Things to do in Melbourne

Yarra River, Melbourne

This cosmopolitan city is renowned as a dining and shopping mecca with boutiques, wholesale outlets, department stores and markets including the famous Queen Victoria Markets.

With its festivals, sporting events, fine theatres and galleries, a thriving music scene, quirky cafes, quality restaurants and wonderful performing arts, Melbourne is the perfect short or long break destination.

Melbourne is also a sporting capital and boasts events such as The Australian Open Tennis, AFL Grand Final, Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup, just to name a few.

Where is it and how do you get there?

Melbourne on map of NSWMelbourne is the capital city of the State of Victoria and is 963 kilometres from Sydney.

The Melbourne XPT runs from Sydney to Melbourne twice daily, once in the morning and once at night.

To check times, use the booking form on the left.

Getting around

Exploring Melbourne is easy aboard the Visitor Shuttle bus, plentiful trams and public buses, taxis and several hire car companies. There are also day trips to tourist attractions including the Blue Dandenong Ranges, the spectacular Great Ocean Road or the fairy penguins on Phillip Island.

Major events

  • January - Festival of Sails is Australia’s largest keel boat regatta and also the oldest sporting event in Victoria.
  • January/February - Melbourne’s annual gay Midsumma Festival has outdoor parties, city-wide cultural events and a closing march.
  • February - St Kilda Festival offers a fun filled week of music and comedy performances.
  • March - Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, over more than two weeks, provides many opportunities to savour delicious meals and glasses of wine.
  • March/April - Melbourne International Comedy Festival allows you to have a good laugh when comedians descend on clubs and other venues.
  • June - Melbourne International Jazz Festival hosts the best of jazz musicians.
  • July/August - Melbourne International Film Festival provides two weeks of entertainment and stimulation.
  • October - Melbourne Festival offers the cream of Australian and international theatre, dance, visual arts, opera and music.

For more information and exact dates, check out the Visit Victoria website.

What to do and see

Couple shopping in MelbourneOn the outer edge of the city, Federation Square is a uniquely designed construction that comprises an entire city block and is recognised internationally as one of the world's great public spaces. With over 200 events each year, Federation Square buzzes with cafes, galleries, performances, films, concerts and cultural festivals.

In the midst of the city, shop until you drop at the Bourke Street Mall and other mecca shopping areas such as Collins Street, then amble through the city of Melbourne and discover boutiques, quirky cafes and snug bars secreted away in bustling laneways.

Jump on a tram and take yourself to Melbourne's inner suburbs which many believe are the best parts of the city. Don't leave Melbourne without experiencing at least one signature suburb and its unique dining and bar drinking experiences, fossicking potential and fashion allure.

Visit Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, a bohemian locale and enjoy the great mix of art galleries, studios and specialist bookshops. On weekends experience the Rose Street Artists Market and be tempted by artisan bags, artworks, jewellery, screen-printed t-shirts, hand-bound books and designer lamps.

Have fun in St Kilda by the seashore, listen to live music and enjoy the rides at Luna Park. For adventure, windsurf or kitesurf on the bay, and for relaxation take a genteel dip in the heated seawater spas and pools at the historic St Kilda Sea Baths. Experience fine dining at the many restaurants and cafes and check out the fashion boutiques and independent music and book stores. Browse leisurely through the exciting Sunday St Kilda Esplanade Arts and Craft Market.

While in St Kilda, visit the Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, a unique not for profit contemporary art gallery where artists are encouraged to present new, innovative and uncompromising art.

Grab yourself some amazing deals at Richmond along Bridge Road, home to major label factory outlets and seconds stores. Also check out the small exclusive boutiques and then feast at one of the many cosy cafes.

Meander down Prahran’s Chapel Street and splurge at young designer boutiques, sup at edgy cafes and then after dark, dance at one of the hip night clubs. Be transported through time at the Chapel Street Bazaar’s myriad of stalls packed with retro homewares, vintage clothes and collectables. Buy unusual and rare produce from the Prahran Market and create your own feast.

If you have enough time to venture outside of Melbourne, investigate other attractions by day tripping to the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, the Great Ocean Road, the unspoilt area of Gippsland and the breezy seaside villages of the Morning Peninsula.

More information