Travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann told KRON 4’s Marty Gonzalez about new flights from SFO to Melbourne, Australia, making this a perfect time to visit Australia’s second city.
Dana found that Melbourne has a colorful love of street art.
You can’t walk in the city’s central business district without seeing street art.
Spots like Hosier Lane, Degraves Street, and AC/DC Lane are the best-known stretches.
The art is constantly being painted over and changed, so there’s always something new to see.
If you’re a hardcore fan, Localing Tours has an option where you can visit a working artist’s studio. (4hrs, 2 people, $480)
Dana recommends Queen Victoria Market.
This isn’t a tourist-driven attraction.
It officially opened in 1878, but it was unofficially operating before then.
Offerings come from around the globe, everything from pasta, to kangaroo, fine cheeses, and chocolates.
There’s also stall after stall of fresh produce.
It’s a huge space, and if the thought of exploring seems a little overwhelming you can take a guided Queen Vic Market Foodie Tour.
About two hours long, you’ll meet sellers, get buying tips, and of course, eat! ($50p/p)
With good food, typically comes good wine.
The Yarra Valley is Melbourne’s equivalent to our Napa and Sonoma. (It’s less than an hour drive.)
One of the best ways to get the lay of the land is from above, in a hot air balloon.
The landscape isn’t just vines, agriculture of all sorts are strong here.
It’s an early morning, up at 4:30 a.m. and on the move by 5 a.m., but you just magically seem to forget all about it. ($295 p/p flight)
Phillip Island is a must for animal lovers.
About 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island Nature Parks are not-for-profit; the boat rides to Seal Rocks is just one example of the types of tours they offer.
This is home to Australia’s largest fur seal colony, about 30,000 of them.
The day I visited, 5 to 8-thousand were hanging out.
In addition to the close-up wildlife views, the coastline is pretty spectacular.
When the boat is moving, everyone has to be seated, with seat belts, because every now and then the captain likes to have some fun, zig-zagging around, before heading back to solid ground. ($40p/p)
For an animal-packed day, visit the seals in the afternoon, then spend your evening with penguins.
The Summerland Peninsula, in the southwest area of Phillip Island, is home to a colony of little penguins – about 32,000 of them.
The little penguins spend a great deal of time at sea, but every night at sunset some make the trip back to land, scurrying up the beach under the moonlight.
During the winter, there’s an average of 700 penguins a night.
During the summer there can be up to 4-thousand.
People watching are asked to quiet, and there’s no photography.
Penguins don’t seem to mind people, but they don’t like bright lights. (starts at $20)
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