Melbourne is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world as the Australian coastal city has so much variety to offer, and as such, everybody is catered for. The capital of Victoria is booming today and with glorious weather throughout the year, it is easy to see why so many people go on their holiday there at various parts of the calendar. Here are five places you should look out for on your next visit to the city.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
If you are lucky enough to visit Melbourne during the summer, you should be able to catch a day’s play at Melbourne Cricket Ground. This venue has hosted some fantastic Test matches over the years, particular in the Ashes series against England. It was also used for the World Cup finals in 1992 and 2015, the latter of which Australia won when they beat rivals New Zealand by seven wickets.
This ground is the oldest and biggest sporting venue in Australia and was used during the 1956 Olympic Games. The total capacity is 100,024; therefore, when it is full, you will struggle to find a better atmosphere anywhere in the world.
The Australian soccer team play many of their home FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Melbourne, while this ground is also used for the State of Origin, which is a huge rugby league game between Queensland and New South Wales.
If you are in Melbourne when there is no sporting action at the stadium, you can book yourself in for a tour. The National Sports Museum is housed there so you will see all kinds of memorabilia from the world of sport, including pieces from the 1956 Olympics.
Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is to Melbourne what Central Park is to New York. If you love parks and greenery, this is a must place to spend a day during your trip to the south coast. In the heart of the city, the botanic gardens showcase over 10,000 different plants and in doing so, educate us on why they are so important for human life. There is also so much wildlife on offer across the 94 acres of land.
This is a fantastic place to take some young kids for the day as the centre does its best to provide an education to children with some fun activities for them to take part in meaning they will enjoy their visit just as much as the adults.
Whilst at the Royal Botanic Gardens, look out for the carefully maintained lawns. There are 11 in total all of which are presented in different shapes and patterns. The lakes and trees on the land are also popular attractions here so you won’t be short of things to see and do during your visit.
The Melbourne Cup is an annual race, which takes place on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington Racecourse and is known as ‘the race which stops a nation’. Some people travel to Melbourne just for this horse racing meeting alone. It is the richest two-mile handicap anywhere in the world and is one of the highlights of the international racing calendar. The 3200m contest is part of the Spring Racing Carnival and it has been held since 1861. In 2015, Australian jockey Michelle Payne made history by becoming the first female rider to win the contest when she was successful of board Prince of Penzance.
If you are not in Melbourne while the race is taking place, there are a host of other tracks you can attend if you fancy a day at the races. One of the most popular racecourses to attend in the region is Pakenham, who host meetings throughout their year. Their leading race day takes place in December with the Pakenham Cup, in which Oddschecker is tipping up Rip Girl at a best price of 2.05 with the bookies to win the opening race. Not only does top-class racing take place that day, but there is also live music, festival celebrations and a range of marquees to walk around.
Kids and adults alike love a day at the zoo so this place won’t disappoint. There are more than 320 species from around the world in the zoo, which is open 365 days a year. It is easily accessible by rail as you alight at Royal Park station.
Before visiting, log onto the zoo’s website to find out what the latest exhibitions are each week. There is also a map on the site which you can print at home to help you plan your trip. There is 55-acres of land at the zoo, therefore, you are likely to need at least half a day to get around, while some prefer to take their time and have a spot of lunch in the restaurant on site and spend a full day there.
Rod Laver Arena
If tennis is your thing, the Rod Laver Arena is likely to be on your list of places to visit during your stay in the city. The Australian Open, which is one of the four Grand Slams in the sport, takes place here every January in the sunshine on hard courts.
The arena is named after the greatest ever Australian men’s singles player, who won 11 Grand Slam singles titles during his career between 1956 and 1977. Laver is one of a small group of players in the history of the game to have won all four Grand Slams in the same calendar year. He achieved that feat in in 1962 as an amateur and then again in 1969 during the Open era.
Due to the heat during the tournament, some of the sessions take place in the evening as the temperatures drop slightly, making that part of the day the best time to sit down and watch a game of tennis with a cold beverage.