Like many major cities, Melbourne, Australia has plenty to do. From the Melbourne Museum, to the National Gallery of Victoria, to the zoos, and Melbourne Cricket Grounds, there is something for every interest.
Aside from these crowd pleasers, here are a few more things to do and see to help round out your Melbourne experience.
Phillip Island National Park
Animal lovers won’t want to miss Phillip Islands penguin parade where you’ll witness the phenomenon of hundreds of tiny penguins hopping out of the ocean waters at sunset each night and then watching them waddle in flocks to their beach and inland homes.
This spectacle can be watched from viewing platforms, and those willing to pay for a guide have the opportunity to view the event from a secluded stretch of sand. While the island is situated just off the coast of Melbourne, it is a 90 minute trip by car or bus.
Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is an historic site founded in the mid-1800s. It stretches for 89 acres with favorite attractions including the rose and cacti gardens, and the children’s garden which displays enormous vegetables.
Walk along picturesque lakes, stop to sit on shaded benches, or pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on one of the many grassy knolls. For nature enthusiasts, the Australian Forest Walk is a perfect opportunity to learn more about Australia’s unique forests from tropical, to coastal, to alpine.
Admission to the gardens is free. Check their website for more details.
Shopping at Melbourne Central
Shopping fanatics can get their fill at Melbourne Central, a shopping complex located atop the city’s central train station. With almost 300 shops ranging from international brands to Australian retailers, this is one shopping experience that offers something more.
You’ll want to bring your camera along with your credit card to snap a photo of Shot Tower Square, one of Melbourne’s most iconic images. You’ll find it right at the heart of the shopping center.
Shops are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except for Sundays when they close at 8:00. If you decide to eat at the food court, they do serve up some delicious sushi and Indian food along with all the usual chains.
For those ready to get out of the city for the day, there’s no better place than to head to wine country. The top two favorite destinations include Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. Both are less than 50 miles from the city.
For more information, check out Melbourne’s official torism board’s website.