Australia’s second largest city is fast becoming the most popular destination for expats heading down under. There is so much to see and do in this vibrant, culturally rich city it is hard to know what to do first for new arrivals, but our top ten things to do in Melbourne is a great place to start!
1. Melbourne Cricket Ground
This sports mad city is home to the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere, the MCG, an impressive structure that dominates the city’s skyline. As well as being one of the best places in the world to watch a cricket match, the MCG hosts numerous other sporting events and is also home the National Sports Museum.
2. The National Gallery of Victoria
Melbourne’s other love is undoubtedly culture, a passion that is celebrated at the beautiful National Gallery of Victoria. This stunning gallery has something for all tastes, from classical and Aboriginal art to modern fashion and photography exhibits.
3. Royal Botanic Gardens
The beautiful and renowned Royal Botanic Gardens are a wonderful place to escape into a lush green world of giant ferns, stunning views and picturesque gardens. There are dedicated children’s and wildlife gardens and dozens of walking trails for all abilities.
4. Yarra Valley
Melbournians are lucky enough to have one of the countries best wine regions right on their doorstep. The Yarra Valley is packed with fantastic wineries and restaurants with plenty of companies offering organised tours, so you can leave the car at home.
5. Queen Victoria Market
This Melbourne institution is a packed with stalls groaning under the weight of fruit, vegetables, arts, crafts and much more. The historic building also hosts seasonal events such as night markets and delicious street food celebrations.
6. The Great Ocean Road
For a longer excursion, hop into the car and head west of the city along the coast on the iconic Great Ocean Road. This breath-taking drive takes in quaint seaside towns, stunning beaches and even landmarks such as Erskine Falls and the famous ‘12 Apostles’ stone stacks just off the coast.
7. Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne
A must for anyone with children to occupy, the aquarium has a fantastic range of weird and wonderful marine life to explore including turtles, penguins and bright reef fish. It also boasts excellent ecological and educational credentials, so the grown-ups can feel good about it too.
8. Dandenong Ranges
Around 35km east of Melbourne lie the picturesque Dandenong Ranges, a picturesque area of giant forests, pretty villages and lush gullies. There are hiking and cycling trails, or the ‘Puffing Billy’ steam train for those wanting a more sedate break.
9. St Kilda
Long established as the city’s playground, St Kilda is a seaside suburb with enough diversions to keep all ages occupied. There’s a funfair, beach and pier, even a native colony of miniature penguins and, after dark, a great selection of bars and restaurants that become even more lively during the summer festival.
10. Shop Chapel Street
From hidden gems and one-offs to big name designer boutiques, Chapel Street has it all and is undoubtedly one of the best places in Melbourne to indulge in a bit of retail therapy. The street stretches from Richmond down through South Yarra and Windsor, but there are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants to keep you going!