Melbourne Tourist Activities

Melbourne Airport is an important air gateway leading to one of the largest cities in Australia, with a population of almost four million people. Melbourne covers an area of 2,020 square kilometers, or 780 square miles, and is a very popular destination for tourists. The city is filled with all kind of attractions, ranging from museums such as the Old Melbourne Gaol and Penal Museum to a number of aquariums, zoos and playgrounds. Melbourne is also famous for its spectacular beaches, nearby ski resorts and the many vibrant markets that sell all sorts of crafts and produce. Over 27 million passengers pass through Melbourne Airport each year, and the airport is an excellent arrival point for domestic and international travelers.

There are many ways a tourist can see more of Melbourne city, and all its important sights and attractions. On land, the City Explorer bus tours are very popular. This bus travels past all the major tourist attractions, and run continuously on this route throughout the day. This means that visitors can simply hop off at one of the locations, for example, the Melbourne Zoo, spend some time watching the animals, and hop on to the next bus when they are ready to leave for their next destination. It’s a do-it-yourself tour that can be a very convenient way to reach all the must-see places in Melbourne. The tour ticket is valid for one complete circuit. On foot is another good way to explore Melbourne, as there are a number of walking tours available, and are all led by knowledgeable guides. The Golden Mile is one of the famous walking trails for tourists. For those who prefer the water, regular boat cruises travel the Yarra River, and are a most enjoyable way to view Melbourne. From Prince Walk, boats depart every half an hour, and tickets can be purchased at the Blue Melbourne River Cruises Kiosk, found on Princes Bridge. Last but certainly not least, helicopter tours provide one of the most memorable ways to see the city and the surrounding bays, however, they are much more expensive.

Some of the most popular attractions in Melbourne include the Melbourne Planetarium, Arthur’s Seat Chairlift, the Ashcombe Maze and the Campbelltown Miniature Railway. Melbourne’s theaters, such as the Astor Theater, Athenaeum Theater, Her Majesty’s Theater and the Princess Theater are popular as well, holding regular ballets, pantomimes, musicals, operas and concerts. Although Melbourne does not have quite such a spectacular opera house as is found in Sydney, it does have a large concert hall that is the city’s key venue for major concerts, operas and other musical performances. Over 2,400 people can be seated in the venue. The planetarium of Melbourne is found in the Scienceworks Museum, and is famous for its state-of-the-art technology that is capable of taking you on a journey through the universe, all from the safety of your chair. Each show is approximately half an hour, and the planetarium is open from 10:00 to 16:30.

Locals and tourists thoroughly enjoy the ride up to Arthur’s Seat State Park in the Arthur’s Seat Chairlift. This attraction was built in 1960, and is found in the Mornington Peninsula of Melbourne. The chairlift is an ideal way to travel the 300 meter journey to the park, where numerous attractions await, such as picnic and barbecue facilities, walking trails, restaurants and a car museum. Along the way, lovely views of Phillip Bay and beyond can be enjoyed. Also in the Mornington Peninsula region of Melbourne, the Ashcombe Maze is one of the oldest and largest hedge mazes in Australia. It features lovely landscaped gardens and a café area. A number of areas in Melbourne are dedicated to the old steam engines, locomotives and trains of Australia. Steam train rides in wonderfully restored carriages can be taken from the Queenscliff Railway Station, and are known as the Bellarine Peninsula Railway. Tours by steam train of the city last about an hour and a half. The Campbelltown Miniature Railway is another popular attraction for the whole family, with train rides travelling the nearby countryside. Of note as well, are the Altona Miniature Railway, with picnic areas and many seasonal train-related events, and the Steam Locomotive Society of Victoria, with superb examples of miniature steam locomotives. Train rides are also available.

The Old Gaol and Penal Museum of Melbourne is one of the more intriguing museums of the city, and a place for which Melbourne is famous. Located in the heart of the city center, this museum was Melbourne’s first prison, dating back to 1845. The prison was in use up until 1929, and held a number of infamous villains, such as George Melville and Ned Kelly. Both of these inmates were hanged at the prison during the later 1900’s. A number of items are on display within the museum, which include instruments used for torture and death masks. The museum recalls the history of more than 100 prisoners hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol. Guided tours are available during the day, and also in the evening, creating a more spooky atmosphere for its visitors. At the museum, tourists will also find a gift shop and café area. Other popular museums in Melbourne include the Melbourne Museum, the Museum of Chinese Australian History, the Williamstown Railway Museum and the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum.

Attractions in Melbourne loved by children, are the Melbourne Aquarium, the Royal Melbourne Zoo, the Koala Conservation Center, Luna Park and several adventure playgrounds, indoor play centers and farms. The Melbourne Aquarium features an enormous oceanarium with more than two million liters of water, and is home to sharks, sea turtles, jelly fish and all types of marine life you can imagine, while the Royal Melbourne Zoo is over 150 years old, and contains a number of wild creatures, such as gorillas, tigers, lions, monkeys and various exotic birds. Exciting Twilight concerts are also often held at the zoo. In the Phillip Island area, friendly koalas live at the Koala Conservation Center, as well as a colony of penguins, and Luna Park is a historic amusement park with a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, ghost train and many other exciting rides.

Famous beaches for surfing and swimming in Melbourne include the 13th Beach, the Albert Park Beach, Bells Beach, Woolamai Beach and the Brighton Beach, along with many others, while nearby world-class ski resorts provide more winter activities, and include the resorts of Falls Creek, Lake Mountain, Mount Buffalo, Mount Buller and Mount Hotham.

With all these wonderful and entertaining Melbourne attractions, passengers arriving at Melbourne Airport will surely not go home disappointed!

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