I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published July 27th 2018
Looking for a range of outstanding Melbourne attractions to visit with family or friends? That's easy. Here, in no particular order, are 10 great places to start.
Take a ride on Williamstown Ferries departing Berth 1 Southgate and cruising through Southbank, Docklands, the Port Of Melbourne and under the Westgate Bridge to Williamstown, a historic seaport that was once intended to be the site of the city of Melbourne.
Williamstown Ferries depart from Berth 1 Southbank .......
..... heading for Williamstown where you might like to take a seaplane ride or visit the HMAS CASTLEMAINE floating museum. Photo's: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Check out the Williamstown Ferries website for departure times as the schedule does vary for summer & winter sailings and during periods of inclement weather.
Return tickets cost Adults $32, Concession $28 and Children 4 – 14 years $14.
One-way tickets cost Adults $22, Concession $18 and Children $9.
You can easily spend an hour or two exploring Williamstown's 19th Century streetscape, historic waterfront, beaches and magnificent parklands as well as its modern bistros, cafes and boutique shopping strips.
Check out the view from Eureka Skydeck in the heart of the city's Southbank precinct.
Made up of 92 floors the Eureka Tower is 297 metres (975 feet) high and Eureka Skydeck on the 88th floor is the highest public vantage point in the southern hemisphere.
Eureka Tower dominates the Melbourne skyline .....
..... and views across Melbourne from the 88th floor Eureka Skydeck are breathtaking. Photo's: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Day or night views across Melbourne, down the Bay and to the Dandenong and Macedon Ranges are truly spectacular and for the brave at heart, there's The Edge experience, a glass cube that projects outwards from the Skydeck and suspends visitors almost 300 metres above the streets of Melbourne.
The Eureka Skydeck is open 7-Days from 10 AM to 10 PM with last entry at 9.30 PM.
Discounted online tickets cost Adults $20, Children 4 to 16 years $11.50 and Concession Card holders $15.50. Children under 4 are free.
Family tickets cost (2A and 2C) $46, (1AD and 2C) $34 and each extra child $9.50.
Test the lifestyle and entertainment options at Crown Melbourne. Much more than just a Casino Crown is a fine dining centre, home to some of Melbourne's best restaurants. It's an entertainment complex with cinema's, live theatre & concerts, bars & nightclubs and it is of course home to three first-class hotels a luxurious day spa and a top-end retail centre.
And of course, the Casino offers a breathtaking range of gaming options.
Visit the MCG and National Sports Museum. Home to the largest collection of sporting memorabilia in Australia the museum highlights the achievements of our sporting heroes and some not so well known competitors in sporting events as diverse as the Olympics Games, Aussie Rules, cricket, sailing and the sport of kings, thoroughbred racing.
A huge number of displays, memorabilia and artefacts highlight the sporting achievements of Australians from colonial times to the present day and there's a range of interactive zones that allow visitors to try their hand at a variety of sporting skills.
What better place to house the National Sports Museum than the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
The National Sports Museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM except on MCG event days, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Melbourne Cup Day. Guided tours of the MCG are available daily between 10 Am and 3 PM except on MCG event days.
Check the website for modified opening hours and tour times on MCG event days.
The museum includes plenty of interactive sporting activities for visitors of all ages. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Entry to the Museum is via Gate 3 at the MCG. Entry to the National Sports Museum costs Adults $25, Concession $21, Children 5 to 15 years $14 (Under 5 free), MCC Members $21, Groups of 20 or more $21 per person and School Groups $8.50 per person. See the website for cost of combined NSM entry and MCG tour, MCG tour only and event day entry to the NSM only.
Ride the City Sightseeing 'Hop-On-Hop-Off' bus on a 23 stop tour which includes highlights such as the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Zoo, the 'G', the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground and St Kilda beach.
With panoramic views and an informative audio commentary, this is the smart way to see Melbourne in a short space of time, offering the flexibility and freedom to spend as much or as little time as you like at any one attraction before jumping back on the bus and heading to the next location of interest.
A 24 Hour Bus Pass costs Adults $35, Children 4 to14 years $15, Concession 430 and a Family (2A and up to 4 Children) $70.
There's also a 48 Hour Bus Pass available and Combo Packages combining bus travel with a Yarra River cruise, a Melbourne Airport Transfer or entry to the Sea Life Aquarium, Eureka Skydeck, Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, the National Sports Museum and MCG Tour, Old Melbourne Gaol or a Melbourne Football Club home-game at the MCG.
Go to the website for full details, terms & conditions and online bookings.
Built in 1934 the Shrine of Remembrance was conceived in the aftermath of World War 1 to honour the 89,000 Victorians who served abroad in that conflict and particularly the 19,000 who lost their lives.
Today it also commemorates the service of Australians in all wars since including World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and a host of Peace Keeping operations in all corners of the globe.
An iconic Victorian and Australian landmark Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance commemorates the service of men and women of the armed forces in wars and peacekeeping missions stretching from World War 1 to the present day. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
The cornerstone for remembrance services in Victoria, including ANZAC Day and the Dawn Service, the Shrine houses a variety of permanent exhibitions and frequently hosts special or travelling exhibitions.
Visitors can explore the Sanctuary, the Galleries of Remembrance which house more than 800 artworks, historical artefacts & personal effects and take in the expansive views of Melbourne from the external balcony.
Open between 10 AM and 5 PM daily except Christmas Day and Good Friday, entry is FREE. Last entry is at 4.30 PM.
Group guided tours are run daily at 11 AM and 12.45 PM. Lasting approximately 75 minutes, they cost Adults $34, Concession $29 and Children $15. The tour is not recommended for children under 6 years of age.
Serving members of the Australian and New Zealand armed forces can take the tour free of charge but a booking is required.
During her working life POLLY WOODSIDE circumnavigated the globe 17 times sailing a bit less than 30 million Kilometres. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Museum exhibits are housed in historic wharf sheds and include 3000 maritime artefacts and 10,000 photographs. Administered by the National Trust the Polly Woodside forms the centrepiece of the Melbourne Maritime Museum and offers a range of activities for visitors including children's birthday parties, Pirate Sundays and school excursions.
Open 10 AM to 4 PM Daily except Good Friday and Christmas Day entry costs Adults $16, Concession $13, Child $9.50 Family (2A2C) $43 Family (1A2C) $30.
Wander the city's iconic laneways on a Hidden Secrets Walking Tour of Melbourne's laneways and arcades taking visitors into a world of graffiti art, quirky cafes, bars & retail outlets and detailing some lesser known historical facts about this great city.
Tours run Monday to Saturday at 10 AM and 2 PM and take about 3 hours. Cost is $95.
Museums have always been a family favourite and the Melbourne Museum is no exception.
Now housed in a purpose-built building opened in October 2000 in Nicholson Street, Carlton the museum is home to the Forest Gallery, the Science and Life Gallery, the Melbourne Gallery, home to the famous racehorse Phar Lap, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Te Pasifika Gallery housing treasures from the Pacific Islands, the fun and interactive Children's Gallery and the Touring Hall displaying exhibitions from around the world.
The Museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily except Good Friday and Christmas Day. A General Admission Adult ticket costs $15.