9 reasons Melbourne is the best place to visit from the UK

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Last year, over 700,000 people from the United Kingdom visited Australia, more than three times as many visitors than any other country in Europe. The journey is clearly special, particularly when it comes to visiting Victoria.  Here are a few reasons why Australia’s second-smallest state is big news for Britons.

Photo: Robert Blackburn

You Can Take An Incredible Road Trip On The Left Side Of The Road

Only 9% of the world’s countries drive on the left side of the road. Australia is one of them! For once, visitors from the UK can hire a car in a foreign country and not have to worry about adjusting to different rules of the road.  That means you can spend more time admiring views like the one above from your driver’s seat.

Photo: Mark Chew

It’s Warm And Sunny When The UK Is Dark And Cold

Different hemispheres mean completely different weather patterns.  While the UK is descending into a cold and dark winter, the days are growing longer and warmer in Melbourne.  Winter blues can be eliminated by one flight down under to summer.  Melbourne’s average high temperature for January? A welcoming 26° C.  

Photo: Hash Speciality Coffee

The GBP Still Goes A Long Way

It’s no secret that the British pound has had better days.  The value of the GBP to the foreign currencies of China, the USA, and the Euro dropped to ten year lows in 2016.  But how about Australia?  Not so much.  Remarkably, the GBP is currently worth more in Australia than it was in 2010. 1 GBP is equivalent to an astonishing 1.62 Australian dollars. That’s one of the best exchange rates on the planet for UK visitors, and means you can spend extra on remarkable Melbourne food, like the hot chocolate from Hash Speciality Coffee cafe.

Fresh Seafood Is Waiting

Did you know that Australia has more coastline than the United States and more than twice as much as the United Kingdom?  85 percent of Australians live within 50km of the coast.  What do these facts mean?  Eating fresh seafood is a way of life down under.  Just take a road trip along Victoria’s coast to find eateries serving all kinds of local catch.  Who wouldn’t want to celebrate the start of a journey on the Great Ocean Road with the oyster platter at Growler’s Restaurant in Torquay?

Photo: Ed Dunes, Flickr

Victoria Has Star Power

According to researchers, 99% of the population in Europe lives under artificially brightened skies.  While light pollution in the UK makes star-gazing difficult, Australia has some of the darkest, galaxy-filled skies on the planet.  A trip outside of Melbourne is all it takes for a spectacular nighttime view.  On especially clear and dark nights outside of the city in Victoria, you should be able to spot the Milky Way.

Photo: Robert Blackburn

Victoria Has A Train Ride You’ll Actually Love

Chances are, you’ve probably ridden on a train in the last month.  Your ride probably didn’t look anything like the legs-dangling, steam-powered trip through the forest aboard The Puffing Billy in the Dandenong Ranges. A journey on the century-old locomotive is a favourite among UK visitors and celebrities visiting Melbourne.  All aboard!

You Can Watch Wild Penguins Waddle Up A Beach

If there’s one wildlife experience in Australia that gets called “unforgettable” and “incredible” most often, it’s surely the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island.  At sunset each day, hundreds of little penguins return from the sea after a day of fishing and pass an enthralled audience of onlookers.  At Summerland Beach, you can grab a ticket for seating along their waddling path or even get eye-level with the passing birds in the new underground viewing facility.  This experience alone is worth a cross-hemisphere flight.

Photo: Mark Chew

You Probably Know Someone Who Will Show You Around

Did you know that 1 in every 49 British citizens is currently living in Australia?  With 1.3 million Britons residing in Australia, you most likely know a few of them!  What better way to reunite than a road trip in Victoria?  Time to send a Facebook message to that old friend.

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