Weekends are precious. You want to make the most of those lovely days when you have no responsibilities and the world is full with opportunities for you to explore. Discovering new pubs, taking in art, and savouring your way through food markets are just some of the things you can do in Melbourne, which is fortunate since it means you won't have to spend your days stuck inside watching endless episodes of Netflix. The following is a selection of the events that took place throughout the weekend.
Global Ballooning hot air balloon flights
Global Ballooning Australia is one of the most reputable firms operating in Melbourne that offers hot air balloon rides, and they do so in a total of three distinct places around the state of Victoria. There are the thrilling rides over the rugged terrain of Mansfield, the enchanting trips over the Yarra Valley, and (maybe the most remarkable of them), the flights above the central business district of Melbourne. There is just one other big city in the world, Melbourne, that allows commercial hot air balloon flights above the central business district.
Your day officially begins around an hour before sunrise, however the exact timing of this may change depending on the season in which you ride. It is usual practise to schedule trips in hot air balloons during the small hours of the morning because this is the time of day when circumstances are the least likely to change.
There are two possible routes that the CBD flight can take: either directly through the middle of the city or quickly around it. In the event that you do decide to ride around the city, you will get the opportunity to witness some teeny little office employees making their way to their high-rises as well as spy a few of Melbourne's most iconic landmarks from above.
You'll also get the opportunity to view how the trees in Fitzroy Gardens have been planted to resemble a Union Jack, which is normally something that can only be seen when you're several hundred metres above the city.
The ride itself is really smooth, and there are no sharp twists or drops that you need to be concerned about. The only time you'll experience turbulence is when you're coming in for a landing, but don't worry; your pilots will give you plenty of advice on how to be ready for touch down.
Sunrise rides will have you in the air for approximately one hour, but the entire experience will take approximately four hours, including preparation, packing, and transportation to and from the takeoff spot (which typically occurs somewhere in Melbourne's west) and the landing spot (which typically occurs somewhere in Melbourne's east).
After the ride, punters also have the option of partaking in breakfast at the Amora Hotel Riverwalk in Richmond, which is often a buffet meal (complete with sparkling champagne!). Bear in mind that while you will be launching in the western part of Melbourne, you will first need to meet the Global Ballooning crew at the Amora Hotel. From there, they will transport everyone to the spot where the balloon will be launched.
If you want to go on a ride at sunrise, you will need to bundle up, but the experience will be well worth it since you will get to witness the sky explode with colour as the sun rises above the horizon. Additionally, when you are up in the balloon, there is no wind since you are practically flowing with the wind towards your goal. This makes travelling in a balloon a really peaceful experience. When they are operating at full power, the burners will certainly keep you toasty.
The rides are available seven days a week and begin at a price of $405, which includes complimentary on-board photography. You also have the option to hire the entire basket for yourself, which is something that can be arranged with the team (maybe for a particularly memorable proposal?). It is also important to mention that Global Ballooning Australia is the only hot air balloon operator in Victoria that compensates for the carbon emissions caused by its operations.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
Discover the wonders of Africa in about half an hour's travel time from Melbourne.
Embark on a guided safari through the one-of-a-kind open range savannah and keep an eye out for zebras, giraffes, and rhinoceroses.
You will come face to face with a pride of lions, observe cheeky monkeys at play, find a family of hippos in their wetland habitat, and see one of the world's largest gorilla displays on the walking paths.
You may book yourself into an encounter if you're searching for even more excitement. You may select from a variety of activities such as feeding giraffes, petting servals, and viewing beautiful wildlife on the Savannah while riding in open-air vehicles.
Check out Slumber Safari, an overnight glamping experience, if you are interested in a one-of-a-kind accommodation option, or Sunset Safari, which offers a three-hour programme that includes dinner, a safari, and entertainment. If you are looking for an evening activity, the new Sunset Safari offers it.
Every weekend, during the school vacations declared by the Victorian Government, and on public holidays in Victoria, admission is waived for children under the age of 16 years old.
Visitors and members alike are required to purchase tickets in advance and do so online.
All guests, including infants and children under the age of four, as well as members of the zoo, are required to purchase tickets in advance and reserve them online. The daily number of visitors to the zoo will be capped at a maximum of 1,500 persons.
Zoo members will receive free tickets, but they will need to reserve them in advance online.
Australian Sports Museum
After undergoing renovations costing $17 million, the Australian Sports Museum at the MCG, which houses the country's most comprehensive collection of athletic artefacts, is now accessible to the public.
This is not your typical museum at all. Visitors are given the opportunity to participate in the action and learn about the distinctive histories of Australian sports through a variety of interactive elements, such as touch displays, avatars, climbable walls, and sporting challenges.
Tickets may be purchased directly from the website as of right now. At the MCG, you can get a taste of this thrilling new experience by being one of the first people to do so.
- People who have access needs are welcomed with open arms.
- Suitable for visitors who have adequate mobility to climb two or three stairs, but would benefit from fixtures and fittings to improve balance. Suitable for guests who have sufficient mobility to climb two or three steps.
- Appropriate for visitors who must be seated in a wheelchair at all times and who utilise the chair at all times.
- Conference/convention facilities
- Nonsmoking establishment
- Public toilet
- Quality Tourism Accredited Business
- Museums Australia
- Australian Tourism Export Council
- Victoria Tourism Industry Council
When Scienceworks first opened its doors in 1992, its mission was to provide a location where children and teenagers could experiment with scientific concepts. A new building that looks over the arena to the century-old Pumping Station is part of Scienceworks, which is a project that connected Melbourne's industry, history, and applied technology in one area. All of this took place below the majestic arc of the West Gate Bridge.
Today, Scienceworks is packed to the brim with activities that will challenge the inquisitive minds of visitors of all ages. You may experience electric theatre in the Lightning Room, let your small ones explore securely in contained rooms, meander through immersive exhibitions, and dive into deep space in the Melbourne Planetarium, all within the confines of a single visit to the Melbourne Museum.
The staff at Scienceworks is always inquisitive, much like the guests that come to the museum. How does it work? Why does it behave in such a way? In what ways is our world undergoing change? Participate in their journey to unravel the secrets that underlie both the cosmos and the lives we lead here on Earth.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
The Royal Botanic Gardens is the place to go if you want to get away from the chaos of the city's central business district (CBD) without really leaving the city. This enormous garden is located on the outskirts of the city, and it features 8,500 different varieties of plants, as well as zen pools and luscious grass.
The subtleties of the gardens are highlighted through a variety of workshops, excursions, walks, and presentations. These activities range from star-gazing night tours in the Melbourne Observatory to science seminars, such as one that explores the phylogeography of coconut.
Through the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, you will travel through time to learn about the history of the Koolin people. You will be led around the gardens by a native guide, who will also take you through a traditional smoking ritual and demonstrate how various plants may be used as both food and medicinal.
Do you want to get a fresh look at the Gardens from a different angle? Make reservations for a classic punt ride around Ornamental Lake, which will provide you with breathtaking vistas of the lake's coves and small islands. You even receive your paper parasol.
Do you want to pursue your own interests? There are several different walks and plant collections that are always available for you to investigate. The camellia collection is one of the greatest in the world, with more than 950 distinct varieties. Fern Gully is a recreation of a cold woodland that has many different species of ferns. The Tropical Glasshouse is packed with vibrant blooms and palm trees.
In addition to being home to the Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Herbarium of Victoria is located within the Royal Botanic Gardens. The National Herbarium houses over 1.5 million plant, algal, and fungal specimens.
Queen Victoria Market
The Queen Victoria Market is an outdoor market that is boisterous and proud, and it is packed with seasoned stallholders who are enthusiastic about fresh products (and are happy to tell you about it). It is well known throughout the community as the go-to location for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and an exceptional assortment of dairy products and other minor things. Additionally, it has become something of a "must visit" destination for visitors.
And why on earth not? The markets have developed into more than simply a location to get your weekly shopping done because there are now a large number of stalls offering clothing, accessories, and other trinkets and knickknacks. Every weekend, the market's surrounding cafés are typically packed with people having brunch because they are located on the market's periphery.
Before paying a visit to the Queen Vic, make sure you are aware of the establishment's business hours (it is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays), and before you leave, don't forget to acquire a hot jam doughnut.
Be sure to stop by the Night Markets, which take place every Wednesday evening during the summer and winter seasons. The market takes on a new persona here as a gathering place for local artisans, mobile eateries, and live performances.
The oldest and most well-known art museum in Australia is housed in this impressive modernist structure on St. Kilda Road. This accolade was bestowed upon the gallery as a result of the exceptional quality and breadth of its permanent collection; the museum's great travelling collections; and a continuing programme of extra activities geared towards both area residents and visitors.
For a gallery that has only been in operation since the middle of the 1800s, the permanent collection has works by such illustrious artists as Rembrandt, Bonnard, and Tiepolo. Every everyone who enters the NGV is required to walk past the water wall, and it is quite difficult to refrain from touching it.
The bottom level of the gallery is often where the most important exhibitions are held, and it is also where the stunning stained glass ceiling in the Great Hall can be found. The ceiling is designed to seem like cooked lollies.
The permanent collections and the more intimate visiting exhibitions are located on the upper floors of the building. Be advised that it is easy to lose individuals in the huge rooms that were built during the colonial era; thus, keep a tight check on any minors who are attempting to escape from jail. You can't go to the National Gallery of Victoria without devoting a significant portion of your trip to the 19th Century Gallery (or Salon Gallery).
It is home to one of the most emotionally powerful paintings in the museum, titled "Anguish," which was painted by August Friedrich Schenck. The room got its name from the manner in which the paintings were placed.
You might easily spend an entire day in the building, so be sure to take frequent breaks; if you are feeling fancy, the Tea Room serves high tea in addition to cakes and light meals; whereas downstairs, at the Garden Restaurant, you can fill your tummy with the seasonal menu items.
Weekend getaways: the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road winds its way along the entire south-west coast of the state of Victoria, beginning in Torquay (which is located approximately one and a half hours from the state capital) and concluding just before Warrnambool. The Great Ocean Road is justifiably considered to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Victoria. This meandering section of road offers a wealth of opportunities to reacquaint oneself with the sea, the forest, and the sights, smells, and sounds of the natural world, whether one is driving, strolling, horseback riding, surfing, sailing, or riding a bicycle along it.
If you don't make any breaks, the journey should take roughly four hours, but you should follow our caution since you will want to make pauses. There is simply too much going on along the seaside for there not to be. There is lots to do along the Great Ocean Road, so whether you travel for the day, stay for the weekend, or even relocate there permanently, you won't be bored.
Torquay and surrounds
You will feel envious of the residents who are able to dine and buy at Surf Coast Wholefoods on a regular basis; but, if it would help you feel better, you may pretend that you are a local when you stop in for a drop-in visit. Both the Buddha Bowl and the plant-based taco are outstanding options at this restaurant. You'll have plenty of energy for a day of surfing, strolling, and seeing Torquay if you eat foods like avocado, brown rice, kale, and tofu.
Front beach Taphouse & Restaurant is a place where you can get meals and artisan beers at any time of the day. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you look out over the front beach of Torquay.
Whether it's just the two of you or the whole family, Serenity Accommodation has vacation houses that are dependable and professionally furnished for you to choose from. Both of Serenity's residences are exactly the same, and they may be found in Torquay. In addition, rather of having to fumble with keys and lockboxes upon arrival, visitors may check in quickly and effortlessly using an app.
Torquay Surfing Academy is the place to go if you want to learn how to surf from experienced instructors. The staff here has been working for over 20 years, so they are specialists at putting you on that board. It doesn't matter whether you have never participated in the sport before or if your rusty abilities may use some polishing; they can help. The facility not only sells but also rents out all necessary equipment, such as wetsuits with properly sealed seams and surfboards.
Lorne and surrounds
The Bottle of Milk in Lorne, which is located on Mount Joy Parade, is an absolute need to check out. You may have a hot rod bagel with scrambled eggs, chilli jam, and goat cheese, or you can get smashed avocado with fresh chilli on sourdough if that's what you're craving. Either way, they've got you covered.
To the end of a successful day, raise a glass at Ipsos Restaurant and Bar's outside seating area to celebrate.
As soon as you step foot in Lorne, you are greeted with Mantra Lorne. The Mantra features an abundance of amenities, including spacious grounds, an on-site restaurant, and accommodations that are suitable for lone travellers as well as those travelling with their entire extended family.
You should take a stroll down the beach first thing in the morning, even if it's only for an hour before you turn around and head back. Absolutely nothing can compare to the sight of the sun rising over the ocean. Dog lovers are usually in for a treat when they see that the locals have brought their four-legged companions with them to enjoy the scenery.
If you only do one thing…
Pay a visit to Live Wire Action Park, a massive adventure playground located just outside of Lorne. At this park, you will climb, swing, leap, wobble, and soar amid tall eucalyptus trees.
Apollo Bay and surrounds
Since you are at the beach, you will, of course, have a yearning for fish & chips. The potato chips at Apollo Bay Fishermen's Co-op are perfectly crispy and crunchy, and the local fish they sell is delicious. Oysters, prawns, and crayfish are just some of the seafood options that guests have access to on the balcony that overlooks the water. In that case, go out and purchase a large quantity of fresh fish and crabs, then make your own seafood feast at home.
Make sure to point the workers in the direction of Great Ocean Road Brewhouse at the conclusion of the day since it is an impressive large red-brick structure with outdoor seating, pub dinners, and the atmosphere of a traditional pub.
The Apollo Apartments may be found in a very contemporary glass and concrete structure that is just across from the beach. They are priced in the middle of the range for budgets and include standard conveniences like as free Wi-Fi, parking, and cooking facilities.
The Great Ocean Walk is an absolute need that needs to be included in your schedule. This is the best opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life and immerse oneself in the splendour of nature thanks to the breathtaking views of the surrounding bushland, coast, and sea. It is imperative that you stock up on water. You may access maps either on the website or in the visitor centre. Please go here to read our hiking guide for the Great Ocean Walk.
If you only do one thing…
Make your way to Cape Otway, which is the farthest southern point on the western coast of Victoria. You can spot koala bums amid the native gum trees if you head in the direction of the Cape Otway lighthouse and point your noggin in the direction of the sky. You may also go on a hunt for waterfalls; the adjacent Beech Forest is home to both Beauchamp Falls and Hopetoun Falls, both of which can be seen in the photo.
FAQs About Melbourne attractions
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If it is your first time visiting the city, you'll find it is entirely possible to experience Melbourne in 3 days, although 5 days is ideal so you have more time for day trips.
Victoria's special ability was enhanced self-preservation, which is how she was able to escape being killed by the Quileute wolves and the Cullens in Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse.