Not quite in Melbourne, but well worth the drive, Philip Island is a nature lover’s paradise and the perfect escape for anyone needing a break from the city. Located around 140 km south of Melbourne, Phillip Island was named after Governor Arthur Philip, the first Governor of New South Wales. Of course, everyone knows about Phillip Island’s penguins, but there are so many other things to do here, with lots of wildlife and great surfing spots.
But let’s start with the penguins. Every year, over 3 million visitors make their way to the Philip Island Nature Park to watch the local colony of cute fairy penguins waddle their way home. This truly is a sight that you don’t want to miss – so make sure you book your tickets well in advance! If you’re looking for an all-inclusive day tour from Melbourne there are several options, including this excellent-value combo tour which also includes entry to Healesville Sanctuary, a ride on the Puffing Billy Steam Train and a visit to the Dandenong Ranges.
As well as penguins, over 15,000 fur seals call Phillip Island home, making it the largest colony of fur seals in Australia. There’s also a wide range of marine birdlife that regularly return to the island, as well as plenty of kangaroos and wallabies. And if you’re lucky, you might spot dolphins, killer whales and humpback whales off the coast, depending on what time of the year you visit.
St. Pauls Anglican Cathedral
St. Pauls Anglican Cathedral is a great attraction for those with an interest in history. The Cathedral is the perfect place to spend a morning admiring some Gothic Revival architecture. This style of architecture became increasing popular during the Victorian era. Completed in 1891, the Cathedral is one of Melbourne’s most important architectural landmarks. We recommend arriving early to avoid the crowds.
Melbourne is famous for its many laneways that feature some of the best street art you’ll see anywhere in the world. The most photographed laneway in Melbourne has to be Hosier Lane, just a 2 minute walk from Flinders Street Station and Federation Square. Running between Flinders and Collins Streets, the artwork in this narrow laneway is constantly changing with local and international artists making every bit of wall their temporary canvas. Take your time to check out the various styles of street-art on display – which one is your favourite?
Other great lanes to check out include Degraves Street (great for a coffee stop) and Union Lane for even more street art.
Old Melbourne Gaol
For those who have been bitten by the history bug, a visit to The Old Melbourne Goal is sure to satisfy your needs. This is the oldest prison in Melbourne, and has been the temporary home to several of Australia’s deadliest criminals, including the notorious outlaw, Edward “Ned” Kelly. Kelly has since become somewhat of a folk legend in Australia and is known by some locals as “Australia’s Robin Hood”. The museum does great justice in portraying his life. The museum even holds Ned’s famous body of armour, which he wore during his final gunfight with the police.
Visiting Old Melbourne Gaol may feel like an odd experience for some, as there is a certain atmosphere of the past prisoners that lingers within each room. However, the museum is family friendly and is sure to keep children entertained for a few hours.
Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens are bursting with visual beauty. As you walk through the 38 hectare garden you’ll be surrounded by more than 50,000 plants, consisting of over 8,000 different species from all over the world. The Royal Botanic Gardens are open daily from 7:30 am until sunset and make for a great spot for an afternoon picnic with the family or your significant other.
After a long day of sightseeing there is no better place to visit than the Skydeck at the Eureka Tower. Completed in 2006, the building stands almost 300 metres above the streets of Melbourne. Take the fastest elevator in the Southern Hemisphere in an insane 38 seconds to get to the top, then catch breathtaking panoramic views of some Melbourne’s favourite attractions and landmarks, including the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Federation Square and Flinders Street Station.
Skip the queues and book your Skydeck ticket with us before you go.
After taking in a beautiful sunset from the Eureka Skydeck, head to the 89th floor for a spectacular culinary experience and more views of the sprawling Melbourne skyline. This is a truly unforgettable experience – the views are unbelievable at night and the food is just as good, if not better!
For even more ideas of things to do in Melbourne, visit the Kootrip website:https://www.kootrip.com/.