How to do a great weekend in Melbourne Australia

a body of water with a city in the background

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While Sydney gets tons of media attention for its gorgeous Harbour bridge and Opera house, Melbourne has quietly become the art and foody center of Australia.  From its gorgeous river front and city circle tram to the Yarra Valley and Queen Victoria market – Melbourne is a place I can’t wait to visit again.

Where to stay:

The Langham is the grand dame of Melbourne and is situated smack on the Yarra with great access to the thriving riverfront. If you’re looking for a great deal with points, I’d recommend the Park Hyatt, cat 5, or Grand Hyatt, cat 4. In fact, the Park Hyatt Melbourne, cat 5, is one of the few Park Hyatts in the world that offer a club level.

a group of people walking in a city

Arrive Friday

Head down to the riverfront and enjoy the sunset, a spritzer, beer, or cocktail and toast to the end of the week.  The riverfront is jam packed with people who are calling it quits for the week and celebrating the incredible river culture Melbourne thrives on. We enjoyed a couple of the bars that actually rest on the river.

Either grab dinner on the river, or head up to Centre Place – a short walk from the river front. Centre Place is part of the “laneways” that span Hoddle Grid and represent some fantastic examples of street art and is chalked full of boutiques, tasty treats, and eclectic vendors. An alternative? Degraves street – very, very cool.



Head out to the Yarra Valley and enjoy a wine tour. The Yarra Valley is not only drop dead gorgeous and a short trip from downtown, but it’s producing some formidable Pinot Noirs. The TarraWarra Estate is one of the region’s most popular wineries.


Depending on when you get back –  head out of the city for a walk on Batman Avenue to the Royal Botanical Gardens.

a body of water with a city in the background

We really enjoyed walking along the river bank towards Rod Laver Arena. The city planners have done a wonderful job creating areas for the public to enjoy green areas. It also creates an amazing view of the city.

You could end the night seeing performances at Laver by the likes of Sam Smith, Kevin Hart, Keith Urban, and the list goes on and on.

Not your speed – head out to Fitzroy, the hispster/artsy area of Melbourne and walk Brunswick St to find something that suits your fancy


Wake up early and walk down ( or take the circle city tram ) to Queen Victoria Market. It’s a converted post office that is full of coffee shops, butchers, breakfast joints, bakeries, and a great mix of eclectic vendors.

After breakfast, head out to the flea and farmers market and get some crazy cheap deals on this and that.

a market with many fruits and vegetables

Head back to the hotel to check out.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
      • 75k Ultimate Rewards After $4k spend in 3 months + 10k Ultimate Rewards after $6k in 6 months 
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

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