Home to one of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne, Victoria is a hive of activity whether you’re after a family holiday, a shopping expedition, or a casual break. Victoria has it all.
Established in 1878, the Queen Victoria Markets are an institution for Melburnians and tourists alike. You’ll find fresh produce including fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy products, and other small goods.
The stallholders will share stories about the fresh produce. Many artists and designers have set up stalls at the markets, so you’ll find one-of-a-kind items, such as luxurious silk and cashmere scarves, tablecloths, and jackets at reasonable prices.
There are many arts and crafts stalls where you will discover unique photography or bamboo crafts.
Those interested in the story behind the artwork will get the chance to chat with the stallholders to learn about the inspiration behind the pieces.
You may consider yourself an artist. If that’s the case, you’ll love the fabric stalls where you’ll find fabric that you can use to make your creations.
If you’ve trawled through the markets and you still feel like shopping, take the Sandringham tram line to Chapel Street, which borders South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor, St Kilda, and St Kilda East. Whether you want to find designer labels at bargain prices or prefer op shops, Chapel Street has it all.
Coffee is another thing that Melbourne is renowned for. With several cafes dotted along Chapel Street, you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice and you’ll be able to take in the scenery around you.
Seeing as you’re already on the right tram line, the next stop on your list should be St Kilda. If you’re travelling with little ones, you must stop at Luna Park.
Your kids will be entertained for hours on the rides. Luna Park caters for kids’ birthday parties where your kids will be occupied for hours on the many rides. You’ll also have access to the Birthday Party Tram function space and receive free food and a show bag.
St Kilda is home to the Palais Theatre, an art deco building, which first opened at the end of World War 1 in 1914. When the Phillips brothers first opened the theatre, St Kilda became Melbourne’s entertainment district.
A wide variety of musicians including opera singer Joan Sutherland have performed at the venue. In 2017, a commitment was made to restore the venue to its former glory over 30 years.
The Palais Theatre is within walking distance of St Kilda Beach. Popular attractions include the penguin colony, which was just 100 penguins back in 1989 and has grown to 1200 now.
The St Kilda marina belongs to the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron so you can admire the yachts or the views from the pier, which is also a must-see attraction for anyone heading to St Kilda.
St Kilda has a great nightlife, with many bars and restaurants offering live music. Opening in 1924, the Memo Music Hall started as a dance hall for soldiers and their families.
Whether it’s rock or blues you’re into, there’s a gig for everyone at Memo Music Hall. It’s also home to acting performances. In 2003, Heath Ledger rehearsed for his role in the film, Ned Kelly.
Sports lovers will feel at home at the St Kilda Sports Club. You can book bowling, or you can battle it out in a game of darts or pool. The venue space is also available for hire if you’re travelling with a group or have a special occasion to celebrate.
After you’ve shopped to your heart’s content and admired Melbourne’s natural beauty, your next stop should be Great Ocean Road which offers spectacular scenery.
Great Ocean Road is a 243 kilometre coastal road starting in Torquay and finishing in Warrnambool. The road itself is a tourist destination because of its rugged beauty and ever-changing landscapes.
History buffs will be attracted to the many shipwrecks scattered along the Shipwreck Coast, which stretches from Moonlight Head to Port Fairy. It’s thought there are 700 shipwrecked vessels in the waters.
English navigator, Matthew Flinders said he’d never seen a more fearful section of coastline, with many vessels succumbing to the dangerous weather, human error, or foul play.
The most famous shipwreck in these waters is the Loch Ard, which vanished on its way from England to Melbourne. The captain had thought he was miles away from the Australian mainland when in reality he was very close. Only two people on board survived.
Shipwreck Coast is subject to high winds that come in from the Antarctic which causes massive swells. That, combined with the dense fog makes it a Ship Master’s worst nightmare. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll go at the right time and see these incredible swells.
When you get to Port Campbell, you’ll be greeted by The Twelve Apostles, which are limestone rock stacks 45 metres high, sitting close to the cliff face against a backdrop of golden sand. They were formed after harsh weather conditions caused erosion.
Two minutes from The Twelve Apostles are the Gibson Steps. Walk down the 86 steps and see The Twelve Apostles up close. Surfers will want to stop at Bells Beach, which has a prominent place amongst Australia’s surfing community.
Nature lovers will want to make their way to the Grampians National Park where you’ll be met with majestic waterfalls, wildflower displays, and breathtaking mountain panoramas.
You’ll get up close and personal with kangaroos, wallabies, and other native birds. You can either hike through the park or take a scenic drive.
Mount William is the highest point, with vast views. If you’re fit you can walk up to the Pinnacle, which sits 720 metres above sea level. It sits at about 2.1kms and will take you around two hours.
You’ll cross over water and rocks, so it’s essential to wear strong shoes. If you prefer a more relaxing expedition to the Grampians National Park, you can canoe or kayak at Lake Wartook, Lake Bellfield, and Moore Moore Reservoir.
Before you leave the Grampians National Park be sure to take the 1.9km return walk to the MacKenzie Falls, which is one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria. MacKenzie Falls is also the only waterfall that flows all year round.
Australia’s largest outdoor gallery is the Silo Art Trail, which stretches 200 kilometres from Nullawil to Rupanyup.
It takes just over two hours to see the 21 silos painted by internationally renowned street artists, Julia Volchkova, Guido van Helten, Fintan Magee, Matt Adnate, and many others.