I'm a freelance writer and primary school teacher living in SE Melbourne. I love finding adventures for myself, my husband and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles, subscribe to the fun, follow along on www.facebook.com/WNMelbourne
Published May 30th 2015
How to be a great host
Hosting overseas guests can be a great honour and privilege, but a lot of pressure and stress at the same time. Whether family or close friends, a good visit can depend on the tension between quality time together and, well, quality time apart.
Accommodation: Give your visit the best chance at success by booking accommodation outside of your own home. A great SE base for your guests is Quest Moorabbin, 3 Kingston Road, Heatherton; Cost: From $170. The serviced apartments feature free wifi access, a small work-out area, barbecue area, and on-site car parking. Valet dry cleaning, grocery pickup, and in-room breakfast options are also available along with restaurant charge-back and delivery service for in-room dining. Quest Moorabbin's shuttle bus service to nearby business parks, golf courses, and hospitals is also available (inquire regarding booking and fees).
Entertainment: If this is your guests' first visit to Melbourne, you of course have to hit some classics, like Fed Square and the CBD (try a Detour), Royal Botanic Gardens, Queen Vic Market, Eureka Tower, and even a good ol' Victorian Footy game. If you have a luxurious timeline, Melbourne has some terrific daytrips. I recommend Healesville Sanctuary, a penguin parade viewing and visit to the other Phillip Island Nature Parks, and even a trek down the Great Ocean Road (stop to do some koala spotting!) out to the Twelve Apostles. Heritage train trips can be a fun outing for a family, accommodating a broad age-range. Adults can even enjoy something like "Steam and Cuisine", or "Murder on Puffing Billy Express" on Puffing Billy.
Gifts: A special way to welcome or farewell your overseas guests is to find them a nice Australian gift. Australian wine works as a welcome, assuming they will consume during their stay, otherwise the occasion of course calls for something lighter and more travel friendly. Coins, stamps, and anything "lambskin" would fill the bill quite nicely, or how about an amazing print of your suburb from Merry Make? Some of my favourites, though, have to be these beautiful carved trivets and coasters that can be purchased online or from the Australian Woodwork stall at Queen Victoria Market.