Melbourne Things to Do Tips by leffe3 Top 5 Page for this destination
Melbourne Things to Do: 1,120 reviews and 1,853 photos
Out in the funky inner-city suburb of Fitzroy, CCP is one of Australia's main centre's for the exhibition and education of photography.
It's been going since 1986 but only moved to the current, purpose built space in 2006. It's a wonderful exhibiting space - contemporary but welcoming. Along with four galleries, it has a small shop and is close to some great little cafes and bars in the trendy backstreets.
Needless to say it has some excellent exhibitions of major significance and annually collaborates with the Melbourne Festival - 2012 saw the first Australian retrospective of Gregory Crewdson, 2010 Taryn Simon. Most shows run for approximately 6 weeks.
Address: 404 George St, Fitzroy
Directions: Between Smith and Brunswick Streets in Fitzroy.
Phone: + 61 3 9417 1549
Essentially an extension of Yarra Bend Park, Fairfield Park is one of the closest areas of bushland to the city centre.
The brown, upside down Yarra River runs through the park and is much used by runners and cyclists, as well as locals and their BBQs. The Fairfield Amphitheatre is to be found here as is the Fairfield Boat House. If you cannot be bothered with walking, you an always hire a boat...
The Pipe Bridge (pedestrian) provides access to the other bank where more unspoilt bushland and grassland meanders on towards Heidelberg. And cutting through the park is the Yarra River Trail - a shared bike and walking track.
With its diverse cultural population and local 'neighbourhoods', Melbourne is a city full of street and community festivals, many taking place at Fed Square but not always. Check out The Age newspaper or the local papers to see what's happening. A great spot is Birrarung Marr on the banks of the Yarra between Fed Square and the MCG. With its playgrounds for the kids as well as the Kids Centre, not unusual to find some festival or other going on down here. Another popular spot is the Botanic Gardens for impromptu performances and rehearsals.
Albert Park is a vast open space just 3 kms from the CBD. Many will know it as the venue for the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix that takes place in March.
It’s been a park since the 1860s, named after Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert.
Its centrepiece is the lake and the 4km track around its shoreline, but with numerous picnic spots, an 18-hole public golf course as well as the Aquatic Centre, playing fields, indoor sporting facilities, yachting and rowing opportunities, lakeside restaurants and cafes as well as numerous events (including the Grand Prix and the annual St Kilda Cycling Regatta), it’s no wonder than a reported 5 million visitors a year use the park. There is also an important designated protected wetland area for birds.
But it doesn't have to be all about taking part - Albert Park is a great place to simply take a book on a sunny day, watch the cricket at the St Kilda Oval or take the dog for a walk round the lake.
Directions: It’s a beautiful open spot with, due to its size, numerous access points, including St Kilda Junction (tram #s 3,5,16,67) and the Light Rail #96.
Just across the West Gate Bridge from the city is Williamstown. It was originally, with its natural harbour, laid out as the port to the main settlement of Melbourne in 1837. It thrived for forty years, before the deepening of the Yarra River and the development of the Port of Melbourne led to its demise and being forgotten about for many years.
With many of the old port buildings of the 19th century still standing, it has been rediscovered in recent years and has now become something of a destination 'burb - trendy apartments, fancy bars, good restaurants and a safe bay beach (and a new marina). Its a great place to spend the day - it also offers some of the best views of Melbourne - and if you want a closer view, take the seaplane for a quick 15 minute trip over the centre and bay.
Getting there is pretty straightforward - train from any central Melbourne stations on the Loop (take Werribee train and change at Newport) - 20-30 minutes according to connections.
A diiferent way of getting there is to take the little 'ferry' boat from St Kilda Pier (45 minutes) that will take you across the Bay.
Based on the design of the Temple of Halicarnassus (one of the original 7 ancient wonders of the world), the memorial was completed in 1934.
'This holy place commemorates Victoria's glorious dead. They gave their all, even life itself, that others may live in freedom and peace. Forget them not.' is the inscription to be found on the memorial stone.
The forecourt and cenotaph including the eternal flame were added post WWII, and many other memorials have been added since to commemorate Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) military deaths around the globe.
In 2004, a state of the art visitors centre was built under the Shrine where the occasional exhibition is held.
Entrance to the whole complex is free - and well worth climbing to the top for the great views into the city skyline in one direction, the bay in the other.
Address: St Kilda Rd
Directions: South of the CBD, but , as St Kilda Rd runs in a straight line to the Shrine, can be seen from Swanston St in the centre of the city
Phone: +61 3 9654 8415
St Kilda is the main beach playground closest to the city. You get some great views from the pier (the historic pier kiosk restaurant at the end of the pier sadly burnt down at the end of 2003 - but the rebuild has opened and is in the same style as the original but with a number of improvements).
There's also a protected colony of fairy penguins at the very end of the pier. You cannot access their nesting grounds, but of course penguins do not actually follow the fencing restrictions! :)
It's a very popular spot at weekends - people taking the air, fishing, young teenagers swimming.
Rialto Tower - for a number of years stood proud as the tallest building in Melbourne and the tallest reinforced concrete structure in the Southern Hemisphere It has lost the Melbourne tallest building status to the building featured in most of these images - the Eureka Tower, the world's tallest apartment building for a short period of time.
Completed in 1986, Rialto Towers is a two towered building, 55 storeys and 40 storeys. Of interest to virtually all visitors is the Observation Deck on the 55th floor of the South Tower (exclusive entrance at 525 Collins St), opened to the public in 1994. It takes just 27 seconds to reach the Deck from ground floor level in the lifts (although you usually have to queue for a lot longer!). There is outdoor access at two points on the Deck (but very well-caged!!). There's also a cafe and gift shop.
The Deck provides a 360 degree panorama of the city of Melbourne and, on a clear day, it is claimed you can see up to 60kms away. Included in the entrance fee is a 20 minute 'sight and sound' film extravaganza of Melbourne and surrounds (which, sad to say, is somewhat pathetic).
Family (2 Adults and up to 4 Children between the ages of 4 and 15) $38.00
Open every day, 10am until late (so see the city by day, at sunset and by night)
So it's not a cheap option, but it does provide great views of the city and beyond.
Address: 525 Collins St
Directions: Spencer St station end of Collins St.
Phone: +61 3 9629 8222
A must see, and one of the cultural treasures on Melbourne, although, geographically, it is somewhat off the beaten track in the NE suburb of Bulleen.
Originally the home of John and Sunday Reid, it was THE bohemian address in Melbourne in the 1930s/40s/1950s and the centre for the Angry Penguins (Sidney Nolan, John Perceval, Albert Tucker etc...). Original home (Heide I)has been renovated and opened to the public. Contains a sanitised version of thei life style that went on here, alongside exhibitions predominantly of contemporaries of the Reids.
Heide II is the award-winning home the Reeds moved to in the 50s adjacent to the old home. Straight lines, glass, concrete and fabulous little hideway sculpture courtyards. The main exhibition centre until Heide III was built. Contains much of the permanent collection of the Museum.
Heide III is a sensitive continuation of Heide II and is now a state of the art gallery space which hosts contemporary exhibitions in a wonderful clean-lined, modern environment that is not overpowering.
And then there are the extensive grounds - sculpture garden, kitchen garden, wild flower garden, vegetable patch, orchards, river bank, fields. Its easily a place to spend a day - chill out in the parkland with a picnic, intersperse it with a picnic among the corrugated iron painted cows....
Open 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday.
Admission: $A12 for all 3 galleries (grounds are free of charge).
Address: Templestowe Rd, Bulleen
Directions: Sadly, as it was a getaway, its not easy to get to. Heidelburg station is a bus ride away (#291), which can be reached from Flinders St (Hurstbridge line). Taxis would cost $30+ from the city. There are cultural tours which include it in itinerary
Phone: +61 3 9850 1500
Nothing, arguably, epitomises St Kilda more than Luna Park. It was established in 1912 when St Kilda had become the city resort of Melbourne (and was trying to re-establish itself as a respectable area following its 'colonisation' at the end of the 19th century by prostitution, drugs and alcohol).
It's built by the same company that built the first Luna Park on Coney Island, and even today the air is punctutaed by the screams of those daring to have a go on the historic, heritage listed roller coaster.
As with the Luna Park in Sydney, its future is in some doubt - its sitting on some of the most valuable real-estate in Melbourne. Recent purchaser has indicated rennovation but it also includes the area surrounding the park (including the Palais Theatre and, perhaps most appealing the car park. The car park is a strange hybrid - important but at the same time sited opposite the beach - ripe for development!).
In the interim, head for the rides. They're old and somewhat dated, so not as sophisticated as the theme parks, but its on the beachfront in the middle of the city - what more could you and an emptying of your wallet want?
It ain't a cheap day out, that's for sure: as of March 2011, entrance is free but single tickets are A$4.50 (under 3 year's old), A$7.50 (4-12) and A$9.50 (14+): unlimited rides are A$14.95 / A$31.95 /A$41.95 (same age groups). Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) ...A$125.00 !!
Friday: 7pm - 11 pm/ Saturday 11am - 11pm/ Sunday 11am - 6pm
Public Holidays: Monday -Thursday 11am-6pm/ Friday 11am -11pm/ weekends as above
Address: Lower Esplanade, St Kilda
Directions: Southern end of St Kilda Beach near Carlisle and Acland Streets junction
Phone: +61 3 9525 5033
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