas and handicraft stalls to keep everyone happy.
Adults have flamenco, hip hop, capoeira performers, belly dancers and others to keep them entertained.
And of course, there are fireworks at night. Everyone should go and don't forget to grab a ShowBag.
Sept 20 - 30
Royal Melbourne Showgrounds
Epsom Road, Ascot Vale
take a tram or train there from the CBD (car parking is available too)
A quiet private resort at Metung with many upper class town houses and cabins for couples and families. Set on the hill overlooking the lakeside at Metung, Mcmillans is walking distance (10 mins) from the town centre. Go and have a quiet comfortable weekend away. Highly recommended!
3 hours drive from Melbourne on the Gippsland lakes.
The penguin parade at Summerland Beach on Phillip Island is a must. OK... so it's a bit touristy, but to be honest you forget that when you sit on the beach waiting for the little penguins to come up onto the sand.
At sunset the anticipation grows and suddenly you see one penguin running tentatively out of the water to check if it's safe. The penguin will run in and out of the water several times until a signal is given... and then thousands of penguins come running up the beach and the cliffs. It lasts a couple of hours - and it's a great sight to see.
There is a visitors' centre there which is OK - and you can buy photos of the penguins as you are not able to take photos of the event itself... unless you happen to find one or two in the carpark like I did. The basic admission is about AUS$17, and you will be there for most of the evening.
Phillip Island is 90 mins drive from Melbourne City. Driving by car is easy, but it is probably easier to join one of the coaches to get there. www.penguins.org.au
Cowes, main town on Phillip Island. Use it as a base for visiting the penguins or Seal Rock ... or maybe the Phillip Island motor racing circuit, home of the Australian motorcycle GP.
Or while at Cowes, buy the best fish'n'chips and go eat them on the beach!
Cowes, Phillip Island
1½hrs drive from Melbourne
Melbourne’s best view is undoubtedly to be found 90 minutes outside the city at Phillip Island. Every evening at sunset, visitors are witness to the ’penguin parade,’ when the world’s smallest penguins emerge from the sea and cross the beach to their sandy-burrow beds.
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