Hi Brad and thanks for your question,
Firstly, may I say how lucky your girlfriend is to have an old
romantic such as yourself!!
I have outlined a number of ideas below in the format of an itinerary
(assuming that you arrive in Melbourne at 11am on the 24th March
Before/during your flight:
A few days before you leave you could contact the airline and request
for a bottle of champagne (hey 18yrs is the legal drinking age in
most places other than USA!!) and some chocolates and/or flowers to be
brought to your girlfriend after take-off.
You can often pay in advance for tickets to one of the Airport Lounges
(if you are travelling First or Business Class this will already be
included) so that you can relax in style before your long flight.
This can be arranged by contacting Airport Customer Services or a
company which can arrange this for you such as Priority Pass
If youre flying Economy class (and have some spare cash!) see if you
can afford to finance an upgrade on the flight. If you dont have any
spare cash, then dress smartly, swallow your pride and ask for one
when you check-in at the airport.
Ask the Cabin Crew if they could pass on a message to the pilot to
read out during the flight from you to your girlfriend.
Hide little romantic notes in her luggage and provide her with clues
to your itinerary without letting her know exactly what youre doing
during the trip us women love surprises!
MONDAY 24th MARCH:
You could hire a flash car at the airport to drive around in. Avis
could hire you a Convertible for around 300 Australian dollars for the
duration of your stay, see their website: http://www.avis.com.au .
There is also Budget (http://www.budget.com.au) , Hertz
(http://www.hertz.com.au ) and Thrifty (http://www.thrifty.com.au )
car hire available from the airport.
Or you could book a chauffeur driven car from: Australian Chauffeur
), Brindley Limos (http://www.laughingcamel.com.au/brindley_limousines/index.html
) or Limo Scene (http://melbourne.worldtourism.com.au/LimoScene/ ).
You will, no doubt, be tired after you flight so it would be advisable
to allow a few hours to rest before embarking on anything too
exhilarating! A soak in a hot bath with a few candles etc...!
Take a relaxing River Cruise on the Yarra River, where you can
wind-down whilst soaking up the sights and sounds of Melbourne. There
are a number of different cruises to choose from which explore
different aspects of the city and depart regularly. The cruises last
from 50mins to 2 ˝ hours and prices range from 17AUD 30AUD per
person. You can find out more information about and book the
different cruises available at the Melbourne River Cruises website:
You say that your girlfriend is interested in jewellery, so another
suggestion for the afternoon would be to take your girlfriend to
Altman & Chemy at 120 Exhibition St. This is a prestigious jewellery
shop, which boasts the largest precious-gem opal in the world, the
Olympic Australia that is valued at $1.6million US. And maybe even
splash out on a 19th diamond for her!
For more information, see Frommers Travel website:
You may have time for another activity before the evening, why not
take a trip up to the top of the Rialto Towers Building to the
Observation Deck to watch the sun set?
The 253-metre-high Rialto Towers Building is the tallest office
building in the southern hemisphere and one of the most recognised
icons in Melbourne. Take the high-speed lift to Level 55 for the
Melbourne Observation Deck, which boasts spectacular 360-degree views
of Melbourne and the surrounding area.
There is a licensed Café bar at the observation deck and a theatre
which shows a film detailing the highlights of Melbourne.
Further information can be found at the following websites:
Observation Deck Services: http://www.observationdeckservices.com.au/
City Search: http://melbourne.citysearch.com.au/E/V/MELBO/0091/88/06/4.html
Melbourne rates as one of the worlds top cities for food and wine and
there is an abundance of good restaurants serving all different types
of food. Some suggestions for some of the best restaurants to dine in
Flower Drum: an upscale Chinese in the city center, main courses are
US$18-US$29 and banquets for 2 featuring more unusual dishes can be
arranged in advance. Has previously won the award for best restaurant
in Victoria. Further information:
Donovans: A charming seafood restaurant situated right beside the sea
with a log fire and lots of appeal. There is a bar which is ideal for
watching the sun set. Main courses are US$15-US$23. Further
Le Restaurant: Australian restaurant Located inside the Sofitel in
Melbourne. A restaurant with a reputation for fine dining, good views
and excellent service. Main courses are US$23-US$29 and reservations
are recommended. Further information:
Stella: Modern Australian food, in the city center. This is a relaxed
restaurant renound for fabulous, but expensive desserts! Main courses
are US$15-US$18. Further information:
Centro Café: An Italian located in South Melbourne, highly
recommended. For further information, see their website:
For a more unusual eating out experience:
Spirit of Melbourne: Melbournes first riverboat restaurant, dine
whilst cruising down the Yarra River and seeing Melbourne by night.
Further information -
Colonial Tramcar Restaurant: Dine whilst touring the streets of
Melbourne! A first class restaurant inside a beautifully fitted
tramcar, a previous four time winner of the National Tourism Award.
Costs from $66 AUD per person. Further information-
There are far too many restaurants in Melbourne for me to be able to
pinpoint the best one, if you are looking for a particular type of
restaurant and would like me to source one for you, please advise in
question clarification and I will get back to you.
You may want to experience clubbing in Melbourne later on in the
evening, Melbourne has an enormous number of clubs (and a huge number
of gay venues) and bars and it may be best to look at a specific guide
to find somewhere that caters to your tastes.
Some websites detailing some of the best clubs are:
http://www.maxmoose.com.au/ - Views on Melbourne nightclubs and pubs.
http://www.letsgo.com/AUS/10-Victoria-250 - Guide to Melbourne
TUESDAY 25th MARCH
If you can drag yourselves out of bed early enough you could take a
balloon trip and watch the sun rise over Melbourne followed by a
champagne breakfast. This costs from $265 AUD for a flight of around
1 hours duration. See the Balloon Sunrise website for further
information and booking: http://www.balloonsunrise.com.au/
Why not then visit the Melbourne Aquarium
(http://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au ), a fantastic aquarium which is
well worth a visit. If youre feeling brave, why not try diving with
the sharks! You will need to book and the cost is $99.00 for
certified divers or $192.50 if you havent dived before.
For more information phone 03 9510 9081 or visit
For lunch you could have, another!, champagne picnic in one of
Melbournes parks and gardens, the Botanic Garden is especially worth
a visit (http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/ ) and it has its own unique
Observatory Café to eat in, or you could hire a rowing boat in Studley
Park (see http://www.whitehat.com.au/Melbourne/Parks/Studley.html ).
When in Australia (and under the age of 30) it is almost compulsory to
do a Bungee Jump!!! What could be more romantic than a tandem jump
with your girlfriend???! Victorias only jump can be done 20 minutes
outside of Melbourne and a tandem jump costs $170 AUD. Just a
If you think that jumping from ridiculous heights is not for you and
something more serene is called for, you could take a trip out to
Phillip Island which is 90mins drive from Melbourne where you can meet
Koala bears face-to-face at the Koala Conservation Center . Apparently
the highlight of the island is the Penguin Parade - when the sun sets
or rises, you can watch the penguins en-masse returning or leaving
their burrows. By booking, Phillip Island Nature Park allows a small
number of guests to experience the Penguin Parade at sunrise, followed
by a buffet-style breakfast
) . You may consider this as an early morning activity for Wednesday
The best place to watch the sun set in Melbourne is from St Kilda
beach, try a cocktail in one of the bars or restaurants there if you
havent done so already. Donovans beachside restaurant (mentioned in
the restaurant list above) is an ideal venue.
An evening meal at St Kilda or alternatively at another restaurant
WEDNESDAY 26th MARCH
Maybe try an activity you didnt have time for on Tuesday (such as
sunrise at Phillip Island) or you could both indulge in some pampering
by taking your girlfriend to a spa and enjoying massage, pedicures,
manicures, facials etc
(This is acceptable for guys too!!) and will
relax you before your flight. There may be facilities in your hotel,
or you could go to the Day Spa at the Park Hyatt (1 Parliament Square)
where they offer various Pampering Packages, see their website for
more information: http://melbourne.park.hyatt.com/melph/fitness_05.html
Some alternative suggestions for morning activities are listed below:
Swimming with seals and dolphins: A full day tour exploring the
beaches and marine life off the coast of Melbourne. For more
information see Kasbah Tours
The Melbourne Museum: Australias largest and most interactive museum.
http://melbourne.museum.vic.gov.au/ with exhibits on a variety of
The Gold Treasury Museum: Explore Melbournes history, architecture,
art and contemporary life. http://www.oldtreasurymuseum.org.au
Melbourne Zoo: See the Australian exhibits and of course all of the
other animals. http://www.zoo.org.au/visiting.cfm?zoo_id=1
Have lunch at Bourke Street (between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets
and reachable by tram) an interesting and vibrant part of Melbourne.
Street performers, buskers, trams, students, shoppers! People is
what Bourke Street is all about. For a lunch with a difference, grab
yourself a meat pie, a well-deserved drink and sit in Bourke Street
Mall to take in the scenes.
Most girls love shopping, so unless your girlfriend is an exception to
this rule, it might be nice to do a spot before heading home.
The best place to start would be Queen Victoria Market, the largest
open air market in the Southern Hemisphere and tourist attraction, see
their website for more information - http://www.qvm.com.au .
With your girlfriends interest in jewellery, it would be worth
visiting Chapel Street . This area is trendy and fashionable:
Fashion boutiques, homewear, jewellery, exquisite shoe stores, arts
and antiques. Hang out with the local DJ's of Melbourne's dance
culture at the record stores and enjoy fine cuisine. Chapel Street is
a lifestyle in one location.
Melbournes biggest shopping complex is Melbourne Central right in the
center of the city and home to many of the big stores. See the
website: http://www.melbournecentral.com.au/ .
At the Crown Entertainment Complex across the river, you can find the
designer labels as well as a variety of restaurants and a casino. See
the website: http://www.crownltd.com.au/home.asp
Pack up your purchases then relax with a drink over sunset before
returning to the airport (and perhaps your pre-booked seat in the
airport lounge) and flying home.
Other Useful Websites about what to do in Melbourne:
The Official Site for Melbourne - http://www.visitmelbourne.com
Guide to the City of Melbourne - http://melbourne.citysearch.com.au/
Melbourne City Directory -
Yahoo Melbourne Destination Guide -
Below are the search terms I used in ://www.google.com.au
Melbourne Tourist Information -
Melbourne Activities -
Melbourne "eating out" -
Melbourne restaurants -
I hope that this provides you with some inspiration for your trip to
Melbourne and Im sure that you will have a fantastic time whatever
you end up doing. If you would like me to clarify any points in my
answer to your question, please use the question clarification
facility before rating!
Kind regards and romantic travelling,