The capital of Victoria, Melbourne, is a cultured city that is home to some of the best dining and entertainment in the country. From stunning architecture, to beautiful art, to nature’s splendor, here we explore the 10 best attractions in Melbourne.
Take a quick trip to Phillip Island, and make friends with the penguins. Watch thousands of Little Penguins make their pilgrimage to shore each night – a ritual famously known as the Penguin Parade. While you’re there, check out the Koala Conservation Centre, where you can view dozens of koalas up close. The Churchill Island Heritage Farm allows you to step back in time to explore Melbourne’s heritage. Experience cow milking and sheep shearing demonstrations, as you learn about the history of the city. Get a 3 Parks Pass, allowing you to visit the penguins, koalas, and Churchill Island Heritage Farm for one discounted price.
The City Streets
Whether you decide to travel by bus, bicycle, or just walking around, the city of Melbourne is a can’t-miss tourist destination. With numerous shopping opportunities, art galleries, and music venues, the city is an international cultural centre.
Flinders Street Station / St. Paul’s Cathedral
Melbourne has beautiful examples of older architecture, two of which are within short walking distance of each other. St. Paul’s Cathedral is magnificent inside and out, and is built on the site of the first public Christian service ever held in the city. The interior has wooden pews, intricate carvings on the walls, and stained glass bathes the interior in an array of colors. Flinders Street Station, just across the road, is the busiest station on Melbourne’s metropolitan network. The main building is a cultural icon of the city, in addition to being an architectural landmark. The distinctive clocks showing the departure times of the next trains date back to the 1860s.
The Queen Victoria Market
The Queen Victoria Market is a vibrant inner-city source of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as local and imported gourmet foods, clothing, and souvenirs. As the only surviving 19th century market in the city’s central business district, the shopping here is so popular you’ll have to fight the crowds – but it’s worth it.
The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road stretches over an expanse of 150 miles along the southeastern coast of Australia. Frequently called the most stunning drive in the country, it offers one of the world’s most scenic vantage points. The road traverses rainforests, pristine beaches, and limestone cliffs, and is one of the most frequently photographed parts of the country.
Be sure to visit the iconic Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park – one of the most impressive geological formations in Australia.
The Impressive Wildlife
Melbourne has one of the most incredible collections of zoos and aquariums of any city in the world. The Melbourne Zoo features over 320 animal species from Australia and around the world, where you can visit gorillas, lions, and elephants up close. Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium has a one-way self-guided tour over four levels, featuring sharks, crocodiles, and penguins. The Shark Dive Xtreme experience allows you to come face-to-face with these magnificent ocean dwellers. Healesville Sanctuary is a zoo specializing in native Australian animals. It is one of only two places to have successfully bred a platypus, and is set in a natural bushland environment featuring wallabies, wombats, dingoes, and kangaroos. The Werribee Open Range Zoo is 560 acres of open savannah featuring zebra, giraffe, ostrich, and rhinoceros, offering a refreshing change from the caged animals found in most zoos.
The Dandenong Ranges
This set of low mountain ranges consists primarily of rolling hills and steep valleys covered in rainforest. The mountains are famous for towering Mountain Ash trees, featuring a blend of breathtaking scenery, local food spots, and stores filled with hand-crafted treasures. There are numerous transportation options available for exploring the ranges. Take the Puffing Billy Railway through the mountains, visit the area by coach, or join a small tour. It’s best to visit during the spring or summer, when the magnificent flora is in full bloom.
At nearly 1,000 feet tall, Eureka Tower is the 14th tallest residential building in the world. The observation deck, Eureka Skydeck 88, offers the highest public vantage point of any building in the Southern Hemisphere. Thirty viewfinders are available to assist visitors in locating significant landmarks throughout various parts of the city. There is a small outside area called “The Terrace,” as well as a glass cube called “The Edge,” which extends over the edge of the tower, offering magnificent views of the city below. Ticket prices are reasonable and in line with typical tower prices for most other major cities. There is also the option to purchase a Sun and Stars pass, entitling the holder to visit once during the day and once during the evening, for two completely different viewing experiences.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Melbourne is one of the few cities in the world that allows hot air balloon rides directly over its skyline. Departing very early in the morning to benefit from the calm morning air, balloon flights provide the additional advantage of seeing Melbourne illuminated by the glow of an early morning sunrise. If nature’s beauty holds more appeal for you than cityscapes, there are also balloon flights offered outside the city. The Yarra Valley is a favorite, due to the beautiful greenery and rolling vineyards characteristic of this area.
The Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria serving in World War I, and is now a memorial to all Australians who have ever served in war. Designed by architects who were both World War I veterans, the shrine is situated on a hill, providing a solid vantage point from the top – giving an overview of Melbourne’s beauty. Not only is it a magnificent sight to behold, the Shrine’s views come free of charge.
Bonus: While your out visiting in Melbourne we highly recommend stoping by our Port Melbourne personal training studio to sneak in a quick workout or two. Result Based Training offers the very best body transformational coaching and group exercise classes that are guaranteed to help you maintain your fitness while on vacation.