Melbourne – A Paean to Culture and Beauty

One of the most livable cities reside in the southern hemisphere, Melbourne has been rightly cited by tourists as the ‘Paris of Australia’. Take a random stroll down the city center and you are bound to be met by mandolin strumming musicians or guitarists belting out aboriginal or folk tunes.

While in Melbourne sense of luxury is hard to miss. Packed with some truly magnificent five star hotels, there is a vast array to choose from. And we do recommend that you stay at the luxury hotel at the corner of Collins Street, the Grand Hotel with its lovely restaurant and outsized rooms. But if you are looking for a luxury resort away from the city, we strongly recommend you try The Villa Renaissance Total Body & Beauty Old World Luxury Hills Retreat in the prettily quaint Ferntree Gully where old world sophistication meets the new-fangled in an elegant setting.

It takes about an hour and a half to get into the city from there by train. Throughout the journey you can take in sights of brooks, meadows, canals and the verdurous Australian landscape.

Once in Melbourne, how can you possibly miss a visit to its grand casino housed within the precincts of the Crowne Plaza? Now, you don’t have to be a compulsive gambler in order to do that. Crowne Plaza is equally hailed for its exquisite shops, cinema houses and restaurants. Even a simple exercise like taking a stroll down the riverfront is recommended. The breeze from the Yarra River and the glowing gas fires make the place look truly magical.

During the day walk down to 525 Collins Street over which stands the tallest office building in the southern hemisphere, the Rialto Towers. Take an elevator right up to the 55th level to view the lovely sights of the city from the Melbourne Observation Deck. Also treat yourself to a delightful ‘sight and sound’ show at the Rialto Vision Theatre.

But if you are longing for the wide open spaces, head out towards Angelsea or Geelong over the Great Ocean Road. The beautiful coastline, the white sandy stretch, the lovely blonde beaches make your trip really worthwhile.

And if you are still feeling adventurous we suggest that you drive across the Dandenong Ranges where you can also say ‘hello’ to some kangaroos. You can drive up to the Lakeside Picnic Park and walk along its trails. You may also view some rare birds’ species here.

Or, conversely, take the Belgrave line from the Flinders Station in the city and get off at Belgrave to mount the century-old train called ‘Puffing Billy’ still run on steam. It takes you all the way to Gembrook in the Dandenong mountain ranges.

As for night life in Melbourne well… what can one say? This is a city that doesn’t seem to slumber. Its taverns remain open right up till the wee hours of the morning and places like the Hot Rock Café leave you panting for more. As for the shopping scene…. Why don’t you check it all out for yourself?

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