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How to Spend 1 Day in Melbourne

How to Spend 1 Day in Melbourne

Australia’s second city, Melbourne lays claim to the status of the nation’s foodie capital. With one day in town, you can get a handle on the city’s geography, check off the key sights, feast on delicious fare from the Pacific and beyond, and watch the world’s smallest penguins parading home to their burrows at sunset. Here’s how.

Morning: City Slicker

Especially in summer, a sunrise balloon flight is a wonderful way to soak up Melbourne’s startling mix of sleek skyscrapers, green riverbanks, and historic laneways. Treat yourself to a Champagne breakfast when you land. Next, explore the city at ground level, perhaps with a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour. Stroll through the Victorian-era Royal Botanic Gardens, explore vibrant Queen Victoria Market, and savor architectural masterpieces such as Parliament House alongside contemporary urban landscapes such as Federation Square. Conclude the morning with a Yarra River cruise that brings you through parks and cityscapes into the city’s modern Docklands harbor area.

Afternoon: Food Frenzy

Melbourne is Australia’s gourmet epicenter, with a food scene that stretches far beyond the coffee shops, Vietnamese and Greek restaurants, and laneway bars for which it is best known. Young chefs come from as far afield as Asia and Europe to train here. Find out what makes the city’s food scene tick as you tour ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown or Little Italy, or visit gourmet stores and farmers markets that major in artisan produce from the Yarra Valley’s fertile fields. Wrap up your explorations with a contemporary happy-hour cocktail in one of the city’s striking rooftop bars.

Night: Penguin Parade

An 1.5-hour drive south of Melbourne proper, Phillip Island is a unique wildlife reserve that’s home to a magical evening ritual. A colony of little penguins (the world’s smallest penguin species) lives here, and at dusk each night they waddle out of the ocean and into their burrows in the sand. Join a tour from the city to watch the famous Penguin Parade, and get an insight into the other local wildlife here, including fur seals. Once you’re back in the city, dine on your choice of world food—perhaps Greek street food, Greek fusion, or modern Vietnamese.

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8 Tours and Activities

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Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

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685
Spend an evening on the Yarra River during this Melbourne dinner cruise. As you admire the twinkling city lights reflecting on the water, enjoy a 4-course gourmet meal inclusive of beverages. This fine dining experience includes beer, wine, and spirits, as well as coffee, tea, dessert, port, and a cheese plate. Cruise past attractions like Federation Square and the Royal Botanic Gardens while soaking up the elegant and relaxing atmosphere of the boat.
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  • 3 hours
From
$104.78
From
$104.78

The Official

The Official "Neighbours" Tour of Ramsay Street

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262
Everybody needs good neighbors! Take a walk down Ramsay Street, where the dramas unfold every day on the set of Australia's longest-running soap opera, 'Neighbours.' On this official tour, see the actual houses and the street and see the exterior of the sets at the Neighbours Studios. If you're lucky, you may even see the film crew in action!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$73.70
From
$73.70

Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

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246
Discover Melbourne’s history and highlights on this guided Yarra River cruise. Float past the city’s towering skyscrapers and lovely urban gardens while learning about the transformation of this vibrant city from 19th-century port town to a modern cultural capital. Your sightseeing cruise takes you upriver and downriver for a scenic overview of attractions on both banks.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$32.52
From
$32.52

Eureka Skydeck 88 Admission Ticket

Eureka Skydeck 88 Admission Ticket

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236
Soak up a spectacular aerial view of Melbourne with a visit to Eureka Skydeck 88 — the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere. Admire the watery expanse of Port Phillip Bay and the rolling Dandenong Ranges in the distance. Even the other skyscrapers of Melbourne’s business district will seem miniature from this incredible vantage point. Thrill-seekers can upgrade to experience ‘The Edge’— a moving, glass-bottomed cube that lets you hover over the city streets 88 floors below.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$19.15
From
$19.15

Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise

Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise

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140
Get an enchanting new perspective on Melbourne aboard a hot air balloon flight over the city at sunrise. Soar over modern skyscrapers, urban parks, famous sporting arenas, and the Yarra River as early morning light bathes the skyline in a rosy glow. After your unforgettable flight, toast the new day with an optional champagne breakfast.
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  • 4 hours
From
$357.68
From
$357.68

Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Walking Tour

Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Walking Tour

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295
Explore Melbourne’s charming laneways and opulent arcades on a small-group walking tour. Uncovered tucked-away gems like specialty boutiques and local fashion designers, and savor Melbourne’s café culture with a stop for coffee or tea, a chocolate tasting and an optional lunch at a local eatery. Tour numbers are limited to eight people to ensure a personalized experience.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
From
$71.54
From
$71.54

Melbourne Foodie Discovery Walking Tour

Melbourne Foodie Discovery Walking Tour

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82
Melbourne is Australia’s culinary capital, but to discover the city’s foodie hotspots, you need a local guide. On this food walking tour, explore Melbourne’s atmospheric laneways and arcades; visit the city’s coolest bars, cafés, and street food stalls; and sample everything from Chinese dumplings to sweet pastries. This small-group tour is limited to 10 people for an authentic local experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$78.76
From
$78.76

Shark Dive Experience at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Shark Dive Experience at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

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16
Swim among sharks, stingrays and other magnificent marine creatures with a thrilling shark dive at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium! Don a wet suit and SCUBA mask, and splash into the massive Oceanarium where you'll be within arm’s reach of nurse sharks, sea turtles, and schools of brilliantly colored fish. No SCUBA experience is necessary, and an expert guide will accompany you to ensure a safe and educational dive. 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$230.51
From
$230.51