With a population of 4.25 million people, Melbourne is a sprawling city on the Yarra River. Station Pier on Port Phillip Bay welcomes cruise passengers with beachside dining and high-end fashion. In the heart of town are café-lined laneways, unique restaurants, hidden bars, boutiques, and world-class art galleries. The city is wonderful to walk around, with lovely green spaces and architecture. Overnighters may join the locals at a large sporting event, live music venue or theatre performance in the vibrant CBD.
Mornington Peninsula – Shore excursion (tender location)
An hour from Melbourne, quaint coastal villages on rugged coastline, and hinterland hamlets offer excellent day trip activities. Passengers may visit acclaimed wineries and restaurants, ride horses, and swim with dolphins or seals. Relaxing activities include navigating the maze garden, picking strawberries, and visiting luxurious spas and golf courses.
Phillip Island – Shore excursion (tender location)
This wildlife island provides close encounters with seals, koalas, penguins and a variety of birdlife. Visit the historic farm on Churchill Island before you watch the most famous Penguin Parade.
Yarra Valley & the Dandenong Ranges – Shore excursion
This region of towering forests, secret fern glades and eclectic villages is a perfect day tour. Passengers can enjoy premium food and wine, native wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary, artisan outlets and galleries, and scenic drives through vineyards and rolling farmland.
Daylesford & Macedon Ranges – Shore excursion
Visitors flock to drink or bathe in the mineral spring water that flows through this mountainous region. Scattered towns boast luxury spas and holistic therapies, decadent food and wine and a resident artists community. Day tours take passengers to wander pretty regional gardens, spot wildlife on bush hikes, and linger at Mount Macedon and the mysterious Hanging Rock.
Geelong and the Bellarine – Port
Discover food and wine, historic seaside villages and breathtaking natural beauty just around the corner from Melbourne. Geelong has a stunning waterfront and the region is home to everything from craft breweries, wineries and contemporary galleries and cultural festivals. Excursions take passengers for wildlife encounters with koalas and kangaroos to the You Yang National Park.
Great Ocean Road, 12 Apostles and Portland – Shore Excursion
Bustling Portland is the birthplace of the state of Victoria and home to its oldest European settlement. Cruise ships berth at Portland Bay, a popular winter spot for migrating whales. Memorable half and full-day shore excursions visit Australia’s iconic Twelve Apostles at the Great Ocean Road, the acclaimed Coonawarra wine region to the west, and the rugged Grampians National Park to the north, featuring Aboriginal rock art and Australian wildlife.
Ballarat and Goldfields – Pre or Post cruise destination
At Sovereign Hill, where the dreams of the gold rush area are echoed in the landscape, travellers may pan for gold. Alternatively explore some of Australia’s best regional art galleries in the country towns of Ballarat and Bendigo.