Air Canada recently launched its year-round Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Melbourne, Australia. In conjunction with the service, Air Canada’s destination partner Visit Victoria, represented in this edition of Friday Five by David Evans, Regional Manager, The Americas, Visit Victoria, shares his expertise about what makes Melbourne great.
1. What makes Melbourne the ‘World’s Most Livable City’?
“Melbourne is stylish, contemporary and welcoming. Melbourne is built from strong immigration ties going back to the 1800s and as a result has a very accepting and diverse culture. The city itself is ever-changing, public transport is readily accessible and the city is surrounded with spectacular natural attractions. Melbourne is host to many major festivals and events and sport: Australian Open, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup, Australian Rules Football, Melbourne Comedy Festival and MFWF, to name just a few. The people are genuine, free-spirited and sophisticated, which provides visitors with a safe, welcoming destination. Visitors will come away refreshed and inspired by Melbourne’s freedom and creativity.”
2. Why is Melbourne a unique destination compared to other cities in Australia?
“Two words: compact diversity. Melbourne and the State of Victoria offer a dense landscape of cultural and natural diversity, rich with intimate experiences. Ninety minutes to a world-class wine region (Yarra). Phillip Island for penguins, koalas and sea lions in a perfect family destination. Kite surfing at St. Kilda Beach. Walking among the 12 Apostles along the epic Great Ocean Road for dramatic coastline and ever-changing natural landscapes. Ballooning over the city. Melbourne also has close accessibility to sporting and cultural precincts. Be at a sports game or at the tennis match and you’re within a 10-minute walk to the city’s restaurants and bars pre/post-match.”
3. What should you bring when travelling to Melbourne?
“Curiosity. All tourists wherever they travel should seek to venture off the beaten path, and nothing could be truer in Melbourne. The more curious you are to explore, the more rewarded you will be. I think also a great appetite for foodie experiences, and nightlife. Think rooftop bars, speakeasys, night markets, innovative and acclaimed chefs serving world-class food for all budgets.”
4. When is the best time to visit Melbourne?
“Melbourne has warm summers, glorious springs, mild fall/autumn and then a crisp winter. We can claim to be year-round but varying seasons depend on what people want to see. Most major events are November to March. Check out our website visitmelbourne.com for more information on climate, what to pack, etc.
“Looking for things to do? Explore Melbourne’s laneways and see street art being created live. Take a laneways tour and you can discover eclectic bars, restaurants and coffee dens, street art and boutique clothing designers. Dine at one of Australia’s top-rated restaurants. Melbourne has a world-renowned culinary scene with over 3,500 restaurants serving cuisine from over 70 countries. Food and wine culture is about the people, produce and place.
5. Why is Melbourne considered a ‘hub’ destination?
“Growing connectivity from North America and within Australia. Air Canada recently launched its nonstop three times weekly service from Vancouver to Melbourne. Melbourne is the place to start your Australian vacation, as within a four-night stay you can experience many of the most sought-after Australian experiences, from nature and wildlife, to coastal experiences, food and wine and incredible Australian hospitality.”