Melbourne is a hip, dynamic metropolis, with an exciting city center, inner-city neighborhoods that is full of unique character, and lush green parks and mountain ranges where you can enjoy Australian nature at its finest. The city is known for its many laneways, its cultural diversity, excellent dining options for all budgets, and amazing street art. It’s also known for being the coffee capital of the world, and for being regularly voted as the world’s most livable city!
Let’s explore the best things to do in Melbourne:
See the impressive Organ Pipes National Park
What is it?
2.5 million-year-old basalt columns that look strikingly like organ pipes, located only 20kms north of Melbourne.
These are pretty crazy looking rock formations! This type of structure is known in the geological community as trap rock. The valley walls of Jacksons Creek are actually Pleistocene volcanic rocks that fractured during cooling into these vertical columns. Today, people gather in the park to view this bizarre rock wall and spend time in the traditional country of the Wurundjeri People.
Head to the Tessellated Pavement and look at fossils that are over 4 million years old. There are native plants to spot including a field of Kangaroo Grass to the north plus picnic spots and walking tracks.
How weird is nature? The beautiful Organ Pipes National Park can be found just off the Calder Freeway, about 20 kilometers north of Melbourne. The 121-hectare park is named after its star attraction: 2.5 million-year-old basalt columns that look strikingly like organ pipes.
This type of structure is known in the geological community as trap rock. The valley walls of Jacksons Creek are actually Pleistocene volcanic rocks that fractured during cooling into these vertical columns.
Today, people gather in the park to view this bizarre rock wall and spend time in the traditional country of the Wurundjeri People. Head to the Tessellated Pavement and look at fossils that are over 4 million years old. There are native plants to spot including a field of Kangaroo Grass to the north plus picnic spots and walking tracks.
While you’re there, we’d suggest taking the short three-kilometer circuit walk around the park. Starting at the visitor center, you can follow the trail that passes along the main features of the park, including Keilor Plains, the Tessellated Pavement and the Organ Pipes themselves.
Find out more at https://www.timeout.com/
South Melbourne Market
A popular and unmissable landmark in the vibrant city of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia is the South Melbourne Market. While it is known as a “local village market,” it is actually a major tourist attraction that caters to people from all over the world who travel to Melbourne and it is one of the best places to visit in Melbourne.
The primary philosophy of the market is to procure, sell, display and celebrate local cuisine, local culture and local food. The most popular goods that can be bought at the South Melbourne Market include foodstuff like dairy, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables that are organically grown, preserves, spices and seafood, all of which is locally sourced.
Apart from its vast array of groceries, you can also buy merchandise that is curated by local artisans, merchants and locals. This includes clothes, handicraft items, furniture, homeware, books and much more. The South Melbourne Market is especially popular for its quaint cafes and restaurants, where you can sample local food that is made with fresh produce sourced locally. There are also frequent live music concerts, events, competitions and exhibitions that are organized here throughout the year.
Apart from being a thriving goods market for vegetables, fruits, spices, seafood, dairy and much more, it is also a historically significant landmark. The market was established in 1867 and has since only grown in size and scale.
The market takes place inside a massive Victorian building in South Melbourne that is made of red brick and wood, which adds to the old-world charm of the market. Because of the ever-increasing number of vendors and visitors, the market has been refurbished and renovated many times to accommodate all the stalls, while maintaining its original structure.
How to Reach South Melbourne Market
There are several convenient ways in which you can commute between the airport and the South Melbourne Market.
Almost 300 bus services are operating in Melbourne. One of the easiest ways to travel to the South Melbourne Market from the Airport is by taking one of the many buses that depart from Terminal 1 of the Airport. You have to get down at Spencer Street or Whiteman Street after which is a short, 10-minute walk to the South Melbourne Market.
Instead of walking for 10 minutes after alighting from your bus, you can also take Melbourne’s famous trams to the South Melbourne Market. You can get on from Spencer Street or Whiteman Street and get off at 127-South Melbourne Station.
There are several private cars and taxis you can hire to cover the 25km distance between the market and the airport. If you take the Citylink road, it should take you approximately 20 minutes in normal traffic to reach the market.
Best Time to Visit South Melbourne Market
Although you can visit the market throughout the year, the best time to visit Melbourne, in general, is during the summer months, which is between December and February in Australia.
Summer (December – February):
This is the most pleasant time to visit Melbourne, and consequently, the South Melbourne Market. Temperatures vary between 22-26 degrees Celsius, which results in very pleasant weather conditions for tourists to explore the place. Summers also yield some of the best produce, which is what the market is famous for.
Winter (June – August):
This is the least popular time for tourists to visit Australia, which is why the market remains mostly empty, except for locals. Temperatures vary between 4 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius, and the weather remains wet, grey and gloomy.
Spring (September – November) and Autumn (March-May):
These are the two transitional seasons in Melbourne, where the city is either transitioning into summer (spring) or transitioning out of the warm weather (autumn). The weather is largely unpredictable, with high chances of rain and extreme heat and cold conditions.
What Not to Miss at South Melbourne Market
If you are planning to visit the South Melbourne Market, you should keep an entire day for explorations because of the vast range of experiences you can cherish when you are there.
Eat and Drink
You cannot come to the South Melbourne Market without stopping by one or more of the quaint delis and cafes that run inside the compound. You can get an assortment of baked goods, coffee, pastries, dim sums, salads, juices, Chinese food, fruits and their juices and incredibly fresh seafood preparations inside. You should check out places like Agathé Pâtisserie, Aptus Oyster Bar, Bambu, Joy Cupcakes, Lat’s Sushi, Small Town Pie Co., The Village Juicery, to name a few.
Shop for fashion and accessories
The South Melbourne Market might be known as a farmer’s market for local produce, but is also a popular hub for indigenous brands that sell unique jewelry, quirky accessories and fashionable clothes. Some great shopping spots are Aron, Faslini Leather and Travel Goods, Hemp Shop, Koenji Vintage, Lost in Seasons, The SuperCool Kid, and much more.
Embark on Melbourne Brewery Tours
Melbourne has a number of independent microbreweries that are located in close proximity to the South Melbourne Market. You can sign up for a guided tour where you can go around tasting unique beers and learning about the local beer-making process.
Attend the Moomba Festival
The famous Moomba Festival takes place every year during the Labour Day weekend, so if you are visiting during that time, you must check it out. It is a colorful festival which consists of a display of floats that are paraded down the Yarra River. The 4-day festival where the whole local community, including school children, natives, dancers and musicians come together to celebrate their culture.
Check out local performances in the South Melbourne Market
The South Melbourne Market frequently organizes music festivals, live performances, spontaneous concerts by local artists and other exciting events that you can observe and participate in when you are in South Melbourne. This includes food festivals, art exhibitions, competitions and many more interactive activities.
Take a market tour
There are several tour options that you can sign up for before visiting the South Melbourne Market. These tours give you a comprehensive guide to the place, take you to the best spots, help you sample some of the best food found there and also gives you incredible insight into the history of the market.
If you are visiting for the first time and want to experience the true essence of the market, a guided tour can help you experience just that.
Sign up for cooking classes at the Neff Market Kitchen
If you are interested in cooking and an insightful culinary experience, you must check out the Neff Market Kitchen, the home to some of the best cooking classes with Melbourne’s finest chefs. No matter what your expertise level, you can sign up for a class that could be beneficial for you in many ways.
Places to Visit near South Melbourne Market
Apart from the South Melbourne Market, there are many fascinating places in and around South Melbourne that can make your day trip worthwhile.
South Melbourne Town Hall
The South Melbourne Town Hall is an ancient building that is testimony to the unique architecture that is characteristic of old Melbourne. It is now home to the Australian Academy of Music, with frequent concerts being organized there. There is also a beautiful rose garden on the compound, making it the ideal place for a quiet picnic.
The See Yup Temple
One of the oldest Chinese temples in the city is the See Yup Temple, built-in 1856. It is decorated with many ancient Chinese artifacts, and the Chinese interior elements combined with the 18th-century Victorian style architecture make for an exceptional experience for visitors.
South Melbourne Beach
The South Melbourne Beach is straight out of a magazine, where you can find palm trees, a pleasant sea breeze, sand beaches, carts selling seafood and coffee, beer and other knick-knacks. It is the perfect place to watch the sunset after a long day of touring.
Smart Artz Gallery
The Smart Artz Gallery on Clarendon Street is a great place to check out local artwork, including painting, sculptures, photos, sketches and installations. This is a hidden gem for local art, where you can see exceptional pieces and even catch an exhibition if you are visiting at the right time.
Emerald Hill Library and Research Center
If you are interested to find out more about Australian culture and history, you must stop by the Emerald Heritage Centre, which houses lots of books, reading material and brochures. You can learn about the culture of aboriginals, local history and the life of the locals.
Places to Eat in South Melbourne Market
The South Melbourne Market is a food-lovers paradise, where you must try out their famous dim-sums, sushis, baked goods, Italian food and much more. Here are some remarkable delis, restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat in the South Melbourne Market.
Agathe Pâtisserie– Although there are many bakery shops in the market, a visit to Agathé Pâtisserie will reveal why it is probably the most unique. Chef Agathe Kerr has put her signature French flair in all the delicacies at this quaint bakery, where you must sample her Chestnut Mont Blanc Cheesecake, Almost Croissants, Escargot and Crème Brulee.
Simply Spanish– You’ll definitely hear about the fantastic Spanish food that can be found at the South Melbourne Market. One of the best places to try out this Spanish food is Simply Spanish, which sits right in the middle of the restaurant section. You must try out their paella, which is simple, authentic and soul-stirring.
Proper & Son– Proper & Son is the perfect place to grab an authentic Australian breakfast and your regular “cup of Joe” when you are at the South Melbourne Market. Try out their sandwiches made from free-range meat and eggs, cheese, cupcakes and much more.
Dim Sims– The most iconic place for Chinese and Cantonese food (possibly in all of Melbourne) is Dim Sims in the South Melbourne Market. Some of the most popular items that fly off the shelf at Dim Sims include siu mai and the steamed pork and prawn dumplings (dim sims). They are also known for their deep-fried spring rolls.
Find out more at https://www.thrillophilia.com/
Skydive Over St Kilda
- 15,000ft tandem skydive over St Kilda
60 screaming seconds of freefall
Uninterrupted coastal and city views
Tick skydiving off your bucket list with this exhilarating half-day experience. Take the ultimate leap of faith from up to 15,000ft in the air and be rewarded with panoramic views of Melbourne CBD, Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington Peninsula.
- 15,000ft skydive
Highly qualified and experienced instructors
Personalized certificate, loyalty rewards card and bumper sticker
Experience an adrenalin rush like no other with a tandem skydive over St Kilda, the closest skydiving location to Melbourne CBD. After a safety briefing and getting suited up, board the plane for a short scenic flight to jump altitude. Your experienced instructor will prepare you for the countdown and together you’ll exit the plane from up to 15,000ft in the air. Enjoy 60 seconds of life-changing freefall before floating under the canopy for 5-7 minutes, reveling in 360 degree views of Melbourne curling around the sparkling Port Phillip Bay.
- Please allow half a day as the exact take-off time depends on the winds
- Available seven days a week, excluding Christmas Day
- You must be aged 12 years or more, with a maximum weight of 110kg.
- There is $50 surcharge if you are over 95kg and $75 if you are over 105kg. This is payable directly to the supplier.
- If you are under 18 years, you must have a legal guardian attend to sign paperwork
- No alcohol or recreational drugs are to be consumed at least eight hours before your skydive
- You must bring your voucher to the drop zone. No voucher = no jump
- Please note that Public Holidays that fall on weekdays may incur an additional surcharge to be paid directly to the provider on the day
- Once this experience has been confirmed, changes are at the discretion of the experience provider and arranged directly with them according to this policy:
- Changes can be made to your skydive booking with 48 hours notice. Please contact the supplier directly to make changes
- Cancellations or changes made with less than 48 hours are subject to loss of $110 deposit or entire payment
- If you do not arrive at the drop zone at your allocated booking date and time, no refund will be issued unless sufficient evidence is provided directly to the supplier
Find out more at https://www.redballoon.com.au/
Go for a drive down Beach Road
What is it?
A windy coastal road that shows off the best of Melbourne’s bayside suburbs.
Running along the south-eastern side of Port Phillip Bay, Beach Road stretches from Brighton all the way to the southern point of Mordialloc. On a sunny day, it’s a positively glorious drive, especially if you’re keen on a dip in the ocean and curious to see how the other half live.
Taking a dip at Half Moon Beach. The name isn’t for nothing – Half Moon Beach curves around just like a crescent moon. It also has the added benefit of being at the bottom of scrub-covered cliffs.
Find out more at https://www.timeout.com/