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Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is known as Australia’s most stylish city, with a passion for food and wine, a vibrant arts scene and home to the nation’s major events and festivals. On Melbourne’s doorstep you’ll discover a microcosm of Australia, from wildlife to vineyards, and beaches to national parks. Must do’s whilst in Melbourne? Dine at one of the city’s internationally acclaimed restaurants, explore the labyrinth of laneways which are the heart of Melbourne’s café culture, meet unique Australian wildlife on Phillip Island and take in the coastal scenery along the Great Ocean Road.

Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip International Economy Class Flights from Los Angeles (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
  • 3 nights Melbourne at the 4.5* Crown Promenade – Standard King Room
  • Half Day Laneways & Arcades Walking Tour
  • Full Day Phillip Island Penguin Parade Ultimate Eco Tour
  • 3 days medium size automatic transmission car rental inclusive of insurance and GPS
  • 1 night Apollo Bay at the 4* Captains at the Bay – Terrace Room including full breakfast
  • 1 night Dunkeld at the 4.5* Royal Mail Hotel – Garden view Room including full breakfast
  • 1 night Daylesford at the 4* Grange Bellinzona – Superior Room
  • Seat in coach airport shuttle transfer
  • All taxes & fuel surcharges

Itinerary

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Day 1 - Depart Los Angeles non-stop to Melbourne with Virgin Australia
What makes Australia truly special is not just the accents, iconic destinations and the wildlife, but the warmth of its people. You’ll experience this warmth with Virgin Australia when you fly direct from LA to Melbourne. Considering upgrading your flight? Consider premium economy from $700 per person additional each way or a life flat bed in business class from $2,000 each way

Day 2 - Cross International Dateline

Day 3 - Arrive Melbourne
On arrival into Melbourne you will be transferred to the Crown Promenade by shuttle service. Enjoy 3 nights in exciting Melbourne – named the world’s most livable city for the sixth consecutive year.

ACCOMMODATION - Stylish, relaxed and contemporary, Crown Promenade Hotel is located in Melbourne's vibrant Southbank entertainment precinct. Spacious rooms and fantastic views are only the beginning. Eat and drink in style at Mesh restaurant or Tonic bar, relax by the pool at the Deck Leisure centre or take the air-bridge to the exciting Crown Entertainment Complex. Choose from a wide array of Crown's 40 restaurants and bars or immerse yourself in world class shopping.

Wander through Melbourne’s labyrinth of connecting laneways and arcades, intimate spaces and mystery, as well as home to many of Melbourne’s bar, dining and shopping secrets. Melbourne also has a strong cultural and intellectual heritage. With a range of galleries and museums, the city provides a canvas for artistic expression – the laneways are home to constantly changing street art. Melburnians love a party, with the year-round calendar of events offering something for everyone, see live music, go to a football match or join in at a festival! Melbourne’s multicultural population contributes to the city’s unique atmosphere – and more importantly, the city’s incredible dining scene. With a vibrant energy and unique offerings, Melbourne’s lifestyle is sure to find something for all visitors to enjoy.

Day 4 - Melbourne - Lanes & Arcades tour
This morning Indulge with a casual walk through Melbourne's lanes and arcades in small groups to engage in the life of this city which many miss. Discover local designers and specialty retailers, tiny cafes and more. A little history and attention to amazing architecture will inspire locals and visitors alike. Get orientated and return to those places you like best in the afternoon, at your leisure.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 5 - Melbourne - Phillip Island
Late morning depart Melbourne on your small group tour for Phillip Island. Get up close and personal with the friendly residents of Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies, have your photo taken with a koala (small fee applies) and learn about the conservation of these amazing animals. This Eco-certified sanctuary showcases the famous and endangered faces of Australias wildlife, including the southern bettong, eastern quolls and rare fluffy gliders. From here we travel to historic Churchill Island, where you will see sheep shearing and working dogs in action. On Phillip Island we visit the stunning Cape Woolamai surf beach, see the Nobbies and Seal Rocks before arriving at the Penguin Parade where you will view the penguins from the "Penguins Plus" viewing platform; Home to Victorias largest colony of little penguins, Summerland Beach provides the backdrop to the world famous Penguin Parade. Watch as hundreds of little penguins make their way across the beach and return to their sand dune burrows.

Image: Tourism Australia

Day 6 - Melbourne - Apollo Bay
Collect your car this morning and travel south west from Melbourne on the Princes Highway to Geelong, the largest provincial city in Victoria. Depart Geelong and travel onto Torquay, the surfing capital of Australia. Follow the coast road through Anglesea to Lorne and visit the nearby Erskine Falls. The coastline from Lorne to Apollo Bay has been described as one of the most beautiful and breathtaking drives in the world.

GREAT OTWAY NATIONAL PARK
An ancient, pristine place where waterfalls thunder, goliath trees reach for the sun and wildlife thrives in the cool temperate rainforest. Such is the Great Otway National Park. Over 103,000 hectares of natural environment spanning the coast and hinterland from Torquay to Princetown. Awesome forests. Spectacular coastline. It’s a natural adventure space that will keep you wondering at every turn. Walk it, bike it or drive it … just make sure you do it.

Overnight at Apollo Bay at The Captains on the Bay

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 7 - Apollo Bay - Port Campbell - Dunkeld
Depart Apollo Bay this morning and travel along the fabulous Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell. The road does leave the coast and wind through the ferny slopes of Cape Otway, this rainforest country is silent and untouched. When the road meets the coast again you will see some amazing rock formations including the Twelve Apostles, which are huge stone pillars in the surf, carved over time by the crashing Southern Ocean waves. Continue on to Port Campbell where you will see London Bridge the broken arch.

From Port Campbell travel north west to Dunkeld where you will stay for the night. Dunkeld's historic Royal Mail Hotel is idyllically located at the base of Mount Sturgeon, at the southern tip of western Victoria's Grampians Ranges. Originally established in 1855, the hotel retains its historical charm while providing guests with contemporary, architecturally designed facilities that take advantage of the stunning natural surroundings.

TWELVE APOSTLES
These world-famous wavesculpted rock formations stand defiant against the surging waves of the Southern Ocean and are located in the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. For a fresh perspective, descend Gibson Steps to the beach and see how the Twelve Apostles stack up at ground level. What could possibly beat standing on a cliff-top viewing deck soaking up the beauty of the Twelve Apostles? A breathtaking helicopter flight to view the entire coast from above. Imagine soaring over the Twelve Apostles and the Bay of Islands.

PORT CAMPBELL NATIONAL PARK
The park hugs the wild coastline for 27km between Princetown and Peterborough. Just 4km narrow at its widest, the park attracts literally millions of visitors each year and envelopes one of Australia’s most iconic stretches of shoreline. Dramatic wave-sculpted landforms such as the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge are the superstars of the park. But there’s an amazing support cast off the beaten track.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 8 - Dunkeld to Grampians & onwards to Daylesford
Depart Dunkeld this morning for Halls Gap the heart of the Grampians National Park in the picturesque Fyans Valley. The township offers a comprehensive shopping centre and National Park visitor centre. The sandstone ranges of the Grampians National Park surround Halls Gap, provide views of rugged escarpments and tranquil atmosphere. The ridges and valleys are filled with Australian fauna, wildflowers, treefern gullies, strange rock formations, Aboriginal rock art, crystal clear rock pools, and may waterfalls, such as the McKenzie falls.

Departing Halls Gap join the Grampians Road (C216) to Stawell then turn right onto the Western Highway (A8 / M8) past the towns of Ararat, Beaufort, Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh towards Daylesford – just 40 minutes from Melbourne Airport for your overnight stay at the Grange Bellinzona Hotel

Situated in the centre of a pretty and historic village of Hepburn Springs, Grange Bellinzona welcomes you with its elegant heritage style. In a great location only 3km from Daylesford with lively cafes, galleries and bookshops to explore. The property has a wonderful view of the wombat state forest and is walking distance to the Mineral Springs.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 9 - Depart Melbourne
This morning self-drive to Melbourne airport (approx 1 hr) and return your rental car before boarding your Virgin Australia flight back to Los Angeles or your next destination within Australia.

 

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Conditions

Package from prices are per person based on double occupancy departures from Los Angeles. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain black out dates apply on the accommodation and tour value add offers - check with your Aspire consultant. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check, please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.