SkyBus runs express services every 10 to 30 minutes to/from Southern Cross Station ($18), taking approximately 25 minutes. Taxis cost around $50 to the city and take around 25 minutes.
The Avalon Airport Bus meets every flight and takes passengers to Melbourne ($22, 40 to 50 minutes). Taxis cost $80 to the city (one hour), or $50 to Geelong (20 minutes).
Melbourne’s public transport system has great coverage, but the same can’t be said for public transport around the rest of the state. Buses are infrequent and the rail network is excellent but limited in its reach. Hiring a car is the ideal way to explore the state and make the most of your time here. Alternatively, consider hiring a bike at your destination or bring your own bike on the train. Private bus tours cover many of Victoria’s main sights, although they allow limited time at most stops. One way to get around this is to arrange to stay overnight near the sight and then return on the next day’s tour. Long walks are gaining popularity and shuttle-bus services are starting up to con- nect walkers with accommodation and public transport.
Finally, the giant Melbourne Star Ferris wheel is open for business. Ride a gondola up 120m for fabulous views from its Docklands location.
Melbourne’s niche obsession with international street food has gone mainstream, with an ever-growing fleet of food trucks serving everything from Thai to Mexican, souvlaki to soup.
Bellarine Taste Trail
More wineries and artisan food spots are springing up, making it harder for wine lovers and foodies to pass up this region.
Great Ocean Road National Heritage Centre
Scheduled to open in mid-2014, this modern museum in Lorne will catalogue the gruelling history of how Australia’s favourite drive was built.
Yarra Valley Cider & Ale Trail
Not strictly new, but this driving route has been recently pulled together to take in microbreweries and cider houses to complement the better-known Yarra Valley wineries.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
Since opening its doors in late 2012, this huge complex is a sweet-tooth’s paradise, with its Belgian chocolates and bowls full of free samples.
SeaWorks Maritime Complex
This historic Williamstown waterfront complex has been open since 2007, but the arrival of the Sea Shepherd conservation organisation has added considerable appeal. Tour its fleet of anti-poaching vessels and headquarters.
Bendigo Art Series Hotel
This stunning series of art hotels is heading to the country, with its first outpost due to open in Bendigo in 2014.
Port of Echuca Interpretation Centre
A fine addition to the Murray riverbank, this dazzling new visitor centre will transport you into Echuca’s storied past of paddle steamers and river ports.