Melbourne – Play
As promised here’s the second of my Melbourne guides – Play! In this one, I’ll be highlighting my must see and must do’s in the city and around the state of Victoria.
Explore the laneways –
This is where you’ll find a lot of Melbourne’s famous street art, not to mention so many amazing places to stop and have a drink or bite to eat. Street Art was high on my list of things to see in city, so we visited quite a few laneways, Hosier, Union and ACDC Lanes were some of my favourites.
Heritage buildings and architecture –
The second largest city in Australia still has much of its stunning colonial architecture on show. These are a few of my favourites…
The Rialto: A colourful Venetian gothic palazzo building, which is now home to the Intercontinental hotel.
Block Arcade:Has the most amazing interior and is lined with cute little cafes and boutique stores.
State Library of Victoria: One of Melbourne’s cultural landmarks. This place seriously has one of the most beautiful interiors that you’ll ever see in a library, including the majestic dome ceiling reading room.
Flinders Street Station: So while we physically went inside it the station, we weren’t actually able to see the beautiful exterior… It was wrapped up for maintenance 🙁 here’s a photo I borrowed from visitmelbourne.com
Queen Victoria Market –
The market spans across two blocks and sells everything from fresh Australian produce to clothing and souvenirs. There’s a great variety of food court eateries and it even has meat and deli halls for you die hard market shoppers.
Brighton Bathing Boxes –
These colourful classic Victorian bathing boxes were originally used as places for women to change into their bathing suits before heading out for a swim at the beach. Today they are all individually owned are an iconic part of the beach not to mention a very obvious tourist attraction!
Princes Pier, Port Phillip –
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a little while, Princes Pier is a great place to visit. Feel the wind in your hair as you gaze out across the city and take in the sea air. The old pylons that remain at the end of the pier make an Instagram worthy photo too 😛
Federation Square –
The unofficial meeting point of the city, is a lively hub where there’s always something going on. Relax with a coffee and people watch or hang out with friends, you could even go check out the ACM (Australian Centre of Moving Images).
Yarra Promenade –
The promenade is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The South banks of the Yarra River are lined with restaurants and bars, places to shop and towards the end you’ll find the Crown Casino Complex. It offers great views of the city along with outdoor sculptures, a little street art and a really relaxed atmosphere. You can even take a cruise across the river, should you feel so inclined.
Great Ocean Road –
One of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, is home to the famous 12 Apostles, Port Campbell National Park, some of the most amazing surf breaks and lush rainforest. Depending on how much time you have you could end up driving from one side of the coast to the other! If time isn’t on your side you can still see quite a lot in a day. We didn’t do the Great Ocean Road on this trip as we have previously done it but for anyone visiting Melbourne/Victoria for the first time this road trip is definitely a must!
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and ice creamery –
An easy one hour drive out of Melbourne, the chocolaterie is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a chocolate lover, their showroom is filled with over 25o varieties of chocolate! You can watch master chocolatiers at work and even sample the goodies! There’s also a café serving a magnitude of delectable delights, ice cream, desserts, hot chocolates (over 10 different varieties) and savoury stuff too, if you don’t have a sweet-tooth 😊
Grampians National Park –
Known for its spectacular mountainous landscape, the Grampians are an adventurer’s paradise! There are so many hikes to do in this region no matter what your ability and the wildlife is incredible! Some of our highlights here include…
The Pinnacle -1.5 hours approx: One of the best and highest points, which offered us majestic yet moody, eastern views of the Grampians. There are a couple of routes you can take to get to this lookout, the Sundial Carpark (reasonably easy) or the Wonderland Carpark (we did this one), which requires a good level of fitness and agility as it is steep in some places, lots of stairs and there is some rock hopping involved.
The Balconies – 1hr approx: An easy gentle climb, with amazing rock formations and breath taking panoramic views over Victoria Valley.
Grand Canyon Loop Walk – 30 mins approx: A short but really incredible hike and yes it does resemble the Grand Canyon, hence the name. Follow rock walls into a ravine then back out into a gorge leading to beautiful views.
Boroka Lookout: Just a short walk from the carpark, offering views of the Wonderland Range, Mt William Range, Fyans Valley, Lake Bellfield and the plains to the east of the Grampians.
Mackenzie Falls – 1.5hrs approx: We did this one in 45 minutes, the walk to the base of the falls is steep and involves hundreds of stairs but it is worth it to see them close up, in all their glory.
Mornington Peninsula –
Here you’ll find rolling hills, orchards, olive groves, vineyards, local wildlife and beautiful beaches to your hearts content, all only an hour away from Melbourne. We passed through the peninsula on our way to Phillip Island and checked out Mt Martha Beach, before heading to a local winery for lunch.
Check out the evil koala!!
Phillip Island, Penguin Parade –
One of the most popular attractions in Australia, for both locals and tourists alike. Each night, after a hard day of fishing, Little Penguins return to the shore at sunset, waddle across the beach and up to their burrows in the sand dunes. Penguin viewing is restricted to a limited amount of visitors so booking in advance is recommended. There are three different viewing platforms, each gets you a little closer to them (Remember, photography is prohibited as it may distress the penguins).
Last but not least… Melbourne is a food lover’s paradise!
It is full of amazing cafes and restaurants and in my next guide, I’ll go through my favourites with you. Melbourne – Eat! Coming soon😃
Happy Travels, Priti X