Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, a state in Australia, is one of the top tourist places in the world. The dynamic and cosmopolitan city is known for its diverse attractions and magnificent natural beauty. The world-famous tourist attraction has a vibrant and arty feel and is known as the most ”European” city of Australia.
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7.National Gallery of Victoria
8.Flinders Street Railway Station
Melbourne is the cultural and sporting capital of Australia due to its many museums, sports grounds, historic prisons, and galleries. The city known for its culture and food has many beautiful plazas, restaurants, and bars throughout the city. Federation Square is the most happening place in the city to relax with friends and family with the perfect backdrop of the Yarra River. The City centre, Fitzroy and Carlton are famous for their rooftop eateries and bars.
Melbourne is also known for its diverse shopping options. One can shop for international brands along with local designers, modern to vintage fashion in the same market. Enjoy shopping in the huge, open-air Queen Victoria market. The Campbell market is famous for its antique products. To shop for one of its kind, local designer wear, go to the Rose Street Artists’ market.
The popular months to visit Melbourne are from December to March. From December to March, the weather is cool, and a lot of popular events such as Australian Open tennis, the Moomba Arts festival,and the LGBT-focused Midsummer Festival takes place. Other popular events are the Royal Melbourne Show and the Melbourne Festival happening in September and October respectively. If planning a vacation during these popular months, plan in advance as flight tickets and accommodation prices are high.
Some of the popular and must-visit attractions of Melbourne are the Melbourne Cricket ground, Old Melbourne Gaol, Royal botanical gardens, Arts center Melbourne, Melbourne Museum and the Chinese Museum. Apart from these, Melbourne has many events such as theatre, outdoor cinema and music performances in the evenings. One should take out time to enjoy these as well.
Some of the other popular things to do in Melbourne are:
1.Split Point Lighthouse
Taking a tour of the famous Split Point lighthouse is one of the top things to do in Melbourne. The iconic Lighthouse is located at Federal Street, Aireys Inlet in Victoria. One can see mesmerizing views of the Great Ocean Road, the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary and the Phillips Island from the 34-meter high tower. The white lighthouse is known for its eye-catching red “cap” and the stunning backdrop of the Aireys Inlet.
The visitors can admire the 360-degree views of coastal vistas up from the lighthouse and then explore the scenery around the lighthouse. The area around the lighthouse includes beautiful beaches and wild cliffs and rock pools just at the bottom of the lighthouse.
The Split Point Lighthouse was an unmanned lighthouse when built-in 1919. Then it was closed to the public and only selected few could get inside to admire the views from the top. It was open for public viewing in 2005, and since then people can take guided tours to see the lighthouse and the surrounding scenery.
There are daily guided tours to visit the lighthouse. The tour guide will explain the history of the lighthouse, life of maritime responsibility, cultural connections, Marine Sanctuary, and engineering perfection. There are tours every day except 25th December. The lighthouse tour takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes and costs about $ 14 for an adult, $8 for a child aged between 5 to 16 years and a family about $ 40. There are concessional tickets for seniors costing about $10 for them. The tours happen between 11 am to 2 pm.
The lighthouse can be accessed or visited through a tour only. No individual or private access allowed as it is still a functioning lighthouse. So book a tour beforehand to visit the lighthouse.
The Cactus Country tour is one of the must things to do in Melbourne for plant and nature lovers. It is a unique experience with more than 4,000 varieties of cacti and succulents from around the world in one place. The garden has a desert landscape that transports the visitors on the other side of the world. They feel as if they are spending the afternoon in the Sahara, or Mexico instead of Australia.
The 12 acres of the cactus garden has eight different garden trails for different types of plants. The trails go through various sections of the garden like North America, South America, Mexico, and South Africa. One cannot miss the Cactus Farmer Jim’s valley where there are hybrid giant cacti.
Apart from walking the trails and admiring the thousands of varieties of incredible cacti and other succulents, the Cactus Country has other activities too for the entertainment of the whole family. One can learn about different varieties of cacti, shoot beautiful pictures with family or just take a cactus plant home. The garden has café and courtyards for relaxing and chilling out after a long walk in the sun. One can enjoy the Mexican beer or a cold margarita, but their famous cactus cake and cactus ice cream are not to be missed out.
The cactus Country is located at 4986 Murray Valley Highway, Strathmerton in Victoria. The garden is open on all seven days from nine am to five pm. Visit this beautiful garden is a must things to do in Melbourne to see how astonishing mother nature is. Their Day of the Dead is their biggest event of the year where visitors enjoy a lot of experimental food and entertainment in the night for five hours.
3.Puffing Billy Railway
Visit the Puffing Billy Railway is a must things to do in Melbourne for everyone. Go and see one of the world’s finest steam railways still functional and running. The iconic railways have been loved by generations for over a century and still continue to enthral visitors. The railway winds through the beautiful rainforest and lush fern gullies of the incredible Dandenong Ranges National Park. The visitors, including both kids and adults, enjoy the magnificent views from the historical open-sided carriages.
The Puffing Billy railway is located at 1 Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave just one hour from Melbourne. Visiting it with family for a day picnic is one of the things to do in Melbourne by locals. The 100 years old steam engine still operates on its original 24 km mountain track running from Belgrave to Gembrook. One can catch the train from any of the stations on the route or get down at any station and explore the region.
The train operates on all the days of the week except on 25th December. It is a major tourist attraction of Melbourne and Victoria. Apart from the regular train route, it has special events trains too. One can travel in first-class in their luxury train with fully enclosed dining carriage and enjoy the daily Steam the Cuisine Luncheon or experience their themed evening dining event which includes Murder on the Puffing Billy, Steam& Cuisine After Dark, Murder Mystery Dinners, etc. Kids especially love their Day out With Thomas event. Do remember that departure time from stations is different every day, so refer to the website to avoid missing the train.
To witness the rugged splendour of the Victorian coastline, visit famous Twelve Apostles is one of the things to do in Melbourne. Located on the Great Ocean Road and Booring road, Princetown almost 275 kilometres west of Melbourne, it is famous for its magnificent rock stacks that rise from the Southern Ocean. Their striking beauty dramatises Victoria’s coastline, especially when these rock pillars are viewed at sunset. At that time these rock pillars display their best shade by losing their yellow glow and becoming darker.
The Twelve Apostles rock stacks were created by millions of years of constant erosion of the limestone cliffs. These softer limestone cliffs located at the mainland were eroded gradually by the stormy Southern Ocean and blasting winds. Earlier caves slowly became arches and later collapsed resulting in rock stacks with height up to 45 meters standing isolated from the shore. The best time to visit the Twelve Apostles is either at sunrise or sunset when they change their color.
The scenic area is family-friendly and is accessible by a wheelchair, making it convenient for everyone to visit and see its splendid beauty.
Day picnic with family and friends to Westgate Park is one of the things to do in Melbourne by locals. So to experience Melbourne like the locals, take a day trip to the Westgate Park and enjoy the park-like the locals. Its close proximity to the city and spectacular views makes it the perfect spot for a day outing.
The Westgate Park is located under the Westgate Bridge at the Fisherman’s Bend along the eastern banks of the Yarra River. The scenic park offers numerous attractions and activities for the enjoyment of its visitors. One can relax and enjoy in the lush greenery or cycle along the Yarra River and the Port Melbourne foreshore or just play games with family.
Before you plan the trip, do take the latest information about the weather conditions of the park. They change for many reasons, so advance preparation is advisable.
Enjoying Australia’s great Goldrush is one of the main things to do in Melbourne. The excitement of regional Victoria and bushranger country of the 1850s can be experienced at the Sovereign Hill. Wind back the clock to the colonial days of Ballarat in this open museum with a lot of entertaining and enjoyable activities.
The Sovereign Hills located at 39 Magpie Street, Ballarat is just 90 minutes away from Melbourne. It is voted as Australia’s best “major Tourist Attraction” for four times. So this unique Australian experience is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. Visitors enjoy this entertaining open museum and its gold mining experience with many street performances by the troupe of actors wearing costumes from that era goldfields characters. Its famous new light show ‘ Blood on the Southern Cross’ is also performed every evening and is not to be missed.
Visitors can also search for real gold in the underground gold mine. The gold is of the finders and is not to be returned. Other activities include seeing $150,000 gold pour and chat with the gold craftsmen in the blacksmiths forges.
The Sovereign Hill is open on all seven days from 10 am to 5 pm. The premises are family-friendly and wheelchair accessible. The entry of Sovereign Hill includes the entry to the Gold Museum. The Gold Museum has beautiful displays of gold and exhibitions of Ballarat history.
7.National Gallery of Victoria
Another top thing to do in Melbourne for art lovers is to visit the NGV or the National Gallery of Victoria. Every year loads of art lovers visit the NGV to enjoy art from classic to contemporary and by both local and international artists. Located at 180 St Kilda Road in Melbourne, Australia’s oldest and largest art museum draws a huge crowd from 1861. The gallery is split into two parts at two locations, the NGV International and the Ian Potter Centre. Both the impressive galleries are located in the city centre within a short walking distance from each other.
The NGV International has touring exhibitions and collections of Asian, European, American and oceanic art. Do remember to see the famous waterfall at the iconic St Kilda Road gallery and the Great Hall.
To enjoy the Australian indigenous and non-Indigenous art, visit the Ian Potter Centre located just across the river. This is another interesting thing to do in Melbourne.
Both the galleries are open on seven days from 10 am to 5 pm and are wheelchair accessible. Do remember to plan your trip to either of the gallery with time to visit their gallery shop to see and purchase their well-curated books, catalogs, cards, wearable art, and other souvenirs.
8.Flinders Street Railway Station
Visiting the Flinders Street Railway Museum is one of the things to do in Melbourne to get the feel of Melbourne and be like the locals. The iconic railway station is open daily and is located at Flinders Street. Tourists from decades have visited the railway station and clicked pictures standing beneath its iconic clocks. One can also take a train to explore the outer Melbourne. There are tours also available to learn the history of the grand building. Do remember to see the changing exhibitions in the Campbell Arcade underneath the station.
Art in Melbourne is not confined to only the National Gallery of Victoria but is splattered all across the streets of Melbourne in the form of street art and colourful murals. One can find beautiful and photogenic murals in trendy neighborhoods of Melbourne like Fitzroy and Collingwood or inner-city laneways like the Center Place, AC/DC Lane and Presgrave Place. Hosier Lane is the most popular one for its beautiful murals and street art covering almost all the walls.
Walking down the famous cobblestoned laneway and admiring the urban art scene of Melbourne is one of the things to do in Melbourne. The Hosier Lane artwork is known across the world for its intricate array of colours, shapes, and characters created by both local and international artists. One can wander around the lane by self, admiring the artwork or join a walking tour to get better information about the artists and their work. One should also visit the Hosier Lane’s counterpart the Rutledge Lane and explore their artwork adorning the walls, windows, and even the wheelie bins.
10.Loch Ard Gorge
Visiting the Loch Ard Gorge is one of the must things to do in Melbourne when visiting the Twelve Apostles. This gorge is located on the Great Ocean Road in Campbell, just three minutes away from the Twelve Apostles. The Loch Ard Gorge is known for its magnificent natural beauty, coastal wilderness, and maritime history. Visitors spend hours walking its beautiful trails to explore its blowholes, offshore limestone stacks, and towering cliffs. The ideal time to visit the gorge would be at dusk to watch the muttonbirds or the short-tailed shearwaters returning home
11.Great Ocean Road
To experience the world’s most beautiful and scenic coastal drives, a trip or drive on the Great Ocean Road is a must. Experience this iconic road and its natural beauty when visiting the Twelve Apostles. Apart from seeing the Twelve Apostles, there are various other things to do and see on this road. Exploring the Great Ocean Road whether by bushwalking, surfing, mountain biking or taking the cultural route exploring the galleries, museums and heritage attractions is the top things to do in Melbourne. When exploring the Great Ocean Road enjoy the delicious local produce along the way.
Any visit to Melbourne would be incomplete without a visit to these attractions and doing these things to do in Melbourne. All these are must-visit by everyone on Melbourne vacation. Plan your trip in well ahead of time to get the best deals on flight tickets, tour packages, and accommodation. Customise your trip to find the lowest airfare and amazing discounts on hotel rooms or tour packages. Make your Melbourne trip pleasant, safe and memorable.