8 Reasons Why Sweet Dreams Are “Made in Melbourne”
What is a dream holiday to you?
In conjunction with possibly the hottest MediaCorp Chinese drama of the year, “The Dream Makers 2”, we want to redefine the best of Melbourne so that you’re set for the ultimate dream vacation experience of your life!
Here’s 8 defining reasons why Melbourne is everything you want it to be. And more.
1. Food, Food, Everywhere
If you haven’t heard of Melbourne being a culinary capital, it’s time to venture out of your cave, pack your bags and catch that 8-hour flight to the gastronomic heaven! Whether you’re up for Greek, Peruvian, African, Vietnamese, Thai, or other world cuisines, Melbourne’s eclectic dining scene has much to offer in its myriad of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars.
Brunch on the mouthwatering bagels at Manchester Press (the smoked salmon is to die for!), drop by Mekong Vietnam for a bowl of tasty Vietnamese pho, or shop for fresh produce and feast on fresh oysters at Queens Victoria Market or South Melbourne Market!
Now, you can’t forget about the drinks when you talk about food. Enjoy Melbourne’s best coffee in the self-proclaimed coffee capital, and for those who enjoy their wine, the beautiful vineyards of Yarra Valley are a must-go for great wines and fresh local produce.
Food and drinks aside, don’t forget to go on a hot air balloon ride over the scenic Yarra Valley!
DID YOU KNOW? The cast and crew of “The Dream Makers 2″ were in Yarra Valley last September for their shoot. Just 50 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, it’s known as Australia’s premier food and wine region. Come dine at the Tarrawarra Estate with your date and enjoy some of Victoria’s most memorable wines there.
2. Free Tram Zone
There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to save up on your transport fares when you are overseas, don’t you think so? If you are traveling within the CBD (which of course you will), you can hop on to any of the city trams without tapping in and out with your myki card (also known as ez-Link card in Singapore and Touch ‘n Go card in Malaysia) unless you plan to travel outside of the central area.
With plenty of transport options like trains, trams, buses and bikes, it’s so easy to get around in Melbourne. The clear and interconnected grid layout makes it hard for you to get lost too!
Here’s a tip: If you are the more adventurous type, you might want to rent a bike at any of the Bike Share stations and explore the narrow laneways, fascinating architectures and Melbourne icons like the Flinders Street Station, which was one of the filming locations for “The Dream Makers 2″.
3. Meet The “Locals”
Now, don’t just stay cooped up in the city. Did you know? The state of Victoria is home to over 4,300 native plants and 950 animal species!
Take a short drive from the city to one of the numerous national and nature parks and experience the wonders of the natural world. Try spotting your favorite mammal species like the ever-adorable wallabies, sleepy koalas, puffy wombats and echidnas!
P.S. The highly popular Phillip Island Nature Parks has just opened its new Penguins Plus Viewing Experience last November! Featuring an underground viewing area for visitors to come face to face with their favorite wildlife, it’s a reason why every one should go whether or not they have already been to Phillip Island.
Tip: Come in the early evening and secure your space to catch the Little Penguins (or Fairy Penguins) waddling in to shore. The charming little ones will have you squealing like a child in no time, we swear.
4. An Iconic Beach
Scroll through your Facebook friends’ profile photos now and chances are, you are able to find at least one friend with Melbourne’s iconic colorful bathing boxes as his or her photo’s backdrop.
About an hour’s drive south from Melbourne, the Brighton Beach is one of the popular beaches, and rightly so. No two boxes are identical and each has its own design, shape and character. Set against the spectacular Melbourne city skyline, Brighton Beach is also a sought-after destination for wedding photo shoots (hint, hint!) and a dream destination for photographers and holiday-makers alike.
Did you know? The bathing boxes were originally erected from the 1890s to protect ladies’ modesty when they change into their swimwear. Today, they are used for changing and storage of beach necessities like surf boards. Sadly, there are only 90 boxes left as many were washed away or have been destroyed by rough weather. Bathing boxes are rarely put up for sale, but last year, the historic box #6 on Brighton’s Dendy Street Beach was sold at a weekend auction for a whopping $276,000!
5. Street Art Capital
Forget the ugly graffiti. Take a wander down Hosier Lane, Melbourne’s iconic bluestone laneway and you’ll understand why its urban art scene is well recognized around the world. In the recent years, the street art‐covered walls have become a popular backdrop for fashion and wedding photography too!
Designed by local and international artists, the walls and grounds of Hosier Lane are constantly being updated with new, mind-blowing art pieces in a dazzling array of colors, characters and shapes every few weeks! There’s always something new to admire. Photo-taking is free so don’t forget to stop for one and strut your coolest pose in front of your favorite street art! If you are lucky, you might even be able to catch the street artists at work. And if you have been wondering… with proper permission, yes, street art is legal.
Keen to explore the fascinating urban art scene and immerse yourself in the local culture? Join a walking tour and discover not just of the city’s best laneways and artists, but the hidden shops and laneway cafes as well!
6. Amazing Coastal Drives
How can we forget about the spectacular Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s most scenic drives?
Now, there are plenty of things you can do as you make your way to your destination. The drive is some 420km in entirety and definitely warrants a 1-3 nights stay along the spectacular coastal drive to be able to soak in the sights and venture off touristy attractions for awesome photography! Spot koalas, kangaroos and other native wildlife, explore surf towns and seaside villages, enjoy seasonal local produce and seafood along the coast, and admire the stunning coastline on the Great Ocean Walk. For the more adventurous souls, there are also a great range of outdoor activities you can do like horse rides along the beach, soar up high at Otway Fly zip line, go on walks and hikes, mountain biking, fishing charters and open sea kayaking!
Hint: Set off in the early morning if you want to get there before the tour groups. Once you are there, don’t rush or follow the crowd. Take your time at the lookouts, pace yourself and keep your eyes peeled for any wildlife.
7. A Global Metropolis
Those who have been here will tell you that Melbourne is a city that takes great pride in being a giant melting pot — a city with different cultures, different nationalities from around the world, and one that straddles history, modernity, technology and tradition. It’s no wonder Melbourne was named the World’s Most Liveable City for the fifth year running recently.
Tip: If you are into all things arts and cultural, don’t forget to check out Federation Square’s event calendar before you fix your trip as the iconic landmark is home to major cultural attractions, world-class events and tourism experiences. Since its opening in 2002, this modern piazza has become one of the most visited attractions in Melbourne with more than 10 million visits a year!
8. Australia’s Capital For Events & Festivals
On the topic of arts and culture, the city is abuzz with fantastic festivals and events all year round. In fact, in 2016, Melbourne will see six major events in the first quarter alone! Tell us if that doesn’t already convince you!
Now, anticipation is already running high for the Australian Open Tennis (18 – 31 Jan), White Night Melbourne (20 Feb) Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (4 – 13 Mar), Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (7 – 13 Mar), and Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (16 – 20 Mar), and they are just the beginning of a long list of happening events in the new year!
What are you waiting for? Don’t dream your life. Live your dreams.
Plan your trip, pack your bags, and to Melbourne, let’s go!
For Singapore residents only: Keen to trail “The Dream Makers 2’s” filming locations? Don’t miss out on Chan Brothers Travel’s 7D Melbourne & Surrounds Self-Drive Package Tour here. For more resources and reasons to choose Melbourne as your next dream vacation, see visitmelbourne.com.
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More related articles on Melbourne & Surrounds:
- 48-Hour Itinerary: Food
- 48-Hour Itinerary: Family
- 48-Hour Itinerary: Fashion
- 48-Hour Itinerary: Art and Design
- Adventure, Explore, Experience Itinerary
- Mind, Body, Soul Itinerary
- Adventure, Explore, Experience Itinerary
About Dream Makers 2
Dream Makers 2 (DM2) is a sequel to the highly popular 30-episode TV series Dream Makers (DM) that aired on Singapore’s MediaCorp Channel 8 from late June to early August 2013. DM featured a heavy-weight cast of top billing actors and actresses.
DM2 continues to follow the lives of those working in the front and behind the cameras of a TV station where temptations of fame can change one’s character and outlook in life. The lead role is played veteran actress Zoe Tay who headed the variety channel in the first series. In DM2, she is now one of the VPs of the drama channel and her outlook in life has dramatically changed since the death of her boyfriend in DM. Because of declining advertising sales, the TV station hires another VP for the drama department to put pressure on the lead actress. This coupled with a new TV station entering the market creates friction among colleagues who are both friends and foe at the same time. Faced with competition and pressure, will the central characters overcome adversity to rise up the ranks?
DM garnered 21 nominations for 12 awards in the Star Awards, winning 9 gongs including Best Drama Serial. The series was sold to Malaysia (2 week delayed telecast), Thailand, Cambodia and China.
DM2 will be broadcasted in Singapore from 4 December 2015 to 15 January 2016 on MediaCorp TV Channel 8, weekdays, at 9pm, and in Malaysia on ASTRO Shuang Xing Channel, weekdays, at 5pm. An estimated 42 scenes were filmed in Melbourne and Surrounds. For more information on “The Dream Makers 2″, visit Toggle, iWeekly and MediaCorp.