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51 unusual & unique things to do in Melbourne

Think you’ve seen and done all that Melbourne has to offer? Think again. Here’s an epic list of some unique things to do in Melbourne.

View of Melbourne's cityscape from Williamstown, with colourful boats and seagulls in the foreground.
Seagulls and brightly coloured boats in Williamstown, in Melbourne’s west.

Keen to see a different side of Melbourne?

Perhaps you’re a soon-to-be or frequent traveller who want to go beyond the main tourist sites.

Or, you simply want to delve a little deeper into the city you call home.

Well, rest assured – there’s plenty of unusual and unique things to do in Melbourne.

Love art? Explore a ‘housemuseum’.

Want to learn something new? Discover how to make gin or go on a tour to discover what common weeds can be incorporated into your cooking routine.

No matter what your preference – history buff, nature enthusiast, foodie, adrenaline seeker or fitness freak – there’ll be something here to suit you.

Spending awhile in the city? Here are some options on where to stay in Melbourne, featuring the pros and cons of staying in the more popular suburbs.

Unique things to do in Melbourne

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Here’s a list of some of the more unusual things to do in Melbourne.

1. Explore the Lyon Housemuseum in Kew

The Lyon Housemuseum is a hybrid private house and museum… hence the name.

It’s the private residence of Corbett and Yueji Lyon. Designed by Corbett, it plays host to works of contemporary art, architecture and design.

This housemuseum is open for tours on designated days of the year. Pre-bookings are essential. It’s definitely one of the more unique things to do in Melbourne.

There’s a second spectacular house museum in nearby Prahran – the Justin Art House Museum, which is also well-worth a visit.

Find out more about visiting the Lyon Housemuseum.

2. Punt on the Lake at the Royal Botanic Gardens

There are many things on offer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, but one of the coolest things you can do there is go punting on the lake.

Punt for a lazy 30 minutes by day or choose an evening hour-long tour. It’s a wonderful option for a quirky date in Melbourne.

Inside Melbourne's Break Room, where a statue holding a baseball bat sits on a white piano next to green and pink helmets.x
Inside The Break Room.

3. Smash Things at The Break Room in Collingwood

An innovative and sustainable idea, this is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Melbourne.

At the Break Room you are given 20 minutes to destroy things in a self-contained room, to the music of your choice.

Work through any lingering issues with an ex lover/friend, or overbearing boss – or just have a smashing good time.

4. Visit the Heide Museum of Modern Art

Most visitors to Melbourne flock to the National Gallery of Victoria – and fair enough. Its two beautiful venues regularly feature world-class exhibitions.

However, it is very much worth making a trip to Heide in the city’s east. This museum houses modern and contemporary art.

It also has 16 acres of gardens and sculpture park to explore, which includes a renowned kitchen garden.

View the latest exhibition offerings.

5. Squish grapes and drink wine at Noisy Ritual

Noisy Ritual is at this point, the city’s only urban winery, making it truly unique place to visit in Melbourne.

The winery makes its own vintage, allows patrons to feast and drink onsite and offers wine-making classes.

Check it out for yourself and perhaps even book onto a wine-making workshop, where you can stomp and press to your heart’s content.

6. Or create your own gin

After a little ginspiration?

Head to Bass and Flinders Distillery to attend their gin making masterclass.

You’ll learn about the history of gin and create your own recipe. The take-home 500ml bottle of bespoke gin is sure to lift your spirits.

7. Take a butchery class

Are you interested in the ethical side of meat consumption and want to know more about how the product ends up on the table?

Hagen’s Organics offers Introduction to Butchery class, where you learn how to prepare a joint of beef.

You get to keep the boning knife and apron, plus there are drinks at the end of the class.

8. Explore secret bars

One of the most unique things to do in Melbourne is to get out and explore the city’s themed bars.

Melbourne’s got a pretty happening nightlife, filled with themed and rooftop drinking venues.

The watering holes that are most fun are the secret bars, which are hidden across the city in dark alleyways, through clothing stores… even behind a sandwich shop.

Two plates with crayfish on them at Attica in Melbourne.

9. Dine out at Attica

Okay, Melbourne is admittedly a food lover’s paradise. I’m yet to have a bad meal in the city and have been lucky enough to sit down for what is considered one of the best fine dining experiences in the country, at Attica.

Located in the unassuming suburb of Rippon Lea, a table usually has to be booked at least three months in advance and it’s not the cheapest of experiences.

However, I can say from personal experience that it’s worth every cent. I’ve eaten at a few fancy digs in my life and this one blew my mind, to the point where I considered it a definite highlight of 2018.

10. Visit one of the city’s big beer gardens or foodie playgrounds

If food trucks is more your thing, head out to one of Melbourne’s massive brew-gardens and culinary precincts for a quirky day or night out.

Welcome to Thornbury in the city’s north boasts a huge beer garden, with plenty of eating options and regular events and trivia nights.

Welcome to Brunswick boasts BBQ, brews and bullrides and Preston’s Moon Dog World has 72 beers on tap and its own lagoon.

The Ascot Lot is located in Ascot Vale and open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It’s quite a unique thing to do in Melbourne and not a very well-known one, either.

Out west is Melbourne’s newest culinary precinct Grazeland. Here you’ll find cuisine from around the globe, live entertainment and market stalls – and you can bring your pooch.

11. Grab some custom fit jeans from Dejour Jeans

Dejour Jeans is located in Brunswick and sell magical denim pants for a pretty reasonable price.

These jeans made in Melbourne and will probably make your butt look banging.

Local tip: Go on a weekday, or get there early, because they only allow a few people inside the store at a time. The line can get mighty long.

12. Take your pooch to the DogHouse in Collingwood

Australians love their mutts and Melbourne is basically a dog lover’s paradise. There’s plenty of fun places you can rove with Rover around the city.

Melbourne’s love of canines and coffee combine at the DogHouse, where you can sip on a caffeinated beverage while your pupper scoffs down its very own dogachino.

13. Visit the Cat Cafe

Consider yourself more of a cat person?

Then head on down to Melbourne’s Cat Café where rescued felines are feeling fine, waiting for you to pet, cuddle and shower love upon them.

14. Go on a ghost tour

There are plenty of opportunities for spooky sightings in Melbourne.

Lantern Ghost Tours offer a bunch of tours, from Pentridge Prison, to Williamstown and a walk through “Old Melbourne” after dark.

There are also a few tours on at the Old Melbourne Gaol after hours… I was properly frightened during a ghost tour there!

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The front of an ornate building in Prahran.

15. Explore Open House Melbourne

Open House Melbourne is certainly an event worth keeping an eye out for, where buildings around the city open their doors to the public, for one weekend of the year.

It’s an excellent chance to poke your nose into Melbourne’s unique architecture and historic places.

16. Clip ‘N Climb your way up a wall

Clip ‘N Climb have a range of activities for all ages.

Big kids might want to try the Leap of Faith, or climb The Dark Tower, which has glow in the dark holds.

17. Hang ten at URBNSURF

Always wanted to learn how to surf, but never seem to catch the perfect wave?

Head out to URBNSURF, Australia’s first surf park.

Here you can play in the bay, or opt for more advance waves. If you’re a beginner, you can book onto a ‘learn to surf’ lesson, taken in a controlled and relaxed environment.

18. Discover Melbourne’s drinking history

Learn all about Melbourne’s love affair with booze, discover hidden bars and hear creepy tales of times gone by – all with a drink in hand.

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19. Devour delicious dumplings on an edible tour

I can attest that Melbourne has some damn good dumplings, because I’ve been slow-eating my way around various dumpling venues in the city for some time now (all about that sustainable food slow movement, yo).

However, if you want to eat many delicious dumplings in a shorter period of time book yourself onto a dumpling discovery walk.

Your taste buds will thank you.

A colourful mural of local identity Franco Cozzo in Footscray

20. Check out a chocolate tour

Who wants to see the sights of the city whilst stuffing themselves full of delicious choc treats?

Um, I certainly do.

21. Catch a flick outdoors

In the summer months, the Royal Botanic Gardens open up their grounds for the Moonlight Cinema, screening new releases and cult classics.

You can bring a picnic blanket, or upgrade to Gold Grass, to reserve a beanbag in a prime position.

22. Take a hip hop yoga class

If you’re after something a little more lively, consider giving hip hop yoga a go!

Located in Brunswick, you’ll sweat, stretch and breathe your way through a flow, accompanied by smooth Hip Hop and RnB tracks.

23. Start your day with an early morning rave

Imagine rolling out of bed, heading on down to a dance party at dawn where you’ll sip on green smoothies and dance your heart out sober, before heading off to work?

It’ll either be your greatest dream or worst nightmare, come to life.

Either way, you can experience it with Morning Gloryville, who run these events in cities across the world, including Melbourne.

I attended one in London years ago, which was great fun.

Close up shot of a pink lake.

24. Visit the pink lake

This is one of the more unique things to do in Melbourne, if the weather is right for it.

If it’s been a hot summer with little rain, the salt lake at Westgate Park will turn a startling shade of pink.

It’s something worth seeing but be mindful of local vegetation and prepared for there to be a heckload of other people milling around, particularly if it’s the weekend.

25. Go on an edible weed eating tour

Have you ever looked around your garden and wondered what you can or cannot eat?

Well, this two hour will take you along the Merri Creek, where tour leaders Adam and Annie demonstrate which weeds you can forage and add to a meal and which you should avoid.

Tours are held every couple of weeks and are very reasonably priced.

26. Try some Rooftop Honey

Rooftop Honey is a fabulous local initiative, with beekeepers aiming to bring bees back to the city, by encouraging cafés, restaurants, hotels and individuals to keep hives in available spaces – from rooftops, to gardens.

You can visit specific sites for taste testing, order honey to help with hayfever symptoms and when the season begins again, adopt an off-site hive.

View of the Yarra River on a sunny day with the MCG in the background.

27. Kayak along the Yarra River

Here’s one cool way of seeing the city.

You can take a tour along the Yarra River, right at sunset by kayak.

As the sky darkens, you’ll see the city come to life.

28. Visit the Planetarium

It can be hard to impossible to properly see the night sky in big cities like Melbourne, but star enthusiasts can head to The Planetarium for an astronomical experience, followed by a live presentation of the current night sky.

29. And check out the Scienceworks Museum

The Planetarium is located in the Scienceworks Museum, which celebrates everything, well, science-y.

There’s also the old Spotswood Pumping Station out the back – once the heart of the city’s sewage network and a setting in many Australian films and TV shows.

30. Grab some cheese and vino at Milk the Cow

Milk the Cow is a fromagerie with two venues – in Carlton and in St Kilda.

Head on in, order some cheese and a flight of wine and enjoy.

31. Ride a hot air balloon over the city

I love waking up early on Sunday mornings and seeing hot air balloons floating across the city – it’d be something else to be sitting in one!

Riding options include places such as the Yarra Valley, Daylesford and Ballarat, as well as the city itself.

Urban art - a vibrant picture of a horse rearing, taken in Flemington.

32. Attend the Royal Melbourne Show

For ten days in late September to early October, the Royal Melbourne Show is on in full swing at the Flemington Showgrounds.

Running since 1848, this agriculture show has rides, animal contests, showbags and stalls from local companies and producers.

It makes for a fun day out for families and friends.

33. Take a cruise down Maribyrnong River

Melbourne’s other river is far less populated than the Yarra.

It’s lovely to walk along and if you want to experience it from the water, there are small cruises available on a very cute boat.

34. Take a night tour of Melbourne General Cemetery

Many notable Victorians are buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery, such as the longest serving Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies and the Princess Theatre ghost Federici.

There’s also a memorial for explorers Burke and Wills, who perished while crossing Australia in the 1860’s, mostly due to being woefully unprepared.

Night tours are conducted during the warmer months – find out more here.

Another beautiful and ornate building in Prahran, with two crows on a street lamp in the foreground.

35. Pick up some sewing skills at the Thread Den

Always wanted to know how to sew, but not sure where to start?

The Thread Den offers classes for beginners, along with classes on more advanced things like pattern drafting.

They also have ‘sewcial’ nights, where you can get together and chat with others, whilst you work on your sewing projects.

36. Take a class at Laneway Learning

Or if you want to spend an hour learning about almost anything (from money management, to arts and crafts… I’ve even seen one on tantric sex), you can book a class at Laneway Learning.

Classes are usually held at their space in the city. See more information here.

37. Go on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk

Melbourne is a great place to get to know a bit more about Australia’s First Peoples.

A good place to begin your learning is on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, within the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The walk is run by an Indigenous guide, who will explain cultural aspects of the Aboriginal People and their connection to the land, while demonstrating which native plants were used for cooking and medicinal purposes.

You’ll also get to experience a smoking ceremony and drink some delicious lemon myrtle tea.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flag flying on top of Parliament Building

38. Check out the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre

The Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre is located at Melbourne Museum in the neighbourhood of Carlton.

Visit to learn about Australia’s unique Indigenous culture, particularly that which is endemic to this part of the country.

39. Visit the Islamic Museum of Australia

Australia is home to a growing population of Muslims, with many notable Aussies being of the Islamic faith.

The Islamic Museum showcases the contributions Islam has made to civilisation, providing educational and cross-cultural experiences.

40. Have a picnic at the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery

The McClelland Gallery is located east of the city and requires a gold donation for entry.

You can stroll around and admire the art, or have a picnic.

41. Spend the night at Werribee Zoo

Werribee Zoo offers up the opportunity to sleep onsite within their eco-tents. The experience also gives you two day entry to the park and is accompanied by several separate tours and animal experiences.

I’ve spent the night at Dubbo Zoo in NSW – it’s a great experience.

42. Enjoy a flurry of colour at Victoria State Rose Garden

The Victoria State Rose Garden is home to around 5000 different types of roses.

It’s open every day and entry is free.

43. Go hiking in Werribee Gorge State Park

Melbourne’s full of great walks, but if you want to go hiking, you can head to the Werribee Gorge State Park.

There’s opportunities for bushwalking, hiking, rock climbing, accompanied by some spectacular views.

44. Visit Australia’s first film studio

Here’s a really unique thing to see in Melbourne that not many know about.

The Limelight Department has the honour of being Australia’s first film studio, with the Salvation Army producing the world’s first moving picture film in 1898.

There’s a little museum in the attic of The Salvation Army Heritage Centre, which pays homage to this historical event.

45. Grab High Tea on a ferry

There are plenty of High Tea options in tis city, but this is one of the more unique things to do in Melbourne.

Fancy having a High Tea on the High Sea?

These ferries depart either Sorrento or Queenscliff. You can add on a High Tea, whilst you enjoy the view of the surrounding bay.

46. Visit the Altona Homestead

The Altona Homestead was once the home of the Langhorne family and offers an opportunity to see what life in the suburb was once like.

Entry is free, but a gold coin donation is appreciated. They serve Devonshire Tea on the first Sunday of every month and run a ghost tour on the first Saturday night.

A stately home covered in ivy.

47. Explore a castle

Did you know Australia had castles? Kinda?

Located in Melbourne’s west is Overnewton Castle, a private residence which opens itself up once a month for tours and high teas.

48. Spend the night in an airstream trailer

Nestled on the roof of a carpark just off Flinders Lane are six chrome airstream trailers, which are available for rent for the night.

Each has its own deck and fridge filled with booze and other delicious bevs. The most exclusive trailer of all has its own private Jacuzzi.

49. Snap a picture at ARTVO

Here’s a unique thing to do in Melbourne that the whole family will love.

ArtVo is an immersive gallery, where visitors are encouraged to interact with the artwork, by taking photos alongside it.

There are 11 zones of different themes, featuring some truly amazing paintings.

50. Partake in a wild night of axe throwing

Yep, you read right. Over a two-hour session at Maniax in Abbotsford, you and friends, family, or even a date, can freely through axes at a target – like darts, but with hatchets.

For those wanting to get more involved, there’s even a league tournament that you can play in. Certainly an activity everyone should try once.

51. Let art alight your senses at THE LUME

This digital art gallery takes the world’s finest art and turns it into a multi-sensory, immersive experience.

The first exhibit features the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Grab a ticket to watch his world-famous pieces come to life around you.

Phew! That should keep you busy for a long while yet!

How many of these have you seen and done? Any there any other unique things to do in Melbourne that you think should make this list?

Looking for other things to do in Melbourne and Victoria? Check out these related posts.

Looking for the best neighbourhoods to explore in Melbourne?

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Got a trivia night coming up?

Read these rather bizarre facts about Melbourne

Love urban art?

Check out the best street art in Melbourne

Most of these experiences take place on the lands of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong People of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge them as Traditional Owners and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Think you've seen and done all that #Melbourne has to offer? Think again. Here's an epic list of some unique things to do in Melbourne.  No matter what your preference - history buff, nature enthusiast, foodie, adrenaline seeker or fitness freak - there'll be something here to suit you! / Things to do in Melbourne / #Australia / #SeeAustralia / Unique Things to do in Melbourne / #visitVictoria /

All prices are in AUD.

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