Make it a Melbourne holiday from The Co-operative Travel, and discover this most European of all of Australia¿s big cities.
Cafes spilling out onto almost every street corner, a labyrinth of hidden lanes, and excellent shops and bars create the impression that you could easily be in Rome or Paris, while fine galleries and impressive theatres reinforce the impression of a city which is also striving to become one of the world's top cultural attractions.
Considered by its residents to be one of the best cities in which to live in the world, the delights of Melbourne are being discovered by growing numbers of foreign visitors.
Melbourne has already become Australia's premier sporting city, with F1 cars roaring through its streets every year and the world¿s tennis elite kicking off their year with the Australian Open. Now with excellent redevelopment under way, it is aiming to muscle its way onto the world tourism stage too.
On a package holiday or all-inclusive holiday, you'll see superb street scenes of old buildings nestling up to new, the former epitomised by the main railway terminus, Flinders Street station, an example of grand railway architecture straight out of the books of train travel pioneers such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
This is a city with a Yarra through its heart, in the shape of its main river. Along it are strung out most of the top attractions, including pretty parks, world-famous sporting arenas, and, the jewel in the crown, the new Waterfront development where, on Southbank Promenade, Melbourne's chic elite come out to play. Melbourne is also a feast for foodies, with a vast choice of vibrant restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars, offering dozens of different cuisines and fine wine.
The restaurants in China Town are well recommended. The beach suburb of St Kilda, with its famed cafes and cake shops sited along tree-lined avenues, shouldn't be missed either. This area has undergone a complete transformation from one of the city's least-loved areas to a real social hotspot.
The city is also home to some of Australia's best museums, finest parklands and many examples of 19th century Goldrush buildings. Take the old-fashioned tramcars to arrive in these areas in appropriate style. As you'd expect, the scope of accommodation available and acting as bases for Melbourne holidays is wide - everything from backpackers' hostels, through apartments and boutique hotels to five-star luxury.
A real rising star in the pantheon of Australian tourism, Melbourne is seriously challenging the other great Australian cities. Cheap, last-minute holiday and late deals can sometimes be found, so start your search with The Co-operative Travel, and let us put Melbourne on your Australian holiday map.