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Tourist Places To Visit In Melbourne
Melbourne is one of the most lively cities of Australia, situated on the bank of Yarra river. It has been a significant spot on the world map, for business as well as pleasure. A vibrant city, Melbourne has a number of tourist places that will excite every type of traveller. The city is steeped in history and culture, and yet, it moves at a fast pace keeping in time with today’s youth. From Museums to Zoos, from fancy observation decks to the peaceful wineries in the countryside, there are a number of tourist places in Melbourne which should be on every traveller's visit list.
Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Located in Federation Square, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image is Australia’s National Film and Audio-Visual Museum. It houses a record of the films, moving art, video games, and digital culture made in Australia. The Museum has two cinema halls capable of playing every film, video and digital format with the latest state of the art technology and sound systems. Both halls can together accommodate over 500 people. ACMI has been host to some of the most popular exhibitions and shows over the last decade. It has a regular schedule showcasing indigenous, classic and independent films of Australia. For the film buffs, this museum will be a paradise. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days of the week.
The Melbourne Museum is the country’s natural and cultural history museum. It is made in a contemporary modernist fashion allowing all aspects of Melbourne's culture, history, society, education and its people to interact in a holistic manner. The Museum has also won the best Tourist Attraction award at the Australian Tourism Awards. Apart from its galleries, the museum also houses an IMAX theatre which showcases movies and documentaries on the large screen. The museum complex also has an amphitheatre, a Discovery Centre, a café and a souvenir shop within. It is open to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm, 365 days of the year, with only Christmas and Good Friday being an off.
The oldest zoo in all of Australia, each trip to the Melbourne Zoo will be a different experience even for regular visitors. The zoo will surely be a fun place to visit for the entire family with a wide range of exhibits, events and the various species of animals and birds. The most exciting and perhaps the largest exhibit here is the Wild Sea exhibit displaying the excellent aquatic skills of penguins and seals. The zoo also has an Asian Elephant Trail which is home to 5 Asian elephants. For the adventurous, there is also an option to spend the night at the zoo with the elephants.
Great Ocean Road
A 243 km long stretch of road along the southeastern coast of Australia, the Great Ocean Road is the world’s largest war memorial built by the WWI returned soldiers. This excellent stretch of drive also has many attractions including the very famous Twelve Apostles. Other attractions you can drive to include the Gibson Steps, a set of Oceanside cliff with a viewpoint and Loch Ard Gorge which is the point where the Loch Ard, a Clipper ship carrying 54 passengers and crew got wrecked.
If you have had enough of the vibrant city life in Melbourne, a lovely escape would be Yarra Valley. An hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Valley is home to some of the best wineries of the area. It has small, quaint accommodation facilities and even some parachuting opportunities. Healesville, a small country town will lead you into the vineyard region. The area is known for its warm hospitality and delectable food made from all organic homegrown ingredients. Explore sunrise from a hot air balloon as you relax with a glass of pinot noir. While at Yarra Valley, do try and visit the Abbotsford Convent which has now been revamped to host exhibitions and events along with serving food and ale.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
If you want a quick break from the fast-paced city life of Melbourne, head right to the Royal Botanic Gardens located in the heart of the CBD. The Botanic Gardens are home to over 8500 species for flora and the expansive grounds ensure there is ample space to find your own corner to relax in after exploring the gardens. The gardens are divided into different sections and the best way to explore them would be to take a guided walking tour. Your native tour guide will also give you the details of the gardens, its history and show you the uses of certain plants - both as food as well as medicines. The gardens are open to visitors from 7:30 am to sunset.
The largest seated theatre in the entire continent with a seating capacity of 2896 people, Palais Theatre is located in the suburb of St. Kilda. It was built in 1927 and is included in the Victorian Heritage Register. The Palais is a concert venue, a theatre and a cinema. It had been a family-owned business till 1957, being owned by the Phillip brothers. Today the venue is famous for more live performances as opposed to cinema earlier.
Eureka Skydeck 88 and Edge
Eureka tower located in Riverside Quay is home to the Eureka Skydeck 88 and has the thrilling experience of the Edge. This is the highest public vantage point from where you can see the entire city of Melbourne. From 88 floors above ground level, it is a completely different experience altogether, to soak in the beauty of this diverse city.
The Edge is a glass cube located on the 88th floor, which projects 3 meters out of the building with you inside it. It gives you an experience of seeing the whole world from that height, with the glass floor beneath you.
Puffing Billy Railway
Step aside Thomas & Friends, the Puffing Billy Railway is here. Melbourne’s famous railway station is known for its beautiful steam trains that transport you instantly into the time of the yore. The vintage place invites you into its folds with open arms as you buy a ticket and board a steam train with open coaches, wide windows and perfectly painted bodies. The rail journey takes you across mountains and glens, on an experience that you can never forget. You can also explore the museum at this station, enjoy the views of the open-carriage station and have a little picnic to yourself inside the train!
Queen Victoria Market
One of the most iconic places in Melbourne, the Queen Victoria Market is almost 150 years old. It was thrown open back in the year 1878 and is today on the National Heritage List, even though the stalls and vendors only sell fresh produce every day. The locals like to call it Vic Market or Queen Vic, and visit its stores selling everything from food to spices to clothes and souvenirs. The market is closed on Monday and Wednesday, while all others days you can find amazing stuff on sale, along with mouthwatering street food.
Flinders Street Railway Station
Flinders Street Railway Station is the first ever railway station of Australia, dating back to its colonial days. Along with its aged history, the station has a past associated with ghost stories and haunted tales that accompany its grandeur. Its grandeur you ask? Its magnificent 3rd floor ballroom of course, or the gym they developed on the complex for the workers. Visit the station and explore all these unique aspects with a camera in tow!
National Gallery Of Victoria
Abbreviated as NGV, the National Gallery Of Victoria is the country’s oldest museum dedicated to arts. Some of the finest collections of the globe are displayed in their galleries, with regular exhibitions attracting patrons and guests alike. If you are an art aficionado then you must visit the gallery when in Melbourne. The hidden treasures discovered from Rome, Greece, Egypt are proudly displayed here, along with a lot many Asian paintings and textiles too. After you are done circuiting the gallery, there are quite a few cafes, tea rooms and plush restaurants here to entertain too.
Popular as the Fed Square, this is the centre of Melbourne’s cultural fiesta. Swanston and Flinders Streets cross here, making this a very populated and highly visited square. All kinds of people, from business to leisure seekers, tourists to locals mill around here. They called it the 6th best public square of the world and have bestowed quite a few awards for its architecture too. You can enjoy the feeling of walking around the square, shopping down its plazas, visit the famous glass-walled theatre, galleries, bars, restaurants etc. Many a concerts and festivals are also held here from time to time.
St Kilda Beach
In Australian paradise and miss out on a beach? That’s impossible in Melbourne. St Kilda is one of the city’s most popular beaches. The sands are pristine white while the shore is abuzz with beach activities like swimming, volleyball, surfing, kite surfing, jogging and much more. You can visit the Sunday Esplanade market, St Kilda Sea Baths, Palais Theatre and Luna Park Melbourne which are located very close around the beach. And if you wish to see penguins, then walk down the St Kilda Pier from where you can get a perfect vantage to observe them toddle into their rocks.
Old Melbourne Gaol
As the name suggests, the Old Melbourne Gaol was once upon a time a prison. Today it makes for a landmark and an iconic place in the city with its haunted history of prisoners, museum and arms from that era on full display. There are lodging guest rooms if you wish to spend the night and live in the cells that housed the exiled prisoners from Europe back in the day. The experience of spending time in the jail cell here and living a day like a prisoner, is one you should not miss. Some paranormal activity is also said to be sparked around here, but none has been proven.
A casino in Melbourne — the oldest and most famous, Crown has become synonymous with luxury and fun in the city. It has expanded its brand name across the country and the world, over the years, for its royal casinos, hotels and plush services. And yet, this flagship casino hotel remains its most iconic. The views of Yarra River and bays from Crown are splendid, as are the pools, gyms, spas and rooms. Then of course, the famous casino is obviously beyond opulent!
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Australia, like India, West Indies and many other colonial countries, once saw the British rule. Therefore, the love of cricket and the skill that the British themselves couldn’t destroy when they left the country. Australia is known for one of the best cricket teams in the world and for cricket lovers visiting, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is like a mecca of this sport. Football and rugby have also been played on this field but cricket is renowned as it has hosted some of the most memorable, most amazing games. The Olympic games were also partially hosted here, adding to its touristy impact today. Do visit and explore the stadium, the grounds and the gallery of history.
Designer boutiques, reputed jewellers, fine dining hubs and tall sky scrapers — Collins Street encompasses a vast contemporary extravaganza of Australia. But then there are ancient colonial buildings, cultural monuments and hole-in-the-wall structures amid skyscrapers, making this street a beautiful contradiction of sorts. When in Melbourne, do dedicate a day to exploring Collins — shop, eat, do touristy stuff and gaze around. By nightfall, most clubs and bars will start teeming and welcome you in for a fun night of revelry. And if you are lucky, a live show or two will also be up on the street!
Melbourne’s Chinatown is a distinctive little street in the Little Bourke St area of the city. It is designed over the years in Chinese traditions, with shops and houses reflecting the ancient oriental culture. There are art galleries and heritage walks here, Chinese and Asian dining as well as scrumptious street food stalls, museums and theatres that run Chinese films and plays, as well as a culture that sings of its roots to all who come here. A visit to Chinatown will open your horizons about Australia and especially Melbourne, where a whole community livens up the street.
Constructed in the year 1912, Luna Park is Melbourne’s oldest amusement park that still runs even after a hundred long years. The park has been kept updated over the century with new rides, theme areas and ideas that are relevant and enticing to the kids of today as they were to the kids of that century. The park is adored by the locals as well as the tourists, most of whom love the roller coaster, Moon balloons ferris wheel and the Pharaoh’s Curse. The park also hosts weddings (yes, people love getting married at amusement parks in Melbourne), birthday bashes and events, making it highly coveted for at least one visit. Even if you are not in the city with kids, Luna Park is still a must visit.