Explore two of Australia's largest capital cities on this five-day itinerary of Melbourne and Brisbane. Visit acclaimed restaurants, quirky bars and intriguing art galleries, and get a taste for the surrounding regions including the Great Ocean Road.
- Five-day itinerary
- Experience the art, culture and food of Melbourne and Brisbane, and enjoy day trips to the Yarra Valley, Great Ocean Road, Grampians and Scenic Rim
- Melbourne Airport is 30 minutes from the city centre. Brisbane Airport is 20 minutes from the city centre.
Start your day with a moveable feast at the Queen Victoria Market. During a two-hour Hunt & Gather Food Tour, you’ll meet the bakers, cheesemakers and producers who call this historic market home. This guided walking tour includes samples of chocolate, cheese, meat and seafood from the stallholders, and concludes with a freshly made coffee. Private tours are available for groups of 10 or more.
Make your way to Flinders Lane – a 10-minute journey by road – where you’ll find one of Melbourne’s most popular eateries, Cumulus Inc. Enjoy a lunch of contemporary Australian dishes served in the Cumulus Up dining space, which can accommodate 50 people for seated events during the day, or the adjoining Arc One Gallery, which can host sit-down functions for up to 70. Next, explore Melbourne’s graffiti-lined laneways with Melbourne Street Art Tours, followed by a street art stencil workshop at The Blender Studios in Docklands.
Enjoy an intimate evening at the highly rated Dinner by Heston, which overlooks the Yarra River at Crown Towers Melbourne. Book the elegant private dining room for six to 12 people or the exclusive chef’s table, which offers a front-row view of the kitchen for six lucky diners. Larger groups can be hosted in the restaurant, with seating for 120 people. After dinner, move to the restaurant’s bar, where you can savour a cocktail made with native Australian ingredients, such as rosella flowers and riberries.
Yarra Valley, VIC
After breakfast at your hotel, depart for the Yarra Valley wine region, an hour’s drive northeast of the city. Visit Oakridge in Coldstream for a range of vineyard activities, including wine-tasting masterclasses, blending sessions and winery tours. Next, visit Rochford Wines just down the road for traditional grape stomping, followed by a Segway tour of the estate and a guided tasting at the cellar door.
Travel 25 minutes by road to Sir Paz Estate. Begin with a wine tasting and cellar door tour, before sitting down to a casual lunch of Mediterranean platters on the patio, or a catered cocktail event for up to 100 people in the grounds. Afterwards, return to Melbourne for a 45-minute Melbourne Central Unlocked Tour with local author and historian Dale Campisi, or venture to Collins Street and Little Collins Street to shop for high-end labels.
Put on your comfortable shoes for a Progressive Degustation Walking Tour with Hidden Secrets Tours. During this three-hour feast, you will visit three of the city’s hidden gems, enjoying three signature dishes with paired wines at each restaurant.
Great Ocean Road, VIC
Make your way to Batman Park on the edge of the Yarra River, where your Melbourne Helipad helicopter awaits. Journey southwest to the Great Ocean Road, where you’ll touch down at the Twelve Apostles visitors centre. Take a stroll to the viewing platform, then continue by road to Loch Ard Gorge, where you can dip your toes into the Southern Ocean. Visit the beachside town of Port Campbell, before travelling an hour and 45 minutes by road to the Grampians.
Visit the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld for a tour of the kitchen garden and award-winning wine cellar, followed by lunch from esteemed chef Robin Wickens. This flexible venue offers an exceptional food and wine experience for groups of up to 150 people. After lunch, see ancient Aboriginal rock art and native animals as you take a walk with Grampians Eco Tours. Then it’s back to Melbourne – by road (three hours) or helicopter (one hour and 15 minutes).
For your final night in Melbourne, host a gala dinner at the National Gallery of Victoria. Begin the evening with sparkling wine and a private tour of the gallery’s exhibitions, before sitting down to a banquet in the Great Hall, home to the world’s largest stained-glass ceiling. This grand space can host 750 people for a banquet function or up to 1,400 for a cocktail function.
Riverlife, Brisbane, QLD
After breakfast, transfer to Melbourne Airport, a 30-minute drive west of the city, for your two-hour flight to Brisbane. Head straight to the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) in South Bank, a 15-minute drive from the airport. There you’ll join a guided tour of the gallery’s exhibitions, which include significant Indigenous works and contemporary pieces. GOMA offers a range of event spaces, including the River Room, which has seating for 250 people, and the Roof Terrace, which can accommodate 180 seated. Dine on a tasting menu of native Australian ingredients from acclaimed chef Josue Lopez.
Explore the city with a Brisbane Greeters tour of South Bank, taking in the restaurants, bars and parks of this dynamic destination. After you check in to your hotel, travel 20 minutes by road to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. The country’s largest koala sanctuary, Lone Pine is home to 130 of these furry marsupials, plus 150 free-ranging kangaroos and wallabies. Choose from a selection of wildlife encounters, including handfeeding kangaroos and wallabies, holding a snake or giant bird of prey, taking a dingo for a walk or having your photo taken while cuddling a koala.
Return to the city for a dinner cruise on the Brisbane River. Or, for a fresh perspective on the city, book a Paddle & Prawns experience with Riverlife. As the sun begins to set, board an illuminated kayak at Kangaroo Point for a 90-minute cruise along the Brisbane River, gliding past the restaurants of Eagle Street Pier and South Bank. After your paddle, enjoy a relaxed marquee dinner of fresh prawns or a gourmet barbecue, paired with Australian wine, beer and cider. Riverlife’s night kayaking tours can accommodate up to 96 people, and can be tailored for groups of eight or more.
Spicers Retreat Peak Lodge,
A 10-minute drive from the city centre, Victoria Park offers golf for all abilities, from fun-filled games of putt putt to 18 holes on the championship course. For a memorable morning on the green, book a lesson with a golf pro, followed by a round of nine holes on the USGA-rated course. Exclusive hire of the course is available for groups of up to 112 players. After everyone returns to the clubhouse, host a post-game brunch in a garden marquee. Then it’s off to Brisbane Airport, where GMair will take you on a one-hour-and-15-minute helicopter ride to the Scenic Rim.
Touch down at Spicers Peak Lodge in Maryvale. A member of the Luxury Lodges of Australia, this boutique hotel is set on 4,000 hectares of farmland and wilderness. Take a stroll through the market garden before sitting down to an alfresco lunch on the lawn. Then it’s back to Brisbane, where you can spend the afternoon relaxing at your hotel or shopping in the Queen Street Mall, home to more than 700 retailers.
Kick off your night with pre-dinner drinks at Cloudland in Fortitude Valley. Reserve the VIP booths for groups of eight to 70, or hire the Madame Hedges garden bar for up to 500 people. From here, it’s just a 15-minute walk to esquire on Eagle Street Pier. Brisbane’s most awarded restaurant, esquire can host exclusive degustation dinners for up to 65 people in the dining room, or up to 18 on the mezzanine level. Complete your Brisbane experience with a nightcap at The Gresham, a three-minute walk away. This heritage bar can hold 140 people for cocktail events. You can also book the cosy lounge and take a spirits masterclass for 15 to 40 guests.