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Mike Yardley: Sparking up in Melbourne

Author
Mike Yardley,
Section
Travel,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 7:14PM
Melboune's skyline (Mike Yardley).
Melboune's skyline (Mike Yardley).

It’s party time in Melbourne with the Victorian Racing Spring Carnival in full swing. Whether you are making a date with the Melbourne Cup or not, as the summer heat sparks up, the coming months will see the world’s most liveable city herald a host of new attractions, events and experiences. Spanning food and wine to heady heights and ziplines, here’s a sneak preview of some of Melbourne and Victoria’s enticing new offerings.

Arthurs Seat Eagle.  Launching in December, just in time for the busy summer season, this much-anticipated gondola ride will allow visitors to get a bird’s eye view of the increasingly-trafficked Mornington Peninsula. The Arthurs Seat Eagle will have 24 gondolas and take 15 minutes each way, reaching a summit of 314 metres. When it comes to topography Australia-style, that’s actually quite a high perch.

The Book of Mormon.  In an Australian premiere, The Book of Mormon – the first Broadway Musical by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker – will land in Melbourne in January. Resulting in sell-out seasons wherever it goes, this cheeky musical has already sold out the first month of its Melbourne run. Opens 18 January at the Princess Theatre.

White Night Ballarat. I love Ballarat, one of Australia’s greatest gold towns. For the first time ever, White Night Melbourne will be joined by a regional counterpart, with the inaugural White Night Ballarat set to take place on 4 March – a fortnight after the Melbourne event. The spectacle will showcase the city’s heritage streetscape in a whole new light with projections to feature on some of the city’s most historic buildings, built on the back of gold fever.

Food truck precincts. Melbourne will establish five permanent food-truck precincts in March, which will house a mix of 17 permanent and rotating trucks. The sites will be on St Kilda Road (outside the NGV and Arts Centre); Peel Street (next to the Queen Victoria Market); Les Erdi Plaza on the Yarra River (near Arbory Bar & Eatery); Batman Park (opposite Crown); and the underpass on the corner of Spencer and Flinders Streets.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. This will be epic! In 2017, Melbourne will become only the third city in the world (after London and New York) to host the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards – the global ranking which has become the most coveted for the world’s best chefs. On 5 April, Victoria will welcome more than 800 of the world’s culinary elite for the programme of events – underscoring the city’s reputation as a global food destination and trend-setter. The annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will dovetail with this major international awards programme, positioning Victoria at the centre of a celebration of food and drink culture on a scale never before seen Down Under.

Legoland.  Australia’s first Legoland discovery centre will open at Chadstone in autumn. Specifically designed for families with children aged three to 10 years old, it will include two Lego rides, five themed ‘build and play’ zones, build classes from the Legoland master model builder, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, a 4D cinema, and an exhibit designed to reflect Melbourne’s buildings, skyline, and landmarks.

Melbourne Cricket Ground zipline and roof walk. I’m particularly excited about this. Plans are currently underway to develop a new Roof Walk at the MCG. The new attraction will allow visitors to visitors to walk on the MCG’s roof, taking in spectacular views of the ground itself, as well as Melbourne’s much-envied sporting precinct and the wider city skyline. A zipline will also be added to transport thrill-seekers from the city-end scoreboard to a landing pad on the opposite side of the stadium. Doesn’t that sound fabulous? You’ll be able to soar like a cockatoo over the MCG from next year.

Urbnsurf. Located at Melbourne Airport, Urbnsurf Melbourne will be the first man-made surf park facility in Australia when it opens late in the year. Thanks to clever, wave-generating technology, visitors of all abilities will be able to have an authentic surfing experience whatever the weather – without a beach in sight. And LED lighting means keen surfers can ride the waves night and day. Now there’s a reason to arrive at the airport well before your flight departs.

Circus 1903. Finally, if you’re planning a January vacation in Melbourne, you may want to make a note of Circus 1903 which is creating a lot of buzz. It’s a celebration of the golden age of circus with a cast of acts from all over the world. From strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, knife throwers to high wire performers, this show has a little bit of everything. But the real highlight will no doubt be the two life size elephants created by the puppeteers and model makers who made the life-like horse that featured in War Horse. Created by the producers of The Illusionists, Circus 1903 will launch 3 January at Regent Theatre.

For more information on these events and other summer offerings in Melbourne and Victoria, head to the official tourism website. http://www.piecesofvictoria.com/

Mike Yardley is Newstalk ZB’s Travel Correspondent on Saturday Mornings with Jack Tame.

It’s party time in Melbourne with the Victorian Racing Spring Carnival in full swing. Whether you are making a date with the Melbourne Cup or not, as the summer heat sparks up, the coming months will see the world’s most liveable city herald a host of new attractions, events and experiences. Spanning food and wine to heady heights and ziplines, here’s a sneak preview of some of Melbourne and Victoria’s enticing new offerings.

Arthurs Seat Eagle.  Launching in December, just in time for the busy summer season, this much-anticipated gondola ride will allow visitors to get a bird’s eye view of the increasingly-trafficked Mornington Peninsula. The Arthurs Seat Eagle will have 24 gondolas and take 15 minutes each way, reaching a summit of 314 metres. When it comes to topography Australia-style, that’s actually quite a high perch.

The Book of Mormon.  In an Australian premiere, The Book of Mormon – the first Broadway Musical by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker – will land in Melbourne in January. Resulting in sell-out seasons wherever it goes, this cheeky musical has already sold out the first month of its Melbourne run. Opens 18 January at the Princess Theatre.

White Night Ballarat. I love Ballarat, one of Australia’s greatest gold towns. For the first time ever, White Night Melbourne will be joined by a regional counterpart, with the inaugural White Night Ballarat set to take place on 4 March – a fortnight after the Melbourne event. The spectacle will showcase the city’s heritage streetscape in a whole new light with projections to feature on some of the city’s most historic buildings, built on the back of gold fever.

Food truck precincts. Melbourne will establish five permanent food-truck precincts in March, which will house a mix of 17 permanent and rotating trucks. The sites will be on St Kilda Road (outside the NGV and Arts Centre); Peel Street (next to the Queen Victoria Market); Les Erdi Plaza on the Yarra River (near Arbory Bar & Eatery); Batman Park (opposite Crown); and the underpass on the corner of Spencer and Flinders Streets.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. This will be epic! In 2017, Melbourne will become only the third city in the world (after London and New York) to host the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards – the global ranking which has become the most coveted for the world’s best chefs. On 5 April, Victoria will welcome more than 800 of the world’s culinary elite for the programme of events – underscoring the city’s reputation as a global food destination and trend-setter. The annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will dovetail with this major international awards programme, positioning Victoria at the centre of a celebration of food and drink culture on a scale never before seen Down Under.

Legoland.  Australia’s first Legoland discovery centre will open at Chadstone in autumn. Specifically designed for families with children aged three to 10 years old, it will include two Lego rides, five themed ‘build and play’ zones, build classes from the Legoland master model builder, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, a 4D cinema, and an exhibit designed to reflect Melbourne’s buildings, skyline, and landmarks.

Melbourne Cricket Ground zipline and roof walk. I’m particularly excited about this. Plans are currently underway to develop a new Roof Walk at the MCG. The new attraction will allow visitors to visitors to walk on the MCG’s roof, taking in spectacular views of the ground itself, as well as Melbourne’s much-envied sporting precinct and the wider city skyline. A zipline will also be added to transport thrill-seekers from the city-end scoreboard to a landing pad on the opposite side of the stadium. Doesn’t that sound fabulous? You’ll be able to soar like a cockatoo over the MCG from next year.

Urbnsurf. Located at Melbourne Airport, Urbnsurf Melbourne will be the first man-made surf park facility in Australia when it opens late in the year. Thanks to clever, wave-generating technology, visitors of all abilities will be able to have an authentic surfing experience whatever the weather – without a beach in sight. And LED lighting means keen surfers can ride the waves night and day. Now there’s a reason to arrive at the airport well before your flight departs.

Circus 1903. Finally, if you’re planning a January vacation in Melbourne, you may want to make a note of Circus 1903 which is creating a lot of buzz. It’s a celebration of the golden age of circus with a cast of acts from all over the world. From strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, knife throwers to high wire performers, this show has a little bit of everything. But the real highlight will no doubt be the two life size elephants created by the puppeteers and model makers who made the life-like horse that featured in War Horse. Created by the producers of The Illusionists, Circus 1903 will launch 3 January at Regent Theatre.

For more information on these events and other summer offerings in Melbourne and Victoria, head to the official tourism website. http://www.piecesofvictoria.com/

Mike Yardley is Newstalk ZB’s Travel Correspondent on Saturday Mornings with Jack Tame.

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