My favorite sights to see and do around Melbourne
1. Flinders Street Station and Federation Square
The Flinders Street Railway Station completed in 1909 is Melbourne’s cultural icon, well known landmark and one of the oldest buildings in Melbourne. The busy station is also responsible for one of Melbourne’s few pedestrian scrambles. On the Federation Square on the opposite of the Train Station is the tourist office, ACME Exhibition Centre, cafes and stairs where people gather around with acces to free WLAN. It’s a main meeting place for people and festivals.
Near by is the Hosier Lane, which is well known for its Wall Paintings.
2. Royal Botanic Gardens
The Gardens are Melbourne’s inner city oasis and one of the most beautiful gardens of Melbourne.
The gardens offers a big variety of plants and trees from all over the world and you can explore typical Australian plants. It’s perfect place to enjoy a walk through all kinds of flowers, bushes and trees. Especially the spring makes the garden pretty colorful. People meet up here and hang out.
From Flinders street cross the river over the Princes bridge and walk down the steps on the right side, under the bridge. Follow the “Capital City Trail” along the Yarra River by passing the Melbourne’s Rowing Clubs. You get on this side of the river a really nice view of the Federation Sqaure and Melbourne’s Staduims.
Kepp going for ~1,5 km and cross the Alexandra Ave into the Garden though Gate H (See map). Keep left and round the lake towards “The Terrace”, a little Restaurant right at the lake. From there you can reach the other spots like the Rose pavillon and Glasshouse.
Download a pdf map of the Gardens
On the way back exit the park at the Visitor Centre and visit the Shrine of Remembrance. From there walk your way back along St. Kilda Rd to Flinder Street Station. Check out National Gallery of Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne if you are into arts.
3. Southbank Promenade
Walk from flinders street to Southgate in Southbank along the Yarra river towards “Crown” complex, have a coffee or lunch at Southgate. Near is the Eureka Skydeck, where you get a great 380 degree view over Melbourne in 297m above the streets. They are open every day 10am – 10pm. Check out the Casinos and expensive shops at Crown. Move on to Melbourne Convention and Exihition Center from here keep going to the Shopping Outlet DFO South Wharf.
4. City Centre
Main streets like Collins street and Bourke Street are good for shopping. You see street music and artists along the street. Explore the hidden lanes and arcades with small boutiques, tiny cafes and bars. Guildford Lane, Crossley Street, Hardware Lane, Degraves Street und Centre Place. Don’t miss the Block Arcade and the oldest, the Royal Arcade. Take a break from the mainstream and jump in the little lanes with its Galleries, Designer shops, Graffitis and wall paintings.
Tipp: Visit the not-for-profit restaurant “LentilAsAnything” ,a vegetarian restaurant running by volunteers. They serve lunch, tee time and dinner. You pay as you like to give for your meal. It’s a great place to meet other people, if you are on a small budged check it out. The food is sponsored by some supermarkets and other projects. The concept is to not waste food, and make it available for everyone.
5. Historic City Circle Tram
Besides the modern Trams drives the City Circle Tram around the city. The rides on this tram are free and takes you in a loop around central Melbourne. Hop on and enjoy a full loop (~50 min) or hop on and off and visit Melbourne’s major attractions along the route. The tram service operates in a circular route in both directions linking as well other tram, bus and train routes. The tram runs every 12 minutes from 10am-6pm, extended hours Thur-Sat.
I also recmmend the colonial tramcar restaurant, what serves Lunch and Dinner on the ride with a 3-5 course meal. The ride takes you a round through the City to St. Kilda and back to South Melbourne. The Tramcar departs from and returns to Tramstop No125, Normanby Road.
It is not a cheap experience but worth it. You need to book a ride well ahed online.
official website tram restaurant
6. Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Market is Melbourne biggest market, the market offers everything from fresh fruits and vegetables over fresh fish to souvenirs, small accessories and clothes. Check out their website for opening times and more information. Don’t miss the night market from November to March open from 5-10pm.
7. St. Kilda
St Kilda is a remarkable place and not far from Melbourne Central. You can get the tram from Swanston Street (Federation Square) No16 and get off at “The Esplanade” St. Kilda. From there you can easily make your way to St. Kilda’s sandy beaches. Explore the restaurants, cafe lifestyle, bars and music venues of St.Kilda in the late afternoon. Luna Park is a historical fun park and with its laughing face facade not to miss.
You get also a good view of the sunset at the beach.
8. Mornington Peninsula
Mornington Peninsula is known for it’s colorful beach cabins and clear water. It’s about one hour drive from Melbourne.
You can park at the main street or shopping centre. Walk your way through the main street towards the beach with its restaurants, cafes and shops. At the Esplanade you see the Mornington Park, walk your way through it towards the pear with some looks outs. If you pass on the right site the restaurant The Rocks you will reach the beach. Follow the beach with beautiful clear water to the famous colorful beach cabins. You can exit the beach anywhere to Esplanade street.
9. Point Nepean Nation Park
This is a historical area and very interesting for those who are into history. There were a lot happening in the past at this point. Start you day at the Museum Complex at the Barracks and walk all the way to the tip of the cape (Fort Nepean) and explore the bunkers and Gun Embankment. On the way you get also many view points with stunning overlooks of the Park and its coastline.
At the end you can take the bus back if you want.
I walked the tracks on the other side of the main road back and checked out the other points of interest. It takes a whole day to explore all of it if you not on a rush.
You get information about the shuttle bus, tickets and park map at the visitor centre at the car park.
follow link for more Information
10. Penguin Parade
One of Melbourne’s Highlights is the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island. It’s a spectacular experience to watch these little Penguins comming from the Ocean and walking into the beach. Check out my post to Phillip Island for more information.
11. Dandenong Ranges
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12. Melbourne Yarra Valley
Getting around Melbourne