• Best Things To Do

16 Of The Best Things To Do In Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is situated in the southeast of Australia and is the State of Victoria’s coastal Capital and we’re proud to offer a wealth of cheap flights. The region is centred around Melbourne’s Federation Square development which is packed with bars, restaurants, art and culture and home to the Yarra River.

Here are 16 fantastic ways to make the most of time spent in Melbourne, beyond simply chilling out in its great bars, restaurants and cafes – or on its beaches.

1. Melbourne Zoo

No trip to the country which is famously home to the world’s deadliest and some of its most intriguing sea life and animals would be complete without a visit to Melbourne Zoo.

Less than three miles north of Central Melbourne, Melbourne Zoo is home to 320 different animal species and provides the perfect family day out.

2. Dandernong Ranges

Dandernong Ranges are a cluster of low mountain ranges in Melbourne. Beneath them in the Yarra Valley sits the Melbourne region of Dandernong Ranges where visitor s can enjoy escaping from the hustle and bustle of inner city Melbourne.

A great day out for all the family, Dandernong Ranges also provides couples with a romantic option for somewhere to stay whilst in Melbourne as Dandernong Ranges is brimful with stunning botanical gardens, quaint markets and independent shops, fantastic restaurants and as well as vineyards and wineries.

3. Yarra River

Melbourne’s Yarra River provides one of the most scenic and enjoyable means of travelling between the regions many attractions. Boats can be boarded via either Southgate or Princess Walk.

Meanwhile, Yarra River footbaths can also be enjoyed and are intersected with many places to sit, picnic and sunbathe along the way.

4. Old Melbourne Gaol

Open to visitors seven days a week (bar Christmas Day), Melbourne Gaol is an exciting and educational attraction for all the family.

Built in the 19th century to try and contain Melbourne’s rapidly expanding criminal population, this thought provoking and historically important structure is today one of the oldest of its kind to still stand in Melbourne.

5. Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium

Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium is home to in excess of 1000 different aquatic animals, from fish to penguins.

It is also where one of the world’s largest living saltwater crocodiles can be seen, making the aquarium one of the most exciting places to spend an educational and exciting family day out in Melbourne.

6. Chapel Street

Chapel Street is a super trendy precinct found in Melbourne full of great fashion stores, restraints and bars.

The South Yarra End of the precinct is the place to pick up some of the world’s best designs in couture and high fashion.

Meanwhile, meander through Chapel Street to end up in Windsor and be spoilt for choice of great places to dine out for a romantic lunch or sample some fantastic Australian wines.

7. Royal Botanic Gardens

Close to the centre of Melbourne and poised on the Yarra River are Melbourne’s world renowned Royal Botanic Gardens.

Whether visiting as a family, couple or taking a stroll alone through the gardens, the exotic and rich array of exotic botany to behold and majesty of these gardens is sure to keep all entertained.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are also home to a number of exhibitions throughout the year and hot their own Moonlight Cinema where guests can enjoy a movie from inside the actual gardens.

8. Federation Square

At the very heart of Melbourne is its iconic Federation Square.

This imposing and architecturally staggering mixed-use development also unites three of Melbourne’s most central and key shopping, dining and socialising areas in the City – St Paul’s Court, The Square and The Atrium.

Federation Square is a great place to immerse one’s self in the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and provides endless entertainment for families, couples and those going it alone in Oz.

9. St Paul’s Cathedral

Even more architecturally wowing than Federation Square is of course Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral.
A awe inspiring neo-gothic structure, work to build St Paul’s Cathedral began in 1880 and the cathedral took until 1931 to complete.

St Paul’s stands as one of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks and welcomes visitors and worshippers through its doors seven days a week.

10. Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road is not only one of Australia’s most scenic roads, but in fact it is recognised as one of the most beautiful driving routes to experience in the world.

People from all over travel to Melbourne simply to partake in the adventure that is a drive along Great Ocean Road and its many landmarks – which include The 12 Apostles rock formation, waterfalls, rainforest and some of Australia’s most amazing wildlife.

11. Eureka Tower

Described as ‘an experience above all else’, a visit to Eureka Tower and its breathtaking Skydeck is most certainly that, and quite literally.

Eureka Tower Skydeck is situated almost 300 meters above ground and takes 38 seconds via the tower’s internal elevator to reach.

Once there, visitors can gaze out over the whole of Melbourne and beyond, enjoy 360 degree views thanks to the Skydeck’s unique glass design.

12. Queen Victoria Market

Melbourne’s beautiful Queen Victoria Market spans an awing seven hectares which earns it the accolade of being the Southern Hemisphere’s largest open air market.

Jam packed with specialist and artisan foods, fashion, jewellery and accessories, crafts, art and just about everything else imaginable, Queen Victoria Market can be visited time and time again; those who do are likely to discover something new every time.

Hence, Queen Victoria Market is a fantastic place to pick up some really unique and special souvenirs and gifts to take back home.

13. Healesville Sanctuary

Healesville Sanctuary was formally known as the Sir Colin McKenzie Sanctuary after the Australian anatomist who was the museum and sanctuary’s benefactor.

Unlike other zoos, the sanctuary is exactly that; it provides a safe haven for a host of native Australian wildlife and indigenous animals and creatures.

Then, Healesville Sanctuary is a safe and educational as well as engaging way to involve the whole family in learning about and interacting with much of the amazing  wildlife Australia is home to.

14. Lunar Park

Lunar Park is Melbourne’s premier and largest theme and adventure park.

Situated close by St. Kilda, Lunar park is a fantastic theme park brimful with rides, games and great casual and family friendly places to eat and drink.

Lunar Park is also a historically important part of Melbourne’s landscape and evidence of its age can be found throughout the park as well as upon arrival where guests are met with its stunning arch and vividly painted entrance.

15. Scienceworks

The Scienceworks is the name of a museum and world famous and renowned one in Melbourne’s suburb of Spotswood.

Home to a dizzying and mind blowing array of interactive activities and exhibitions to get all ages engaged, Victoria’s Scienceworks provides another fantastic and insightful family day out that aims to captivate the interest and imagination of visitors of all ages.

16. The Beaches

Last but not least are the many beaches which attract millions of tourists every year to holiday in Australia.

Melbourne is home to many stunning beaches to choose from or explore, with its St Kilda Beach being by far its most popular and populated.

To discover the best (and rest) of all the remaining beaches in the region, give Timeout’s Official Best Beaches in Melbourne lo-down a read.