Travelling around Australia can be very exciting but to ensure that you have a good time it is advisable to research on various attractions acorss the country. Cheapflights.com.au have some good city guides on the best places to check out in Australia and so, inspired by their top picks, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of our favourite things to do in Melbourne (our favourite of Australia’s cities).
We spent almost three months house sitting in and around Melbourne, and during our stay we fell in love with its green public spaces, quirky neighbourhoods, and wealth of cultural attractions. From catching the latest blockbuster at the impressive IMAX cinema, to riding the rollercoaster at Luna Park, here’s our pick of 40 fun things to do in Melbourne.
Nature walks in the Royal Botanic Gardens
This is a great location for an afternoon picnic or evening stroll. The beautiful gardens are centrally located and worth visiting to enjoy the natural surroundings.
Gaming at the Crown Casino
If you are a fan of gaming, then this is one place you have to visit. The massive complex is also a good place to enjoy fine dining at its famous restaurants that offer an array of cuisines from all over the world.
Enjoy the Sea Life Aquarium
The aquarium is an unforgettable destination for adults as well as kids who enjoy the penguin display that includes king penguins and Gentoo penguins. A visit to the aquarium during feeding time is a once in a life time experience for many people.
Interact with Animals at the Melbourne Zoo
A visit to the oldest zoo in Australia is quite exciting as you will have a chance to see over three hundred species of animals. The main attraction at the zoo is definitely the feeding times for the animals which are quite fascinating for both adults and children.
Soak in the Inspiring City views at Eureka Sky deck
To get the best view of Melbourne, go up the 88th floor of the sky deck and experience a breathtaking view of the city. Make sure you step out and face your fears on “The Terrace” and “The Edge” where your view is much more exhilarating.
Take a Day Trip to the Wineries at Yarra valley
At Yarra valley, you get to enjoy lush scenery and wine centres that are rated as some of the best in the world. Areas such as Domain Chandon are a good stop off for wine lovers that want learn more about bands such as the Moet as well as Chandon while enjoying spectacular grounds with far-reaching views of the valley.
Marvel at the Fine Architecture of the Treasury Building
Visiting the old Treasury building is like going back to the nineteenth century when the gold rush was at its peak. The building which is the symbol of development of Melbourne also hosts exhibitions that run on a temporary or permanent basis making it a must visit for history lovers.
Get Gold Fever at Sovereign Hill
The Gold Rush is one of the most important historic events in Australia because of its contribution to its fast growth. Sovereign Hill is one of the recommended tourist attractions for visitors that want to experience the excitement as well as colour brought about by the historical 1850s event.
View Contemporary Art at the Australian Centre
A search for contemporary art in Melbourne will definitely lead you to The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art which showcases artworks by international, national and local artists. This art space is considered to be the home of a number of modern-day art pieces, through commissioning rather than collection, which are well known worldwide.
Ride on City- Circle Tram
Moving around Melbourne using the tram enables you to visit a number of attractions within the city in a historic transportation vehicle. The tram is available on all days and since the service is free you can get on it as many times as you wish.
Discover Cook’s Cottage
Captain James Cook is famous in Australia because of his contribution to the discovery of Australia, which makes his cottage worth checking out. The cottage which was reconstructed after shipment from England in 1933 offers a look into the rich history of Australia for everyone that visits Melbourne. The monument is located in Fitzroy Gardens and is a “must visit” when in Melbourne.
Explore Federation Square
Federation Square is considered as the melting point of cultures as well as entertainment that are popular in Melbourne. It is a popular hangout for locals as well as tourists because it allows them to experience world-class events and cultural attractions that enrich your experience of the city.
Enjoy Luna Park
Luna Park is the hub of carnival fair for anyone looking for a fun and exhilarating experience. It is a great place for children as there are a number of activities to enjoy such as the popular Scenic Railway Roller Coaster. A ride on this roller coaster gives you an unforgettable experience while giving you a great view of Port Philip Bay.
Marvel at the National Opal Collection
Opals are Australia’s national gemstone and are part of the country’s identity and character. A visit to the National Opal Collection gives you a look at the history of these fiery gemstones as well as a chance to view a wide collection of opals as well as jewelery made from the gemstone. You can buy a piece of jewellery to carry home as a reminder of the trip to Melbourne.
Play at Tennis World
Tennis is considered to be synonymous with Australia because it is the home of Melbourne Park, which hosts the Australian Open. A tour of Tennis World which is within the park allows you to play on the world class courts and have an experience of champions which is every tennis fan’s dream.
Watch cricket at MCG stadium
Cricket is one of the most popular sports games in Australia and the best place to watch this game is at the MCG. This sports arena is a great place to be over summer where you can take a tour and relive all sporting memories.
Visit Melbourne’s Chinatown
If you are a fan of the products in Chinatown in different parts of the world, then you will certainly enjoy shopping at Melbourne’s Chinatown. Little Bourke Street, where the shopping centre is located, boasts of products from countries such as Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Japan among others.
Survey the old Melbourne jail
Get a great historical background of crime in Melbourne when touring the old Melbourne jail which hosted notorious criminals in the 1840s. It is a great combination of the past justice system and the modern changes that are currently seen in the city.
Walk around the Melbourne Museum
This museum can be found at Carlton Gardens and is a favourite for both children and adults looking for an educative time. The museums have displays that are spread across eight galleries that have been designed for everyone even children. Apart from the displays, kids can also play in the sand pit at the museum.
Watch a performance at the iconic Regent theatre
If love watching well done theatre productions, then you must pass by the Regent theatre when in Melbourne to enjoy watching one or two shows. The old theatre which was refurbished in 1996 has seen the staging of productions such as Sunset Boulevard and Wicked among others.
Reflect at St Paul’s Cathedral
If you enjoy visiting religious sites and even saying a prayer or two when there, then St Paul’s is a “must visit” for you and your family. The iconic structure is located in the middle of Melbourne and has a lot of rich history within its walls. From its steps, you can have a good view of the city and its surroundings.
Dine at Flinders Lane
Dining in Melbourne is done best on Flinders street which is the hub of most of the great restaurants within the city. Some of the popular restaurants on the lane include Yu-U, Chin Chin and the Italian among others. Apart from an array of dining options, visitors can also enjoy shopping in boutique hotels that line the street.
Shop on Chapel Street
Fashion lovers will find Chapel Street to be an answer to their shopping needs as it is lined with designer chains as well as unique boutiques. It is one of the most well known fashion strips in the country and worth checking out when in Melbourne. When touring the street expect to come across popular stores such as Witchery, Sports girl and Mimco among others.
Buy Jewellery on Collins Street
Collins Street is a dream come true for luxury shoppers as it is home to high end jewellery shops in Melbourne. If you are looking for a unique and sparkly gift for a loved one then you can visit popular jewellery stores such as Tiffany &Co., George Jensen and Bvlgari. Apart from jewellery, fashion stores have also been opened on this famous street thus enriching your shopping experience.
Explore the Etihad Stadium
A visit to Etihad Stadium is a must for sports lovers visiting Melbourne for one reason or another. The massive complex is multipurpose, but is most famous for its AFL fixtures that attract a crowd of fifty thousand people. One of its unique features is its retractable roof that makes it worth checking out when on a tour of the stadium.
Educate yourself at the State library of Victoria
Education has played an important role in the growth of Melbourne mainly because of investment in structures such as this library. When touring the massive library, you will come across a wide array of educational resources and modern facilities that are used by students on the campus. Spend a little time in the Experimedia room which gives you a chance to experience digital media at its best.
Find out about Chinese history in Australia
The Chinese have contributed immensely in the growth of Australia and this is well documented at the Chinese museum in Chinatown. The museum which covers five floors has areas such as the Visitor Centre, Dragon Valley and artefacts that document Chinese history in the country. Apart from touring the museum you can also engage in exhibitions and cultural events at the museum.
Eat Alfresco on Lygon Street
Enjoy the great ambience on Lygon Street by eating at one of the cafes or restaurants that line the area. It has been associated with Italian restaurants for many years but the cuisine offered is becoming more diverse to cater for the needs of its patrons. Sitting outside on the pavement while enjoying a refreshing drink on Lygon street is a good way to spend your summer when in Melbourne.
Enjoy street art on Hosier Lane
Street art in Melbourne is considered to be fashionable and so it is common to find laneways that have artistic images on them. To enjoy a spectacular view of this of this art, make sure to visit the bluestone cobbled laneway which is also a great photography spot for art lovers.
Watch fascinating images at the Australian centre
If you enjoy television and film and want to experience a different form of digital culture, then this centre which solely consists of moving images is a must see. The images displayed are quite engaging and are usually part of exhibitions that are internationally acclaimed, educational programs, live events and creative workshops. If you are not careful you will find yourself spending several hours at the centre.
Learn about Immigration in Australia
The Immigration museum is the best place to learn more about the migration history of the people living in the country. The interactive experience offered by the museum is quite engaging as it brings out information that will make you better understand the culture diversity in Australia.
Play paintball in Melbourne
For a fun time in the city, consider visiting the Melbourne Indoor Paintball where you can engage in a game of paintball with friends and family. The indoor facility offers up to date facilities such as an urban scenario, speedball field and smoke effects among others. After playing a game of paintball, you and your friends can wind down at the bar within the facility.
Enjoy visual arts at NGV
NGV which stands for National Gallery of Victoria is a great place to explore visual arts that are extraordinary even at international standards. The visual art displays provide a once in a lifetime experience for art enthusiasts and can be viewed daily with admission to the galleries having no charges.
Sky Dive Over Melbourne
For an exhilarating experience in Melbourne, try out sky diving at St. Kilda beach and get a rush that is unforgettable. The jump begins at an altitude of 14,000ft and allows you to free fall at 200km per hour for about sixty seconds. This skydiving location in Melbourne is open daily and instructors are always available to assist.
Visit the Shrine of Remembrance
Many people sacrificed their lives to take part in peace missions as well as armed conflicts so that Australia could stand on its own. The Shrine of Remembrance is a memorial built in their honour and is considered sacred. The Visitor Centre offers a great experience by showing exhibitions on regular basis as well as services for the fallen heroes.
Take a Day Trip and Explore Rural Victoria
Sightseeing is a good way to spend your day when in Melbourne as it allows you to see different sights on a single tour ride. There are a number of companies that offer these types of tours in Melbourne and they make sure that you get to see as much of the city as possible. Some of the popular sights on such trips include the Grampians, Great Ocean Road and Sovereign Hill among others.
Fun for children at PlayWorkz
Getting children to have as much fun as possible in a safe as well as learning environment is beneficial to them in the long run. This is the goal of PlayWorkz in Melbourne and is seen in the design of the play area as well as activities offered to children. Some of the popular games include a giant swing and flying fox among others.
Discover the Old Melbourne observatory
Even from outside the observatory is worth looking at especially because of its 19th century architecture. It can be clearly viewed from the nearby café when closed but a better experience those that go into the observatory to view various planets and the moon. The experience is quite captivating and will definitely leave you more enlightened bout planet life and beyond.
Relax in Williamstown
Escape to Williamstown and relax from the rigours of city life even though you will still be within the greater area of Melbourne. The small town can be easily accessed by the metro train and soon you will be enjoying a peaceful environment and great weather.
Politics at Parliament House
A visit to Parliament House gives you a chance to tour the upper as well as lower houses of the building. The building is quite old and has exquisite interior décor that includes the use of large amounts of gold because it was built during the gold rush period. On the tour of Parliament House, visitors are allowed to sit in the speaker’s chair, so aim for that opportunity.
Featured image via CC Flickr by Robert Michalski