Ten of the best Melbourne attractions inner banner

Ten of the best Melbourne attractions

From hanging out with the plucky little penguins on Phillip Island, to flying high on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, the Victorian capital offers access to an array of amazing tourist attractions. Plan your visit with this checklist of must-not-miss experiences.
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions: Meet the Phillip Island penguins.

1. Eureka Skydeck 88

Eureka Skydeck 88 makes our list of the best Melbourne attractions because it offers an unbeatable view of the city. Soaring high above the CBD, the Eureka Tower’s distinctive gold crown is instantly recognisable. It houses the Skydeck and The Edge — a glass cube that slides out from the side of the building (prepare yourself for the dissolving floor!). The Skydeck offers 360-degree views and you’ll be able to spot many of Melbourne’s famous landmarks.


Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions: Eureka Skydeck 88

2. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

Nothing beats experiencing a sporting match at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), but if you don’t have that option you can still get up close and personal with the ‘G’ on a guided venue tour. Go behind the scenes and see the player change rooms, players’ balcony, Bill Lawry Cricket Centre and the Long Room, and take a walk on the hallowed turf (all subject to availability). The MCG is also home to the Australian Sports Museum, which offers an amazing range of interactive experiences.


Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions: MCG. Image: Visit Victoria/Emily Godfrey

3. Puffing Billy

A ride on Puffing Billy in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne is a chance to step back in time to the era of Victorian steam train travel. The fully restored heritage locomotive meanders along between Belgrave and Gembrook, and has been enthralling visitors of all ages for decades. The Puffing Billy railway came into service at the turn of the 20th century as part of a drive to develop rural parts of Victoria. Today the service is one of the state’s premier tourist attractions, and one that appeals to all ages.


Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions: Puffing Billy. Image: Visit Victoria

4. Phillip Island Penguin Parade

Around 500,000 people make the 90-minute trip from Melbourne to Phillip Island every year to see the Penguin Parade at sunset. The little penguins’ mad dash up the beach to their rookery follows what can be up to four weeks of fishing in Bass Strait. Watching the penguins arrive home has been popular with tourists for almost a century. Hire a car and head down to the island under your own steam, or book a penguin tour from Melbourne.

5. Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo is Australia’s oldest zoological park, and is home to a huge array of animals, including species from Africa, Asia and of course — Australia. See the popular orangutans in their dedicated treetop exhibit, venture into the Australian Bush exhibit to meet native Aussie animals, stroll through the beautiful Butterfly House, and walk the Trail of the Elephants. There is no entry charge for children under the age of four and all children can enter the zoo free of charge on weekends, public holidays and Victorian school holidays.


Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions: Melbourne Zoo

6. Werribee Open Range Zoo

Zoos Victoria also operates the superb Werribee Open Range Zoo, located 40 minutes’ drive southwest of Melbourne. Encounter giraffes, rhino, antelope, zebras, and more on an African-style game drive through the zoo’s extensive open grasslands. There are lots of other furry and feathered inhabitants to meet back at the main precinct. Werribee Open Range Zoo offers a fabulous day out for the whole family.


Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions: Werribee Open Range Zoo

7. Healesville Sanctuary

To get up close and personal with Australia’s native wildlife, Healesville Sanctuary is a must-visit. The sanctuary is operated by Zoos Victoria and has a mission to conserve Australia’s wildlife and wild places for future generations. Explore the specialist precincts, including Animals of the Night, Dingo Country, Koala Forest and the Land of Parrots. The Tasmanian devil enclosure is always popular. Meet wombats, kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, emus and even the highly elusive platypus!


Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Image: Healesville Sanctuary

8. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is absolutely awash with amazing things to see and do. Inside this incredible underwater world (which is a bit like the TARDIS — bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside) you’ll encounter thousands of marine animals, housed in 12 separate habitat zones. See rays, jellyfish, sharks, penguins, turtles, a huge saltwater crocodile and myriad colourful tropical fish. Your ticket includes keeper presentations and the chance to see animal feedings throughout the day. For those that want to get even closer to the action, a range of unique encounters are available — including the chance to dive with sharks!


Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions: SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. Image: Alamy

9. Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

Get a unique perspective of Melbourne from the top of the city’s soaring, 120-metre-high observation wheel. Climb aboard for a 30-minute flight and enjoy absolutely stunning views of the city and its surroundings. Fly day or night — or book for both!


Ten of the best Melbourne attractions
Ten of the best Melbourne attractions: Melbourne Star

10. City Circle tram

The best things in life are free as the saying goes, and that’s certainly the case with Melbourne’s fabulous City Circle tram — a beautiful old-style tramcar that trundles a loop around the city, complete with audio commentary on key sights and attractions. See Federation Square, Parliament House, the Princess Theatre, Carlton Gardens, the State Library of Victoria, the Docklands and much more.

Browse our range of Melbourne attraction tickets and passes here.

Additional images: Bigstock

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