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Melbourne Tourism And Travel Guide
17.5° C / 63.5° F
September to May
3 to 5 Days
Melbourne International Airport (22 kms)
Southern Cross Station (1.5 kms)
The capital city of the state of Victoria, Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia. It is also Australia’s cultural capital, and rightly so. With a plethora of cafés, museums, gardens, galleries and parks, Melbourne will surely leave you mesmerised. Tourism in Melbourne is exceptional because of its cultural diversity. In its diversity lies something for each traveller to fall in love with. A travel guide to Melbourne will surely be incomplete if we do not make a mention of the Melbourne Museum and some exquisite wineries in the Yarra Valley region. Here's some more on Melbourne.
How to Reach
Well connected by air, road and rail, Melbourne is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Australia. Sea routes also connect the city to Tasmania.
The largest of the airports in Melbourne, the Melbourne International Airport caters to all international flights via its dedicated Terminal 2. Domestic flights make use of Terminals 1,3 and 4. The airport lies 22 km away from the city and is accessible by Skybus, shuttles and public transport. Fares range between $5 to $60 depending on the mode of transport.
If you’re travelling from Tasmania, the Spirit of Tasmania will be an option to travel by the way of the seas. The 10-hour journey, although enjoyable, is more on the expensive side and is less comfortable than other modes of transport.
Trains to Melbourne terminate at the Southern Cross Station. There are 2 daily trains from Sydney and two weekly ones from Adelaide. Despite the expansive network, Australia doesn’t have superfast trains at par with other modern nations. Hence, travelling the distance by road or air is generally preferred over rail.
Major highways connect Melbourne to other big cities in Australia. Some of the major highways connecting the city to the rest of the country are the Hume Highway, Princes Highway and the East-West Link. If you enjoy driving and possess an International Driving Licence, we suggest renting a car and driving along the enrapturing coastal route.
Getting Around in Melbourne:
Melbourne has a simple and extensive network of public transport which is accessible from all parts of the CBD. The Myki card is the universal card for all modes of public transport. For travellers, there is even a special Myki Visitor Value Pack which gives you details of tourist places and discounts to avail there apart from the Universal travel card.
Renting a bike to get by is also an option.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Melbourne has a temperate clime with pleasant weather all year round. With no particular favourable time to visit, tourists generally plan their itineraries around the many festivals and events they want to attend in Melbourne.
Spring (September to November):
Pleasant weather with warm days and cool evenings make this the ideal time to indulge in outdoor activities. The Melbourne Festival, Tesselaar Tulip Festival and the Taste of Melbourne all take place during the Spring.
Summer (December to February):
Melbourne has a distinct summer season with temperatures touching 30oC. We suggest wearing light cotton clothes and keeping yourself well hydrated. In summers, make sure to attend the White Night Festival, Australian Grand Slam Open or the St. Kilda’s Festival.
Autumn (March to May):
Autumns are ideal for outdoor activities and sizzling barbeque sessions in the gardens. Autumns are characterised by the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the Australian Grand Prix to give you the adrenalin rush. The days are pleasant and nights cool during this time. You may experience the occasional shower while here in Autumn.
Winter (June to August):
Winters here are chilly with a few showers once in a while. Relatively fewer travellers come during winters which is sure to land you some amazing deals on accommodation, travel and sightseeing. Art, culture and film buffs will find a trip during the Melbourne winters a rewarding one. Melbourne Winter Masterpieces are on display during this time. For the film enthusiasts, there is the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Things to Do
A culturally diverse city, Melbourne has a variety of experiences to offer to each traveller. Read on to take your pick!
The Melbourne Museum keeps a record of the country’s natural and cultural history. Apart from its various galleries, the museum also has an IMAX theatre which will allow you to see some of the rarest movies and documentaries on the large screen. The museum also has an amphitheatre, a café, a discovery centre and a souvenir shop within the complex. Open all through the year except Christmas day and Good Friday, you can visit between 10 am to 5 pm.
Great Ocean Road:
One of the most scenic drives in all of Australia and probably event the world, Great Ocean Road is a 243 km long stretch of coastal drive which showcases the natural beauty of Australia. Along this route, you can also see the 12 Apostles, the Gibson Steps and the Loch Ard Gorge. This is also the largest WWI memorial built by war returned soldiers.
Located an hour’s drive away from Melbourne, Yarra Valley gives you a quick respite from the hustle bustle of city life. Lush greens, quaint accommodation and delectable food and wine characterise your visit to Yarra Valley. Do not miss out experiencing the exquisite sunrise from a hot air balloon as you sip onto your glass of wine.
The largest Ferris Wheel in the Southern Hemisphere, the Melbourne Star stands 120 m tall. The Giant Observation Wheel will take one round in a span of half an hour and will let you explore the entire city and its beauty from high above. Tickets are for $16.5 for children and $27 for adults.
The last and only continuously operational single-screen theatre in all of Australia, the Astor will take you back in time. Inaugurated in 1936, the theatre has been updated and can currently cater to films in 35mm, 70mm and digital formats. Whether it’s the old classics for you or modern day cinema, grab a tub of popcorn and be enchanted with the graceful golden curtains as they slide apart to reveal the opening credits of your favourite film.
Places to Eat
With Melbourne’s cultural diversity comes its expansive variety of food. Melbourne has a large number of cuisines available in the city with some of the best chefs at work. Though Michelin does not rate restaurants in Australia, if it did, it would be spoilt for choice. Some of the best restaurants you should try in Melbourne include Claypots for seafood in St. Kilda’s, Easey’s for burgers in Collingwood, Vegie Bar in Fitzroy for the best vegetarian and 400 Gardi for the best Italian. Melbourne also has a culture of brunches, the best of which can be experienced at Mammoths. Food Trucks are also an upcoming trend.
Places to Shop
Melbourne is the Fashion Capital of Australia. It has a unique sense of fashion and has ample places to shop from. From high-end global brands to indigenous Australian brands, from local artefacts to typical Australian souvenirs, you can find it all in Melbourne. For branded shopping, you can head to Collins and Little Collins streets which boast of all the top-notch global brands. Some malls you could check out are Melbourne Central, Emporium and Bourke Street Mall. For the bargain shoppers, there is a DFO Outlets centre in South Wharf next to the Convention Centre. For Australian souvenirs, Victoria Market is the place. You will find all souvenirs at roughly half or one-third the price here.