Where To Take Visitors in Melbourne?
Where can we take visitors? is one of our most frequently asked questions.
The question is often a statement: We know the well-known places but where is somewhere different? You have to consider visitors age, experience and interest. ie: oldies = gardens, teens = Luna Park.
Here are a few ideas that includes the obvious and the not so obvious.
Chuckles, I finally get to tell Melburnian's "where to go"
Where To Go in Melbourne
Federation Square - always a favourite because it's very Melbourne, central, unique, architecture, art gallery, ACMI, Atrium, Big Screen, Information centre, restaurants, cafes, bars plus there is always something on.
You also get to point out nearby things: the clocks under Flinders Street Station, Yarra River, Arts Centre and Spire, Birrarung Marr (park).
After FedSquare, how about a nice relaxing drink across the road: Young & Jackson's (explain what a pub is) and show them Chloe.
Queen Victoria Market - I'm not a huge fan of markets which I find a bit hit and miss. QueenVic is a typical hustle/bustle market that has become quite touristy but it's ok for an hour.
Crown Casino - Visitors will enjoy walking along the river to the casino, check out the fire shows (every hour, on the hour), art, restaurants, shops, clubs, and of course the casino.
South Wharf Promenade - If you haven't been, go as you will be surprised at how good it is. This is a newish favourite of mine in terms of a walk, bite to eat and take in the scenery. Start at Jeff's Shed (Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre) walking west past Polly Woodside, past over 20 restaurants, cafes, bars, DFO and South Wharf docks (look at the boats).
Melbourne to Williamstown Ferry - How about Southgate to Williamstown by boat. Start with a wander round Southgate, show them Ophelia, then cruise down the Yarra past South Wharf, under the Bolte and Westgate bridges to Williamstown. A few cruises include a commentary about the area.
If you go on a Sunday, take in the Sunday Market at The Arts Centre (free) and on the 3rd Sunday of the month, the Williamstown Craft Market.
Overseas Guest Suggestions
Eureka Skydeck - Melbourne's highest and best observation point. See the whole of Melbourne and if you are game, try "the edge"which is a challenge for any visitor.
Melbourne Star - Melbourne's own Observation Wheel offering fabulous views of the city and surrounds. Then check out Docklands which has sightseeing, shopping and eateries.
Melbourne Cricket Ground - Even locals will be surprised at what they "don't" know about the hallowed turf and structure that makes up one of the world's iconic stadiums. Don't forget, there is also the National Sports Museum (in the G), walk through Birrarung Marr (park), Yarra Park, views of the Nylex Sign and Government House and walk across to Fitzroy Gardens.
Zoo's & Aquarium
Don't under-estimate how good our zoos are or how different Australian wildlife is. Kangaroos are one thing, but there are many many more..
Melbourne Zoo - One of the best and oldest in the world. It's enclosures are world class not forgetting we have animals not seen anywhere else in the world.
Healesville Sanctuary - An hour from the city is a bushland haven for Australian wildlife. Meet iconic Australian animals like Koalas, Kangaroos, Platypus, Dingoes, Wombats and Emus.
Werribee Open Range Zoo - a taste of African adventure just 30 minutes from Melbourne's city centre. Come face-to-face with gorillas, lions, monkeys, cheetahs and hippos.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium - 12 amazing zones of discovery, including interactive animal encounters and iconic state of the art displays. Aquatic animals include penguins, seahorses, seadragons, sea jellies, octopus, sharks, stingrays, turtles, frogs, snakes, eels.
Museums & Galleries
Again when I was travelling I became all-museumed-out but if your guests are not, then we have excellent places to visit.
National Gallery of Victoria | NGV | The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia - Two fine art galleries. International includes the water wall, Great Hall and stained glass ceiling. Ian Potter has my favourite artwork: Collins Street, 5 pm by John Brack.
The Arts Centre - Here you are looking at the architecture, the spire, Sunday Market and maybe good to include NGV, the Flower Clock, Victoria Police Memorial.
Royal Exhibition Building - Coupling the Carlton gardens, Melbourne Museum and the exhibition building can be a good day out.
Melbourne Museum - My favourite museum anywhere in the world including (tear in eye) Melbourne Gallery.
Outer Melbourne | Country Victoria
Go for a drive..
Dandenong Ranges is not really "country"but, it is a must-see destination for every visitor to Melbourne. Visit the Dandenong Ranges with parks, gardens, galleries, Puffing Billy, Emerald Ranges, markets, shopping strips, Sky High Mount Dandenong, Secret Gardens, Tesselaar Tulip, the list goes on.
Phillip Island - There is a lot more to Phillip Island than just penguins. Phillip Island is a fabulous weekend destination that the entire family will love. Nature, beaches, coastline, chocolates, wildlife, race track, food, accommodation, shopping and of course the Penguin Parade.
Sovereign Hill - One of many Victorian gold fields except Ballarat was where it all started, has the nugget, galleries, Eureka Stockade not forgetting the fabulous Sovereign Hill that recreates the period as well as a wonderful gold museum.
Puffing Billy - Personally, this is a must.. a day trip to the Dandenong Ranges taking in a steam train ride, lunch and views from the Mount Dandenong.
Yarra Valley - Wineries are popular with overseas visitors mainly because we have such good wine.
Grampians - Explore the rugged beauty of Victoria's Grampians national Park and see Aussie wildlife.
Mornington Peninsula - coastline, vineyards, restaurants and country lifestyle. How about a day trip round the bay: Queenscliff | Sorrento Ferry Service
Snowfields - Obviously a winter activity which can be fun for our European friends who will laugh at the mini ski runs at Falls Creek.
Top Victoria Hot Spots - Ballarat, Geelong, Mildura, Snowy River National Park, Macedon Ranges, Lakes Entrance, Wilsons Promontory National Park, Bendigo, Grampians National Park, Mansfield, Great Ocean Road, Philip Island, Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges National Park. Apollo Bay, Bairnsdale, Mount Beauty, Mornington Peninsula, Milawa and Halls Gap
Here is the not-so-usual list of things that my friends wanted.
Maribyrnong River Cruise - the forgotten river of Melbourne. The river that our founder (wink) John Batman almost certainly rowed up (not the Yarra) when doing the dirty deed with the locals.
Docklands - is BACK. New and old.. Docklands park, Webb Bridge, Yarra River, boats in dock, Bolte Bridge, Sunday market, icecream, celebrity statues, Cosco, Docklands Shopping Centre (District), Marvel Stadium, Bunjil (art), ANZ Building, Seamans Mission, ride to South Wharf, Grimes Bridge, Observation Wheel, TV Studios, Film Studios, Cow Up A Tree, Alma Doepel (old boat), Wonderland Fun Park, O'Brien Group Arena (Ice Rink), Mission to Seafarers, Fox Classic Car Collection, Marina Tower (Leaning Tower) and nearby South Wharf Promenade.
Capital City Trail - Try cycling one of our many and varied bike paths. Alternately, walk them. I quite like cycling creek trails or the one down to Port Melbourne and along to St Kilda.
St Kilda - quite a bit to do down here. Consider, Fitzroy Street, Luna Park, watch the poms on St Kilda beach, icecream and cakes on Acland St, walk down St Kilda Pier, penguins (yes there are), refurbished Palais Theatre plus Australia's longest running Sunday Market Esplanade Market.
Trams - many visitors will have never been on a tram. A journey on one of our world famous tram including the new X'Trapolis trams is a must. The 109 is a good route out to Wattle Park. Consider a tram trip to any of the suggestions above and if they really like trams, how about the Melbourne Tram Museum in Hawthorn.
Public Transport Victoria
* If you take visitors to see something "briefly", they will often say they would like to see more which then gives you ideas for tomorrow.
Unique Places In Melbourne To Take Friends - some different albeit well known spots to go
Self Guided Idea's
Here are idea's where to send visitors without you going with them:
Ramsay Street | Neighbours
Puffing Billy Railway
City Circle Tram | Free Tourist Tram
Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
Old Melbourne Gaol
Royal Exhibition Building
Shrine of Remembrance
Finally, check what events are on in case there is something on.
What's On in Melbourne | By Date
21 Best Things to do in Melbourne
Whats to see in Melbourne
Where should I go in Melbourne
Where are the best places in Melbourne
What's the top spot in Melbourne
Where do we take visitors to in Melbourne
Where do we take guests to in Melbourne
Must see in Melbourne
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