The 2019 Presidents Cup featured a splendid performance by Tiger Woods, both as player and captain, thrilling competition between the United States and International sides and the emergence of young pros Sungjae Im and Abraham Ancer.
But the real star of the weekend was Royal Melbourne, the exquisite Alister MacKenzie design in the Sandbelt, which rewarded angles over power, demanded accuracy approaching the greens and tested each player’s touch, nerve and mental acumen.
The timeless handiwork of Dr. Alister MacKenzie and architects of comparable acumen created incredible golf in the Melbourne Sandbelt. There are myriad courses dotted across Australia that attract golfers and tourists to the land Down Under each year. It’s a particularly appealing destination to Northern Hemisphere residents eager to escape winter’s chill.
Of course, Australia is also a unspoiled country filled with appealing natural scenery, cosmopolitan cities of Melbourne and Sydney and home to some of the warmest, endearing and fun-loving people on Earth.
The Best of Australia Escorted 2020 is a popular journey with PerryGolf clients, featuring 12 nights and a half-dozen rounds of golf at gems such as Royal Melbourne, New South Wales and Barnbougle Dunes.
From the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new musical to a John Lennon retrospective, ballets, plays, evenings filled with illusion and much, much more, there’s a diverse lineup of entertainment offered inside the iconic venue which U.S. architect Frank Gehry described as “a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology … that changed the image of an entire country.”
With more than 8.2 million annual visitors to the site, including 350,000 who tour the buildings, the Sydney Opera House is Australia’s top tourist attraction. It comprises multiple performance venues that present more than 2,000 shows to 1.5 million people each year, operating 363 days.
The Opera House enjoys a fascinating backstory. It’s located on Bennelong Point in central Sydney Harbour on what was known as Tubowgule – where the knowledge waters meet – to the native Gadigal people. They gathered here and danced, sang and told stories – a tradition that lives on today.
The Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, was awarded the project in a 1956 competition. He studied nautical maps of Sydney to better understand the landscape and crafted a vision in harmony with the area, capturing the spirit of the nation. With construction costs rising to four times what Utzon had projected, however, his relationship with the Australian government crumbled. And in April 1966, just halfway through construction, he departed the country and never returned again. The rising young Australian architect Peter Hall was appointed to take over and the Sydney Opera House enjoyed its grand opening in October, 1973.
“The human spirit must sometimes take wings or sails, and create something that is not just utilitarian or commonplace,” Queen Elizabeth II said at the ceremony.
Considered the city’s most iconic structure, the Melbourne Cricket Ground was established in 1853, less than 20 years after Melbourne was founded. The nation’s primary stadium during 1956 Olympic Games, the MCG has also provided the stage for concerts by the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, The 3 Tenors, Elton John and Billy Joel. Popes and leaders of nations have been welcomed here and the MCG also provided military housing for U.S. Marines and U.S. Air Force during World War II.
Nestled in Yarra Park, a 10-minute walk from the heart of the city, the MCG is open seven days a week, located in Melbourne’s sporting center near Rod Laver Stadium, site of the Australian Open tennis championship. In addition to the epic cricket matches waged here, the stadium also is the home of Australian Rules Football, drawing near capacity crowds for the Melbourne Demons vs. the Geelong Cats and other rivalries.
The adjacent National Sports Museum features 3,500 objects from countless sports and is another must-see for visitors who share a love of sports and desire to learn more about cricket and the massive popularity it enjoys in Australia and around the globe.
(For more information on exhibits, tickets and opening times, visit here).
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and designated as a World Heritage Site, about one-third of the Reef is protected from fishing and other intrusive activities. Estimated at 20,000 years old, the Great Barrier Reef lies off Australia’s East Coast, contains an abundance of marine life and comprises 3,000 individual reefs.
A visitor to the Great Barrier Reef can enjoy many experiences including snorkeling, scuba diving, aircraft or helicopter tours, bare boats (self-sail), glass-bottomed boat viewing, semi-submersibles and educational trips, cruise ship tours, whale watching and swimming with dolphins.
Of course, any PerryGolf trip to Melbourne includes amazing golf at world renowned courses such as Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath and Metropolitan in the Sandbelt region. Chasing pars and birdies on these magnificent layouts is certain to capture your imagination, create indelible memories and is likely to make you crave a return visit.
In addition to golf at the highest level, the cruises and tours provide ample time for savoring the scenes, sounds and flavor of a wonderful city such as Melbourne, with its comfortable summer weather and friendly people.
Here are five sights to see on any trip to the Melbourne area. Each of these can easily be enjoyed in half a day or stretched into a full day if you’re having so much fun you can’t leave!
Also known as the Queen Vic Markets or the Queen Vic, and locally as ‘”Vic Market,” this is a major landmark in Melbourne, Australia, and at around seven hectares (17 acres) is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. The Market is significant to Melbourne’s culture and heritage and has been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Queen Victoria Market is the only surviving 19th century market in the Melbourne central business district.
Officially opened on March 20, 1878, the market has a long, rich history and remains a vibrant and functional part of the city today, offering hundreds of stalls where local farmers and merchants sell fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and an array of art, crafts, clothing and jewelry, among other items.
Browse or shop, spend a few hours or make it a day as you absorb an iconic location in Melbourne’s culture.
These internationally renowned botanical gardens are located near the centre of Melbourne on the south bank of the Yarra River. Sprawling 94 acres (38 hectares) these well-manicured and landscaped gardens feature a mixture of native and exotic vegetation, numbering more than 10,000 species.
The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne are adjacent to a larger group of parklands directly south-east of the city, between St. Kilda Road and the Yarra River known as the Domain Parklands, which includes Kings Domain, Alexandra Gardens and Queen Victoria Gardens.
The gardens play a significant role in helping to preserve threatened and endangered plants while studying their habitats.
Located inside the 297-meter (975 foot) Eureka Tower in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne, the Skydeck is accurately described as “an experience above all else.” The Skydeck is located 12 meters from the top and passengers arrive there in 38 scintillating seconds aboard the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest elevator.
Daring guests can accelerate the experience by stepping out onto “The Edge” – a glass cube that extends from the 88th floor of the Tower and suspends guests more than 900 feet above Melbourne.
Eureka Tower opened in 2006 after a four-year construction process. Any visitors wishing to see Melbourne from a different point of view would be remiss to forego this heightened enlightened vantage point.
Previously known as the Southern Star, this giant Ferris Wheel is located in the Waterfront City precinct in the Docklands area of Melbourne. The only giant observation wheel in the Southern Hemisphere is 120 meters (394 feet) tall and has seven spokes to reflect the seven-pointed star on the Australian flag.
A ride on the Melbourne Star consists of one complete rotation, which takes 30 minutes and delivers unobstructed views stretching nearly 25 miles (40 kilometers). Sit back and enjoy the breathtaking scenery encompassing the entire Docklands precinct, Melbourne’s central business district, Port Phillip Bay and as far as Mount Macedon, Arthur’s Seat and the Dandenong Ranges.
Officially called the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, the Melbourne Zoo features 320 animal species from Australia and around the world. Located 2.5 miles north of the city centre, the zoo is easily accessible via a short taxi ride or public transportation (Stop 24 or Stop 25).
You may spot something cuter than this baby Asian Elephant during your trip to Melbourne, but we seriously doubt it!
From the Giant Tortoise to the Baw Baw Frog and the Philippines Crocodile, there’s an animal for everyone at this well-routed zoo. Be sure to enter Lion Gorge, where you’ll come face-to-face with a magnificent African Wild Dog Pack and learn plenty about this agile, active hunter. Walk the elevated boardwalk above the orangutans and watch them swing, climb and feed as they would in the wild.
The Wild Zoo is the largest exhibit at the Melbourne Zoo and showcases the natural beauty of Victoria’s coast and ocean. Be prepared to swoon over a seal or fall for a penguin.