Melbourne is just well – awesome. There is so much to do – history, museums, culture, music, art, food – Melbourne has everything. And in a large world class city like Melbourne, sometimes it is easy to be overwhelmed. I find, in cities like this, it is best to break it down into manageable chunks. Instead of spending half of your holiday time in transit between different sights and attractions, why not focus on one area and get the most out of your holiday time? And parents with kids in tow while appreciate maximum fun with minimum travel (and “our we there yet?”) time.
So in our first “day in Melbourne” itinerary we are going to focus on North Melbourne and Carlton. This area, just north of the main city CBD has enough to keep you exploring and busy for ages, but our 24 hour itinerary will give you a great taste of this area. And best of all, this itinerary will be loved as much by the kids as it will by the parents.
Early Morning – Breakfast at the Queen Victoria Markets
The Queen Victoria Markets are open bright and early, at 6AM every day bar Monday and Wednesday. The markets are housed in an absolutely massive complex and you will find almost everything here. Your standard tourist tatt is here, cheap childrens toys, antiques, clothes – absolutely everything. But its morning – so head straight to the food and deli section of the markets. Here you will find some incredible cafes, beautiful bakeries and some really great little deli’s. Grab some brekkie and get ready for a busy day. And maybe grab some nice deli products and cheeses for a picnic lunch – cause you won’t be able to resist when you see what is available at the Queen Vic markets.
Morning – The Melbourne Museum
I love the Melbourne Museum. The museum is open from 10 Am and if open every day. The museum is renowned for it’s dinosaur exhibition. You can spend all day wandering through the museum, but since we travel with a little one we actually spent most of our time in the children’s area. Now this isn’t any old boring childrens play area. Seriously. We had just as much fun as Jacob. You can build a Roman pillar or Mayan temple with giant foam blocks – and then knock it down! Our you can weigh yourself to see how many wombats you weigh before climbing on some giant animals.
Make sure you also check out what temporary exhibitions are on at the Museum as well.
Lunch – Picnic at Carlton Gardens
Just in front of the Melbourne Museum is the Royal Exhibition Building and the Carlton Gardens. The Royal Exhibition Building is actually a UNESCO world heritage site along with the Carlton Gardens. The gardens are a beautiful spot, with lakes and fountains and plenty of green spaces and benches. Take the goodies you saved from the Queen Victoria Markets, find a beautiful spot, and enjoy your lunch in a UNESCO world heritage site.
Afternoon – The Melbourne Zoo
Have you ever visited a world class, Victorian era zoo? The Melbourne Museum has 320 species of animals, including all of your Australian favourites, as well as a host of exotic animals. You can visit elephants, lemurs, orangutans, koalas, and penguins all in one day.
We all know that zoos are great places to go with the kids, but the Melbourne zoo has a special exhibit specially designed for children aged 3 – 8 that encourages children to learn about different animals through creative play. In fact, the play area has even recently won a Kidsafe award for its unique and creative play area.
Dinner – Lygon Street
Finish the day wandering down Lygon Street. Lygon Street is well known as a mecca of Italian culture in Melbourne, and you will be hard pressed to not find something delicious here. We went for a classic Italian pizza experience at Cafe Cavallino and finished off the day with some fresh Italian gelato, before heading back to our Lyon based hotel to collapse of food comas.
Got more time?
Easy, just spend a whole day at the museum and another whole day at the zoo. Believe me, it would be easy to do.
We visited North Melbourne as part of our Gippsland adventure tour with Choice Hotels. Stay tuned to hear more about our adventures and the fantastic locations we visited. Want to win your own Aussie Road Trip Adventure? Check out the Tom Williams Aussie Adventures competition for your chance to win.