Where to Go: Melbourne’s marvellous attractions
■ ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE. Arts Centre Melbourne is the flagship of both Melbourne and Australia’s performing arts, and is the focal point of Melbourne’s vibrant cultural precinct. Arts Centre Melbourne showcases the best of both local and international acts, ranging from theatre, live music, opera and more.
100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. 1300 182 183. artscentremelbourne.com.au ■ CITY CIRCLE TRAM. This free tram service offers a good introduction to the heart of Melbourne’s business district, taking in many of the city’s attractions. A recorded message on the early-model trams explains the sites you are passing, along with a little of their history. The service runs in both directions every 12 minutes.
Sun–wed 10am–6pm, Thu–sat 10am–9pm. yarratrams.com.au
■ EUREKA SKYDECK 88. Awe-inspiring views are on offer at Eureka Skydeck 88 from the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere at Melbourne’s iconic Eureka Tower. Two dedicated lifts propel visitors to Level 88 in under 40 seconds. Here you’ll find the world’s only Edge Experience—a switchable glass cube which slides out from the building offering amazing views down below.
7 Riverside Quay, Southbank. Daily 10am–10pm (last entry 9.30pm). Adults $20, concessions $15.50, children (4–16 years) $11.50 and family (two adults and two children) $46. Additional charges for the Edge. 9693 8888. eurekaskydeck.com.au
■ FEDERATION SQUARE. Home to major cultural attractions, world-class events, tourism experiences and an exceptional array of restaurants, bars and speciality stores, Federation Square is the heart and soul of Melbourne.
Cnr Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne. 9655 1900. fedsquare.com
■ MELBOURNE STAR. Experience Melbourne in a whole new way, located in the city’s waterfront precinct of Docklands, the Melbourne Star provides a unique introduction to the city, with all its colour, culture and eccentricities. Day or night, you’ll feel on top of the world as the Star glides on its gentle arc through the sky.
Ground Floor, 101 Waterfront Way, Docklands. Daily from 11am–10pm, with last admission at 9.30pm. Adults $36, concessions $28, children (under 4 years) free, children (5–15 years) $22 and family (two adults and two children) $90. 8688 9688. melbournestar.com
■ MELBOURNE ZOO. Set on 22 hectares close to the heart of the city, the Melbourne Zoo has more than 320 wildlife species from Australia and around the world. The Australian Bush exhibit showcases Australia’s wildlife. There are free Meet the Keeper talks daily between 10.30am–3.30pm.
Elliott Avenue, Parkville. Daily 9am–5pm. Adults $32.50, children (4–15 years) $16.30 or free (on weekends, Victorian public holidays and Victorian Government school holidays), children (under 4 years) free and family (two adults and two children) $82.10. 9285 9300. zoo.org.au/melbourne
■ SEA LIFE MELBOURNE AQUARIUM. Home to thousands of aquatic animals, SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is an entertaining and educational experience with 12 amazing zones of discovery, including interactive animal encounters and iconic state of the art displays. Visitors can witness daily dive feeds, or even dive with the sharks in the 2.2 million-litre Oceanarium.
Cnr King and Flinders Streets, Melbourne. Daily 9.30am–6pm (last entry 5pm). Adults $41.50, concessions $32.50, children (4–15 years) $26, children (under 4 years) free and family (two adults and two children) $99. 1800 026 576. melbourneaquarium.com.au
■ SKYDIVE AUSTRALIA. Skydiving Melbourne doesn’t get any more thrilling. Experience the ultimate adrenalin rush tandem skydiving from the St Kilda drop zone, the closest skydiving centre to Melbourne CBD. Exit the plane from up
to 14,000 feet for an insane 60 seconds of life-changing freefall. Float under canopy for five to seven minutes and enjoy the 360-degree views of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay.
1300 663 634. skydive.com.au
THE NATIONAL OPAL COLLECTION.
Part showroom, part museum The National Opal Collection in Melbourne shows how opals came to be formed over millions of years and how they are mined today. Opals are Australia’s natural gemstone, and are recognised as uniquely Australian in character. There is a huge array of exquisite opals and opal jewellery for sale in the spectacular showroom.
Level 1, 119 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Free admission. 9662 3524. nationalopal.com
MARKETS QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET (QVM).
A historic landmark spread over two city blocks, QVM is a vibrant and bustling inner-city market where you can shop for everything from fruit and vegetables, and local and imported gourmet foods, to cosmetics, clothing and souvenirs.
Cnr Victoria and Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne. Tue and Thu 6am–2pm, Fri 6am–5pm, Sat 6am–3pm and Sun 9am–4pm. 9320 5822. qvm.com.au n ST KILDA ESPLANADE MARKET. Every Sunday since 1970, the St Kilda Esplanade Market has been the destination for those searching for something special. Meet more than 130 artisans offering an exciting range of contemporary artworks. These goods include quality handmade artworks made from wood, glass, paper, resin and recycled materials.
Upper Esplanade St Kilda, between Cavell and Fitzroy Streets. Sun 10am–5pm. stkildaesplanademarket.com.au
THE ROSE STREET ARTISTS’ MARKET.
The Rose Street Artists’ Market is where those ‘in the know’ find Melbourne’s best art and design talent. There’s everything from art, photography, fashion, jewellery, accessories, homewares, collectables, emerging designers, vintage pieces, tasty treats, cool beats, bike hire and much more.
60 Rose Street, Fitzroy. Sat and Sun 11am–5pm. 9419 5529. rosestmarket.com.au
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART (ACCA).
ACCA is Melbourne’s leading contemporary art space. It is the only major public gallery in Australia that focuses on commissioning, rather than collecting. ACCA presents the most challenging, innovative and creative visual art.
111 Sturt Street, Southbank. Tue–fri 10am–5pm, Sat–sun 12pm–5pm and Mon by appointment. Free admission. Additional charges may apply for special exhibitions. 9697 9999. acca.melbourne
AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR THE MOVING IMAGE (ACMI).
ACMI celebrates, explores and promotes the cultural and creative richness of the moving image in all its forms —film, television and digital culture. This unique institution is located at the heart of Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square.
Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne. Daily 10am–5pm, cinemas and lounge open late. Free and ticketed exhibitions. 8663 2200. acmi.net.au
CHINESE MUSEUM. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown, the Chinese Museum highlights both the heritage and culture of Australia’s Chinese community. The museum offers a range of guided tours, programs and workshops.
22 Cohen Place, Melbourne. Daily 10am–5pm. Adults $10, concessions $8.50, children (under 6 years) free and family (two adults and up to three children) $24.50. 9662 2888. chinesemuseum.com.au
COOKS’ COTTAGE. Originally built in Yorkshire, England in 1755, Cooks’ Cottage was built and owned by the parents of Captain James Cook, the explorer credited with ‘discovering’ Australia. The cottage, shipped to Australia in 1933, was entirely reconstructed in Melbourne.
Fitzroy Gardens, Wellington Parade, East Melbourne. Daily 9am–5pm. Adults $6.50, seniors/students $5, children (5–15 years) $3.50 and family (two adults and two children) $18. 9658 9658. thatsmelbourne.com.au
HELLENIC MUSEUM. Devoted to the commemoration, understanding, and preservation of the artistic and cultural heritage of ancient and modern Greece, the Hellenic Museum brings history to life with an extensive permanent collection, dynamic contemporary exhibitions and a high quality education program.
280 William Street, Melbourne. Tue–sun 10am–4pm. 8615 9016. hellenic.org.au
IMMIGRATION MUSEUM. This living cultural centre explores Australia’s immigration history, from the 1800s to the present day. Providing a global and personal insight into the migrant
experience, the Museum engages both thoughts and emotions, while contributing to a greater understanding of Australia’s cultural diversity.
400 Flinders Street, Melbourne. Daily 10am–5pm. Adults $14, concessions and children (up to 16 years) free. Additional charges may apply for special exhibitions. 13 11 02. museumvictoria.com.au/ immigrationmuseum
MELBOURNE MUSEUM. Melbourne Museum is the largest museum complex in the southern hemisphere and draws on the latest technology and interpretation methods to give visitors a memorable insight into the nation’s flora, fauna, culture and way of life. Incorporating the adjacent World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum covers the natural and physical sciences as well as social history and cultures.
11 Nicholson Street, Carlton. Daily 10am–5pm. Adults $14, concessions and children (up to 16 years) free. Additional charges may apply for special exhibitions. 13 11 02. museumvictoria.com.au/ melbournemuseum
NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA (NGV).
The National Gallery Of Victoria offers an extraordinary visual arts experience with international art on display at NGV International on St Kilda Road, and Australian art housed at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square.
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Daily 10am–5pm. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne. Daily 10am–5pm. Free admission. Additional charges may apply for special exhibitions. 8620 2222. ngv.vic.gov.au
OLD MELBOURNE GAOL. Step back in time and walk the road to the gallows in a 19th-century prison. Learn about bushrangers and see where the infamous Ned Kelly was hanged. The City Watch House, where murderers and minor criminals were locked up to await their fate, is another highlight.
377 Russell Street, Melbourne. Daily 9.30am–5pm. Adults $25, concessions $20, children (5–15 years) $13.50 and family (two adults and two children under 15 years) $55. 8663 7228. oldmelbournegaol.com.au
OLD TREASURY BUILDING. The Old Treasury Building is regarded as one of the finest nineteenth century buildings in Australia. Occupying a unique position in the history of Melbourne, the Old Treasury Building’s origins lie with the great gold rush, symbolising the rapid development of the city. Today, the Old Treasury Building houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Spring Street (top end of Collins Street), Melbourne. Sun–fri 10am–4pm. Free admission. Tours cost $7–$9. 9651 2233. otb.org.au
SCIENCEWORKS. This attraction has developed a distinct identity as a museum with a difference. While the main exhibition galleries are housed in a modern, purpose-built facility, the Scienceworks site also features a unique piece of Melbourne’s history—the historic Spotswood Pumping Station.
2 Booker Street, Spotswood. Daily 10am–4.30pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day). Adults $14, concessions and children (up to 16 years) free. Additional charges may apply for special exhibitions, Planetarium shows and Lightning Room shows. 13 11 02. museumvictoria.com.au/scienceworks
PARKS AND GARDENS
AUSTRALIAN GARDEN. Set across 15 hectares, the Australian Garden is an inspiring and immersive display of Australian flora, landscapes, art and architecture. Discover inspiration and information about how to use Australian plants in your home garden.
Cnr Ballarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne. Daily 9am–5pm. Free admission. 5990 2200. rbg.vic.gov.au/australian-garden
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS. The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the world’s leading botanic gardens and a centre of excellence for horticulture, science and education. The Royal Botanic Gardens is dedicated to the conservation, display and enjoyment of plants.
Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne. Daily 7.30am–sunset. Free admission. 9252 2300. rbg.vic.gov.au
OUT OF TOWN
GREATER DANDENONG. Located just 35km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD, Greater Dandenong will awaken the senses and tantalise the tastebuds with its vast array of cultural precincts and culinary delights. Greater Dandenong has become a must-go destination for people who love food and culture. There are a number of tours and events available for those who want to explore the area in the company of an expert.
Tours cost $45 per person. Various locations, Dandenong. 8571 1377. greaterdandenong.com/tours
HEALESVILLE SANCTUARY. The chance to view Australian wildlife in a natural environment attracts many visitors to the Healesville Sanctuary, 65km east of Melbourne. There are more than 200 species of native birds, mammals and reptiles displayed in a beautiful bushland setting.
Badger Creek Road, Healesville. Daily 9am–5pm. Adults $32.50, children (4–15 years) $16.30 or free (on weekends, Victorian public holidays and Victorian Government school holidays), children (under 4 years free) and family (two adults and two children) $82.10. 5957 2800. zoo.org.au/healesville
PHILLIP ISLAND NATURE PARKS.
Watching the colony of little penguins waddling ashore on Summerland Beach at sunset and making their way to their burrows after a day’s fishing is a delight. There are several ways to see the penguins including the advanced eco-accredited Ultimate Penguin Tour which sees up to ten participants and one of the park’s rangers watch the penguins from a secluded beach.
Phillip Island Nature Parks, Phillip Island. 5951 2800. penguins.org.au
n PUFFING BILLY RAILWAY. Puffing Billy is Australia’s premiere preserved steam railway. This century-old steam train is still running on its original mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook in the scenic Dandenong Ranges and is a genuine relic of more leisurely days. Journey through Sherbrooked Forest which has many magnificent examples of the native ‘Mountain Ash’ trees, a form of eucalypt and the tallest flowering plant in the world.
1 Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave. 9757 0700. puffingbilly.com.au
WERRIBEE OPEN RANGE ZOO.
Experience a taste of Africa at the 250-hectare Werribee Open Range Zoo. Go on safari and visit a wide range of grassland animals including rhino, zebra, giraffe and antelope grazing together on the open savanna.
K Road, Werribee. Daily 9am–5pm. Adults $32.50, children (4–15 years) $16.30 or free (on weekends, Victorian public holidays and Victorian Government school holidays), children (under 4 years) free and family (two adults and two children) $82.10. 9731 9600. zoo.org.au/werribee
AAT KINGS. With a selection of half and full day tours, AAT Kings will show you all the must-see sights of Melbourne and surrounds. Discover the Great Ocean Road, ride the Puffing Billy Steam Train or see the Little Penguins on Phillip Island. AAT Kings’ also offers free hotel pick-ups so all you need to do is relax and enjoy your day.
1300 228 546. aatkings.com
CITY SIGHTSEEING MELBOURNE. The best way to see Melbourne is with City Sightseeing. Melbourne is renowned for
its major sporting and cultural events, stylish fashion, the arts, food and wine and much more. Explore and see the city’s major attractions, bustling laneways, cafés and beaches at your own leisure as you hop on and hop off an open-top double decker bus at any of the 27 stops located in the city and surrounds including the popular seaside suburb of St Kilda.
8353 2578. citysightseeing.melbourne
n ETIHAD STADIUM TOUR. Ever wondered who decides if the roof of a sporting stadium should close? Have you ever asked how sportsmen prepare before the game and recover afterwards? Ever wanted to sit on an Australian Rules football tribunal or hold your own press conference? A behind the scenes tour of Etihad Stadium is a must for any sports lover.
740 Bourke Street, Docklands. Mon–fri 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Adults $15, concessions $12, children (14 years and under) $8 and family (two adults and two children) $39. 8625 7277. etihadstadium.com.au
MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND TOUR.
The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) Tour gives visitors the opportunity to relive their great sporting memories through a comprehensive tour of this marvellous stadium. MCG Tours are a fully guided experience and take approximately 75 minutes.
Brunton Avenue, Richmond. Daily 10am–3pm. Adults $23, concession $18.50, children (5–15 years) $12, children (under 5 years) free and family $55. 9657 8888. mcg.org.au
n DRACULA’S CABARET. Dracula’s Cabaret has been entertaining visitors and locals alike since 1980. Their current show “Resurrection” blends music production acts, optical illusion, animatronic sculpture and rock-circus, with a song list that moves across the AM dial from Arctic Monkeys to Blondie. It’s flashy, kitsch hysteria, with no act too audacious and no heel too high. Enjoy a three-course meal and then once the show is finished, guests can continue the evening in the cocktail bar as they meet the stars of the show.
Tue–sat from 7pm, 100 Victoria Street, Carlton. 1800 DRACULAS or 9340 2600. draculas.com.au