Quality Hotel Melbourne Airport
265 Mickleham Road
Melbourne, VI 3043
Phone: (61) 3 93359300
Fax: (61) 3 93383818
Horseshoe Bend Farm is an urban farm with lots of animals straight out of the "Old Macdonald" song to delight the little ones. Pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, and horses are all there to be patted and admired, while the more mechanically minded young ones can inspect (and climb on) the old tractors and farm equipment. The original farm house has been converted into a tea house and shop, surrounded by a lovely cottage garden. The Farm caters well for groups and can provide pony rides and guided tours by prior arrangement.
Not far from Moonee Valley Racecourse and the bustling Moonee Ponds shopping center lies the peaceful and pretty Queens Park. Like a miniature version of Melbourne's Botanic Gardens it has a lake, complete with ducks and other feathered creatures, and enough flowers, shrubs and trees to keep budding horticulturists happy. There are interesting and challenging adventure playgrounds to explore, as well as a maze featuring art works and sculptures. If all this makes the tribe hungry you can adjourn to Max's Tea Rooms for a snack or a meal.
Sunbury is a maritime influenced region, where basalt clay based vineyards produce full bodied, full flavored red and white wines. Wildwood is Melbourne's closest winery, where a long, cool ripening period produces elegant but intensely fruity wines. Visitors can taste the multi layered Chardonnay and berry fruited Cabernets, as well as Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot/Cabernet Franc. One of the most interesting wines here is the perfumed Viognier. Interesting wine and food pairings can be tried at the Wildwood Cafe.
Established in 1917, the Moonee Valley Racing Club hosts the prestigious Carlton Draught Cox Plate race. Spectator facilities at the track are probably the best in Melbourne, with the grandstand situated closer to the track than anywhere else. Throughout the year, harness racing is also held on Saturday nights, with the Interdom series held during January and February, attracting some of the best pacers and trotters in the land. Moonee Valley is also the first venue to host thoroughbred racing periodically throughout the year.
Quang Minh Temple is located in the picturesque suburb of Baybrook. Built by Vietnamese Buddhist immigrants in Victoria, lead by venerable Thích Tắc Phước, the congregation associated with this place dates back to the 1980s. Embodying its name, which means 'bright light', it continues to show the way to the followers of Buddhism in Australia. This temple is also the venue for the annual Quang Minh Tet festival.
A 20-minute drive down the Calder Freeway brings you to the Calder Park Motor Raceway, also known as "The Thunderdome". For complete details about the racing schedule, check website.
The home to the race that stops the nation, Flemington Racecourse is the place to be on the first Tuesday in November when Australia's richest horse race, the Melbourne Cup is held. The race attracts the premier thoroughbreds from Australia and New Zealand with a handful of overseas raiders also trying their luck. Check website for more details.
The Brunswick Town Hall is a historic structure built in 1876 in the style of the second empire. It can be booked for weddings, festivals, markets, exhibitions, concerts and other events. Its old-world feel makes it the most-sought after venue for locals and tourists alike.
Founded in 1862, Melbourne Zoo is Australia's oldest and the third oldest in the world. It has changed greatly over the years, replacing the old barred cages and pits with more animal friendly enclosures. The zoo is divided into bio-climatic zones using landscape immersion to help animals acclimatise to the Australian environment and is at the forefront of the captive Lowland Gorilla breeding program. The butterfly house, lion park and primate enclosure are among the highlights. In summer locals flock to the twilight jazz sessions.
Also known as the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Newman Chapel was built in 1942 and is a fine example of "Decorated Gothic" style of architecture. With a maximum capacity for 240 people in its aisle, the church is also a venue for weddings, local celebrations and other religious gatherings held throughout the year.
Youngsters will learn lots at Coopers Settlement at Bundoora Park, besides being able to have heaps of fun too. The area was originally a cattle and racehorse stud on Mt Cooper and has been developed by the local council into a park incorporating a golf course, adventure playground, urban farm and a visitors center. At the farm, children can take part in milking and feeding the animals and also see how things were done back in the 1870s. An interactive display in the visitors center goes even further back in Bundoora's history to the Wurundjeri Aboriginal tribe. The adventure playground features environmentally-friendly energy production.
The University of Melbourne has been a center of academic excellence in Melbourne for quite some time. It is 1/8th of the presitigious group of universities in Australia known as the Sandstone Universities, including the Universities of Sydney, Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, and others. With a student population of around 44,000 and a beautiful array of gothic revival buildings, it is definitely worth a stroll around the grounds for a look around.