Bursting with activities, shopping, and cultural sites to see, it’s hard to know what to do if you’re only in Melbourne for a short period. We highlight the best things to do, see and eat in Melbourne in 24 hours or less.
Early risers should head to the Royal Botanical Gardens for a morning stroll. Around the outside of the garden is a well-known running/walking track, The Tan, for fitness devotees. Inside the gardens you’ll find plenty of lush greenery, well-established trees and flowers and plants from Australia and around the world. Serene and beautiful!
You probably should know that brunch is a serious past-time in Melbourne. All around the CBD and surrounding suburbs, cafes offer all sorts of breakfast and Insta-worthy creations to start the day. Top Paddock in Richmond, East Elevation in Brunswick and Nshry by the water in Port Melbourne are all delicious. Head to the one closest your accommodation and get ready to eat up a storm. But we warned – it’s best to aim for a weekday to avoid queues, and don’t forget to sample the coffee!
Away from the morning rush and 50 mins east of the city, you’ll find Melbourne’s best theme park, Gumbuya World. While it may seem a little strange to head to a theme park if you’re in Melbourne for a short period of time, Gumbuya World is cleverly designed: it’s a water park, an animal sanctuary and theme park all-in-one! This is perfect if you’re visiting from overseas, or have small children.
Visiting Gumbuya World means you can take in our unique Australian wildlife and still have time for a swim and some dodgem cars. There’s plenty of space, shade and activities for people of all ages to make this park a winner.
After all the fun of the theme park, it’s time to detour back into the city via the coast. Take your pick between Black Rock, Elwood or St Kilda for lovely swimming beaches. Brighton Beach is particularly picturesque with it’s colourful and famous bathing boxes dotting the shoreline. The St Kilda foreshore is the place to stop for an afternoon beverage, ice-cream or snack. Republica and Captain Baxter are the best places to sample.
No trip to Melbourne is complete without a peek at the inner city street art from local and world renowned artists. For the best experience, a twilight walking tour will show you the areas with the most impressive murals. Otherwise, explore the laneways yourself, making sure that you catch Hosier Lane for the most extensive spread of art.
We could do an entire article about Melbourne food, but instead, let your stomach be your guide that day. In the CBD, Chin Chin, Pastuso, Florentinos and MoVida, Tonka or Supernormal will have you covered in terms of Thai, Italian, Spanish tapas, Indian and pan-Asian, respectively. Aperitifs in the form of a bespoke cocktail are also popular and of very high quality.
You may be starting to tire after a long day out and about, but there’s still plenty of time to go to the theatre! Check out The Regent and the Princess Theatre for the big budget musicals, while Fortyfive Downstairs is great for independent and indy performances. The Arts Centre, Malthouse Theatre and Southbank Theatre offer mixed programs of Australian works, famous plays and blockbuster shows. Post-theatre try Cookie, Siglo, or Lily Blacks for a night-cap.