It’s hard to believe that my Australian vacation is coming to a close. It’s been nearly three months already and it’s time for me to go home next week. Melbourne is the fashion, arts, cultural, and sporting capital of Australia. To say there’s a lot to do is an understatement. Here are some great things to do for first-time visitors to Melbourne.
Tour the Central Business District (CBD)
Hop on the City Circle tram or Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle and take a tour of the CBD. They’re both free and go around in a loop to all the major central attractions including museums, sporting venues, gardens, and shopping centers. You can hop on and off whenever you want.
The Eureka Skydeck
Get a bird’s eye view of Melbourne from the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower. You’ll be astounded at just how big Melbourne is.
See the old and new. On one side of the street is the beautiful Flinders Street Station, a railway station completed in 1910. On the other side is the modern Federation Square, home to the fantastic (and free) Ian Potter Centre, which houses some of Australia’s great art, as well as some restaurants and shops. Behind Federation Square you get a lovely view of the city over the Yarra River. Take a cruise or go down to the famous Young and Jackson Hotel pub for drinks.
Old Melbourne Gaol
Between 1845 and 1924, Victoria’s oldest prison held and executed some of Australia’s most notorious criminals. The three-story museum is full of information about prisoners and prison life as well as memorabilia such as death masks. The Old Melbourne Gaol is spooky enough during daylight hours, but if you’re really brave, there’s an evening ghost tour.
Aussie rules football is a game like no other. I don’t even like sports, but I love footy (go Pies!). Going to a game is easy on Melbourne’s excellent public transportation system, tickets are cheap, and it’s a family-friendly experience.
About 45 minutes outside of the CBD, Healesville Sanctuary is the place to go if you want to see Australian animals such as dingoes, native birds and deadly snakes, kangaroos and wallabies, koalas, echidnas, Tasmanian devils, wombats, and even a platypus.
What are some of your favourite attractions in Melbourne?