Sunday, April 26, 2015

Melbourne Australia

In February this year, I was in Melbourne for a convention. Thus, I took opportunity to check around, try to eat some great food and enjoy myself. Since we had almost three full days of Convention, I did not have much time for some serious sightseeing.

 For my four nights there, I stayed at two hotels, namely Hotel Windsor, and Hilton Melbourne at South Wharf. I always like to stay at different hotels at different locations.


Well, as a tourist, you have many choices of hotels based on your preferred area and budget. Basically the area is divided into Melbourne City Centre, East Melbourne, Carlton and Fitzroy, South Melbourne and St Kilda. Melbourne's city centre lies on the Yarra River's north bank, and you will find many Victorian buildings, and skyscrapers clustered here. St Paul's Cathedral, Edwardian architecture of Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, as well as many chandelier-lit bars, and fashion boutiques can be easily reached within walking distance. Otherwise, you can take the City Tram or Free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle.

So why these two hotels? Well, I picked Hotel Windsor simply because it is a Heritage Hotel, and it was designed by Charles Webb and opened its door in 1883. This 5 star hotel was voted Australasia's Leading Hotel at the 2014 World Travel Awards. Wonderful architecture features which include the Romanesque and Second Empire period, with the arched arcades, the balustrade as well as the central towers with their cupolas. The distinguished guest list here includes Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Kylie Minogue, Sir Richard Branson, Muhammad Ali, Margaret Thatcher, The Duke of Windsor and etc. There is a tram stop near the hotel, and enjoy the free wireless internet. I had a wonderful stay here, and love the location, which is within walking distance to a Convenience Store, the Treasury Building, shopping street in Collins Street, and even the train station of Flinders. When you stay here, you must try their Afternoon Tea which has been the hotel tradition since the 1883. Enjoy the freshly baked scones, sandwiches, a great selection of tea, and a glass of sparkling wine. I chose the Peony White with Rose teas. Simply divine Afternoon Tea session not to be missed!
                                           Front entrance - Hotel Windsor, Melbourne


                                               I got an upgrade for my hotel room!

Afternoon Tea @ Hotel Windsor

Yummy, taste really good...

If you like afternoon tea, scones, and coffee, do not miss this afternoon tea 
@Hotel Windsor, which has been a tradition since 1883.

                                                               Parliament House
                                                   (located opposite Hotel Windsor)

As for the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf, I enjoyed great city views and skyline from my hotel room. It was only a pity that there were two days of rain when I stayed there, and thus, could not offer any nice picture taken from the room. There were many restaurants along the Wharf. In fact, I was there over the Valentine's Day weekend, and there was even a Fireworks display over the Yarra River when I walked back to my hotel. I ate my lunch at World Restaurant & Bar, and had Fish & Chips ..

City Skyline of Melboure from my hotel room at 
Hilton Melbourne South Wharf.

I was hungry for one of the night, and I ordered the beef burger.
The beef was so succulent!


The City Circle Tram service provides a free and convenient way to get around central Melbourne. Tourists, shoppers, office workers and families can use the City Circle Tram to travel to major attractions, shops and city events.

The City Circle route is serviced by heritage W class trams decorated in special maroon and green with yellow and gold trimmings, as well as MMTB's standard traditional green liveried W Class trams.

The City Circle Tram travels around the city and links with other tram, train and light rail services in and around Melbourne. The tram will take you past shopping malls and arcades, and major attractions such as the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House and the Princess Theatre. 

Tourists can spend all day on a City Circle Tram! Information leaflets, including an 'easy to understand' map of the city are available on board each City Circle Tram. The City Circle Tram can be used as a 'hop on - hop off' service, this way tourists can enjoy each of Melbourne's sites and have the added bonus of traditional Melbourne transportation. 

To catch the free City Circle Tram service (route number 35), simply board the tram at any of the specially marked stops on the route.


Every 12 minutes, and approximately 48 minutes to complete a loop.

The City Circle tram service operates within Melbourne's central business district. The service operates in a circular route passing major tourist attractions, as well as linking with other tram, train and bus routes in and around Melbourne. Trams run in both directions approximately every twelve minutes between 10am and 6pm Sunday to Wednesday and extended hours, 10am - 9pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Clockwise service: Flinders Street > Harbour Esplanade > Docklands Drive > La Trobe Street > Victoria Street > Nicholson Street > Spring Street > Flinders Street

The City Circle tram service operates within Melbourne's central business district. The service operates in a circular route passing major tourist attractions, as well as linking with other tram, train and bus routes in and around Melbourne. Trams run in both directions approximately every twelve minutes between 10am and 6pm Sunday to Wednesday and extended hours, 10am - 9pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Anti-clockwise service: Flinders Street > Spring Street > Nicholson Street > Victoria Parade > La Trobe Street > Docklands Drive > Harbour Esplanade > Flinders Street



If you like shopping, there are many wonderful places for shopping in Melbourne. Chinatown, Bourke Street Mall, Collins & Little Collins Street, Docklands, Flinders Quarter. I enjoyed my walk along Collins Street, and this is where you can find all the top brands - including Cartier, Frank Muller, Designer Stores, and a number of Five Star Hotels.

How to get to Collins Street?
Take the Free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle to Stop 4.
Take the Free City Circle Tram to the corner of Spring Street and Collins Street.


Well, in Melbourne, you can find many restaurants for a great variety of food - Western, Seafood, Chinese cuisine. I actually found Killiney near ChinaTown area. Well, I do not like to eat Chinese food when I travel overseas. And one of the evening, I was with a new friend who I met at our Travel Convention, and he can only eat Halal food, and Killiney happened to serve Halal food. That is the reason why I ended up eating there together with him. I had the satay, but I find it really disappointing and it really tasted a lot of difference from what we have in Singapore. There was so little grinded peanuts in the peanut sauce. So, I did not take any picture.

For one of my lunch, I went to World Restaurant & Bar, which is by the riverside. You can enjoy pizzas, tacos, steaks, wine and even cocktails and beer here. And this is definitely the place to be if you want to have a relaxing time, catching up with friends or just people watching on a lazy weekend.

World Restaurant & Bar
Address - Building 2, Shop 4, Riverside Quay,
Southbank, Melbourne. VIC 3006

Fish & Chips @ World Restaurant & Bar

And I ate my last dinner at No 35,up on the thirty-fifth floor of the Collins Tower, Sofitel Melbourne, and thus the name of the restaurant. Enjoy fabulous city views from the glass window. Salmon is always my favourite, and the meal was superb, and it was well cooked, and the meat was so tasty! Simply loving it. I ordered mushroom soup and had wine too. The staff were very attentive and were very helpful with their recommendations as well.

Enjoy stunning city views from the Ceiling-high winows
No 35 Restaurant, Sofitel Hotel.

No 35 restaurant @Sofitel Hotel.

Salmon - always my favourite
King Salmon was cooked to my utmost perfection.
My wine - Louis Perdrier was excellent, 
and it was recommended by the waiter!


I had been to Melbourne before, and had gone on the sightseeing previously.
List of Things to do -
1. Ocean Road Drive & 12 Apostles
2. Philip Island and the Penguin parade
3. Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour (Eat great food & enjoy the sights)
4. Yarra Valley Wine & winery tour
5. Yarra Cruise
6. Yarra Valley Balloon Flight at Sunrise
7. Helicopter flight over Melbourne

Hotels/ Flights booking -

After you book your flights/hotels with us, our system will check the internet everyday up to 3 hours before your flight departure. And when it finds a cheaper fare, it will cancel your current booking and RE-ISSUE a new ticket with the lower price, and refund you the DIFFERENCE IN FARE to your Credit Card!
Enjoy fabulous savings while booking with us.

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