Melbourne is the second largest city after Sydney and one of its most prominent feature (and source of pride) is its lavish greeneries. Forget you’re in a city of four million people and slow down to appreciate the best tourist attractions in Melbourne.
1. Soverign Hill, Ballarat
Located within the city of Ballarat, this award winning museum has attracted visitors of all ages. It is a city of gold during the mid-1800s, which lends it its rich culture and heritage. Imagine people dressed in 19th-century model and aboard train horses while traversing the houses and shops in the old dirt road. Listen to the expert commentary by English-speaking guide about Sovereign Hill which is an award winning museum. Stroll along streets lined with costumed workers and you will get a sense of Australia’s past. Check out the antiques and artwork and machinery from the 1850s and you can pick up interesting souvenirs too. Do not forget to taste the caramel fudge and lollipops are sold in a candy store on Main Street. If you want to test your skills panning for gold, do not try to Souverign Hill in the winter because the river water can freeze your hands.
2. Flinders St Station
It is an iconic landmark in central Melbourne filled with Victorian architecture and striking, large clock faces. Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station was built in the late 19th century and is known to be the busiest suburban railway station in the southern hemisphere. Its striking Victorian architecture maintains the city’s link with the past even as it stands elbow to elbow with the contrasting 21st century Federation Square.
3. City Circle Tram
It is no ordinary ride when you hop on to the City Circle Tram. It travels daily along Melbourne’s countless tourist attractions while giving a running commentary on the places of interest along its route. The standard City Circle Tram is of a distinctive maroonish brown colour. Replacement or additional trams may be used on the route and be of another colour altogether, but would be clearly marked “City Circle Tram.”
4. South Yarra
Home of the rich and affluent, South Yarra is one of Melbourne’s oldest inner-city suburbs. The houses here have the most magnificent colonial architecture and will seem romantic decorated with glowing red leaf during the fall. You can have endless shopping galore at South Yarra’s extensive commercial precinct. The Pran Central Shopping Centre and the iconic Prahran Market has a large selection of gourmet foods and fresh produce. Toorak Road is home to restaurants and many stylish fashion retailers featuring the best of local and imported goods.
5. Phillip Island Penguin Parade
Animal lovers would be enthralled to find themselves up close and personal with adorable penguins just marching to and fro the beach. Line the observation boardwalks at Phillip Island Nature Park at dusk to see them race up Summerland Beach to their burrows. Bring warm clothing year-round, as the nights on the beach can be cool.
6. Healesville Sanctuary
Unlike Melbourne Zoo, this is the best place to see Australian wildlife in their natural habitat. A distinctly Australian setting is what you will find amidst the 70 acres of bush land here. Experience unique close-up encounters with some of Australia’s unique and endearing wildlife, including koalas, kangaroos, wombats, birds of prey and platypus.
7. Royal Botanic Gardens
Containing extensively landscaped gardens covering 35 hectares (86 acres) and featuring thousands of plants from across Australia and around the world, the Royal Botanic Gardens is a must-visit for both locals and tourists. The gardens are a picturesque haven for recreation and learning. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through a variegated landscape of plants, shrubs and trees including rare and threatened species.
8. Queen Victoria Market
It is the shopping mecca of Melbourne which is known as the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere. No other place in Melbourne can rival the Queen Victoria Market or commonly referred to VicMart affairs shop. It is an historic Melbourne landmark and a Melbourne institution dating back more than 120 years. Spread over some seven hectares with more than 600 retailers, it’s a true reflection of Melbourne’s cosmopolitan makeup.
9. St Kilda Beach
Kick up your heels by the seashore and just enjoy grassy gardens and palm trees around the beach. Sail, windsurf or kite surf to your heart’s content on the bay. Afterwards, take in the seaside breeze in the outdoor cafes or dip in the sea salt swimming pools. Get mesmerized by fire-eating street acrobats and jugglers or trace the outline of boats during sundown at Port Philip Bay.
10. Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is a maritime village and museum built around 1858. Reflecting the rich maritime atmosphere of the Shipwreck Coast, it is the holder of Victoria’s largest maritime and shipwreck collection. Begin your journey of discovery through a multi-screen theatre that takes you on a voyage in the late 1800′s through the roaring southern ocean. Take in beautiful views over Lady Bay whilst enjoying old fashioned Devonshire Teas in the Stella Maris Tearooms.