Melbourne is Australia's centre for shopping, restaurants, sport, arts, culture and big events. Vibrant, friendly, with a cosmopolitan spirit and a youthful outlook, Melbourne breathes a life of its own. Melbourne is host to major cultural festivals, world famous horse race, smash hit musicals and international sporting events throughout the year.
The Melbourne Festival, Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Australian Grand Prix, Australian Football League Grand Final, Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup and Spring Racing Carnival, Australian Open, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival are just a few key events.
The life and soul of Southbank is the affluent, buzzing Southbank Promenade. This path stretches along the south side of the Yarra River from the popular Southgate shopping and dining complex to the glittering Crown Casino. The promenade is packed with cafes, shops and restaurants, with a sprinkling of upmarket hotels, major offices, public art and swish new apartments. The variety, and splendid city views, make it the perfect place for locals and visitors to drink, dine, stroll, and watch the occasional street performer.
Southbank is an important cultural hub that includes the Melbourne Arts Centre, Concert Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, the Malthouse Theatre, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Victorian College of the Arts. It also includes the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (informally known as Jeff’s Shed after a former premier) and the Polly Woodside Maritime Museum.
Docklands is the hub of Melbourne's best waterside shopping and entertainment. Docklands attractions include bars, restaurants, markets, shopping, performance spaces and cinemas. There's always something exciting happening at Docklands. Highlights: Art Walk, Ice Skating, Farmers' Markets, Southern Star Observation Wheel, Outlet shopping, Bars and Restaurants.
Etihad Stadium is a multi-purpose facility designed to cater for major sporting and entertainment events, as well as social, business and private functions. The stadium is situated in the heart of Melbourne’s Docklands, 9, 2000 more than 19-million people have passed through the just minutes from the CBD. Etihad Stadium is the only football stadium in the Southern Hemisphere with a fully retractable roof.
The development of Federation Square with its bold architecture and varied cultural offerings has provided Melbourne with a new contemporary dimension to its appeal.
The size of an entire new city block, Federation Square took over four years to complete and hosts the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne Visitor Information Centre, a selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and Function Centre and a range of public open spaces.
A project the size and nature of Federation Square probably arises only every century. Melbourne’s major 19th century building contribution to civic life was the Royal Exhibition Building. Melbourne’s 21st century civic icon is Federation Square.
Queen Victoria Market
The Queen Victoria Market is more than just Melbourne’s shopping Mecca. This 19th century market is a historic landmark, a tourist attraction and an institution for all Melburnians. The ‘Queen Vic’ was opened in 1878, but the meat market building (except the Victorian facade) operated from 1866.
The area where the back open-air sheds stand used to be Melbourne’s first cemetery. Over the years, the market has been a wholesale fruit and vegetable market, and has gone through various expansions and changes reflecting the shopping habits of the growing Melbourne populace.
Fresh is the flavour of the market. More than fresh seafood and fresh fruits and vegetables, the market takes a fresh approach. Find clothing, baggage, toys, jewellery, new-age products and souvenirs at sinful prices.
The complex of enclosed food halls, open sheds, shops and stores illustrate the variety of Melbourne culture through its produce whilst maintaining a vibrant sense of how a 19th century market functioned.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens were established in 1846. The gardens are home to over 12,000 different species of plants and are a natural sanctuary for native wildlife. Features of the gardens include the Ornamental Lake, the National Herbarium of Victoria, Old Melbourne Observatory, the Australian Rainforest Walk and the Water Conservation Garden. During summer the gardens host the Moonlight Cinema, an outdoor cinema with twilight screenings of classic and cult movies.
A visitor’s centre for the gardens can be found opposite the Shrine of Remembrance. Open daily from 900am–5.30pm, the centre can provide details about the gardens and guided tours.
One of Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions, Sovereign Hill is a fabulous re-creation of the hustle and bustle of life in Ballarat in the 1850s. Set on a former goldmining site, the compound has more than 60 buildings, while over 200 people volunteer to dress in period costume on a regular basis.
You can do all the traditional activities like pan for real gold, buy boiled sweets from the confectioner’s, ride in horse-drawn carriages, travel underground on a tour of the Red Hill Mine, or simply observe the working and living conditions that existed last century.
At night, Sovereign Hill holds a spectacular 80-minute sound and light show on the Eureka Rebellion, dramatically called ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’, which is Australia’s only uprising and took place in 1854 at Ballarat.
Penguin Parade Phillip Island
As the sun sinks in the sky, groups of Little Penguins waddle up the beach to the safety of their burrows in the sand dunes of Summerland Beach. Having fished for food in the waters around Phillip Island during the day, the colony of around 4,500 penguins return home for the night to rest and in the breeding season (August to March), to feed their young. You can experience a close encounter with this wild penguin colony from the viewing stands and observation boardwalks at Phillip Island Nature Park.
The Penguin Parade is located on Phillip Island, 140 kilometres south-east of Melbourne.
There are various tour operators that offer tours to Phillip Island. Please see the reception for further information and assistance.
The Princess Theatre
Seeped in History and Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Princess Theatre was completed refurshibed at a cost of $6 million, the renovation and expansion project restored the beautiful facade and marquee, rebuilt a new stage house, upgraded the infrastructure and equipment and expanded into an adjacent building with a new lobby and dressing rooms.
The Theatre now operates a larger and more technically equipped facility while preserving one of the city's most historic landmarks.
The Great Ocean Road
Cross over Melbourne's Westgate Bridge to the long highway cliff hugs its way from Port Phillip Bay, Port Melbourne, the city skyline and the western region from Geelong to Adelaide. Have our hotel arrange a hire car or tour to take you on a trip along Victoria's famous Great Ocean Road and discover golden sandy beaches, sheer cliff faces, surf beaches and amazing rock formations. Pass through restful fishing villages and seaside resorts such as the famous surfing town of Torquay, Australia's surfing capital and home of Rip Curl. It also features the world-famous Bells Beach and is home to the World Surfing Championships.
Pass through the beautiful coastal towns of Anglesea, Lorne and Wye River, and visit the spectacular Cape Patton Lookout before reaching Apollo Bay; even take your swimwear. Go inland from the coastline and discover the magic of the Otway National Park, silent and untouched, lush tree-fern gullies and towering mountain ash forests. A photographers paradise, there are many opportunities to shoot stunning scenery at sunset or dusk, such as the stone monoliths of the Twelve Apostles or the remains of the London Bridge.
Open daily, Healesville Sanctuary, just one hour from Melbourne in the picturesque Yarra Valley, and you'll find yourself closer than you ever thought possible to Australia’s unique wildlife.
Featuring more than 200 species of native birds, mammals and reptiles displayed in a beautiful bushland setting. As you make your way along the accessible system of pathways linking the habitats and exhibits, look out for roaming animals like kangaroos, emus and wallabies. You can also see the platypus exhibit, which provides an intimate encounter with this nocturnal creature, and participate in meet-the-keeper sessions featuring hunting demonstrations by birds of prey and daily dingo walks.
Reception at the Kingsgate Hotel can arrange a day trip to Healesville Sanctuary. This Australian experience and a great way to immerse yourself in the sights, scents and sounds of the Australian bush.
The Valley is easily accessible from Melbourne around an hours drive east of Melbourne. Mountains and valleys sidle along Melbourne’s eastern fringe. The Yarra Valley is the ideal destination for wine enthusiasts wanting to stimulate their taste buds with 35 cellar doors. Let us arrange for you to relax at some of Australia's most notable wineries such as Domain Chandon, De Bortoli and Rochford Wines.
The region is most famous for its production of dry white wines with fruit accents that are being recognised in world-class rankings. Enjoy local fresh produce at local cafes and restaurants.
From this location, you can also view the Dandenong’s and Sherbrooke Forest while taking a ride on the Puffing Billy Steam Train. Once you have reached your destination, you can wander among the koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats at Healesville Sanctuary or perhaps spot them on your journey through the green and undulating cool hills.
The Melbourne Aquarium is home of over 10,000 aquatic creatures, see the sharks being fed, wiggle with the octopus, enjoy the jellies, bask with the rays and be thrilled by the simulator rides.
Travel through billabongs, rock pool, a transparent tunnel surrounded by sharks and giant sting rays, and finally go right off the deep end to the 2.2 million litre Oceanarium.
Within easy walking distance of the hotel, located on the banks of the Yarra the Aquarium is open every day of the year.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is close proximity to the Kingsgate Hotel with just a short train or tram ride.
Built way back in 1853 when the then 15-year-old Melbourne Cricket Club was forced by the government to move from its former site because the route of Australia’s first steam train was to pass through the oval.
Since then the MCG has established a marvellous history, this can be viewed in its well-known Australian Gallery of Sport, which includes some of the most priceless pieces of memorabilia in Australian sporting history. Hosting plenty of international cricket including the first-ever Test and the 1992 World Cup final, countless VFL/AFL Grand Finals, and the 1956 Olympic Games.
Other sporting spectacles that have been held there are Australian World Cup soccer qualifiers, rugby league home and away matches and State of Origin, and international rugby union clashes.
Apart from its sporting events, the MCG has also witnessed many blockbuster music concerts, and even the current Pope, John Paul II, held a mass there when he visited Melbourne in 1986.
People from all over Australia, and indeed all over the world, speak reverently about the MCG, a ground that is as well known as any other and will no doubt further enhance its reputation when it hosts the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Melbourne Exhibition Centre
Only a few minutes walk from the Kingsgate Hotel is the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), comprising of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and Melbourne’s latest offering in architectural ingenuity - the Melbourne Convention Centre.
Set to impress as the first, and one and only, ‘6 Star Green Star’ convention centre in the world, the Melbourne Convention Centre represents world leadership in best practice, innovation and sustainability and is raising standards to new heights in technology, imaginative catering and service options.
The convention centre features
- 32 meeting rooms of various sizes
- a ground floor cocktail space capable of accommodating 8400 people
- a grand banquet room
- a 5000 seat plenary hall that can be divided into three self-contained, acoustically separate theatres
- with a stunning 18-metre tall glass façade fronting the Yarra River offering unequalled views of the Melbourne city skyline, the centre offers an unparalleled experience for delegates and visitors alike.
Crown Entertainment Complex
Located on the opposite bank of the river, the complex combines gaming, convention, restaurant, retail and comprehensive entertainment facilities in one of the most innovative and technologically advanced sites in the world.
Experience a wide range of prestigious brands including Burberry, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Brioni, Lk Jewellery, Versace and more. Streetwear and lifestyle apparel includes French Connection, Witchery, Guess, Nine West, Politix just to name a few, all within a short stroll of each other. If you appreciate elegance, adore good design and live for style, you'll love shopping at Crown.
Crown offers some of Melbourne's finest and most cosmopolitan dining overlooking the Yarra River and city skyline. There is also the popular Giuseppe, Arnaldo & Sons, Bistro Guillaume, Nobu, Rockpool Bar and Grill. If you're not hungry, visit KingPin for a bowling match or Galactic Circus for some arcade games. If that takes up too much energy, relax in front of the movie screen with your choice of 10 different cinemas and 433 screenings weekly!
The modernist Melbourne Museum is the largest museum complex in the southern hemisphere. Spread over six huge levels, half of which are below ground level, the museum draws on the latest technology to give an insight into Australia’s flora, fauna and culture. Exhibitions include the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Centre, Phar Lap, one of Australia's leading thoroughbreds, and the living Forest Gallery.
Learn about yourself in the Mind and Body gallery, or investigate evolution from a prehistoric and genetic viewpoint.
Melbourne and Olympic Parks
Melbourne & Olympic Parks play host to Australia's premier sports and entertainment events, providing a vast array of corporate hospitality options to suit your client portfolio.
The Melbourne zoo is Australia’s oldest having opened in 1862. More than 350 animal’s species from Australia and around the world are on view just 4km from the hotel, in a botanic setting of 55 acres / 22 hectares. Visit the Kangaroo’s, Koala’s or perhaps take a wander amongst the colourful butterflies in the hot-house. The Zoo also has ‘Twilight Festival’ such as Jazz at the Zoo. Check with the hotel for further details.
A scenic 80-minute drive from Melbourne is the Mornington Peninsula region of Victoria.
The beautiful Peninsula curves lazily southwards, from Melbourne along Port Phillip Bay to a patchwork of bushland, pastures, hills, vineyards, national parks and beautiful beaches. The area is a scenic region rich in wineries, restaurants and art galleries.
Museum Victoria operates three vibrant campuses: Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens, Scienceworks Museum and Melbourne Planetarium in Spotswood, and the Immigration Museum in Melbourne's Old Customs House in Flinders Street. It is also the custodian for the heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building.
History: The organisation's origins date back to 1854 with the founding of the National Museum of Victoria, and the establishment of the Industrial and Technological Museum of Victoria (later known as the Science Museum of Victoria) in 1870. These institutions were amalgamated to form what is today known as Museum Victoria.
For further information please contact our reception at the Kingsgate Hotel.
Victorian Arts Centre Melbourne
Topped by a spire reaching 162 metres above St Kilda Road, the Victorian Arts Centre contains four theatres each individually designed by Oscar-winning Australian designer John Truscott.
The complex is built with the theatres reaching six levels below the street; the largest is the State Theatre used for major opera, ballet and musical productions, seating over 2000. Attend a viewing of the latest show while you explore the home of Australia's premier performing-art companies and the theatres they work in.
Neighbours Ramsay Street
If you’re a Neighbours fan then let us book you on tour so you can take photos of the Houses on Ramsay Street, drive past Erinsborough High School and Studio Complex. See the "History of Neighbours"
Shopping in Melbourne
Think Melbourne, think shopping - the rest of Australia does. For decades, the city has been known as the country’s shopping capital, and the question isn’t what you can buy but what can’t you buy!
From the large department stores David Jones and Myer located a couple of blocks from the hotel, there are shopping centres such as the Galleria, Australia on Collins and Melbourne Central, to the network of lanes and arcades; every turn reveals a new shopping space with its own personality. So if you want it, the City's got it - all within a short walk or a tram stop or two. See reception for a local city map or to arrange a shopping tour!
All fashion tastes are catered for, whether you are sticking to a student budget we suggest Bridge Road, Richmond for all the factory outlets such as Country Road, Bonds or want the very latest in designer chic. The City offers An A-Z of fine fashion names from La Perla, Gucci, Prada, Gianni Versace located at Crown Entertainment complex to Allanah Hill to Zegna and Zambesi. The City also offer brand shopping Outlets a 10 minute walk from the hotel is DFO.
Most stores are open seven days, and many stay open late on Fridays to 9pm. As a general rule trading hours for the City shops are:
Sunday to Wednesday: 10.00am - 6.00pm
Thursday: 10.00am - 7.00pm
Friday: 10.00am - 9.00pm
Nearest Subway: Southern Cross Railway Station is located a two-minute walk from the hotel, and Flinders Street Station is a ten-minute walk or a tram service operates from outside the main entrance of the hotel.