|Melbourne is regarded as a great city to use as a base to explore the surrounding areas, though as a city it does have a lot to offer on its own too.
Melbourne City Centre has an attractive mixture of architecture and attractions of interest to the visitor. You can easily walk around this part of the city from one attraction to the next, and you’ll find Victorian architecture in some parts whilst impressive tall, modern buildings in another. Eureka Tower, for example, is the tallest residential tower in the southern hemisphere and gives great views of the city and surrounds.
Melbourne is a good place for shopping and has a variety of shopping experiences on offer. In the Docklands area there is a new precinct with shops and restaurants as well as bars and entertainment, or you can go to the Queen Victoria Market which is a very large market place selling all sorts of items. There are of course many other shops around the city centre including large department stores and high-end boutique stores too.
In the Carlton area of Melbourne you’ll find much of the historical heritage of the city including the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, or visit the Melbourne Museum.
The aptly named Parkville area of the city houses Melbourne Zoo. Here you’ll find many native species of wildlife including many other species from around the world. If you’re visiting in the summer there are often musical events in the evenings which you can attend with a picnic.
St Kilda is one of Melbourne’s most popular districts, being a beachside one. The historic amusement park, Luna Park, was built in 1912 and is a fun and popular attraction along with the St Kilda Pier and St Kilda Esplanade where you can walk, sunbath or skate or visit the Esplanade Sunday Market.
One of the most sought after beaches in Melbourne is Brighton Beach, in the Brighton area in the southern suburbs of the city.
Melbourne also has several botanical gardens to offer. These include the St Kilda Botanical Gardens which were started in 1859, or the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra. Unfortunately you won’t see spectacular floral displays here because of water restrictions, though there are some nice displays all the same.
On a slightly different note, to the north of Melbourne is the Woodlands Historic Park which provides an interesting look into life here in the 1840’s through the homestead re-creation as well as being a nature reserve.
There is much to do just outside of Melbourne as well. Some of the most interesting attractions include the Dandenong Ranges and the Kinglake National Park – both national parks. In the Yarra Valley where much Australian wine is produced you can go on wine-tasting tours, whilst in Werribee you can visit the historic mansion and the open-range zoo.