Theatre and music abound in Melbourne. Sightseeing includes some beautiful parks including the Royal Botanic Gardens on the banks of the Yarra River, the Fitzroy Gardens which contain the reconstructed English cottage of Captain James Cook who discovered Australia in 1770, and historic Chinatown.
Day 3 Melbourne to Ballarat
Depart Melbourne for Ballarat, a famous gold-mining town of the 1850's. Be sure to visit Sovereign Hill and try panning for gold. Finders keepers! Before leaving Ballarat, drive through the Botanic Gardens beside Lake Wendouree. Continue via the attractive towns of Creswick, Daylesford and Castlemaine to Malden, "the best preserved town in Australia, of the gold mining era".
Continue to Bendigo for overnight.
Day 4 Bendigo to Beechworth
A city proud of its mining past, Bendigo has many interesting sights. These include a working goldmine, a Chinese Joss House (there were many thousands of Chinese on the Victorian gold fields) and the beautiful old Shamrock Hotel. Continue via Rochester, where stately red gums line the river and the roads, to Echuca, once the largest inland port in Australia. Visit the historic wharf area and relive the colourful river paddleboat era. Continue via Shepparton and Benalla to the tiny township of Glenrowan made famous by Australia's most notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly. Visit the Kelly Gang Exhibition at the Glenrowan Tourist Centre. Proceed via Wangaratta to Beechworth for overnight.
Day 5 Beechworth to Thredbo.
In the foothills of the Australian Alps, the old township of Beechworth has thirty-two of its buildings classified by the National Trust of Australia. Continue via the precipitous Alpine Way to the beautiful skiing village of Thredbo in the Mount Kosiosko National Park. Care should be taken when undertaking this route during the winter months.