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Melbourne, one of my favourite cities, it is a city full of art, theatre, culture, beaches, gardens and fabulous eateries. Its grid-like city centre is easy to navigate, and the free historic tram allows you to put your feet up if you need a rest after exploring, shopping, or just looking around the city, taking in some of the modern architecture or historical buildings and churches.

blender lane

Hidden Secrets Walking Tour

A perfect introduction to the city is the Hidden Secrets tour, a small group walking tour where the guide points out the smaller boutique shops, the laneways, where the best coffee is ( always important!), and other places that the locals frequent.

There is always something to do in Melbourne, with sporting events, theatre, art galleries, the zoo, shops galore, and a paradise for foodies.  For those with a sweet tooth, maybe a quick stop at Brunetti's for a pastry or two, or catch a tram out to St Kilda beach, where Achland St is famous for its intricate and mouth-watering cakes.  On a Sunday you can walk the esplanade by the beach and browse at the local craft on offer at the St Kilda Market.

Luna Park

Queen Victoria Market: Another favourite for tourists and locals, for produce and specialty goods, and in Summer, their Wednesday night market is a great mid-week option to sample street food with live entertainment.  

Melbournes Skyline: For those who don’t mind heights, take in the skyline from the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel or the glass-floored Eureka Sky Deck, or sample cocktails or craft beer from one of Melbourne’s many rooftop bars.

From the Water: For the active, an evening river kayak with a fish and chip dinner on board is a unique way to see the city, making your way under the footbridges, seeing the nightlife from the water, and in time to catch the fireball display at Crown Casino.

Brunswick Street: To get off the beaten track, visit Brunswick Street, one of my favourite suburbs, a mecca for diversity and expression, with street art, independent galleries, vintage shops, and intriguing cafes … just the spot to do some “people watching”.


Some side trip options...

Melbourne is also a great base for further exploring, with Philip Island, the Mornington Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road, Ballarat and Daylesford all within a day’s reach.

Phillip Island

A day trip to Philip Island can include visiting the “instagramable” Brighton Beach boxes, viewing Kangaroos, Koalas, and other Australian wildlife at the  Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park

and a chance to enjoy the panoramic coastal views at the Nobbies.   Of course, the highlight is at dusk, when you get to watch the adorable, smallest penguins in the world, emerge from the surf, and waddle their way up the beach to rest and nest.  It’s a piece of nature that you just have to see!

Penguin Parade

The Mornington Peninsular

The place where Melbournians love to escape and only a 1 -1 /2 drive away lies the Mornington Peninsular. Famous for its laid back lifestyle, beaches, art, and wine, a few nights would be preferable to relax and unwind. My favourite place to stay is at the historic village of Sorrento, with its picturesque jetty, white sandy beach perfect for families, walking tracks, and its wide selection of boutique shops and cafes.  Make sure you try some of the local “vanilla slice”, but beware of the size! A short drive and you can experience surf on the North Beach, jump off the pier at Portsea, ferry to the charming seaside resort of Queenscliff, or soak in the Peninsula Hot Springs.

Great Ocean Road

You will see some of the most spectacular coastline scenery along the Great Ocean Road. If you have limited time I would definitely recommend a day tour to the famous limestone stacks – the 12 Apostles. With a guide to highlight the best spots, recount local history, and advise on fauna and the natural wonders, all you have to do is sit back, learn and enjoy the scenery!  You will pass through many small seaside towns, visit Great Otway National Park, and view other stunning rock formations of which there are many.  An optional highlight is to view the 12 Apostles from a helicopter, offering you a unique viewpoint, and a trip you will never forget.

Great Ocean Road Melbourne

Ballarat and Sovereign Hill

About 1 ½ hour drive west of Melbourne lies the city of Ballarat. This area can be fun for young families, with a visit to Kryal Castle, with jousting and dungeons or to the family-owned Ballarat Wildlife Park where visitors can hand-feed the friendly free-roaming Kangaroos and see Koalas.

The main attraction around the area is Sovereign Hill, a living museum, complete with a mining site and gold mining town. Take a journey down into the mine to learn about its history and processes, or experience a light show in the evening, or stay the night on site. You can even try your hand at panning for gold… you never know you might be lucky!

It’s certainly an interesting place for young and old, and especially if you are keen on history.


Daylesford about an hour and a half drive from Melbourne is a great place to unwind, wander the village shops, visit the historic Convent Gallery or café, or dine at the award-winning restaurant and enjoy the tranquility of the Lake House. Daylesford area is known for its natural mineral springs, so an afternoon of relaxing in a bathhouse at nearby Hepburn Springs and indulging in spa treatment is a perfect way to finish your trip to the Victoria region.  Hepburn Spa Retreat and Peppers Hepburn are definitely worth a stay!

Sovereign Hill


So as you can see Melbourne is definitely a place to have your bucket list!  There is something fun and interesting to do for everyone.  Whether you decide to explore the main city with some day trips or hire a car to explore further, First Light Travel can help you plan a memorable holiday in Melbourne, that’s for sure!

Ready to find out more? Talk to the First Light Travel team about the best places to stay in Tasmania. Our locally-based Travel Specialists will work closely with you to create a trip tailor-made to your exact specifications. We guarantee you will have the experience of a lifetime, and we can’t wait for you to get in touch!

Chrissy Sun
Submitted by
Chrissy Sun
: 30 Jun 2020 (Last updated: 28 Nov 2020)

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