The city of Melbourne, is a coastal metropole with a cosmopolitan vibe. It is considered to the be the cultural capital of Australia, and it is easy to see why. Melbourne is home to galleries, gardens, museums and nature reserves. There is an abundance of interesting architecture ranging from Victorian structures to contemporary designs. With great food, nightlife, shopping and sports, Melbourne is a clear winner for an Australian getaway.
When Federation Square opened in 2002 to commemorate 100 years of federation, it divided Melburnians. There were those who loved it and those who hated it. Either way, it has become an integral part of the city and a great place for tourists to start their sightseeing. Located opposite Flinders Street Station, a major public transport hub, the building’s ultra-modern design of open and closed spaces contrasts with the surrounding Victorian architecture.
Old Melbourne Gaol
Victoria’s most notorious criminals including bushranger Ned Kelly and Jack the Ripper suspect Frederick Bailey Deeming were among those imprisoned and executed at the Old Melbourne Gaol. Today, the complex operates as a museum with memorabilia including death masks and Kelly gang weapons on display. Visitors can also take ghostly night tours through the building which is said to be haunted.
Named in recognition of The Eureka Stockade, the 1854 rebellion of prospectors in the Victorian goldfields, the Eureka Tower stands 91 stories above ground in the heart of Southbank. The skyscraper’s gold crown and gold-plated windows add to the theme and literally sparkle when the sun catches the top of the building. Skydeck, on the 88th floor, affords the highest public view in any building in the Southern Hemisphere. Adding to the experience is The Edge, a glass cube that slides out three meters from the building for vertigo-free visitors.
The Royal Botanic Gardens is the place to escape the madness of the CBD without actually leaving it. It’s on the edge of the city, and more than 8,500 plant species call this place home. There lush lawns and glittering lakes that are perfect for revitalising the mind and soul with a quick stroll, or for lingering longer with a weekend picnic. Tours, walks, workshops and talks are on offer to teach you more of the intricacies of the gardens, while the Aboriginal Heritage Walk takes you on a journey into the rich history of the Kulin nation.