Melbourne cricket ground - home to the afl grand final
Melbourne is in the grip of football fever, with the AFL Grand Final set to take place on Saturday, 1 October. While football fans will be descending on Melbourne for the big match, others will be taking advantage of Victoria’s new favourite public holiday (Friday, 30 September) to get away from the madness. Either way, there is plenty going on in and out of the city.
In the city
Explore the eclectic neighborhoods of Fitzroy and Collingwood. Browse the boutiques along Brunswick and Gertrude Street, drop in at Rose Street Market, sample some of the city’s tastiest fare on Smith Street and top off the night at some of Melbourne’s most-loved cocktails bars, such as The Everleigh, Black Pearl or The Noble Experiment.
Get cultural. Drop in at the National Gallery of Victoria to see Masterpiece of the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine The Great, or delve into the life of the iconic pop-star at David Bowie Is at ACMI. Discover Melbourne’s hidden art galleries and spaces with Walk To Art or Art Aficionado tours, and see the city’s street art scene through the eyes of a local artist with Melbourne Street Art Tours.
Learn a thing or two at Melbourne’s Museums: Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks – all still celebrating school holidays with programs, exhibitions and activities. Relive some of Australia’s most memorable sporting moments at the National Sports Museum
Out of the city
Take the family for a drive along the iconic Great Ocean Road, along the rugged coastline, through seaside villages, rainforests and farmland to the famed Twelve Apostles. Spend a night in the seaside town of Warrnambool, the home of the Roadshow Films’ Oddball. Stop in at Werribee Open Range Zoo on the way back to Melbourne, then enjoy lunch at Shadowfax and a stroll around the gardens at Werribee Mansion.
Watch the sun rise above Victoria’s beautiful wine region, the Yarra Valley in a hot air balloon, then spend the day exploring the James Halliday Wine Trail. Taste local cheeses at Yarra Valley Dairy and sample chocolate at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie before getting up close and personal with some of Australia’s favourite wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary.
Visit the Dandenong Ranges. Take a ride through the rainforest on the Puffing Billy steam train, visit the quaint mountain villages of Olinda and Sassafras, dine at Shannon Bennett’s The Piggery Café and see millions of colourful tulips in full bloom at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival.
Experience the Mornington Peninsula on horseback with Horseback Winery Tours. Stop in at one of the region’s many wineries or hatted restaurants such as Ten Minutes By Tractor and Montalto. Tree surf at The Enchanted Maze or get lost at Ashcombe Maze. Enjoy and a round of golf at any of the 19 courses in the region then take the Searoad Ferry across to Queenscliff and explore Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula.
Take a trip to Phillip Island. Stop in at the Koala Conservation Centre, catch lunch at Rhyll Trout Farm, take a Wildlife Coast Cruise out to see the fur seals and watch the world-famous Penguin Parade at Phillip Island Nature Park as they waddle up the beach at sunset, past spectators and home to their burrows.