A visit to Melbourne is akin to reconnecting with an old friend—Australia’s capital of cool and perpetual trendsetter is always ahead of its time, yet remains accessible while playing the consummate host to its guests.
Nothing stays the same for long in Melbourne, but one thing you can count on is the “wondrous treasures” that await those willing to seek out new experiences, say the people behind Melburnian tour provider Localing. “All the good stuff is just below the surface, but in the ‘world’s friendliest city,’ help is never far away.”
Bold claim indeed, but why not find out for yourself just how friendly Melbourne is? Begin your Melbourne holidays by checking out our guide to the city’s award-winning attractions, and discover experiences that will surprise and intrigue.
1. Things to Do in Melbourne in 2018
If you will be in Melbourne in 2018, two world premiere exhibitions to look out for are Wonderland at the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) and MANDELA My Life: The Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum.
Happening from 5 April to 7 October this year, Wonderland is a tribute to the classic Lewis Carroll character, Alice, who has delighted readers across decades and captivated screen audiences. The exhibition explores how filmmaking and film technology have breathed new life into one of the world’s most enchanting stories.
MANDELA My Life: The Exhibition celebrates South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, by bringing never-before-seen artefacts to the world, beginning with the exhibition’s premiere in Melbourne. Happening at the award-winning Melbourne Museum from September 2018, it is a rare chance for visitors of all ages to honour the legacy of a global icon.
For an unusual way to engage with history, sign up for a deliciously spine-tingling walk at the St. Kilda cemetery. One of Victoria’s oldest public cemeteries, it is the final resting place for many notable Victorians. Check the web site for details on the walk of the month; past walks have covered colourful themes such as “Murder Most Foul and Other Tragic Tales” and “Epitaphs and Oddities,” featuring memorable gravestone inscriptions and unusual monuments and graves.
2. Melbourne Activities that You Must Try
Credit: Rap Jumping / Tactical Abseil Group AU
If you are after thrills of a different nature, Melbourne has plenty in store for the intrepid traveller. For one, have you wondered how it might feel to walk or race down the side of a building? You can live out this fantasy at the edge of a seven-storey building in downtown Melbourne, in a heart-stopping (but safe) activity known as Rap Jumping.
Regular visitors to Melbourne, keep an eye on this development: from 2019, you will be able to ride a perfect wave in the city at Melbourne’s (and Australia’s) first surf park, URBNSURF. Before that, seek out other action and adventure options on the discount site Adrenaline, where you can purchase packages for activities such as stunt driving or shark diving at favourable rates.
For a change of pace, book a punt tour at the Royal Botanic Gardens to recharge amidst the park’s quiet tranquility and stunning landscapes. (A punt is a narrow boat that bears resemblance to a gondola.) To make this a truly unforgettable experience, pair your punt tour with a hot-air balloon ride that includes a breathtaking sunrise view.
To unearth more hidden gems in Melbourne, refer to this insider’s guide.
3. New Restaurants in Melbourne
In keeping with the Melburnian spirit of free-wheeling experimentation, there will always be a new place to bear witness to the city’s culinary finesse. For 2018, new establishments that have received positive reviews include Natural History (bar & grill), Riddik Restaurant (licensed all-day cafe), The Whiskery, Bistro Terroir (classic French bistro dining), and Kuzu (Japanese bar).
For a unique experience, track down the city’s food trucks, where you can enjoy Melbourne-style street food. The Food Truck Park is a good starting point, as it features Melbourne’s finest food trucks on rotation, served up with entertainment on the side. For more locations, refer to TimeOut’s guide to the city’s best meals on wheels.
4. Things to Do in Melbourne at Night
Need a quick introduction to Melbourne’s ebullient late-night culture? Book a night tour with a reputable tour provider such as Localing, where you can choose from an available itinerary or have one customised for you.
If you prefer to watch a “live” performance, you’re in luck—international acts drop in on Melbourne all year around, and here is an overview of Melbourne’s gig line-up for 2018. For the latest updates on the city’s entertainment offerings, bookmark Beat Magazine.
To support the latest additions to Melbourne’s nightlife milieu, make your way to The Tipsy Cow (wine bar), Galah (Aussie-themed cocktail bar), The Albion Rooftop (gourmet food, rooftop bar with stunning views), and The Roy (sports bar). Alternatively, search for recommendations on DrinkMelbourne, or go on the prowl for a Melbourne secret bar.
For cozy evening gatherings, visit Pan Pacific Melbourne’s Dock 37 Bar & Kitchen, where a highlight is the magnificent walk-through wine gantry, which is suspended above the bar and houses an exceptional cellar of over 500 wines.
Need more information on Melbourne attractions, or accommodation advice? Speak to our friendly team at Pan Pacific Melbourne.