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Best things to do in Melbourne

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Where in the world: South Pacific  /  Australia  /  Victoria  /  Melbourne
In a city that's a commercial and cultural hub of Victoria, things to do in Melbourne include many options for visitors of all ages, tastes, and budgets. Nature and animal lovers can admire plants and animals exhibited at Royal Botanic Gardens and Melbourne Zoo. Boasting a collection ranging from Aboriginal to contemporary art, National Gallery of Victoria attracts both art and history buffs. To experience the city from above, go up to the top of Eureka Skydeck 88, the town's highest vantage point. On top of all that, you can always take a walk down the cobbled laneways at the city center, treating yourself to a cup of coffee or a bit of shopping.

Melbourne is best known for its Landmarks, Gardens, and Farmers Markets.

Top 15 things to do in Melbourne

1. Royal Botanic Gardens

Over 10,000 species of native and exotic plants and animals inhabit a lush and immaculately kept landscape at Royal Botanic Gardens. Originally established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe, the gardens today provide 38 hectares (94 acres) of colorful natural displays for you to wander among. The manmade Guilfoyle's Volcano serves as a reservoir and offers you a stunning view of the Melbourne skyline. The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden provides an engaging introduction to botany for kids, and the lake system hosts diverse aquatic species. If you visit during summer, special events happen on the grounds almost daily.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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2. Melbourne Zoo

Journey through a world of wildlife in the heart of Melbourne at Melbourne Zoo. You won’t believe how many animals are at here! Over 320 species from around the world can be found in a natural setting just five minutes from the city center. Stroll through the lush Asian and African rainforests, where tigers roam and monkeys swing from tree to tree. See eye to eye with orangutans in their special elevated exhibit and walk the Trail of the Elephants. Spy unique native wildlife in the Australian Bush setting and head into an underwater world showcasing playful penguins and seals!
Suggested duration: 3h 30 min
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3. Wine Tours & Tastings

Discover the gourmet treasures of the region on a guided wine tour and tasting adventure from Melbourne. Whether you choose to travel by Australia's oldest steam train, a hot air balloon, or a classic convertible, knowledgeable guides will lead you in search of the best wines Victoria has to offer. Local wineries will introduce you to their production methods and provide free samples of their products, carefully paired with a wide selection of cheeses or chocolates. You will also have a chance to visit flourishing orchards, dairy farms, and natural hot springs, ideal for a relaxing bath. Depending on your choice, these tours may last from 6 hours to 2 days.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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4. Walking tours

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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5. Shrine of Remembrance

Built in 1934, the Shrine is the Victorian state memorial to Australians who have served in war and peacekeeping operations throughout our nation’s history. Experience a multi-layered journey rich in meaning and symbology. Enter the building’s classical interior and discover the reverent solitude of the Sanctuary. View breathtaking vistas of Melbourne from the Balcony. Immerse yourself in the real-life stories of Australians in global conflicts, with over 800 artworks, historical artefacts and personal effects featured in the Galleries of Remembrance. Free guided tours depart daily at 11am and 2pm from the Visitor Centre.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Eureka Skydeck

Sitting at 285 m (935 ft) above the streets of Melbourne, Eureka Skydeck is the highest public vantage point in a building in the Southern Hemisphere. Its name comes from its home on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower, which itself is the 12th highest residential building in the world. For a thrill, walk out on The Edge, a glass enclosure that hangs 3 m (10 ft) off the side of the building.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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7. Melbourne Museum

As the Southern Hemisphere's largest museum, Melbourne Museum will likely offer something that captures your interest. Permanent exhibits cover dinosaurs, the first people in Victoria, evolution in Victoria, the story of Melbourne's transformation over time, deep-sea life, the human body, and more. The Touring Hall showcases temporary exhibits, so be sure to check what's on display here while you're in Melbourne.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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8. National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria offers a great lesson in Australian cultural identity. Founded in 1861, the country's oldest public art museum has a vast collection of Australian Aboriginal, colonial, Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art. There's also an international collection, which displays ancient and modern work by artists from around the globe, including Picasso, Rembrandt, and Degas. Make sure you leave time to see some of the 15,000 snapshots in the museum's photo collection. Also check out what the rotating exhibitions are while you're in town.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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9. The Great Ocean Road, Torquay

Take an astonishingly beautiful drive along The Great Ocean Road. Returned soldiers from World War I built this 243 km (151 mi) stretch of seaside road between Torquay and Allansford as a tribute to fallen servicemen, and it now sits as the world's largest war memorial. Stop at lookouts for views over the ocean, and leave extra time to admire 12 Apostles, mammoth rock stacks that rise up from the Southern Ocean just offshore from cliffs that plunge to a pristine beach.
Suggested duration: 4h 30 min
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10. Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee

At Werribee Open Range Zoo, experience an African adventure on over 200 hectares (495 acres) of beautiful natural surrounds just 30 minutes from Melbourne. Get onboard for a guided safari across the unique open range savannah and spot rhinos, giraffes and zebras! Come face to face with a pride of lions on the African Walking Trail, visit one of the world’s largest gorilla exhibits, see cheeky monkeys at play, and discover a family of hippos in their wetland home.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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11. Old Melbourne Gaol

At Old Melbourne Gaol, see how Australia handled its most notorious criminals many years ago. Built in 1839, the prison housed and executed famous criminals such as Ned Kelly and serial killer Frederick Bailey Deeming. Today, you can tour the prison's three levels. Visit cells, see the execution area, take a spooky night tour, or participate in a reenactment of a trial. Above all, learn about crime and punishment during Australia's wild past.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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12. Food Tours

Find out what makes Melbourne Australia's mecca for foodies and explore secluded alleys, markets, and artisanal stores in search of delicious food during a guided tour with a local food expert. You'll go off-the-beaten track and visit great eateries you won't find in any guidebook--exploring on your own, you'll likely miss them. Your guide will also help you discover the city' vibrant and multicultural neighborhoods--you'll taste handmade noodles in "Little Italy" and mouthwatering dumplings in Chinatown. Depending on your appetite, the gastronomic experience may last from three hours to a couple of days.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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13. Balloon Rides

Rise with the morning sun above the scenic Yarra Valley on a balloon flight over Australia's favorite winemaking region. You'll soar over gently sloping hills and sprawling vineyards before having a tasty breakfast and touring some of the region's top wineries. You can also opt for a balloon ride over the city of Melbourne and absorb the panoramic views of its skyline tinted with rosy hues. Most tours take four hours, an hour of which is reserved for the actual balloon ride.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Ever wondered what it's like to be a miner in a gold rush? Sovereign Hill recreates the experience for you. This open-air museum in Golden Point presents the area as it was after prospectors discovered gold there in 1851. As you stroll down Main Street, stop into the historically rendered metal workshops, schools, apothecary, bank, saloon, and post office and speak with historical interpreters dressed as townsfolk and prospectors from long ago. Tents and buildings invoking this past era surround the creek, where you can pan for real gold. See how to melt gold into bullion bars at the Gold Pour. You might even strike it rich, paying for your entire vacation!
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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15. Block Arcade

Walk through Block Arcade to see one of Australia's best examples of Victorian Mannerist architecture. The city built the arcade between 1891 and 1893 to connect Collins and Elizabeth Streets. Architect David Askew based the design on Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and you'll walk across a floor of mosaic tiles beneath a glass canopy with carved-stone detailing along the walls. You'll also find excellent shopping as you navigate the bright and colorful halls. Due to its beauty and architectural significance, the arcade is part of Melbourne's "Golden Mile" heritage walk.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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