Melbourne (pronounced Mel-bin for the locals), a fun city in Australia, is perfect for families like us. We found a lot of kid-things to do, and also took an amazing road trip down the Great Ocean Road. There are a lot a great food options, nice people, and really cool areas to explore. We also found ways to take boats, trains, and occasionally taxis around the city.
Sights and Activities.
Who goes to Australia without seeing koalas or kangaroos? No one. Healesville Sanctuary is a perfect place to see every Australian animal like koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, and even some really creepy snakes. My sister is obsessed with koalas and since we arrived in Australia on her birthday, we went straight from the airport to the sanctuary. It is only about 45 minutes outside of Melbourne and the drive is through a very scenic area with vineyards and beautiful fields. We were so excited to see all the native animals up close, but what was really exciting was getting the opportunity to go inside the fence to see this guy- Dindi!
Eureka Skydeck and Melbourne Star
The Eureka Skydeck and Melbourne Star are both super fun activities that give you a bird’s eye view of the whole city. Other than the amazing 989 foot observatory, the Eureka Skydeck has a thing called “The Box” where you go into glass room, and it slowly moves out of the building, and stays above the whole city. All of a sudden, it pretends to break, and look like the glass is cracking. It was so scary, but awesome! The Melbourne Star, on the other hand, is a huge ferris wheel that gives a view of other totally different part of town. It takes about 30 minutes to complete it, and is worth every second.
St. Kilda Penguins
We thought we would have to go all the way to Phillips Island to see penguins, but luckily our local friends let us in on a secret- they’re at the St. Kilda dock at sunrise and sundown. Just to let you know… One of my favorite animals are big, majestic Emperor penguins, so I got really excited, but it turned out that the ones at St. Kilda are just tiny little fairy penguins that kind of reminded me of pigeons. It was still fun to see them waddle around the rocks and they make a huge racket chatting up their friends at night!
The Fitzroy Gardens are beautiful. The whole place is filled with green grass, trees, and really pretty flowers. There is also a cute fairy village that looked like it took a while to make! It was really nice to run around, play at the playground, and just enjoy a very nice afternoon in the sun.
To get to Science Works, a fun place for hands on science, we took a ferry ride down the Yarra River. It was fun, and we had to duck our heads when we went under really low bridges- that explains why the boats are so flat! At Science Works, we saw a guy do a show on electricity in an indoor light cage and saw 1,000 volts of electricity, learned the safest ways to deal with a lightning storm, and heard what lightning would be like if it was right above us. It was really loud, but awesome. Inside, we explored virtual reality machines, and tons of other stuff. We had a great time!
Brother Burger, Fitzroy
Because we literally hadn’t stopped moving since we boarded the plane to Australia, we were insanely happy to have some good food and sit down! Brother Burger is on the main street in Fitzroy and serves the best burgers and fries ever. Though we were so tired we could barely sit up, we still had a great meal in a funky restaurant. It was the perfect comfort food for our first night in Australia.
Breakfast Thieves, which was literally right next door to our apartment, is the perfect place to start your day. They have a variety of breakfast choices and some of the best pastries! The first time we went my sister and I shared the french toast, which was really good- though my sister did slip into a mild food coma afterwards. The second time I got eggs and toast, and the last day, before we left for Uluru, my mom, my sister, and I all shared some delicious croissants. The staff is really friendly and it’s a really cool joint.
Grumpy and the Dreaded One’s Little Cafe of Awesome
Despite the funny name, we had a great breakfast at Grumpy and the Dreaded One’s Little Cafe of Awesome. We didn’t see any grumpy or feel any dread. I got their delicious banana pancakes (which came with a side of ice cream #score!) and had some bites of my mom’s yummy breakfast tacos, which is what they’re known for. I also had their watermelon juice, which was SO refreshing and amazing! The cafe is in Fitzroy, which is a really cool part of town where we were staying.
Yo Chi is one of the best frozen yogurts I’ve ever had. There are 3 of them in the whole city, so you have no excuse not to go. At the Yo Chi we went to near the university, we picked a bowl, flavor, and toppings. But it’s not just any old do-it-yourself place, they have many crazy flavors and you get to choose as many toppings as your parent allows you to! I 100% recommend this place on a hot Melbourne day!
Good to know…
Currency: Australian Dollar
Transportation: No need to rent a car. Plenty trains, boats, and street cars.
Weather: Winters are wet, summers are hot, spring is the perfect time! P.S. For people on the northern hemisphere- don’t forget that the seasons are reversed.