10 Exciting Things to Do in Melbourne
Here's why the Aussie city should be on your travel bucket list.
(SPOT.ph) Melbourne is known as one of the most livable cities in the entire world. (It actually held the top rank for seven years straight!) But there’s more to the city than just picturesque spots and towering buildings. The city itself is already full of fun activities, but you’ll find even more gems when you go beyond the city limits. So, we list down the exciting things you can do in and around Melbourne.
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Watch a parade of penguins at Phillip Island
Every day, Little Penguins—or Eudyptula minor if you want to be extra scientific about it—head out during the day to hunt for food in Antarctica. After a long day of looking for fish, they head back home to their burrows in Phillip Island. And you can watch them (adorably!) waddling from the shores of the beach to their tiny homes in the sand. You can even walk alongside them—though there’s a barrier in between you, of course. But take note: You’re not allowed to take photos of the penguins. Yes, even if there’s no flash, because these penguins are extra sensitive and you wouldn’t want to risk them getting lost on their way home. Tickets for the Penguin Parade start at AUS $26.20 (roughly P1,000).
Try different kinds of chocolate at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is a chocolate lover's dream come true. Here, you’ll find over 250 different products—like mango and passion fruit milk chocolate bars and chocolate-covered strawberries—that they make themselves. The chocolate is sourced from the expansive (and picturesque) property and they turn them into delicious treats on-site. You can also take a look at the process through a clear window in the showroom, where there's a café as well as free tastings of some products. But if you really can’t decide which one to buy, they also have tickets for private tastings with a group. Prices for these are available upon request.
Tour the city via tram
There are a lot of reasons why Melbourne is one of the world’s most liveable cities—and their efficient transportation system is one of them. If you want a quick (and wallet-friendly) way to go about the city streets, the tram is the way to go. The City Circle route goes around all of the must-visit tourist spots in the Melbourne Central Business District—for free! That includes the Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, Hosier Lane, Victoria Market, Docklands, and more.
Have cheese and wine at De Bortoli Cellar Door at Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley is actually known for producing Pinot noir and Chardonnay. You can enjoy a hearty lunch at De Bortoli Wine’s Locale Restaurant while enjoying the view of the valley. Afterwards, treat yourself to a wine and cheese pairing downstairs at the Yarra Valley Cellar Door. It doesn’t matter if you know a lot about wine or not—they’ll teach you all about it (and you don’t have to know about it to drink it). The rate for the cheese and wine pairings is at AUS $14 each, for a minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 40 people.
Watch a sheep getting sheared and milk a cow at the Churchill Island Heritage Farm
The historic barnyards and farmlands of Churchill Island were preserved as a way to teach locals and tourists alike about the first settlers of the area. But it’s also a functional farm, which means you can participate (or at least, watch) as the day-to-day activities are done. You can watch the sheep-shearing, help in milking a cow, learn how to crack a whip, ride a wagon around the farm, and see working dogs herd livestock. One entrance ticket for an adult is at AUS $13 (roughly P520).
Shop like a local at Victoria Market
Sure, you’re probably going to hoard Tim Tam biscuits for pasalubong, but you can also shop for different kinds of knickknacks at the Victoria Market. The 140-year-old market is where locals go to buy fresh produce and locally made products, so you know what you’re getting is the real deal. If you want a more immersive experience, there are private group tours that start at AUS $59.
Visit a koala at the Koala Conservation Center
Koalas can only be found in Australia, which gives you all the more reason to go and visit them at the conservation center. You get to learn all about their eating and sleeping habits—they sleep around 20 hours a day! Plus, they aren’t confined to cages, so you’ll also have fun trying to find them all bundled up in the trees.
Walk along (and take photos of) the famous Brighton Bathing Boxes
The row of bathing boxes along Brighton Beach is one of the spots that Melbourne is most known for—and for good reason. The bright and colorful boxes (that are actually storage units rented out) make for a great Instagram photo. But beyond the pretty views, you’ll also enjoy the overall chill vibe of the place, which is a great respite from the city.
Spot wallabies out in the wild
Australia is known for its diverse wildlife which includes the adorable koalas and the huge kangaroos. But you might also spot another kind of marsupial while you’re going around Phillip Island: Wallabies. They’re not as big as kangaroos, but they’re still quite hard to miss among the tall grass of the island. Some of them like to go around on their own, but if you’re lucky, you might spot a whole group of them together. It might even seem like they’re waiting for you to take their picture!
Go discount shopping at the Direct Factory Outlets
You don’t have to wait till you get to the airport’s duty-free stalls for some serious shopping when there are outlet stores in the heart of the city. The Direct Factory Outlets (DFO) have all kinds of stores—from local fashion brands to sports apparel like Nike, Adidas, and Fila, to designer labels like Kate Spade, Furla, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger. There are two DFO branches in Melbourne: DFO South Wharf and DFO Essendon, so you can go which one's more convenient for you. Pro tip: Single-receipt purchases beyond AUS $300 are tax-free.
How to get to Melbourne: Cebu Pacific offers affordable direct flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 to Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.