melbourne night

16 Best Things to do in Melbourne at Night

Melbourne is consistently ranked one of the best cities in the world.

It is the capital of the Australian state, Victoria, and the second-largest city in the entire country.

Given its size, importance, and coastal location, it’s no surprise that the city has become a popular travel destination for people worldwide.

Specifically, Melbourne is known for its culture and activities at night.

From top-notch bars and restaurants to incredible street art, you’ll never be bored in this Australian city in the evening.

Check out the 16 best things to do in Melbourne at night.

1. IceBar Melbourne

icebar melbourne

Spend your evening at the most excellent bar in Australia – literally!

IceBar Melbourne, Australia’s only sub-zero bar, keeps things fun and freezing with a constant temperature of -10 degrees celsius.

Upon arrival, you’ll be given comfortable outdoor gear to prepare you for the cold climate in the bar.

Once inside, you can expect an arctic experience suitable for people of all ages.

In total, over 30 tonnes of ice were used in the bar.

IceBar Melbourne details

  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Address: The Atrium Federation Square, Melbourne.
  • Inclusions: Entry into the ice bar, one cocktail or non-alcoholic drink, use of hooded cape, gloves, and boots.

2. Melbourne Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour

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See Melbourne at night on this unique horse-drawn carriage tour around the city.

Classic Carriage Hire has professional drivers dressed in period attire to add to the experience.

There are four different tours to choose from, including Garden Highlights, Extended Garden Tour, Premium Garden & City Tour, and Deluxe Romantic Tour.

You can expect to pass sites such as the Victorian Arts Centre, Walker Fountain, King Domain Gardens, and the Melbourne Observatory.

Carriages operate in all weather conditions, and blankets are provided on cold days.

Bookings are available up to 9 pm, so you can pick the perfect time slot to see Melbourne light up at night!

Tour details

  • Duration: 30 – 60 minutes
  • Departure Point: Federation Square/Swanston St, Melbourne VIC
  • Inclusions: All taxes, transport by private vehicle.

3. Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

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What could be better than an evening cruise down the Yarra River?

This dinner cruise will have you hopping aboard the Spirit of Melbourne’s vessel.

Gaze at the city’s illuminated skyline from the river, which offers one of the best views of Melbourne.

Sip on beer or wine on the upper deck and indulge in a 4-course meal.

All meals are prepared by expert chefs on board and paired with Australian wines.

As you float along the river, keep your eyes peeled for the Royal Botanic Gardens and Federation Square.

Tour details

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure Time: 7:30 pm
  • Departure Point: Southbank Promenade, Southbank VIC
  • Inclusions: Dinner, beer, wine, soft drinks

4. Burlesque Showboat Cruise

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Spend an unforgettable night on a burlesque showboat cruise.

This cruise tour is one of Melbourne’s longest-running burlesque events.

The city’s top burlesque dancers will be performing.

In addition to the live burlesque show on board, canapes and cocktails will be served.

The burlesque show will be presented on the upper deck, while the main deck features cocktails and DJ music.

Tour details

  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Departure Point: Central Pier, Docklands
  • Inclusions: Canapes, live show, dinner, beer, wine, soft drinks

5. Yarra River Sunset Kayak Tour

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You’re never far from nature in Australia – especially in the city of Melbourne.

Take advantage of the city’s scenic coastal location by going kayaking on the Yarra River.

And there is no better time to kayak than at sunset.

This 2.5 tour will have you paddling by some of the city’s top attractions.

And before getting into your kayak, you’ll be treated to an on-the-water fish and chips dinner in Victoria Harbour.

All tours conveniently end next to the Princes Bridge in the city centre.

Tour details

  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Departure Point: The wharf behind the Community Hub at The Dock
  • Inclusions: Bottled water, dinner, use of all equipment, fish and chips, experienced guide

6. Melbourne Observatory

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Spend an evening stargazing at Melbourne’s very own observatory.

The observatory was built in the 1860s as the centre of the city’s weather forecasting.

Although initially just a research institution, it is now open to the public.

It is located in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The observatory allows locals and visitors alike to learn more about space and the stars.

There are even giant telescopes on site for the public to use.

Tour details

  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Departure Point: Kiosk, 100 Birdwood Ave, Melbourne VIC
  • Inclusions: Parking fees

7. Hidden Bar & Cocktail Walking Tour

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Wander off the beaten path on this beer and cocktail walking tour.

Melbourne is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, which is why visiting a bar while in the city is a must.

This tour takes you to 10-15 bars over 3.5 hours.

It is the most comprehensive beer and cocktail tour in Melbourne.

Discover the city’s distinctive hidden bar culture and be treated to two delicious complimentary cocktails along the way.

The tour can even be customised to your preferences.

Tour details

  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Departure Time: 7:00 pm
  • Departure Point: Bourke Street Mall
  • Inclusions: Local guide, two cocktails

8. Melbourne Dumpling Experience

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The culinary vibe in Melbourne is as diverse as its residents.

Asian food is trendy in the city, so if you love dumplings, you’ve come to the right place!

Melbourne has toured for all kinds of foodies.

There is a walking tour of the city that takes you to all the best dumpling restaurants when it comes to dumplings.

Or there is a dumpling-making party where you’ll learn how to make the delicacy from scratch with the help of a local instructor.

Whatever you choose, you can bet the results will be delicious!

Tour details

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure Time: 6:00 pm
  • Departure Point: 28-32 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 
  • Inclusions: Local guide/instructor, dumpling dinner, tea and water

9. Melbourne Ghost Tours

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Melbourne has a long, spooky history.

Australia was once where the British Empire sent its prisoners, so it’s no surprise that some people believe the city is haunted.

If you’re into all things supernatural, then a ghost tour is a must while visiting the Victoria capital.

There are all kinds of walking tours, including ones that specifically focus on ghosts and vampires.

Each tour will take you to some of Melbourne’s most haunted sites, including Old Melbourne, Pentridge Prison, and Williamstown.

Expect to hear legendary ghost stories that will give you a whole new perspective on the city.

10. Night Photography Sessions

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Melbourne is one of the artsiest cities in Australia, which means you can bet it has a booming photography scene.

This night photography tour puts you behind the camera.

You’ll learn how to use your best digital camera in manual modes and master composition.

Meanwhile, a local professional photographer will be guiding you around the city, taking you to the best photo locations in Melbourne.

This tour provides a unique opportunity to learn a new skill while travelling and get some fantastic photos out of it!

Whether you’re new to the world of photography or already an amateur photographer, this is a great way to spend an evening in Melbourne.

11. Melbourne’s Moonlit Sanctuary

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A night at the zoo?

Yes, please!

At Melbourne’s Moonlit Sanctuary, you can experience nocturnal wildlife like never before.

Watch nocturnal animals awake from their slumber at this particular conservation area.

Evening tours of the sanctuary allow you to see owls, feathertail and squirrel gliders, quolls, pademelons, and bettongs. 

In addition to taking photos of them, you can even hold or pet some of the adorable nighttime creatures.

There are also kangaroos and wallabies on site that can be hand-fed.

Tour details

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure Times: 5:30 pm or 7:00 pm depending on the time of year
  • Departure Point: Melbourne Tour Coach Centre
  • Inclusions: Drive/guide, city pick up and drop off, entry fees, transportation, animal food for feeding

12. Eureka Skydeck

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The best way to experience the Melbourne skyline is from 88 storeys above the city!

The Eureka Skydeck offers 360-degree views of Melbourne.

Located on the 88th floor, this stunning observation deck is not for those afraid of heights!

From the Skydeck, you can spot Port Phillip Bay and the Dandenong Ranges.

Before you go, be sure to wander out onto ‘The Edge,’ an all-glass section that even has a glass floor.

This is a great spot to pose for pics and see the city illuminated beneath you.

Tour details

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Departure Point: 7 Riverside Quay. South Bank, Melbourne
  • Inclusions: Express elevator, entry fees, use of viewfinders and binoculars

13. Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

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Treat yourself to spectacular views of the city on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.

This all-weather observation wheel is one of Melbourne’s most popular attractions.

During the scenic ride, you’ll be able to spot Port Philip Bay, the Yarra River, Etihad Stadium, and Flemington Racecourse. 

Keep looking a little farther, and you might even be able to see the Dandenong Ranges in the distance.

The night is the best time to go for a ride owing to the millions of colourful LED lights illuminating the wheel.

Prepare to soar 400 feet in the air on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel!

Tour details

  • Duration: 30 minutes-1 hour
  • Departure Point: Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
  • Inclusions: Entry fee

14. Graffiti in Hosier Lane

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Melbourne is famous for its street art.

Much of the city’s best and brightest graffiti can be found on Hosier Lane.

This “hidden” laneway that was once forgotten about now attracts visitors and locals alike.

It is now essentially an outdoor art gallery, with new street art being regularly adding.

There is also a series of lightboxes that exhibit the work of up and coming contemporary artists.

Many walking tours of Melbourne will take you to this vibrant spot to see the art for yourself.

Inclusions for most tours

  • Professional guide
  • All taxes
  • Transportation

15. Melbourne’s Chinatown

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A walk through Melbourne’s Chinatown will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Shanghai.

Right in Melbourne’s CBD is where Chinatown is located, beginning on the corner of Swanston Street.

Fun fact: Did you know that Melbourne’s Chinatown is the second oldest in the world after San Francisco?

It was established in 1851 and quickly grew to become a thriving centre of Melbourne’s Chinese community.

Therefore, this historic part of the city is a must-see for all travellers.

While walking through the neighbourhood, you can expect to find a mix of colourful shops and restaurants serving everything from dumplings to Sichuan cuisine.

Inclusions for most tours

  • Local guide
  • All taxes
  • Entry fees
  • Transportation

16. Magic Show

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Experience an unforgettable night filled with magic and illusion!

Impossible Occurrences is Melbourne’s very own 75-minute magic show.

Held at the Marriott Hotel, the show provides a fun night out for family and friends.

You can expect non-stop entertainment from one of the country’s premier magicians, Luke Hocking.

Hocking is known for his magic tricks, as well as his mind-reading. 

Alternatively, if you prefer a few laughs while seeing magic, Sam Angelico’s show – Illusionaire, might be the better option. 

With the help of his assistant, he’ll make you laugh all night and showcase his creative talents. 

You’ll love this interactive magic show!

Tour details

  • Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Departure Times: 7:30 pm or 9:30 pm
  • Departure Point: Marriott Hotel
  • Inclusions: 80-minute magic show, entry fee, general admission seating

12 Best Day Trips From Melbourne for Families [New Guide]

 

Are you planning on taking a day trip away from Melbourne with your family but have no idea where to go?

With so many places to explore in Victoria, it can be challenging to decide where to go.

We’ve picked out the best points of interest where you can enjoy a day trip from Melbourne with your family.

1. Phillip Island Nature Park

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When visiting Phillip Island, there’s one place which is not to be missed – Phillip Island Nature Parks.

There’s much to see and do for the whole family, from the world-famous Penguin Parade to a virtual Antarctic tour.

Visitors can also enjoy a Wild Ocean EcoBoat Tour to see the nearby seal colony up close and explore the rugged yet stunning coastline of Phillip Island.

What are the main attractions families can see at Phillip Island Nature Parks?

  • Penguin Parade – The reason many visitors come to Phillip Island is for the penguins, of course!
  • Antarctic Journey – Packed with immersive and interactive exhibits, be taken on a journey south to Antarctica and the wild waters of the Southern Ocean. Enjoy hands-on activities in ‘The Lab’ or put yourself in the picture with augmented reality technology to make you feel as though you’re standing on the ice yourself.
  • Churchill Island – Take a step back in time and enjoy the heritage at Churchill Island.
  • Wild Ocean EcoBoat Tours – Step aboard for a tour and see more of the island from its rugged coastline to the seals who live close by.

2. Yarra Valley Wine Tasting

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The Yarra Valley is a beautiful green belt of gently sloping hills that provide the vineyards’ perfect environment.

Families can enjoy the beautiful country scenery and escape this bustling lifestyle of Melbourne CBD.

Visit different wineries and learn about the Australian winemaking industry and if you’re over 18, try a sample glass or two.

What else can families see and do besides wine tasting in Yarra Valley?

  • Wildlife – you’re bound to spot a few kangaroos hopping in the fields on either side of the road.
  • Home Cooked Food – Enjoy a home-cooked meal for lunch. Most vineyards are also well known for their fresh produce.
  • Natural Scenery – You won’t miss the endless green lush scenery as you make your way from Melbourne to one of the many vineyards in the Yarra Valley.

3. Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill at Ballarat melbourne

Sovereign Hill is a fun family theme park that will take you back in time to the days of Australia’s gold rush.

In the style of a living museum, Sovereign Hill comes alive with theatrical street performances, live music and genuine mining tales from a costumed guide.

What are the main attractions your family can enjoy at Sovereign Hill?

  • Find gold – Pan for gold in Sovereign Hill’s very own little river. You might get lucky and find a nugget!
  • My Adventure – Jump in a mine tram as it takes you deep into a mine. You’ll learn about the dangers of mining and hear stories of trapped diggers.
  • Trades, Crafts & Stores – Visit various stores to see live demonstrations, including candle creations, tin making, saddle strapping, a real blacksmith and much more. 
  • Gold Museum – See precious collections of gold, jewellery and souvenirs. 

4. Great Ocean Road

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A 243-kilometre long stretch featuring some of Australia’s best coastal scenery, the Great Ocean Road should be high on every visitor’s must-see list!

Officially starting in Torquay, take a few days to make the drive as there are plenty of great places to stop and explore along the way before it finishes in Allansford.

With world-famous sites like the 12 Apostles, some of Australia’s best surf breaks and ample places to stock up and dine on local produce, your family will be kept super busy and wishing they had more time to spend.

What are the best places to take in the scenery along the Great Ocean Road?

  • 12 Apostles – One of Australia’s most famous coastal sites, see the limestone stacks tower above the often wild waters of the Southern Ocean. Be sure to see them at sunrise or sunset for the most dramatic views and photo opportunities.
  • Loch Ard Gorge – Not far from the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge was made famous by a shipwreck, leaving just two survivors. Explore from above on the cliffs or follow the stairs down to the beach for an entirely different angle and equally impressive views.
  • London Bridge – While part of it collapsed several years ago; visitors can still enjoy fantastic views of London Bridge. It’s also a great spot to learn about the natural cycle of erosion that has carved out the coast over millions of years.

5. Twelve Apostles

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Visitors shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see the mesmerising 12 Apostles along the famous Great Ocean Road, approximately four hours’ drive from Melbourne.

The limestone towers rise 45 metres above the sometimes ferocious Southern Ocean.

Once part of the cliffs behind them, they were formed through a process of erosion over millions of years, first becoming caves in the cliffs; then arches, before the arch collapsed to leave just the stacks you can see today – some of which have fallen over!

If you have time, be sure to visit at different times of day as they change colours between dawn and dusk.

What can families expect from the 12 Apostles?

  • Viewing Platform – Walk under the road from the car park and down to the viewing platforms for a better look and, of course, a great photo opportunity.
  • Twelve Apostles Centre – Learn more about the fantastic natural process that created the 12 Apostles and stories about the region’s cultural heritage.

6. Loch Ard Gorge

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A short drive from the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge was named after a famous shipwreck in 1878 on the nearby Muttonbird Island.

There were just two survivors of the Wreck who washed up in the relative calm of the gorge.

Enjoy the area’s natural beauty from several viewpoints and explore the walking trails.

What can your family expect to see at Loch Ard Gorge?

  • Geology Walk – A level loop trail is covering 900 metres. It includes The Razorback and Island Arch.
  • Loch Ard Wreck Lookout – An easy 400-metre walk over undulating ground is part of the more extended Wreck of the Loch Ard trail.
  • Wreck of the Loch Ard – A 1.4-kilometre trail with some slight inclines and narrow in places.
  • Thunder Cave – A sealed, 1.1-kilometre section of the more extended Living on the Edge trail.
  • Living on the Edge – The longest of the walking trails, this track is 3.2 kilometres long.
  • 2 km with inclines on bitumen and crushed rock.
  • Mutton Bird Island Lookout – A short one hundred metre stroll to the upper viewing platform or take the stairs down to the lower platform.

7. Dandenongs Ranges

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Stunningly scenic and less than an hour from Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges should be high on every family’s list of things to do.

Explore forests, gardens and lookouts for some fresh air or perhaps take a drive along idyllic winding roads through some brilliant countryside.

Check out the works by local artists in several studios or pick up supplies at a local craft shop and create your own.

What are the top family attractions in the Dandenong Ranges?

  • Puffing Billy Railway – Take a ride on a steam train through quaint townships and fantastic scenery.
  • Skyhigh Mt Dandenong – Elevated 630 metres above sea level, this is the highest natural viewing point in the entire state. Look out over the city of Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay and further afield.
  • Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden – See impressive displays of blooms, including rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and daffodils. Even when the flowers aren’t in season, enjoy a wander through more than one hundred acres of stunning parkland.

8. Puffing Billy Steam Train

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A century-old steam train, you can step back in time as your climb aboard Puffing Billy for a ride through the Dandenong Ranges, around an hour east of Melbourne.

Stunning scenery awaits with temperate rainforest and magnificent views, as well as quaint towns and villages along the way.

What can families see along the way on Puffing Billy Train?

  • Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge – The most famous landmark along Puffing Billy’s journey, the Monbulk Creek trestle bridge is classified by the National Trust of Victoria with 15 spans and a length of 300 feet. A car park below is the ideal location for photos of the steam train.
  • The view – Between Menzies Creek Station and Emerald, passengers can enjoy views of Port Phillip Bay, Arthurs Seat and Westernport on a clear day, as well as the Cardinia Reservoir.
  • Emerald – The only original station building still intact along the journey, Emerald township also has shops, bakeries and cafes to explore.
  • Lakeside – An excellent spot for families to take a break and enjoy picnic and BBQ facilities alongside the lake, as well as walking tracks through the park and a playground.

9. Healesville Sanctuary

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Just an hour from Melbourne, you’ll find Healesville Sanctuary, located in the beautiful Yarra Valley.

Journey through bushland surrounds and discover some of Australia’s most iconic animals, including kangaroos, koalas, wombats, emus, dingoes and even a platypus or two!

Be sure to attend at least one keeper talk during your visit and find out how they care for each of the different animals which call Healesville Sanctuary home.

What are the must-sees for visitors to Healesville Sanctuary?

  • Kangaroo Country – See one of Australia’s most iconic animals – the kangaroo – up close at Healesville Sanctuary. Learn more at a keeper talk or wander through the exhibits and discover how they raise their young.
  • Spirits of the Sky – You’ll be in awe as you witness birds of prey take to the sky alongside brilliant parrots. The daily show is a not-to-be-missed experience!
  • Close-up Encounters – Don’t miss your opportunity to get up close to your favourite animal – how about an echidna or a koala? Or perhaps a dingo is more your style?

10. Sherbrooke Forest in Dandenong Ranges

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Sherbrooke Forest forms part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park after merging with Doongalla Reserve and Ferntree Gully National Park in the late 1980s. It is located near the suburb of Belgrave and around 40 kilometres east of Melbourne.

Much of the forest is dominated by the Mountain Ash, the world’s tallest flowering plant. It is also well known for the population of superb lyrebirds, which calls the forest home and is regularly used to study and conserve the species.

What are the best walking tracks for families to explore in Sherbrooke Forest?

  • Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk – This 6.6-kilometre walk will showcase the changing vegetation from wildfires and past land use. One of the best walks in the Dandenong Ranges region, marvel at the Mountain Ash and Messmate Stringybark trees along the way and, if you’re lucky, spot superb lyrebirds, swap wallabies or maybe even an echidna.
  • Sherbrooke Falls Walk – An easy 2.4 kilometre walk through towering Mountain Ash trees and an abundance of fern species in the understorey. Plan your visit after rain for the best vistas as the Sherbrooke Creek tumbles over the rocky outcrops.

11. Enchanted Adventure Garden

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Just one hour from Melbourne, enjoy all kinds of fun at the Enchanted Adventure Garden – an award-winning fun park.

There are hedge mazes, tree surfing, a canopy walk and super-fun slides.

Plus, enjoy it all in stunning natural surrounds.

Be sure to stop by the lolly shop before you leave!

What are the best activities your family will enjoy at Enchanted Adventure Garden?

  • Mazes – There are three magnificent hedge mazes to explore – can you find your way?
  • Tube Slides – Hop on a tube and race down the giant slides – there’s six to choose from with twisters and straight ones, as well as a special one for the kids.
  • The Bush Adventure Scramble – A kids obstacle course was featuring a bush swing, pipes to wriggle over and under, a web and wobble board.
  • Canopy Walk – Enjoy the stunning bushland surrounds from up high on the suspended canopy walk with interconnecting bridges and platforms.
  • Tree Surfing Grand – Tackle the aerial obstacles, bridges and zip-lines while up to 10 metres off the ground – it’s challenging for adults and kids!

12. Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Garden

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Located on the Mornington Peninsula around an hour from Melbourne, Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens will keep the whole family entertained for hours.

The highlight of any visit is the oldest hedge maze in Australia, which towers three metres high and is two metres thick. Visitors will also enjoy the circular rose maze, Lavender Labyrinth and gardens stretching over 25 acres.

Visitors can also dine at the on-site cafe or pick up something to take home from the gift shop.

What can families do at the Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens?

  • The Hedge Maze – Wander through the famous hedge maze, created by planting more than 1,000 cypress trees over 40 years ago. Visitors can try to find the four mosaic flags in each half of the maze. Both halves are laid out differently to add to the fun!
  • Ashcombe Cafe – See what items on the menu are created with lavender grown on-site, including scones, ice cream and tea blends. Other menu items feature produce developed on-site as well.
  • Gift Shop – Stop by and see what souvenirs you can take home from your visit, including lavender bath and beauty products, jams, cookies and much more.
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