Melbourne Itinerary: An Insider’s Guide to 7 Days in the City

If you’re heading to Australia, you’ll probably be spending some time in Melbourne. If not – why on earth not?! This 7 day Melbourne itinerary will help you decide what to do during your time in the city.

melbourne itinerary

Melbourne’s cityscape, as seen from the Melbourne Star.

You may have heard that Melbourne (pronounced Mel-bin-bun-ben in ‘Stralian – never Mel-bourn) was the recipient of the world’s most liveable city award for 7 years in a row. There’s a reason for this – it truly is a fantastic city to experience, as both a tourist and a resident.

I can attest to this, because I have lived in Melbourne for over two years and have no plans to move anywhere else. This Melbourne itinerary is rife with insider knowledge and will give you a good idea of which tourist attractions are worth checking out and where the locals tend to go for fun and frivolity.

Even if you have a whole week to spend in Melbourne, you’ll curse the relentless onward march of time. There’s so much to do in this city and always new shows to see, restaurants and cafés to eat at, bars popping up and new exhibitions to attend. Even as a resident, it’s near impossible to keep your finger on the pulse and see all there is to see.

It’s that good of a city. I’d go so far as saying – the very best (and I am a Sydneysider at heart)!

Read more: The Best Street Art in Melbourne

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. Clicking through for additional information or to make a purchase may result in a small commission. Please see my privacy policy for more information. Thank you.

melbourne itinerary

Street art in the city’s inner suburbs.

Your One Week Melbourne Itinerary

Here is a loose itinerary you can play around with. It will work as a 7 day Melbourne travel itinerary, or you can cut it down to four or five days. It’s up to you.

I have a fair bit of content on Melbourne, as I live in the city and have about ten million posts in the works, so be sure to bookmark this post! I’ve provided links throughout of other fun things to do in Melbourne.

Consider throwing some of these options into the mix, or alternatively, stick to the Melbourne itinerary provided.

Here’s what you’ll find on this particular Melbourne holiday itinerary:

  • Day 1: Get acquainted with the city’s Central Business District (CBD)
  • Day 2: Explore the sights south of the city
  • Day 3 Take a day trip to the coast
  • Day 4: See some icons of Melbourne
  • Day 5: Check out some popular urban areas
  • Day 6: Live like a local
  • Day 7: Head to the mountains or the valley

Melbourne Trip Tip: Consider grabbing a Melbourne Flexi-attraction pass, which will give you half price entry to many attractions on this itinerary. Depending on what activities you plan on doing, this could save you a heck-tonne of cash. You can use the pass for 3, 5 or 7 attractions.

Book your Melbourne Flexi-Pass here

melbourne itinerary

Bathing Boxes in Brighton.

Melbourne: Some Need Know Information

Melbourne Airports: Melbourne is serviced by three airports – Tullamarine is the main airport, northwest of the city, Essendon is a much smaller airport mainly used for flights to regional Australia and Avalon is in the west, close to Geelong. Odds are you’ll probably be flying in from Tullamarine. In an act of insanity, there’s no trainline out to the airport from the city, so your best option is a taxi, Uber, Ola, etc, Skybus, or pre-organised shuttle for $20 AUD a person.
Getting around: A Myki Card is necessary for travel around Melbourne via public transport. It’s a smartcard that you load money onto, in the style of pay-as-you-go ($30 is a good start for a few days in the city). Consider buying a pass if you’re staying in Melbourne for a week. You can buy them from any ticketing machine, from train stations, the airport and some tram stops and from select newsagencies – they’re priced at $6. Alternatively, if you have an Android phone, you can use that to tap through the turnstiles, in lieu of a card.

Read more: Interesting and Bizarre Facts About Melbourne

melbourne itinerary

There’s art everywhere in the CBD.

Where to Stay in Melbourne on your Trip

  • Budget: Melbourne City Backpackers has free breakfast and is close to Southern Cross Station.
  • Mid-range: The InterContinental Melbourne was built in 1891 (I would presume it has been renovated since then!) and features two restaurants, a lounge bar and a pool.
  • Lad-di-da: The Grand Hyatt is a high-rise with city views, which also boasts an indoor pool and spa.
  • Quirky: The NOTEL is not your average hotel – rather, it’s a collection of airstream trailers on a carpark rooftop. You can read a review about the experience of staying in one, here.
  • Boutique: The Cullen is a boutique hotel featuring decor inspired by artist Adam Cullen.
  • Eco-Friendly: The Alto is an eco-friendly, boutique hotel in the CBD – the first carbon neutral hotel in Australia!
Check out other hotel options in Melbourne here

melbourne itinerary

Sunset in the Docklands.

With all the logistics out of the way, let’s get on with the fun part – planning your Melbourne itinerary!

Day One – Get acquainted with the city’s Central Business District (CBD)

We’ll start in the centre of the city itself.

Melbourne’s CBD is quite compact and easy to navigate around, as it was planned within a handy grid system, leading to the area to be known as “The Grid”, really easy to remember.

One of the nicer aspects of this area, is that the trams are completely free. You don’t need to tap your Myki card on, unless you leave the Free Tram Zone. An announcement will be made, so you’ll know when this is happening. Basically, if you’ve gone south of the Yarra River, you’ll have to pay.

I thoroughly recommend jumping onto the browny/burgundy coloured City Circle Tram. There’s running commentary onboard and it’s an easy way to quickly get acquainted to the layout of the land.

Things to do on Day One of your Melbourne Itinerary

melbourne itinerary

Elixir of life, for most Melburnians.

Immediately have a coffee

If there’s one thing Melbourne (actually, much of Australia) does well, it’s coffee. Melburnians are obsessed with the stuff and so there are coffee places and cafés absolutely everywhere (remember to bring your KeepCup with you to save on waste!).

Artisan coffee is so popular that even Starbucks failed the first time it tried to get a hold on the Australian market. In its second attempt, it’s found itself catering largely to increasing tourists, rather than locals.

The CBD (the entire city, really) is crammed full of coffee shops, but if you need a little bit of direction, then here are four to start with.

  • Higher Ground 650 Little Bourke St
  • Brick Lane 33 Guildford Ln
  • Manchester Press 8 Rankins Ln
  • Good2Go Coffee 7-9 Hosier Ln

Visit the Melbourne Museum

Melbourne’s got some great museums, but the eponymous Melbourne Museum is one of the best.

The permanent exhibition is quite cool (lots of taxidermy) and the entry fee of $15 will get you into Bunjilaka, the Aboriginal Cultural Museum.

There are always interesting exhibitions going on – I thoroughly recommend Revolutions: Records and Rebels, showing until late August.

The Museum too is home to Melbourne’s IMAX, quite possibly the biggest in Australia since Sydney’s was torn down for some rubbish like luxury apartments, completely destroying my childhood. This IMAX regularly screens feature action films, such as classic The Mummy, with 90’s/00’s heartthrob Brendan Fraser (who I often like to Google for no real reason beyond the fact that he used to be super pretty).

melbourne itinerary

Captain Cook’s Cottage, transported to Melbourne from England.

Stroll around the Fitzroy Gardens

Melbourne is full of gorgeous parks (and Victoria is known as the garden state), but the heritage listed Fitzroy Gardens are my favourite after the Botanic, which we’ll get to later on.

Not only is it a very nice park in general, there are some quite interesting sights to see there.

Highlights include:

  • Coloniser Explorer Captain Cook’s Cottage, which was built in Yorkshire, England in 1755 and transported to Melbourne in 1934, to be rebuilt.
  • Ola Cohn’s Fairies Tree, covered with delightful carvings of magical creatures and Australian fauna.
  • A miniature Mock Tudor Village, presented to the City of Melbourne by the City of Lambeth, England, to say thanks to Melbourne for sending food to Britain during the Second World War.

And there are many more, but I’ll leave them for you to discover.

Check out Flinders Street and Federation Square

Flinders Street is to Melbourne what the Sydney Opera House is to Sydney, except not as world famous.

It’s Melbourne’s beautifully ornate central station, a hub for transport and for those exploring the city or who call it home.

Right across the street from Flinders is Federation Square, a collection of museums and galleries (ACMI, the Australian Centre for the Moving image and the Ian Potter Centre are both located here), bars, cafés and restaurants.

There is often markets or festivals held in the square and a giant screen is suspended and used to televise sporting events such as the Australian Open and Soccer World Cup.

melbourne itinerary

Melbourne has some truly colourful laneways.

Poke around the Laneways and Arcades

Melbourne is famous for the many laneways which can be found throughout the city, featuring colourful urban art, cafés, restaurants, coffee stops, boutique shops and bars.

The following are some of the better known laneways, but you could stroll into most and find something interesting:

  • Hosier Lane – best for art
  • Union Lane – see above
  • Rutledge Lane – see above above
  • AC/DC Lane – named after the famous Aussie band
  • Degraves Street – great for cafés and restaurants

You could spend a whole day exploring Melbourne’s laneways, either by yourself or as part of a guided tour.

Book onto a Melbourne Laneways tour here

Have dinner in Chinatown

Melbourne’s Chinatown has been around since the 1850’s, takes up two blocks and is fantastic to stroll down, with plenty of interesting laneways, bars and restaurants lining its streets.

If anything, you need to go there for the dumplings. My favourite places are the chain Shanghai Street on Little Bourke Street and Hu Tong on Market Lane.

If you feel so inclined, you can jump on a dumpling tour, which lasts for three hours and will leave you feeling immensely satisfied.

Book a place on the Dumpling Walking Tour here

melbourne itinerary

Lucy Liu Bar in the city.

Go bar hopping

Melbourne’s got the best nightlife of probably anywhere in Australia and some of its hotspots are pretty unreal. There are bars littered across the city, probably rivalling the number of cafés!

Here are a few of my favourites, some of which are themed, some are secret and all are particularly pleasant if you enjoy cocktails.

  • 1806 169 Exhibition St
  • Berlin Bar 2/16 Corrs Ln
  • House of Correction Denyers Building, Level 4/264 Swanston St
  • State of Grace 27 King St

And roll into bed whenever you want, to complete the first of your 7 day Melbourne itinerary!

Day 2 – Explore the sights south of the city

Today we will go south of the river, where there is still plenty of things to do and see. Don’t forget to touch on your myki card, as we’ll be leaving the Tram Free Zone!

Things to do on Day Two of your Melbourne Itinerary

melbourne itinerary

South Melbourne Market.

Check out the South Melbourne Market

This fabulous market is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. If day two of your Melbourne itinerary falls on one of these days, it’ll be an ideal place to grab some brekky, get a coffee and wander around until you’ve shaken off the night before.

The market is full of fresh produce, dairy and meat shops, interesting little food stalls, bookstores, florists… you can find a wide array of items here.

Wander around the Royal Botanic Gardens

These are my favourite gardens in Victoria, not only because they are lovely to walk around, but there’s always heaps to do there!

You can go punting on the lake, do a climate or Aboriginal Heritage walk and in the summer time, chill out and watch some Moonlight Cinema.

Or, just take your own picnic, relax and enjoy the serenity.

melbourne itinerary

The Shrine at night.

Visit the Shrine of Remembrance

Now you’re feeling somewhat refreshed, we’ll head east to the Shrine of Remembrance, the biggest and I would say grandest war memorial in Oz.

This building honours all Australian people and animals who have been affected by war, whether they gave their time or their lives to support the cause.

There are many interesting aspects to The Shrine, as it is known in amongst locals. The Eternal Flame, a permanent gas flame, burns outside its entrance. Once a year, on the 11th November (Remembrance Day) at 11am, when Australians around the country are holding a minutes of silence in memorial, a ray of sunlight shines through an aperture in the roof to light up the word “Love” in an inscription inside the Shrine, which reads “Greater love hath no man”.

You can also climb up the roof, which offers fantastic views of the city, from the south looking in (and it’s wonderfully free, to boot).

Take a cruise along the Yarra

Seeing a city from the water is always a fun experience and Melbourne’s certainly a city with plenty of sights to see.

There are river cruises that leave the city and travel along to the port suburb of Williamstown, which is a really lovely trip to take.

Book a ticket onto a Yarra cruise here

melbourne itinerary

A past exhibition at the NGV.

Check out the National Gallery of Victoria

This is hands down my favourite Melbourne attraction.

The NGV is the best art gallery in the country and attracts world class exhibitionss – everything from the works of Van Gogh, to Dior’s haute couture.

Some exhibits have an entry fee, but not all of them, so be sure to check their website to see what’s on. In any case, the permanent exhibit is free to enter, so there’s not ever any lines for that.

Melbourne Trip Tip: If there is an exhibition you want to see, book tickets in advance online. The booking fee is worth avoiding the usually massive wait to get in!

Gaze out across the city from Eureka Skydeck 88

Eureka Skydeck 88 is currently the highest point from which you can ogle Melbourne.

For the more daring, there is the experience known as “The Edge”, where you’ll stand out on glass cubes to take it all in… and yes, that includes a glass floor! Eek.

One part of Skydeck that I quite like is the fact that it’s home to the highest post box in Australia – a fun fact to scribble on the back of any card posted from there.

Book your entry ticket to Eureka Skydeck 88 here

melbourne itinerary

Seeing “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne.

See a show!

Melbourne’s the place for shows in Australia! Check out which musicals are playing at the moment (such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!), or check out the Arts Centre to see if there’s anything there that will tickle your fancy.

If you’re after comedy, there’s a great annual Comedy Festival held in the city. If it’s not festival time, you can head to the Comic’s Lounge, where new and veteran comedians trial material in front of audiences.

Melbourne Trip Tip: Arts Centre Melbourne set aside at least 20 tickets every night, priced at $30. This is a massive saving and something worth considering! To get involved with tixatsix, make sure you line up at the theatre box office before 6pm and see what’s on offer for the night.

Day 3 – Take a day trip to the coast

On day three of your 7 day Melbourne itinerary, we’re going to get out of the city and head to a popular and very beautiful tourist destination – The Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road is a coastal road which will take you around dramatic cliffs, past bushland and through gorgeous seaside towns.

Stretching 243 kilometres in length, it starts at a town called Torquay and ends at Allansford, just outside of Warrnambool.

You have two options – to self-drive the Great Ocean Road, or take an organised tour.

If you plan to drive it, you can rent a car in the city and drive out on the day. You don’t have to go there and back along the coast, as there’s a much quicker option that will take you back to the city through a highway.

A couple of things to consider – we drive on the left hand side in Australia and you may need an international licence – you can check here.

melbourne itinerary

The 12 Apostles, a natural landmark along the Great Ocean Road.

Compare options for rental cars here

Alternatively and to save the hassle, book onto a day tour that will take you to many of the sights along the Great Ocean Road.

This tour is engineered to avoid most of the crowds, by hitting the attractions in reverse.

Book your spot on a Great Ocean Road Tour here

melbourne itinerary

At the entrance to the Great Ocean Road.

Things to do on Day Three of your Melbourne Itinerary

Here are some of the sights can can expect to see along the Great Ocean Road.

  • Great Ocean Road ArchThis arch pays homage to the workers who constructed the road and marks its beginning.
  • Towns of Torquay and LorneTwo popular and very pretty towns along the GOR.
  • Limestone stacks of The 12 ApostlesProbably the best known sight, a bunch of limestone stacks, left over from cliff erosion.
  • Loch Ard GorgeGorge named after the Loch Ard which was shipwrecked here in 1878. Lots of great coastal walks around here.
  • London Arch Originally known as London Bridge, it ironically collapsed in 1990, leaving two tourists stranded.
  • Great Otway National ParkBeautiful national park full of waterfalls and a cool lighthouse.
  • Aussie Wildlife Here’s your chance to see some Aussie fauna, particularly our cute koalas!
  • melbourne itinerary

    More Apostle goodness.

    After a full day of sightseeing, head back to the city and relax!

    Here are some other options for possible day trips from Melbourne, if you’re after more inspiration.

    Day 4 – See some icons of Melbourne

    Day four of your 7 day Melbourne itinerary will take you to some other coastal sights – notably the famous beach boxes of Brighton and a visit to see Melbourne’s smallest and cutest residents – Fairy Penguins!

    Things to do on Day Four of your Melbourne Itinerary

    melbourne itinerary

    Or pizza. Pizza is good, too.

    Have a lazy brunch in the city

    Let’s start with a time-honoured Australian tradition – brunch.

    We love this meal, because it combines all the things that Aussies hold dear – good conversation, good food and good coffee.

    Here are some places to consider.

    • Om Nom Kitchen 187 Flinders Ln
    • Cumulus Inc. 45 Flinders Ln
    • The Grain Store 517 Flinders Ln
    melbourne itinerary

    The bathing boxes of Brighton are a huge tourist attraction.

    Visit the iconic Brighton beach boxes

    After you’re fed, you’re going to head to Brighton Beach to check out its very colourful beach boxes.

    These popular boxes are considered to be the ultimate social icon, fetching staggering prices when they hit the market – the last one sold fetched $330,000 AUD in March 2019.

    In order to own one, you have to be a local ratepayer, but as Brighton is considered to be one of the most affluent suburbs of Melbourne, clearly the residents here can afford such an expense!

    Melbourne Trip Tip: To get Brighton by public transport, catch a train on the Sandringham line from Flinders Street to Brighton Beach Railway Station. It’s a short stroll from there to the bathing boxes. If you’re coming by car, it takes around 20 minutes to get to the beach from the city, traffic dependent.

    Read more: 50+ Unique Things to Do in Melbourne

    melbourne itinerary

    The view from Phillip Island by (very windy) day.

    Visit Phillip Island to see the Fairy Penguins

    Phillip Island is a destination of its own accord. It’s the place where the Formula One Grand Prix is held and an excellent option for a day trip from Melbourne.

    However, we’re hitting the island for one thing and one thing alone – the little Fairy Penguins that inhabit it.

    These little fellas return to the island after a hard day’s fishing to curl up and sleep. Visitors are allowed to watch them return from Penguin Parade, as they try not faint from all the cuteness before them.

    Phillip Island is around a ninety minute drive from the city and is incredibly popular, so be sure to book your in advance.

    Here are some means of getting to Phillip Island.

    If you’re looking for a tour that combines the two, consider the option below.

    Book your spot on a Beach Boxes and Penguins Tour here

    Day 5 – Explore some popular urban areas

    We’re going to get out of the city again today, but we’re not going to go far.

    Rather, we’re going to make a quick journey to some of the inner suburbs, surrounding the CBD – Collingwood and Fitzroy.

    Both are extremely easy to navigate to (by tram or train) and have a range of things to do or see.

    There’s old, historic buildings, plenty of street art, good food and shopping – what more could you ask for?

    Read more: The Best Neighbourhoods to Explore in Melbourne

    melbourne itinerary

    At the nearby Collingwood Children’s Farm.

    Things to do on Day Five of your Melbourne Itinerary

    Visit the Abbotsford Convent

    We’ll start the day off near Collingwood, heading over to the Abbotsford Convent.

    The convent spreads over 16 acres and is Oz’s largest multi-arts precinct. Here you’ll find studios, galleries, a school, a radio station, restaurants and cafés

    Right next to the convent is the Collingwood Children’s Farm, an urban farm in the city. It contains horses, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens guinea pigs and is great for all ages – particularly as you can get up close to many of the animals there.

    Grab a bev at the Stomping Ground

    Melburnians love their craft beer and Collingwood is an excellent destination to get acquainted with Australia’s finest hops. Head to the Stomping Ground Brewery for a bevvie, whether your poison of choice be beer or cider (or soft drink… or water!).

    It’s a lovely indoor beer hall, very popular in the area.

    melbourne itinerary

    Dinner in a train? Yes please!

    Dine in a train in Collingwood

    Starting to feel a bit peckish? Why not take the opportunity to dine in a train, at Easey’s. Yep, this restaurant is a renovated train, elevated onto a rooftop in Collingwood and sells burgers, hotdogs, milkshakes and cocktails.

    Head to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy for Shopping

    Now that you’re fed and watered, it’s time to partake in one of the joys of Melbourne – shopping.

    Melbs is Australia’s premier shopping destination and people around the country congregate in this city for a bit of retail therapy.

    Brunswick Street has an excellent range of shops, from op (opportunity, our version of charity/thrift shops) shops and high end boutique stores, selling the most beautiful clothes.

    If it’s the weekend, take some time to check out the Rose Street Artist’s Market for some locally made artwork, jewellery and such.

    melbourne itinerary

    Okay, this sunset is in Collingwood, but still – pretty!

    Watch the sun go down from Naked for Satan

    Cap the day off with dinner at Naked for Satan, where you’ll eat Spanish tapas on a rooftop, with excellent views of the city.

    Brunswick Street has a pretty good nightlife, so if you’ve got another late night round in you, I say go for it!

    Day 6 – Live like a local

    Here’s another “choose your own adventure” – on the sixth day of your 7 day Melbourne itinerary, you’ll get to choose which suburb of Melbourne to head to, to experience life as a local.

    If you plan well, you’ll probably be able to squeeze more than one in. If you’re super keen, you could get to all three!

    Things to do on Day Six of your Melbourne Itinerary

    melbourne itinerary

    Welcome to colourful Brunswick.

    Go to Brunswick

    Brunswick is an inner suburb, north of the city, known for its trendy, grungy vibe. Here are a few things you can do there.

    Have a high tea at Mary Eats Cake

    There are some fabulous places for High Tea in Melbourne and one such destination is Mary Eats Cake in Brunswick.

    Their High Teas are held from 10am every weekend, cost a very reasonable $52 and they cater for dietary requirements.

    Read more: A Visit to Overnewton Castle in Keilor

    melbourne itinerary

    If you like brightly colour knitwear, you’ll love Otto and Spike.

    Buy some gorgeous knitwear at Otto and Spike

    Otto and Spike make their knitwear in Brunswick. Their wares are top quality, very colourful and warm. Their Melbourne tram socks in particular will make a great souvenir for you, or a present to bring home to a loved one!

    Check out the local street art

    Brunswick’s street art is pretty unique, so have a wander around and take it all in. There’s plenty to be found around Sydney Rd and Lygon Street.

    melbourne itinerary

    Trippy art in Brunswick.

    Grab a drink where Beyonce too has drunk

    When in Australia in 2013, Beyonce travelled to Brunswick, to take a picture out the front of a random house, then grab a drink at the Retreat Hotel.

    So, head to this pub on Sydney Road if you fancy doing as Beyonce once did.

    melbourne itinerary

    A hedge head in Hawthorn.

    Go to Hawthorn

    Hawthorn is a rather affluent suburb, east of the city.

    Explore the Melbourne Tram Museum

    Fascinated by Melbourne’s trams? You can get your fill of them at the Tram Museum. There’s a range of historic trams and information about the impact this mode of transport had on shaping modern Melbourne.

    melbourne itinerary

    AFL-related street art in Hawthorn.

    See the Hawks play at an AFL game

    Hawthorn is home to one of the oldest teams in the Aussie Rules league, (the AFL) – the Hawks. If you’re sports mad, why not try and catch a game, to see them play?

    Better yet, you can tour the MCG, the largest stadium in Australia, to learn about the country’s sporting history.

    Book a tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground here

    Get lost amongst literature at Readings

    Readings is one of the best bookshops in Melbourne, located in both Carlton and Hawthorn. Go and have a browse and perhaps pick up some fantastic Aussie literature while you’re at it!

    Eat your way around Glenferrie Road

    Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn has a wide range of cuisines, just waiting to be sampled.

    melbourne itinerary

    Street art in Northcote.

    Go to Northcote

    Northcote is north of the city (as the name may suggest) and has a wide range of things to do, alongside some gorgeous urban art.

    Check out All Nations Park

    All Nations Park is a public space, built on an old landfill. There’s children’s play equipment, a duck pond and plenty of public art to check out.

    melbourne itinerary

    Welcome to Thornbury, come for a drink and stay for awhile.

    Have lunch at Welcome to Thornbury

    Welcome to Thornbury is Melbourne’s leading beer garden, with food trucks, an indoor and outdoor drinking area and games arcade!

    See live music at the Northcote Social Club

    The Northcote Social Club is a pub and restaurant with live music seven days a week. See if anything strikes your fancy while you’re in the area!

    Read more: Forget Dinner and Drinks: Quirky Date Ideas in Melbourne

    melbourne itinerary

    A New Holland Honeyeater in the Dandenongs.

    Day 7 – Head to the mountains or the valley

    You’ll spend the last day of your Melbourne Itinerary seeing some of the surrounding sights of Melbourne and immersing yourself in nature.

    Things to do on Day Seven of your Melbourne Itinerary

    There are plenty of places in Victoria that you could travel to in a day trip from Melbourne, as it’s a pretty compact state. I’m going to give you tips for two of the more popular ones – the Dandenong Ranges (referred to as simply “the Dandenongs”) and the Yarra Valley.

    What to do at the Dandenong Ranges

    The Dandenongs are around a 45-55 minutes drive from Melbourne’s CBD (dependent on traffic) and so are the best option if you don’t want to drive too far. There are plenty of things to do in the Dandenongs – here are some of the most popular activities.

    melbourne itinerary

    Beautiful strips of flowers at Kabloom.

    Check out a flower festival

    Tesselaar Tulip Festival is held every spring, from mid-September to mid-October and if you’re into flowers and colours, it’s worth checking out.

    The same venue holds a flower festival in April (our Autumn), known as Kabloom.

    If you do go to see the flowers, please keep to the paths and don’t climb over the signs to go frolicking amongst the flowers, something they specifically ask not to do, just for likes on social media. You’re better than that.

    See the sculptures at William Ricketts Sanctuary

    If you’re at all interested in Aboriginal Australia, you should go see the sculptures at William Ricketts Sanctuary.

    Ricketts spent a chunk of his life living with Indigenous communities and adopted their philosophies, while believing all Australians should do the same.

    Located in this sancutary are over 90 of his sculptures of Aboriginal people, carved into rocks and tree trunks.

    His sculptures are detailed, thoughtful and quite beautiful. Certainly worth seeing if you’re in the area.

    melbourne itinerary

    Winter in the Gardens.

    Look for lyrebirds at the National Rhododendron Gardens

    The national Rhododendron Gardens are lovely any time of the year (I visited in the dead of winter and still had a great time). Watch out for lyrebirds – native Australian birds that can mimic the sounds around them.

    They’re more likely to make an appearance during the warmer months.

    Grab a cuppa at Olinda Tea House

    It can get mighty cold up in the mountains and you’d be best to pop into a tea shop, to warm yourself up.

    My favourite is the Olinda Tea house – the setting is gorgeous, they have wonderful teas and very tasty custard buns!

    melbourne itinerary

    The view from Mt Dandenong.

    Watch the sunset from Sky High Mt Dandenong

    If you’re after a vantage point from which to watch the sunset, head to Sky High.

    Along with the view, there’s a café and restaurant, a maze, bush walks, gardens to explore and a possum tree!

    There is an entry fee of $7 per car, but if you visit in August, on Monday through to Friday and show them this voucher, you’ll get in for free.

    Take a ride on Puffing Billy

    Steam train Puffing Billy has been rolling through the Dandenongs for over a century now, travelling over the rather iconic Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge.

    You can journey aboard the train, opt to book a lunch within the first class carriages or book onto the Steam and Cuisine After Dark.

    There’s even an annual Train Race, where runners compete against the steam train – although at its age, it’s probably not too hard to beat!

    Melbourne Trip Tip: Combine a tour that takes you to Healesville Sanctuary and allows you to ride upon Puffing Billy.
    melbourne itinerary

    Yes, a very Grand Hotel in Healesville.

    Read more: Things to Do on a Day Trip to the Yarra Valley

    What to do in the Yarra Valley

    The Yarra Valley is around an hour and twenty minutes from Melbourne’s CBD by car. There are also plenty of day tours you can take from Melbourne to the Yarra Valley, if you don’t want to drive.

    melbourne itinerary

    Yum, yum, yum!

    Stuff yourself full at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie

    If you’re into sweets, the Chocolaterie is a must visit.

    They sell delicious chocolate and ice cream, as well as chocolate scented products and have free samples for tasting. The Chocolaterie too offers up lovely views of the surrounding valley.

    Drink wine!

    The main reason people tend to visit the Yarra Valley, is for the wine. There are plenty of well-known wine producers operating out of this area, such as Rochford Wines, Oakridge Wines – even Chandon grows grapes out here.

    If you’re self-driving to the Yarra Valley, I highly recommend keeping off the main drag of the Maroondah Highway and exploring the backstreets for smaller vineyards, who still make extraordinary wines and won’t charge you for tastings.

    Wine not your thing? Check out Four Pillars, a small distillery in the very picturesque town of Healesville.

    Book onto a wine tour from Melbourne here

    melbourne itinerary

    Feeding some spiky cuties at Healesville Sanctuary.

    Visit Healesville Sanctuary

    Healesville Sanctuary is one of Melbourne’s three main zoos – the difference here is that this zoo focuses on the conservation of native Australian animals.

    So, if you want to get your fill of kangaroos, echidnas, platypus, dingos and emus, you’d best head here.

    The zoo offers up additional add-ons, where you can get up close to a friendly wombat or feed the echidnas some mushy dinner, great for kids big and small.

    Book your entry to Healesville Sanctuary here

    Take a hot air balloon over the valley

    The Yarra Valley is undeniably beautiful and it sure is something to see it from the air!

    Fortunately, there are opportunities to take hot air balloon rides over the valley, early in the morning – followed by a champagne breakfast, nonetheless!

    Book a trip in a hot air balloon here

    melbourne itinerary

    I recommend the rosé.

    Have dinner at Innocent Bystander

    Innocent Bystander is a vineyard with a cellar door and restaurant in Healesville. Their wines are delicious and they make a darn good pizza, to boot.

    If you’re after a lighter option, I highly recommend the pies at the Beechworth Bakery right next door.

    This should give you a good overview of what Melbourne has to offer. It truly is a magnificent city that has something for everyone. The worst thing about it, is you may never want to leave! I know the feeling well – it’s the reason I now live in Melbourne!

    Hopefully this Melbourne itinerary has given you a good idea of how to plan your trip. I hope you enjoy all that this magical city has to offer.

    Read more: Road Tripping the Silo Art Trails in Victoria

    melbourne itinerary

    One last time, with feeling.

    Last Tidbits of Information

    Look for Melbourne Hotels here.
    I recommend The Alto.
    Check out my tips on avoiding looking like a tourist in Australia.
    See my other posts about Melbourne here.
    Here’s more on Australia.

    Want to read more content like this? Follow along on Facebook or sign up to the monthly newsletter!

    Heading to Melbourne? Pin for future reference!

    Here is a 4, 5 or 7 day Melbourne itinerary, written by a local. This guide mixes well-known icons of the city with some insider's secrets! Explore the city and well-known suburbs of #Fitzroy, #Brunswick and #Collingwood. Take day trips to popular tourist destinations like the Yarra Valley, Great Ocean Road and the #Dandenongs. / Fun things to do in #Melbourne / Where to stay in Melbourne / Weekend in Melbourne / Melbourne Attractions / Day Trips From Melbourne / #VisitVictoria / #YarraValley /

    Please note: All prices are in AUD.


LC can often be found nursing a cup of green tea, with her head in a book. She is a writer, video editor and professional cheese eater. Her life's aspiration is to one day live on a farm in Tasmania with 11 dogs, a Shetland pony and several pygmy goats. Follow along on Facebook or sign up to the monthly newsletter.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Helen - June 1, 2019

I’ve been to Melbourne twice but for work, and both times I was too bloomin jetlagged to do anything in the apart from see Flinders Street and Fed Square 🙁 I did drag myself out of bed for a Phillip Island penguin parade tour the second time though, I’d do anything for those adorable little guys! The other thing I really wanted to do but didn’t manage was going to see Ramsay Street haha

    LC - June 6, 2019

    I’ll admit I’ve never got the appeal (was more of a Home and Away fan!) but it is a popular option!

Where To Stay In Melbourne – A Guide To The Best Neighborhoods - June 27, 2019

[…] out her complete 7 Day itinerary to Melbourne for more ideas and travel […]

Leave a Reply:

error: Content is protected !!