Affectionately called “Marvellous Melbourne” during the gold rush of the 1850s, the name is still used today for Australia’s second largest city. Located on the banks of the Yarra River, near the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is a modern metropolis steeped in history.
European settlement started in 1935, however the discovery of gold in 1851 saw a population boom with many prospectors settle in Melbourne. With vast prosperity generated from the nearby goldfields, royal buildings were constructed throughout the city. Many of these buildings still stand today, and Melbourne is regarded as having more examples of Victorian architecture than any other city in Australia.
Melbourne is a “city for all seasons”. From wandering the hidden laneways and grand tree-lined streets to the acres of city gardens and parklands surrounding the CBD, Melbourne is vibrant, elegant, and multicultural.
See also: Where to Stay in Melbourne
When Federation Square opened in 2002 to memorialize 100 years of federation, it divided Melbournians. There were those who loved it and those who hated it. Either way, it has become an primary part of the city and a great place for tourists to start their visiting the attractions. The offbeat design of open and closed spaces juxtaposes the surrounding Victorian architectural buildings. Hosting more than 2,000 events annually, tourists will always find entertainment in the central outdoor performance space and friendly indoor venues.
Federation Square also houses the Ian Potter Gallery dedicated to Australian art and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. More commonly called “Fed Square”, it is also the largest free Wi-Fi site in Australia.
Location: Corner Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens
One of the top tourist attractions in the heart of green parkland extending south of the Yarra River, a short distance from the CBD, is the Royal Botanic Gardens. traditional in 1846, the Royal Botanic Gardens is rated as one of the luxury of their kind in the world. Covering an area of 40 hectares and with more than 50,000 plants, including many rare species, the gardens are visited by 1.5 million people annually.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is designed to give confidence the next generation of gardeners and the Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a popular tour that looks into the rich heritage of indigenous Australians. In summer, live theater is a highlight of the gardens, and a moonlight cinema is set up under the stars.
Location: Birdwood Ave, South Yarra
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne Cricket Ground Jeffrey / photo modified Share: With a capacity of 100,000 and stadiums. As the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games, a history dating back to 1853, the MCG is painstaking one of the world’s greatest the 2006 Commonwealth Games, birthplace of Test Cricket, and the home of Australian Rules Football, ‘the G’ is wicker into the fabric of Melbourne, the sporting capital of Australia. Daily 75-minute tours take visitors for a trip downstairs a memory lane of great moments in sporting history and incorporate the Australian Gallery of Sport and the Olympic Museum.
Visitors can also catch a game of cricket in summer or football during winter. Directly opposite the MCG is Melbourne Park, the home of the Australian Open tennis tournament, held every January. Visitors can even hire a tennis court. The venue also doubles as a function center, and many concerts are held there during the year.
Address: Brunton Ave, East Melbourne
Southbank and Arts Centre Melbourne
Southbank and Arts Centre Melbourne Share: Located on the banks of the Yarra River, a short wander from Flinders Street Station, this area is a culturally moneyed attraction for visitors. Southbank promenade is filled with indoor/outdoor cafés, restaurants, and live entertainment. An excellent arts and crafts market is held every Sunday, and the area is also home to many festivals held throughout the year. Easily recognizable by its spire, the Arts Centre incorporates a range of theaters and spaces including the State Theatre, Playhouse, Fairfax Theatre, and Hamer Hall, the premier performance space for the revered Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Address: St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
National Gallery of Victoria
The oldest public art gallery in Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria holds more than 68,000 works of art in two city locations. The international collection is housed in the St. Kilda Road building, originally opened in 1968 and widely renovated in 2003. The building is renowned for The Great Hall where visitors are positive to lay on the floor and look at the colorful stained glass ceiling. The widespread Australian collection is held in the Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square, featuring the history of Australian art from Aboriginal through to the Heidelberg School, and contemporary mixed media. One of the highlights is the large triptych format, The Pioneer by Frederick Mc Cubbin.
Address: St. Kilda Road, Melbourne and Federation Square. Popular Tours 1290 Reviews Great Ocean Road Small-Group Eco-Tour from Melbourne Check Prices 399 Reviews Phillip Island Penguin Small Group Eco Tour from Melbourne Check Prices
Named in recognition of The Eureka Stockade, the 1854 rebellion of prospectors in the Victorian goldfields, the tower stands 91 stories above ground. The skyscraper’s gold crown and gold-plated windows add to the golden period theme and accurately sparkle when the sun catches the top of the building. Sky deck, on the 88th floor, is the highest public view in any building in the southern hemisphere. Adding to the experience is The Edge, a glass cube that slides out three meters from the building for vertigo-free visitors.
Address: 7 Riverside Quay, Southbank
Arcades and Laneways
Traveling the maze of lane and alleyways around Flinders, Collins, and Bourke Streets is elegant, interesting, and quirky Melbourne at its best. The jewel in the crown is the magnificent Block Arcade in Collins Street. With its mosaic floor, period details, and exclusive shops, this is the place where late 19th-century gentry promenaded, coining the phrase, “doing the block”. It’s worth queuing for a morning or afternoon tea at the Hopetown Tearooms.
This Melbourne icon dates back to 1892 and is the only original shop still in the arcade today. The opulent Royal Arcade is Melbourne’s oldest arcade and Flinders and Degraves Lanes are also well worth exploring. Several companies run guided walking tours of the lanes and alleyways.
Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building
A short tram ride from the CBD, the Melbourne Museum is bounded by beautiful gardens and parkland. This modern purpose-built museum houses a diverse collection depicting society and cultures. Highlights include the original Centre, Bunjilaka, the children’s museum, and The Blue Box a cube protruding off the side of the building. The gallery is a series of hands-on activities designed to motivate and connect children. Adjacent to the Melbourne Museum is the elaborate Royal Exhibition Building. Built in 1880 to host Melbourne’s International Exhibition, the building also held the first Commonwealth Parliament of Australia in 1901. Regular tours are available and the building is still used for exhibitions and special events.
Address: 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Although the 22 hectares of Melbourne Zoo dates back to 1862, the 320 species of animals have the best of modern facilities in state-of-the-art enclosures. The award-winning Trail of the Elephants is an insight into the lives of the resident Asian elephants in a traditional village-garden setting. Another highlight is the Orang-utan Sanctuary where the animals live in their treetop home. With many wild encounters including “roar and snore”, twilight music concerts, and behind-the-scene tours of some enclosures, Melbourne Zoo offers visitors many innovative experiences.
Address: Elliott Ave, Parkville
Captain Cook’s Cottage
Captain Cook’s Cottage was brought to Melbourne from Captain James Cook’s native home in Yorkshire, England and erected in Fitzroy Gardens. The quaint cottage is an insight into the life and times of Cook’s maritime adventures and exploration of Australia and other parts of the world. Also in the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens is the magnificent Spanish-mission style conservatory that is always filled with a vibrant floral display.
Address: Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
Yarra River Cruise
A river boat cruise is not only the wonderful way to see the sights, it’s also an approaching into the history of the Yarra River. Many journey companies can be found along Southbank and take in places such as Birrarung Marr, originally called “Birrarung” meaning “river of mists and shadows”, a parkland celebrating the Aboriginal ties with the Yarra River. Another popular cruise goes across to historic Williamstown where visitors can spend time exploring this quaint seaside port.
Shrine of Remembrance
Sitting majestically in Kings Domain gardens, the Shrine was built after the First World War to memorialize Victorians involved in the Great War, either overseas or at home. Today, it serves as a poignant reminder for all servicemen and women and is the central focus for ceremonies on ANZAC Day, held on 25 April, and Remembrance Day, held on 11 November each year. Guided or self-guided tours are available daily.
Docklands is Melbourne’s latest zone. With the highest concentration of green-star rated buildings in the southern hemisphere, the waterfront satellite village is filled with cafés, restaurants, and parklands. The view from the giant observation wheel, The Melbourne Star is impressive, and the area also houses Etihad Stadium and the Icehouse, a world-class ice sports venue. There is also an art and vintage market held along the waterfront every Sunday.
Address: Harbour Esplanade,
Queen Victoria Market
A popular place with locals and tourists, this historic icon has been at the center of fresh produce shopping since 1878. In addition to the magnificent food halls, market stalls sell everything from clothing, art, and toys to that hard-to-find unique souvenir, five days a week. Tours are available, and special events such as night markets, music concerts, and other functions are often held during summer.
Address: Queen and Victoria Streets, Melbourne. taitel
Enjoy your vacation in malbourne, and thanks for reading,