67 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VI, AU, 3000
- Phone: (61) 3 96547011
- Fax: (61) 3 96507107
Located just three kilometers (1.2 miles) from the city center, Albert Park Lake is a 45 hectare (111 acre) expanse of water, set in parkland. Originally a swampy lagoon, drainage works last century deepened and reshaped the lake, making it into a popular venue for boating. The lake boasts a variety of bird life including Australia's famous black swans, as well as an impressive fountain in the center. It is ringed by a five kilometer running track and surrounded by 11 separate picnic areas featuring shelter sheds, seating and barbecues, as well as playgrounds and a lookout tower. The surrounding parkland is also home to a par 72 golf course and driving range, while in March Albert Park is the venue of the Qantas Australian Formula One Grand Prix. There is also a brand new aquatic center, ovals and other sporting facilities.
To experience Australian wildlife, take a night walk with Eco-Adventure Tours. Many bush animals are either nocturnal or become most active at twilight. As you follow your guide into the mountain forests, you'll spot eyes glinting in the darkness and hear the rustle of animals in the undergrowth. Animals often seen or heard during the tour include possums, kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, bats and wombats. Night tours last around two hours, starting at dusk. The company also runs daytime nature walks. Tours need a minimum of 4 people to run and are subject to good weather. Disabled access tours available by arrangement.
This quaint little cottage may not rival the splendors of other historic homes like Como House, Labassa or Rippon Lea, but it is older than them all. It is one of the longest-standing structures in Victoria. Originally the home of the State's first Governor, Lieutenant LaTrobe, the pre-fabricated La Trobe's Cottage was shipped from England to accompany him, and then erected in Melbourne near Spring Street. In the 1950s it was moved to its new home in the lovely Domain gardens, close to Government House and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Check website for varying dates.
Just a stone's throw from St. Kilda Beach and Luna Park, Acland Street offers shopping for the hedonist. You'll find funky street cafes, independent boutiques selling street fashion, ethnic homeware stores and continental cakes shops piled high with pastries. Like the people who come here, the street is colorful, with brightly tiled seats, umbrellas at the sidewalk tables and wacky metallic sculptures perched on top of verandahs, including one of a crashed rocket ship.
Melbourne was once a very different to how it is now. It was a place where the Bunurong and Woiworung people hunted in the bush land and fished in the Yarra River for thousands of years before white people came. This walking tour aims to rediscover some of this hidden history, all but obliterated by 200 years of white settlement. Commencing at the Visitors Centre, walkers go with a Koori guide through the Gardens that were once rich hunting grounds and ceremonial land, learning about the lifestyles of Melbourne's first settlers and the traditional uses for native plants.
Born of great gratitude towards volunteers who protected the state of Victoria and Australia at great cost, the Shrine of Remembrance was dedicated in 1934, and constantly features new exhibitions in a spectacular reserve setting with monuments and gardens. The premise with its ancient Greek-influenced architecture is fraught with symbolism. For a special Remembrance Day, see the natural Ray of Light shine through the roof onto the Stone of Remembrance illuminating the word "love" at precisely 11am every November 11th. Visit this beautiful peaceful place for a sober recognition of sacrifices made by those before us. There are two guided tours daily, and the Ray Of Light remembrance service occurs in the Sanctuary every half hour. Admission free, but donations welcome.
Imaginations spring to life in this garden developed especially for children. Snuggled into a fenced-off corner of Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens, the garden provides a fantasy-like landscape to explore. Young adventurers can climb the lookout tower, scramble through plant tunnels, discover ruins in a rain forest grotto, and float leaf boats downstream by the wetlands pond. Many of the garden's plants have been chosen for their fairy-tale shapes, such as pygmy trees with bottle-shaped trunks. Children's activities are held regularly, including plant crafts and theatrical performances.
Once a haven for fringe dwellers, Greville Street has become seriously trendy in recent years. The street is lined with stores that lay down the fashion norms around town. It has changed from it’s earlier reputation as a not so fashionable area to a hot spot of clothing chains. It is also where you will find the most popular bars in the area. If you want to rent out a place here then you really have to dig your hands deep into your pocket.
It may have been built in the 19th century, but the views from this miniature observatory are timeless. Originally constructed to photograph the transit of Venus, it now opens regularly to the public for viewings of the moon and planets. Once inside, sit on one side of the dome and murmur a message to a friend on the other. The acoustic properties make your voice seem to jump right into your buddy's ear. When the observatory's closed, you can view it from the outside while eating at the nearby Observatory Cafe.
Established in 1846, Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens are magnificently landscaped and boast a superb collection of over 50,000 plants from all around Australia and the world. Spend a few hours strolling around, observing the beautiful black swans and water birds. The Plant Craft Cottage sells unique handcrafts and the Observatory Café is great for light refreshments. The more formal The Terrace, a restaurant ideal for corporate and private functions. Admission to the park is free.
Built in 1861, the beautiful white edifice of Prahran Town Hall represents the civic history of Melbourne. Be it the stunning clock tower or the quaint Victorian architecture, the building forms a wonderful sight. Today its houses many offices and government memorabilia that chronicles the municipal history till date.