Last year, and for each year of the decade before, Melbourne was named first or second ‘World’s Most Liveable City List’. Consistently, Australia’s second city scores incredibly high in such studies, with content residents citing high satisfaction with the quality of life unparalleled across the glove.
It’s not difficult to see why they’re so happy. A cosmopolitan, diverse community, inclusive and artistic vibes, boutique cafes and restaurants, a thriving street food scene and wide open, green spaces to match, we think it’s fair to say that Melbourne has plenty going for it. Visitors, it seems, agree.
If all of this praise has got you opening up a second tab and searching for cheap flights, firstly, be sure to apply for an e-Visitor visa for Australia on websites such as auvisa.org so you have the proper paperwork. And secondly, check out these; our 5 IDEAL things to do in Melbourne as a tourist.
VISIT FEDERATION SQUARE AND FLINDERS STREET STATION
Flinders Street Station is an attraction you’ll have no doubt seen in brochures and online when planning your trip to Melbourne. Considered to be the beating heart of the city, and its busiest station to boot, it’s on the Victorian heritage register and, on an aesthetic level, is simply gorgeous.
Right outside the Station is Federation Square, which plays host to cultural and arts events (more than 2000 a year, at last count), and serves as a meeting point for the city, as well as boasting some eye catching architecture. The Australian Centre for Moving Image can be found in the square and, let’s face it, you can’t miss it; the building’s facade needs to be seen to be believed! Running with that theme, the National Gallery of Victoria also calls Fed Square home, and again, the building’s design is also truly unique.
WALK AROUND AND SEE THE STREET ART AND SMALL ALLEYWAYS
Melbourne is known as one of the street art capitals of the world, with the city’s expressive, creative soul on display at every turn. As such, simply walking around and seeing the street art is a must while here.
There are designated areas designed for creators to contribute to the character of the city. And contribute they do; just opposite that Federation Square we mentioned earlier is Hosier Lane, a cobbled lane which is the focal point of much of Melbourne’s rightly revered street art scene. Don’t stop there; make sure you also head to the Keith Haring mural on Johnston Street, as well as Centre Place, close to Flinder Lane, for more great street art. Or, you could just stroll; you’re bound to find some truly intriguing pieces on your travels.
OLD MELBOURNE GAOL
Old Melbourne Gaol is a museum in central Melbourne which casts light on the history of the city’s more nefarious side. The building was once a prison and execution site, and you can now see a range of artifacts from those times in the museum. If you’re of a squeamish disposition, caution is advised; things can get a little graphic and a lotta scary down here! And should you happen to be visiting during Halloween, some consider the museum to be haunted, meaning it’s quite the backdrop for a spooky Halloween tour.
VISIT THE BOTANIC GARDENS
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, which let’s face it, at some point you will, or if you simply appreciate being in nature, which let’s face it, everyone does, then the Botanic Gardens are a must. They’re frequented by local walkers and joggers, tourists and most importantly of all, a gorgeous 8,500 plant species. Now, that’s a tonic.
HALF MOON BAY
Just a thirty minute drive south east of Melbourne, Half Moon Bay (named so because of its crescent shape) is located in the suburb of Black Rock and represents the perhaps the finest stretch of sand within easily reachable distance of the city. The bay leads up to a sandy beach, which makes for a comfortable, relaxing day in the sun. It’s a great place to snorkel and swim, and is particularly beloved of surfers, making it a quintessential Aussie day out, even if you’re only spectating.
And if you’re travelling onwards after the city and looking for inspiration, then check out our 7 IDEAL stops on your Australian road trip from Melbourne to Sydney over here.