Have been living in Melbourne for 10 years and absolutely love this city! Always looking for new things to explore and can't stay away from a bargain.
Published May 20th 2012
Whether you are new to Melbourne and want to explore the city or you're living in Melbourne and are looking for a day trip – why not consider a day trip based on the 96 tram route?
Not convinced? Route 96 has been named as one of the plant's top 10 "trolley car" rides and you'll shortly understand why. The route will take you from East Brunswick through Carlton and the CBD finishing at St Kilda beach. You'll be passing many of Melbourne's key attractions along the way and many fun attractions if you are travelling with children. So buy your Metcard or top up your Myki and enjoy the ride.
It takes 50 minutes to travel from East Brunswick to Acland Street in St Kilda.
Stop 27 – East Brunswick Stop 22 – North Carlton Stop 16 – 15 – East Carlton
There are some factory outlets between stop 16 and 15 ( but I would give them a miss as better shopping awaits further). Stop 12 – Melbourne Museum, Imax & Carlton Gardens You should definitely check out the Melbourne Museum. Located in Carlton Gardens opposite the historic Royal Exhibition Building, it is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere. Within its three levels you will find seven main galleries, a Children's gallery and a temporary exhibit. On the Lower Level of the museum you can enjoy a 3D film at the IMAX Cinema.
***Open daily, 10am – 5pm (Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day)
Stop 11 - Exhibition Gardens Stop 10 – Parliament Gardens and Parliament Railway Station Stop 9 – Parliament House View the action in the Parliament House from the public galleries of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly (the Houses) on the days the Parliament is sitting or enjoy a public tour of the Parliament on the days the Parliament isn't sitting.
***Public tours take place at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 3.45 pm from the Vestibule.
Stop 7 – Bourke Street and Russell Street Short walk to Her Majesty's Theatre. Stop 6 – Bourke Street and Swanston Street Connect here with routes 1,3,5,6,8,16,64,67 and 72. Stop 5 – Bourke Street Mall
This is perhaps my favourite stop along the 96 route. In this stop. amongst others, you'll find GPO, Myer, David Jones, Zara (opened in June 2011) and the Royal Arcade.
Stop 3 – Bourke Street and William Street – Law Courts Magistrates, County and Supreme Courts of Victoria are nearby. Connect here with the 55 tram that goes towards Melbourne Zoo. Stop1 – Spencer Street – Southern Cross Station and Etihad Stadium
Stop 122 – Southern Cross Station Metropolitan, regional and interstate train services. The facilities at Southern Cross Station include: lockers, parking, Travellers Aid Australia, Myki Centre, V/Line's main booking office, food court and (surprisingly) clean toilets.
Stop 123 – Flinders Street
Connect here with routes 70,75 and City Circle. Stop 124A – Casino, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Wharf DFO The Crown complex offers a range of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and a cinema. However, if it is shopping you're after, head towards the Convention and Exhibition Centre and walk about 10 minutes in that direction until you reach South Wharf Direct Factory Outlet (DFO)
Catch the Fire Display outside the Crown complex, occurring most nights on the eight granite towers on riverside.
Stop 127 – South Melbourne Market The South Melbourne Market is one of Melbourne's most popular markets and said to be the most dominant retail and commercial influence in South Melbourne. It features fresh produce including meat, fruits & veggies and an exciting range of general merchandise stalls.
***Open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Stop 129 – Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre and Albert Park
Have a splash at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC). It is an international sporting venue that has hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2007 World Aquatic Championships.
However, if swimming isn't your thing, the venue also includes 10 court squash centre, 12 court badminton hall, 27 court table tennis hall, 10 court basketball hall and 3 volleyball courts.
Stop 132 – St Kilda Station
Former St Kilda Railway Station. Connect here with route 16. Stop 134 – Fitzroy Street Shopping and restaurant precinct
Local shopping, bars, cafes and restaurants. Stop 136 – The Esplanade, St Kilda Pier and St Kilda Sea Baths
You can walk from this stop to St Kilda Beach and reach St Kilda Pier and maybe even spot a penguin (I've never had any luck but maybe you will).
During winter you will probably prefer visiting St Kilda Sea Baths. It includes a heated 25 metre seawater pool, hydrotherapy spa pool, unisex aromatherapy steam room and a lounge area. Nothing better than enjoying a heated spa pool on a rainy, cold, day.
*** Check the popular art-and-craft market on the Esplanade on Sundays. Stop 138 – Luna Park, Palais Theatre
It's hard to miss the giant mouth that is the entrance to Melbourne's Luna Park. Entry to Luna Park is free so I would recommend heading inside just to see the different rides and maybe even enjoy a game or two. Next door to Luna Park is Palais Theatre, former cinema, now functioning as a concert venue.
***St Kilda Film Festival will be screening Australia's Top 100 short films at Palais Theatre from 22nd of May 2012.
Stop 140 – Acland Street
The final stop on the 96 tram route is at the corner of Acland and Barkly Street. Acland Street is a hive of activity with sophisticated drinking spots, restaurants, New Age shops, haute couture and world famous patisseries.
I would usually have a piece of cake from one of the patisseries and watch the people walk by or simply stroll through and enjoy the atmosphere. A great way to finish a day trip before heading home.
I rather prefer route 16 as it has most of the best of 96 plus funky Balaclava, the Jewish communities and length of Glenferrie, plus a short side-trip into the wealth of Toorak. Did I mention the iconic tennis of Kooyang -- however spelled?