Melbourne Top Things to Do by a Local

People walking around with Marvel Stadium and buildings at Docklands and the city of Melbourne Victoria in the background.
Last updated Jul 4, 2024
38 Comment (s)

Top Things to Do in Melbourne, by a Local

You'll find a selection of experiences, things to see, and do, activities, and tours to do in and around Melbourne and in country Victoria, Australia by a local based in Melbourne.

You'll find museums, galleries, memorials, buildings, laneways, arcades, attractions, shopping, gardens, zoos, nature parks, stadiums, exhibition centres, mystery picnic experiences, food, day trips, and places to stay.

Melbourne Things To Do

I've been to the Great Ocean Road and seen the 12 Apostles.

And, I've seen the Penguins at Phillip Island waddle up the beach at night to their burrows.

I've gone for a ride on Puffing Billy through the Sherbrooke Forest. And the smoke from the steam engine flies into the windowless carriages. My brother was young, he wore a white coat and it turned smoke colored.

Yes, I've done them several times as a kid with family, and friends, with my own kids, and solo.

These are long-time local experiences in Melbourne.

Which experiences have you done and would like to do too?

Yarra River & Southbank

Yarra River and on the other side are buildings at Southbank in Melbourne Australia at sunset

The Yarra River flows through Melbourne. Southbank is on the other side of the Yarra River. The tallest tower that you can see is the Eureka SkyDeck.

Activities To Do In Melbourne

Visit Museums, Galleries, and Memorials

  1. Melbourne Museum
  2. Royal Exhibition Building
  3. National Gallery of Victoria
  4. Federation Square
  5. Scienceworks
  6. State Library of Victoria
  7. Old Melbourne Gaol
  8. Shrine of Remembrance
  9. Queen Victoria Market
  10. Immigration Museum
  11. Artvo
  12. The Lume Melbourne
  13. Heide Museum of Modern Art
  14. Shot Tower at Melbourne Central

Museums, Galleries, and Memorials

Visit and learn about Melbourne, Australia, and other cultures at the Melbourne Museum. Get your ticket for Melbourne Museum.

Go on a tour of the Dome Promenade at the Royal Exhibition Building.

See the art displays and collections at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

Drop in at Federation Square, opposite Flinders Street Station.

Have an immersive experience at Scienceworks with the sports challenges and the Melbourne Planetarium, Get your ticket for Scienceworks.

See the Dome at the State Library of Victoria.

Go back in time to the Old Melbourne Gaol on a self-guided experience in the bluestone gaol. It housed some of Melbourne's most notorious criminals like Ned Kelly and Squizzy Taylor.

Reflect at the Shrine of Remembrance.

See the Queen Victoria Monument at Queen Victoria Gardens.

Learn the immigration experiences and history at the Immigration Museum. And, find out about the impact on the indigenous community. Get your ticket to the Immigration Museum. And, you'll step inside the Old Customs House for this experience.

Have an immersive art experience at Artvo. Be the artwork at Artvo and get your ticket. And, journey into nine themed zones and 80 plus 3D artworks.

Visit The Lume Melbourne and see the latest exhibition.

See modern art at the Heide Museum of Modern Art.

Go shopping at Melbourne Central and see the Shot Tower.

Find Aboriginal Cultural Immersions at Welcome to Country.

Water Wall at the National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria

Visit Attractions and Buildings

  1. The Gothic Bank
  2. Parliament of Victoria
  3. Como House and Garden
  4. Rippon Lea Estate
  5. Eureka SkyDeck
  6. Luna Park
  7. National Trust

 

1 The Gothic Bank

  • Visit The Gothic Bank which was built between 1883 and 1887,
  • I visited this building at an Open House event years ago, and it is worth going inside. And, I worked nearby for some years.
  • Find it at the ANZ bank, 380 Collins Street.

2 Parliament of Victoria

  • Book a free fifty-minute public tour (minimum six people) of Parliament House, however, it can be canceled at short notice.
  • Research and book a free ninety-minute architecture tour of Parliament House on Fridays.
  • Book and go on a free ninety-minute garden tour of the gardens at the Parliament of Victoria.
  • Have a High Tea experience in Strangers Corridor restaurant.
  • Find the Parliament of Victoria at Spring Street, East Melbourne.

3 Como House and Garden

  • Travel to Como House and Garden. and explore the 1847 house made of a mixture of Australian Regency and classic Italian architecture.
  • Find in the Paul Bangay Garden 900 plus plants.
  • I visited Como House many times in my youth with my family and explored the house and the gardens.
  • Pay entry fees to get into Como House.
  • Find Como House at Williams Rd & Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra.
  • Experience High Tea at The Stables of Como

4 Rippon Lea Estate

  • Visit Rippon Lea Estate which was finished in 1868.
  • It's a mansion and gardens I have seen many times in my youth.
  • Pay entry fees to visit Rippon Lea Estate.
  • Participate in events like High Tea, garden and tree tours, mansion tours, a tour of its Victorian kitchen, and Trust Makers' Market.
  • Find the estate at 192 Hotham St, Elsternwick.

5 Eureka SkyDeck

  • Catch the lift to the 88th floor to the Eureka SkyDeck, Edge Experience, and see views of Melbourne.
  • Participate in the Edge Experience, it's a transparent glass cube that moves out of the building and suspends you over the streets below.
  • Well, I did it, and I thought it was scary.
  • Find it at 7 Riverside Quay, Southbank.
  • Get your ticket for the Eureka SkyDeck and view Melbourne from the 88th floor.

6 Luna Park

  • Have fun at the theme park, Luna Park, and read the ride safety instructions.
  • I remember going in my youth all the time, the long slides, ghost train, distorted mirrors, merry-go-round, and the white roller coaster that you can see goes around the sides of the park.
  • Find the park at 18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda
  • Get your ticket for Luna Park and step through its iconic giant mouth.

7 National Trust

  • Find more historical houses and buildings at the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).

Walking Tour

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Admire Gardens

Admire Gardens

  1. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
  2. Fitzroy Gardens
  3. Queen Victoria Gardens
  4. Treasury Gardens

 

1 Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

  • Walk around the 38-plus hectares of the Royal Botanic Gardens
  • See 8,500+ species of plant-sourced all over the world. Report back, how many can you find?
  • Book tickets for Lightscape in Winter

2 Fitzroy Gardens

  • Visit Fitzroy Gardens and buy tickets to go inside Captain Cook Cottage at the visitor centre nearby.  I went inside a long time ago when I was still in school.
  • See the flora at the Conservatory.

3 Queen Victoria Gardens

  • See the Queen Victoria Monument and King Edward VII Statue at Queen Victoria Gardens
  • Admire the flowers in the Floral Clock

4 Treasury Gardens

  • See Sir Henry Bolte Statue at Treasury Gardens
  • Reflect at the Victorian Emergency Services Memorial.

Things to Do on and near the Yarra River

Ride along the Yarra River Melbourne
  1. Ride a bike or walk by the Yarra River Walk over Princes Bridge to Federation Square on the right.
  2. And, Flinders Street Station is on the left where you can catch a train.
  3. You can catch the free tram because you'll find a free tram zone around the Melbourne CBD.
  4. See the spire of St Paul's Cathedral on the other side of the Yarra.
  5. Catch a river cruise from Federation Wharf.
  6. In this area, you'll find places to buy food and drink, places to dine in and take away,

Things to Explore in Melbourne

Two people with bikes, people looking in windows, and people on Degraves Street Melbourne Australia

DeGraves Street

Explore LaneWays

  • DeGraves Street I've walked many times in DeGraves Street to foreign language classes at CAE
  • Hosier Lane
  • AC/DC Lane
  • Duckboard Place
  • Union Lane
  • Centre Place
  • Tattersalls Lane
  • Hardware Lane
  • Guildford Lane
  • Blender Lane

Melbourne Laneways Tour

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Go Shopping and Arcades

  • Royal Arcade
    • Shopping Centre, 335 Bourke St
  • Queen Victoria Market
    • Market, Queen St
  • Melbourne Central
    • See the Shot Tower
    • Shopping Centre, Cnr LaTrobe & Swanston Sts
  • The Block Arcade
    • 282 Collins Street
  • Bourke St Mall
  • Myer
    • Department Store
    • 314/336 Bourke Street
  • David Jones -  Bourke St Mall
    • Department Store
    • 310 Bourke Street
  • The Rose Street Market
    • 60 Rose St Fitzroy, Sa & Su 10am - 4pm
    • Check for other market locations and dates

Visit Zoos and Nature Parks

  1. Melbourne Zoo
  2. Werribee Open Range Zoo
  3. Healesville Sanctuary
  4. Sea Life Aquarium
  5. Kyabram Fauna Park
  6. Phillip Island Penguin Parade

 

1 Melbourne Zoo

  • Go for a walk around the zoo and see the Lion, Elephant, Seal, Gorilla, Kangaroo, Koala, Tasmanian Devil, Wombat, Kookaburra, Butterfly House, Tiger, Penguin, Panda, Meerkat, Tortoise, Birds, Zebra, Giraffe, Baboon, Tapir, Reptiles, Frog, Platypus, Tiger plus more

Get 1 Day Melbourne Zoo Entry Ticket

 

2 Werribee Open Range Zoo

  • Go for a ride in the Safari on the Savannah. Watch the Giraffes, Camel, American Bison, Mongolian Wild Horses, Ostriches, Oryx, Blackbucks, Elands, Nyala, Waterbucks, Rhinoceros, Zebras
  • See the Kangaroos, Emus, Koalas, Parrots, Wallabies, Hippopotamus, Lions, Meerkats, Monkeys, Cheetahs, Gorillas, Wild Dogs, Servals, Tortoises

Get Werribee Open Range Zoo Admission Ticket

 

3 Healesville Sanctuary

  • Go on the Wurundjeri Walk,
  • See the Platypus, Koala, Echidna, Kangaroo, Wombat, Wetlands, Dingo, Woodlands, Emu, Rock Wallaby, Kookaburra, Tasmanian Devil, Lace Monitor, Owl, Pelican, reptiles, plus more

Get details for a ticket to Healesville Sanctuary

Find out details about the Puffing Billy and Healesville Sanctuary Scenic Tour.

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4 Sea Life Aquarium

  • See the Penguins, Ocean Invaders, Crocodiles, Seahorse, plus more [Oceanarium with sharks and rays being renovated check for updates]
  • Participate in a Penguin Encounter or a Jelly Lab Encounter (extra)

 Get SeaLife Aquarium Entrance Ticket

 

5 Kyabram Fauna Park

  • See the Kangaroos, Emus, Wallabies, Wombat, Cassowary, Echidna, Koala, Flying Fox, Dingo, Frogmouth, Falcon, Kookaburra, Finches, Tasmanian Devil, Goanna, Possum, Birds, Peacocks, Quolls, plus more

 

6 Phillip Island Penguin Parade

  • Watch the Penguins walk home from the ocean up the beach at night to their burrows, from the viewing platforms and boardwalks
  • See wildlife like koalas, kangaroos, and wombats

 Book a Phillip Island Penguin Day Trip

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Attend Stadiums and Exhibition Centres

Find sports games, events, exhibitions, and concerts.

  1. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
  2. Marvel Stadium
  3. Rod Laver Arena
  4. AAMI Park
  5. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)
  6. Royal Exhibition Building
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Best Choice For Mystery Picnic Experience

Go on a Mystery Picnic and solve the clues to find the destination.

Solve a Murder Mystery

Find out the seven reasons to gift a mystery picnic

Experiences for Family, Friends, and Couples

Read my article about my mystery picnic experience in the Dandenong Ranges about a one-hour drive from Melbourne

Choose from Laneways, St Kilda Surrounds, South Yarra and Botanic Gardens, and places in country Victoria

Get Mystery Picnic Details

Melbourne Food Experience

Food and Drinks

  • Find food in the LaneWays of Melbourne
  • Eat croissants at Lune Croissanterie
  • Indulge in High Tea in Melbourne
  • Find donuts and biscuits at Bistro Morgan Bakehouse
  • Go to a floating eatery and bar on the Yarra River at Yarra Botanical
  • Have German Cuisine at Hophaus
  • Taste Mexican Cuisine at La Tortilleria
  • Dine along the Yarra River at a Southbank Restaurant
Croissants from Lune Croissanterie Melbourne

Croissants from Lune Croissanterie Melbourne

Melbourne City Food Tours

Go on a food tour and sample the local cuisine.

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Participate in Day Trips from Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road

Pick a Great Ocean Road Tour, and see the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road. Find places to visit on the Great Ocean Road and things to do in my blog post.

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Places to Stay in Melbourne

Get details about hotels in Melbourne. read reviews, and you can book online.

Find More Things To Do

You can find ghost tours to experience, in my post about ghost tours in Melbourne.

In my post, you can find more museums in Melbourne to visit.

Are you looking for more things to do, read my post about things do to in Werribee.

Do you have plans to visit? What things would you like to do? Leave a Comment!

Search Activities & Tours

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38 Comments

  1. This post is giving me severe wanderlust to go on an adventure.
    Love how comprehensive it is.

    Reply
    • Thank you! I love going on adventures too.

      Reply
  2. Wow! So many things to do in Melbourne. I would love to go to Australia in general. Our youngest son would be happy with the sports tours!

    Reply
    • Thank you. Hope you get the opportunity to visit. And, your son gets to do some sports tours and games.

      Reply
  3. There are so many things to do in Melbourne. It looks like a fabulous city. Hopefully one day I will get to visit.

    Reply
    • Thank you. Hope you have the opportunity to visit Melbourne!

      Reply
  4. Fantastic and very in depth guide of things to do in Melbourne! Would love to visit Australia someday and will have to refer to this guide then for some great ideas. I’ll also send this along to my cousin whose husband is from the Melbourne area so that they can add some fun activities to their next travel itinerary when he goes to visit family!

    Reply
    • Thank you Morayma, that is kind of you. That’s cool that your cousin’s husband is from Melbourne. Hope you get to visit Australia.

      Reply
  5. This really makes me want to go to Melbourne. There are so many wonderful things to do there.

    Reply
    • Thank you. Hope you have the opportunity to visit.

      Reply
  6. This is a great list of things to do in Melbourne. We are considering a visit to Australia and looking for ideas on what areas to explore. This is very helpful.

    Reply
    • Thank you. That’s cool, enjoy your visit to Australia. It’s a country with varied terrain and different things to offer. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  7. Melbourne looks like such a fun city to visit. Loving the food tours that they have.

    Reply
    • Thank you. I’m also curious. It’d be interesting to know where they go on the tour!

      Reply
  8. That’s quite a list, visitors certainly won’t find a shortage of things to do in Melbourne! When I finally make it to Australia, I’ll have to visit some of these sites, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome! Enjoy your visit to Australia! And, exploring Melbourne. If you have any questions, let me know.

      Reply
  9. Thank you for such a detailed and informative article! So many fun spots to enjoy, I would especially love Kyabram Fauna Park!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome. Yes, it’s nice to visit to see the native animals.

      Reply
  10. Wow, there is a ton to do in Melbourne! I wouldn’t even know where to start!

    Reply
    • I’m working on some more articles, so look out for them. I’ll break them down so it makes it easier.

      Reply
  11. What a great article on all that Melbourne has to offer! It definitely looks like there is something for everyone. The 3-hour Melbourne Foodie Discovery Walking Tour and Peninsula Hot Springs look like something I would like to try.

    Reply
    • Thank you. I’m curious about where the foodie tour goes. The Peninsula Hot Springs is a popular attraction even in cold weather.

      Reply
  12. So many wonderful things to do in Melbourne, Australia. There’s such a variety and something for everyone. I would especially love the wildlife tour and the penguin/panda tour.

    Reply
    • Yes, seeing a country’s native animals is a must-do. And, seeing penguins are a very popular tradition!

      Reply
  13. I’d love to Visit Melbourne and more, in Australia! Your suggestions are wonderful. There’s so much to do and see in Melbourne.

    Reply
    • Thank you. Hope you have the opportunity to visit in Melbourne and Australia.

      Reply
  14. Such an amazing and incredible post on the things to do in Melbourne. We will add these suggestions to our bucket list. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome. Yay, Melbourne made it to your bucket list!

      Reply
  15. Wow! What a great list of things to do in Melbourne. There is a little bit of everything to experience there. I would love to visit someday!

    Reply
    • Thank you. Hope you get the opportunity to visit in Melbourne.

      Reply
  16. This is the most comprehensive article on Melbourne I have ever seen! So well organised and easy to use too. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading. You’re welcome!

      Reply
  17. We have Australia on our travel planning board for a long stay. So it was good to see all the things to do in Melbourne and know we need to plan a longer visit. Fun to plan a visit around one of the big events. Keeping this post for planning!

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading. Glad this post can help with your planning. Enjoy your visit when you visit Australia and Melbourne!

      Reply
  18. This is a great list and one that I will bookmark and reference should my travel plans ever take me to Melbourne.

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading. If you get to visit, enjoy Melbourne!

      Reply
  19. So many cool things to do and see in Melbourne! Your recommendations make it easy to create a fabulous itinerary.

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading. You’re welcome!

      Reply

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