A laid-back city that’s just bursting with culture, Melbourne is a top destination for cruise holidays. As the second biggest city in the country and host to some spectacular events throughout the calendar, it’s no wonder that people come here year round to soak up the friendly Aussie vibe. From markets to galleries, parks to impressive restaurants and bars, Melbourne has an overwhelming amount of things to do that make it such a fun and exciting cruise destination.
You can easily spend an afternoon wandering the shops, cafes, markets and restaurants that permeate Melbourne’s cityscape. Some cruise lines offer a shopping tour whilst at shore, and it’s a great way to find your feet whilst updating your wardrobe. Melbourne is renowned for its fashion focus, and if you’re looking for high-end boutiques then you don’t need to go much further than Collins Street and Little Collins Street. However if you’d rather pick up a few quirky souvenirs to take home, then Queen Victoria Market has everything you could hope for and more.
If want to soak up the local culture, history and sights during your time in the city, Melbourne has plenty of things to see and do. To learn about the intriguing history of Melbourne and the region, the outdoor museum of Ballarat: Sovereign Hill is a fantastic activity for all ages that gives an insight into the days of the Gold Rush. Alternatively, you might want to learn more about the aboriginal past of Australia and view the fantastic artwork at the Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre. For fun in the sun, the Fitzroy Gardens and Royal Botanic Gardens display a fabulous show of colour and wildlife that makes for a great afternoon and a chance to chill out in the tranquil surroundings.
After you’ve worked up an appetite with a day of exploring the city, you can rely on Lygon Street for great Italian cuisine that will fill you right up. However for a truly unique experience, visit the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant to whizz through the city whilst tucking into 3 courses in this themed restaurant-on-wheels. On an evening, there are some delightful bars scattered throughout the city; head to a rooftop bar such as Aer bar to watch the sun set over Melbourne with a few cocktails or a taste of local Victorian wines. After dark, there is always a great choice of shows, musicals and live music if you’re looking for things to do in Melbourne on a night.
Beyond the city, an excursion down the Mornington Peninsula is a gorgeous contrast to the sparkling heights of Melbourne. Here you will find a rustic and fertile landscape that’s rich in tradition and abundant with scenery. Along the way, you can stop off at family vineyards, enjoy some beautiful beaches, and even take up the opportunity to swim with dolphins depending on your cruise operator. For anyone wanting to experience a more natural and unspoilt side to Melbourne and Australia, discovering the secrets of the Mornington Peninsula is a must.
Melbourne is a vibrant and bustling city that blends culture, shopping, history and gastronomy into one amazing bundle. With the thrills of the city at your feet and a more natural world beyond, it offers a chance to get acquainted with the many characteristics of Australia on your cruise holiday. As such, it’s understandably one of the most popular destinations for Australia and New Zealand cruises, and an essential addition to your itinerary.