10 Awesome Reasons to Visit Melbourne

At Walk 91, we are most at home in Australia’s stunning natural landscapes, but we are proud that when we do have to visit the city, Melbourne is our place! Melbourne’s rich culture and stunning art has an ecology of its own.

In this blog, we introduce you to our favourite Melbourne highlights, but there is always more to be said, so get in touch with us at Walk 91 for more detailed travel tips or for information about our incredible Great Ocean Walk tours

1) Melbourne’s Coffee

Melbourne is sometimes said to be the best place for coffee in the world. The coffee culture dates back to the 1830s, where the temperance movement made coffee an attractive alternative to alcohol.

However, this culture didn’t fully take off until the middle of the twentieth century, with the arrival of Italian and Greek immigrants. Leo and Vildo Pellegrini are said to have imported the first espresso machine into Melbourne in 1950.

Nowadays, travellers go to Melbourne specifically for the coffee! The flat white was (possibly) invented in Australia as a way to ensure the flavour of the beans was reflected in the milk. Australia also has so many independent cafes that Starbucks did not manage to succeed in the country.

We won’t tell you our favourite cafes because our coffee tastes are as diverse as Melbourne’s culture, and you have to find yours out for yourself! However, we do recommend taking your morning coffee with another Melbourne classic: the smashed avocado brunch.

2) The Fitzroy Area

Fitzroy is an area in north-east Melbourne, known as a cultural hub for its live music scene and street art. It has inspired many artists, and features in Aboriginal activist Archie Roach’s song “Charcoal Lane” which mentions many streets in the area:

Spinning yarns

And telling jokes

Now the wine is tasting good

As it’s getting closer and closer to it’s end


Have a reviver in Charcoal Lane

I’m a survivor of Charcoal Lane

It is a real pleasure just to walk around Fitzroy’s streets, but if you want a more planned itinerary, we recommend visiting the Gertrude Contemporary and the Centre for Contemporary Photography. 

In the evening, head to The Old Bar, Gertrudes Brown Couch, or Bar Open for a cool beer or a cocktail, or to Gelato Messina for a fabulous selection of ice cream flavours.

3) Head Southwest to the Great Ocean Walk

A visit to the Melbourne area is not complete without experiencing Victoria’s fabulous coastline, particularly the area around the Twelve Apostles. These are a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of Port Campbell National Park, eight of which remain standing. 

The journey by road from Melbourne takes you along the Great Ocean Road, with breathtaking coastal views and a chance to see kangaroos and koalas on the way! A journey on foot takes you on the Great Ocean Walk.

To get a real sense of the natural landscape, why not try one of our three-day hikes. Go for the 3-day Great Ocean Cape Tour if you are looking for a peaceful trek, or the more rugged Twelve Apostles 3-day tour. We help you by moving any luggage and booking accommodation along the way.

4) Melbourne’s Street Art

Melbourne is renowned for its vibrant street art, especially in what is known as the Laneways. The most well-known include Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, and Degraves Street. You can download a recent street art walking guide and see some examples of this stunning work on the Melbourne Council website

This website also has details of the Flash Forward festival, which aims to unlock the potential of some of the lesser known laneways, with commissions from up and coming artists. If you’re lucky you may even see some of them at work!

5) See the Blue Penguins at St Kilda Pier

St Kilda is a lovely seaside suburb of Melbourne with its own Luna Park amusement park. The best thing about St Kilda, though, is that every evening the penguins return from the sea to their nests on the breakwater. St Kilda has viewing platforms where you can watch these adorable animals make their way to bed.

6) Visit Philip Island

About a 90-minute day trip from Melbourne, this is another really special place to see penguins, with thousands waddling up the sea to their burrows in the Penguin Parade! Also on Philip Island you can enjoy beautiful beaches, see koalas up close in the Koala Conservation Center, and spot seals, dolphins, and even sometimes whales.

7) Wine Tasting at Melbourne’s Vineyards

Melbourne is about an hour’s drive from several of Australia’s premier wine regions. The most famous is the Yarra valley, but wine lovers will also love the cool climate wines of the Mornington Peninsula and Macedon Ranges. 

In all these regions, visitors can visit the cellar doors for tastings and explore the vineyards. Don’t forget to ask about the sparkling wines; some places will give you a demonstration of how traditional method sparkling wine is made, with the same techniques as Champagne.

8) Visit Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the Southern hemisphere, with a history dating back to 1878. It is located in the heart of the city, just off Victoria Street, and it offers fresh produce, specialty foods, clothing, homeware, and crafts. 

Melbourne specialities to look out for include dim sum (steamed or deep-fried Cantonese dumplings), freshly baked Turkish Boreks, meat pies, eucalyptus honey, and Australian wines. Sometimes it opens at night too, hosting live music and street food. 

9) Explore Melbourne’s Museums and Botanic Gardens

Melbourne has several fascinating museums, including the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and the Immigration Museum.

The Immigration Museum is a great place to understand why Melbourne’s culture is so dynamic and rich. It includes interactive exhibitions and personal stories, and celebrates different cultural celebrations throughout the year.

Head to the Melbourne Botanic Gardens for beautifully landscaped gardens and to learn about rare and endangered plants. Our favourite spots are the Rose Garden, the Australian Rainforest Walk and Guilfoyle’s Volcano, for panoramic views of the city. 

10) Watch a Melbourne Sporting Event

Known as the sporting capital of Australia, Melbourne is a great place for professional sports. Catch Australian Football League and Cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, rugby at AAMI Park, and horseracing at the Flemington Racecourse.

If you are visiting in January, you may even be lucky enough to bag a ticket for world -class tennis at the Australian Open, taking place at Melbourne Park.

You can probably tell by now that we love living life to the fullest in and around Melbourne, and we are always really excited to welcome new visitors. Get in touch with us at Walk 91 for any questions about your upcoming trip.