Time for a trip to Australia? Say hello, Melbourne!
Starting this June, more Canadians will be saying g’day as Air Canada introduces new, year-round, non-stop service from Vancouver to Melbourne, Australia. Say hello to Melbourne’s artsy, cool, distinguishable appeal and make it your first stop on your trip to Australia.
Melbourne is Australia’s second most populous city. It’s a sprawling cosmopolitan metropolis divided into vibrant neighbourhoods, and punctuated with trendy little eateries, sports clubs, markets, and a celebrated arts scene. Not only is there so much to see and do in Melbourne, but it’s also a gateway to Yarra Valley’s world-class vineyards and Victoria’s natural springs. It’s the perfect starting point to begin heading north to explore Sydney the Gold Coast, Great Barrier Reef, and the idyllic Whitsunday Islands.
Whether you’re stopping over, crunched for vacation days, or just on a whirlwind of a journey, we’re here to prove that with a bit of strategic planning and a keen sense of adventure, this trip to Australia means you could be in for the best three days of your life.
As a wise man once said, “organization is the key to fun.” So, let’s get organized. Here’s what you need to see and do during your short trip to Melbourne.
~ Day One ~
City attractions, laneways, and St Kilda
You’ve just landed. First things first. Coffee. In Australia, coffee is considered to be some of the best in the world, particularly the espresso, which is brewed down to an art and science and topped with hot, frothy milk. Grab yourself a flat white and start your day off on the right foot, because it’s time to pound the pavement in Melbourne – a walkable city best seen on foot. What’s on today’s agenda? Melbourne’s iconic heritage buildings, laneways, and the whimsical St Kilda. Spend the morning meandering through the city and save the rest of the day to explore St Kilda’s adventureland.
Take a stroll through Melbourne’s laneways and you’ll find street art that rivals street art capitals of the world like New York City, Berlin, and London. Locals and visitors alike can be found exploring the city’s labyrinth of contemporary urban art that changes almost daily. It’s an integral part of the Melbourne experience. Look for stencil art, wheatpastes, murals and more as you start exploring. For some of the best laneway art, check out Hosier and Rutledge Lane, AC/DC and Duckboard Place, Union Lane, Myers Place, and Croft Alley.
Heritage Buildings & Architecture
Flinders Street Station is one of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings and working railway stations. Opened in 1854, Flinders Street Station was the first railway station built in any Australian city and by 1926 became the busiest passenger station in the world, surpassing Grand Central Station in New York City. Legend has it that there’s an abandoned ballroom that sits above the station in ruin.
St Paul’s Cathedral is located across Federation Square, Melbourne’s busiest intersection, in the heart of the city. It’s a Melbourne landmark that was built between 1880 and 1931, designed by renowned English architect William Butterfield. The Gothic Revival architecture features beautifully patterned floor tiles and mosaics, large arching doorways, and a beautiful blue stone exterior.
Surrounded by Carlton Gardens, the Royal Exhibition Building was originally built for the Great Exhibition of 1880. It’s one of the world’s oldest remaining exhibition pavilions which later housed the first Commonwealth Parliament in 1901 and eventually became a World Heritage listing in 2004.
Food & Wine
Melbourne prides itself in its diverse gastronomic offerings. From boozy brunches to Asian-inspired cuisine and more and more plant-based eateries sprouting up, Melbourne’s food scene will satiate any appetite.
Melbourne’s favourite seaside suburb is home to some of Victoria’s best attractions, including Luna Park, St Kilda Beach, and the Esplanade Market. Open since 1912, Luna Park is a theme park with games, roller coasters, and over 20 rides. St Kilda Beach is Melbourne’s most popular beach. Within walking distance is the Esplanade Market, where you can browse through more than 250 open-air stalls with local artisans selling handmade goods, jewellery, and all kinds of yummy food products. St Kilda is where you’ll find cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, and independent music and book stores.
~ Day Two ~
Venture outside of the city and head toward Yarra Valley, where taking a moment to slow down is as important as remembering to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, you can find yourself among award winning vineyards, wineries, and delicious eateries in Yarra Valley. It’s considered one of Australia’s leading wine producing regions. Alongside the vineyards, you’ll find apple and pear orchards, strawberry fields, olive groves, and herb farms.
~ Day Three ~
Also located just an hour’s drive outside of Melbourne, is the Mornington Peninsula, the perfect day trip to relax, unwind, and enjoy a beachside paradise. Browse the markets, walk through historic seaside villages, and indulge in the local food and wine scene.
Day three of this itinerary offers a relaxing day of natural springs, markets, natural gardens, and wine.
- The Peninsula Hot Springs offers a chance to experience more than 20 bathing experiences, including natural springs, a cave pool, Turkish hammam, and thermal mineral pools to quietly indulge in a day of pampering.
- Red Hill Community Market is considered one of the best craft markets in Victoria. With more than 300 outdoor stalls, browse handmade goods and gourmet foods.
- Visit a lavender farm, get lost in a hedge maze and sit under towering trees at the Hinterland Gardens.
- Explore the Wine Food Farmgate Trail where you can spend the day sampling the Mornington Peninsula’s best wineries, fresh produce, and a bounty of seafood.
If you can see what can be done in three days, imagine if you had the chance to stay longer. Ready to discover Melbourne? Book your trip Down under online, by calling 1-877-967-5302 or by visiting your closest Flight Centre store today!