FLIGHTS to Melbourne land at Melbourne International Airport, around 23km from the city centre.
Travel with Dusty Miller
And two lucky NewsDay readers will soon be jetting there for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
For everyday travellers who will not be receiving quite the same lavish Emirates attention as our winners, after a Melbourne arrival, the Skybus service operates buses to and from Southern Cross Station in central Melbourne every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day, and also offers complimentary transfers to many Melbourne hotels. Taxis are also readily available.
A Melbourne airfare offers excellent value, bringing you to one of the most vibrant and multicultural cities in Australia. A flight to Melbourne lets you discover its turbulent past, which once saw it crowned as the richest city in the world, and has left it with an impressive legacy of history and culture.
Many visitors taking flights to Melbourne are there for one thing only: sport. The Melbourne Cup is one of the richest horse races in the world, and fans of the turf head in on Melbourne flights every year just to see the race. Flights to Melbourne also bring fans in to see the other staples of the city’s sports scene: Cricket and Australian Rules Football matches. Our winners will witness a feast of action-packed ODI cricket.
Melbourne is where Australia’s real cultural action takes place, with its vibrantly multicultural make-up; Melbourne is not-uncommonly referred to as the most liveable city in the world.
The city’s fortunes have waxed and waned over the years; the gold rush of 1851 caused a boom, and by 1880 Melbourne was the richest city in the world – but only a decade later it had slumped into depression. This mixed past, combined with the legacies of government and immigration, has left Melbourne with an interesting and varied architecture and culture – and a lot of history.
What Melbourne lacks in big-name landmarks, it more than makes up for in attractive spots around the city. Federation Square is at the top of this list; this mixed-use space opened in 2002, and has become a Melbourne institution. Fed Square’s huge public screen, indoor and outdoor stages and mix of museums and cafes have made it a popular meeting-place for locals and visitors – and something, from art installations to live music, is always going on.
Melbourne is an excellent city to wander in, when its famously changeable weather permits. Leave plenty of time to explore the city as a whole, particularly areas such as Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, famous for its more alternative culture.
Sport in Melbourne
Along with its arts crown, Melbourne is also the sports capital of Australia. Original home of the lively domestic game of choice, Australian Rules Football, Melbourne also hosts the Formula One Australian Grand Prix, and is home to the country’s main cricket venue, the Melbourne Cricket Club.
For many, though, one sporting event trumps all the rest: the Melbourne Cup. This legendary horse race sees owners and racing fans from all over the world descend on Melbourne every November. The Cup is one of the richest races in the world – behind Dubai – and is the most prestigious two-mile race anywhere.
Dining and nightlife
Almost two centuries of continuous immigration have left Melbourne with one of the most multicultural societies anywhere in the world, and this shows in its cuisine.
An excellent meal from any part of the world is pretty much guaranteed – provided you know where to go: to start with, try suburban Lygon Street for Italian, or Glenferrie Road in Malvern for a variety of Asian cuisines. Adventurous diners should look for local food guides, and ask Melbournians for their dining tips.
As might be expected for a centre of the arts, Melbourne offers visitors an especially varied nightlife scene. From live music and the latest plays, to trendy art exhibits and the hottest new clubs, there’s probably too much to do after dark for a single visit. Again, local listings publications are the best place to start for those after a good time.
Following the Yarra River north from Melbourne brings you to one of Australia’s main wine-growing regions – the Yarra Valley, famous for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Melbourne’s state of Victoria is a major centre of wine production, and oenophiles could spend many happy weeks exploring the state’s different wine regions.
Some 240km to the south of Melbourne lies the island of Tasmania, from where Melbourne’s original western settlers first set off.
Tasmania is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of Australia, and home to dozens of animal and plant species found nowhere else in the world. For those in search of the wilder side of Australia, flights from Melbourne to Tasmania operate daily.
Emirates operates three flights to Melbourne from its Dubai hub every day using the latest aircraft, offering private suites in First Class and ice,its award-winning entertainment system in all classes on Melbourne flights.
Fares from Harare to Melbourne, via Lusaka and Dubaistart at around $1623return.
Visa information is available from http://www.zimbabwe.embassy.gov.au/hare/home.html or at the Australian Embassy at 1 Green Close, Borrowdale, Harare. Tel:04 853 23 555.
Book at your favourite travel agent, at the Emirates office in Avondale or online at www.emirates.com/zw
How to enter this thrilling competition.
1) Take a “selfie”, preferably on your cellphone illustrating why you are the Number One cricket fan in Zimbabwe.
2) Upload this selfie to the Cricket Zimbabwe home page.
3) Wait for the results announcing which two people will be off to Melbourne, via Dubai for the finals of the World Cup!