The Somerset Hotel on Elizabeth Street is a brilliant place to stay. It has amazing views over Hyde Park and the Anzac Memorial. There is very good room service with people coming to clean your apartment everyday when you are out. It is near the centerpoint tower and not far from a good pool called Boy Charlton. It is salt water and suspended on stilts over the actual harbour so you get really good views. There is also a brilliant open air cinema on Lady Mcquaries Point. The screen apparently folds down (we didn't get to go there but i reccommend it anyway.)
There are two really good places to eat. One is called Sushi King - it is on George Street and it does the best sushi in the world. The other is the Lindt Cafe on Martin Place - it is really good and they do this great hot chocolate (you get this jug with hot milk in and a jug with melted chocolate in and you pour them in the mug at the same time the result is an amazing rich lovely cup of hot chocolate).
Of course I also reccommend the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (my dad conducts there.)
The museum has interesting displays about the history of the region. The exhibits include the pioneer days, Aboriginal culture, mining and agriculture. There is a shop which has great gifts. Help with tours, where to stay or camp, walking trails, drive routes, birdwatching and local information about what to see in the outback.
Mareeba 1 hour west of Cairns at the start of the outback.
Google map: tinyurl.com/l7cnh7
Breathtaking views, superb food, perfect stopping point for driving the Great Ocean Road. Sleep in your own woodlodge with floor to ceiling windows listening to the sea and watching stars.
Visting Melbourne's Chinatown - the oldest area of continuous Chinese settlement in the western world is a great way to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon. Lots to see (as the history of the area dates back to the 1840s and 1850s), plenty of places to have a bite and while there, visit the Chinese Museum.
along Little Bourke Street City
plus the alleys which link the area to Bourke St and Lonsdale St
Museum of Chinese Australian History
22 Cohen Place Melbourne
Victoria 3000 Australia
Phone: 9662 2888
A gastro-pub worthy of Islington in the middle of nowhere. The Prairie Hotel has good rooms, great outback food (kangaroo is particularly good) and its own beer. The best thing about the place are the owners and staff though. Sit watching the sunset with them and at 10-ish the mile long coal train will rattle through as well.
Probably the best hotel-experience we have had in Australia. Strongly recommended.
Go to the zoo and see the animals ..and get up close with the animals. After closing time, "Roar 'n' Snore' starts with dinner followed by a nightime guided tour of the zoo. You get to explore the zoo as night falls and see the zoo's nightlife...animals whose activities start at dusk. Supper follows..before you bed down for the night...in your tent in the middle of the zoo.
I might add, nightime at the zoo is NOISY!
Breakfast is served next morning before more walks around the zoo.
This is simply a wonderful activity that has to be experienced.
For adults and families with children 7+
Elliot Ave, Parkville
Melbourne Zoo is located only minutes north from the city centre, within Royal Park. Car parking is available or visitors can take the tram or train to reach the Zoo. Trains run from Flinders Street Station stopping at Melbourne Zoo's own Royal Park Station
Extremely popular restaurant in beautiful setting in a vinery, pleasant ambience. Interesting, though not outstanding food.
Our experience was marred somewhat by rather poor customer service: our main course took about an hour to arrive, and we pointed this out twice. We were confronted by the owner when we left, asking if we were the people who had complained, and stating that he didn't think that it had taken too long for us to be served. We won't be back, but perhaps we were just unlucky.
Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula, approx 2 hrs from Melbourne.
This is a goodie...
A great short drive north of Canberra (20+ mins), down a small road and along another lies this gem. Poachers packs a culinary punch, local wines, cheese, smoked meats and an amazing cafe set in the stunning rural setting of limestone plains and sheep paddocks complete with hens and horses. A total package, book a table, sink a bottle over any one of the platters on offer with a good mate.
Knightsbridge is a small bar tucked away in the suburb of Braddon. It pulls a diverse crowd and is part of a selection of bars in Canberra taking drinking venues to a new boutique level. Previously a bar themed around a morgue, Knightbridge is inviting, intimate and friendly along with having a very decent drinks list.
1/34 Mort Street Braddon, short walk from the city centre.
Google map: tinyurl.com/mhxg6q
Mt Stromlo, reveals numerous trails and technical challenges for those passionate about mountain biking. Positioned so close to the city centre it's an asset no other Australian city can boast, with a passionate community behind it, Mt Stromlo is back after the firestorm, and is packing loads of new challenges, trails and adventures.
This National Park covers some territory, stretching from the Brindabella range which backdrops Canberra, through the Snowy Mountains and onto the Victorian high country.
The park offers some of the most unique landscapes found in south eastern Australia, and arguably the whole continent. Galcial lakes, unique flora and fauna, bushwalking, mountain biking, skiing, brumbies and impressive indigenious history.
Recent films such as Sommersault, and Jindabyne have been set amongst this landscape. Last visit whilst sitting silent beside a river, a platypus swam right up to the rock I was perched upon.
Kids complaining? Don't know where to take them during holidays? The Melbourne Fire Services Museum is a great place to take them. Adults will also find this place of great interest. Located in the old head office of the Melbourne Fire Brigade, the Fire Services Museum Victoria was opened to provide a home and focus for the history of fire fighting services in the Victoria. The Museum includes a large collection of fire related items...fascinating.
Take the kids!
39 Gisborne Street
(Cnr. Gisborne Street and Victoria Parade), East Melbourne
take the tram from Flinders Street railway station.
Open Fridays 9am to 3pm
and Sundays 10am to 4pm.
The Windsor (Melbourne's elegant 1883 magnificent gothic hotel) has a public bar - The Cricketers Bar. The bar is full of cricketing memorabilia including photos of Australian and English teams from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Don Bradman fans will not be disappointed either. The bar is just across the road from the victorian houses of parliament, so watch for you favourite political or sports people. The cricket, of course, is televised on 2 large screen TVs.
103 Spring St
Poci's is a typical bustling noisy Italian place full of kids and families enjoying the great food from the list of daily specials, a la carte menu or the menu for kids.
The servings are typically huge, the service prompt and cheery, all at reasonable prices. Enjoy!
417 Hampton St Hampton,
Tel: (03) 9598-7477
Fax: (03) 9521-0893
a few hundred metres north of
The best place to meet before and after a test match or one-day international. An institution with the die hard fans of any sport played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG or "the G").
Punt Road, Richmond, next to the Richmond train station and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Live music - usually Thursdays + Fridays. DJs, electronica and local indie musicans in a relaxed and unpretentious location. Slightly hard to find but this doesn't mean it's exclusive by any means.
219 London Cct Civic
Google map: tinyurl.com/nakzsk
A small and intimate cocktail bar overlooking Garema Place in the City.
A good selection of drinks, music, people and kitsch decor! Jazz on Wednesday nights.
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