The 26 Best Sights in Melbourne
Melbourne’s sights are more than trite tours and boring museum lectures. Long walks through ancient streets and modern squares are appreciated by aesthetes and history buffs. Nature lovers will enjoy the parks and nature reserves. And local shopping will turn into a fascinating event for tourists of all ages.
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Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street is both the main train station and the city’s calling card. The beautiful building and platforms were built in 1910 and within 7 years Flinders Street was the busiest train station in the world. Today it carries about 2,000 trains and more than 110,000 passengers.
The main attraction of the station is the round clock on the facade, bought in Great Britain in the 1860s. Later, during the reconstruction they were replaced with more accurate digital ones, but the public was outraged and the historical relic was returned to its place.
The next time active citizens intervened was in the 1970s, when Melbourne authorities made the reckless decision to close the dilapidated station. After rallies and debates, funds were allocated to repair the station. In total it was spent about 7 million Australian dollars. On this money have updated the facade, repaired the platforms, stuffed the station with modern electronics, opened a fashionable restaurant and store.
Rippon Lee Manor
The picturesque manor house is located in the town of Elsternwick, on the outskirts of Melbourne. Prominent politician and merchant Frederick Sargood bought 40 acres of land for his large family, on which he built an unusual house, laid out a garden and dug a pond.
Architect Joseph Reed was inspired to design the mansion by a palazzo in Italy. Rippon Lee was the first mansion with its own electric generators that continuously generated electricity. After Sargood’s death in 1903, the mansion was rebuilt and added to, the most important acquisition of those years being the outhouse tower.
Rippon Lee wandered from one owner to the next, each of whom tried to bring their own to the design and decoration.
Once, the house even housed a branch of a television studio. The local authorities have saved this architectural gem from complete destruction by buying it out. Today the mansion is open to the public. Here you can stroll through the park, look into the greenhouse and walk into the house itself.
A popular meeting place for locals and the epicenter of cultural and public events, Federation Square appeared on the map of Melbourne in 1997. In fact, it’s a block of about 40,000 square meters, bounded by Russell, Swenson, Flinders Streets on one side and the Yarra River on the other.
Along its perimeter are galleries, cafes, restaurants, bars and gift stores. In the center are two places for public gatherings. This is a covered atrium and an amphitheater with a capacity of up to 35,000 spectators.
Contrary to its glib name, it is not parliamentarians who sit here, but only Victoria’s governor. It is where decrees are signed and important instructions are given. Construction began in 1855 and was not completed until 70 years later, when the Houses of Parliament, which are said to be the epitome of the Victorian style, were completed.
The Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council Halls were first completed. Later the two separate structures, separated by Bourke Street, were connected. About 40 years after construction began, the library was added here, and another 10 years later the lobby and Queen’s Hall were completed.
Colonnades and porticoes were added to the facade facing Spring Street. Then the north wing was commissioned, and 30 years later officials had restrooms. The building was also supposed to have a dome, but it was abandoned, although the question of its erection is periodically raised.
The height of the 91-storey skyscraper in the business center of Melbourne is 297 m. It is the tallest building in Victoria. The black and white giant is named after the Eureka gold mine uprising during the gold rush. The memory of this sad event is reflected in the design of the tower.
Its top is crowned with golden plates, the blue glass windows represent the flag of the rebels, the white lines represent the measuring scale on the gold miners’ ruler, and the red line on the facade is a symbol of the blood spilled.
The largest museum in the southern hemisphere consists of 7 main galleries, one children’s gallery and a temporary exhibition hall. In addition, there is a research center and an IMAX theater, which shows movies in 3D.
The permanent exhibition features Egyptian mummies, dinosaur skeletons, and artifacts that belonged to ancient Chinese dynasties. In other rooms, you can learn about the culture and life of indigenous Australian peoples.
Captain Cook’s Cottage
Within Fitzroy Gardens Park stands the home of James Cook. In fact, the cottage does not belong to the legendary navigator, but to his parents. However, the enthusiasts are sure that the traveler at least regularly visited it, and at most spent a whole year.
The house was originally located in the English village of Great Ayton. After long negotiations it was bought from the then owner for 800 pounds and moved to Australia. There is an English garden around the house, the rooms have recreated Cook’s era furnishings, and there are even a few items that belonged to his parents.
The Old Prison.
The grim building was built in 1841 and held notorious bandits, brigands and murderers, and was used for executions. In 1924 the penitentiary was closed and converted into warehouses.
In the 1970s, the local authorities decided to open a museum there to attract tourists. There are personal belongings of the prisoners, death masks of the executed and several plans of escapes that were not destined to take place. Anyone can visit the cell. It is said that the prison is haunted. And if you’re lucky, you might see a couple in the gloomy corridors.
The museum occupies the former Treasury building, which itself is a historical monument. The construction of the municipal institution was entrusted to the brilliant architect John Clark, who was barely 19 years old at the time. The young man in just a few years erected a graceful structure in the Renaissance style.
The museum opened in 1994 and its exhibits are dedicated to the gold rush and the history of gold mining in the country. On display are the nuggets, the equipment for washing the precious metal, the miners’ personal belongings, and important documents of those years. There are halls where you can discover how Melbourne developed from a small settlement of colonists to a metropolis of 4 million people.
National Gallery of Victoria
This gallery is the largest and oldest in Australia. Not so long ago its holdings were divided into two parts.
The Gallery of International Art is located on St. Kilds, in the heart of the cultural quarter, in a historic building. Works by internationally renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Veronese, Rubens and others are on display here.
The Ian Potter Center has taken over the exhibition complex on Federation Square. People come here to enjoy the art of local artists, as well as to see objects made by the indigenous people of the Green Continent.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Construction on Melbourne’s largest Anglican cathedral began in 1880 and wasn’t completed until 35 years later. The installation of the giant steeple marked the end of the construction. For a long time the temple remained the tallest structure in the city, it was visible from almost anywhere.
The modest interior decoration is made up for by the organ, made by the famous master T.S. Lewis. The musical instrument consists of 6,500 pipes.
Royal Exhibition Center
The Exhibition Centre occupies a Victorian style building constructed in anticipation of the International Exhibition of 1880. The building has the status of a monument protected by UNESCO.
The building consists of one hall with an area of over 12,000 square meters and many smaller rooms. The huge dome above it was erected in the image of the dome of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. It was in this building that Australian independence was proclaimed, and then for 26 years the Victorian state government met within its historic walls.
During the First World War, the pavilion was a hospital, during the Second World War – an army camp. In the 50s they decided to demolish the dilapidated structure and build offices in its place. The public did not let the commercial plans come true.
In 1984, Princess Alexandra – cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain – visited the exhibition center. She granted it the “royal” status, which was the impetus for the start of reconstruction.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The cathedral in neo-Gothic style began to be built in 1851, but the “gold rush” took almost all the able-bodied population to the mines. When the gold miners returned home, it was discovered that the Catholic community had run out of funds. It took a long time to raise the money, and the church was not finished until 1939.
The interior furnishings are impressive in their magnificence. Instead of stained-glass windows, there are amber glasses that fill the hall with golden light. The floor and marble altar are decorated with a mosaic panel made in Italy. A cross weighing 1.5 tons, a gift from the Irish government, stands on the roof.
Nature and Parks
Port Phillip Marine Park
The reserve, located between the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas, covers about 40 square kilometers. Its territory is divided into 6 parts: Swan Cove, an artificial fortification “Bishop’s Eye”, Mud Island, a place for diving “Portsy Hole”, capes Lonsdale and Nipin.
Coral reefs grow underwater, and the beach area is home to several species of marine animals and birds. The park is also home to a number of sites of cultural value.
Dandenong National Park
Dandenong Reserve is set on the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne. This beautiful place is a favorite vacation spot for city residents.
The park is divided into several zones, each with its own twist. Here you can walk through the remnants of a jungle that existed at the time of the dinosaurs. Once majestic trees have been transformed into fern thickets.
The valley was inhabited for several thousand years by the Bunurong and Vuvurrong tribes. They left behind interesting drawings in the caves.
There are many birds in Sherbrooke Forest – local parrots don’t mind eating off their hands. Those who are tired can have a rest at the guest house in the village of Sassafras. There is also an observation deck, which allows you to enjoy the panoramic splendor of natural beauty from the height.
Phillip Island Nature Park
Phillip Island with its unique ecosystem was declared a national park in 1996. The reserve covers an area of about 2 thousand hectares.
It is home to 15 species of animals and more than 80 plant species. The main local attraction – a colony of penguins. Every evening, a “parade” of funny birds returning from the sea to their nests attracts numerous tourists.
The picturesque park is located on the south bank of the Yarra River in close proximity to Federation Square. Once a wooded area used for cattle grazing, it was transformed into a city park in the early twentieth century.
Gradually the area was expanded and ennobled. Today, it is a favorite place for citizens to relax – with alleys for walking, paths for jogging and biking, as well as lawns for picnics. Cafes and restaurants can be found in the park.
The park is about 36 hectares in size and is located in the center of the city. It was founded in 1854 but was named in honor of Melbourne’s 100th anniversary. There are iconic landmarks within the park, including the Government Building and the Remembrance Memorial.
Among the natural wonders are the Calabrian pine, whose seeds were brought back by a soldier returning from the fields of World War I, and the arca tree. This is a lush fern, from which steps go to an artificial pool. The park has many sculptures, paths, and walking trails.
Melbourne’s largest park at over 190 hectares is located 5 km from the business center. There is a golf club, tennis club, innumerable cricket and baseball fields, jogging and cycling paths on the vast area.
In the summer, members of the local astronomical society can be found in King’s Park observing stars and comets at night.
The landscaping of this park is considered the epitome of Victorian style with its neat lawns, avenues of stately trees and carpet of variegated plants from Europe and Australia. The more than 26-hectare grounds are home to many species of animals and birds. The Carlton Gardens is home to the Fairgrounds pavilion as well as the Melbourne Museum.
An open air museum city about 100 km from Melbourne takes you back in time to the gold rush. The streets and houses mimic the architecture of those times.
In the saloons, drinks are poured and beautiful women dance the can-can. Authenticity adds actors dressed in the fashion of the XIX century. You can ride in a carriage, shoot at a shooting gallery, have lunch in a restaurant and finally check out the souvenir shop.
South Star Ferris Wheel
The attraction is located in the district of Dokland. The wheel is 100 meters in diameter and almost 130 meters high. The 21 cabins can hold up to 420 people at a time.
A full rotation of the “Southern Star” makes a 30-40 minute ride. In the evening the lights turn on, and the wheel flickers with thousands of lights in the waters of the harbor. It cost about 100 million Australian dollars to build.
The Zoological Garden, founded in 1862, is the oldest in Australia. In the beginning it served as a temporary shelter for pets brought from other continents – they underwent veterinary adaptation here. Over time, exotic species have been added to the familiar ones. Today the zoo is home to lions, tigers, crocodiles, several species of primates, elephants, giraffes, and other representatives of fauna from around the world.
The ship-shaped building sits on the bank of the Yarra River and houses the aquarium. Opened in the early 2000s, it is considered one of the best in the world. It gathers marine life from the southern seas and arctic latitudes.
The main attractions are the penguins, for which they regularly make ice, and even grew an artificial coral reef with a closed ecosystem. There are regular shows with dolphins and seals.
This opera house was built in the middle of the 19th century. The building has been rebuilt several times, and the last reconstruction took place in 1989.
The ghost is said to be the spirit of the actor Baker, who died right on stage while performing an aria from the opera Faust in 1888.
Queen Victoria Market
Located in the business center, the Queen Victoria Market is the largest in the southern hemisphere. It has held the palm since its inception in the 19th century.
It sells everything imaginable: farm produce, fruit, vegetables, seafood, oriental sweets and the smell of smoked meats tantalizes the taste buds. The “gluttony aisles,” where delicious dishes are prepared from fresh produce bought on neighboring rows, are also worth a separate visit.
Twelve Apostles Chinatown Eureka Tower Phillip Island Melbourne Park Docklands Stadium Melbourne Aquarium Melbourne Cricket Ground
This site compiles Melbourne attractions – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Melbourne, where to go, and where to find popular and interesting places in Melbourne.
The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles are a group of eight closely spaced limestone cliffs that have been eroded away from each other.
These rocks were formed as a result of thousands of years of ocean work. Only eight of the original Twelve Apostles have survived. The Coast of the Twelve Apostles is 10-20 million years old, and during that time, billions of tiny skeletons formed deposits of limestone on the seabed.Later, this limestone was subjected to the violent effects of waves and winds until it took its amazing shape.
At first the place was called “The Pig and the Piglets,” but in the 1950s it was changed to “The Twelve Apostles” to attract more tourists, with only nine rocks in the group. They are located along the Great Ocean Road, a 2-hour drive from Melbourne, between the towns of Port Campbell and Princeton, and are listed as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site.
The beautiful cliffs, arches, coves, and grottoes have become a popular tourist attraction. Now a visitor center has been built here, and you can take a helicopter tour over the ocean.
One of the most interesting areas in Melbourne is China Town. Since the early nineteenth century Melbourne has seen a surge of Chinese immigrants who preferred to live close to one another. Decades later Chinatown would become ‘a city within a city’, so different from Melbourne’s Chinese peasantry. Today, giant red vaulted aisles in traditional Chinese style adorn the entrance to the neighborhood.
When visiting Chinatown, be prepared for a bevy of culinary delights as the streets fill with pavement cafés and restaurants serving Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean and Malaysian food.
Chinatown also has its own museum dedicated to Chinese culture.
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Eureka Tower is a beautiful residential skyscraper with an original design and interior towers over downtown Melbourne.
The black and white tower, topped with a crown of gold and a red stripe – these are symbols of gold rush and spilled blood. The tower was named after the Eureka Gold Rush riot.
On the 88th floor, at a height of 285 meters, is the Skydeck 88 observation deck. Of particular interest is a visit to the retractable glass cube called “The Edge”. It offers unforgettable panoramic views of greater Melbourne, the bay, the Dandenong Mountains and the Mornington Peninsula.
Coordinates : -37.82166000,144.96444100
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Just 120 kilometers from Melbourne you can find a unique nature park located on Phillip Island. The park is divided into several themed areas, each with its own attractions.
The main attraction is the so-called Penguin Parade. It takes place twice a day – early in the morning and late in the evening. As soon as they wake up, thousands of penguins rush unanimously to the water, where they spend the entire day. And at nightfall, as amicably, many thousands of penguins run home – to their holes.
Another very interesting place on the island is the Koala Reserve. On Phillip Island, these cute animals live not in cages or aviaries, but in relative freedom – among the huge eucalyptus forest.
Melbourne has been dubbed the “sports capital of Australia”, which is not at all surprising – it was here that the 1956 Summer Olympics were held. One testament to that era is Melbourne Park, which to this day retains its status as host to the prestigious Australian Open.
Melbourne Park’s main tennis arena is named after Rod Laver, the only tennis player to win two consecutive Grand Slams. Rod Laver Arena can accommodate 16,820 spectators. Melbourne Park also has Vodafone Arena (10,000 spectators), Margaret Court Arena (6,000 spectators) and 14 mini courts for visitors.
In addition to the tennis courts, Melbourne Park has swimming pools and a sports arena.
Coordinates : -37.82267000,144.98005000
Docklands Stadium is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment stadium in Melbourne, Australia. Construction began in October 1997 under the working title Victoria Stadium and was completed in 2000. The total cost was $460 million.
Docklands Stadium is the first stadium in Australia to have a moving tier. All four levels of this tier can be moved 18 meters forward, in a rectangular configuration. It was first used for a game in July 2001.
Since its inception, Docklands Stadium has endured criticism for the quality and suitability of its playing surface, particularly for AFL requirements. It has been subjected to negative comments from players and coaches for its hardness and lack of a grass surface.
In August 2007, the stadium’s executive director, Ian Collins, announced that plans were underway to purchase a sophisticated lighting and heating system so that grass could be grown year-round. The stadium has 500 parking spaces located underground, a great exterior screen, 700 and 2000-watt arena lighting, and 66 corporate boxes. It is one of the most imposing stadiums in Australia.
Coordinates : -37.81623400,144.94811900
Melbourne Aquarium opened in early 2000.Located on the banks of the Yarra River, just off the King Street Bridge and the Flinders Street Viadact viaduct, in central Melbourne.Through the circular aquarium with sharks and other inhabitants of the southern seas, a tunnel for visitors to feel in close proximity to these amazing creatures.
The aquarium’s collection includes animals from the South Seas, Antarctica and Australia. There are exhibitions of the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. You can walk through a tunnel in a huge tank with large fish, sharks and rays in which you can feel close to these amazing creatures. The most daring can even swim with them.
Penguins do not leave anyone indifferent.These funny little guys you can admire for hours. Some of the fish can be fed, and the feeding of penguins and sharks is interesting to watch from the side. Each species has a special diet.
The aquarium is not only engaged in recreational activities – there is a considerable scientific basis and there is work to increase the population of endangered species of sharks and sea turtles.
You can celebrate birthdays, weddings, etc. in this beautiful place by prior arrangement.
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Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia is a multipurpose sports complex, the eighth largest in the world. It has a capacity of 100012 people. Originally planned as a cricket ground, the stadium was built in 1854.
In 1884, the wooden structure of the stadium was damaged by fire, was reconstructed and rebuilt using stone as the building material. In 1900 floodlights were installed for artificial lighting, which allowed matches to be played at any time of the day. In 1956 it was the main arena of the Olympic Games, specially for them it was reconstructed and had a capacity of 120 thousand people. Last time it was reconstructed in 2006.
The stadium hosts Australian soccer and cricket matches, rugby games, and various sporting and cultural events. Melbourne Cricket Ground has been the site of the Olympic Games several times. In 2009 it was voted the seventh wonder of the world in sport.
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