Situated on the northern end of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is a diverse and multicultural city. While Melbourne is popularly known as the sporting and cultural capital of Australia with fantastic food, vibrant nightlife, exciting festivals and events, it also offers a diverse range of interesting attractions suitable for families. Be it outdoors or indoors, there is plenty to things to do right in the heart of the city and you are bound to find something for the family, making Melbourne an ideal destination for that family getaway.
This photo of Melbourne Aquarium is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Melbourne Aquarium –Begin your day by bringing your children to Melbourne Aquarium and wander through the transparent tunnels surrounded by over 10,000 species of marine animals. Melbourne Aquarium offers a unique experience for families to get close and know more about amazing sea creatures. Located on the banks of the Yarra River and opposite Crown Entertainment Complex, this particular four levels aquarium in Victoria is the newest aquarium in Australia and has a reputation of being the country’s most state of art aquarium and one of the biggest.
Melbourne Aquarium also offers four fascinating worlds – Antarctica, Weird & Wonderful, River to Reef and Sharks Alive – for visitors to get a more comprehensive aquatic experience. Different unique aquatic animals from Southern Ocean such as freshwater sawfish, king penguin, big-bellied seahorse, cownose ray and sandbar whaler shark are featured in the four different worlds.
There are also a variety of activities arranged to engage visitors of different ages. Visitors can go for a scuba dive into the deep waters and enjoy a face-to-face experience with the sharks. If you prefer to stay dry, there are guided tours for your family to have a glimpse of the work behind managing the whole aquarium. Fish feeding, which is particularly suitable for all ages, would be another activity to consider at the aquarium. Visitors can get direct access to the aquarium’s 2.2 million litre Oceanarium where they can feed these fishes. The Melbourne Aquarium is easily accessed by tram as the tram stop is located on the free City Circle Tram route.
Opening Hours: 9.30am to 6.00pm daily
Admission Prices: $34.90 (Adult), $21.50 (Child), $92 (Family – 2 adults, 2 children)
This photo of Queen Victoria Market is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Queen Victoria Market – After exploring the Melbourne Aquarium, make your way down to Victoria’s premier open-air market, Queen Victoria Market for a wide variety of fresh produce, clothing, jewellery and merchandise. Probably the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere covering around seven hectares, Queen Victoria Market has a long 130-year history and still remains as one of the most iconic examples of Melbourne’s great nineteenth century markets today.
With almost half of the market place selling fresh produce, the Market is most famous for its wide range of fresh produce including fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, seafood, poultry and specialty delicacies. Visitors can navigate around the Market easily because it is segmented into several Market Precincts – the Deli Hall, F shed laneway, Victoria Street Shops, Elizabeth Street Shops ,Vic Market Place Food Court, Fruit and Vegetables, The Meat Hall, General Merchandise, Organics and the Wine Market. Located on the corner of Victoria and Elizabeth Streets in the Melbourne CBD, visitors can travel to Queen Victoria Market easily by foot, car, tram or train.
Quick Tip: We recommend going on Sundays as it is an excellent day to bring the kids along, as Queen Street is closed on that day to cars and transforms into an outdoor café area which has a variety of activities targeted at children.
Opening Hours: Daily except Mondays, Wednesdays and public holidays like Good Friday, Anzac Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
This photo of Werribee Open Range Zoo is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Werribee Open Range Zoo – One of family’s favourite gathering destinations, the Werribee Open Range Zoo offers visitors an African safari experience just 30 minutes drive from the Melbourne’s city centre. Located on the Werribee River, Werribee Open Range Zoo is an African-themed zoo that span across 225 hectares of open savannah. The highlight of the trip to the Zoo would be the zoo’s latest addition, ‘Gorilla Calling’ which is one of the world’s largest gorilla exhibits. Visitors can catch the gorillas Silverback Motaba and his two youngest sons, Yakini and Ganyeka playing in their new natural home. Families can also take a 45 minutes safari tour to see wildlife animals such as zebra, waterbuck, giraffe, ostrich, rhinoceros, camels and oryx. On top of the standard safari tours, more adventurous visitors can sign up for the open vehicle tours to get an upclose experience with these amazing animals. We also recommend bringing your children to the simulated African village, with educational and entertaining features, including a simulated situation of an African ranger and his adventures tracking lions and an interactive soundscape walk with simulated lion sounds. Werribee Open Range Zoo would certainly be a great place for your children to learn more about wildlife animals and catch them ‘live’ in their natural habitats.
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm daily, last entry at 3.30pm.
Admission Price: $25.40 (Adult), $$12.60 (Child 4-15 years), $58 (Family – 2 adults, 2 children)
This photo of Black Light Mini Golf is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Black Light Mini Golf – Have you ever tried playing golf indoors? Black Light Mini Golf is an ideal destination for the kids to learn how to putt a golf ball. Located in the Melbourne’s Harbour Town Shopping Centre, the 18 hole mini indoor golf course uses UV Black lights and specially designed fluorescent mood lighting to stimulate the real experience of playing golf. Sounds of laughter and cheers puncture the air as kids and adults alike sink that putt. Besides lots of fun, this is definitely one of the most affordable ways to play golf in Melbourne!
Quick Tip: Wear enclosed footwear to prevent stubbing your toes.
Opening Hours: 12 noon to 7 pm (Monday to Thursday), 10am to 10.45pm (Friday, Saturday) 10am to 5pm (Sunday)
Admission Prices: $13 (Adult), $10 (Child), $40 (2 adults, 2 children)
And if you are planning your trip in May or June then Fraser Place Melbourne has the perfect promotions running till 30th June 2012. Stay 5 nights or more and get 1 night Free! Or Stay 3+ nights and Save$$ and receive Breakfast Check out the website http://melbourne.frasershospitality.com/ for more details.