The Great Sights of Melbourne

Thursday, 28 May 2015
I’ve probably seen about 100 of these lists. Pretty much everyone says the same thing. Mine may be no different than the others. Mainly, I wanted to compose this list to help me categorise everything to do in Melbourne. There are so many amazing things about Melbourne (it can often be overwhelming to sit down and choose just one to write about)! Seriously, this city is pretty freaking amazing! There is never a dull day here. From nature to food, to festivals, to culture, there is always something happening in Melbourne. That may be why I love this city so much. It isn’t a city where you go, see a monument, snap a picture, and then that’s it. Each location I’m going to list has a variety of activities to do. Each time I visit them, I explore new areas, see new things, experience new things, and it's incredible! Not many cities have that capability. Some of my favourite things to do in Melbourne are:

This is one of my favourite places in Victoria. There is so much to along the Great Ocean Road. From the CBD, you can take short day trips up to Torquay, but I wouldn’t recommend going much farther unless you’re only planning on seeing one particular thing. One could easily spend a week exploring all the towns and sites along the Great Ocean Road. Along the 243 km road, you’ll encounter the 12 Apostles, Cape Otway and the Great Otway National Park, London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, Apollo Bay, Bells Beach in Torquay and much, much more!

Just like the Great Ocean Road, there is so much to see in the Dandenong Ranges. Fern Gully is a real place! I repeat, FERN GULLY IS REAL!! All you have to do is travel a wee bit outside the city, and you’ve reached it! I’ve only seen a small portion as of yet, but it reminds me of something straight out of Jurassic Park! There are so many hiking trails it’s fantabulous! If you’re into death by stairs, 1,000 Steps is the hike for you! Not only do you get to murder your glutes with heaps of stairs but you also get a nice little history lesson about the soldiers in 1942.

Sherbrooke Forest
Queen Victoria Market
I’m pretty much in love with Queen Vic Market. Yes, there are the stereotypical souvenirs, and you can’t really haggle here, but there is so much to choose from. There are the fresh fruit and veg, the meat, the cheese, the clothes, the souvenirs. The list goes on and on. During the summer they even do a night market! Heaps of food and drink to choose from. The only downside to the night market is that all the portions are standard sizes. They really should scale the portions down, so you are hungry enough to try all the fantastic food!

 I may be alone here, but I’m a sucker for adorable animals. Actually, scratch that, I’m a sucker for animals in general. Australia just so happens to be home to all of my favourites. After 26 years of life, I FINALLY got to see a platypus (One day I WILL wade with the platypi at Healesville Sanctuary)!  Three different zoo’s, three remarkably different places. Melbourne Zoo is excellent and reminds me a lot of the San Diego Zoo. Healesville is basically all Aussie animals. It’s awesome! And Werribee Open Range Zoo is basically like a Safari. Tip top Melbourne! A+ on your zoo game!

Playtime with the Dingo Puppies

Royal Botanical Gardens
 I realise I’m singling out RBG here, but basically, any of the gardens in Melbourne are completely fantastic! Seriously, Leslie Knope would freaking lose her shit if she came to Melbourne. I kid you not when I say every couple of blocks there’s a park or a garden. Royal Botanical Gardens is hands down my favourite. There is so much to see and so much to explore. Personally, I like that within the RBG there is a California Garden. It's a bit of my old home mixed right into my new home! Not gonna lie, though, the park at the end of my street is absolutely beautiful! Not bad for only have to walk a couple hundred meters down the street!
Neighborhood Park. Eat your heart out Knope!

Melbourne's CBD
There is a reason Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world to live in. There is always something going on, and there is so much life in the CBD. Yes, the hook turns can be insanely annoying, but there’s free, YES FREE, transportation within the CBD! There are so many fantastic sites to see within the CBD. There are the blatantly obvious like Flinders Street Station, the Library, Fed Square, Melbourne Museum, etc. But there are also insanely cool little alleyways with heaps of fabulous restaurants or awesome graffiti art. Every time I go to the city I find or see something new. It never ceases to amaze me!

Beautiful Sunset Over the Yarra

Phillip Island
Phillip Island is not just amazing due to the penguin parade. This island is freaking awesome. There is some incredible surfing! I personally prefer surfing on Phillip Island to the back beaches on Mornington Peninsula because there are fewer rocks and during the offseason, fewer people. Phillip Island reminds me a lot of Catalina Island. Which is fantastic because Catalina Island is one of my favourite places on the planet.
Surfing on Phillip Island
Port Beaches
The port beaches often get a bad rep. One really shouldn’t go swimming in the water, but that doesn’t take away from the amazingness of these beaches. Brighton Beach has the iconic bathing boxes, Port Melbourne and St Kilda have some impressive scenery, paddle boarding, and windsurfing, or Elwood Beach that has some pretty fantastic views of the city and has a friendly atmosphere.

Princes Pier, Port Melbourne
I love wine. In my family, if you don’t like wine, you’re basically disowned. I must admit, before my move to Australia, I knew nothing about Aussie wine. Sure, in the states you can get Yellowtail and Cupcake Wine (but I’m pretty sure Cupcake is a New Zealand wine that Americans try to pass off as Aussie) but let’s be real, my father would roll over in his grave if I ever drank either of those. They were mainly just cooking wine. I was a bit apprehensive to Aussie wine but after heaps of tastings and a wine appreciation course. I’ve actually started to enjoy Aussie wines. There are some fabulous wineries close to Melbourne. Yarra Valley is freaking awesome and if you’re headed to Healesville why not stop and do some wine tasting? Mornington Peninsula also has some fantastic vineyards with great views of the ocean.
Vineyard in Mornington

There is so much to see in Melbourne, and I’ve only seen a small fraction of the city. I’m always keen to hear ideas of places to see, food to try, and adventures to be had. I'd like to know, what's your favourite thing about Melbourne? Any favourite places to eat or have a drink? Let me know in the comments below!

And until next time...

Stay Curious!

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