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Things to do in Melbourne

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Australia
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Port Phillip
Port Phillip is the entrance to Australia's busiest port and is one of Victoria's most popular recreational destinations. Every year millions of people enjoy its vast coastline, world-class swimming beaches and coastal parks. An entirely different perspective however is available to those who explore Port Phillip by boat. Island, shipwrecks and marine reserves dot Port Phillip, while scuba diving and fishing reveal the colourful diversity of Port Phillip's marine life.
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Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is one of the world's leading botanic gardens and a centre of excellence for horticulture, science and education. Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens was established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe. Over the next 60 years this swampy site was transformed into the world-famous landscape we know today. In 1958, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the ‘Royal’ prefix on the Gardens. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is dedicated to the conservation, display and enjoyment of plants and extends over two locations, Melbourne and Cranbourne, and incorporates the National Herbarium of Victoria.
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National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the oldest and most visited gallery in Australia. Situated over two magnificent buildings – NGV International and NGV Australia – the Gallery hosts a wide range of international and local artists, exhibitions, programs and events; from contemporary art to major international historic exhibitions, fashion and design, architecture, sound and dance.
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Ballarat Wildlife Park
Founded in February 1985 through a passion for conservation of wildlife and the environment. The Parker family have long realised the value of allowing people and animals to come together in a relaxing, friendly and educational environment. The selection of animals is truly unique and features animals that can only be described as natural wonders of the world.
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Eureka Skydeck 88
Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the awe inspiring views from the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere at Melbourne's Eureka Skydeck 88. Eureka Skydeck 88 is Melbourne's must see attraction. Two dedicated lifts propel visitors to level 88 in under 40 seconds. Only Skydeck 88 can take you to The Edge, a switchable glass cube which slides out from the building, with you inside. Apart from the unforgettable panorama, Skydeck 88 entertains the entire family with a host of activities and fascinating facts. Located in Southbank, Eureka Skydeck 88 will change the way you look at Melbourne and beyond.
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Churchill Island Heritage Farm
Experience a piece of Victoria’s heritage on this historic island, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the fragrant cottage gardens and lawns. Coastline walks offer magnificent views of Phillip Island and Western Port, while the restored farmhouse and cottages provide a glimpse into the past lives of early Australian settlers and past farming practices. Churchill Island, just off the coast of Phillip Island holds an important place in the history of European settlement in Victoria. The site of the first European agricultural pursuits in Victoria, the island has been farmed since the 1850’s and in 1872 was purchased by Samuel Amess, former Mayor of Melbourne. This tiny island of 57 hectares is now open to the public as an historic working farm that boasts significant natural and cultural values with world-class wetlands, ancient Moonah trees, heritage gardens and historic buildings.
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Puffing Billy Railway
The journey aboard Puffing Billy takes you through the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, located only one hour east of Melbourne. With lush fern gullies brushing past and Mountain Ash trees towering overhead, Puffing Billy makes for a wonderful opportunity to relax and breathe in the fresh air whilst the train makes its way through the temperate rainforest.
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Ballarat Botanical Gardens
One of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens feature a remarkable collection of mature trees and marble statues set amongst colourful bedding displays. Located on the western shore of Lake Wendouree, approximately four kilometers from Ballarat’s CBD, the Gardens are a popular and invaluable heritage and recreational location for residents and visitors. The Gardens cover 40 hectares and are divided into four distinct zones. The central part of the Gardens features the traditional, 'gardenesque' style, open parkland on either side are known as the North and South Gardens and the area alongside Lake Wendouree as the Lake foreshore precinct.
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Bells Beach
Ride a wave at Bells Beach, located near Torquay on the southern coast of Victoria in the Great Ocean Road region. Head to Bells Beach over the Easter weekend and watch the world's best surfers carve up the waves at the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition. High cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop to the natural amphitheatre of the beach and large swells from the Southern Ocean, which slow down and steepen over the reef-strewn shallows, creates the outstanding surf. If you're a sightseer, Bells Beach is a popular spot with great vantage points along the cliff. For surfers, Bells Beach is really for the experienced. The beach is an exposed reef and point break with excellent right-hand breaks, at their best during autumn and winter.
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The Queen Victoria Gardens
The Queen Victoria Gardens, which are set out on 4.5 hectares opposite the Victorian Arts Centre in St Kilda Road, are Melbourne's memorial to Queen Victoria. The gardens feature trees, roses, flowering shrubs, ponds and flower beds set in manicured lawns. There is a large emphasis on floral displays. Located within the gardens are ornamental ponds and monuments to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. The Janet Lady Clarke Rotunda is a bandstand erected in memory of a 19th century philanthropist who worked for the welfare of women. The main feature of the gardens is a superb floral clock with 7000 flowering and bedding plants located in front of the King's memorial. The plants are changed twice yearly. The clock was given to the City of Melbourne in 1966 as a decorative timepiece by a group of Swiss watchmakers. The Queen Victoria Gardens are also known for their artwork, including Paul Montfords Water Nymph, which is set in the smaller pond, and two marble busts by Theodore Fink. A contemporary piece by The Genie , a sculpture designed for children to touch and play on.
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Thirteenth Beach
Grab your surfboard and explore this 4.5 kilometre stretch of picturesque coastline west of Barwon Heads. A popular surf spot, Thirteenth Beach provides varied conditions to suit both learner and advanced surfers. The lovely wide stretch of sand spreads between looming sand dunes and crashing waves, and is also ideal for a refreshing walk, jog, sandcastle-making or ballplay with the dog. Take a short walk around the headland, don a wetsuit for some diving, and take in the expansive views.
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Art Gallery of Ballarat
The Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia's oldest regional gallery, located in the heart of Ballarat's central heritage precinct, boasts a stunning collection of Australian art. Its busy exhibition schedule makes the Gallery an exciting and dynamic place presenting a range of exhibitions from cutting edge contemporary art to themed shows drawn from the Gallery's extensive collection, and special interest ticketed shows.
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Chinese Museum Melbourne
A living part of Melbourne's modern Chinatown, the Chinese Museum is a national museum, brought into being in 1985 to document, preserve and display the history of Australians of Chinese descent who have helped shape and develop what it means to be Australian today. An exciting range of changing exhibitions, heritage tours and public seminars are some of the ways by which the Chinese Museum shares the past, culture, and values of Australia's Chinese community with the wider public. Educating existing and future generations of Australians it places importance on our identity and what is means to be Australian. A goldfield's mine re-creation, displays about early Chinese industry such as furniture making and the banana industry, imperial garments and images of the Young Chinese League's debutantes of the 1930s onward, evoke some of the richness of the Chinese contribution to Australia's history. The Museum is also home to Dai Loong and the Millennium Dragon, the largest dragon in the world, which weaves through the streets of Melbourne following a 100 year old Melbourne tradition. The Museum is a popular and important educative resource for teachers and educators alike visited by a huge number of school children 25,000 per annum to learn about multiculturalism, local and Australian history, Chinese arts and culture.
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Luna Park
Overlooking the famous Port Phillip Bay, this historic park has been a destination for Melbourne families for the past century. With 2012 celebrating 100 years of fun-filled adventures, Luna Park continues to surge forward with a generous mix of heritage listed attractions and brand new thrill rides to satisfy all thrill seekers. The most famous of the Park’s attractions is its Roller Coaster – The Great Scenic Railway, a large wooden coaster that projects its passengers, at high speed, around the outside of the entire Park. It boasts the title of being the oldest continually operating wooden roller coaster in the world and the only one of its kind with a standing brakeman in control aboard its moving carriages. This world famous roller coaster will not only provide you with heart-stopping dips and turns, but also the most stunning views of Port Phillip Bay St. Kilda has to offer. Luna Park offers a range of rides and attractions for all ages from our latest additions, the free spinning mini roller coaster Speedy Beetle and relaxing ferris wheel Moon Balloons, to old classics such as the Silly Serpent and nail biting thrill rides like the Pharaoh’s Curse and Power Surge. A day at Luna Park cannot be missed when visiting Melbourne, no matter your age.
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Ballarat Her Majesty
Her Majesty's Theatre is one of Australia's most historic theatres. Opened in 1875 Her Maj is the oldest purpose-built theatre building in Australia to have been continuously used as a live theatre venue. The building boasts a beautifully renovated double-balconied auditorium recently re-seated to offer both comfort and elegance while boasting state of the art theatre equipment. The Theatre offers an annual season of touring professional theatre productions, representing a selection of performances from some of Australia's leading theatre companies. Since 1965, Australia's largest and longest-running eisteddfod, the Royal South Street Competitions, have called the Theatre home and occupy the building between mid-August and early November every year. Her Majesty's has been owned and operated by the City of Ballarat since 1990. Today around 300 performances are presented each year.
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Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station, apart from being the hub of Melbourne's transport system, is one of the city's great landmarks and icons. Opened in 1884, the station dominates the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets. The steps under the station's famous domed clock tower has long been the most popular meeting place for Melbourneans coming into the city.
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Crown Melbourne
Located on the Southern bank of the Yarra River, Crown is Melbourne's premier entertainment venue. Featuring one of the largest casinos in the Southern Hemisphere, Crown is also home to three world-class hotels each with their own vibrant and sophisticated setting. Crown Towers, the benchmark for luxury hotels in Australia, Crown Metropol, contemporary indulgence and Crown Promenade, stylish, award winning and thoroughly modern.
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Phillip Island Nature Parks & Penguin Parade
Experience one of Australia’s most popular attractions. Each night at sunset you’ll be amazed by Little Penguins returning ashore after a day’s fishing. See the world’s smallest penguin in its natural habitat from viewing stands and boardwalks. Enjoy interactive and educational displays in the visitor centre and the spectacular coastal scenery from the Penguin Parade. This experience is sure to be the highlight of your visit. As the sun fades in the sky, Little Penguins waddle up the beach to the safety of their homes in the sand dunes. Witness this magical procession – it is a treat never forgotten.
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Kryal Castle
Kryal Castle is a legendary land of adventure, with knights, dragons, wizards, kings, queens, princesses, fairies and so much more. Once you cross the drawbridge, a kingdom of myth, magic and fantasy will enthral you. An adventurous, fun-filled day within the sprawling village awaits.
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The Nobbies
From this magnificent headland, the views stretch forever. This area offers spectacular coastal viewing from the boardwalks and lookout points set amongst natural sea bird gardens. One and a half kilometres offshore from The Nobbies are Seal Rocks, home to Australia’s largest Australian Fur Seal colony.
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Yarra River
Melbourne's lower Yarra River is the city's tourism and recreation heart. It hums with activity, on land and water. River boats link the vibrancy of Federation Square, Southgate and Crown. Outstanding dining and shopping opportunities blend with museums, leading galleries, an aquarium, concert halls and theatres to create one of the most diverse visitor precincts in the country.
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Fort Queenscliff Museum
The ultimate objective of the Fort Queenscliff Museum is a fully restored Fort and the development of a museum, which will allow visitors to tour the Fort and inspect a multitude of indoor and outdoor displays. Today visitors are encouraged to look upon Fort Queenscliff as a part of the national heritage which belongs to all Australians. Accordingly, the Fort Queenscliff Museum creates an environment that evokes public interest and reminds visitors of our early military history.
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Geelong Botanic Gardens
Geelong Botanic Gardens, founded in 1851, is one of the oldest botanic gardens in Australia. It is celebrated for its heritage trees, many of which are classified by the National Trust. Come to admire these ancient giants in the heritage garden or simply wander amongst the many colourful shrubs and perennials or picnic on rolling green lawns. The 21st Century Garden is a complete contrast: a stunning modern garden, which celebrates local and drought resistant plants.
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Maru Koala & Animal Park
Pat a koala, hand feed an albino kangaroo, walk with the dingoes, talk to the parrots, meet Honey the golden possum and then get all wrapped up in a python snake, It’s all made possible at Maru where you can really get in touch with wildlife.
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Portarlington Mill
Located just 300 metres from the beach, the Portarlington Mill was constructed in 1856 with rough local sandstone and Baltic Pine floors. The interior spaces are quintessential mid 19th century industrial style: large open spaces with heavy timber posts and beams enclosed by natural stone. The Mill is one of the few remaining and preserved Victorian flour mills.
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Queenscliffe Historical Museum
The Queenscliffe Historical Museum is situated in Hesse Street between the post office and library, in the township of Queenscliff. Opened in 1974, specifically to house socially historical materials peculiar to the Borough of Queenscliffe (which includes Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale and Swan Island) the museum is home to many thousands of items including photographs, documents, paintings, newspapers and toys, just to mention a few.
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Mosaics By The Bay
Heather has been teaching and working in the mosaic art field since 2003. Having created her business ‘Mosaics by the Bay’, Heather spends much of her time following her passion in the mosaic field from her seaside home on Phillip Island, where she also holds her workshops.
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National Vietnam Veterans Museum
The National Vietnam Veterans Museum (NVVM) is an independent Australian museum dedicated to the heritage and legacy of Vietnam veterans. The museum was founded and built by Vietnam veterans to help and support veterans to cope better with their experiences during the Vietnam War (1962-1975) and after their return to Australia.
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National Wool Museum
The National Wool Museum is housed in a beautifully restored 1872 bluestone wool store close to the vibrant new Waterfront Geelong. The Museum is Australia's largest comprehensive museum of wool, showcasing the region's wool story from the sheep's back to the clothes rack and from the birth of the industry in the 1840's to its place in the world today.
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Old Geelong Gaol
The Old Geelong Gaol and Museum has a great variety of displays that tell the history of the gaol and visitors get hands on experience of the harsh conditions prisoners and staff endured at the facility. Visitors can experience solitary confinement cells, get a taste of prison life, meet some infamous figures who have spent time at the gaol and see the original hallows.
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Queenscliffe Maritime Museum
Sea, sand and sail are the key to Queenscliff’s history. Visit Queenscliffe Maritime Museum to discover the treasures of its rich maritime heritage, shaped by its proximity to the entrance of Port Phillip and its notorious ‘rip’. From sea pilots to sailors, fishermen to boat builders, light keepers or ferry captains, the sea has created a world full of stories of boats and maritime industry.
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Warrook Farm
Warrook is living history, a full working farm over 100 years old. Take a step back in time, channel your inner ‘farmer’ self as you experience a range of hands on activities and demonstrations at Warrook – a genuine Aussie farm experience!