Things to do in Melbourne
Multi-layered Melbourne, discover her charms. Whatever your interests, Melbourne has them covered. The food & wine scene is well established. From some of Australia’s leading restaurants to coffee shops, wine bars and niche food outlets, you are never more than a short stroll from another great dining experience.
Melbourne is a city renowned for cutting-edge arts and culture. Performing Arts are found indoors and outdoors using the great spaces around the city. The Street Art is vibrant and both appreciated and protected. Every musical taste is catered to from Jazz to experimental music. There are art galleries, museums and grand architecture from the Gold Rush Era.
Shopping, oh the shopping! You won't be disappointed, there is something for everyone. From department stores, Australian designers, international designer houses, factory outlets, to the quirky & funky and all that is in-between. Your only concerns will be time and money, do you have enough of both?
Sport, Melbournians are crazy for it! It has been awarded the Ultimate Sports City for three consecutive years. It is the only place where there is a holiday for a horse race. Where to start, there is the Spring Carnival, Formula 1, the home of Australian Football League (AFL) & the Australian Open (tennis).
When you need a rest from the above there is the beauty of the land all within a day trip away. The Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, the beautiful Yarra Valley, the amazing Mornington Peninsula, the Dandenong’s and the Grampians are all there waiting your discovery.
Where is it?
Melbourne attractions, where to begin? There are numerous parks in this lovely city and it is wonderful to just wander through them, it doesn’t matter what season it is the trees will be beautiful. If you are getting a little overwhelmed by the shopping take yourself to Fitzroy Gardens, off Lansdowne Street or Wellington Parade, or head to Spring Street and see the Treasury Gardens. Fitzroy Gardens is also the home of Captain Cook’s Cottage which was sent out from England for us. Albert Park is another great spot to get back to nature.
The Yarra, the river that runs through Melbourne is a favourite with the locals and visitors alike. Take a cruise along it or if you are feeling energetic hire a bike and follow along beside it. It will keep you entertained for hours. Another option is to take a cruise and discover the port and docklands.
If you are crazy for sport, there are numerous tours for you to take and experience how our legends would feel when they stepped onto the great MCG. If you are a Neighbours fan, then you really should take the tour. Imagine the bragging rights to that! Melbourne Zoo or Melbourne Aquarium is where to go if you are an animal lover.
For a great view and an adrenaline rush then head for the Eureka Skydeck where you step off the edge and see all below you through the glass floor. I loved it! Perhaps you would like to go even higher, a balloon flight over Melbourne will get you up there where the air is clean and the views are spectacular.
There is no better way to see the major sites, get your bearings and learn the history of Melbourne. Visit Melbourne Goal, Queen Victoria Markets, Chinatown, Fitzroy Gardens and more. This tour will give you an insight to this multi-layered city.
- Learn Melbourne's History
- Discover the best eateries
- See both old and new Melbourne
- All the major highlights
This tour is ideal for those who love to see the sites up close and personal. Melbourne is designed for cyclists and you will love exploring from the Yarra River to the sporting landmarks, all on two wheels. This tour also takes you places a coach can’t.
- See Melbourne from Street level
- Ride through the gardens
- Insider's guide to funky places
- Ride along the Yarra River
Melbourne is even more beautiful from a Hot Air Balloon. It is so quiet and peaceful as you float above the city with its wonderful parks, grand buildings and watch the bustle of everyday life going on below you. After your flight enjoy a champagne breakfast.
- Best view of Melbourne
- One with nature
- Hear the silence
- Champagne breakfast
Like any city, Melbourne will delight from a cruise on the Yarra river. Everything always has a different perspective from the river. The river banks are where cities nearly always start and you will learn about Melbourne’s history and her future.
- See Melbourne from the Yarra
- View the major landmarks
- See a functioning Port
If you need a change of scenery, there are some great day trips from Melbourne. The Great Ocean Road with all the natural beauty is a favourite. The highlight of course is seeing the 12 Apostles. If you love wine, you will have a decision to make whether to take a trip to the Yarra Valley or a trip to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula where you will find not only wineries with cellar doors and restaurants but many wonderful artisan food producers happily selling their wares. Why not get up close and personal with the penguins on Phillip Island, such wonderful animals. If taking a trip back in time is what you are after, a ride on Puffing Billy Steam Train through the Dandenong’s is for you.
Melbourne Day Tours
You can’t go home without seeing the delightful penguins. Their parade is worth the wait. The other parts of this tour will not disappoint either, enjoying the great scenery and getting acquainted with Australia’s wildlife.
- Magical Penguin Parade
- Up close with Australian Wildlife
- Spectacular Phillip Island
- Heaps of optional extras
Need time out, this is where you should be. The day is designed to get you back in touch with nature, food the way it used to be, and with yourself. This tour will have you totally restored by the time you get back to Melbourne.
- Relax at the beautiful bathhouse
- Indulge in local produce
- Explore beautiful gardens
- Relax and refresh
Enjoy a day out exploring the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges via the historic Puffing Billy. Visit wineries and indulging in a traditional Bush Billy tea and a delicious lunch. This day of relaxation and exploration has it all!
- Experience the 'Steam era'
- Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
- Three Wineries
- Lunch Included
More than just a sightseeing tour to the Mornington Peninsula, includes tastings at three wineries, tastings at a chocolate factory and a strawberry farm and for a unique treat a goat dairy, the cheeses are divine! Lunch and snacks included.
- Sample from three wineries
- Mornington Peninsula Chocolates
- Sunny Ridge Strawberries
- Main Ridge Dairy
Great Ocean Road Travel Guide
The Great Ocean Road is one of Melbourne's most popular destinations, to help you plan your holiday we have written the Ultimate Guide to the Great Ocean Road.
The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s great drives. It is 244 kilometres in length. If time is not on your side, then a day trip from Melbourne is an option. It is 227.5 kilometres from Melbourne, to the 12 Apostles. It is only on one of these trips you learn the truth about these spectacular land formations created over time by erosion from The Southern Ocean. There were only ever 9 never 12 Apostles, and sadly in 2005, one of the Apostles collapsed leaving 8. A similar fate struck the famous London Bridge formation in 1990 and it is now the London Arch! The 12 Apostles were originally called The Piglets due to being near Muttonbird Island which was originally called the Sow! How about that for a good story.
Our Great Ocean Road Staff Picks
This tour offers the lot. This coastal road trip with stops along the way will delight all your senses. After being captivated with the beauty then you get to see it from above and I assure you it will not disappoint, in fact it will bring it all together for you.
- See the beauty from above
- Spot the wildlife
- Be overwhelmed by the 12 Apostles
- Breathe in the Rainforest
The 12 Apostles viewed at Sunset, the vision will remain with you forever. For those budding photographers, the golden hour will deliver images to be proud of. You will also get to experience all the other delights of a drive along the Great Ocean Road.
- 12 Apostles bathed in golden light
- See wonderful flora and fauna
- Magnificent natural beauty
- Great surf beaches
This tour is for those who have a little more time but prefer taking a guided tour. Hop off at Lorne, Apollo Bay or Port Campbell, spend the night there and re-join the tour the next day. Explore your highlight of the Great Ocean Road at your leisure.
- Have time? Linger longer
- Surrounded by fantastic views
- Get to know the wildlife
- Immerse yourself in nature
Don’t want to be rushed, this tour is for you. You get to see more than the day tours have time to show you. The variety is wonderful, rainforest, mountains, the sea, wildlife. Also see the Grampians, Hall's Gap, Lorne, Anglesea and Apollo Bay.
- See more with 2 days
- Forest rich in wildlife
- Grampians and all their beauty
- The majestic Great Ocean Road
Food and Wine
When people are heading to Melbourne the first search is “best restaurants Melbourne” or “where to eat in Melbourne”. This is very subjective and has given rise to many debates. Are you looking for a specific cuisine, by location or reputation, by best wine list, the options are endless? I have my favourites that I revisit but am also keen to try the hot new ones, the great neighbourhood ones, or the fabulous little cheap ones that have become institutions. Some of the areas of great interest to foodies are in the City (CBD), Carlton (Lygon Street), Fitzroy (Brunswick, Smith& Gertrude Streets), St. Kilda (Acland & Fitzroy Streets), Prahran (Chapel Street), Southbank, Chinatown and so many more.
The markets cannot be forgotten, the main one is Queen Victoria Market operating since 1878 and a must do experience. It is large, charming and has friendly banter and competition between the stall holders going on all the time.
Another great reason to go to Melbourne is for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. It showcases around 30 countries & their cuisines, they have master classes, wine programmes (Melbourne has a world class wine industry) in fact in 2016 they are having 290 events and hosting the longest lunch in the world, a 500 metre table with 1600 guests. How amazing is that?
For the first time visitors a great way to become familiar with the shopping is to do one of the shopping tours available. These experts have Melbourne shopping all figured out. By the way, when we say the shopping is great it does not just mean fashion, whatever your interests may be, there are great ways to leave your money in Melbourne. For me it is fashion and food, I never leave without a new outfit and way too many condiments and hard to find cheeses that can’t be bought in my city. I have the cheese cryo-vacced so the plane doesn’t smell!
There are so many fashion areas depending on what you are looking for. Fitzroy is a great place for fashion, jewellery and design. The arcades and laneways in the city have wonderful hidden gems and secrets once you know how to navigate them. The factory outlets are mainly in Bridge Road Richmond, Smith Street Collingwood and Sydney Road Brunswick (scattered along the 4.5 kilometre shopping strip) and not one for the faint hearted! DFO have 3 outlets in Melbourne also.
Sport, sport and more sport! Where to begin? Whatever your favourite sport is you can bet Melbourne has it covered. Some of the main venues are, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), everything happens here, Melbourne Park, where the famous Rod Laver Arena is and where the Australian Open takes place, AAMI Park, used for soccer and rugby, Etihad Stadium, is used for numerous sport, Albert Park is transformed for the Grand Prix each year, and of course the famous Flemington, home of Melbourne Cup, the race that stops a nation.
Our Staff Specialty Tour Picks
If you want to visit this wonderful area and sample the wines, then this tour is for you. They know the best wineries, the beautiful surrounds and the joy is they do the driving so you can go and have the extra glass or two of a wine which has delighted your palette.
- You drink, we drive
- Beautiful Yarra Valley
- Visit top wineries
- Learn the complexities of wines
Melbourne is proud of its sporting achievements and facilities. This tour will take you behind the scenes of the iconic arenas. Walk onto the MCG, Drive the Grand Prix circuit, and put yourself into the shoes of the sporting greats. The stories will delight you.
- Visit 6 sporting facilities
- Go behind the scenes
- Learn the stadium history
- Lunch at Etihad Stadium
This tour is a must for all “Fashionistas” out there. Learn all the secret locations only locals know and the added bonus is getting to know different areas of Melbourne as well, without the worries of carrying around your purchases, we do that for you.
- Secret shopping destination
- Bonus city tour
- No carrying bags
- Champagne & lunch
For Neighbours fans, this tour will mean you will never watch the show in the same way again. You will be able to put yourself into the frame, you will be able to visualise exactly where the shooting is taking place. Guaranteed to make your friends jealous!
- Meet a star of the show
- Walk down Ramsay Street
- Learn some secrets of the show
- Be on 'Star' alert
What's the Melbourne Weather like?
Summer (Dec - Feb): Min 12°C Max 27°C
Avg monthly rainfall 44mm Avg rain days per month 5
Autumn (Mar - May): Min 8°C Max 24°C
Avg monthly rainfall 40mm Avg rain days per month 7
Winter (Jun - Aug): Min 5°C Max 14°C
Avg monthly rainfall 40mm Avg rain days per month 9
Spring (Sep - Nov): Min 7°C Max 22°C
Avg monthly rainfall 54mm Avg rain days per month 9
Major Melbourne Events
Australian Tennis Open
14th to 27th January, 2019
As the first Grand Slam event of the year this is the chance for tennis’s best players to make their mark on the year. As always there will be a contingent of Australian hopefuls spurred on by the home town advantage, but it has been almost 40 years since an Australian has won here.
More information: Australian Open
IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong
17th February, 2019
This Ironman’s event is under an hours drive from Melbourne. It is a challenging course featuring a ride along Geelong’s waterfront and the testing ‘Crit hill’, and a run that takes competitors back along Geelong’s Waterfront. It is a course designed to challenge competitors whilst letting spectators get up close to the action.
More information IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong
Chinese New Year - Festival Melbourne
February, 2019 - TBA
Melbourne’s Chinese New Year festival runs for 10 days with a mix of fireworks, food, markets and celebrations to mark the Year of the Pig. Events happen all across the city with a focus on bringing people of all different cultures together to celebrate.
More information: Chinese New Year
Superbike World Championship (Australian Round) - Phillip Island
February, 2019 - TBC
Superbike racing is much closer aligned with road bikes so it remains popular with everyday bike riders. This year schools are encouraged to visit the event on 'Schools Free Friday', see the website for more information on this initiative.
More information World Superbike
Melbourne Fashion Festival
1st March, 2018
There is more to this festival than designs, there is the history of fashion, the fusion of food and fashion and a fashion writing series. The runway side of the festival is not to be missed from the famous designers to the soon to be famous there is a style and event for everyone.
More information Melbourne Fashion Festival
Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
March, 2019 TBC
With a Red Bull resurgence towards the end of 2017, and a regulation change that will suit their car, Aussie Daniel Ricciardo could set Albert Park alight and become the first Australian to win their home Grand Prix since it became part of the Formula One World Championship. the event is in the heart of the city and turns Melbourne in to a four day motorsport party.
More information: Melbourne Grand Prix
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
16th to 25th March, 2018
Melbourne once again gets taken over to showcase the excellent food and wine of Victoria. Each year the festival hosts a variety of events across the city from the Long Lunch to intimate functions. All tastes and ages are catered for, and you can indulge or learn the choices are endless.
More information Food and Wine Festival
31st Melbourne International Comedy Festival
28th March to 22nd April, 2018
With special events across the city, local and international comedians, hundreds of shows and four weeks of laughs this is Australia's premier comedy festival. With small ticket prices this is an extremely affordable festival and one of the top three comedy festivals in the world. Check out the line-up, chose your event or select from one of the curated lists designed to make your choice easy.
More information: Comedy Festival
Rip Curl Pro - Bells Beach
29th March to 8th April, 2018
The Rip Curl Pro is the longest running surf contest and getting to ‘Ring the Bell’ is one of surfing’s highest achievements. Accommodation in Torquay, about an hour from Melbourne, is much sort after so make sure you plan early.
More information: Rip Curl Pro
Supercars - WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint
20th to 22nd April, 2018
Situated about 2 hours drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island is one of the country’s most popular and scenic permanent race tracks. The current layout has been in use since 1988 and the variable island weather always makes for a challenging race weekend.
More information: Phillip Island V8's
Great Ocean Road Marathon 2018
19th to 20th May, 2018
The main race is on Sunday 21st May starting at the Lorne Hotel and finishing 44 klm later at the Apollo Bay Hotel this tough course is not made any easier by the amazing back drop along the Great Ocean Road. There are two climbs, Mt Defiance and Cape Patton to really test the runners.
More information: GOR Marathon
Melbourne International Film Festival
2nd to 19th August, 2018
Established in 1952 this is one of the world’s oldest film festivals. With a strong focus on local film the event also has the best worldwide cinema as well as industry and celebration of film events.
More information: MIFF
Supercars - Sandown 500
14th to 16th September, 2018
As the first of the endurance rounds and as a pre-view for Bathurst, Sandown is one of the most important V8 Supercar events. It is also the longest running event and being just 30 minutes from Melbourne is also the home event for many of the teams.
More information: Sandown 500
Royal Melbourne Show
22nd September to 2nd October, 2018
Side show rides, showbags, displays and competitions the Royal Melbourne Show has it all. A world class wood chopping event, equestrian competition and show animal competitions. Despite its big city location this show, that has run for more than 150 years, still has a rural feel to it.
More information: Royal Show
AFL Grand Final
29th September 2018
This is Melbourne’s most important sporting event, a home grown brand of football which started in Victoria and has grown into Australia’s most watch sporting event, with teams from all across Australia making this a truly national competition.
More information: AFL
MotoGP - Phillip Island
26th to 28th October, 2018
The Australian MotoGP is schedule towards the end of what promises to be a hard fought season. Become a 'Riders United' member and enjoy many benefits over the MotoGP weekend, including a Pit Lane and Main Straight walk.
More information: MotoGP
Melbourne Cup Carnival
3rd to 10th November, 2018
The highlight of the carnival is the Melbourne Cup with Derby Day, the Oaks and Stakes Days making for an unforgettable carnival of horse racing. There is glamour on and off the track with food and fashion as important as the horses.
More information: Flemington
6th November, 2018
Where else in the world is there a public holiday for a horse race? This is Australia’s premier horse race and a world class event with trainers the world over wanting to add this cup to their collection. It is one of the best staying handicap horse races in the world, with almost as much action off the track with the fashion and culture adding to the spectacle of the day.
More information: Flemington
Boxing Day Test
26th to 30th December, 2018
The Boxing Day test at the MCG is an Australian tradition. Even for non-cricket fans and those outside Melbourne, watching the first ball bowled in this test is a Christmas ritual.
More information: Cricket
Things to Do in Melbourne
- Beer Tasting
- Chocolate Tasting
- Food & Wine
- Hiking & Bushwalking
- History & Heritage
- Horse Riding
- Hot Air Balloon
- Mountain Biking
- National Parks
- Scenic cruise
- Sea Kayaking
- Shopping and Fashion
- Skiing and Snow Activities
- Swimming with Sea Dragons
- Steam Trains
- Traditional Owners
- Tree Top Canopy Walk
- TV Sets
- Zoos and Animal Parks
Melbourne Articles & Tour Reviews
Melbourne is one of Australia's most iconic cities, with magnificent architecture, tree lined streets, live music and with a thriving cultural paradigm, Melbourne has something special to offer everyone. Here's our Top 10 list of our favourite things to do in Melbourne.
Things to do in Melbourne in the Rain
You’ve planned a wonderful holiday with a few days of free time to spend outdoors and explore. But despite having checked the average weather conditions for your travel period, the ‘Weather Deity of your choice’ has other ideas and it’s miserable and raining.
Melbourne's Best Restaurants and Dining Experiences
Melbourne is a cultural melting pot where people from all over the world have settled and made their home. Melbourne now considers itself the food capital of Australia, and it’s virtually impossible to dispute that.
Top 10 Things to do in and near Melbourne
With so much to see and do in and near Melbourne how can you decide? Easy, read our 'Top 10 Things to Do' guide. It will help you pick between the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, Yarra Valley and our staff's other seven favourites.
Review: Great Ocean Road and Rainforest Day Tour
Review: Helbourne's Hidden Secrets Lanes and Arcades
Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine)
Melbourne Airport (MEL), also known as Tullamarine, is situated approx. 22klm from the city centre and is Melbourne’s primary airport serviced by all the main Australian domestic airlines as well key international airlines. (Melbourne Airport)
This is an express bus service from the Airport to the city centre with hotel connections available. (Skybus)
Depart from the Transport Hub with connections to Train stations and bus interchanges. There is not a direct public bus to the city centre, Skybus is the only bus that offers this service. Public transport requires a myki card. (Myki)
This is a convenient way to get to and from the airport directly connecting with your destination. Taxi ranks are located on the ground floor of Terminals 1 to 3 and the transportation hub outside Terminal 4. Taxis can be pre-booked, remember to arrange where to meet the driver.
As an alternate to a taxi a pre-booked limousine service can be arranged prior to your arrival. The driver will meet you at the Chauffer Meeting points near baggage collection.
Six car rental companies have outlets located at Melbourne Airport, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Redspot. (Car Rental Buddy)
There are short term parking options offered at each terminal, with long term parking offering a free 24 hour shuttle bus service to each terminal. (Airport Parking) Remember to allow a little extra time if using long term parking. For the best value parking book on line as early as possible. Do not park illegally as penalties apply. Another word of caution, Essendon Airport is nearby to Tullamarine so make sure you follow the right airport signs.
Getting Around Melbourne
There is a Public Transport Victoria App (Apps) which helps you chose the right public transport option.
To utilise Melbourne’s public transport network you will need a ‘Myki’ card. They can be bought and topped up from retail outlets throughout the city and all 7Eleven stores, and also from some train stations. You are required to touch your myki card on the special reader as you enter and leave public transport. Visitors can buy an explorer Pack with unlimited travel for one day. (Myki)
For short, up to 30 minute, bike rides across the city Bikeshare is an excellent option. Bikes can be picked up at one location and returned to another station. As this is a subscription service you need to register prior to travel. (Bike Share)
With frequent stops, connections with train and tram services buses are an ideal way to get around Melbourne. (Melbourne Buses)
Melbourne is serviced by many car rental companies, just remember if you are driving in the CBD you need to do a hook turn to turn right at some intersections. This allows the trams right of way while you wait for a turn arrow. (Car Rental Buddy)
Travellers Autobarn Campervans Australia
Hire a campervan, campers or station wagons or buy one with a guaranteed buyback from 6 Australia wide locations: Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. Travellers Autobarn (est. 1993) is a ‘one stop shop’ for the backpackers and budget travellers planning their self drive trip around Australia or simply up the coast in a campervan. (Travellers Autobarn)
Two Ferry services operate in Melbourne, neither of which use the myki card, one services Phillip Island and the other the Port of Melbourne. (Ferry)
Taxis are a convenient method for point to point travel in Melbourne. Throughout Australia dialling 131008 will put you in touch with the nearest Taxi service.
In Melbourne you can also dial 13CABS (132227).
Taxis can also be pre-booked.
Most areas of Melbourne are serviced by train, with connections to most of Victoria. Most train stations have bus and tram interchanges making journey planning easy. (Metro Trains).
As with any large city, trains can be congested in peak hours.
Since 1884 trams have been a feature of Melbourne and the city has the largest urban tram network in the world. And the only remaining tram network in Australia.
There is a free City Circle tram from 10am to 6pm everyday, except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
The tram lines service mainly the CBD and the inner suburbs. (Trams)
Avalon (AVV) airport is situated 55 kilometres from Melbourne City centre and 20 kilometres from Geelong and is a service hub for Jetstar. (Avalon Airport)
If travelling to Geelong or the Surf Coast on the Great Ocean Road there are shuttle buses which meet all Jetstar flights. (Airport Shuttle)
If travelling to Melbourne a shuttle bus ride is available and meets most major flights. (Airport Shuttle)
There is a taxi rank directly outside the terminal. To book dial 131 008 Australia wide.
Avalon airport is serviced by Avis, Budget and Europcar. (Car Rental Buddy)
Parking for 1,500 cars is available directly outside the terminal with the first 40 minutes FREE.
There is so much to see and do in Melbourne as well as so many wonderful places to stay. As we discover interesting, unique or suitable accommodation options we will place them here so you can also research them and decide if they are suitable for you.
Austin Rise B'n'B is just 15 minutes from the Melbourne CBD and close to the Yarra Flats reserves. After your day exploring Melbourne relax with a stroll along the Yarra River wildlife spotting.
Baringa Villa Bed and Breakfast has two luxurious bedrooms and can sleep up to six people. Indulge yourself with a spa in this private sanctuary or use as your ideal base for exploring the Yarra Valley and the Dandenongs.
Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats
Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats are classic beachside accommodation and luxury holiday homes located on the Southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula, just over an hours drive from Melbourne.
Offering a single point of contact for High Quality properties throughout Melbourne Rejuvenate Stays offers a simple way to search for, and book your Melbourne accommodation. Feel special with Rejuvenate Stays
This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Victorian era home is short walk to the light rail and close to the CDB. Sleeping up to 7 people and just a short walk to the areas best bars, cafes and vintage retailers. Why stay anywhere else?