Home Discover Australia Visit Melbourne – The complete Guide

Visit Melbourne – The complete Guide

Visit Melbourne – The complete Guide

Melbourne is one of the largest cities in Australia, so it has a lot to offer you. Not to mention, Melbourne was voted “the world’s most liveable city” 7 years in a row! It is often referred to as the cultural and artistic capital of Australia thanks to its diversity and “European” vibes. The big debate as a traveller is often how to choose between Sydney and Melbourne. While Melbourne is smaller, this has some great benefits such as less time spent on public transport and a slightly lower cost of living, which is always good when you’re travelling! Take a read of our complete travel guide for Melbourne, including all the highlights and hidden gems. Visit this amazing place and experience Melbourne yourself!

How many days to visit Melbourne?

Minimum 2 days

Our highlights

Federation Square, St Kilda, the restaurants, the street art

Best time to visit

Summer, between November and February

How to get to Melbourne?

From Europe

If you’re travelling from Europe (or any other continent), obviously you will have to travel by plane. Be prepared for a long journey – around 24 hours – often with one or two transfers.

Always shop around for flights, and use flight comparison sites such as Skyscanner or Kayak for the best ticket prices. As with all flights, book your ticket as soon as possible and avoid school holidays for the best deals.

From another city in Australia

If you are already based in Australia, to visit Melbourne you have two options: via plane or bus. Avoid the rail network in Australia – it is not very well developed for long distances, and it can be super expensive for cross country trips. Generally, buses are cheaper (allow around $60 for a night bus from Sydney) but this will take much longer. If you book well enough in advance, flights can be relatively cheap from Sydney to Melbourne (not to mention much faster.) For domestic flights in Australia, the best low-cost airlines are Virgin and Jetstar.  

If you’re keen for a road trip and have time on your hands, you can also take your time and visit Melbourne from Sydney by van or car. Check out our Melbourne to Sydney Road Trip itinerary. If you are arriving from the west, see our itinerary for a Adelaide to Melbourne road trip to make sure you don’t miss anything on the road.

When to visit Melbourne and how long to spend there?

Best time to visit Melbourne

It is generally pleasant to visit Melbourne at any time of the year, but be prepared to experience all possible weather conditions in a very short period of time. We often talk about “four seasons in one day” and it’s not a myth! You could have sun in the morning, rain at noon and then a cloudy and windy afternoon.

How much time should I spend in Melbourne?

If time is limited, it is possible to visit Melbourne in two days. The city centre has plenty to offer, and you can see a lot of the main attractions on foot or with the City Circle Tram that goes around the city for free.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay longer, Melbourne is the perfect place to hang out. Whether you prefer museums and galleries, exciting nightlife or hikes and nature, you will find plenty to do!

What are the best things to see in Melbourne?

You wouldn’t go to Sydney without visiting the Opera House or Bondi beach, would you? In the same way, Melbourne has its famous highlights which you cannot miss during your visit:


Melbourne city centre is full of things to see. Explore Hosier Lane, one of the most famous streets for street art lovers. There are also many “laneways” and “arcades” as well as small hidden alleyways where you will find a string of quaint restaurants and shops. Do not forget to visit Chinatown for lunch during your time in the CBD.

Free guided trips: Every day at 10:30am or 2:30pm – Meeting point at the Sir Redmond Barry statue opposite of the Library, the guide will be wearing a green shirt. The tour takes between two and three hours and you don’t have to book it beforehand.

Federation Square

This large esplanade located near Flinders Street Station and Saint Paul’s Cathedral is considered the cultural centre of the CBD. Made up of museums, attractions, restaurants and cafes, Federation Square hosts all major events in the city. You will find among others, the tourist office, the Ian Potter Center (which is the first gallery dedicated to Australian art), the Australian Center for the Moving Image and the National Design Center specialising in Australian design. 

Historical buildings and museums

Melbourne is considered the cultural capital of Australia, and it definitely deserves the crown thanks to its many museums, cultural events all year round and important street art culture. Cultural institutions house acclaimed works and shows in the heart of the city. Among those not to be missed is the Melbourne Museum with its post-modern art and interactive spaces, the Immigration Museum which traces the stories of a cosmopolitan homeland, the ACCA which brings together exhibitions of contemporary and famous artworks, and the NGV with two centres and various exhibitions of modern, traditional and contemporary art. Museums are always a great option when it’s rainy in Melbourne or the weather is gloomy.

As for historic buildings, if one were to make a quick list, then there would be Flinders Street Station, the Houses of Parliament, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Town Hall. It’s worth at least walking by these buildings to admire their architecture.

Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the must-see tourist attractions in Melbourne. Internationally renowned for its beautiful gardens, the park is located a short walk from the city centre, on the south bank of the Yarra River. It extends over 38 hectares and its flora includes local and exotic species, more than 8,500 species in total. With beautiful lakes and guided tours to learn more about its unusual flowers and trees as well as a heritage walk on the history of the Koolin Aborigines, it takes at least half a day to fully enjoy the park.

The park welcomes 1.6 million visitors each year who come to admire the Australian flora. Do not forget to visit the Shrine of Remembrance (the “shrine of remembrance”) built in tribute to the Australians who died during the 1st World War.

Queen Victoria Market

It is Melbourne’s largest market with nearly 600 stalls selling food, clothing, accessories and souvenirs. Open from Thursday to Sunday.

The most impressive and certainly the cheapest market in Melbourne. Although in Summer we’d also recommend visiting the South Yarra market, Queen Victoria market has existed since 1878 and once even housed a cemetery. There are the usual fresh produce (often sold on Sundays at the end of the morning) meats and fish but as well as food trucks and souvenirs. On Wednesday evening, the market is surrounded by concerts, bars and take-out meals from around the world. These events take place during the summer from November to February until 10 p.m.

St Kilda

Located 30 minutes by tram from the city centre, you must go for a walk in the St Kilda district during your Melbourne visit. Although the water is generally quite cool, the beach offers an amazing view of the harbour and CBD buildings, especially at night when the lights dazzle in the dark. No visit to St Kilda would be complete without a visit to the iconic Luna Park – a theme park with rides and arcade games. If you visit Saint Kilda on a Sunday, a market takes place near Luna Park down past the beach, where local artists and craftspeople sell their handmade items. 

At the end of your day in Saint Kilda, head to St Kilda pier to witness the penguins return from their day at sea. The best time to see them is usually at sunset.

Brighton Beach and bath boxes

After St. Kilda, you can hop on a bus or train to another beach: Brighton beach! At Brighton beach, you will be treated to 82 colourful beach cabins called “bathing boxes” which are regular backdrops for holidaymakers’ photos in Melbourne. It is an attraction not to miss although it’s very popular at weekends and you will sometimes have to queue for a photo beside your favourite bathing box. The water is usually calm here, and the sand is of good quality.

Pink Lake

There are several “pink lakes” in Australia, but this one has the advantage of being close to the city and therefore very accessible during your Melbourne trip. Just minutes from the CBD, jump on a bus or train to get a closer look at this natural phenomenon. This pink colour is in fact due to the chemical reaction between the algae and salt contained in the lake. Although it isn’t pink all year round, generally the hotter the weather, the more chance you will have to admire its pink colour. Have a quick search online before your visit to make sure it’s pink during your time in Melbourne.

Street Art in Melbourne

The history of Melbourne Street Art

The first instances of graffiti originated in the United States in the early 1970s. Initially, their claim was political, spreading primarily in pubs, on doors, and in public restrooms. Then, between the late 1970s and early 1980s, words gave way to drawings. Melbourne quickly joined this trend. Artists began to emerge from this new wave, influenced by New York graffiti. They started to express themselves on the city streets, along train lines. They wanted to be visible!

Street art in Melbourne experienced a surge in popularity in the 2000s. It took the form of stencils, stickers, posters, murals, framing, or even wood blocking. Hosier Lane is often considered one of the first places where street art began to thrive.

Melbourne’s Best street Art

So for the curious, amateurs and enthusiasts, here’s a little taste of the Melbourne Street Art!

Hosier Lane

Hosier Lane is undoubtedly Melbourne’s most famous graffiti lane. As you walk around the CBD, you’ll easily come across it on this cobbled street. And it’s hard to miss! Street art is everywhere, from the ground to the top floors of buildings. There are even some on the garbage cans!
Nearest train station: Flinders Street Station

AC/DC Lane and Duckboard Place

For music fans, AC/DC Lane was named in 2004 to honor the Australian rock band. The works, often large in size, present all sorts of musicians, both real and imaginary.


It is certainly here that you will find the greatest works. Street art even extends to store fronts, at the request of traders.


The Fitzroy area also has a lot of graffiti, feel free to stop by whilst looking around some of the second-hand shops, or spend some time in the back streets! Also stop at Fitzroy’s Rose Car parking lot.
Not far from Fitzroy, the neighborhood of Brunswick is home to a hippie community. You marvel at beautiful murals highlighting the Aboriginal people.

If you want more, also take a detour to Queen Street, Blender Lane, Uniacle Court, Prahran or Footscray. These streets and neighborhoods were also bombed.

Activities and amusement parks

Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo was founded 150 years ago, making it the oldest zoo in Australia! Alongside kangaroos and koalas, you can see tigers, orangutans and more than 320 different species from around the world. Located a few minutes North of the CBD, it is easy to visit via train or tram.

The zoo has reconstructed tropical forests but also aquatic spaces for marine species: the little penguins of Victoria and the seals found on the Australian coast. The zoo also takes species conservation seriously by housing 21 endangered species, including rock wallabies, allowing them to be bred in captivity and then reintroduced into the wild.

Attend a cricket or Australian football (AFL) game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

To immerse yourself in the Australian sporting atmosphere, what could be better than going to see a match in Melbourne! At the Melbourne Cricket Ground you have cricket or Australian rules football matches all year round. Best to check the events schedule: www.mcg.org.au/whats-on/events-calendar

To purchase tickets, visit: premier.ticketek.com.au

Sea Life Aquarium

The Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium is a great way to discover marine life on a rainy day! Located on the edge of the Yarra Valley, just opposite South Bank, you can easily access it from the city centre. Count about $37 per adult for admission.

Eureka Skydeck

Admire the view by climbing up the 88 floors of the Eureka Skydeck Tower ($28 entry). If you’re an adrenaline junkie, for $12 extra, you can get a scare in “The Edge Room” which is a suspended glass cube! For information and tickets visit their website here.

Luna Park

A funfair-like amusement park in Melbourne. A mix between entertainment and dreams. Welcome to Luna Park! Located in St Kilda (south of Melbourne). This park is easily accessible by tram (35 min from the CBD). Full of colour and sensations, you can explore its attractions such as “Power Surge” or “Pharaoh’s Curse”, “Ghost Train”, “Mirror Maze” and many more. Although created in 1912, Luna Park has not said its last word! You will have the opportunity to ride the “Scenic Railway”, the oldest roller coaster in the world still in operation. Then, for lovers of wooden horses, the park offers a magnificent Baroque carousel that is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. A great day ahead.

A word of advice: Come after dark to enjoy the illuminated attractions. Timetables are available on the website: lunapark.com.au

Adventure Park (Geelong)

An hour’s drive from Melbourne, Adventure Park is considered Victoria’s largest amusement park with 20 attractions and rides. Karting, mini-golf, climbing, carousel and Ferris wheel, there is something for everyone.

Funfields water park

Open only during the summer (September to April), this water park located 40km from Melbourne has quite the reputation. It is actually one of the greatest record holders in the world. Some of the records it holds include:

  • Largest “Tornado Wave” (27.1 m in height and 201.16 m in length)
  • Longest “Kraken Wide” (109 m length)
  • Largest “Typhoon” (137 m in length)

Fundfields ranks as one of the most striking places in Australia. But the park doesn’t stop there! Other attractions remain to be explored. You will discover the “Dragon’s Fury” which offers a unique virtual reality experience and even an authentic summer toboggan. Relaxation areas where you can stroll and have lunch are also available. Ideal before leaving for a new attraction. Your swimsuit and thrills are waiting for you!

Just in case: We encourage you to check the opening hours before your visit at www.funfields.com.au.

Melbourne Cable Park: sport and relaxation

Want to climb peaks? Or to slide on the water? Discover a sports and initiation park where young and old alike are about to explore a whole new style of fun. A relaxed and family atmosphere near the lakes 45 minutes from Melbourne. This place will allow you to return to childhood by trying your hand at the Ninja course offered by the park. For the more adventurous, Cable Park mainly offers “wakeboarding” sessions for an attractive price, but also climbing at all levels.

Ace karts: an atypical park where speed reigns

Only 30 minutes from Melbourne, you’ll find Ace karts! The only place where you can reach the speed of 75 km/h on a kart. Created to look like two drops of water like a Formula 1 circuit, this site is one of the favorites in the region. Indeed, it is possible to test your skills in terms of driving day and night at an attractive price. What you let yourself be tempted for a few laps. So before getting on, take a look at the different karts that Ace karts offers. You will find three models including one to share with your teammate. Now all he has to do is join the track and let’s go!

Accommodation in Melbourne

In terms of accommodation budget, Melbourne is a little cheaper than Sydney. However, it’s still a large expense. Accommodation prices will depend on many criteria and in particular the neighbourhood where you are staying.

Depending on the length of your stay and the level of comfort expected, several options are available to you:

Hotels: Prices are quite high in the city centre. It will be necessary to move away in the surrounding districts to obtain a good price.

Hostels: This is usually the most popular option for backpackers, as it’s the most affordable. For a bed in a dorm room expect to pay around $25/$30 per night. For a private double room around $70/$90 per night. The best option is to book via a comparison site to find a hostel at the lowest price.

Airbnb : Renting an entire apartment is expensive, but you can also consider just renting a room. This will allow you to get to know locals upon your arrival as well as trial different neighbourhoods before deciding where to settle for a while.

Temporary subleases or roommates: Facebook groups are ideal for finding flat or room shares. Many people sublet their homes for a short time, which is ideal for backpackers. For long term rentals, Gumtree is also very useful. 

Couchsurfing or HelpX: We tend to forget it as we focus on meeting other travellers. But going to live with local people is the best way to immerse yourself in a new country. In exchange for a few hours of work a day or simply an exchange of culture, you will be accommodated with a sofa or a room for free! Some even include meals, and often hosts will show you their favourite spots around the city. 

Where to go out in Melbourne?

To enjoy the nightlife in Melbourne, there are plenty of unusual places to go out! It is THE Australian city of parties, trendy bars and everything you could want from a night on the town! In Melbourne, there is no curfew, they dance and eat all night long. No wonder it has been voted the most liveable city in the world. Life here is punctuated by numerous festivals, sporting and cultural events. You won’t find this anywhere else in Australia.

The best neighbourhoods to go out

  • CBD: In the heart of the city, you will have access to many opportunities, all while taking advantage of the tram zone for free.
  • Fitzroy & Collingwood: The “hipster” neighbourhoods, where excellent restaurants and nightclubs of all kinds abound.
  • Southbank: For a chic and relaxed atmosphere on the banks of the Yarra. It is also the meeting place for artists.
  • Carlton: The perfect place to rest on the terrace where the restaurants will make you drool!
  • St Kilda: The number one spot for backpackers who come to enjoy the beach, bars and nightlife.

Our selection of bars

Hidden bars

Who has never wanted to activate a book to open a secret door? Or to go through the Narnia wardrobe to discover another world? Whatever your reasons, if you are looking for a quirky place to have a drink with your partner or friends, we invite you to follow us. In the very heart of Melbourne are authentic, discreet and fun places that we have selected for you.

Trinket87 Flinders Ln, Melbourne: Psst… The Narnia wardrobe is here!
Berlin Bar – 2/16 Corrs, Melbourne: A brick wall and a bell… It’s up to you to ring it!
State of Grace 27 King St, Melbourne: What will be the right book to open the door?

“Underground” and trendy bars

What we love about Melbourne is its varied atmospheres! Each bar is unique and has its own identity. You can find everything there: the surprising as well as the unforgettable.

Black Pearl304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy: Simply sensational! It was ranked as one of the best bars in the world by Word’s Best Bar Award in 2018 (very serious ranking). So, make the most of it and let yourself be served by a master of cocktails.
Section 8 27/29 Tattersalls Ln, Melbourne: “Underground” atmosphere located in a small outdoor street. In the evening, there is a DJ who will have you dancing to House music.
FerdyDuke31 Tattersalls Ln: This bar offers a cosy atmosphere hidden in a graffiti-covered building that overlooks Section 8. Head up to the second floor to take advantage of their pitchers of cocktails.
Whitehart Bar22 Whitehart Ln, Melbourne: In the intimacy of Melbourne hides a cozy place where a shaded terrace and music mix. Perfect for lounging with friends.
Arbory ​​– 1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne: Located on the banks of the Yarra, this chic-looking bar offers an exceptional view of the river. A wonderful moment to share at sunset.
Father’s Office249 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne: One of Melbourne’s best-known establishments! Here, the locals come to meet around a beer after their day’s work. An ideal atmosphere to meet new people.
Blue Bar330 Chapel St, Prahran: The place has an amazing rooftop bar (available for private functions). In terms of music, hip-hop and R&B fans will be delighted!
Prahran Hotel – 82 High St, Prahran: Within its unique architecture, this old iconic Pub is home to a choice of three bars for dinner or drinks. Since opening its doors in the mid-1800s, the Prahran makes a point of remaining faithful to its historical roots, while maintaining the soul of a local Pub, despite the addition of 17 enormous concrete pipes stacked to the sky that has drawn attention from around the world. They are designed to imitate a stack of beer kegs and this striking external facade doubles as an internal dining space.

Clubs & nightclubs

In the centre of Melbourne

New Guernica 322 Little Collins St, Melbourne: This club is a local haunt and is definitely a place to remember. An incredible experience awaits you!
Story Ville 185 Lonsdale St, Melbourne: Nothing is more exotic than this place where huge mushrooms grow. We did not dream! Its fabulous decoration hides an exceptional mastery of cocktails. Moreover, do not hesitate to discover the “Fire Balls”: so well known that you will not see them on the map.
Club Retro383 Lonsdale St, Melbourne: Claiming to be one of the best nightclubs in the city, Club Retro is a rite of passage in Melbourne.
Spice Market Beaney Ln, Melbourne: Known for its theme nights, we advise you to take a look at the site to ensure your entry (and costume, if necessary). Be prepared!


The Night Cat 137/141 Jonhston St, Fitzroy: Located in Fitzroy, this establishment welcomes new artists every day.
Ya Ya’s99 Smith St, Fitzroy: Change of atmosphere! For those who would like to wiggle their hips to festive music, welcome to Ya Ya’s Club! It has two rooms for a successful evening.


Revolver229 Chapel St, Prahran: A iconic Melbourne techno club! Who has never been to the Revolver? Certainly not you. See you on Sunday evening for an unforgettable night.


Lucky Coq179 Chapel St, Windsor: This is a dance bar that has been able to retain its customers. We go back time and time again!

Where to eat in Melbourne: our favourite spots

Melbourne is a multicultural and rich city! The culinary offering is the same, so you can also taste Chinese, Indian, Greek, Lebanese or French specialties. For that, go to Chinatown in the CBD, to the cosmopolitan streets of Fitzroy, or to Lygoon Street to eat Italian.

For those who prefer to cook, the best option is to head to Queen Victoria Market to stock up on fresh produce.

Asian restaurants

Chin Chin125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne: A great place to sample typical Southeast Asian dishes. Here, they don’t take reservations but do not hesitate to come early. Indeed, their dishes are the envy of passers-by.

Juicy Bao178 Little Bourke St, Melbourne: Right in the heart of Chinatown, delicious baos await. And for those who are still unaware of this flavour, we leave you the leisure to discover it. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised!

Blue Chillies182 Brunswick St, Fitzroy: Located in Fitzroy, this restaurant offers modern Malaysian dishes whose finesse will delight your taste buds.

Italian restaurants

400 Gradi99 Lygon St, Brunswick East: This Italian restaurant has already been talked about a lot. Head to the Brunswick district to discover the art of pizza (cooked at 400°)! Authentic and renowned, this restaurant offers cookery lessons to those who are interested.

Mexican restaurants

Hotel Jesus174 Smith St, Collingwood: A Mexican restaurant like you’ve never seen! Hotel Jesus shows off its tasty cuisine, in a colourful presentation.

Naked for Satan285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy: This little restaurant doubles as a bar where you can grab some snacks. However, its greatest asset lies in its delicious mulled wine to sip on the rooftop.

Vegetarian and vegan restaurants

Sister of Soul73 Acland St, St Kilda: One of Melbourne’s most highly recommended vegetarian restaurants! We advise you to take a trip there and enjoy the beaches of St Kilda at the same time.

Crossways Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant309/325 Bourke St, Melbourne: Just as highly rated, this establishment offers an original formula where every day equals a new buffet.

Vegie Bar 380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy: It is very rare for a restaurant to win unanimous support and yet the Vegie Bar rose to the challenge with flying colours. It is undoubtedly a rising star.

Alternative restaurant

Witches in Britches Theatre Restaurant84 Dudley St, West Melbourne: is a unique experience, combining dinner, interactive theater, and fantastic entertainment. The restaurant’s atmosphere is imbued with mystical charm, with waiters and waitresses dressed as witches and wizards, creating a magical ambiance from the moment you arrive. The decor and layout of the place transport you to a fairy-tale and theatrical world. Throughout the meal, you can expect cabaret acts, magical performances, and interactions with theatrical characters, ensuring continuous entertainment throughout the evening.

Where to shop in Melbourne?

Melbourne is known for its diverse and unique shopping options, with a variety of places to shop for clothes. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Melbourne Central: This large shopping center in the city center features a wide range of popular fashion brands as well as department stores like Myer, David Jones and Target.
  • Chapel Street: This trendy street in the suburb of Prahran is home to many independent boutiques and designer stores, offering a mix of local and international fashion brands.
  • Emporium Melbourne: This high-end shopping center features a variety of luxury fashion brands and designer stores, as well as a range of high-end department stores like Harrolds and David Jones.
  • The Block Arcade: This historic shopping arcade in the city center features a mix of high-end and independent boutiques, as well as vintage and retro clothing stores.
  • Brunswick Street: This street in the suburb of Fitzroy is known for its bohemian and alternative fashion stores, offering a mix of vintage, retro and indie clothing.
  • For the price of a tram ride, take a trip to Salvos (Salvation Army) or Vinnies! These “OppShop” are charity shops where a shirt or sweater will cost you less than 10 dollars among many other treasures waiting to be found. You can find essentials for your next road trip at a lower cost, items for a new flat such as bedding or cushions or even clothing for job interviews.  They hide on Sydney Road among other more hipster and expensive vintage shops. Oppshops mean you get new clothes, while investing the few dollars you have in charity all while reusing clothing that would have ended up in landfill – fashion that doesn’t cost the earth, in more ways than one!

Public transport: Get around the city

It is very easy to get around central Melbourne. You can get around for free thanks to the tram that goes around the city. You will see “Free zone” displayed on the zones concerned.

For the rest of the city, you will need to buy a Myki card at the airport or at a “7 eleven” store. It will cost you $6 for a normal fare (or $3 for children). To use it, you will have to recharge it then “top up” / “top off” i.e. scan it when entering and then remember to scan it again when going down! There are two formulas.

  • a Myki Money allows you to pay by card. For $4.60 you can travel by tram, bus or train for two hours. The daily rate is blocked at $9.20 and on weekends, holidays and evenings after 6 p.m. at $6.7.
  • the Myki Pass is for people who use public transport very often. It is therefore a weekly or monthly subscription.

What to do in the Melbourne area?

How to explore Melbourne’s area ?

By car

The car is a good way to explore the surroundings of Melbourne. The distances are relatively short and there are many accommodation options. A car rental in Melbourne costs between $50 to $80/day depending on the model.

By van / Motorhome

By van or motorhome, you will have more freedom and flexibility in your travels. It is very easy to find spots to spend the night in Victoria, thanks to WikiCamps and CamperMates apps. The price for renting a van in Melbourne varies greatly depending on the season. Pay attention to school holidays and long weekends. Also note that many companies impose a minimum rental period (especially in high season).

Join a Tour

If you do not have a vehicle and do not want to rent one, there are many tour operators offering 1 to 3 day trips to visit the region. Count at least $120 for a day trip. The advantage is that you don’t have to worry about anything. A shuttle is usually provided from your accommodation and meals are included.

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is a coastal road stretching more than 400 km. It begins around 90 minutes from the centre of Melbourne and promises many exciting views, stops and photo opportunities. In addition to the famous surf beach of Bells Beach and the striking cliffs at the 12 apostles, you can discover many other spots along the Great Ocean Road.

If you don’t have a vehicle, a one-day organised tour allows you to cover the entire coast for around $150 per person. A shuttle picks you up at your hotel in Melbourne (around 7am), and you return at the end of the day.

Things to do along Great Ocean Road

  • The 12 Apostles are rock formations more than 45 meters high and are one of the most famous sites in Australia. Although there are now only 8, it is postcard-perfect stop not to be missed. As a tip, for the best picture, try to visit them early in the morning.
  • Take a hike in Great Otway National Park. In addition to its magnificent waterfalls, it is home to Cape Otway Lighthouse, which was built in 1848 making it the oldest lighthouse in Australia still standing. This Southernmost point is also popular with koalas.
  • Stop to admire the views of Bay of IslandsThe GrottoLondon Bridge and The Arch
  • Enjoy the city of Apollo Bay with its numerous cafes and seafood restaurants
  • Observe the whales at Warrnambool between May and September
  • Visit the wild animals that live in the extinct volcano Tower Hill Game Preserve
  • Observe koalas in the trees!

The Yarra Valley

Just an hour from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is one of Victoria’s main wine-growing regions. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the largest wine regions in the world, with almost 80 estates! This is where you can taste some of Australia’s finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and sparkling wines. That’s all there is to it. Guided vineyard tours allow you to discover the region and enjoy tastings.

Guided tours of vineyards allow you to discover the region and enjoy tastings. Count $140/pers for a full-day Yarra Valley tour with tasting and lunch from Melbourne.

Things to do in Yarra Valley

  • Visit Healesville and Warburton, the main localities of the region
  • The Eltham market on Sundays with a variety of fresh, local and seasonal produce.
  • Go Hiking in Warrandyte State ParkYarra Ranges National Park and Kinglake National Park
  • See the Moët et Chandon house, famous for its sparkling wine
  • Visit the Healesville Sanctuary Zoo and learn about Australia’s flora and fauna in a calm and entertaining environment.
  • Take a tour of the numerous surrounding vineyards
  • Participate in the Grape Grazing in February which celebrates the beginning of the harvest.
  • Drive to Yering Gorge Cottage (across the golf course) in the late afternoon, just before sunset. Hundreds of kangaroos will be waiting for you!

Phillip Island

One of the most popular destinations in the area, located 140km from Melbourne, Phillip Island is famous among Australians and tourists alike. If you are looking for a calm sea for a refreshing swim, the Northern part is ideal for swimming as well as kayaking and paddling. For surf, lovers head to the south side! Count approx. $140/ pers. for a one day guided tour of the Phillip Island Koala Reserve and entry to the Phillip Island Penguin Parade.

Things to do on Phillip Island

  • Attend the famous parade of penguins at dusk to witness the cute pygmy penguins return to the shore after their day at sea.
  • Take a surf lesson
  • Hike to the summit of Cape Woolamai for a panoramic view of the island
  • Watch the sea ​​lions land on Seal Rocks
  • Go to the 100 Miles Road Race or Moto GP circuits for cars and motorbikes
  • Spot the koalas in the trees of the Koala Conservation Center.

Mornington Peninsula

Just a 1-hour drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is a beautiful area with Mediterranean vibes due to its picturesque beaches and seaside restaurants.

Things to do in Mornington Peninsula

  • Bathe on the beaches of Sorrento and Portsea
  • Check out the Beach Boxes (colourful huts) of Mount Martha, less known than those of Brighton Beach, are also pretty. 
  • Play golf as Mornington Peninsula is considered Australia’s number one golf destination
  • Point Nepean National Park, at the end of the peninsula, overlooking the Bass Strait on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other. In this park you will find secluded beaches, beautiful lookouts, a cemetery and fortifications from the 19th century. From Gunner’s Cottage, the loop is 6km long. It is also possible to walk only 3 km and then return by bus.
  • The Bushrangers Bay Walking Track is one of the most spectacular trails in Victoria. From the Cape Schanck Car Park you walk along the coast towards Bushrangers Bay (a bay that is only accessible on foot). You can cool off with a swim on an almost deserted beach. At low tide, you can see the rock pools. On foot, the trail is less than 6 km.
  • Visit the Port Phillip Heads Marine Reserve to observe dolphins and swim with sea lions (from $90)
  • Go to Flinders, a former fishing village of the 19th century
  • Wine tasting at the Montalto estate.


Located 3 hours north-west of Melbourne, this park and its mountain ranges offer incredible panoramic views, waterfalls and hikes. From Melbourne, a tour to the Grampians costs around $140/pers. Tours include a hike to the Grand Canyon, MacKenzie Falls and Silverband Falls, as well as kangaroo and bird watching.

Things to do at the Grampians

  • Stop along the way in the cities of Beaufort, Ararat and Moyston for an ice cream
  • Start at the tourist village of Halls Gap at the foot of the mountains
  • Take a postcard-perfect photo at the Balconies
  • Enjoy the lake view at the Boroka lookout and the sunset from the Reed Lookout
  • Enjoy Wine tasting in one of the cellars of the surrounding towns.

French Island National Park

Located in Western Port Bay, the island is only 60km south of Melbourne. It is much smaller and less touristy than Phillip Island, so in less than 30 minutes by ferry, you will arrive at this haven of relaxation and tranquillity.

Things to do in French Island National Park

  • Surround yourself in nature by Camping under the stars
  • Explore the island by bike or on foot
  • Go koala spotting! The island is the largest natural reserve of koalas in the area.

Wilsons Promontory

Located 2 and a half hours drive from Melbourne,  Wilson Promontory National Park  – nicknamed “The Prom” – offers more than 80 km of hiking trails as well as beautiful scenery, picnic spots and wildlife to be discovered. Allow 1 to 2 days to visit the park and spend a night in the Melbourne area. For a guided tour of Wilson Promontory Park, allow around $140/person for a 10-hour excursion (with audio-guide).

Things to do at Wilsons Prom

  • Take a one-hour hike following the trail of Loo-Errn Track
  • Observe the many birds on the Promontoire circuit (2 to 3 hours walk)
  • Stroll through the eucalyptus forests on the Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk in the middle of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats.
  • Go Kayaking, surfing or snorkelling in the Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park.

Things to do in the Melbourne area

Our selection of the best things to do and see outside Melbourne, so you don’t miss a thing!

Practical Information

Events and festivals

The city has many events and festivals throughout the year. These include :
Melbourne Cup Carnival (November)
Melbourne New Year’s Eve (31 Dec)
Melbourne International Comedy Festival (April)
Melbourne International Film Festival (July)
White Night Melbourne (August)


If you stay more than a few days, it is better to get a week’s Myki subscription to save on transportation. Also remember to take warm clothes, a raincoat and an umbrella. Layers are a good idea, so you can take them off when the sun comes out! Now all you have to do is enjoy!
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