The Best of Melbourne: Things You Absolutely Cannot Miss

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Melbourne, Australia is the capital of southeastern Australia in the Australian state of Victoria. The key place noted in their Google profile to explore is the Federation Square development with many shops, restaurants, bars, and so much more to explore. The Arts Centre Melbourne is another place you should visit that is a performing arts complex that features a theater and dance shows. 

Visit Melbourne by taking the Beijing to Melbourne route that Cathay Pacific offers. Traveling from the Beijing International Airport (PEK) to the Melbourne Airport (MEL) will only take close to 14 hours which includes the anticipated layover time. 

You will love flying with Cathay Pacific because of their extensive dining menu that has something to please every palate. Plus, you can even indulge in a variety of delicious wines during your flight. Now that’s flying in luxury and style!

Besides the two above-mentioned places to explore in Melbourne, Australia, we have 5 more features in our lineup of things you absolutely cannot miss when you visit!

  1. Federation Square

Besides being home to shops, art galleries, and restaurants, Federation Square is, more importantly, the venue for annual arts and culture festivals. The area’s backdrop makes it a wonderful venue for occasions where fireworks are featured. 

Surrounded by pretty gardens and conveniently located nearby the Yarra River, you will be in awe of the surrounding beauty during your experience at Federation Square. 

100 million visitors have had the distinct privilege to be able to visit Federation Square since it originated in 2002. No wonder it’s known as the 6th Best Public Square worldwide. 

The best time of year to visit Federation Square is during the summer (for Melbourne, summer is in January) when they host their Kaleidosquare event which will feature public art, film screenings, and many other workshops. 

  1. Arts Centre Melbourne

The Victorian Arts Center is the formal name for the Arts Centre Melbourne. Originating in 1984, it is the focal point of Melbourne’s theater and performing arts culture because it is Australia’s largest venue that features performing arts. 

Go to see the Australian Music Vault which features music from Australian natives across various periods. It’s an exhibition open daily, so you can incorporate it into any day you go on a trip to Melbourne and not a very specific day since it is not a theater performance. 

If you are on a budget but you need a laugh, consider visiting when the Class Clowns: Victorian Heats event is playing in the theater. 

  1. National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria is your go-to to view Australian and Aborigine art and design. Every March, the Melbourne Art Book Fair is hosted where you can purchase books that feature the best in design and art. 

Their signature event Melbourne Design Week takes place in conjunction with the Melbourne Art Book Fair to deliver you a stellar film festival and the Open Nature by Open House Melbourne events. 

Note that some of the events during Melbourne Design Week are free to attend as other events require a small fee for attendance. 

  1. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria 

Royal Botanic Gardens opened in Melbourne in 1846 and is home to 50,000 total plants represented by 8,500 species and 30 garden collections that make up the entire large garden itself. 

Some of these gardens include Princes Lawn, Western Lawn, Taxodium Lawn, Hopetown Lawn, Eastern Lawn, Southern Lawn, and more. Before planning your visit, take a look at the Royal Botanic Gardens map on their official website to see the location of the plant collection and the amenities you will need including bike racks, restrooms, picnic tables, and more. 

Ornamental Lake and Central Lake are the bodies of water throughout the entire garden that give a certain ambiance and awe that complement the lush greenery of the gardens. 

For the kids, have them visit the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden to encourage interactive exploration of nature. Certain events let children plant vegetable seeds and learn lessons about the local nearby bamboo forest and wetlands as well as its wildlife. 

  1. Yarra Valley Winery Tour

The Yarra Valley Winery Tour is hosted by many wine tour companies in Melbourne such as the Yarra Valley Wine Tours company. 

This is a popular food and drink option in Melbourne as the winery tour ranks 29 out of 197 in the food and drinks category on TripAdvisor. If you book your wine tour directly online, you can get a small discount for booking in advance. If you have groups of more than 15 people that are attending a wine tasting tour with you, you would have to request a free quote to receive a total per person. 

Sample artisanal wines and cheeses on the wine tour with some tour packages having an option for sampling gin, too. A team member of the wine tour company knows the wineries’ histories and their trademark wines so that you and your family and friends can enjoy a great time together and learn something new along the way. 

  1. Phillip Island 

Visiting Phillip Island at sunset during your visit to Melbourne will give you an extra special treat. The penguins that live on the island will come ashore and participate in what locals call a Penguin Parade. 

Besides the cute penguins, there is also a colony of sea lions that you could see while you visit Phillip Island. 

While it’s 78 miles south-southeast of Melbourne, it is definitely worth the trip as you travel around Australia. If you are an animal lover and a self-proclaimed surfing connoisseur, you will love the surfing playground which is one of the best throughout the country. Each gated bay has a different surfing area based on the level of mastery. 

  1. Melbourne Zoo

For a lesson in animal biology and wildlife in Australia, visit the Melbourne Zoo. The best part of your zoo adventure would be the zookeeper talks where the designated keeper for each animal in the zoo has a chance to talk to patrons about the information concerning that animal and even take questions at the end. 

For a full list of the keeper talks that happen at set times each day during the week, look at the Melbourne Zookeeper talks list. 

Whether you want to sample the local wines, take your kids to the zoo, or explore nature, there are many things you absolutely cannot miss on your next trip to Melbourne.