Reasons for visiting Melbourne

The dynamic, cosmopolitan flavour of the city permeates through everything from the streets, to the shopping precincts to the many wonderful cafes, restaurants and bars. Here are our top reasons for visiting Melbourne for your next short romantic break…To eat and drink

Australia’s gourmet Mecca, Melbourne’s location means that is just a stone’s throw away from some of the most exciting food and wine producers in the world. If cheese is your thing, don’t miss some of Victoria’s finest dairy exponents Meredith Dairy, Piano Hill Cheeses and Tarago River Cheese Company.

And what’s cheese without a good wine, I hear you cry? Get amongst it with these stunning local producers and you’ll be in good company – Coldstream Hills, Domaine Chandon, Dalwhinnie, to name a few. Grab a bottle and a chunk of cheese and head towards the Botanical Gardens or The Tan for an impromptu picnic, what al lush way to spend a weekend afternoon.

For those with a sweet tooth head to Suga, in the Royal Arcade (Shop 20, 335 Bourke Street, City) a glossy Willy Wonka world of handmade candy dreams. And while in Melbourne don’t miss the opportunity to stock up on Haigh’s chocolates – these to-die-for, melt in the mouth luxuries are Australia’s answer to Swiss mega-choc Lindt.

To see and do

Melbourne has a non-stop calendar of arts, entertainment and sporting events to keep you occupied all year round. Here are some not-to-be missed dates for your diary…

Australian Open Tennis Championships

13 – 26 January 2003

Foster’s Australian Grand Prix

6 – 9 March 2003

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

28 March – 13 April 2003

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

27 March – 20 April 2003

Rip Curl Pro and SunSmart Classic

14 – 27 April 2003

To shop and be pampered

The Paris-end of Collins Street offers all there is in upmarket shopping, darling. If shoes are your thing you’ll find fancy footwear from Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Dolce and Gabbana, Rudolphe Menudier and Versace.

Flinders Lane in the City has revealed hidden gems in recent times, most noteworthy are Alice Euphemia and the uber funky Genki for a range of imported and new-kids-on-the-block designs.

Douglas & Hope for funky fashion designed to fit real women labels include Immune and Gorman, plus luxury hand-made quilts and cushions using stunning patches of antique kimonos for the ultimate in shabby chic. Phone (03) 9417 0662 for store locations.

Oversea Designer Warehouse for heavily discounted international brands. Gucci, D&G, Armani at up to 60% off! But only until 5 January 2003. Phone (03) 9654 0158 for more information.

For more information about making Melbourne the destination for your next short break, check out

Pampering and pure indulgence – Melbourne

Pampering and pure indulgence – Melbourne

Explore your senses in beautiful Melbourne
If you need a break from the everyday then there’s no better way to get away than by indulging your senses and taking time out with a loved one or with a gaggle of girlfriends. Head to Melbourne where there is no end to the decadence and you won’t go broke in the process either!

For pampering why don’t you make a day of it at seaside St Kilda, home to the devastatingly hip twenty-somethings from the Secret Life of Us. Here you can visit the absolutely stunning Aurora Spa Retreat for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation in their total wellness centre. After your pampering session you can head to the famous Acland Street for some of the most delectable and decadent European cakes this side of well…Europe.

Perfect coffee, decadent cakes…

Talking of sweet things, no self-respecting chocoholics, could miss ‘Talkabout Tours’ Chocolate Lovers Walk, this fun, informative and mouthwatering walk will take you through some of the secret laneways and arcades of Melbourne. You’ll sample all manner of sweet things from Melbourne’s ‘Charmaine’s’ traditional and unusual ice-creams to Haigh’s world-famous chocolate frogs. One of the tour highlights includes a visit to ‘Suga’ in the Royal Arcade. Here you can ogle the hip young men as they create brilliantly bright and flavoured candy before your eyes.

Also located in the Royal Arcade, the oldest of Melbourne’s surviving arcades is ‘Spellbox’, where Danae the white witch will read your tarot cards or cast a spell to grant your wish. Here you’re surrounded by wares of beauty and intrigue; boxes that contain the tools to weave magic into your life, jars of organic herbs, wands, amulets and other objects for conniving divine inspiration!

Pampering at the Aurora Spa

Japanese tradition is brought to life at ‘Geisha’ in Little Collins Street where every treatment (haircut or massage) is proceeded by Japanese tea served in the tatami room. You will receive a yukata (a cotton kimono style robe) to wear during treatments the robe is so funky you might be tempted to buy one with a selection of Maiko beauty products at the end of your session. On the second floor, shiatsu and relaxation massages are conducted in pampered privacy.

For total rest and relaxation you can’t beat the spa centres of the big international hotels. Melbourne’s Park Hyatt Spa Club is open to non-guest and your treatment session also includes the use of the stunning swimming pool, steam rooms and saunas. For the ultimate day spa you can’t go past the Crown Spa the epitome of opulence and total luxury. The Crown Spa has over 15 private rooms of varying sizes and with a combination of Western and Eastern treatment styles there’s something for everyone.

After a spa treatment at the Crown Towers why not wander next door to the Sheraton Southgate and the Melba Brasserie for an award winning meal overlooking the city including the majestic Flinders Street Station, the funky new Federation Square complex and the boats bobbing and gliding along the Yarra.

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