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Melbourne: Great Places You Should Visit Right Now

We have reviewed many playgrounds and things to do in Melbourne and Geelong and these are the pick of the crop. Click on the link to each playground for more information such as facilities list, full review and location map. Each playground also has a link to a slideshow of photos of the playground.

manly beach

St Kilda Pier

Providing panoramic views of the Melbourne skyline and Port Phillip Bay, the pier is a popular destination for strolling, cycling, rollerblading and fishing. 

Catch a ferry to Williamstown, enjoy a snack at the kiosk or try to spot the penguins and native water rats from the breakwater. Whatever your preference, St Kilda Pier provides an unforgettable experience right in the heart of Melbourne.

St Kilda Pier’s history dates back to 1853 when the St Kilda Pier and Jetty Company constructed a wooden jetty to assist the early settlers in unloading timber, building materials and firewood to St Kilda. Not long after its construction the small jetty fell victim to a stormy Port Phillip Bay and was washed away.

The historic St Kilda Pier Kiosk was built in 1904 and has undergone several renovations in its time.
Koorie Heritage Trust

Koorie Heritage Trust

Discover Aboriginal Victoria at the Koorie Heritage Trust.

Be inspired by the rich and complex history of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.

We offer a range of authentic Victorian Aboriginal experiences from the Birrarung Wilam (River Camp) walk; one of the largest collections of Koorie art and artifacts on permanent display; an annual exhibition program showcasing local Aboriginal artists; plus, an opportunity to purchase handcrafted locally made gifts.

Their purpose is to provide you with an authentic experience of Aboriginal art and culture from the First Peoples of southeast Australia by showcasing this dynamic living culture in new ways. Come and visit today.

Koorie Heritage Trust is open 10:00am to 5:00pm, seven days a week, except for all Victorian and National Public holidays.

Established in 1985, the Koorie Heritage Trust is Aboriginal-owned and managed.

Entry to the Koorie Heritage Trust is free.

Accessibility:

  • Actively welcomes people with access needs
  • Suitable for guests who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behaviour
  • Suitable for guests with 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

Facilities:

  • Car park
  • Coach parking
  • Conference/convention facilities
  • Interactive centre
  • Interpretive centre

Read more about this topic at https://www.visitvictoria.com/

melbourne chinatown google search google chrom

Chinatown

Step through the grand red gates of Melbourne’s Chinatown and enter a whole new world of Asian cuisine, karaoke, cocktail bars and fashion boutiques.

Explore the strip of nineteenth-century buildings between Swanston and Spring streets on Little Bourke Street – Australia’s oldest Chinatown.

Dumplings and chili kicks

Fill your belly in the renowned Asian restaurants Shark Fin and Westlake, where yum cha is the word for lunch, or try the fabulous Flower Drum for Cantonese fine dining. Sample the city’s best dumplings at HuTong Dumpling Bar, Shandong Mama and China Red.

Bright lights, big nights

Choose the perfect spot for dinner, then follow the lanterns and neon lights down a laneway or up a flight of stairs for cocktail sorcery at the Croft Institute, New Gold Mountain or Union Electric. Kick on with late-night karaoke at Heroes.  

Chinese Australia

Visit the Chinese Museum in Cohen Place and learn the story of Chinese Australia. Take a guided walk through Little Bourke Street’s buildings and lanes to uncover more of Melbourne’s hidden history.

Celebrate

Join the fun at yearly Chinatown festivals. Don’t miss the Asian Food Festival in spring and traditional Chinese New Year celebrations.

Read more about this topic at https://www.timeout.com/

Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo

When’s the last time you went on a Melbourne Zoo adventure?

Every trip to Melbourne Zoo is different. Despite being Australia’s oldest zoo, this vibrant animal world is constantly evolving, with new exhibits, events, and of course, creatures great and small. 

A trip to Melbourne Zoo done right takes a day. The largest exhibit is the majestic Wild Sea, where penguins and seals bask on land before slipping into clear waters and showcasing their elegant aquatic skills.

Another highlight is the sprawling Orang-utan Sanctuary, where a family of beautiful, intelligent orang-utans swings from tree to tree, play with each other and feed high off the ground. Then there’s the Trail of the Elephant: an immersive Asian village and garden where five Asian elephants thrive. 

We could go on and on about the lions, lemurs, meerkats, butterflies and native animals that you’ll encounter, but we’ll let you discover it all for yourself. 

Throughout your Melbourne Zoo experience, you’ll learn about all the conservation work that happens behind the scenes; saving wildlife, conserving habitats and raising awareness of initiatives like palm oil labeling. For children and adults alike, a trip to Melbourne Zoo is a way to reconnect with our animal friends and gain a closer understanding of the delicate ecosystems of the world.

If it’s been a while between visits, then there’s a world of adventure waiting for you.

Melbourne Restaurant

Beneath Driver Lane

If you like cocktails, whisky, blues, good service and eating Reuben sandwiches at 2am, Beneath Driver Lane is your basement of dreams. Occupying an old bank vault in the CBD, this bar has a Harry Potter feeling that’s rare in a city whose subterranean spaces are sorely underused.

If you remember the defunct Nant Whisky Bar you’ll be familiar with space, but the new guise feels much more lived-in.

 It’s a vision of rustic Victorian style: the brick arched booths, the walls cluttered with black and white photos, and the warm light from candles and low-hanging lamps feel more comfortable and complete than Nant ever did.

 John Lee Hooker grinds his twelve-bar over the soundwaves, combining with the fit-out and the sharp service to give this place a feeling that’s equal parts Melbourne, Chicago and Diagon Alley. Water bottles rest on vintage chrome serving trays, and drinks come on coasters of thick leather – the magic is in the details.

The folks behind the bar are all practiced professionals; personable, knowledgeable and looking sharp in black chef coats. What they’re mixing up is pretty sharp, too. For a bit of wow factor, custom builds your Martini in a delicate wine glass chilled with swirling liquid nitrogen. Or get tropical with the deliciously sweet and complex Storm Master dominated by guava but with a refreshingly sour finish. 

Melbourne Restaurant

The floral sweetness of a cucumber and lavender Old Fashioned is a bit cloying without the balance of acid or significant bitterness, and an otherwise delicious stirred-down rye drink has acid where none is needed, killing the richness of the whisky. 

But the Palo Santo wood-smoked glass adds a wonderful whiff of earthy vanilla and licorice, and these minor missteps in a long and ambitious list shouldn’t stop you from getting involved. The huge and well-rounded back bar also holds a 100+ bottle selection of whiskies, including unicorns like Yamazaki 18 and Pappy Van Winkle.

While the wine bars of Melbourne serves some of the best plates in the city, cocktail and spirits bars often treat food as an afterthought. Not so here. The bar snacks, many of which are served right through ‘til 2am, are some of the highlights.

 Take the roasted heirloom beetroots, beautifully presented on a bed of raisin, caper and dill puree, and tossed with black lentils –bar food never tasted this healthy. At the other end of the spectrum, the morcilla sausage rolls are not for the faint of heart. The rich blood pudding and flaky pastry rest on relish deeply spiced with enough dried chili to cause visions of Guadalajara.

By 11pm the room is nearly full and the music starts to ramp up the tempo to match, but it stops short of raucous. And despite the classic styling bartenders here won’t condescend, happily accommodating requests for “desserty shots”.

With our national drinking culture still fighting against its dangerous and juvenile nature, it’s nice that places like this are encouraging us to drink better without being judgemental. Beneath Driver Lane is a place to drink like a grownup, with just enough fun and fantasy to satisfy the kid within. 

Read more about this topic at https://www.timeout.com/

Heide Museum of Modern Art Melbourne

Heide Museum of Modern Art

From 30 June, Heide will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Please book a timed entry ticket online before your visit.

Heide Museum of Modern Art, or Heide as it is affectionately known, began life in 1934 as the Melbourne home of John and Sunday Reed and has since evolved into one of Australia’s most unique destinations for modern and contemporary Australian art.

Located just twenty minutes from the city, Heide boasts fifteen acres of beautiful gardens, three dedicated exhibition spaces, two historic kitchen gardens, a sculpture park and the Heide Store.

Café Heide, located in the sculpture plaza opposite the main entrance of the museum, serves coffee, breakfast and a delicious lunch-time menu that focuses on seasonal produce grown in the kitchen garden.

Visit the website for information on the exhibitions and programs and to discover the museum’s fascinating history.

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thursday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Accessibility:

  • Actively welcomes people with access needs
  • Suitable for guests with 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 who depend on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position at all times

Facilities:

  • Café
  • Car park
  • Picnic area
  • Public toilet

Melbourne Screen Worlds

ACMI

ACMI is the national museum of screen culture. You can navigate the world of film, TV, art and video games daily, in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

Open 364 days a year, ACMI is the most visited museum of its kind in the world.

Now open, after a two-year closure for redevelopment, ACMI provides an immersive, fun-filled day out for all ages.

Located in Fed Square, ACMI offers exhibitions, cinemas, an incredible gift shop, and a new destination dining experience, Hero, with Karen Martini at the helm.

As the home of Melbourne’s best and most popular film festivals, great Australian and international cinema, an annual calendar of talks and workshops, as well as the very best in contemporary art and screen culture.

Accessibility:

  • Actively welcomes people with access needs
  • Suitable for guests who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behavior
  • 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

Facilities:

  • Bar
  • Café
  • Car park
  • Games/recreation room
  • Interactive center

 

Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Wominjeka! Bunjilaka is a permanent exhibition at Melbourne Museum dedicated to representing the Koorie experience. The exhibition takes its name from the Bunjil, the ancestral wedge-tailed eagle and creator of the Indigenous people of southeast Australia. 

Co-curated by First Nations people, Bunjilaka has three main spaces: Birrarung Gallery, Millar Garden and Kalaya performance space. Three different shows by contemporary Koorie artists are shown in Birrarung Gallery each year, while Millari Garden grows plants significant to Victoria’s first peoples (it’s also where you can watch eels be fed every day at 1.45pm). 

Visitors to Bunjilaka will discover the stories and vibrant culture of Victoria’s first nation peoples through art and performance. Permanent shows include First Peoples (the history, culture, achievements and survival of Victoria’s Indigenous people) and Wurreka (a zinc wall etching by artist Judy Watson reflecting Indigenous heritage and the landscapes of Victoria).  

Bunjilaka is open every day except Good Friday and Christmas Day. Entry is free with entry to Melbourne Museum. 

 

HuTong

Three words: People’s Choice Award. That’s right, folks: the citizens of Time Out have spoken in the 2015 Food Awards and decreed this buzzing dumpling house their favorite spot to nosh. It’s a heavy burden, but one we reckon HuTong can handle.

For one thing, it’s not like they’re ever really begged for our love. The service covers the gamut from indifferent to icy. The triple-tiered space on Market Lane, where it set up shop in 2010, boldly eyeballing the august Flower Drum, is kind of eclectic. 

But that’s all irrelevant. All you need to know about the place is front and center when you walk through the door. It’s the bunch of chefs behind glass, madly engaged in a virtuosic display of dumplings as performance art.


Start with the xiao long bao – or xiao long bao, as the HuTong menu phonetically insists on calling them. The Shanghainese soup dumplings with their pork and soup filling deserve their reputation: saddle up your spoon with threads of ginger and a slosh of black vinegar, nibble a hole and slurp away while trying to keep any spillage from ruining your threads (here’s a handy hint for eating at HuTong: don’t wear white). 

The XLB are excellent, although the wontons with chili sauce are breathing down their neck for line honors. Something to do with the trademark Szechuan sizzle and a nutty scattering of sesame seeds picking up on the rich slick of sesame oil. They’re the bomb, in every sense of the word.

There’s more dumpling madness. You can go vego (the vivid green boiled spinach dumplings) or the dumpling answer to the luxe spring roll, stuffed with crab and prawn, corn, bamboo shoot, spinach and carrot. There are pan-fried pork dumplings embedded in a fine mesh of pastry. Sluice `em with vinegar and chili sauce and die happy.

There’s plenty more. Oh, so much more, the menu helpfully stamped here and there with the house specialty symbol (the scallop and eggplant clay pot in Sichuan chili sauce is all soft-textured richness; the ma po tofu a fine example of the classic), and do beware any dish carrying the three chili legend because it is liable to blow your head right off.

Prices are fair (and you can BYO, too). Turnover is fast. So here’s what you’ve got to do. Order like there’s no tomorrow. Eat like no one’s watching.

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