While Sydney is Australia’s most popular holiday destination and renowned for its great surf and beaches, those in search of culture and a city packed full of sights and attractions should head to the southern capital of Melbourne. From wildlife to shopping and the one of the highest viewing platforms in the world, here’s our guide to some of Melbourne’s best attractions.
Ideal for anyone looking to find their bearings in the city, the Skydeck is a great starting point with a central location overlooking the city. It also happens to be the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere, and offers some breath-taking views of the city. See the city in two different lights with a ‘Sun and Stars ticket’ and you can enjoy two entries in a single day – be sure to visit at sunrise and sunset.
If you’re feeling brave, take it a step further and experience The Edge – a thrilling opportunity to go over the edge in a glass box.
Queen Victoria Market
One of the city’s most iconic attractions, the Queen Victoria Market is great for exploring and you’ll find a huge variety of stalls combining a mixture of cultures and ethnicities. Here you’ll find a variety of foods and souvenirs from all corners of the globe, and the markets make an excellent place to enjoy an exotic breakfast or lunch for a much more reasonable price than some of the dine-in options available throughout the city.
Discover an Array of Wildlife
The Melbourne weather is notoriously unpredictable, so it’s very fortunate that the city is rich in zoos and aquariums offering fantastic indoor activities for the whole family as well as a chance to see some of the best Aussie animals and other exotic species up close.
Melbourne Aquarium is the award-winning home to Antarctic penguins, a whole host of weird and wonderful sea life and an amazing 2.2 million litre Oceanarium. If gazing from behind the glass isn’t close enough for you, try the shark dive extreme experience which gives both seasoned divers and newbies the chance to come face-to-face with these incredible predators.
Just 4km outside the city centre you’ll also find the Melbourne Zoo which is home to 320 species including gorillas, elephants, lions, elephants, meerkats and orang-utans. Don’t miss the Meet the Keeper Experience, and if you have cash to spare you can upgrade and meet the elephants up close. Experiences don’t come cheap though, so we recommend looking at the Cheapflights site to save some money.
If you’d prefer to see the animals in their natural habitat, head to the bushland setting of the Healesville Sanctuary which houses some of Australia’s most distinctive wildlife including dingoes, koalas, kangaroos and emus.
Let Your Feet Guide You
There’s no better way to explore the city than to let your eyes and feet guide you. Whether you stroll alone and discover the city’s beautiful lanes and arcades, or join the Melbourne Hidden Secrets Tour, there’s plenty to discover including local art, vintage shops, architectural wonders and even wine tasting tours. We highly recommend the coffee and café culture walk which shows you just
If you really want to try something a little different you could even take a Victorian horse and carriage tour!
Located in California, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a world within itself with as many as 35000 different colorful ocean creatures. A visit to the Monterey Bay would overwhelm a person with the beauty that exists beneath the blue waters as well as a vast amount of knowledge that is there for the taking through the exhibits and guides.
A usual trip is of 3 hours, but one can plan a quick one hour tour through the aquarium as well. However, given the variety at display, a single tour would never be enough to appreciate the various forms of ocean creatures preserved at this aquarium. One can also take membership of this aquarium for a small fees which would be paid off in as less as two trips to the aquarium with the family. Members get special trips, behind the scene sessions and a beautiful and informative newsletter.
The best part about the aquarium is their planned itinerary which takes the tourists through a range of informative programs, ranging from knowing more about the albatross, to quiz on sea otters, and short and informative films on jellies, tuna, sharks and sea turtles. One could also take a trip through the deep dark waters of Monterey canyon in special submersibles. One could also go through an interactive session where they see experts feeding sharks, penguins and sea otters, and watch the Outer bay feeding of barracuda, tuna and bonito, learning about the conservation efforts ongoing for these underwater creatures.
The aquarium also has other interesting activities planned for tourists. Students can go for a trip of the cannery and the history of fishing. Family activities are planned over nights letting them sleep over next to their favorite exhibits. Students can go for adventurous sails at sunrise and sunset in a sailboat and conduct some research along with the Aquarium naturalists. Students can also go for a trip to interact with the sea creatures on exhibition in the mornings. Underwater exploring is also planned for kids between 8 and 13 who can scuba dive and get a fish eye view of the life under the water. One can also learn a lot about the staff of the Aquarium in a 50 minute behind the scene tour.
The cost of the tickets is around $18 for children and around $30 for adults. In this Aquarium, one could learn a lot about life on a sandy shore, or a rocky shore, in the deep waters or in the Outer bay about the most mysterious to most beautiful of animals. The Aquarium staff also share their knowledge about the habitat of the animals, the conservation efforts to preserve the rare species etc. through well captured videos.
Aquarium Adventures Programs;
Family Seashore Sleepover
Youth Group Seashore Sleepovers
Fishing for History: A Cannery Row Tour
Sailing Adventures: Day Sails
Sailing Adventures: Sunset Sails
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located in Monterey at the west end of historic Cannery Row, just minutes from Carmel and Pebble Beach. Monterey is approximately 125 miles (208 km) south of San Francisco and 360 miles (600 km) north of Los Angeles.
You can get detailed information at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/.