Few places can match the vast natural diversity on offer in Victoria.
From surfing on the world-famous Bells Beach surf coast, to skiing at Mt Buller, from enjoying an Aussie barbecue at Emu Bottom homestead, to learning to make wine on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria offers unique experiences which capture the imagination.
Natural wonders abound, such as the Great Ocean Road , voted the best coastal drive on the planet by Condé Nast Traveller, offering breathtaking sea views and a welcome change of pace. The majestic Murray River , with its awe-inspiring sunsets, stretches along the top of the state, while The Grampians region offers ancient and expansive landscapes
For a splash of indulgence, board a luxury charter and discover Port Phillip Bay in Style. Swim with dolphins and seals, snorkel or simply soak up the sun on deck. Or visit Domaine Chandon, one of the Yarra Valley’s stunning vineyards, for world celebrated sparkling wine, and gourmet platters filled with fresh, local produce.
Wind down with a treatment at an award-winning Daylesford Day Spa, or by teeing off at one of Australia’s top 10 golf courses, such as the Shearwater Cape Schanck Resort, surrounded by spectacular ocean views and magnificent natural landscapes.
Whether discovering Australia’s gold-mining history at an historical township such as Ballarat, or getting up close and personal with wildlife and penguins at the Phillip Island Nature Park, visit regional Victoria for an unforgettable experience of Australia.
For a comprehensive guide covering all that Victoria has to offer, see Visit Victoria.
Top 20 Things to Do in Melbourne
- Stroll, skate or soak up the sun on the St Kilda beach promenade
- Discover Australia’s Aboriginal culture on a Koorie Heritage Walk
- Dine in the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, travelling city streets while you enjoy your meal
- Meet multicultural Melbourne at the Queen Victoria Market
- See the city from ‘The Edge’, 88 stories up in the Eureka Tower
- Capture the city spirit at Federation Square, home to galleries, cafés, bars and live entertainment
- Eat, drink and live like a local in Melbourne’s sophisticated secret laneways
- Swim with sea horses around the piers of Melbourne’s peninsula
- Capture culture at the National Gallery of Victoria, with art spanning the globe
- Meet native and exotic animals or picnic over jazz at the Melbourne Zoo
- Discover the Melbourne Story at the Melbourne Museum
- Tee off at one of 15 championship golf courses around Melbourne
- Take time out at one of Melbourne’s seaside day spas
- Experience café culture on Lygon Street – Melbourne’s ‘Little Italy’
- See a show at a world-class theatre as Broadway comes to Melbourne
- Live the sporting passion at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Australian Sports Museum
- Drive a lap of Albert Park, home to the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
- Shop at Melbourne’s largest department stores, Myer and David Jones
- Enjoy spectacular water views and stylish restaurants at Docklands
- Let your hair down at one of Melbourne’s many free festivals or public events.
Melbourne Food and Wine
Melbourne’s Culinary Culture
Melbourne is at the forefront of culinary innovation, with more than 3,000 restaurants, cafés and bars, some 75 ethnic cuisine types, boutique beers, creative cocktails and local and imported wine.
For your conference or incentive, dine at a restaurant owned by a celebrity chef, sit down to impressive water views, find a table in one of Melbourne’s cultural precincts, or seek out a local favourite.
Melbourne Dining – All Palates and Budgets
For a distinctive dining experience, head to Lygon Street for affordable, tasty Italian cuisine, or Chinatown where you can savour Melbourne’s most exclusive Cantonese Cuisine at Flower Drum. Lonsdale Street offers traditional Greek fare, Victoria Street in Richmond is the place for Vietnamese dishes, pub fare is served in generous portions at local spots in Brunswick, Fitzroy and Prahran, and the ‘fish and chips’ and bay views are second-to-none on St Kilda's streets and pier.
For an upmarket, global experience in the one venue, the new Collins Kitchen at Grand Hyatt Melbourne features open kitchens and five different dining concepts, including Grill, Wok, Sushi, Deli and Patisserie. Just around the corner, Comme is a stunning and sophisticated venue with a feeling of the ‘old world’, featuring beautiful architecture, marble and chandeliers. Moving further into the Central Business District, Oyster Little Bourke combines the style and cuisine of the world's best brasseries with the finest of Australian produce.
The Who’s Who of Melbourne’s Restaurant Scene
The Age Good Food Guide (TAGFG) only awards the prestigious “Chef’s Hats” to outstanding Melbourne restaurants, and a selection of these are headed up by locally renowned chefs. Chef Shannon Bennett's fine French-inspired food, unusual ingredients and signature service is served up at Vue de Monde. The Press Club is an elegant restaurant owned by chef George Calombaris, who adds his own take on traditional Greek food. Lauded chef Teage Ezard puts his distinctive spin on share plates of South-East Asian hawker food at Gingerboy. Share some tapas prepared by TAGFG’s 2009 Chef of the Year, Frank Camorra, at his laneway restaurant, MoVida.
At the new Hilton South Wharf, Nuevo37 is definitely a Chef’s Hat candidate for the next TAGFG. Michelin-starred Ramon Freixa is at the helm of this flagship restaurant and his modern Spanish menu is authentic, surprising and sublime.
Melbourne Southgate – Riverside Culinary Excellence
The Crown Complex, Southgate, is home to Bistro Guillaume, where diners are treated to bistro-style French cooking at its best prepared by a Robuchon-trained chef. Nearby, classic Gallic cuisine is served with views of the Yarra River at The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel, one of the world's finest French chefs. For Italian cuisine, Giuseppe, Arnaldo ((amp; Sons’ restaurant echoes a Roman trattoria)) Robert Marchetti and chefs serve up style, service and pure food. Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill specialises in woodfire-grilled meat and seafood. And Nobu is known for its innovative new-style Japanese cuisine – experience the creative flavours from Head Chef Tadashi Takahashi and his talented team.
Melbourne’s Eat Streets
Moving outside the Central Business District, many charming Melbourne precincts offer something a little different with a colourful, local atmosphere. Al fresco dining is popular in beachside Williamstown and hip Prahran, or try fine dining in the trendy South Yarra area at Botanical restaurant. Try South Melbourne, Albert Park and Middle Park for patisseries, gourmet produce stores and superb wine shops. Find a table with a view at Docklands, Melbourne's new harbourside wining and dining district, or head to Brunswick Street, Fitzroy for locally-roasted coffee. Moving south of the Yarra River, Donovans in St Kilda offers modern Australian cuisine with a sprinkle of Italian.
Shopping in Melbourne
Melbourne is famous for its creative, local designers, distinctive shopping precincts, and the range of fashion and merchandise on offer. A short walk or tram ride from the Central Business District (CBD), Melbourne’s idiosyncratic city fringe precincts offer their own retail flavour and style.
For boutiques housing international labels, head to the ‘Paris end’ of Collins Street, between Swanston and Spring streets. For luxury goods and fashion, check out the retail arcades at Melbourne’s prestigious hotels such as Grand Hyatt and The Westin, as well as the Crown Entertainment Complex. At QV’s Albert Coates Lane, shop for Australian and international designs.
Melbourne’s Hidden Laneways and Arcades
Some of the best and brightest of Melbourne retail can be found in the inner city lanes and historic arcades. Explore boutiques and specialist stores, meet the makers, and admire the architecture of these historic thoroughfares.
Melbourne’s Shopping Emporiums
Melbourne Central boasts more than 300 stores, and the historic GPO building features three levels of boutiques offering Australian and international designer labels. The Direct Factory Outlet (DFO) Shopping Centres (including at South Wharf in central Melbourne) offer lovers of bargains big brands and big savings, while nearby Harbour Town at Waterfront City features more than 200 shops and outlets. South-east of the city centre, discover Chadstone Shopping Centre with more than 500 stores showcasing leading local designers and international names in a stunning, state-of-the-art centre.
Experience Melbourne’s Market Magic
Every day of the week a market is in full swing in Melbourne, from the famous historic Queen Victoria Market to community street markets. Try the Rose Street Market in Fitzroy for work by local designers, the Collingwood Children’s Farm market for organic produce, or the Slow Food Melbourne Farmers’ Market at the Abbotsford Convent. For locally made goods, the St Kilda Esplanade Market and the Arts Centre market offer a variety of choice.
Beyond the City Grid
Discover well-stocked bookshops and quirky boutiques along Brunswick Street, Fitzroy or in Greville Street, Prahran. Gertrude Street is home to specialist shops, florists and vintage and cutting-edge fashion. Explore Richmond’s renowned designer showrooms and pick up this season’s essentials at factory outlets along Swan Street and Bridge Road, or try Smith Street in Collingwood. Famous Italian cafés are interspersed with cinemas, fashion stores and bookshops along Lygon Street, Carlton. Head south to St Kilda for a relaxing stroll along Acland and Barkly streets and find vintage threads, great sounds, eclectic gifts and street wear. Or for a place to be seen, Chapel Street has a long stretch of clubs, cafés, fashion and footwear shops.