Melbourne is located in the state of Victoria and it is the most populous city in the southwestern state. It is a metropolitan hub and the Melbourne City Centre is one of the top financial centres in the Asia-Pacific region and is the top financial centre in Australia. It has consistently been ranked the world’s most livable city and is rated highly in many areas including education, entertainment, healthcare, research and development, sports, and tourism. Since its level of tourism is rated so high, there is always plenty of things to do in and around Melbourne while on holiday.
Melbourne Points of Interest Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Melbourne Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Hiring a Car in Melbourne
Melbourne Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
As you can see, there are many convenient places to hire a car when visiting Melbourne. The car rental locations in Melbourne are separated into north, east, south, and west regions. You can hire a car in Melbourne City, or as one of the 3 airports: Melbourne Airport car hire centre, Melbourne Airport West, or the Avalon Airport just to name a few of the convenient car hire locations in Melbourne. When you hire a car, be sure to consult with the car hire specialist so that he or she can give you travel tips about Melbourne, share maps with you and educate you as to any driving or safety restrictions.
Top Things to do in Melbourne
Melbourne City Waterfront Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Since Melbourne is such a budding metropolis, there is almost always something to do. Melbourne is rich in art and culture with a blend of modern and Victorian architecture. The nightlife is very active with live music, bars, restaurants, and more. Here are some highlights of fun things on holiday while in Melbourne. If you are touring the city with kids, be sure to check out our blog all about Melbourne holiday activities for families. If you are up for a great road trip, The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s best road trips that will take you west from Melbourne along the southern coast of Australia to Port Fairy. One of the highlights of the road trip is the 12 Apostles. Our blog post all about things to do in Melbourne today will feature 7 spectacular tourist destinations in Melbourne: the Eureka Tower and Skydeck, Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery of Victoria, Queen Victoria Market, the Melbourne Zoo, hot air ballooning over the city, and the Old Melbourne Gaol.
Eureka Sky Tower
Eureka Tower Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Eureka Tower Skydeck Photo Credit: ExperienceOz.com.au
The Eureka Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world and the Eureka Skydeck features one of the most awe inspiring views in all of the Southern Hemisphere. The Skydeck provides a scenic aerial view of Melbourne and beyond. It is a great place to start your Melbourne holiday because it allows you to get your lay of the land and plan out the rest of your stay.
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Nympheas Lake in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne are located right near the centre of the city. The gardens cover 38 hectares of land and include landscaped gardens of over 10,000 species of plants. The gardens provide a natural sanctuary for the name wildlife in the area including black swans, eels, bell birds, cockatoos, and kookaburras. These award winning gardens are beautiful and definitely a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon.
National Gallery of Victoria
National Gallery of Victoria Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Pioneer (Public Domain Photo) Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The art museum is a must for art enthusiasts. It is commonly referred to as NGV, so when touring look or listen for those initials. It is located in the Melbourne Arts Precinct. The museum has permanent exhibits in addition to featuring rotating exhibits regularly, so you should check out the NGV website in advance to plan out your visit and see what’s on. The type of art exhibits range from painting to photography to design to fashion. Modern, Contemporary, and Classic art forms are all found here at any given time. In addition, the National Gallery of Victoria also features Indigenous/Australia Aboriginal art and artefacts as part of the Australian Collection, which also has Australian colonial art, Australian Impressionist art, 10th century, modern, and contemporary Australian art.
Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Market entrance photo credit: Wikipedia
Fresh Vegetable and Produce at Queen Victoria Market Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Queen Victoria Market is a major landmark in Melbourne that was established in 1878. So, chances are that if you are on holiday in Melbourne, it will be one of the spots on your radar to visit. Even though it is a tourist attraction, it is also a place where the locals go to shop. It is known for its fresh food stores and those are definitely the highlight, but not all you will find at the “Queen Vic Markets”. The entire marketplace encompasses several city blocks and is made up of over 600 retailers. You can find just about anything there from fresh fruit and vegetables to gourmet imports, or fashion and general merchandise.
Sumatran Orang-utan Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Melbourne
Leopard Lodge at the Melbourne Zoo Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Melbourne
Children of all ages can appreciate the fun and wonder of the animals at the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, commonly known as the Melbourne Zoo. It opened in 1862 and is the oldest zoo in Australia. The Melbourne zoo is located just 4 km north of Melbourne’s city centre; it is a short car ride and also accessible via tram routes or on bicycle. The focus of the zoo is on education and fighting extinction. You can visit their website to plan out your day in advance. There are close to 30 different animals to see and learn about there. If you have a special event coming up, you could consider holding it at the Melbourne Zoo; they have facilities for weddings, parties, and other events.
Hot Air Ballooning Over Melbourne
Hot Air Balloon Photo Credit: ExperienceOz.com.au
Melbourne is a gorgeous city from above and a hot air balloon ride over it is pretty unforgettable. It is a great way to take in the sights from above and catch a bird’s eye view of the beautiful city. Balloon flights usually happen early in the morning so that you can see the city come to life as the sun rises and illuminated the landscape. It is also great to take advantage of the calm morning air for smooth sailing across the skyline.
The Old Melbourne Gaol
Old Melbourne Gaol Night Tours Photo Credit: OldMelbourneGaol.com.au
Old Melbourne Gaol Photo Credit: Wikipedia
This former prison is now a museum and a popular attraction in Melbourne for tours day and night. It is located in Russell Street, Melbourne. The prison was in operation from 1842 to 1929 where some of Australia’s most notorious criminals were imprisoned and many (133) were executed by hanging. The museum offers daytime tours which feature a historical and educational theme. Many tours include the court house and trial re-enactments including bushranger Ned Kelly’s trial. There are many artefacts from the prison’s history kept on display, although Ned Kelly’s skull was stolen in 1978. The night tours have a different theme because paranormal enthusiasts claim the gaol to be haunted. The prison obliges with several different nightly tours in the dark so that you can explore the old building and listen for sounds that go bump in the night!