Tours - Excursions
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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.
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
A 90 minute drive south from Melbourne, Phillip
Island (telephone: (03) 5956 7447) features a nature
park and numerous attractions. Highlights
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
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.
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
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