As Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne has some of the finest museums in the country. The Melbourne Museum is home to such fascinating features as the body of Phar Lap, Australia’s most famous racehorse, an imposing whale skeleton and a frog-infested indoor rainforest. The children’s museum and interactive display will ensure little ones are entertained.
If art is more your thing, don’t forget to stop by the National Gallery of Victoria. It features a selection of stunning Australian and international works, including pieces from acclaimed local artists Arthur Boyd, Charles Condor and Brett Whiteley. The ground floor is dedicated to indigenous works from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Step outside the gallery and enjoy Melbourne’s meeting place, Federation Square. The hub of the city is packed with restaurants and retail outlets. It also plays host to a number of shows and exhibitions. If you’d like to learn more the Square’s history, be sure to take a guided tour. You never know what you’ll see at Federation Square.
A visit to Australia’s garden state wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Arguably the nation’s finest gardens, Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens feature an observatory, fern gully, bamboo forest, and plenty of lawns that are perfect for picnicking. Keep your eyes peeled, as the gardens are also home to an abundance of native creatures, including cockatoos, bellbirds, eels and possums.
The laughing face of Luna Park has been one of Melbourne’s most distinctive features since 1912. You’ll find plenty of old favorites at this amusement park, including the roller coaster, carousel, ghost train and ferris wheel.
Australian Rules Football is the heart and soul of Melbourne. With a meat pie in one hand and a cold beer in the other, the rules of the game are less important than being part of the cheering crowd. Several games are played around the city each weekend, so there’s no excuse for missing this unique sport.
With its high immigrant population, it’s no surprise that Melbourne serves up some of the best international food outside of Europe.
Once you’d have only seen Italian cafes in Melbourne’s “Little Italy,” Lygon Street. However, the district now includes Thai, Afghan, Malay, Caribbean and Greek eateries. This lively neighborhood is a great place to enjoy an al fresco dining experience with friends.
If you’ve got the money, you won’t regret a trip to Fifteen Melbourne. This is the most recent addition to the Fifteen franchise, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s attempt to turn around the lives of disadvantaged youths. The food is delicious and worth the price, with a percentage of all profits donated to the Fifteen Foundation.
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