Established in 1846, Melbourne's magnificently-landscaped Royal Botanic Gardens boast a superb collection of over 50,000 plants from all around Australia and the world. Spend a few hours strolling around, observing the beautiful black swans and water birds that grace these premises. The Plant Craft Cottage sells unique handcrafts, and the Observatory Café is great for light refreshments. The more formal Terrace restaurant is ideal for corporate and private functions.
A war memorial built as a token of profound gratitude for all the men and women who served Australia in wars and conflicts, the Shrine of Remembrance was built in 1934 and features permanent and special exhibitions. The monument sits on a grassy knoll with its design inspired by ancient Greek architecture. Every year, on November 11th, celebrated as Remembrance Day, a ray of natural light shines through the roof onto the Stone of Remembrance at 11a, illuminating the word "love" in the inscription on the stone. Two guided tours of the peaceful yet sobering landmark are offered daily. The Galleries of Remembrance showcases artworks, artifacts and medals of soldiers.
The National Gallery of Victoria, or the NGV, is a historic art museum in the heart of Melbourne. Established in the year 1861, it remains famous as the country's oldest surviving public art exposition space. The museum building was built to the designs of Sir Roy Grounds and remodeled by Mario Bellini. The expansive art display of NGV incorporates native artworks, contemporary art, Impressionist works, and colonial art items, apart from other genres. Various art objects on display chronicle the evolution of Australian works and the influence of European techniques. Notable exhibits include Shearing the Rams by Tom Roberts and The Pioneer by Frederick McCubbin. International artifacts on display at the NGV cover categories like Pacific art, European textiles, Asian art, and Mesoamerican art. The museum is also home to a dedicated photography section that showcases more than 15,000 items.
Located at the bustling Federation Square, you have to visit Ian Potter to get a glimpse of Australian Treasures. The building is a beautiful glass matrix structure which is visually appealing in itself. Housed here are beautiful paintings of Australian artists like Barak, Judy Watson, Emily Kngwarray and Uta Uta Tjangala. Known to be the first gallery dedicated to Australian Art, the centre has regular exhibitions on a number of themes. A permanent exhibition of Aboriginal and Tiwi Islands artists is on display here.
This huge, Victorian-era building is World Heritage-listed for its architectural and historical significance. Situated among the tree-lined avenues of Carlton Gardens, it stands as a Melbourne landmark. The scale and grandeur of the building reflect the wealth of Victoria's gold rush era, so does its richly painted interior. The Exhibition Building was constructed in 1880 to host Melbourne's first Centennial Exhibition, a display of inventions and arts from around the globe. It went on to become the seat of Australia's first parliament in 1901. Daily tours provide an insight into the building's history.
At almost 300 meters (984 feet) from the ground, Eureka Skydeck 88 is the highest public viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere. Located on the 88th floor of Eureka Tower, the viewing platform reveals sky-high views of central Melbourne, including the Yarra River and the Federation Square. For the thrill-seeker, an added attraction is The Edge, a glass cube which is gradually extended out from the building, giving the sensation of being suspended in space. Visiting the tower is highly recommended for an unforgettable experience.
This park is named after one of the city's pioneers, John Pascoe Fawkner. Spread across 41 hectares (101.31 acres), Fawkner Park is among South Yarra's most popular parks. It remains true to its initial design and features Art Deco structures, shady paths dotted by fig, oak, poplar and elm trees, a tennis club, children's center, barbecue pits and picnic spots. It also has areas for cricket and soccer.
Located just three kilometers (1.2 miles) from the city center, Albert Park Lake is a 45 hectare (111 acre) expanse of water, set in parkland. Originally a swampy lagoon, drainage works last century deepened and reshaped the lake, making it into a popular venue for boating. The lake boasts a variety of bird life including Australia's famous black swans, as well as an impressive fountain in the center. It is ringed by a five kilometer running track and surrounded by 11 separate picnic areas featuring shelter sheds, seating and barbecues, as well as playgrounds and a lookout tower. The surrounding parkland is also home to a par 72 golf course and driving range, while in March Albert Park is the venue of the Qantas Australian Formula One Grand Prix. There is also a brand new aquatic center, ovals and other sporting facilities.
Saint Martins Theatre has been in the business for 30 years and is known for being a busy cultural cult flooded with several events. You can catch here many musicals, theatricals, opera shows and more. The art center also has several rental venues for private events and functions.
To experience Australian wildlife, take a night walk with Eco-Adventure Tours. Many bush animals are either nocturnal or become most active at twilight. As you follow your guide into the mountain forests, you'll spot eyes glinting in the darkness and hear the rustle of animals in the undergrowth. Animals often seen or heard during the tour include possums, kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, bats and wombats. Night tours last around two hours, starting at dusk. The company also runs daytime nature walks. Tours need a minimum of 4 people to run and are subject to good weather. Disabled access tours available by arrangement.