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What’s new in Melbourne and Victoria for 2018

October 16, 2017 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Named the World’s Most Liveable City for a seventh time in a row, Melbourne is on a roll and showing no signs of slowing down. From huge hotel openings in the heart of the city to new boutique beachside stays in coastal hamlets, 2018 will see the state add to its already impressive accommodation mix. Exciting restaurant ventures from big names in the hospitality game will ensure that Melbourne keeps its culinary crown firmly in place while small distilleries and wineries in out-of-the-way places put emerging, regional towns on the map. Connected to the rest of the country and the world by a curfew-free international airport, Melbourne welcomes a new aviation space dedicated to ensuring the private jet set can touch down in Victoria with more ease than ever before.
Here are some things visitors have to look forward to in 2018:


URBNSURF Melbourne
Coming to Melbourne Airport in early 2018, Australia’s first surf park is set to provide both amateur surfers and expert wave riders a year-round way to catch a wave or two. Using cutting edge wave generation technology, URBNSURF Melbourne features LED lagoon lighting for day and night surfing, a fully-equipped pro-shop for board and gear hire, licensed café, training programs for all ages and abilities, beach cabanas and playgrounds.

Live Wire Park 
Situated just 800 metres from the world-famous Great Ocean Road, this world class facility is perfect for adventure seekers and lovers of the Great Outdoors. Known as Live Wire Park, this tree top adventure facility includes exciting ropes courses for adults and children, a 150 metre treetop suspended walkway and a thrilling 500 metre zipline rollercoaster. Operating completely off-the-grid, the facility will collect all power and water on site to minimise environmental impacts.

Wildlife Wonders
Scheduled to open in December 2018, Wildlife Wonders will provide visitors with an opportunity to see and learn about Australian wildlife on a guided walk through the picturesque Otways region. Located in bushland just outside Apollo Bay, guests can watch koalas dozing in the treetops, potoroos and bandicoots foraging on the forest floor and kangaroos hopping along the horizon against a spectacular ocean backdrop. All profits will be invested in conservation projects that ensure the wildlife and ecosystems of the Great Ocean Road region remain healthy.

New Wilson’s Prom’ Cruises
Wildlife Coast Cruises has launched the newest member of their fleet, the “Brianna Lee”. On Saturday 23rd September 2017, the team celebrated with her first cruise from Port Welshpool, and will be running regular cruises along the beautiful coastline of Wilsons Promontory from October 2017. The Brianna Lee is a 19mt luxury catamaran with ample indoor and outdoor viewing areas, especially designed for wildlife viewing. The cruiser offers a luxury cruising experience in one of the world’s most spectacular natural areas, untouched islands and rugged coastlines that are not accessible by land, amazing rock formations, spectacular birds and marine wildlife. Full-day and half-day cruises will be starting from October 2017, departing from Port Welshpool on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays.

Commencing mid-January 2018, Refuge Cove Cruises will depart daily from Port Welshpool, only two and half hours’ drive from Melbourne. The cruise will include visits to Refuge Cove, Waterloo Bay, Wilsons Prom lighthouse, Skull Rock and Kanowna seal colony. Visitors will be able to admire wildlife such as dolphins, seals, seabirds and whales on their annual migration and learn about the area’s rich history. Passengers on board the custom designed 42 passenger catamaran, will enjoy a full day tour including lunch.


Melbourne Museum 
Running from 23 March to 26 AugustMelbourne Museum’s Vikings Exhibition will be the largest collection of Viking artefacts displayed in Australia. Featuring more than 500 treasures from the Swedish History Museum including swords and remains of ships, this exhibition will provide inside into Viking culture, rituals and beliefs.

NGV Winter Masterpieces
The works of influential artists such as Paul Cézanne, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Hopper, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Vincent van Gogh will grace the gallery spaces of the NGV at the highly-anticipated Masterworks from MOMAexhibition. Encompassing 150 works (some of which never seen before in Australia), the exhibition will explore how artists have sought to be agents of change at pivotal moments in the world’s history.

Curlewis Golf Club
Expected to be open to the public by the start of 2018, Curlewis Golf Club’s state-of-the-art driving range will feature 18 indoor/outdoor driving bays, two simulators, a mini golf course, as well as indoor exercise and conference facilities for up to 300 people.

Peninsula Hot Springs
Early 2018 will see award-winning hot springs and spa centre Peninsula Hot Springs unveil seven new pools and an amphitheatre designed to host concerts, talks, demonstrations and wellness activities. Further to the redevelopment, a ‘Fire and Ice’ experience will enable guests to try hot/cold therapy via two large saunas, an ice cave and plunge pool.


Pub with Two Names
Ballarat’s historic Peter Lalor Hotel is undergoing a transformation into a creative space called the Pub with Two Names. Slated to open by early 2018, this multi-purpose space is owned by artistic husband and wife duo David and Yuge Bromley of Bromley & Co fame. Once opened, this bar, hotel and gallery space housed in a heritage building dating back to the mid-1800s will be Ballarat’s hottest new place to dine, imbibe and bunk down.

Novotel Melbourne South Wharf
Scheduled to open in March 2018, the 347-room Novotel Melbourne South Wharf enjoys prime position close to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Featuring Novotel brand hallmarks such as Live N’ Dream bedding, interactive TVs, FairTrade bathroom amenities, and free barista coffee at breakfast, this hotel adds yet another luxe accommodation option to the South Wharf area.

Novotel and ibis Melbourne Little Lonsdale Street
Due to open in late 2018, this dual-branded hotel will see two hotels occupy one building in the heart of Melbourne’s city centre. Comprising the lower tier of the tower, the 270 room ibis Melbourne Little Lonsdale Street offers premium economy accommodation to price-conscious travellers. Novotel Melbourne Little Lonsdale Street will open above the shared public spaces, offering 213 4-star guest rooms and suites. Sharing two restaurants and bars, a gymnasium, and ten meeting and event spaces, these two hotels suit business travellers, groups and leisure travellers.

Ocean Grove Chalet
Once complete, Ocean Grove Chalet will be Ocean Grove’s most luxurious hotel. Featuring a mix of king bed, interconnecting twin and spa rooms, and two penthouses complete with ocean views, this luxuriously built accommodation is only 100 metres from the cafes and shops of this laidback, beachside town. An all-weather heated pool and spa and fully equipped BBQ area makes this hotel a good option for couples and families keen to embrace the benefits of a luxury seaside break.


RACV Cape Schanck Resort
Due to open in April 2018, the newly redeveloped RACV Cape Schanck Resort represents a state-of-the-art facility for conferences, golf weekends, family holidays and events. A 75 minute drive from the Melbourne city centre, this luxe resort with Bass Strait views includes a gym, lounge, café and play room.

The Lon Project
The Bellarine Peninsula’s Lonsdale Views will emerge from an extensive renovation reimagined as an adults-only luxury retreat and spa. Set on 250 acres of rural and conservation land, on a hill overlooking the expansive Bass Strait, this retreat is expected to open to the public in October 2018. Featuring seven, boutique rooms and a mineral spa complete with treatment rooms, mineral heated pool and spa, steam showers, water therapy, mineral soaking tubs and private sanctuary spaces, this redevelopment will put Bellarine Peninsula on the map as an emerging wellness destination.


Chris Lucas’ new venture
The mastermind behind lauded restaurants such as Chin Chin and Kisume will bring another new restaurant to Melbourne in 2018. Joining forces with acclaimed chef Martin Benn of Sepia fame, the golden touch of Chris Lucas will no doubt ensure this currently unnamed new venture is a successful addition to his growing restaurant stable.

Platypi Chocolate 
Opening in mid-January, Platypi Chocolate is a new café built in the tiny town of Forrest located within the scenic Otway Ranges. The wide range of chocolates made on site will showcase regional flavours including berries, fruits drenched in local wines, saffron and even Otway pepperberries. Open from 10-6 daily, this café’s range of sweet and savoury brunch and lunch options will provide hikers, cyclists, and road trippers a spot to indulge while in the area.

Provenance Wines
The beginning of 2018 will see five-star winery Provenance Wines open an operational winery and large function centre on the banks of the Barwon River at the Old Paper Millssite in Fyansford. The largest business in the historic 19th century complex, Provenance Wines will offer an interactive wine experience with a 250 person event space perfect for private functions and weddings.

The Whiskery
Set to be open in the early months of 2018, The Whiskery will bring back local distilling to the Bellarine area after a thirty year hiatus since the closure of the Corio Distillery in the 1980s. Set on an historic seven acre site that was a former Cobb & Co horse watering hole, The Whiskery will not only serve its own whisky and gin, but will also showcase locally-produced wine, cider, and beer as well as select drops from further afield. Pizzas and grazing plates provide gourmet fodder perfect for imbibing with.


Melbourne Jet Base
Australia’s first world-class private jet terminal is expected to open in Melbourne towards the end of 2018. Melbourne Jet Base will cater to high flying celebrities, corporate executives and cashed-up tycoons with private jets at their disposal. Designed by the award-winning team from Cox Architects, the facility will include an aircraft hangar as well as facilities for private jet owners and pilot accommodation.

Known for running interesting, unscripted day tours, highly regarded tour company Localing will introduce a new two-day itinerary from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula, Wilson’s Promontory and Phillip Island. Perfect for visitors who want to spend quality time on Victoria’s wild coastline, the two-day itinerary adds to the company’s existing day tours of Melbourne, Yarra Valley, Great Ocean Road and beyond.

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