There's no doubt that Melbourne's sandbelt region is home to at least a dozen world-class courses. HK Golfer's Australian correspondent Paul Myers checks out a select few
WHAT TO DO / WHERE TO STAY
Staying in the central business district (CBD) makes sense for those wanting to access Melbourne's other delights: great food and wine at a vast array of restaurants, cafes and quaint English-style pubs. Theatre is a popular draw (there are always several major productions), while watching a cricket match at the famed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) during the summer (or Australian Rules during the winter) is an especially agreeable way to while away the hours. Hongkongers need no introduction to horseracing, and with three tracks and one of the most important races in the sport (the Melbourne Cup, held on the second Tuesday of November), Melbourne is unquestionably the racing capital of the southern hemisphere. The Langham (langhamhotels.com.au) is one of the most highly regarded and luxurious city hotels in Australia and is ideally situated for those wanting to explore all of Melbourne's attractions, while the Crown Towers (crowntowers.com.au), located right next to the casino and entertainment complex of the same name, is an excellent choice for those wishing to hit the tables.
WHEN TO GO
Generally speaking, the best time to visit Melbourne is between September and May, although be warned: January and February can be searingly hot. The rest of the summer months are comfortably warm. The winter months from June to August can be cool and wet. The city has a reputation for rain, which is statistically unfounded as Melbourne receives only fifty per cent of the average rainfall of either Brisbane or Sydney.
Cathay Pacific operates three flights daily to Melbourne (two nonstop; approximately nine hours); while Qantas, the Australian carrier, flies one nonstop daily service. The city's public transport network is extensive, and while hiring a car gives you the freedom and comfort to navigate your own way to the sandbelt, it is possible (and relatively painless) to travel the 15 miles or so by train from Melbourne's Flinders Street station to the suburb of Cheltenham and take a taxi to the clubs from there.
Written by Paul Myers
Photography by Courtesy of Commonwealth Golf Club (Commonwealth), Courtesy of Victoria Golf Club (Victoria), Courtesy of Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Royal Melbourne)
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