2017-18 Magellan Ashes Series in Australia
Inspection Report - Melbourne
The fourth 2017-18 Magellan Ashes Series Test Match between Australia and England will be played at the MCG in Melbourne, starting on Boxing Day. This legendary fixture is one that every discerning cricket fan must witness at least once in their life. Melbourne itself - the capital of the state of Victoria - is an amazing city with lots to see and do, and Melbournian’s are passionate about their sport, as anyone who has ever been to Melbourne will confirm. This helps to make the atmosphere at the MCG electrifying.
As well as plenty to do in the city itself, there are also lots of great places to visit in the vicinity, and Melbourne is an ideal location from where to take some wonderful day trips, not least a trip along the Great Ocean Road.
Howzat Travel tours taking in Melbourne...
The Melbourne Cricket Ground - referred to within Victoria as 'The Spiritual Home of Australian Sport' - is the largest sports stadium in the country with a current capacity of just over 100,000 and is famous for its amazing atmosphere. As well as cricket, the MCG (or 'the G', as locals affectionately call it) is also one of the main stadiums used for the Australian Rules AFL.
The MCG - which is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and the Australian National Heritage List - is located in Yarra Park in East Melbourne, which also hosts several other stadia including the Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena, which are both used for the Australian Open tennis.
Howzat Travel seating arrangements will be as follows*:
- Hospitality - Cricket Club Dining (Platinum tours upgrade) –Please see our general inspection page for details.
- Platinum (Platinum tours) – Olympic Stand / South Stand, Level 2
- Gold (Blue tours) – Southern Stand, Level 2
- Silver (Red tours) - Southern Stand, Level 3
- Reserved Seat (White tours) – Southern Stand, Level 1
* Seating allocation subject to change. Stadium map to be provided when released by Cricket Australia.
Howzat Travel will be using seven properties for our customers' stay in Melbourne. All properties are located a short distance from the MCG, to enable ease of getting to and from the cricket each day - either by foot or by tram.
The Langham - Platinum tours - Hotel website
Sitting right on the Southbank Promenade, there is no better place to be in Melbourne. Our Platinum travellers at the Langham will be fantastically looked after both inside and out of this luxury hotel in the heart of the vibrant city, along with some VIPs that are known to use this hotel during big sporting events!
Enjoy the hotel's spa, sauna, pool and separate cardio and weight-room gyms. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and in the beautiful public areas. There is a fantastic bar, the Aria bar, upstairs from the lobby, a great place to enjoy a drink and take an afternoon tea.
The Melba Restaurant in the hotel looks over the river and is a really special place to enjoy a meal. It is only a short walk to a range of other options however, if you would prefer to explore. The Southbank complex has everything you need, from ATMs to pharmacies and multiple bars and restaurants.
We have secured Riverbank rooms at this property, giving you fantastic views of the city. The rooms are incredibly luxurious and contain everything, and more, that you would expect from a 5* property.
Crown Promenade - Blue tours - Hotel website
Located just behind the Yara Promenade, the Crown Promenade is part of the large Crown complex, ideally located in central Melbourne.
The hotel boasts a large bar, with plenty of choice as well as a large lobby. The Mash restaurant offers breakfast and dinner in-house with a great range of options and lovely feel. It is a large hotel, so many of the amenities you will find in the public areas.
All rooms are to a very high standard with good views from wherever you are in the hotel. Wi-Fi is free and fast throughout. The hotel boasts a gym, pool, sauna and spa.
The Crown Promenade is located on Southbank, the hub of all entertainment, food and drink in Melbourne, so you will never be short of options. Inside the Crown complex itself, there is a range of options if you do not want to stray too far.
Pullman on the Park - Blue tours - Hotel website
This hotel looks over the MCG and further afield into the city, making it the ideal base for an Ashes test match! Rolling out of bed in the morning, you are never more than a five-minute, 500 metre stroll, away from the stadium.
The rooms are stylishly-appointed with plush bedding, contemporary furnishings and a spacious bath. Bright, fresh and modern, each room also features Wi-Fi and large windows with city views.
Breakfast at the Pullman On the Park ranges from local and international specialties to low carbohydrate options and high-energy dishes, the breakfast buffet offers something for everyone.
Enjoy a full al la carte dinner in the recently renovated Gallery Restaurant, available every night. The popular Restaurant offers mouth-watering cuisine, inspired by fresh market produce. Combine this with the selection of exquisite wines for a memorable meal overlooking the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens.
Town is a 10-minute walk away across the park where there are a range of options down Flinders Street, Flinders Lane or Collins Street. If you get to the end of these streets without somewhere catching your eye, just across the river is the Southbank and Crown entertainment complex, so you will never be short of options.
Novotel on Collins - Blue tours - Hotel website
A popular hotel with Howzat Travellers in 2013-14, the 380-room Novotel on Collins is an excellent base for your time in Melbourne, located on Collins Street in the heart of the city centre. The hotel is just a short walk from everything central Melbourne has to offer, including its abundance of shops, bars and eateries, plus the trams are just a few minutes away - to take you around the city or a little further afield if you prefer.
The spacious rooms all feature a LCD flat screen TV, iPod docking station, safe and Wi-Fi (free if you sign up to be an Accor member). A limited amount of complimentary Wi-Fi is available each day in the lobby. The hotel replaced all of its beds in 2017 and offer a pillow menu to suit your needs.
The hotel also boasts a fitness centre, swimming pool, spa and direct access to Australia on Collins shopping centre. Lane café and bar serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Look out for the daily happy hour here!
The Novotel on Collins is also just a 20-minute walk from the MCG. East along Collins Street, south on Russell Street, left onto Flinders Street and right onto Wellington Parade South. Trams to the ground can also be caught from nearby Swanston Street if you prefer.
Mercure Treasury Gardens - Red tours - Hotel website
This hotel is one of the best in relation to the MCG, just a 10-minute walk down the fans walk will get you to the ground.
Within the hotel there is a fantastic bar area, Wi-Fi (free if you sign up to be an Accor member) and a gym. The Hopsin restaurant serves food all day and is a great area to enjoy a meal and a morning coffee, you can charge breakfast to your room for $28 a day for a full buffet, or just $22 for a continental option. However, being located on Flinders street, we would advise going out to enjoy all the different options Melbourne has to offer!
Flinders Street, Flinders Lane and Collins Street are home to many of Melbourne greatest eateries and bars, just the other side of the Southbank where some of our other hotels are located. Everything you need is just a short walk away, with Collins Place shopping centre just around the corner.
Clarion Suites Gateway - Red tours - Hotel website
A short walk from the MCG, located on Flinders Street, the Clarion Suites gateway is ideal for our Red tour travellers. Getting to the ground couldn’t be easier, there is a free-tram stop right outside the hotel which will take you directly to the fans walk, or if you fancy walking it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.
All rooms include kitchenettes and are extremely spacious and comfortable. The hotel boasts access to a 24-hour gym across the road, indoor heated pool, high-speed internet (charges apply) and laundry services, while Williams bar and cafe is a favourite amongst guests.
The hotel is located at one end of Flinders Street and directly across the river from the Crown complex and Southbank. The Sherlock Holmes bar, which became a bit of a ‘Howzat hub’ in 2013, is just around the corner and offers great deals and food and drink.
Mercure Welcome - White tours - Hotel website
Central to the CBD, the Mercure Welcome is ideally located for all Melbourne has to offer. Just a 25-minute walk down the to MCG, while on the way back you will pass many of Melbourne's famous bars!
The hotel shares it's public areas with the Swanston Grand. This offers a brilliant sports bar called Cocoons which will be offering special Ashes deals, a small lobby area and the Louden restaurant. The hotel offers Wi-Fi throughout which has been confirmed as free for Howzat Travellers.
Flinders Street and the Southbank are only a short walk away, however nearer by there is Swanston Street, with a broad range of bars and restaurants, and I highly recommend Chinatown which is only a short walk away...
Travel from Airport
The Skylink is the best way to get to any hotel in the centre of Melbourne. For just $19, the Skylink will take you to the Central Station, near the Etihad Stadium. From here, there will be a range of free shuttles ready to take you to your hotel. You may have to wait for a few minutes at this stop for one to become available, but as a whole the process is hassle free.
Just head to one of the information desks when you head to the airport and they will guide you along.
In Melbourne on Christmas Day, we have arranged a special Christmas lunch at the Carousel Cafe, looking over the Albert Park Lake. The stunning location will be the best way to get into the Christmas spirit, with some incredible views of the city from over the lake. Enjoy a three-course meal and a four-hour, all-inclusive bar, with a very special guest and a stunning balcony. It'll be a great Christmas venue for the famous Howzat Travel Christmas Day lunch.
Melbourne City Map
*Click to enlarge
Things to do in and around Melbourne
Public Transport – myki is Melbourne’s ticket to travel on the city’s buses, trains and trams. You can buy a myki card at any premium station and from around 800 retailers where you see the myki sign including all 7-Eleven stores. Top up your myki instantly at myki machines, premium stations and at around 800 retailers where you see the myki sign.
Take a stroll along the Southbank, where you will find top class restaurants bearing the names of world famous chefs like Gordon Ramsey. The Southbank is also the location of the Crown Entertainment Complex - a world of casinos, bars, restaurants, clubs, theatres, cinemas, shops, cafes and more!
Jump on the free City Circle tram. As well as being a great way to get around the edge of the central business district, it is also an effective way to learn about Melbourne, as it provides informative and interesting sightseeing commentary all the way around!
Enjoy the spectacular, panoramic views of Melbourne from the Eureka Skydeck - one of the world's tallest residential buildings at 300 meters. Located on the Southbank, the Skydeck also feaures 'The Edge' - a glass cube that projects three metres out of the buiding - with you in it! We can highly recommend this.
Melbourne is the place from where to book some amazing trips you won't forget for a long time. You can visit the wineries of Victoria, Phillip Island for the penguin parade and best of all, travel along the Great Ocean Road, enjoying the breathtaking coastal scenery, including the legendary Twelve Apostles.
The Melbourne Aqarium is located on the banks of the Yarra River and is home to over 1,000 aquatic creatures, including giant sharks and stingrays in a 360º oceanarium.
Melbourne has lots to offer in terms of shopping. Designer names on Collins Street, high street names in the shopping centres, plus between Elizabeth Street and Swanson Street you will find several quaint lanes and arcades, which really give the Melbourne shopping experience an added dimension.
The Melbourne Museum is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere and features seven main galleries and an IMAX theatre.
Check out Old Melbourne Gaol (Jail), host to many of Australia's most infamous and notorious characters in its long history, and the place that the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly was hanged.
Just a short tram ride from the city centre is the suburb of St Kilda, host to Melbourne's most famous beach, funky restaurants and bars, and for kids, the Luna Park amusement park.
Please click on the banner below to open the full range of day excursions on offer - or
In the summer, Melbourne is hot with fine weather and average temperatures of around 25ºC, although this can peak at over 40ºC on really sunny days. Melbourne is known for its changeable weather too, and it is not uncommon to experience a quick burst of rain. Sun protection should be taken to Melbourne, as with everywhere else.
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NB: Howzat Travel reserves the right to make alterations to any aspect of the itinerary, including accommodation stated. Equivalent alternatives will be provided if this is the case.
And... while you are deciding which tour to book, why not read the tour diaries from our previous cricket tours to the Ashes:
Howzat Travel, a Cricket Australia
Travel Office Licensed Travel Operator
for the Ashes Series 2017-18. CATO Licence Number - CATO1718/050.
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