All you need to know for an exciting and fun-filled holiday in the city of Melbourne, Australia.
Guest Post by Agness and Cez of eTramping.com
Melbourne is considered one of the world’s most liveable cities, so naturally Agness and Cez intrigued to see what it has to offer. It certainly didn’t let them down. This city is a truly amazing place full of history, culture, and bursting with colourful life and festivals. There’s something to interest everyone, from art, to history, to nature, and fine food. No matter the weather (and Melbourne is famous for experiencing all four seasons in one day!) there’s always going to be something interesting to do. The only challenge you will find when planning a visit to Melbourne is deciding what activities to cram into your itinerary. Here’s a few of the places they selected to visit in Melbourne.
The Queen Victoria Market is an ideal place to start. It is a vibrant community of fresh fruit and vegetable sellers, but it also has rows and rows of stalls containing clothing, watches, souvenirs, and affordable Australian keepsakes. Take a stroll through the aisles and enjoy the rich sounds of sellers and bustling crowds, and busking musicians. Pick up a few Australian souvenirs, and enjoy some fresh market food. There is a fun, playful liveliness at the market, and something to delight your senses at every turn.
There’s always something going on at Fed Square (as the locals call it). Huge screens provide an outdoor setting to watch sporting matches. In addition, there are galleries to visit that give a nice glimpse of Melbourne’s artistic culture. It’s a great place to start when you want to be introduced to Melbourne.
The Royal Botanical Gardens, dating back to 1846, are a big part of Melbourne’s history and daily life. Hundreds of people jog around the perimeter on their lunch break (mind the big hill at one end!). In one section of the gardens you will find the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, where concerts and the famous Christmas Eve Carols by Candlelight take place. In the summer months, people book in to watch open air cinema and theatre productions in the extensive grounds. It’s a beautiful place to visit. There are so many varieties of plants. Enjoy a stroll through the extensive grounds, then stop at the café to enjoy some of Melbourne’s famously good coffee.
If History is your thing, then a trip to Sovereign Hill will be perfect for you. It’s approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Melbourne City – but we think it is well worth the visit. This town is set up to look just like a town during the gold rush era. Visitors can have a go at panning for gold, interact with costumed volunteers, visit olden-days shops, an old school room, and even get dressed up to have a vintage photograph taken. It’s a wonderful day out and gives a great hands-on experience of Australia’s history. Definitely set aside an entire day to wander the dirt streets of Sovereign Hill, and allow yourself to become lost in another time.
There are many amazing zoos in the world, but Healesville Sanctuary is filled with native Australian animals. A visit here allows you to experience Australia’s wildlife up close. If you’ve ever wanted to see a wombat, a kangaroo, a wedged-tailed eagle, or any number of Australian creatures, then this is the place to go. You can see them all, and learn about the amazing animals that call the harsh Australian habitats home.
The Dandenong Ranges are about an hour’s drive out of Melbourne city. Here you’ll follow winding roads through thick, green forests of eucalyptus trees and dense ferns. There are so many walking tracks hidden amongst the trees. You could go for a walk amongst the forests, then sit down to an amazing coffee or tea, or some delicious food at one of the delightful cafes nestled into the hilltop villages. One such village is Sassafras. Its streets are lined with little gourmet shops, and superb cafes. Two worth mentioning are Ripe and Miss Marples. Ripe is a gourmet café with shelves filled with jams and sauces, and they have a menu to make your stomach rumble. You can sit at a long table by the fireplace or enjoy a seat out on the balcony where you can look out at the forest. Miss Marples (named after the famous Agatha Christie character) is THE place for scones. They are the fluffiest, most tastiest delicacies you could ever hope to find. Let the flavours melt in your mouth while snuggled into this cosy, vintage-style café.
A visit to Melbourne would not be complete without a stroll through the arcades. Melbourne is famous for its appealing laneways and arcades, where hundreds of cafes and boutique shops wait to be discovered. It is easy to spend a number of hours just wandering through the arcades. You will find cafes and boutique little shops tucked away out of sight – easily missed if you’re not on the lookout. This city really is a city of hidden gems. Strolling the arcades is an activity for either a rainy day or a day of warm summer sun.
If food is your favourite thing (and Melbourne has a multitude of great foodie places) then Lygon Street really is the place to go. It is just a little outside the central city district and is famous for Italian food and the Italian community. A great place to visit to experience community, as well as delicious and affordable food. Try Papa Gino’s for excellent pizza and pasta dishes, then take a short walk to Brunetti’s for dessert – and let yourself be overwhelmed by the number of delectable and tempting desserts on offer. There are literally rows and rows of tempting desserts that look as if they just appeared out of a gourmet magazine. You may need to plan for more than one visit!
A great way to gain a deeper appreciation of Australia’s heritage and Indigenous culture, is to take part in the Aboriginal Heritage Walk. Here you will become immersed in an Indigenous cultural experience and gain great insight into the history of the first peoples of Australia. Follow the lead of your experienced guide and be prepared to learn about a significant part of Melbourne’s culture and history.
After a week in Melbourne, we can truly say that yes, this is rightly one of the most liveable cities in the world. It is a beautiful city, with a rich, diverse culture and such beautiful sights to see. There is always something to see or to do, always something to delight every one of your senses. With so much to take in, and yet so little time, we know we will definitely be back here one day. There is so much more to experience in Melbourne. We hope that you have felt the irresistible appeal of this city, and will perhaps plan your own journey through Melbourne sometime soon. You will not be disappointed. Just remember to pack an umbrella for rain, and a hat for the sun, and be prepared to embrace the city of four seasons in one day.
About The Authors: Agness and Cez are best travel companions and creators of eTramping.com – a travel blog packed with tips and tricks on how to travel intensively and uniquely around the world. They have visited over 50 countries together, including such mysterious places as North Korea or Tibet. Follow their journeys on Instagram, Pepo channel and Facebook to learn how to explore the world like pros.
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