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Wining & Dining in Melbourne and the Yarra Valley

Melbourne is earning a reputation for combining indigenous culinary delights with Aussie adventure

Anchored at the Melbourne Docks in Australia, the Polly Woodside – a circa-1885 coal and cargo – can be rented out for meals and cocktails.
From the city’s annual Food and Wine Festival to a range of unique dining options, activities and wine tours in the nearby Yarra Valley, Melbourne is earning a reputation as one of the great global hot spots for visitors to sample indigenous culinary delights while participating in some good old fashioned Aussie adventure.

City visitors can sample Gordon Ramsay’s epicurean bites, shop and gamble at Crown – a sprawling three-hotel, Vegas-style casino and entertainment complex.

Those willing to travel just an hour outside of Melbourne into the verdant Yarra Valley will discover an assortment of outstanding wineries and eateries, many serving up outdoor adventures and nature experiences along with gourmet food-and-wine tastings and long, leisurely meals.

Activities include zip lining and a challenge course at Trees Adventure, as well as tours of the Belgrave Automotive Workshop. The Puffing Billy Railway, one the world’s best-preserved steam railways, offers guests a 15-mile tour through forests, ferns and farms and the option of an onboard wine-and-dine package.

For a one-of-a-kind golf adventure, a trip to the Sebel Heritage Yarra Valley features the only Jack Nicklaus course in the Australia – the par 72 St. John Course. Spa, tennis, volleyball and swimming facilities are also available onsite.

Nearby excursions include the Wild Cattle Creek Estate, Melbourne Skydive Center, and Rochford winery. Finally, a visit to the Yarra Valley wouldn’t be complete without lunch or dinner at the highly popular Rae’s restaurant overlooking fields of chardonnay and pinot noir plantings at the Balgownie Estate Vinyard Resort.

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