15 Things To Do in Melbourne When You’re in Town for the Australian Open
The players are warming up and in just a matter of days the likes of Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Australia’s own world No.1 Ash Barty will hit the courts at Melbourne Park for the Australian Open 2021. If you’re heading to Melbourne to watch tennis' greatest stars battle it out at the socially distanced Grand Slam, here are 15 off-the-court things to do while you’re there.
1. Go behind the scenes at Melbourne’s sporting venues
Melbourne isn’t just home to the Australian Open. It’s also the host city for other major sporting events including the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse, and both the AFL Grand Final and the annual Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Join a sports tour to access normally off-limits parts of these legendary venues.
2. Eat your way around Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Market is food mecca for Melburnians and visitors to the Victoria capital. Pro tip: Don’t skimp on ordering a hot donut from American Doughnut Kitchen.
3. Scan the laneways for street art
Check out the graffiti and murals along the laneways (don’t miss Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, and Croft Alley). For more, head to Blender Studios, a converted warehouse where street artists paint, run workshops, and exhibit work.
4. Take a ride on the City Circle Tram
5. Find Melbourne’s best hidden bars
To find Melbourne’s best cocktails, you’ll need to navigate the laneways, disappear behind bookshelves, and descend staircases leading underground. Avoid inadvertently breaking into a restaurant’s storeroom (trust us, we've been there) and let a local guide show you where to go.
6. Get to know the city's coffee culture
Coffee is as synonymous with Melbourne as street art and next-level avo on toast. Take a specialized coffee tour to scratch below the surface of the city’s distinct coffee and cafe culture—tastings included.
7. Walk the Golden Mile
8. Spend a day at one (or more) of Melbourne’s bay beaches
9. Explore Melbourne's neighborhoods
10. Shop the arcades
Browse Melbourne’s arcades, from the historic Royal Arcade, which opened in 1870, to art deco Campbell Arcade, where you’ll find record stores and eclectic clothing and jewellery shops.
And if you’re making a longer trip of it ...
11. Go hiking in Grampians National Park
Pack your hiking boots for a day of bushwalking, waterfalls, ancient Aboriginal rock art, and wildlife-spotting in Grampians National Park.
12. Hit the Great Ocean Road
13. Ride a steam train through the Dandenong Ranges
Take a drive through the Dandenongs, just an hour from Melbourne, and ride the oldest steam train in Australia through forests of towering mountain ash trees.
14. Taste wine in the Yarra Valley
15. Watch the penguin's parade
Little penguins (that’s actually what they’re called) waddling up the beach en masse to cozy up in their nests after a long day of swimming and fishing. The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island is a definite bucket list item, and only two hours outside of Melbourne.