Melbourne is the coastal capital of Victoria in the South East of Australia. The city is an array of 19th century buildings as well as modern architecture and is now a buzzing and lively metropolis. The lively feel of the city is available for all to see with a wide selection of restaurants, bars and shopping centres as well as much, much more. The city is widely regarded as the sporting capital of Australia with many of the sports choosing the city as their centre. The easiest way to travel as a group in Melbourne is to hire a bus or minibus. There is plenty to do in Melbourne but here are just 10 suggestions.
1. Melbourne Cricket Ground (The MCG)
You couldn’t go to Melbourne without visiting the MCG – after all it is regarded as one of the best cricket stadiums in the World. The stadium is located in the Yarra Park area of the city and holds in the region of 100,000 people and is the 10th largest stadium in the World. The venue plays host to the annual Boxing Day test and is also regarded as the home of AFL (Aussie Rules Football) and is always full for AFL Grand Final. Concerts and cultural events are also held at the stadium making it the real heart of the community.
2. The Sea Life Centre
The Sea Life Centre is located on the banks of the Yarra River and opened in 2000. The aquarium is home to around 10,000 different species of animal including housing one of the World’s largest saltwater crocodiles. There are plenty of shows and interactive exhibits that look at aquatic life in the depths of the southern oceans and in the freezing waters on the Antarctic. This is both an educational and an enjoyable experience so a great day out for all of the family.
3. Yarra Valley Hot Air Balloon Flight
Have you ever felt like doing something wild, something you won’t do again and something that you will remember for the rest of your life? Well a hot air balloon flight over the Yarra Valley is just what you are looking for! Take in the sunrise high up in the skies looking down on the forests, farms and vineyards below in what is truly a remarkable experience. After you flight you will be treated to breakfast at one of the vineyards where you will have a gourmet treat of local produce including sparkling wine.
4. The City Centre
It may seem like something obvious but it is often the obvious things that go ignored. The city centre of Melbourne is a real contrast of the old colonial buildings standing alongside the modern office blocks. This vibrant city has a magnificent range of restaurants, bars, shops and theatres and you won’t be disappointed by what you see just walking along the streets and taking in the views especially those close to the river. This is a truly relaxing day and one that the whole family can enjoy.
5. Old Melbourne Gaol
Old Melbourne Gaol is a museum that looks through the history of this 19th century gaol. See what life was like for the prisoners, visit the old court and watch tower on one of the guided tours that take place throughout the day. For those of you who are a little braver you could take in the night tours where you may get chance to see one of the many ghosts that are said to haunt the gaol.
6. The Great Ocean Road
Take a drive along the Great Ocean Road and see the majestic sights along the way such as the typically iconic surf, misty mountain waterfalls and the unforgettable 12 Apostles that stand high in the ocean. There is so much to do along the route including visiting vineyards, dairy farms, wildlife spots, enjoying the surf and much, much more. This is a memorable experience that will stay with you forever.
7. Queen Victoria Market
Often classed as the heart and soul of Melbourne, the Queen Victoria Market has been in place for well over a century. Covering, 2 blocks the market sells everything that you could image from food to clothing and is not only an historic landmark but a tourist attraction in its own right. If you enjoy a trip round a traditional market then this is the place for you.
8. Healesville Sanctuary
Located some way out of Melbourne but worth a mention all the same is the Healesville Sanctuary that has been open since 1934. The sanctuary is a world renowned breeding centre for native Australian animals and is a great place to see kangaroos, koalas and Tasmanian Devils amongst many other indigenous creatures.
9. The Melbourne Star
The Melbourne Star is a giant Ferris wheel in the Docklands area of Melbourne. It is one of the largest observation wheels in the world, opening in 2008 and is a great way to view the city from a different perspective.
10. The National Sports Museum
Melbourne just wouldn’t be Melbourne without the constant reference to sport so the National Sports Museum deserves a mention in its own right. Located within the MCG the museum takes you through the history of Australian sports such as the AFL, cricket, rugby and of course the great swimmers that the country has produced. This is a must see for all sports fans.
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