Things to do and see in Melbourne Australia including scenic attractions in and out of the city.
Melbourne is the capital city of the state of Victoria, and the 2nd most populated city in Australia. Melbourne has something for everyone. Find out more about top tourist attractions and things to do in the city, often referred to as Australia's cultural and sports capital.
Melbourne has a population of over 3.8 million people. It was founded in 1835 by settlers around the Yarra River. As a result of the gold rush in the Victoria region in the early 1860's, the city grew to become the second largest in the British Empire by the turn of the 20th Century.
The city today is one of major commercial and industrial importance, and is known as the sporting and cultural capital of the Australian continent. Home to many ethnic communities, it has diverse cultural qualities, making it a cosmopolitan and stylish city to visit.
Top Attractions in the Melbourne area.
It's estimated that there were nearly 8 million domestic and international trips to Melbourne in 2008, highlighting its importance as a major tourism center. There are many reasons for tourists to visit Melbourne; either to see sporting events, check out the architecture, or to use the city as a base for exploring the hinterland regions, such as Grampians National Park, the Great Ocean Road, or Phillip Island.
Take a trip to Federation Square, home to many cafes, bars and restaurants. The Square is a popular meeting place in the city due to its proximity to the Flinders Street Station, the Cricket Stadium and many other buildings of cultural importance. Many live concerts, along with cultural exhibitions and art gallery displays take place here.
Close to Federation Square is a relaxing park, called Birrarung Marr, on the banks of the River Yarra.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is Australia's largest sporting arena. It previously hosted the 1956 Olympic games, and the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and has a total capacity of 103,000. It has played host to the major Australian Rules and cricket matches. Tours of the famous stadium are available.
Why not take a trip to the Eureka Skydeck, which is perhaps the highest viewing point in the southern hemisphere. This is located in Eureka Tower. Eureka Tower is recognized as being one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. There are fantastic views of the city from here.
Take a trip to the Melbourne Observation Tower which is on the 55th floor of the Rialto Towers.
The Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Center is also well worth a visit, along with the Melbourne Museum. The Royal Exhibition Building has beautiful gardens and is a World Heritage Listed building.
The State Library of Victoria, and the National Art Gallery of Victoria are worth exploring if you're interested in the cultural and history of the city.
The Melbourne Aquarium houses many aspects and examples of marine wildlife in the waters that surround Australia and is a wonderful way to entertain the family!
Another great family day out is Melbourne Zoo. This is the oldest zoo in Australia and is home to a wide variety of animals.
The Docklands is one of Melbourne's most up and coming areas. Attractions here include the Southern Star Observation Wheel, and the Telstra Dome.
The Victorian Arts Center is a must if you're into arts and culture! The talisman for the center is the 115m high steel spire which towers over the three theaters in the complex, which is located at St Kilda Road. When lit up at night, the effect is amazing. The Melbourne Concert Hall, with a capacity of 2,500 is located here.
The Queen Victoria Market encompasses an area of 6 hectares and is still going strong after 100 years.
Attractions outside the city of Melbourne
One of Australia's most famous wine producing regions is the Yarra Valley, and one of the area's best known driving routes is the Yarra Valley Drive.
There are many activities that you can explore on a day trip from Melbourne, chiefly wine tasting in the villages of Yarra Glen and Warburton. The Yarra Valley also boasts breathtaking rain-forest scenery. To get there via the scenic route, take the M80 from Melbourne, and then the C726 to Yarra Glen.
Grampians National Park is located 235km west of Melbourne. Renowned for the imposing sandstone mountain ranges, it's a protected area of the Victoria Region.
Take a trip along the Mornington Peninsula, with wine tasting, and plenty of scenic beaches. To get there, take the Nepean Highway, southeast of Melbourne.
You can take a trip along the Surf Coast, in the direction of Geelong, and enjoy the majestic views of the Great Ocean Road. This is located along the Princes Highway, from the M1 in Geelong, to the A1 in Victoria.
Built in 1932, it covers an area of 243km and was constructed by ex-WWI servicemen in commemoration of their comrades who died in the battlefields. The views of the Indian Ocean are outstanding from the coastline road.
You can also take a day trip to Phillip Island, which is located approximately 140km from Melbourne. Take in the views of the famous penguin parade at the Phillip Island Nature Park.
There's a strong theme of conservation at the park, with the aim to protect endangered species and maintain the landscape of the region. Phillip Island is also a popular area for motor and motorbike racing and has a well earned place in the history of Australian motor racing.
Reference: Mairead Foley writes for Novacarhire.com where you can book car hire at airports, ferry ports, rail stations, cities and towns all over the world.