Known for the Victorian and contemporary architecture, parks and gardens, tram network and multicultural society, Melbourne is a popular travel destination for tourists around the world.
Located in the south-east part of Australia, Melbourne is often referred to as Australia’s “sporting and cultural capital”. Melbourne, built around Port Phillip Bay, is Victoria’s state capital.
>> See day trip options from Melbourne to discover what’s nearby
How to get to Melbourne
Melbourne is serviced by two airports: Melbourne International Airport and Avalon Airport. Melbourne International Airport provides access from destinations across Asia, Europe, North and South America and South Pacific region. Due to the huge distances between Australia and other parts of the world, most flights come via Asia.
Quick search flights to Melbourne (MEL) from Sydney (SYD), Brisbane (BNE), Cairns (CNS), Adelaide (ADL) and Perth (PER):
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Trains link Melbourne to all the major cities in the country. Most rides take about 10 hours. CountryLink operates daily (twice) between Melbourne and Sydney, offering an alternative to driving.
If you travel by car from Sydney you should take Hume Highway. The drive is about 9-10 hours. Adelaide is closer, the drive taking only 7 hours.
Buses link Melbourne to all the major Victorian towns.
Ferries link Melbourne to Devonport, Tasmania. The journey takes about 10 hours
Melbourne is blessed with a moderate oceanic climate and is well known for the changeable weather conditions. Therefore a very popular local phrase is “four seasons in one day”.
During winter, Melbourne is colder than most of the other Australian cities. The average temperature in July, the cold month of the year, is 43-56 F. Snowfalls are quite rare but they do occur. However, fog and frosts are common in winter.
During summer, the weather is hot and dry. The average temperature in January, the hottest month of the year, is 58-78 F but maximum temperatures can reach 104 F.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Opened in 1853, Melbourne Cricket Ground is now home to cricket cups, concerts, the national sports museum and a souvenir shop. There are guided tours on all non-event days. The atmosphere is electric and any cricket fan should watch at least a game here.
Nature: Zoo, Gardens and Aquarium
- Melbourne Zoo is the oldest Australian zoo and is divided into bio-climatic zones, helping the animals to get used to the Australian climate. Tourists particularly enjoy the butterfly house, primate enclosure and lion park. The zoo is opened daily from 9 AM to 5 PM and the tickets cost between AUD 7.40 for children and AUD 14.90 for adults.
- Royal Botanical Gardens offer some of the most beautiful landscapes in the city and are home to plants from all over the world. You can either stroll and enjoy watching the black swans or take a guided tour. During summer nights you can go to the Moonlight Cinema. The gardens are opened on weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM and on weekends from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. The admission is free.
- Melbourne Aquarium is home to water animals from all over the world. Experience the underwater life by traveling through an underwater tunnel or taking a ride in a simulator, where you can feel like a fish (literally!). The aquarium is opened daily from 9:30 AM to 6 PM (special January opening hours: 9 AM to 9 PM) and the tickets cost AUD 9.90 for children and AUD 19.90 for adults.
Yarra River offers some of the most spectacular views of the city. It flows past numerous parks and gardens, including the Royal Botanic Gardens. The banks of the river are perfect locations for cycling and jogging tracks. Yarra River is also very popular among rowers and boaters. The numerous picnic spots make Yarra River a nice destination for families as well. Because of its popularity and numerous activities which can be enjoyed here, Yarra River has been compared to New York’s Central Park.
Opened since 1912, Luna Park can’t be compared to any other amusement parks in the world. It’s old character, the beautiful views and the historic carousel still appeal to the children who enter curiously through the clown’s wide opened mouth.
During the summer (Sept 2007- April 2008), the park is opened on weekdays between 7 PM and 11 PM, on Saturdays between 11 AM and 11 PM and on Sundays between 11 AM and 6 PM. A single ride ticket costs between AUD 3 for a toddler and AUD 7 for children age 13 or older. There is also the possibility to purchase unlimited ride tickets.