We looked into many different options for playgrounds and activities in Melbourne and Geelong, and these are the best of the bunch. Click on the link for more information on each playground, including reviews, facilities, and maps. The page for each playground also features a link to a photo slideshow.
Melbourne's most iconic dish has just been announced
The Melbourne dish that will go down in history has finally been revealed.
It's safe to say it now. The humble parma was voted Melbourne's favourite dish this year.
In 2020, Time Out readers voted for fried chicken to represent Melbourne in our definitive guide to the world's most iconic dishes. In a figurative sense, the fried chicken has claimed its rightful place as Melbourne's entry in the guide.
Before we get into it, though, let's get the spelling and pronunciation right: it's parma with a 'a,' not parmi with a 'I,' Geelong and the rest of Australia. You know very well that you are completely wrong.
So, what, precisely, is a parma? Chicken schnitzel, topped with napoli sauce and grilled to perfection, is a pub staple. Along with the cheese, there are slices of smoked ham and a mountain of cheese on top. Vegetarians can enjoy this dish by substituting meaty eggplant or mock meat for the chicken, and it is often served with chips or a salad for the "health-conscious," or sometimes both.
The dish's namesake, parmigiana or parmigiana di melanzane, can be traced back to the 17th century in Italy. Instead of chicken, this dish substitutes fried eggplant slices in oil, which are then topped with a plethora of layers of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. After being layered like lasagne, the dish was baked and served in slices.
Italian Americans made some adjustments to it after it arrived in the United States. The dish's original inspiration, eggplant, was discarded in the 1940s in favour of chicken. The worst part, and we'll let you decide which it is, is probably either the name "chicken parmesan" or the fact that it's served over pasta, but you can decide.
It's unclear when exactly the parmigiana made its way to Australia's shores, but it was likely some time in the 1980s. Someone ruined the meal by adding a layer of ham, using one enormous schnitty instead of multiple smaller ones, and getting to work on the cheese grater when the happy occasion occurred, turning it into a meal fit for only one person.
In retrospect, we at Time Out are glad the parma was destined to wind up here, because now we can eat the delicious results. Mrs. Parmas, a venue that serves ten different variations of the dish that is a dream come true for chicken lovers, is just one example of Melbourne's parma obsession, which has led to the dish being featured on the menus of most pubs in the city as well as the creation of parma-specific festivals and awards.
The Australian Music Vault
The Australian Music Vault is a free museum that showcases iconic items from the Australian Performing Arts Collection alongside interactive and digital experiences that tell the story of Australia's musical past.
Learn about the origins of the so-called "Australian sound," peruse the wardrobes of international celebrities, and investigate the evolution of hip hop in the land down under.
Visitors can listen to interviews with musicians, promoters, and others working behind the scenes as they share their stories in the exhibition's "engagement zones," which feature a highly interactive digital experience.
A number of improvements, including the incorporation of QR code contact tracing, have been made to ensure that your time with us is both satisfying and secure.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
In a city with such a rich history, the Melbourne Gardens are an invaluable resource. More than 1.9 million people visit Melbourne's gardens every year. The Gardens are full of surprises and delights, from the breathtaking scenery to the tranquil lakes and the countless varieties of plants.
Enjoy the scenic setting just minutes from the city while participating in the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, a Free Guided Walk, a ride on the Garden Explorer, or a leisurely game of punting on the peaceful Ornamental Lake.
Incredibly beautiful and diverse plant collections can be found in these Gardens. These include camellias, rainforest plants, succulents and cacti, roses, California native plants, herbs, perennials, cycads, and plants native to Southern China. The area around Guilfoyle's Volcano is fantastic, and visitors shouldn't miss it. The Gardens are also a safe haven for local plant and animal species.
Kids can explore nature in all its glory at the Children's Garden, which features a bamboo forest, rock climbing walls, and plant tunnels for exploring the environment up close. If you have kids and want to teach them about nature, this garden is the place to go.
Cafes, The Terrace and Jardin Tan, are available for guests to unwind in. Gifts and keepsakes with a botanical theme are available for purchase at the Gardens Shop.
While the weather is nice, the lawns host a number of exciting events, from theatrical and cinematic productions to art shows.
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
The Melbourne Star offers a breathtaking and unforgettable panorama of the city below and is the only observation wheel in the Southern Hemisphere. At an incredible 120 metres in height, this is Melbourne as you've never seen it before.
You'll be able to see the Dandenong Ranges and Port Phillip from this breathtaking vantage point, as well as countless other famous landmarks and glittering skyscrapers.
More options are available than ever before for Melbourne Star's visitors. Large, climate-controlled cabins allow passengers to relax and take in the breathtaking panoramas while listening to informative audio commentary about the city's landmarks. If they want to add a little glitz to the trip, they can book a Sparkling Flight and drink champagne, sparkling wine, or beer during takeoff. They could, alternatively, enjoy Peter Rowland's catering, a man who has made it his life's work to create culinary masterpieces since 1962.
In a private cabin, guests of Melbourne Star can enjoy savoury or sweet canapés and a variety of drinks.
Why not treat yourself by purchasing the Sights, Lights, and Delights package, which includes admission to all of Melbourne's top attractions? Spend the day taking in the breathtaking views, and the night being enchanted by the lights. A digital photo pass and refreshing drinks are also available.
- Actively welcomes people with access needs
- Suitable for guests who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behavior
- Suitable for guests with a vision impairment. Attained by providing for guests with partial vision impairment or total loss of useable vision
- Suitable for guests with a hearing impairment, from mild hearing loss to profoundly deaf
- Suitable for guests with sufficient mobility to climb two or three steps, but would benefit from fixtures and fittings to aid balance
- Suitable for guests who depend on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position at all times
- Suitable for guests with high support needs who uses a hoist and always travel with a carer
- Suitable for guests with allergies and intolerances
- Car park
- Coach parking
- Non smoking establishment
- Public toilet
Lines wrap around the block almost every day for pastries from Lune Croissanterie, run by sister and brother team Kate and Cameron Reid, but the question remains whether or not Lune lives up to the hype. To put it briefly, the answer is yes. The Lune croissants are nearly mathematically perfect because they are baked in a climate-controlled laboratory. They have a flaky, golden exterior and layers of fine pastry that can be seen.
Get there early if you want to get your hands on a twice-baked almond croissant or a lemon curd cruffin, which are filled with a tart curd and sprinkled with citrous sugar. The demand for both of these baked goods is extremely high. The coffee service at Lune is so prompt and well-organized that it may cause anxiety if you aren't a morning person.
Upon reaching the front of the line, a barista will take your order and deliver your beverage to the counter where the pastries are kept. After you've decided on a cruffin or a croissant and had one brought to you while they're still warm from the oven, you can pick up your coffee in the country where it's grown.
There is a way to avoid having to wait in line. If you reserve a spot and pay for the Lune Lab experience in advance online, you can enjoy a three-course pastry feast with free coffee refills. In addition to Lune's signature croissants, you will also have access to two pastries that are not listed on the menu.
The Astor Theatre
The Astor in St. Kilda is Melbourne's oldest single-screen theatre, and it has the kind of reputation and fan base that every cinema strives for.
This theatre has been a cultural icon ever since it first opened in 1936. Gorgeous gold curtains frame the screen, transporting you back in time to classic Hollywood.
The classic auditorium theatre features a programme of new and classic films in 35mm, 70mm, and digital formats, making it a cultural hub for film buffs.
During the films, audience members can expect to be visited by the theater's resident cat, Duke. He is also frequently spotted strolling the theater's plush carpeted corridors.
The Art Deco landmark known as The Astor has been the subject of numerous proposals for its redevelopment over the course of its long existence, providing ample material for a dramatic film.
Manager Zak Hepburn has always been interested in performing on stage. "I grew up in Bacchus Marsh, where there was no cinema," Hepburn explains of her youth. When I was a kid, my mum took me to see Yellow Submarine at the Astor. I've been going to the Astor ever since I was a kid and bugging my mum to drive us there (it's over an hour and a half away).
Hepburn assures patrons that the "Astor Experience" will be preserved in full at Palace Cinemas. Hepburn elaborated, "With double features and remastered classics, new and independent movies, film festivals, and special events, the focus is very much on establishing a cultural hub for movie fans."
Peninsula Hot Springs
Mornington Peninsula has long been a popular destination for Melbourne locals seeking a relaxing weekend escape. It would be blasphemous for anyone to come to this area and not visit the Peninsula Hot Springs.
Community bathing is also available in the Spa Dreaming Centre's tranquil thermal pools, including a grotto pool, a barrel bath, and an indoor pool with a view of the lake. There is a spa within the hotel where guests can get a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, and body scrubs.
More than twenty years after it first opened, Hot Springs is still growing. There are now nine new pools, a food garden that supplies the spa's café, and an ice cave and deep freeze chamber thanks to a $13 million expansion completed in 2018.
The ice cave in Australia is the first of its kind in the country, and hot and cold therapy is a well-respected method for alleviating inflammation, stress, and soreness (think footy players jumping into the sea or having crazy ice baths).
Even though you could easily while away hours lazing in the pools, the "fire and ice experience" is a highlight. In a 45-minute workshop, visitors are exposed to the site's hot sauna (at 60 degrees Fahrenheit), cold plunge pool (at 4 degrees Fahrenheit), ice cave (at -17 degrees Fahrenheit), and geothermal hot spring (at 36 degrees Fahrenheit).
Forget about bungee jumping and try this instead if you're looking for a heart-pounding adventure. You'll feel your heart rate fluctuate, sweat, and shiver, but you'll come away from the experience with a newfound appreciation for your body and the things it's capable of.
Peninsula Hot Springs has an entry fee of $25 year-round, but it rises during peak season.
Arts Centre Melbourne
Typically, the venues are open for at least another hour after the last show of the night has ended. Up until that time, you can take your time exploring any of the exhibits. Large-scale productions, symphonies, ballets, and other highbrow events can be found at the State Theatre, while the Sidney Myer Music Bowl hosts festivals, concerts, and other outdoor events.
Eat at or grab a drink at The Barre, conveniently located in the Theatres Building, before the performance.
An ordinary parma was voted this year's favourite dish in Melbourne. Fried chicken was chosen by Time Out readers as the city's representative in our ultimate guide to the world's most iconic dishes. The origins of the name "parmigiana" can be traced back to the 17th century in Italy, where the dish was first created. As a result of Melburnians' fixation on parma, numerous celebrations and awards are dedicated to the dish. There is a free museum dedicated to showcasing important pieces of Australia's performing arts history called the Australian Music Vault.
Gardens in Melbourne are visited by over 1.9 million people annually. There are several places to relax, including cafes, The Terrace, and Jardin Tan. The Gardens Shop sells souvenirs and gifts with a botanical theme. Passengers can stretch out in the spacious, air-conditioned cabins and take in the breathtaking vistas. Because they are baked in a temperature and humidity controlled laboratory, Lune croissants are nearly mathematically perfect.
Lune has excellent timing and organisation in their coffee service. Since its opening in 1936, Melbourne's The Astor Theater has been a cultural landmark. Duke, the theatre cat, often makes an appearance in the theatre during showings. Among the many places to soak in Melbourne, the Peninsula Hot Springs are among the most well-liked. The Spa Dreaming Centre has peaceful thermal pools where the public can take a dip.
All sorts of pampering services, like massages, facials, and body scrubs, are available at the hotel's spa. There are now nine additional pools, a food garden, and an ice cave at Melbourne's Peninsula Hot Springs. As far as we know, this ice cave is a first for Australia. Concerts, ballets, and other culturally significant events are performed at the Center for the Arts.
- The Melbourne dish that will go down in history has finally been revealed.
- An ordinary parma was voted this year's favourite dish in Melbourne.
- Time Out readers have chosen fried chicken as Melbourne's representative dish in our ultimate guide to the world's most iconic dishes for the year 2020.
- The origins of the name "parmigiana," also known as "parmigiana di melanzane," can be traced back to the 17th century in Italy.
- One example of Melbourne's parma obsession is Mrs. Parmas, a restaurant that serves ten different varieties of the dish that is a dream come true for chicken lovers and can be found on the menus of most pubs in the city. Melbourne even has parma-specific festivals and awards.
- In addition to displaying priceless artefacts from the Australian Performing Arts Collection, the Australian Music Vault also provides free interactive and digital experiences that shed light on Australia's rich musical history.
- The Melbourne Gardens are a priceless asset to a city with Melbourne's level of heritage.
- Gardens in Melbourne are visited by over 1.9 million people annually.
- Incredibly beautiful and diverse plant collections can be found in these Gardens.
- Many native plant and animal species in the area find refuge in the Gardens.
- The Melbourne Star is the only observation wheel in the Southern Hemisphere, and its views of the city below are breathtaking and unforgettable.
- This is Melbourne like you've never seen it before, from an incredible 120 metres in the air.
- Spend the day taking in the breathtaking views, and the night being enchanted by the lights.
- If you aren't a morning person, you might feel a little stressed out by Lune's coffee service because it's so well-organized and quick.
- There is a way to avoid having to wait in line.
- If you reserve a spot and pay for the Lune Lab experience in advance online, you can enjoy a three-course pastry feast with free coffee refills.
- You can get not only Lune's famous croissants but also two other pastries that aren't on the menu.
- Melbourne's oldest single-screen theatre, The Astor in St. Kilda, has the kind of reputation and devoted fan base that every movie theatre dreams of having.
- Zak Hepburn, the manager, has always wanted to act. According to Hepburn, she spent her formative years in a small town called Bacchus Marsh, Australia, without access to a movie theatre.
- Mom took me to see Yellow Submarine at the Astor when I was a kid.
- As far back as I can remember, I have been nagging my mother to take me to the Astor (even though it is more than an hour and a half away).
- Hepburn guarantees that the "Astor Experience" will be replicated in its entirety at Palace Cinemas.
- According to Hepburn, "the focus is very much on establishing a cultural hub for movie fans, with double features and remastered classics, new and independent movies, film festivals, and special events."
- Residents of Melbourne who are looking for a peaceful weekend getaway often head to Mornington Peninsula.
- Everyone who visits this area must go to the Peninsula Hot Springs. To not do so would be sacrilegious.
- Hot Springs has expanded in the twenty years since it first opened.
- In 2018, the spa invested $13 million to add nine new pools, a food garden to supply the spa's café, an ice cave, and a deep freeze chamber.
- The ice cave in Australia is the first of its kind in the country, and hot and cold therapy is a well-respected method for alleviating inflammation, stress, and soreness (think footy players jumping into the sea or having crazy ice baths) (think footy players jumping into the sea or having crazy ice baths).
- You could spend hours just lounging around in the pools, but the highlight is the "fire and ice experience."
- This site features a hot sauna (at 60 degrees Fahrenheit), a cold plunge pool (at 4 degrees Fahrenheit), an ice cave (at -17 degrees Fahrenheit), and a geothermal hot spring, all of which visitors experience in a 45-minute workshop (at 36 degrees Fahrenheit).
- If you're looking for a heart-pounding adventure, skip the bungee jump and try this instead.
- The entry fee to Peninsula Hot Springs is $25 per person all year, with a slight increase during the summer months.
- After the last show of the night is over, most of the venues stay open for at least another hour.
FAQs About Melbourne
Australia's 'capital of cool' has been voted most friendly in a survey undertaken by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Melbourne tied first place for friendliest city with Auckland in the survey, where voters were able to take a number of factors into consideration, not just the demeanour of a city's people.
Melbourne is known for being one of the most liveable cities on earth. Often referred to as 'the Sporting Capital of the World', besides this it is also famous for its graffitied laneways, excellent coffee, cultural diversity and bayside location. This eclectic Australian city has something for everyone.