Chances are that when you’ve chosen to visit Australia, you’ve decided to fly into the beautiful city of Sydney. However, why not catch a further domestic flight to Melbourne to Australia’s cultural mecca. You’ll be spoilt for choice with what to do once you’re there! Although slightly cooler than Sydney, with slightly lesser amounts of tourists, you’ll see the urban culture of Australia.
Australians love their sports, whether it’s AFL, NRL, or tennis, Aussies love it. However, Melbournians live and breathe for AFL. This really is an unmissable experience, as you’ll get to really see the sports culture of Melbourne during AFL season. For the full experience wrap yourself in a team scarf and head down to the MCG stadium, grab a beer and a meat pie with tomato sauce, and cheer your heart out.
If you’re not a fan of AFL, Melbourne plays host to other sporting events such as the Formula One Australian Grand Prix, and the Rugby League World Cup. If you’re visiting in November I would definitely recommend stopping by Flemington Racecourse for the Melbourne Cup, “the race that stops the nation.”
You can’t visit Melbourne without taking a trip down Hosier Lane. Melbourne is known for its bustling urban culture, and vibrant creative freedom and Hosier Lane is the perfect embodiment of this. On both sides of the windy cobblestone lane, you’ll struggle to find even a square inch of the walls that haven’t been spray painted. The lanes are not one bit dodgy, nor will they make you feel uncomfortable, they’re bright and showcase street art in a way that strays far from vandalism. Also, the colourful lane makes a fantastic backdrop for Instagram. For more street art in Melbourne check out the official guide to street art here.
If you’re caught in one of Melbourne’s gloomier days, spend your day wandering around the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). The gallery is Australia’s oldest, and most visited art museum with around 2.5million people visiting each year. As such a prestigious landmark in Australia, the NGV constantly plays host to incredible exhibitions from the likes of Andy Warhol and Ai Wei Wei, the House of Dior exhibition, and Hokusai. International exhibitions are housed at NGV International on St Kilda Road.
However, don’t just spend your day exploring the new exhibition; most people will forget that the gallery has a permanent collection! The NGV’s Australia collection will take you on a historical trip through Australia’s history with Aboriginal art and artifacts, Colonial Australian art, and Australian contemporary will all be on a show.
If you’re looking to get a bird’s eye view of Melbourne but don’t exactly have the money to drop on a drone, head on up to the Eureka Skydeck. Yes, this is a very touristy thing to do but there’s no other real way to see Melbourne from 88 stories above street level. General entrance will cost around $11.50 to $20 depending on your ticket type. If you’re looking to celebrate a special event, the Euerka Tower also has a fine dining restaurant on top of the tower, Eureka 89.
Chances are you’ve heard of Australia’s infamous Bondi Beach right? That’s unlucky, since that it’s in a different state to Melbourne. But if you’re still looking to hit the beach in Melbourne, St. Kilda is your best choice. As with most beaches, the best time to visit is during spring and summer. You’ll see that St. Kilda shares a resemblance to Venice Beach, California with the shared footpath with bicycles, joggers, rollerbladers, and walkers. The waters are filled with kite surfers, windsurfers, and swimmers all looking to cool off from the summer heat.
Don’t forget that when you head to the breakwater you’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of the penguin colony that calls the breakwater home!
The following guest post was written by Alex Johnson, a blogger and lover of the little things in life, from delicious brunch spots to interior design. Recently moving to Sydney, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and others along the way.
Lee Rosales is the woman behind the Lifestyle and Travel Blog http://ilovepaars.com and www.mommalee.com . Follow her adventures as a solo parent and a solo female traveler.