Great Ways To Spend A Day While In Melbourne, Australia

If you’re heading ‘down under’, a visit to the southern city of Melbourne is a must. Famed as a thriving metropolitan city with a slightly European feel and a cool urban vibe, it’s a destination that is well worth including on your Australian itinerary.

in melbourne australia

Melbourne is by no means a small city, so it’s good to have a few ideas of good things to do at the ready to you can make the most of your time there and get a real taste of what this part of the world has to offer. To get you started, here are a few ideas of great ways to spend a day while in Melbourne, Australia:

1. Explore Southbank and the city centre

Whenever you visit a city for the first time, it’s always a good idea to spend your first day visiting the main tourist drawcards to get your bearings and gauge what a place is like—and in Melbourne, Southbank and the central business district (CBD) are the best places to start.

A good landmark to start from is Flinders Street train station on the corner of Flinders St and Swanston St. From there, you can simply cross Princes Bridge to get to Southbank, or head straight into the streets and laneways of the city centre.

Southbank (which stretches down the southern bank of the Yarra River) is a great place to take in some amazing views of the city’s skyscrapers while enjoying the lively atmosphere. There are also plenty of riverside bars and restaurants which make an excellent pit stop.

Once you’ve taken a stroll down Southbank, cross the river to head into the city centre and wander the graffiti-lined laneways and cute arcades, while getting some retail therapy in. Melbourne is known for its excellent coffee, so make sure you grab a cuppa while there.

2. Day trip around the bay

Like Sydney which is situated around a harbour, Melbourne also boasts a waterside location on the banks of Port Phillip Bay, and if you’ll have a car while in Melbourne, I highly recommend taking a day trip to drive around the bay.

The large bay which spans just under 2,000 km2 is enclosed by the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas and offers tourists and holiday-goers plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, shopping, dining, wine-tasting, fishing, boating and water sports along the way. There’s something for everyone really!

While there isn’t a bridge connecting the two end points of the peninsulas, there is a car ferry that runs between Sorrento and Queensliff that will get you across the bay—it adds a bit fun to the journey and if you’re lucky you might even spot a dolphin or two!

3. Chill out waterside

Australia is known for its warm, mostly sunny climate, so if you’re in Melbourne during the warmer part of the year, it’s only fitting that you should spend a day outdoors cooling off waterside.

Heading to one of the many calm beaches scattered around Port Phillip Bay is always a popular option, but you could also consider heading to a surf beach (check out Phillip Island or the back beaches of the Bellarine or Mornington Peninsulas), visiting a water park or relaxing by a lake or river (Studley Park and Fairfield Boathouses are both great options).

4. Soak in the views from Mount Dandenong

Within relatively easy reach of the city you’ll find the Dandenong Ranges—a beautiful mountain range filled with towering Mountain Ash trees and lush ferns, quaint character-filled towns and popular tourist attractions including the famous Puffing Billy steam train ride.

While there, if you head to SkyHigh on Mount Dandenong you’ll be able to enjoy uninterrupted sweeping views looking back to Melbourne. If you have some time up your sleeve, you can also explore their gorgeous gardens or stop for a snack, drink or meal at the on-site kiosk or bistro while there.

5. Enjoy a drink or two at a boutique brewery, distillery or cellar door

Melbourne is also known as the food and drink capital of Australia, so sampling some of the local brews is a must. Whether you’re staying solely in the city or you’re heading a little further out of the city to explore more of the region, you’ll be able to find a boutique beverage producer almost anywhere.

If you fancy a beer, check out local craft breweries like Moon Dog in Abbotsford, the Colonial Brewing Co in Port Melbourne or Temple Brewing Company in Brunswick East. If spirits are more your thing, distilleries like Starward in Port Melbourne or the Little Lon Distilling Co in the city are both good options.

For wine enthusiasts, you’ll find the best experiences a short way out of Melbourne—the Yarra Valley is by far the most well-renowned wine region in the area, however Mornington Peninsula and the Bellarine Peninsula are also home to a long list of excellent vineyards, wineries and cellar doors.

However you decide to spend your time in Melbourne, as such a beautiful and diverse city, it’s sure to be a trip that will stick with you for a lifetime.

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