Hello and welcome! Last time I wrote about my day on the Great Barrier Reef, which was awesome! I also promised I would tell you about my Melbourne highlights so here are my top 7 amazing things to do in Melbourne.
Melbourne is a big, sprawling city and a lot of people call it home and there is a lot going on. It’s a case of so much to see so little time. These are just a few highlights from our visit…
We were lucky enough to rent an apartment in the regenerated Docklands Harbour area for a week. It was great value for money and I recommend putting Docklands high on your list of places to stay if you plan to stay in Melbourne for any period of time. Throughout our travels we are self catering as it helps keep our costs down & allows us to spend our money on travel experiences e.g. wine tasting, kayaking etc. Nearly all of our apartments have laundry facilities – also essential when travelling for this length of time.
The view from the apartment was stunning particularly at night as the lights of the other apartment, office blocks and the impressive Bolte Bridge shone off the water. It was a relatively quiet area and has a Woolworth’s supermarket an easy 10 minute walk away. There were plenty of bars and restaurants for us to visit had we wanted to. The area had good tram links to the wider city making it easy to get about.
You’ll see from the the images below, that the Bolte Bridge does dominate the skyline in this part of the city. It makes a great place to visit as the sunsets behind it just as you are making your way to your apartment, bar or restaurant.
Number 2 of my 7 amazing things to do in Melbourne is checkout the Street art. It is everywhere in Melbourne in its various forms. By its very nature, street art changes frequently with artists painting over the work of others. But don’t be fooled in thinking you’ll only be seeing TAGing or graffiti. Whilst there are areas that have these forms of street art, many have full scale artwork – murals. In my opinion, these are very talented individuals whose work is fantastic.
I’ve included some of my favourite pieces of artwork here. I recommend the following as streets to see great artwork. Sadly there are no guarantees that you will see the same pieces as we were treated to, but hey who knows you may see something better! I’ve added my own captions, the artists may have their own names for these pieces of art, but these captions worked for me.
Don’t forget to take your camera!
What an amazing place the Queen Victoria Market is… and its huge! I’d bet it sells pretty much everything. Make time to visit as you will be in for a treat! As you can probably tell from the images below, we loved the food hall. Butchers, fishmongers, charcuteries, fromageries, bakers, patisseries, green grocers, hot food, cold food, ready to eat, or ready to take home. It is one of those places that feels like it has it all, because it has the core ingredients for a great meal. We selected items for a delicious picnic which we took to the botanical gardens. It was a real treat! I highly recommend it.
The National Gallery of Victoria is a wonderful gallery – it has stunning works of art from all over the world and the building that houses the collection is architecturally very impressive. There were beautiful pieces that caught my eye from the 14th century to the 21st century and lots in between. It really is an eclectic mix of popular art of its day. I’ve provided a couple of modern examples below but it is definitely something that should be on your itinerary when visiting Melbourne.
NOTE: There is a separate gallery for modern art, if that is something you are interested in seeing.
We had so much fun kayaking the Yarra River at sunset. And, what a sunset we were treated to! I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t a little bit nervous at the thought of getting in & out of the kayak without making a fool of myself or getting wet! I’m no spring chicken, but I’m happy to say all went smoothly. We had a brilliant paddle – it was excellent being able to see the city from a different perspective – from the waterline. It was great exercise, but at the pace we were going not strenuous. I might have had a different view if we were paddling against the tide. I’m really looking forward to my next kayaking opportunity!
Brighton beach is great! It has a wonderful row of circa 80 bathing huts – all brightly painted looking fabulous whatever the weather. Bathing huts have stood on the beach for over a hundred years. A reminder of a bygone era that has stood the tests of time and is still very much loved today. A few images from the beach are below. It is a lovely beach to wander along. I recommend getting there early to avoid the crowds. You could then jump on the bus across to St Kilda.
Last but by no mean least in my list of 7 amazing things to do in Melbourne, is visit St Kilda. This small corner of the world has a an eclectic mix of things. I’ve been trying to think of a word to describe the town and grundgy is the best I can come up with. It is a bit worn around the edges. However, along the beach and on the pier is a hive of activity. It was great wandering along in the afternoon sun, watching people playing beach volleyball, kite barding and wind surfing. After dark you’ll get the opportunity to see the tiny penguins coming ashore…
TIP 1: Be prepared, they do smell rather fishy & you will probably smell them (like I did) before you see them.
TIP 2: They are very hard to photograph being so camera shy. In the end, I simply watched as bit by bit under the safety of darkness they came ashore.
The trams are a great means of getting around the city and seeing the sights too. There is a free tram that you can use to see the main sights in Melbourne’s city centre – it also takes in some of the Docklands area. All the other routes are paid for using a pre-paid card. They use a tap on tap off system. It actually quite a cheap means of getting around.
I found this a really useful website when I was visiting the city to help me understand the tram system and network.
TIP: You won’t be surprised to read that at commuter times, they get incredibly busy. So avoid these periods and you should be fine.
These are my Melbourne highlights and what I think are 7 amazing things to do in Melbourne. Enjoy! Next time I will tell you about our time in Sydney. Thanks for reading! Where will your next adventure take you? Warmest wishes, Alicia.