Go sports crazy

Melbourne is sports-mad. And the centre of this madness is the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The MCG is HUGE and seats over 100,000 people. It has to be experienced to be truly appreciated so check out what's on and just go. Even if you're not a sports fan, yelling your head off for a couple of hours is a great way to spend an afternoon. It's also the best place to watch cricket for the first time (try a Twenty20 match as it's short and easy to digest) or Aussie Rules Football. 

If watching a game doesn't appeal, you can do a tour or check out the National Sports Museum. The kids will love it. Tip: sound like a local and call it 'The G'.

Other sporting events to keep an eye out for are the Australian Open Tennis Championship in January and Melbourne Cup Carnival horse racing in November.


Grab a pint

It's simply un-Australian not to grab a pint of beer when in Melbourne. There are pubs everywhere. Young & Jackson in the city is a good place to start. It's convenient - right across the road from Flinders Street train station - heritage-listed and has a proper Aussie no-BS atmosphere.


Enjoy some great Aussie wine

Australia produces some of the best red wine in the world. We suggest heading to the City Wine Shop on Spring Street. Here, you can buy local wine by the bottle to take with you, or by the bottle or glass to drink on site. The range is extensive and the staff know their stuff (so you don't need to). Grab a seat outside and watch the world go by. They also serve nibbles. And it's open every day until midnight. Perfect!


Be awed by the State library of Victoria

Pop into the State Library of Victoria on Swanston Street to admire the glorious La Trobe Reading Room. If outlaw history is your thing, you'll find Ned Kelly's armour and death mask on display on level 5.


Explore the parks

Melbourne is full of great public spaces to explore. Try Fitzroy Gardens, Alexandra Gardens and Kings Domain on the 'bottom' edge of the CBD or Carlton Gardens at the 'top' end. Stroll along the Yarra River. A little further out is Royal Park and Melbourne Zoo. And parks for the kids are found in all these places.

For history buffs, pay a visit to Captain James Cooks' cottage in Fitzroy Gardens. It was built in 1755 in North Yorkshire and moved to Melbourne in 1934.


Visit the 'burbs

When it's time to take a break from the city, head to the suburbs for a completely different vibe. Twenty minutes on the train will take you to Yarraville with it's cute shops, yummy cafes and boutique movie theatre.

Or jump on the train for 15 minutes to Armadale for clothing and homeware stores, vintage posters shops and more upmarket children's clothing retailers than you can shake a stick at.

Or jump on a tram to St Kilda and enjoy the beach.


If you decide to give the foodie scene a nudge...

Melbourne has some fantastic restaurants and the choices can be overwhelming. Our suggestion is to head to Chin Chin, but not for dinner! This insanely popular restaurant doesn't take bookings and the queues are horrible. Go for an early lunch instead. Get there around 11am and you should be fine. And go on a weekday. After all, you're on holiday. 


Side trip: Daylesford

Daylesford is cute-as-a-button and an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne. If you want to explore some Aussie countryside, hire a car and spend a few days in Daylesford. For ideas and details, see our photos by clicking on the button below.


Photos

To make sure that this page loads quickly we've popped the photos on a separate page.

Contributors: Ann-Marie Nansett, street artist Kach, Andrew Greaney, Mick Russell

Updated: 4 September 2017