Meet Melbourne's sensitive side on your three-day tour of Australia's creative capital.
Start with the art. Australian art takes centre stage at NGV Australia: Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square. Less conventional art is found down city laneways and along the Yarra River. The Hidden Secrets Art & Design Walk guides show off our most concealed installations.
If you prefer the feeling of the wind in your hair to the rarefied air of city galleries, jump on the back of a Harley Davidson for a hair-raising tour of the inner-city. The Grand Prix circuit is a definite highlight.
Laze around and watch life go by along the Yarra River over a drink and a snack at riverside bars like Riverland or Ponyfish Island.
For dinner, combine the Spanish love of life with Melbourne gastronomy at Movida, then wander the laneways to admire street art like the City Lights. You're sure to find a bar for an introduction to local nightlife.
Coffee and breakfast are worth queuing for in Melbourne, so join a line. Flit between cafes to compare the city's best, or get the lowdown on the long-term love affair with coffee from Evolving Success.
Head north to Fitzroy, Melbourne's hippest inner suburb, stopping at the colourful Melbourne Museum for an overview of local history. Proceed to bohemian Brunswick Street to browse boutiques, and pop into Rose Street Artists' Market for locally crafted souvenirs.
Lose track of time in Gertrude Street with its above-average quota of culture. Encounter the characters and the combination of outlets and specialty stores on Smith Street. End the afternoon with rooftop drinks at Naked for Satan and linger in Fitzroy to indulge in whatever dinner, drinks and live music take your fancy.
It's time to venture beyond Melbourne to regional Victoria, where green is the colour of choice and life is more laidback. The Yarra Valley, an easy drive less than an hour east of the city, is Victoria's hub for food, wine and wildlife.
Wind through rolling hills laced with grape vines to Healesville Sanctuary Wildlife Park to see eye-to-eye with dozy koalas and frolic with bashful platypuses.
The Yarra Valley kick-started Victoria's wine industry and today there are over 70 wineries. For maximum indulgence, let the Australian Wine Tour Company transport you to cellar doors for tastings and chats with winemakers before indulging in a long lunch with a side of art at Tarra Warra Estate, or at celebrated names with vineyard views like De Bortoli, Domaine Chandon and Yering Station.
Eight of the best
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