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Melbourne News

Top 5 things to do in Melbourne

  • Written by News Company


Multicultural, beautiful, and vibrant, Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and one of the most liveable metropolises in the world. With its elegant Victorian buildings, tree-lined promenades, and a mix of hidden laneways, the city features a uniquely European feel. Foodies might also find a lot of things to love here as prominent Aussie chefs show off their talents in a variety of restaurants, from Vietnamese and Spanish to Italian, Indian, and Greek. As there are so many things to do and visit, it can be tricky for you during the first trip to Australia. With that in mind, here are top 5 activities to try in Melbourne.

 

1. Walking around the Royal Botanic Garden

In the centre of green parkland, the Royal Botanic Garden is among the most beautiful of its kind in the world. Founded in 1846, the site covers an area of approximately 38 hectares with nearly 8500 species of animals and plants. Inside the garden, you can find the Aboriginal Heritage Walk which represents the heritage of the indigenous Australians. In fact, visiting the garden is probably one of the best things you can do for free in Melbourne. During the summer, you can go for a picnic by the lake, enjoy live theatre, and watch moonlight cinema setting up under the night stars.

 

2. Watching a horse race in the Melbourne Cup

Racing is widely appreciated by thousands of people across Australia and the Melbourne Cup is the most prestigious horse race in this country with nearly 150 years of history.

Started annually on the first Tuesday in November, this event is often considered as the most special day in Aussie sport. There is nothing that matches the Melbourne Cup when it comes to heartbreak, joy, excitement, and history, making it become a truly national festival. That’s why you should travel to Melbourne and visit the Flemington Racecourse, watch a horse race, and try your luck by placing a bet online at www.unibet.com.au/racing.

 

3. Cruising on Yarra River

A boat cruise is probably one of the best ways to do the sightseeing and explore the city’s history. You can find many tours along Southbank, and it is a fun and relaxing experience to make yourself familiar with the area before setting out on foot. While gliding down the river, make sure to keep your eye out for the Birrarung Marr, a waterfront parkland that celebrates the ties of the Aboriginal with the Yarra River. If you don’t have lots of time, a one-hour cruise can give you a short tour around top sights in the city, including the Royal Botanic Garden, Melbourne Tennis Center, or the Federation Square.

 

4. Visiting the Victoria National Gallery

The oldest art gallery in the country, the Victoria National Gallery accommodates more than 70000 artworks in two locations for the international and Australian collection. You can visit the well-known Great Hall and lie on the ground to gaze at the vivid stained glass ceiling. Also, it offers a great collection that features the history of art in the country, including Aboriginal works, the Heidelberg School, as well as contemporary media

 

5. Shopping at Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is a popular area with tourists and locals. This historic site has been at the heart of fresh local produce shopping for more than a century. Apart from the great food halls, you can find everything in the market stalls, from toys, art, and clothing to that unique souvenirs. Special events also take place on the weekend like music concerts or night markets, especially in the summer.

MCEC Expansion Delivers More Jobs And Bigger Events

  • Written by Media Release


The newly expanded Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has officially opened its doors following the completion of the Andrews Labor Government’s $205 million expansion.

Acting Premier James Merlino and Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren opened the expanded MCEC facilities today, which will bring thousands of additional visitors to Victoria each year and add more than 900 new ongoing jobs across the precinct.

The expansion has added nearly 20,000 square metres of flexible, multi-purpose event space, including meeting rooms, banquet rooms and 9,000 square metres of new exhibition hall, along with a $150 million commercial development by Plenary Group and its partners, which includes a 347-room hotel and multi-deck car park.

Construction commenced in June 2016, with around 700 workers and up to 60 apprentices employed on-site, including local contractors such as Wantirna-based Camatic Seating who used more than 5 tonnes of recyclable plastic to produce the MCEC seats. In total, the expansion has used more than 80 percent local content.

MCEC is the main reason Melbourne is the national leader in staging major business events, delivering $274 million to the Victorian economy each year and accounting for around 2,250 jobs in the sector.

The bigger, better MCEC is expected to attract 74,000 international visitors every year, who will spend an average of $693 each day while in Melbourne, resulting in an annual $167 million boost to our economy.

MCEC celebrated its grand opening by hosting its first Malaria World Congress, and the expanded centre has a treasure trove of major business events booked for the future, including the Lions Clubs International Convention in 2024 which will be the largest cultural conference ever held in Victoria.

The Labor Government, Visit Victoria and the Melbourne Convention Bureau are working hard to attract the biggest and best business events to Victoria.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided an additional $21.8 million over two-years to the Labor Government’s Business Events Fund to bring more of the world’s biggest conferences to the state.

Acting Premier James Merlino

“We’re investing more in major projects than any government in Victoria’s history – building infrastructure that creates jobs, grows our economy and makes Victoria the most liveable city in the world.”

“This world class facility is functional, adaptable and spectacular – and will provide a major boost to our city and our state.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren

“MCEC is a key event destination in Melbourne, and the expanded facilities will ensure Victoria continues to hold bigger and better business events well into the future.”

Monash upgrade the centrepiece of Turnbull Government’s Victorian infrastructure package

  • Written by News Feature Team



The Turnbull Government has committed to an additional $1.5 billion to get on with essential infrastructure to support Victoria’s regions and ensure Melbourne retains its mantle as one of the most liveable cities in the world.

The centrepiece of our new commitment is a billion-dollar upgrade of the congested Monash Freeway serving the communities of South Eastern Melbourne.

Other elements of the package include the final upgrades of the M80 Western Ring Road, improved freight rail connections from regional Victoria to export markets, planning work on the Melbourne Metro project and an allocation for regional roads and urban congestion projects to be mutually agreed between the two governments.

We now look forward to the Andrews Government providing its agreement to these projects and matching our funding commitment to Victorians – dollar for dollar.

Victorians are rightly confused and angry about Labor’s failure to build the East West Link, a project that Infrastructure Australia has determined to be a high priority initiative.

The Turnbull Government remains committed to the East West Link, and our offer of $3 billion still stands. We are ready to deliver the project should any Victorian Government decide to proceed.

However we have already provided $1.5 billion for this project to Victoria that is now idling in a Victorian Government bank account. The Turnbull Government wants to see this money, plus any interest accrued, immediately put to use to grow the economy and jobs and improve the lives of all Victorians.

We now look forward to the Andrews Government providing its agreement to these projects, including making the appropriate matching funding commitments.

Prime Minister Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison will write to Premier Andrews and Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas proposing that the $1.5 billion be allocated across the following projects.

This funding is conditional on matched funding by the Andrews Government, projects with a Commonwealth contribution of more than $100 million being assessed by Infrastructure Australia, and that projects have positive economic benefits.

Monash Freeway Upgrade

The Turnbull Government would contribute $500 million towards a billion-dollar upgrade of the congested Monash Freeway.

The Victorian Government has to date announced a $400 million project on the Monash, linked to the Western Distributor. The project includes an additional lane each way between Clyde Road and the EastLink Interchange and ‘Managed Motorways’ technology along the whole freeway.  This project as it stands depends upon negotiations between the Victorian Government and Transurban.

The Turnbull Government proposal would separate the Monash upgrade from the Western Distributor project and provide more benefits for the communities of South Eastern Melbourne.  It would allow an additional lane to be provided along a considerably longer stretch of the Monash Freeway, extending both west towards the city from the EastLink Interchange and east from Clyde Road. 

Detailed planning work, and a business case to be assessed by Infrastructure Australia, will be required to determine the precise extent of the extra works delivered under a $1 billion package.

While the Victorian Government is still refusing to proceed with East West Link, the Turnbull Government recognises the importance of investing in more capacity in Melbourne’s east.

The Turnbull Government has indicated to the Victorian Government that we are prepared to explore innovative financing approaches for the Western Distributor in a proposal decoupled from the Monash, such as the provision of a concessional loan as was done for the WestConnex project in Sydney.

Western Ring Road Upgrade

The Commonwealth will provide $350 million to complete the upgrade of the M80 Western Ring Road.  The project completes the three remaining sections of the 38 kilometre M80 Western Ring Road corridor requiring upgrades and will include capacity upgrades and installation of Intelligent Transport Systems.  This upgrade will facilitate improved connections to the Port of Melbourne, Melbourne Airport and interstate corridors, completing a critical national infrastructure upgrade.  It takes the overall contribution from this Coalition Government to $500 million.

Murray Basin Freight Rail Upgrade

The Commonwealth will provide $220 million towards gauge standardisation and track strengthening across about 1,000 kilometres of freight rail.  These works will create real competition within the transport sector, getting freight onto trains and more trucks off our local roads.

The Murray Basin Freight Rail will significantly improve connections to the ports of Geelong and Portland, and the primary producers of Victoria can better access international markets and drive the full benefits of our free trade agreements.

Rural and Regional Roads Package

The Commonwealth will provide $345 million to upgrade rural and regional road infrastructure in Victoria.  The package will focus on projects that deliver clear safety and productivity benefits.  This includes a further $10 million to build upon the current programme on parts of the Great Ocean Road.  The Commonwealth will work with Victoria to determine the best projects to receive funding through the package.

Urban Congestion Package

The Commonwealth will provide $75 million to support a package of projects that will relieve congestion in urban areas.  The Commonwealth will work with Victoria to determine the best projects to receive funding through the package.

Melbourne Metro Planning

The Commonwealth will commit $10 million to undertake further design and development work with Victoria.  In this regard, we will be interested in the impacts on urban renewal and access to jobs and housing provided by route selection and station locations.  Consistent with our cities agenda, we would wish to maximise city outcomes and the value created to contribute to project costs.  

The Commonwealth will commit resources to undertake further planning and development work with Victoria to maximise city outcomes and the value created to contribute to project costs.

The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments are in discussions on the use of potential funds under the Asset Recycling Initiative for Melbourne Metro. The project also offers significant scope to explore innovative financing solutions, particularly to harness the value generated as a result of this major public investment.

Sunset Cinema

  • Written by Vera Hu Festivals and Events City of Greater Dandenong



Looking for something fun do while the evenings are nice and warm? Then grab your friends and family, along with a picnic dinner, blankets and chairs and head down to Harmony Square for Sunset Cinema! Enjoy a variety of popular release and family favourite movies for free each Friday evening from 29 January to 11 March.

 

Sunset Cinema is proudly supported by Chrissie, Sam & Browny on Nova 100 (https://www.facebook.com/chrissiesamandbrowny/)

 

Event Detail



·       29 January

Paddington

G

·       5 February

Red Dog

PG

·       12 February

Inside Out

PG

·       19 February

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

PG

·       26 February

Howl’s Moving Castle

PG

·       4 March

Shaun The Sheep

G

·       11 March

Tomorrowland

PG

Summer Fun for the School Holidays in Melbourne

  • Written by Emma Watts



School's out, heralding the chance for kids to let their hair down. But that doesn't mean that parents need to be pulling their hair out, trying to think of ways to entertain their little ones. There are loads of activities on in Melbourne throughout the holidays to keep families occupied all summer long.

Australian Open
For two weeks in January, Melbourne Park is the home of family fun, when it hosts the Grand Slam of the Pan-Pacific, the Australian Open (18-31 January 2016). Along with world class tennis, there is a range of activities for budding tennis stars to enjoy. The fun continues at Birrarung Marr where the all-new, free and family-friendly Australian Open Festival will host activities and live entertainment. Open daily throughout the Open, the Festival will showcase some of Melbourne's famous world-class dining and food vendors, just a short walk from Melbourne Park itself. The Festival will feature three key areas, including Kids World with Nickelodeon's giant inflatable playground, Nickelodeon characters, the famous Nickelodeon Slime Lab, a Woolworths Kids Zone with fresh fruit frozen yoghurt and fun ball-kid challenges and free tennis on the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots mini-courts.

Arts Centre Melbourne
Arts Centre Melbourne is inviting movers and shakers of all ages and dance abilities to take a spin on its pop-up Dance Floor (11-23 December 2015), where a sound and light spectacular is triggered by leaping, twirling and tiptoeing. The Australian Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty: Storytime Ballet (16-20 December 2015) will provide plenty of dance-piration. Other family friendly productions include: The 3 Little Pigs (2-17 January 2016), direct from London's West End, which tells the classic fairytale with a musical twist; Noodlenut (19 January 2016), comedy master Frank Woodley's show for children and; The Illusionists 1903 a magic extravaganza full of tricks that will leave the whole family in awe. Public art and interactive experience, Tangle (20-24 January 2016) invites kids to take a giant ball of elastic and weave around golden poles, creating and contributing to a dense, multi-coloured landscape to play, explore and bounce in. 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 1300 182 183 

NGV
As part of the blockbuster exhibition, Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, NGV Kids presents Studio Cats (11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016), a large-scale installation especially for children that draws upon creative connections between the two artists and their mutual love of cats. Over at Federation Square, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia presents Our Land is Alive Hermannsburg Potters for Kids (September 2015 – April 2016) with twenty pots depicting some of the AFL's best and finest Indigenous players from all eighteen teams. 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, +61 3 8620 2222

ACMI
The Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) will roll out a Summer in Motion program featuring movies, workshops and free stuff for kids. Highlight films include Asterix: The Mansion of the Gods (23 December 2015 - 29 January 2016) and Monkey Kingdom (21 December 2015 - 31 January 2016). Workshops include Make a Movie, (6-8 and 11-13 January 2016) a three day hands on creative and technical filmaking workshop and Claymation for Kids (15 January 2016), where kids can sculpt their own characters from clay. Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne, +61 3 8663 2200

Luna Park 
Melbourne's much-loved theme park is gearing up for its biggest summer ever with four new rides and something to suit everyone's thrill threshold. Cars for Kids offers smaller kids the chance to practice their driving skills on mini dodgem cars. Body Rock is a high speed thrill ride, lifting adventure seekers up in the air and from side to side and all around. Jungle Twist is a family friendly spinning coaster and Hurricane sends carriages plummeting upward and downward as the entire ride rotates in a fast fury of excitement. LEGO workshops will also take place throughout the holidays. 18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda, +61 3 9525 5033

Melbourne Zoo
At Melbourne Zoo, kids have the chance to become a Seal Life-Saver (19 December 2015 – 24 March 2016) as the Carousel Park transforms into a pop-up beach. At the Wild Sea, kids can meet seals, pelicans and penguins and find out how to help save these marine wildlife. Littlies can enjoy beach-themed activities in Keeper Kids from 12pm or the seal show at 11.30am every day. At dusk every Friday and Saturday, Zoo Twilights (29 January – 12 March 2016) welcomes a selection of local and international artists to the stage. Acts include Birds of Tokyo, José González, John Butler Trio and Belinda Carlisle. Entry for kids under 16 is free. Elliott Ave, Parkville, +61 39285 9300

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
In addition to its face-to-face marine life experiences, the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium has recently launched a 4-D experience, Ice Age: No Time For NutsThis fully immersive, high energy, nine minute show features exclusive brand new footage, presented in high definition. 3-D projection combines with in-theatre special effects such as vibrating seats, water spray, strobe lights to create the 4-D experience. A specially-themed pre-show area features an interactive ice wall and photo opportunities. After the show, kids can top the day off with a visit to the King and Gentoo penguins in their own Antarctic world, Penguin Playground. King Street and Flinders St, Melbourne, +61 3 9923 5925

Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens provide the perfect setting for a picnic all year round, and in summer the Gardens offer school holiday fun for the whole family. The Australian Shakespear Company presents Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies (6 – 23 January 2016), an interactive adventure where dressing up as an fairy or elf is positively encouraged. At the sun sets, the Moonlight Cinema (3 December 2015 – 27 March 2016) gets under way and families and older children can roll out the picnic rug while waiting for their favourite film to roll against the city skyline. Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, +61 3 9252 2300

Melbourne Museum
A fun filled and informative night-time tour of the Wild and Forest galleries, Night Bird Watch (26 December 2015 – 26 January 2016) will enable kids to discover owls and nightjars of of Australasia, North America and Eurasia up close. During the day, the Museum's activity rooms will become a nocturnal soundscape Night Space (26 December 2015 – 26 January 2016) featuring the the sights and sounds of creatures that are most active at night. Next door IMAX will be showing Under the Sea a child-friendly 45 minute documentary. Older kids will enjoy Star Wars in 3-D, and to accompany the film there will be loads of Star Wars droids and a Star Wars staircase, perfect for instagrammable pics. 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton, +61 3 8341 7777

Science Works
Science Works will host a 20-minute show, Blown Away (1 - 26 January 2016) every day at midday throughout January. Demonstrations will show kids the difference between high and low air pressure and how it moves around. Ages 8 and up will also enjoy the chance to explore the world with just a smartphone in a cardboard box with Virtually Real! (1 – 26 January 2016). The simple stereoscopic mask combines two images into one for a 3-D effect, while a motion sensor in the device detects and adjusts the image according head movements. 2 Booker Street, Spotswood, +61 3 9392 4800

Shrine of Remembrance
A free Summer Family Program (11 – 22 January 2016) will run at the Shrine of Remembrance and include two activities. Symbol Quest: Lions, Crowns and Colours is a 55-minute program introducing children aged seven to 13 to the symbolism, metaphors and codes embedded into the Shrine of Remembrance architecture, Galleries of Remembrance exhibitions and surrounding parklands. Children aged four to six can enjoy Stories to Remember, telling tales written for children about the challenges faced by people and animals during wartime will be told. Birdwood Ave, Melbourne, +61 3 9661 8100

2016 Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix Disney preview 
Disney will keep both kids and parents entertained during the 2016 Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix (17-20 March, 2016), and as a sneak preview, fans can catch a glimpse of their favourite Disney characters and activities this January. Disney will be on show at F1 World at City Square from 12-22 January, and at F1 @ Federation Square from 26-28 February. In another coup for families and just in time for Christmas, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation is offering '2 for 1' tickets for General Admission fans until 22 December 2015. Crn Swanston Street and Collins Street

Phillip Island Nature Parks 
Out of town, Phillip Island Nature Parks has just launched two new experiencesAntarctic Journey, at the Nobbies Centre, takes visitors on a virtual journey into the world of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, through interactive and immersive experiences over three levels. At the Penguin Parade, an upgraded Penguins Plus viewing area enables visitors to see eye to eye with penguins as they waddle up the shore to their burrows.

 

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The Langham, Melbourne Named One of the Top Five Hotels in Australia and New Zealand by Readers of Condè Nast Traveler U.S.

  • Written by Kate Atkinson



In the October issue of Condé Nast Traveler (U.S.), The Langham, Melbourne has been named one of the top five hotels on an annual list of the Best Hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

This is the third consecutive year The Langham, Melbourne has been included in the prestigious magazine's round-up of best hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

Every year, Condé Nast Traveler readers vote on their favourite hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines and more in the magazine's annual Readers' Choice Awards.

“We are thrilled to once again be included on this sought-after list. Many of our guests comment that it is our staff and service that sets us apart. We are genuinely touched that our guests took the time to vote for The Langham, Melbourne.” commented The Langham, Melbourne's Managing Director, Ben Sington.

“It's exciting  too that the hotel has been voted the  number one hotel on TripAdvisor for 18 weeks so far this year and the hotel has been in the top three hotels in Melbourne for  41 of the past 42 weeks,” commented Sington.

“We have a busy calendar of events taking place over the next few months including showcasing dishes from Bradley Cooper's new movie, Burnt, at Aria Bar & Lounge. The film was shot on location at our sister hotel, The Langham, London. In addition, we are proud to be supporting the forthcoming Australian Masters golf tournament and the inaugural OMG week taking place in November. OMG week, is the brainchild of George Calombaris and stands for Oh My Greek. We're also hosting our iconic Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood on a daily basis,” added Sington.

The Langham, Melbourne is renowned for being a chic, luxurious haven in the heart of Melbourne's bustling Southbank precinct. Ideally located on the banks of the Yarra River, the hotel overlooks the city's Flinders Street Station and Central Business District.

The hotel's award-winning Melba restaurant is a often referred to as an innovative benchmark-setting restaurant while the hotel's Aria Bar is revered for its contemporary High Teas as much as it is for its  service-oriented evening bar offerings.

Chuan Spa offers an extensive treatment menu which caters for both those looking for result focussed facials as well as those seeking the ultimate in relaxation.

The Langham, Melbourne offers guests a luxurious and timeless, inner-city experience.

Bookings may be made by visiting melbourne.langhamhotels.com.au or by calling +61 8696 8888. 

The Langham, Melbourneat Southbank is located at the heart of Melbourne's diverse performing arts scene, and is a proud partner of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, Opera Australia and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

The 25-floor hotel has 388 luxuriously appointed rooms including 126 river view rooms, 57 executive club rooms,  6 balcony rooms with 19m² private balconies, 7 Terrace Rooms with 50m² private balconies, 11 suites and one Presidential Suite; each attended to by the hotel's signature Service Stylists. The Langham, Melbourne boasts stunning views of the Melbourne city skyline, the Yarra River, historic Flinders Street station and Federation Square. 

The Langham, Melbourne is also acclaimed for its award-winning Chuan Spa, interactive dining restaurant – Melba, and chic bar & lounge – ARIA.

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