I can’t say that I buy into the whole story that the hipsters are making Melbourne awesome, but Melbourne is still the cultural capital of Australia, a wonderland packed with glittering high-rises, sophisticated art galleries, trendy bars, and sumptuous Victorian-era landmarks. The city is a mish-mash of culture and highly accessible. These five sights in Melbourne are just the beginning of what the area has to offer.
Eureka Skydeck 88
The views from even the best Melbourne hotels don’t hold a flame to this observation deck. Towering over the city’s skyline, the flashy Eureka Skydeck provides unobstructed 360-degree views of Melbourne. With the viewing platform on the 88th floor, it is the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. There is both an indoor and outdoor area to see the sights as well as the ‘Edge, ’ a small all-glass cube that gets the heart racing as it suspends you high above the ground.
Royal Botanic Gardens
After a leisurely wake-up and breakfast at one of the Melbourne Accor Hotels, go out for a morning stroll. Considered one of the best botanic gardens in the world, the Royal Botanic Gardens host over 10, 000 species of plants. It’ll take a few hours to amble through the 90-acre park that includes areas such as the Ornamental Lake and Australian Rainforest Walk. In July follow the paths over the low undulating hills and take part in the Chocolate and Spice Walk.
Ian Potter Center: National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Australia
Come explore the world of Australian art. Located on Federation Square, the NGV Australia showcases the history of Australian art from the Colonial period to the contemporary and modern day. With over 20 galleries and more than 200, 000 pieces of art, it is the largest collection of Australian art in the world. Besides meandering through the galleries, they have educational lectures and programs.
National Sport Museum
Located inside the long-standing Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Sports Museum is dedicated to Australian sport. The museum, which is apart of the National Heritage List, is home to the Australian Sports Hall of Fame, Australian Racing Museum, and the Melbourne Cricket Club. Go for a tour through the exhibits and finish the visit off with a sporting film in the museum’s cinema.
Just an hour drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula gives you a taste of the Mediterranean, while still oozing Aussie charm and flair. Most people come for the local wineries, where you can go on tours and indulge in wine tastings. But afterwards (or in-between) play a round of golf, have a spa day, or hop aboard a ferry to a nearby island. If that’s not enough, chill out on one of the nearby beaches, go shopping at one of the seaside villages, and explore Point Nepean National Park.
Bonus tip : A must visit coffee shop, a story told by a local