As Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne may not bask in as much of the limelight as the bigger and flashier Sydney. But look a little deeper and you’ll see why many Australians (well, Melburnians at least) believe this city is the best in Australia.

Located in Australia’s southern state of Victoria, Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city with a growing population of more than 4 million people. It’s a vibrant city with just the right architectural mix of colonial heritage and contemporary design; from the European grandeur of Flinders Street Station to the brave innovation of Federation Square.

Melbourne is a food lover’s paradise. You can dine in some of the finest three hatted restaurants in the country or enjoy some rustic fare in the authentic Italian restaurants of Lygon Street – the Little Italy of Melbourne. There’s nothing nicer than a hearty meal to keep you going while travelling around a new city.

There’s so much to see and do around the city’s centre. Take a walk along the banks of the Yarra River or stroll through the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, home of the restored Captain Cook’s Cottage. The city is a gateway to an array of amazing adventures. Travel east of the city and experience one of the world’s best road trips on the Great Ocean Road. This winding road runs between lush green farm land and the rugged southern coastline of Australia. It will lead you to popular surfing beaches and the world renowned Twelve Apostles.

The nearby Yarra Valley is Victoria’s premium wine region producing internationally recognised wines in a range of classic styles. You’ll find more wineries and even a strawberry farm to amuse your taste buds on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula just south of the city.

If it’s wildlife you’re after, look no further than Phillip Island. Just a two-hour drive from Melbourne, this charming island is home to a colony of approximately 32,000 Little Penguins. Watch as these adorable little creatures scurry out of the sea and onto the sand each night during the famous Penguin Parade.

The town of Ballarat, North West of Melbourne, was founded during the gold rush of the 1850s. You can immerse yourself in the colour and excitement of the town’s gold rush era at the interactive outdoor museum, Sovereign Hill. Further west you’ll find one of the world’s oldest and most impressive mountain ranges, Grampians National Park. This region boasts a myriad of native wildlife, ancient Aboriginal rock art and spectacular views.

Choose from a variety of AAT Kings tours in and around Melbourne. Choose the most suitable trip for you, tours range from one day trips to a full experience of Victoria of up to 11 days.