MELBOURNE & VICTORIA
Located on the southern tip of the Australian mainland with a diversity of aquatic adventures, Victoria is home to the famous Great Ocean Road alongside a series of ocean beaches, wildlife-rich parks, water rimmed wilderness and mineral springs plus gourmet getaways.
Victoria's capital of Melbourne sits on the waters of Port Phillip Bay. The city features riverside cafes, restaurants, art galleries and markets along the Yarra River which makes its way through the city. Fringing the city is the famous beach of St. Kilda, with iconic saltwater pools and sea baths and one of the best Australian kite surfing spots.
Within less than two hours drive, check out wildlife on Phillip Island, go golfing and wine-tasting on the Mornington Peninsula or learn to surf at the home of Ripcurl, Torquay. Travel north, and within three hours travel time, discover the mighty Murray River for a cruise downriver on a historic paddle steamer.
Victoria's climate is marked by a range of different climate zones, from the hot, dry regions of the northwest to the alpine snowfields in the northeast. Melbourne has a reputation for its changeable weather, often referred to as having ‘four seasons in one day'. Generally the city enjoys a temperate climate with warm to hot summers; mild, temperate springs and autumns; and cool winters. Temperatures average 25°C/77°F in summer and 14°C/57°F in winter. Rainfall is highest from May to October.
Explore 10 of the best experiences you can have in Melbourne to help you plan your trip.
Exploring Melbourne's laneways is just one aspect of this diverse city. Get a cricket or football fix. Soak up art and culture. Go high-end dining or grab the best pub burger. Shop for local designer fashion or cycle the bayside. Whatever you fancy, Melbourne is a city of choices.
Visit Attica, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants and delve into Ben Shewry’s unique menu. In Melbourne you’ll do destination dining in every nook, from the sublime Estelle Bar and Kitchen to Donovan’s for water views. As for the CBD, the original MoVida in graffiti-covered Hosier Lane serves knock-out tapas. Nearby, George Calombaris’s Press Room produces a clever Greek menu.
Melbourne invented the rooftop bar scene. Join the legendary Emerson Sunday sessions in South Yarra, hunt creative cocktails at its Brunswick Street neighbour, Black Pearl, or sip wines at Bellota in South Melbourne and the CBD’s Cumulus Up in Flinders Lane.
Melbourne is sport crazy and its venues legendary. Join the fun at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Australian Football League in winter or international cricket in the summer. Go trackside at Flemington for the excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup. Be exhilarated by the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and see international soccer stars at Hisense Arena.
Discover edgy and high-end fashion in Melbourne’s retail scene. Shop Australian designers like Alistair Trung on Little Collins Street and Alpha 60 in Flinders Lane. Find Lupa in Fitzroy before browsing Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street. Go vintage shopping on Chapel Street and get statement pieces on High Street, Armadale. Look for international brands at Emporium.
Laneways and Architecture
Melbourne’s historic urban environment is full of life. Spend hours exploring the city’s beautiful arcades, one-off boutiques, eclectic laneways and graffiti art. Visit the Melbourne Museum and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. Admire Victorian landmarks such as St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral and Flinders Street Station and discover Art Deco with the beautiful Manchester Unity Building.
Wineries, Forests and Surf Beaches
Taste world-class wines, artisan cheeses and handmade chocolate in the Yarra Valley, 90-minutes' drive east. Cuddle a koala at Healesville Sanctuary or head into the nearby Dandenong Ranges for cute villages and towering forests. For more wines and surf beaches, drive 90 minutes south-east to the stunning Mornington Peninsula, or west to the Bellarine Peninsula.
St Kilda Esplanade
Enjoy the tram ride to bohemian St Kilda and check out live pub music at the Espy. Go for great burgers at Barney Allen’s or the best pizza at Mr Wolf. Eat fish’n’chips on the beach, taste sublime coffee and cake on Acland Street and ride the rollercoaster at historic Luna Park.
Get among the hustle and bustle of the Queen Victoria Markets in the heart of the city, and pick up some fresh produce or fashion. Take the tram to the South Melbourne Market and enjoy dim sims under its historic awnings. For bric-a-brac and vintage bargains, catch an early train to the Sunday Camberwell Market, 10 kilometres east of the CBD.
Museums and Galleries
The National Gallery of Victoria spearheads a range of galleries, museums and other art sites. See the NGV’s impressive international and Australian exhibitions. Head over to the Heide Museum of Modern Art at Bulleen for insight into the famed Heide Circle. Visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image to immerse yourself in the world of film, television and digital culture. There are many more galleries and plenty of sculpture parks to discover in Melbourne.
Parks and Gardens
Run, cycle, walk or just relax in the stunning green spaces of Melbourne. Jog the tan track around the Royal Botanic Gardens and Kings Domain along the banks of the Yarra River, seeing Government House along the way. In Royal Park, find Melbourne Zoo. Picnic in Fitzroy Gardens in the CBD after visiting Captain Cook’s Cottage.