The Great Ocean Road delivers one postcard-worthy view after another. There are a number of ways to explore this 150-mile (243-km) route on a single- or multi-day trip—to help you choose, here are your options.
Things to do in Melbourne
Welcome to Melbourne
Long in competition with Sydney for the title of Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne is often the people’s choice, consistently topping the list of the world’s most livable cities. There’s a lot to love, from its melting pot of inhabitants and distinctly European ambience, to its brunch scene, art galleries, and nightlife. Global audiences fill coveted seats at the Arts Centre Melbourne and sporting temples like Melbourne Cricket Ground and Etihad Stadium. But it’s not just about arts and sports. The very essence of Melbourne lies in its neighborhoods. Discover the city’s coolest bars and eateries tucked away in the CBD’s narrow laneways; shop in flashy South Yarra or along Fitzroy’s hipster Brunswick Street; or stroll the sandy beaches of St. Kilda, just a few miles outside the city. And only a day trip away are the Yarra Valley wine region, Mornington Peninsula, and Great Ocean Road.
Top 10 attractions in Melbourne
The Block Arcade is a heritage-shopping arcade that was built in the late 1800s. Restored to its original glory, the arcade still features its original mosaic tiled flooring, glass canopied ceiling and wrought iron and carved stone finishes. In conjunction with Melbourne’s Royal Arcade, The Block Arcade forms part of the city’s Golden Mile heritage walk that cuts through the center of the CBD and offers a unique shopping experience. Much loved shops within the arcade include the popular Hopetoun Tea Rooms (Melbourne’s original spot for high tea and still home to the city’s most drool-worthy window display!), Dafel Dolls & Bears toy shop and Haigh’s Chocolates. You can enter The Block Arcade from its official entrance on Collins Street or via Elizabeth Street (west) or the pedestrian laneway off Little Collins Street....
Take a walk through the showcase of old-world indulgence that lives in Melbourne’s Royal Arcade. With a lofty glass ceiling that streams natural light onto the delicate Victoriana metalwork and timeless diamond, this small arcade is a charming representation of heritage style amongst the crisp, modern surrounds of central Melbourne. Royal Arcade is meant for wandering and window shopping; for graceful movements, refined delights and generous gift buying. Extravagant boutique wares include Koko Black chocolate, Metal Couture jewels and Silk Store fashion. Even visitors disinterested in shopping may appreciate the arcade’s famous feature, Gaunt's clock, with its guarding statues on either side that sound hourly chimes....
Degraves Street is a short, narrow laneway that runs between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane in the heart of Melbourne. Though named for two pioneer merchants who moved from Hobart to Melbourne in 1849 – Charles and William Degraves – Degraves Street is more often attributed to William alone, who served as a member of Victoria’s Legislative Council. Degraves Street is one of Melbourne’s more unique arcades. Bluestone cobbles and an otherworld charm are the characteristics of Degraves Street. Tall, old-style buildings frame the street, with shops, bars, cafes and more lining the ground level, and apartments up above. Dining on Degraves Street tends towards Italian. Degraves Espresso is said to be one of the most quintessentially Melbourne café experiences. The Degraves Street underpass was built in the 1950s, connecting Flinders Street Station with Degraves Street. The underpass, much like the street it connects to, is full of character....
Melbourne’s grandest avenue, Collins Street is known for being a hub for prestigious boutiques and designer stores, theaters, global bank headquarters, high-end hotels and restaurants. Running for a mile between Elizabeth and King Street, Collins Street is the traditional main street of the city. On a visit, start at the east end, or “Paris end,” so named for its lavish Victorian-era buildings, erected in the 1880s when Melbourne grew recklessly during the Victorian gold rush. Collins Street has long been Melbourne’s center of financial activities. Some of the banks are housed in Victorian gothic builds nicknamed “Cathedrals of Commerce,” while others are in shining glass skyscrapers, some of which are Australia’s tallest, like 101 Collins Street. It’s worth seeing the late 19th century Old Stock Exchange, which looks straight out of Venice, and the ANZ Gothic Bank — all gold leaf ceilings and grand ceilings on the inside....
The Yarra River flows west for more than 240 km (148 miles) from its source in the Yarra Ranges, through rural and suburban Melbourne to the city center and Docklands, where it empties into Port Phillip Bay. Transport and pedestrian bridges cross the river, and you’ll find some of Melbourne’s most popular golf courses and parklands along its length. Melbourne was established on the banks of the Yarra River in 1835, and it was a vital source of water and transport for the city's settlers. Today the Yarra River flows past the pedestrian Yarra Promenade and Flinders Street Station in the heart of Melbourne. Rowers stroke past from the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens, and pleasure boats cruise up and down the river. Cycling and walking trails also mirror its path, and there are popular picnic grounds on the suburban fringe at Yarra Bend and Warrandyte....
If you didn't know that Melbourne is a sport-loving city, learn all about it at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). A Melbourne landmark, and one of the seven wonders of the sporting world, no visit to Melbourne is complete without witnessing a summertime cricket match or winter game of Australian Rules football at the MCG. Backstage tours on non-event days take visitors onto the hallowed turf and into the changing rooms of Australia’s largest stadium. A visit to the National Sporting Museum here reveals the MCG’s history as an Olympic Games venue, and particular sports are highlighted in several exhibits, including the alarmingly realistic Shane Warne Hologram. Exhibition spaces display the MCG’s historic collection of sports memorabilia. The cricket season launches at the MCG with the famous Boxing Day Test match. The most important fixture on the football calendar is held here on the last Saturday in September – the AFL Grand Final....
St Paul's Cathedral stands right in the heart Melbourne, opposite the cultural precinct Federation Square and diagonally across from Flinders Street Station, the city’s central transport hub. A metropolitical and cathedral church, it was built on the site of Melbourne’s first public Christian service that took place in 1835. Built in sandstone in the Gothic Transitional style, the Cathedral has the second tallest Anglican spire in the world and a magnificent organ that is believed to be the finest surviving work of British organ builder T.C. Lewis. Visitors are welcome to explore and worship at the Cathedral, and join the daily Evensong and other services. Sights of interest within its walls include the Moorhouse Tower Lantern, the processional doors, the Persian tile and the pentacles or five-pointed star. A range of gifts and religious items are on sale in the Cathedral Shop (10am-3pm) located inside the Cathedral....
One of only four giant observation wheels in the world, along with the London Eye, the Singapore Flyer and the Las Vegas High Roller, the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel has some big names to live up to, but with its 360-degree panoramic views reaching as far as the distant Mount Macedon and Dandenong mountain range, there’s no other attraction like it in the city of Melbourne. Riding in one of the 21 air-conditioned capsules is an experience in itself, reaching heights of up to 400 feet (120 meters or the equivalent of 40 stories) during the 30-minute tour and offering an unbeatable bird’s eye view of the surrounding Docklands and Port Phillip Bay from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The most atmospheric time to ride the Melbourne Star is during the evening hours, when the wheel’s specially engineered multi-colored LED-lighting creates a dazzling lightshow over the waterfront....
Federation Square is Melbourne's focal point and favorite meeting place. Outdoor cafes surround the square, which is dominated by a huge outdoor screen. People flock here to people-watch or catch don't-miss sport or activities on the screen, and it’s the location for Melbourne's most important public events and ceremonies. Back from the cafes you'll find the Australian art section of the National Gallery of Victoria, known as the Ian Potter Centre – the perfect place to get a sense of Australia’s art history from colonial days to the present day. Other cultural icons at Federation Square include cinema history at ACMI, art galleries and creative outdoor play spaces for kids....
Top activities in Melbourne
Frequently Asked Questions
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What are the top things to do in Melbourne?
What are the top activities in Melbourne?
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Discover the top things to do in Melbourne.
- Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne
- Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary Tour
- Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
- Phillip Island Penguin, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary from Melbourne
- Yarra Valley Balloon Flight at Sunrise
Discover the top things to do in Melbourne.
What are the top things to do near Melbourne?
Things to do near Melbourne
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