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The Best Things To Do On A Trip To Melbourne
While Sydney is known as Australia’s glamorous, global city, it can also cause some international visitors to overlook one of the most favourite places in the country: Melbourne. This city is a bit smaller, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t just as much -if not more – to do there! To that point, we’ve gathered some of our best recommendations for things you can’t miss if you make the trip to Melbourne.
Enjoy The Unique Public Art
One of the things Melbourne is best known for is its prevalence of public works of art. Every time you turn, around a corner in town you’ll find new things to admire, making it easy to spend an entire afternoon wandering through the streets and observing – which, incidentally, is often one of the best ways to get to know a new place! Downtown Melbourne in particular has some famous alleys covered in murals, including AC/DC Lane, named for the famous Australian rock band. Other particularly interesting spots we’d recommend include Hosier Lane and Duckboard Place.
Another site worth a visit and not too far from the city center is the Federation Bells. This installation is composed of 39 upside-down bells that ring during several periods each day. The coolest part about the bells, however, is that they’re interactive: You can compose your own song to be played using the Federation Bells App on your smartphone! This app is very user friendly and requires no musical experience, so anyone can feel free to get creative and give it a shot!
The last works of art in Melbourne we’ll mention specifically are on Brighton Beach, technically in a nearby suburb. Here you will find the Brighton Bathing Boxes, a row of over 80 small beach huts all vibrantly painted with unique designs. This is the perfect place for a photo, given that you can sit on the steps leading up to the front doors and pose for the perfect Instagram picture. These unassuming but eccentric little huts are actually prime real estate, available only to local residents for a cool $200,000 mortgage. But luckily, you can still admire them from the outside free of charge!
Go To A Local Sporting Event
Like the rest of Australia, Melbourne loves its sports. There’s a lot to see on this front, but it’s only fitting to start with Australia’s biggest horse race. The Melbourne Cup takes place in November, so if you’re able to plan your trip for then, we’d highly recommend finding a way to attend. It’s a big enough deal locally that it actually doubles as a national holiday! And if you want to participate in true Australian style, you can get in on the festivities surrounding the Cup as well. For some, this means going online to bet on the event. Bookmaking activity is always busy surrounding the races, and it can make it all the more exciting to have something on the line. For others, though, getting fully into the Melbourne Cup might mean embracing the fashion of it all (a few quick searches will show you a lot about horse racing style), or, if live attendance isn’t an option, having a watch party.
There are more conventional sporting options too, for those who might prefer to watch people matched up against one another, rather than horses. We’d recommend catching a rugby match at some point during your time in Australia. The Melbourne Rebels is a rugby club with both a men’s and women’s team, and their home venue is AAMI Park, located right on the Yarra River in town. Any match there can be a treat, particularly if you come from a place where rugby isn’t commonly played.
Last but certainly not least, Melbourne is also the location for the Australian Open tennis tournament! This is one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world for men and women alike, and takes place at the end of January each year.
Check Out One Of The Many Museums
Melbourne is also a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning about what life is like in Australia, given that it’s known to be the cultural capital of the country. All around town you can find museums for everything from sports to immigration, many of which house interactive exhibits that make them even more interesting than the average museum or gallery.
One of our favorites is the stunning, modern Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), which is dedicated to video games, movies, television, and other forms of digital art. While the exhibits explore the histories of these fields, they also stay current. For instance, one exhibit here incorporated a virtual reality demonstration where museum visitors could fully immerse themselves in a video game environment. This is just one example, but it speaks to the idea that between Melbourne’s museums there’s something to enjoy for just about any kind of traveler.