What to do in melbourne

What To Do in Melbourne, Australia in 24 Hours

Melbourne

An Australian city second in size only to Sydney, Melbourne is described in turns as stylish, artsy, liberal and dynamic. A little bit of everything is here, from the sophisticated and elegant to a slice of Bohemian beach life.  

Melbourne proudly claims its place as the nation’s sport and culture capital and in reality dining and style can also be added to that same list. Home to major international sporting events such as the Australian Open for Grand Slam tennis, F1 Grand Prix and horse racing’s Melbourne Cup, the city is also crammed with museums, galleries, live music events, theaters, alternative shopping choices, restaurants in every guise, wonderful parks and much more. For many visitors, progressive and cosmopolitan Melbourne has a hard-to-resist vivacity. This seems to apply no matter what age or personal interests you have or what background you come from.  

Many have commented that Melbourne’s inner city has more of a European look and feel than anywhere else in the country. Art-deco high-rises and leafy streets no doubt play a part here. Mixed in is a city grid system but so too is a labyrinth of hundreds of lane ways which in many ways represent the city’s beating heart. Typically crammed with restaurants, bars and arcades, these are also the places where you will find the best displays of Melbourne’s iconic street art.   In short, Melbourne has a little (and sometimes a lot) of everything which makes Australia special with some very definite unique offerings of its own. In one day you can visit the cottage where Captain Cook’s parents once lived, ride a vintage tram, gaze at distant mountains from a sky-deck with its head in the clouds, tour wine cellars and dip your toes in the ocean. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Prioritizing what you are going to fit into your day in this most cosmopolitan of cities packed with surprises is not going to be easy.

A Morning in Melbourne

things to do in Melbourne Australia

Kick off your Melbourne adventure from on high at the Eureka Skydeck before filling your morning gazing upon the treasures of the National Gallery and the lovely Victorian-era Fitzroy Gardens with its historic cottages, cultural landmarks and tranquil spaces. If you have time you can also take in the evocative Shrine of Remembrance and one of the city’s gorgeous cathedrals.

The Eureka Skydeck 88

There is no better way to get your bearings on arrival in a city than to view it from on high. If that sounds like the kind of thing which would appeal for embarking on your Melbourne morning make your way to The Eureka Skydeck 88. Eureka’s almost 300 m height gives it the right to claim several titles –Australia’s second highest building, the tallest building in the city and perhaps even more amazingly the entire Southern Hemisphere’s most lofty public observation deck. Spread over the complete floor space of the 88th floor, the Skydeck offers, as you may imagine, sensational vistas. With totally unobstructed views from every aspect, here you can take in every single one of Melbourne’s landmarks while also being treated to the view of the lovely Dandening Ranges to the east and the ocean to the south. To help you get your bearings and identify what you are seeing there are a large number of viewfinders along with binoculars to use.  

For those with a firm head for heights you can also experience ‘The Edge’. Step out over first opaque glass and then onto clear glass where from a small cube you will find yourself literally projected over the edge of the tower –hence the name –with seemingly nothing between you and the ground 300 m below.  

Though nowhere near as high as Eureka Melbourne also has another high-rise viewing option –the Melbourne Star. Offering the only giant-sized observation wheel in the hemisphere, the Star will take you 120 meters into the air inside a suspended cabin for a half hour revolution to see such natural landmarks of the area as Port Phillip Bay and Mount Macedon and of course much of the city.  

The National Gallery  

Melbourne is awash with choices for culture fans and art lovers in particular have some truly top-notch options. Leading the pack is the wonderful National Gallery of Victoria –the NGV -which is a short stroll from the Skydeck 88.   The NGV, which lays claim to being the country’s oldest and biggest art gallery as well as its most visited, is home to a vast collection numbering in excess of 70,000 items. Housed inside a contemporary building which many consider an art work in itself are exhibitions of both domestic and international art as well as Aboriginal displays. The art museum’s roots actually stretch back to the late 1800s but its modern day home is one of the city’s greatest sources of pride. The interior galleries are suffused with light while a major highlight is the exquisite colored-glass ceiling you walk beneath in the main exhibition space.  

The collections feature both ancient and modern works and also pieces by the likes of Picasso, Monet and Rembrandt. Also on display are furniture, artifacts, textiles, ceramics, photography and more. To be sure not to miss anything sign up for one of the free gallery highlights tours which run twice daily.

Art Alternatives and Street Art

While the NGV is the city’s most treasured art gallery it is far from being its only one. Other options include the Heide Museum of Modern Art with its outdoor sculpture garden, the Justin Art House Museum and the Ian Potter Centre. Video and digital art are the emphasis of the private contemporary art collection found at the Justin Art House Museum while the three-level Ian Potter Centre –a branch of the NGV -exhibits paintings, decorative arts, photography, prints, sculpture and fashion by Australian artists.

For those who enjoy their art a little less formal Melbourne’s Hosier Lane is not to be missed. There is any amount of street art to be found in the city but cobbled Hosier Lane represents the most celebrated location. Here you will find gritty graffiti, stencils and art installations, typically of the political statement and counter-culture-themed variety. Artists are continuously at work here so visit twice in the same week and you might see two totally different places.

The Shrine of Remembrance

Before you break for coffee you might like to talk a 10 minute walk from the NGV to pay your respects at the Shrine of Remembrance which serves as both iconic landmark and poignant memorial. Although originally erected to honor the fallen of World War I, now the shrine is dedicated to every single Australian who has paid the ultimate price while serving the country in armed conflict. The gardens and lawns are serene while the interior of the shrine exudes an air of contemplation and tranquility. Visitors can climb to a platform which circles the shrine for some great city and bay views.

Morning Coffee in Melbourne

Australia’s coffee culture is no modern arrival. It can trace its roots back to Italian immigrants who arrived in the post-World War II era. This means it has had decades to perfect an art for which it now has a worldwide reputation and while elsewhere in the world being a barista generally means a casual role in Australia it is a well-respected career option and the best Australian baristas are famous. This is how seriously this country takes its coffee preparation. Simply put, coffee here is top-notch, making it a studied art form and enjoying it an integral part of the country’s essence. Australia even produces some of its own coffee beans in Queensland and New South Wales, the majority of which are organic.  

Adding significantly to the charm and character of the coffee culture in general is the fact that more than 9 out of 10 cafes are independent. Faceless chains just aren’t a big thing here. In fact, after its original launch, Starbucks had to close a huge percentage of its outlets; the coffee culture of Australia was already too well-established to allow it a place when it arrived.  

So, while all of this typically means Australia in general equals top-notch coffee Melbourne, along with Sydney, is considered the best of the best as far as coffee destinations go. In short, you really won’t be hard pressed to find an almost infinite number of cafe possibilities in the city serving the kind of drinks which will put an instant smile on the face of even the most discerning coffee aficionado.  

One such of these is located conveniently close to Fitzroy Gardens –your next stop on your morning’s Melbourne adventures. Axil Coffee Roasters–which has four branches in Melbourne -is run by a several-times-over national barista champion and his partner. The Flinders Lane outfit of Axil is a slick and contemporary espresso bar backed by a giant wall mural.   

If tea is more your thing and you are a lover of the elegant and refined make your way to the beautiful Hopetoun Tea Rooms to turn your morning refreshment pause into an experience all in itself. Known principally for its sophisticated afternoon high teas, the Hopetoun opens its doors at 10 am making it possible to enjoy its vintage glamour in the morning too.  

Located in the historic and exceptionally beautiful Block Arcade which, dating from the 1800s, is a lovely collection of mosaic floors, Victorian features and a tourist attraction in itself, these tea rooms were once the haunt of society ladies. Part of this Victorian arcade since the very beginning, the Hopetoun today presents a distinct air of old world charm which can be enjoyed from the minute you arrive at its big window displaying all kinds of tempting treats.   While a multitude of organic teas are of course the focus coffee fans are also catered for and if you are in need of a little (or large) snack of something to keep you going until lunch the Hopetoun has every angle covered.

The Fitzroy Gardens

Melbourne is known as the Garden City for good reason. Here you will find an astonishing number of parks and green spaces, most of them dating back to when the city first became a city as well as several botanical gardens. Besides their abundant plant species, tree-lined walkways and general air of tranquility and nature several of the city’s parks are themselves home to historical landmarks, tourist attractions or important city features such as the Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens and Melbourne Cricket Ground in Yarra Park.  

Fitzroy Gardens is one of Melbourne’s lovely nature-filled parks dating from Victorian times which is where you will be heading next.  

However, before you immerse yourself in the delights of Fitzroy Gardens you might like to take a short detour on your way from the National Gallery to visit one of the city’s cathedrals –the majestically-spired St. Paul’s. This huge Gothic-revival style building which looms over Federation Square dates back to the mid 1800s and as entry is free it is definitely worth at least poking your head inside to take in its magnificence. Bathed in filtered sunlight, the interior is truly beautiful and filled with carved pews, stained glass and a 19th century organ.  

St Patrick’s – another beautiful cathedral and also 19th century –is also located close to Fitzroy Gardens, at the northern end, and represents the biggest and tallest religious building in Australia.  

Fitzroy Gardens cover 64 acres and is sprinkled throughout with fountains and statuary along with a man-made lake and some interesting historical features. Considered by the Victorian Heritage Register to be of ‘historical, aesthetic, architectural, scientific (horticultural) and social significance to the State of Victoria.’ there is enough here to occupy a whole morning but the gardens are also lovely simply to stroll for a while and escape the city bustle so you can dedicate as much or as little time as you like.  

Among the garden’s highlights is a scarred tree found amid one of the lawns. Scarred trees, a common feature in Australia, are leftovers from the times when the Aboriginal people removed bark strips from trees to use in the making of canoes, shields, containers for water and many other things besides.  

The first of the garden’s historical features you will encounter after passing the visitor’s center at the south of the site is Cook’s Cottage. Originally located in Yorkshire, England and brought to Australia to be rebuilt brick by brick in the 1930s, this modest dwelling was once home to the parents of the 18th century explorer Captain James Cook –the man credited with the discovery of (at least to the developed world) New Zealand and Australia’s eastern coast.  

While the exact date of the cottage’s original construction is unknown there is no doubt it existed at least as far back as 1755 making it the oldest building in the entire country. Because of the uncertainty regarding the date it is also not known for sure if Captain Cook spent his childhood here although after returning from Australia in 1771 he is known to have spent time visiting his father in this very home.  

The most extensive research to date led to the cottage’s last restoration in the 1970s and it is now believed the cottage looks exactly as it did at the time Cook’s parents either built it or bought it. Also reconstructed are vegetable and flower gardens complete with a medicinal use chamomile lawn, all intended to be in keeping with the time period.  

There is an entry fee if you want to explore the cottage’s interior room reconstructions and antiques but it costs nothing to simply admire it from outside.  

Also at the south of the park are the Conservatory and Sinclair’s Cottage. The Conservatory is a lovely lush oasis of colorful flowers and sculpture first opened in the 1930s while the gorgeous Sinclair’s Cottage dates from 1866. Purpose-built as an on-site home for the park’s head gardener, the Italian Romanesque-style cottage shows just how much importance the city of Melbourne has always placed on its green spaces and maintaining them to their optimum for all to enjoy.   Crested by two chimneys striped by the contrasting brick colors used in the construction, Sinclair’s Cottage is picturesque in the extreme and is also home to stables located around the back.  

Heading north be sure to take a look at the enchanting Fairies Tree.Carved from a red gum stump so ancient it was found to contain a mummified possum when it was dug up, the Fairies Tree is a collection of mythical and fairy tale creatures along with a plethora of Australia’s wildlife species. Each of these delicately carved characters, all carefully incorporated into and using the tree’s original features, were created by the wood sculpture expertise of Ola Cohn in the 1930s.  

On the north-eastern edge of the park can be found the grand Corinthian-columned Bandstand,which looks as if it would be rather more at home in Greece than Australia. Built in 1864, the Bandstand would at that time play host to musicians once a week, entertaining the park’s visitors for free.   As already mentioned the flora-loving Garden City of Melbourne is home to more than one botanical gardens which can be explored in place of Fitzroy Gardens as included here. The jewel in the Melbourne crown of such options is the Royal Botanical Gardens.This stunning corner of the city is a vast collection of native and exotic flora, the whole incorporating tranquil lakes, abundant bird-life and fascinating displays with a wealth of walks and tours possible.  

Before you break for lunch you might like to take in just one more of Melbourne’s historical sights, especially as you are almost on the doorstep anyway. The construction of the imposing, huge and grandly-fronted Parliament House was first begun back in 1855, making it one of the entire country’s oldest public buildings. One of the major idiosyncrasies of this majestic building is that it is still a work in progress, despite the constructions having started more than 150 years ago. Melbourne citizens are still waiting for the dome which has been a planned feature since the original architectural plans were drawn up.

Lunch in Melbourne

While kangaroos, koalas, wine and surfing are all things for which Australia is well-known few are aware that it is also one of the leading food destinations of the world. According to Tourism Australia, overall those who have visited Australia rank it as second only to France with regard to food and wine while visitors from the USA, the UK, many parts of Asia and interestingly France rank it as the world’s number one food destination.  

There are several reasons why this huge country has climbed to such heady heights from a culinary point of view. One is its geographical positioning and the fact that surrounding it are oceans and seas teeming with abundant seafood. A second reason is its cultural melting pot element which has given rise to some sensational fusion cuisine choices. Additionally you can add into this a terrain and climate so varied it can grow everything you can possibly imagine which means a cornucopia of not just super fresh and high quality farm produce but also an incredible number of food artisans and connoisseur goods too. Just a few of the mouth-watering possibilities include top-notch meats, specialty cheeses, olives, epicurean honey, an array of vegetables, gourmet ice-cream, truffles, hand-crafted chocolates and fudge, succulent fruits, home-made preserves and more.  

Last but by no means least is the fact that Australia is home to an enormous number of award-winning chefs whose reputations reach far beyond Australia and who take all of this incredible bounty and craft magnificent and innovative dishes with it.   While Australia as a whole enjoys this foodie status Melbourne is considered the country’s food capital –even appearing in top 20 lists such as ‘World’s Best Food Cities’ compiled by tourist industry giants.   All of this, in short, means you are not going to have to hunt very hard to find incredible dining experiences in Melbourne no matter what such a phrase personally means for you.  

For those who enjoy multicultural flavors Melbourne is going to leave you spoiled for choice -Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Italian, Greek, Japanese, Middle Eastern and more are all found here. As already mentioned such a multicultural society has also given rise to some unique global fusion foods. Anything is possible here resulting in food marriages made in heaven such as European favorites flavored with Japanese ingredients or Vietnamese dishes fused with other Asian influences. Expect to find yourself immersed in flavor sensations never before experienced even if you are a true been-there-done-it-all foodie.  

One in this fusion category is Kisumé which is located in one of the city’s most atmospheric lane ways –Flinders Lane. This particular food marriage is Japanese and Australian seafood with Kisumé describing itself as a ‘fusion of design, art and dining’. The dining space is tastefully contemporary and surrounds you with some art pieces by famous photographers from both Australia and Japan.  

Another lane way option –ideal for those who want an alfresco lunch –is the Grossi Florentino on Bourke Street which incorporates the Cellar Bar, Grill and Florentino. While all are run by the same family and focus on Italian fare, they each offer their very own vibe and menu. The Cellar Baris a wonderful option for a casual, hearty and well-priced lunch, the whole suffused with a rustic Italian charm and offering street tables from which to enjoy your handmade pasta dishes which locals rave about.

An Afternoon in Melbourne

With appetites satisfied by the incredible Melbourne food possibilities you can head off exploring again with renewed energy. You will now be directing your footsteps to the north of the city and while this is walk-able you might like to take this opportunity to experience another of Melbourne’s delights –its trams.   As if Melbourne didn’t already have an abundant supply of wonderful reasons to visit it also happens to have a free tram service which circumnavigates the central area and conveniently stops at several of the city’s major highlights. One of these –the Old Melbourne Gaol –is your next port of call.  

The free City Circle Route’s heritage trams come with an undeniable dose of charm, retaining their vintage look and feel and painted in burgundy with gold trimmings. There are a host of maps and tourist information on board along with a commentary which points out points of interest. Departures are highly frequent too –around six every hour from each stop -so you will never have long to wait. 

Old Melbourne Gaol

Austere, bleak and full of echoes of the past, the Old Melbourne Gaol began life in 1841 and finally closed its doors in the 1920s. In its 80 or so years of operation it was the site of more than 130 hangings including that of the infamous bush ranger-turned-outlaw known as Ned Kelly in 1880. Its inmates were a mixed bunch, including murderers and hardened criminals but also the homeless, the mentally ill and those whose only crime was to steal food simply to keep their families alive.  

Today this piece of history has been converted into a museum and visitors can tour the cells which were to see the last days of so many as well as view the actual gallows themselves. During your explorations you will learn what life was like for the men and women incarcerated here which includes the regimen of enforced silence and the back-breaking physical work of rock-breaking.You can also see a range of death masks -a gruesome practice of taking plaster and wax impressions after death common during this era –along with exhibits of weapons taken from the Kelly gang.  

If you opt for a tour your visit will cover the gaol, the original watch house (where if you wish you can experience what it is like to be arrested and thrown in jail) and the court areas. 

Alternative Museums

things to do in Melbourne Australia

While the Old Melbourne Gaol offers a fascinating and insightful experience it might not be everyone’s idea of fun. If so, the city has plenty of alternative museum choices.   One of these –the Melbourne Museum–is located nearby, just a 10 minute walk away which makes it easy to combine both the gaol and this vast destination in one afternoon. The Melbourne Museum –the Southern Hemisphere’s largest -covers just about every natural and cultural topic going. Here you can find dinosaur fossils, a 3D volcano and a Victorian flora-themed open-air atrium.  

All of its other treasures aside, the Melbourne Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in indigenous culture as it his home to the state-of-the-art Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Everything a museum should be –immersive, fascinating, thought-provoking and educational –this excellent institution tells the story of Australia’s first people through the medium of photographs, artifacts, art and story-telling.  

To add true authentic value to your experience, you are greeted by indigenous community members ranging from very young to very old after which you can follow a virtually-reality guided tour to learn about such things as the Aboriginal languages, how a life unchanged for centuries altered once Europeans arrived, the people’s deep spiritual beliefs and the customs which although surviving to this day have roots so ancient they are woven into long forgotten times.  

Some especial gems among the many highlights are the outdoor Milarri Garden Trail which is complete with sculpture along with a cave of indigenous art and the eel feeding in a pond which is quite a sight to see. Besides its permanent exhibitions the cultural center also hosts some incredible temporary exhibitions.  

Rather more niche offerings for museums include the National Sports Museum which is essentially a celebration of the city’s sporting traditions packed with interactive experiences, artifacts and memorabilia; the lovely and frequently moving Chinese Museum in Melbourne’s Chinatown and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image. The ACMI focuses on TV, film, games and digital culture –the only museum of its kind in Australia –and incorporates a vast collection of original props and costumes among its exhibits.

Pre-Dinner Drinks and Dinner in Melbourne

Once the Melbourne sun starts to lower in the sky it will be time to start thinking about where to head for some relaxing pre-dinner drinks followed by dinner. It needs to be said that you are truly going to be spoiled for choice in this fantastic city.

Pre-Dinner Drinks

On the pub and drinking venue front Melbourne offers just about everything –beer gardens, a labyrinth of lane way-hidden bars, rooftop venues and much more which collectively come in truly diverse guises presenting everything from the ultimately relaxing to the elegantly refined. Among the choices are an incredible number of atmospheric options; while other cities around the globe scramble to create the atmosphere of speakeasy bars Melbourne has naturally given birth to them and many of them have been around for decades.  

With regards to the drinks themselves Melbourne and its surrounds create and then serve up their very own award-winning wines, craft beers from a plentiful supply of micro-breweries and whiskey from its Starwood Distillery. For those who like their bars themed the city has many of those too.  

One major delight of the Melbourne drinking scene is its hidden bars. This isn’t simply a description but an actual category of venues which sprang into life in the 1990s and turned the lane ways from dingy down-trodden parts of the city into the thriving and charming places they are today. Hidden bars are truly that in some cases. While some are simply tucked away others are jealously guarded secrets which even the advent of the internet and all its sharing of information hasn’t been able to unearth. Behind many an unmarked door down some alleyway are portals into plush cocktail venues known only to the lucky few.  

Some, luckily, are a little more documented such as the bar known as Beneath Driver Lane which is not so much hidden as simply underground and has an effortless speakeasy feel. Typically filled with the sounds of blues music, Beneath Driver Lane which was a bank vault in a former life is known for its cocktails and a whiskey collection which amasses more than 100 different labels.   

Another hidden bar option is the cocktail and wine bar of Eau de Vie which feels like stepping straight back into the prohibition era. The back bar here is so tightly packed with bottles there doesn’t appear to be a spare inch of space and there is even a secret room behind the bookcase.  

For an entirely different kind of drinking venue check out one of the city’s many rooftop bars which not surprisingly offer some fantastic city views. Open rooftop Siglois one of Melbourne’s more sophisticated choices in this category complete with waiter service at tables spread with crisp linen. While its bar is well stocked with a variety of options the focus is on cocktails, champagne and high quality spirits. The view from here takes in the historic Parliament building, the soaring spire of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the majestic domes which top the Princess Theatre –the oldest entertainment venue in Australia.

Dinner

As already discussed at lunchtime, the fact that Australia in general and Melbourne in particular are considered among the world’s top destinations for foodies comes as a complete surprise to many visitors. Sensational fusion cuisine, an almost indecent number of top chefs and an abundance of fresh seafood along with home-grown produce of every kind all play their part in putting the city right up there with some of the world’s better known cuisine hot spots.  

All of this means incredible dining is not just possible but almost unavoidable and almost anywhere in Melbourne is home to a plentiful array of choices. Like most cities however there are some particular hubs. Head to the lane ways of arteries such as Flinders Lane or Bourke Street and their seemingly endless offshoots for a range of alfresco choices and small characterful venues frequented by locals in the know. Make your way to Chinatown for authentic and delicious Chinese cuisine at some of the most pocket-friendly prices found anywhere in Melbourne. If you want to dine at the beach head to the suburb of St. Kilda, for riverside options there is the Southbank or to hit the pulsing hub of around 20 restaurants clustered together make your way to Federation Square. There is even the chance to hop aboard a boat and head out for a dinner cruise along the Yarra River which is both top-notch dining experience and sightseeing rolled into one.  

The highly creative collection of fusion restaurants –one of the city’s most enchanting cuisine elements –come in every variety. One which marries together the food and flavors of France and Vietnam is the lovely Coda who have chosen an old basement beneath Flinders Lane as their cozy venue. Incorporating an industrial-chic décor and with the option of sharing plates or set menus, Coda offers an upscale dining option ideal for couples.   

While ethnic offerings and heavenly fusion features are something of a Melbourne theme the city also has a good supply of restaurants that focus their efforts into serving their customers authentic Australian cuisine. For many, when visiting a country, sampling the local fare is their goal and if that sounds like you consider the Taxi Kitchen. The standard is still at the fine dining end of things but with a dash of rustic and also prices which won’t break the bank. With vast windows that look out onto the Melbourne evening, the Taxi Kitchen has a commendable eco-focused ethos which ensures all of its ingredients used are both sustainable and locally-sourced. Once crafted into tasty dishes by the chef, Taxi’s hearty portion plates offer modern Australian cuisine at its best although, because this is Melbourne, there are some tiny touches of Asia in there too. 

An Evening in Melbourne

Melbourne is a city which is exciting by both day and night so you will have no trouble finding something to do after dinner. Scare yourself silly with a night tour of the grim Old Melbourne Gaol, watch penguins at play or simply soak up the atmosphere of this incredible city from a seemingly endless array of bars.

Little Penguins

While cities are not typically known for their wildlife watching opportunities Melbourne, as with so many things, is a little different. In summer dusk arrives later and this is the perfect time to take in a little penguin spotting. Head to the St. Kilda Pier to watch a little penguin colony who have made their home here. The views of the city skyline are also rather sensational from this spot too.

The Skydeck

Cinema, Theatre and Comedy

Avant-garde Melbourne has a thriving cultural scene so no matter what your taste you will almost certainly be able to find something to suit. Head to the historic Art Deco Astor Theatre with its silver-screen of yesteryear air and glorious décor to catch a movie or perhaps take in a show at the Arts House. Innovative and cutting edge, this small theater has a program which covers dance, drama, live art and digital experiences presented by both national and international artists and is typically regarded as the best of the non-mainstream options in the city.   

For a completely free comedy night head to the Spleen Bar on a Monday or if you’re in town on a different day there are many other venues which offer free or ticketed alternatives. The European Bier Cafe hosts comedy nights on Thursday while the Catfish Bar’s weekly offering is on a Tuesday. For a slice of the ultimately off-the-wall take your seat for the Big HOO-HAA! at Carson Place’s Butterfly Club. A long-established Melbourne favorite, this riot of improv takes place every Friday night.   If you are in Melbourne on a Wednesday the Queen Victoria Night Market is an essential inclusion in your visit. Iconic, historic and wonderfully energy-filled, this large open-air market comes alive with food vendors, vintage wares, artisan offerings and a diverse array of street performers and live music performances.

Old Melbourne Gaol Night Tours

Once the scene of 133 hangings and with its gallows still erected for all to see, the Old Melbourne Gaol is not surprisingly said to be haunted so ideal venues for spine-chilling night tours don’t come much better than this. The gaol is unquestionably atmospheric during the day but come night this is increased one hundred times. What’s more ‘The Hangman’s Night Tour‘ is conducted completely in the dark so is really not for those of a nervous disposition!

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