Welcome to Melbourne


Within the Grid

It's long been commented that Melbourne's inner city is the most European of any in Australia; the leafy eastern section of Collins St was dubbed the 'Paris end' in the 1950s. There's a bit of New York in the mix as well, thanks to the city's well-ordered grid and scattering of art-deco high-rises. But Melbourne is uniquely Melbourne and a lot of that's down to the more than 230 laneways that penetrate into the heart of the city blocks. It's here that the inner city's true nature resides, crammed into narrow lanes concealing world-beating restaurants, bars and street art.

Neighbourhoods

Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its diverse collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Despite a long-standing north–south divide (flashy South Yarra versus hipster Fitzroy), there’s a coolness about its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals and people that transcends the borders. Ethnic communities have gravitated together in some areas, and Melburnians know to head to Victoria St in Richmond for Vietnamese food, Lygon St in Carlton for old-school Italian, Balaclava for Jewish bakeries, Brunswick for Middle Eastern, Footscray for African and Chinatown for all manner of Asian cuisines.

Sport

It's not the high-rises and bridges that strike you when you first visit Melbourne but the vast sporting edifices that fringe the city centre. Melburnians are passionate about AFL football ('footy'), cricket and horse racing, while grand-slam tennis and Formula One car racing draw visitors in droves. Sport is a crucial part of the social fabric, taking on something of a religious aspect here. In fact, sporting events have nearly as many public holidays allotted to them as religion – everyone gets the day off for the Melbourne Cup horse race and the Friday before the AFL Grand Final!

Deep Reserves of Cool

Melbourne was 'hipster' before the word was ever attached to bearded 20-something Bon Iver fans. It's long had an artsy, liberal, bohemian and progressive strand to its subculture, and coffee and food have been obsessions here for decades. Word spreads about interesting new eateries and, before you know it, queues are forming outside. The international trend for faux-speakeasy bars is redundant in Melbourne as the city has had edgy places hidden down laneways and on warehouse rooftops for many years. Melbourne doesn't have to try hard – it just is.


Top experiences in Melbourne

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Melbourne activities

$65.28 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne

You'll glide through the city streets and on to South Melbourne, St Kilda, Prahran and Malvern aboard the Melbourne Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, your privacy assured with one-way windows. Melbourne's tramcar restaurant-on-wheels is painted a distinctive glossy burgundy and is especially fitted out in velvet and brass like the luxurious Pullman-style European trains of the past. You'll be welcomed aboard your 1948 Melbourne tram restaurant by a smiling maitre d' and be served by a friendly, professional team of silver-service waiters. Choose from a four-course lunch aboard Melbourne's tramcar restaurant, an early three-course dinner or a more leisurely five-course dinner later in the evening. Delicious meals featuring fresh local produce are prepared onboard the tram, and a wide choice of alcoholic beverages is available from the fully stocked bar. Melbourne's Colonial Tramcar Restaurant has all the modern conveniences you'd expect to find in a first-class restaurant. It is air-conditioned, heated and fitted with piped music to make your Colonial Tramcar Restaurant experience truly memorable.Due to the popularity of this activity, availability changes on a daily basis. The booking request will not be guaranteed until you receive a confirmation voucher via email. Please advise any alternative travel dates at time of booking, so that we may request all available dates to maximize your chance of a confirmed booking.

$97.83 Day Trips & Excursions

Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne

After morning pickup at your hotel, get comfortable on your deluxe minicoach and head southwest along the scenic coast. Your knowledgeable guide shares informative commentary about the sights as you travel. About one hour into your journey, travel through Torquay, a beach town known for its surf culture and as the start of the Great Ocean Road. Next, enjoy a morning tea break at a beachside location before continue another hour to Kennett River where you take a short walk in eucalyptus forest to look for koalas and colorful parrots.Further along, at the foot of the Otway Ranges, have lunch in the beautiful town of Apollo Bay. Then enjoy free time to explore the shops and marina or take a dip in the water. Your next stop takes you into Great Otway National Park for a leisurely stroll at Maits Rest. A wooden boardwalk leads through lovely fern gardens and rain forest, with giant trees up to 300 years old.Hop back on the bus to visit Port Campbell National Park, known for offshore rock formations such as the Twelve Apostles.Next, drive to your final destination, Gibson Steps. An area of cliffs on the south coast of Australia.Your return journey includes a stop for dinner (at own expense) and stunning views of the lights of Melbourne as you cross the West Gate Bridge. Translation of key tour information in 13 languages is provided on specially configured iPods. Enjoy free WiFi onboard your minicoach, making the return drive a perfect time to upload photos or email friends about your fantastic day on the Great Ocean Road.

$94.21 Day Trips & Excursions

Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne

After pickup from your selected meeting point in Melbourne, your day trip starts with the approximate 1-hour drive to the Yarra Valley. Throughout the day, you’ll be accompanied by your guide, a wine expert who will entertain and educate you about the varietals that grow in this renowned wine region. Stop at your first winery, Steels Gate Wines is a boutique winery situated in a picturesque hillside setting at Dixons Creek. Their range of wines are all estate grown and estate made offering finesse and exceptional flavour. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere which makes this the perfect place to experience delicious wines while absorbing the serenity of the Yarra Valley Continue your day trip to your second winery, Balgownie Estate, a small vineyard famed for its cabernet sauvignon and shiraz varieties. Spend your first 30 minutes here at the tasting table, and then head into the winery restaurant for lunch, which includes a glass of wine and tea or coffee. While you eat, enjoy great views of the vineyard. Next, head to Yering Farm, a rustic winery whose cellar door is housed in a converted hay shed situated on top of a hill. Admire the antique copper tools used by pioneer winemakers more than 100 years ago while you sample the wines and before making your way to your last winery of the day, to the French champagne company Moet and Chandon's Australian production house. Take a private guided tour of the winery to see how sparkling wine is made, and then relax with a glass of bubbly while you marvel at the gorgeous vineyard views. Your day trip ends with the return drive to Melbourne, where you are dropped off at your original pickup point. Note: If lunch is not available at Balgownie Estate on the day of your tour, you’ll have lunch at a similar venue. Itinerary subject to change without notice.

$83.70 Day Trips & Excursions

Phillip Island Australian Wildlife Viewing Tour from Melbourne

Be picked up from your Melbourne hotel, then enjoy a scenic trip through the tree-lined streets of Melbourne's southeastern suburbs and around the harbor of Westernport Bay. Your first stop is a wildlife encounter at Maru Koala and Animal Park, to interact with koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and other native Australian animals. Continue to the beach resort of San Remo and cross the bridge to Phillip Island. Travel around the island's surf coast to admire the rock formations of the Nobbies, home to penguins, fur seals and sea birds. Your next stop is the Penguin Parade at Summerland Beach, where you can visit the information center to learn more about the cute little penguins. Then take your seat to watch the nightly Penguin Parade as the little penguins come home to their burrows after a day spent fishing at sea. Watch as part of the world's largest colony of smallest penguin species leave the water and waddle up the beach to their homes. Optional Penguin Parade upgrades:Penguin Plus Viewing PlatformWatch the parade from an exclusive viewing platform next to the main route from the sea followed by the penguins. Limited to 300 people. The Penguin SkyboxView the Penguin Parade from the exclusive vantage point of an elevated viewing tower located at the main viewing stands. Limited to just ten people, the Skybox is warm and dry, and gives you the best view of the penguins' burrows on Summerland Beach. Interact with the ranger and join in the nightly penguin count, assisting in the ongoing research to help protect Phillip Island's little penguins. The Skybox experience includes canapes and non-alcoholic drinks. Ranger Guided TourThe ultimate penguin experience is limited to a maximum of 10 people. Visit a secluded beach location for a special guided tour that allows you to get even closer to the little penguins. Underground Viewing ExperienceGet an eye level view of the little penguins in this brand new underground viewing area. Enjoy the closest possible view of the penguins in their natural habitat with the comfort and convenience of being undercover and out of the elements. Limited to 70 people.

$97.83 Day Trips & Excursions

Melbourne to Phillip Island, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary

Your first stop on your Phillip Island day trip is at Brighton. See the iconic Brighton Beach bathing boxes, spend time at the the beach and take some time to admire these historic landmarks. On Phillip Island, visit the Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park, where you'll learn about a broad range of Australian wildlife. You'll have a chance to get up close to cuddly koalas and other animals for feeding time. Included in your visit here is the spectacular “Conservation in Action” wildlife show, which showcases a number of lesser-known Australian species in a series of interactive and engaging ranger presentations.Continue to the southwestern tip of the island to enjoy panoramic views of the Nobbies, a group of rugged rocks rising from the sea, and Seal Rocks, the home of Australia's largest fur seals population. At dusk every evening the world's smallest penguins waddle ashore after spending the day fishing out at sea. You will be seated in the main viewing area to watch the parade of waddling penguins. To make this experience even more unforgettable, upgrade to either the Penguins Plus or the Private Penguin Parade Experience. See below for more details.

$85.73 Day Trips & Excursions

Melbourne to Great Ocean Road Trip with National Park Entry

Your Great Ocean Road tour begins with panoramic views as you leave Melbourne and cross the West Gate Bridge. You’re soon on the coast, passing world-famous Bells Beach, host of the World Surfing Championships.Relax on the drive as the winding Great Ocean Road hugs the coast, running beside a string of surf beaches to reach the seaside holiday resort of Apollo Bay. After lunch (own expense), continue your journey along the legendary Great Ocean Road to the limestone rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles. Once joined to the coast, see how the rocks have been eroded over millions of years into the craggy pillars you see today. Go for a stroll along the cliff top or follow winding beach trails at this beautiful wild and windy spot.At Loch Ard Gorge, hear how this dramatic landscape has a tragic side, as you listen to the tale of the British ship Loch Ard that ran aground near Muttonbird Island in 1878. The two sole survivors came ashore at sheltered Loch Ard Gorge, where you can read the plaques describing why this stretch of shoreline is known as the Shipwreck Coast.Your last stop on the Great Ocean Road is the seaside village of Port Campbell, sheltered by the surrounding cliffs and Norfolk pines. Browse the boutiques and galleries, or stop for afternoon tea (own expense) at one of the town's many cafes.Relax on the return trip to Melbourne, returning to the city at around 7:30pm.