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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Melbourne Tours - Excursions
Melbourne Tours Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Walking tours

A service offered by the City of Melbourne, the Melbourne Greeter Service provides guided tours of the city’s main sights, taking between 2 and 4 hours, by local volunteers.

Telephone: (03) 9658 9658
Email address: greeter@melbourne.vic.gov.au

These free tours are offered in a number of languages and depart from the Melbourne Visitor Information Centre

Address: Melbourne Town Hall, corner of Swanston Street and Little Collins Street.

Heritage Walking Tours are self guided tours detailed in a series of maps, which are available from the Melbourne Visitor Information Centre and tourist information booths throughout Melbourne.

Bus Tours

AAT King’s (telephone: (03) 9663 3377), Gray Line (telephone: (03) 9663 4455) and Australian Pacific Tours (telephone: (03) 9663 1611) operate daily tours of the city’s highlights and offer free hotel pick ups. The cost of a 3 hour tour is A $50.

A double decker hop on hop off City Explorer Bus (telephone: (03) 9650 7000) departs hourly from 9.30 am outside the Town Hall and offers over 18 stop off points and commentary. A ticket valid for 1 day is A $30.

Boat Tours

A peaceful way for visitors to see the city is to take a cruise along the Yarra River. Melbourne River Cruises (telephone: (03) 9614 1215) depart every half and hour, daily from Princes Walk.

There are 3 different tours, each taking 1 hour and costing A $16.50. Tickets are available at the Blue Melbourne River Cruises Kiosk on Princes Bridge, which is opposite Flinders Street Station.

Excursions for half day

Phillip Island

A 90 minute drive south from Melbourne, Phillip Island (telephone: (03) 5956 7447) features a nature park and numerous attractions. Highlights include The Penguin Parade (telephone: (03) 5956 8300), which takes place nightly at sunset, when the world’s smallest penguins emerge from the sea and waddle up the beach to their burrows for the night.

The Koala Conservation Centre (telephone: (03) 5956 8691) and Seal Rocks Sea Life Centre (telephone: (03) 9793 6767), home to the largest fur seal colony in Australia, are open daily (10.00 am to dusk).

A 3 park pass, costing A $22.40, covers the penguins, koalas and Churchill Island, with its historic homestead. Individually, visiting the penguins costs A $14, the koalas A $5.60 and Churchill Island A $7.70. Admission to see the seals is A $11.

Phillip Island is reachable by car on the Princes Highway (M1) south east from Melbourne, then on the South Gippsland Highway (M420) and finally the A420 to San Remo and across the Phillip Island Bridge.

Excursions for a whole day

Dandenong Ranges and Healesville Sanctuary

The hills of the Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne, are covered in vineyards, banks of flowers and particularly Australian gum trees. The Dandenongs can be reached in an hour from Melbourne by car or by taking a train to Belgrave Station at the end of the Melbourne metropolitan line and then by Puffing Billy Steam Railway (telephone: (03) 9754 6800) through forests and fern gullies to Emerald Lake Park. The return trip takes 2 hours and costs A $26 or A $36.50 depending on the distance travelled.

A car is needed to visit Healesville Sanctuary (telephone: (03) 5957 2800), where rescued and orphaned animals can be seen in their own habitat. The sanctuary is open daily 9.00 am to 5.00 pm and entrance costs A $15.30.

The Moet & Chandon winery at nearby Domaine Chandon (telephone: (03) 9739 1110) offers daily guided tours (11.00 am, 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm) showcasing the traditional ‘methode Champenoise’ and offering the opportunity to taste some of the wines.

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is a beautiful drive along the coast to Adelaide, starting 72 kilometres (45 miles) to the west of Melbourne at Geelong. For much of the route, the road hugs the rugged coastline overlooking some brilliant surfing beaches and passing through Otway and Port Campbell national parks to the spectacular rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles.

Sovereign Hill

This open air museum tells the story of life in Ballarat during the gold rush. The streets of Sovereign Hill (telephone: (03) 5331 1944) bustle with people dressed in period costume going about their business in the shops, hotels and school.

Visitors can still pan for real gold and the museum is located 110 kilometres (68 miles) from Melbourne and is open daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Entrance costs A $25. It can be reached from Ballarat Station.