The 21 Best Things To Do In Melbourne, Australia

21 Best Things to do in Melbourne, Australia

With a fascinating history, modern and preserved architecture, an abundance of nature and a vibrant nightlife, Melbourne has broad appeal. The contemporary Central Business District (CBD) is alive with a hip and trendy culture, but low-key beach vibes are just a tram ride away. If you are looking to truly experience the city, check out our list of the 21 best things to do in Melbourne, Australia.

The 21 Best Things to do in Melbourne, Australia

1. Look down from the Eureka Skydeck

The Eureka Skydeck boastfully claims to be the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere – and, as such, it is pretty easy to find in the Melbourne skyline. Visitors are whisked up 88 floors in just under 40 seconds to an observation room with a 360-degree view of the city below. Definitely Melbourne’s most unique perspective!

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Sunrise on Leg 3 of our Epic Travel Day

Flying Standby on Connecting Flights: An epic travel day

4 flights. 4 countries. 40 hours. Starting with a 4:00am wake up call, we made the journey from Hobart to Zagreb flying standby on connecting flights in what ranks as our most epic travel day ever.

When we made plans to go to Croatia after Australia, I didn’t consider how we would get there; Kris is in charge of travel details. In this case, that was probably the right choice. If I had known what I was in for, I might have reconsidered our options of where to go next. In addition to the normal stress that comes with travel days, we were flying standby on connecting flights – all four segments – with Kris’s flight benefits. Meaning, seats would only be assigned to us if there were open seats available. Attempting to connect on four flights on four different airlines, touching down in four different countries as stand-by passengers was no small feat.

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Hobart, Tasmania Australia 5-Day Itinerary Without A Car

Hobart without a car: Our 5-day itinerary

When we first starting planning our trip to Hobart, Tasmania, everything and everyone told us we would need a car. Our research made us wonder if we might feel trapped without our own wheels. Our quirk of not driving while sticking to a budget (meaning no expensive tours) has become an increasingly pesky impediment, but we are determined to make it work. And, in the end, it did! Not only is Hobart an extremely walkable city, there is ample public transportation that is affordable and efficient. Read our 5-day itinerary in Hobart without a car.

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Hiking down Mount Wellington in Hobart

Hiking down Mount Wellington in Hobart

What goes up, must come down. And, when it comes to hiking, the down part is easy.  At least easier than up, anyway…but hiking down Mount Wellington in Hobart may be an exception.

In Hobart, Tasmania, Mount Wellington stands as a majestic 1270 meters and provides a sturdy backdrop to the city, guarding it from the elements. The unique columns of dolerite rock near the top, known as the Organ Pipes, remain from when the landmass ripped away from Antarctica. The peak, which is rather barren, had remnants of a late winter snowfall.

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3 day trips we didn’t do in Melbourne

3 day trips we didn’t do in Melbourne

Whenever we visit a new place, I have a tendency to overdo it. I gather brochures from the visitor’s office and quickly make a list to see everything. Time constraints and our budget usually help whittle the list down. With a lengthy two month housesit in Melbourne, Australia – the longest stay we have had since we started traveling full-time – I was certain we would be able to conquer my massive wish list of things to see; time was on our side and not having to pay for accommodations left extra room in the budget.

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A view south to the city on our Sydney Road pub crawl in Brunswick

Sydney Road pub crawl in Brunswick

Sydney Road has long been the main thoroughfare in Brunswick and it is lined with shops, eateries, government buildings and churches. Gentrification of the area has spurred the remodeling of historic hotels (which are pubs) and the adaptive reuse of many of the buildings along Sydney Road. The diverse culture of the area brings an assortment of cuisine. The street is also home to many second-hand and vintage shops that could easily provide hours of entertainment. But, it’s the many pubs along the street that make a Sydney Road pub crawl so enticing.

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Queen Victoria Market: The night market is a feast for foodies, offering a variety of cuisine

Queen Victoria Market – Day, Night and Weekend

The buzzing halls of the Queen Victoria Market have all the ingredients – meat, fish, produce, prepared food, clothing and gadgets – of a thriving metropolitan market. But, while some markets like these become geared toward tourists, there is no doubt that this is where urban locals do their shopping, too.

The Queen Victoria Market has indoor and outdoor booths taking up more than two city blocks and we covered every aisle. Kris, who normally isn’t nearly as enamored with markets as I am, was quite entertained at the Queen Victoria Market. So much so that we made multiple visits in order to partake of the market’s special events, so in addition to visiting the regular market during the day, we also went to the Winter Night Market and Euro Union Sunday Market.

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The Melbourne skyline as seen from Williamstown, Australia

Williamstown, Australia: A last minute day trip

We took the train into the Melbourne CBD with a specific plan in mind – one that did not include a day trip to Williamstown, Australia. Our afternoon itinerary included a visit to Parliament to watch the action from the public gallery followed by a late picnic lunch in Carlton Gardens. (*No one here understands our fascination with local politics, but the lively shouting in such a dignified environment captivates us!) But, when we arrived at the Parliament door, we were informed that the session had been postponed and we – along with about 20 other people – were turned away.

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Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne

Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne: A photo essay

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, founded in 1846, provided a nice retreat from the streets and skyscrapers of the city. We spent a late afternoon walking through the park, taking note of the variety of plants in the tranquil setting. Walk with us…

We want to know: Have you visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Self-guided walking tour of Melbourne

Self-guided walking tour of Melbourne

My first glance at a map of the Melbourne CBD was a little overwhelming. There is quite a lot of ground to cover in order to see the many sights. However, when we hit the pavement, we found Melbourne to be a very walkable city…as long as we were in comfortable shoes. With just a few hours, an ambitious person could easily complete this self-guided walking tour of Melbourne; with added detours and stops, it can be done in a day.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Melbourne:

Start at the Queen Victoria Market.

The historic market has been in operation since 1878 and is now spread over two city blocks, so allow some time, grab a coffee to go and peruse the stalls. Besides the fresh produce market, there is an indoor deli, outdoor general merchandise market and several permanent stores around the perimeter.

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