Things to see and do while backpacking in Melbourne, Australia.
Check out tips from other travellers and bloggers and their experiences in Melbourne, Australia.
If you're already planning to visit Melbourne, Australia - scroll to the next section for a list of the best places to stay.
Maya Bay - An Island Paradise
Although a packed beach, most boats will only spend an hour on Maya Bay which means with tourists constantly moving you do manage to find space to put your towels down and soak up the sun – in our case, coming from a chilly Melbourne to humid 39 degree days (and over an hour sitting on a boat) we leaped for the brightly blue water which is sectioned off by rope to ensure swimmers have access to discover the sea life in the coral reefs without boats squeezing through.Alyshia Anderson
People always say that shopping in Sydney is nothing compared to Melbourne. I beg to differ. Sydney CBD has a great selection of shops including the snazzy Pitt Street Westfield. Even more striking is that you can also casually shop within the stunning and historical QVB, which in another life could’ve potentially be some sort of museum that charges an $11 fee. Inner city suburbs, like Newtown and Paddington, offer great boutiques and smaller chain shopping too. So Melbourne Schmelbourne I say. Sydney Harbour Just look at it, it speaks for itself. NYE fireworks I never got the hype, or why tourists flock to Sydney and stand for 12 hours to see gunpowder form into sparkles in the sky for 10 minutes. But this year I watched a few other countdowns from around the world and, alike to many new Beliebers in 2016, I am a convert. The show is incredible and spans across the whole harbour, down the river into the suburbs. Whether you’re watching it from the Opera House, Balmain or while you drive over the Gladesville Bridge, that stuff never gets old. Café Culture Again Melbourne always gets the credit for endless supply of quirky, delicious and innovative cafes, but Sydney really stepped up its game last year and I am yet to find a suburb without a decent cafe culture. There’s nothing quite like catching up with friends while you sit outside enjoying brunch at your favourite cafe, or a new one you’re trying out. With the weather always (usually…) being pretty good, boy does sydney offer the possibility of this dream brunch. From big names like West Juliett and The Grounds, to local delites like Clipper Cafe or Cornersmith, you really can’t go wrong. This makes Sydneysiders well-fed and well-caffinated, which means we are well, happy! Darling Harbour I know its hella touristy but, as any good local will always let you know, it is home to the worlds largest IMAX screen! That’s gotta count for something, right? Darling Harbour is a great place to go for a cheesy night out. You can dine in the food court or at Hard Rock Cafe, and then go play a couple games of bowling or laser tag. Grab some ice-cream for a stroll around the harbour admiring how beautiful the city lights reflection is off the water. There’s a whole bunch of bars and clubs to hop to and from if you are in the mood for a dance too. there’s even a ferris wheel guys! Darling Harbour is Sydney’s solution to a lack of American style county fairs, and it does the job well. Opera house Again, this one speaks for itself. It took around 16 years to build so you have to admire the self-cleaning tiles in all their sail-like brilliance. It has a great view of the city, botanical gardens and harbour. Catching a show or getting a drink at the Opera Bar just makes any Sydneysider instantly feel fancy asf. People come to Australia purely to see this gem, so yeah why should we ever leave her? Public transport Jokes, its actually atrocious so once you are in the city you just walk everywhere, but its okay cause its a beautiful city so we put up with it’s cons. The Rocks Being the first city of Australia, Sydney has a lot of awesome history that can still be seen – especially in The Rocks. The sandstone architecture and chaos of unplanned streets takes you back in time for a moment. The history might not be as old as almost all other cities in the world, but it is still pretty great. The Rocks offers historical convict tours, ghost tours, and holds great markets every weekend. Markets Food, clothes, jewelry, flowers, books, thrifting, kitch, quirky, anything! Anything you can think of, Sydney has a market for it, and there is always one on every weekend somewhere. Bondi, Glebe, Rozelle, Balmain, Kirribilli, Surry Hills, Paddington and more! Check them out and you’ll get why we don’t need London’s Brick Lane Market or NYC’s many flea markets. Barangaroo Although the housing and casino are yet to be completed, most of the actual good stuff to come out this project is open! There is a park by a waterside walkway that is great for day or night strolls with friends or loved ones. The place is also really quiet most of the time as nothing major around it has opened yet so it is a great place to go for some alone time right in the middle of the city. Closer to King Street Wharf is a restaurant area with great choices of food including Mamak, Bourke Street Bakery and is often home to trendy pop-ups. Open air cinemas Summer calls for outdoor fun, which for Sydney includes a multitude of open air cinemas where you can enjoy music, food and a movie with friends, lovers or family. So basically Sydney does summer really bloody well. Ben and Jerry’s Open Air Cinema has locations in Bondi and the Inner West. While St George Open Air Cinema has a breathtaking view of the harbour from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Centennial Park further holds the Moonlight Cinema, where you often get a get view of the parks bats flying about at twilight. Western suburbs You’re probably thinking I’m joking, but I’m really not. All the precincts of Sydney have something different to offer making them all of great value to this city, but what the Western suburbs offers is everything awesome. Former home to Sydney’s beloved Wonderland, this area now offers us Wet and Wild water park to make up for its loss. And everyone knows that water theme parks are the best theme parks of them all. Further down the road is another gem: Featherdale Wildlife Park, which is home to Australia’s favourite birds, reptiles, marsupials and mammals. Who doesn’t love aww-ing at koalas sleeping for a good 18 hours a day. If for some reason you’re not into waiting in lines for water slides or avoiding kangaroo droppings everywhere you walk, Western Sydney has the one thing that can satisfy all lazy humans – a drive in cinema. Not only is the general concept and experience of the drive-ins perfect in itself, but Drive In Blacktown actually has its own 50’s style diner attached where you can get a decent feed before your movie. Plus the movie ticket prices can be ridiculously cheap compared to regular prices, and you can see two movies in a row, form the inside of your car may I remind you.Katie Eager
Melbourne Australia has some amazing cities, being a small town girl I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I capital L loved every second of it. I have been lucky enough to get to live in the middle of Melbourne, and it has easily become one of my favorite cities in the world. I think when people think of Australia and cities, there mind automatically goes to Sydney, and it is definitely worth a visit. With the opera house and Bondi beach as some of the places to see, but in my opinion Melbourne is an equally, if not even a better reason to go to Australia. It is a city with millions of people, but in some weird way it doesn’t feel that way. Because it feels like a big community put together by a lot of suburbs that all have their own cool, individual vibe. There is always a market, festival, museum or restaurant to visit, and there is just so much to do. And where Sydney gets to big and confusing for me, Melbourne is right about perfect. It is easy to navigate, not to mention the trams are free in the CBD. Don’t get me wrong Sydney is a great city as well. I remember the first time I saw the opera house and the bridge, it was even bigger then I had imagined it to be, and all I was thinking is this is so cool and awesome, I am finally here. However for me Melbourne has become home, and still after being here for seven mouths I still find new things do to, new places to go, and most importantly new places to eat.Kristine Aarøen
Coffee in Brunswick
Well duh. It’s Melbourne. You’re a caffeine addict and why shouldn’t you be?Adar Schneider
Australia: The Great Ocean Road
There is one that should be on everyone’s list to do in Australia and that is a road trip; the only trouble is I don’t drive. Luckily I have an amazing friend, Zoe, who not only can drive but also brings lots of smiles and adventures wherever she goes. There are lots of road trip possibilities in Australia; it is a very big country, in fact the UK can fit into Australia 31.5 times! If you only have time to pick one road then it has to be the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives and runs from the township of Torquay to Allansford on the south-eastern coast of Australia. This is the perfect road trip if you are visiting Melbourne, as the gateway to the Great Ocean Road is only 100km from the city centre.Hazel Oakes
8 reasons you should drop everything and visit Adelaide
General perceptions of Adelaide are this: it’s too far away, it’s just a worse, smaller version of Melbourne, and there’s nothing to do there. Friends, you are SO wrong if you think that. Here are eight stellar reasons that Adelaide is somewhere you will UNDOUBTEDLY LOVE. Guaranteed.Ruth Grace
A list of my top 10 places to see/experience in Canberra…
Lonsdale Street is a favourite amongst locals, and even our Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull has been spotted grabbing a coffee from one of the many cafes along the street! It is often called the Melbourne of Canberra due to its great coffee and all-round hipster vibe. On Friday nights, The Hamlet has live music and makes a great place to go an enjoy dinner from one of the handful of gourmet food trucks there.Naomi
Noosa Heads - Halse Lodge YHA
3 november Dinsdag, onze vrije dag. Máár, eerste dinsdag van november dus dat betekent hier Melbourne Cup. Een paardenrace. En wat voor eentje! 3200 meter, een stuk of 24 paarden en een tijd van iets meer dan drie minuten. En daar ligt het hele land voor plat. Een hele dag. Bizar toch? Bovendien is het de Australische ‘hoedjesdag’, met iedereen op z’n best gekleed en de dames allemaal een mooie hoed op. In het hostel was er een kleine wed-competitie: je mocht blind inzetten op een aantal paarden. De mijne waren nummer 20 en 21, Bondi Beach en Sertorius. Kostte me 10 dollar, 5 voor elk paard. Opzich leken mijn kansen niet al te slecht. Na de race bleek het echter anders te liggen. De verrassende winnaar van de Cup was een vrouw, de eerste in de historie van de Melbourne Cup, en ik was 10 dollar lichter. Nore daarentegen, ingezet op één paard, was 5 dollar rijker: haar paard was de laatste in de race. Jammer maar helaas. Nog maar een biertje dan (twee uur ‘s middags) en nog een zak chips soldaat maken. Het is nu toch gratis voor de verandering.Bart Swinkels
During the weekend I was more interested in the music activities, I discover some new artists and funny zebras that were dancing around. Here a video of this amazing Melbourne Group called The Woohoo Revue, simply the best!elizardesign
We walked across the seaside with numerous yachts in sight, with the sun shining upon us! Unlike Sydney or Melbourne you don’t have those highrise buildings with millions of tourists, instead you have this small town where everyone just seems to be so happy with no worry or crisis impeding them. The market area just across the Cairns Esplanade which has a public swimming lagoon, has everything from bars to restaurants that you need! With some people performing, kids playing, families having picnics or people just laying there on the grass sun bathing, what else would one want of a holiday?Bhairavi Jaiswal
A change in my travel plans:
As I mentioned above, there were numerous reasons for my decision to return home briefly, probably enough for an entire blog post on this topic but I will endeavour to make this as exciting as I can. Basically, I just woke up one morning, went to my usual 7am morning flow yoga class and by the time I had met my friend for breakfast I had decided right then and there that I would book a flight home to Melbourne for the middle of May. It was perfect timing; I got to meet my newest niece Belle who was born while I was home, see my Nana for her birthday and surprise my parents and friends as they had expected not to see me for another six months.Belinda Adams
Port Campbell: Off to Explore
My boyfriend and I took on The Great Ocean Road during the summer break and due to the fires in Victoria were unable to start the drive from the beginning as the whole road was closed. Little did we know this was a blessing in disguise. We drove from Melbourne taking the inland route ending up at Port Campbell.Brandi Buss
Wye River is a small town in the Cape Otway Shire, in Victoria, Australia. The vibe is different from other coastal towns along this famous stretch of road. It’s as though someone took an affluent inner-city Melbourne suburb, threw away the yuppie shops (but left a gastro craft beer pub and insta-worthy cafe) chucked a few coastal locals in for good measure, and nestled it neatly into the Wye beach.Josephine Turner
One blissful week in Tasmania
Tasmania was unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before. It was quite simply beautiful. Not long after setting foot on the heart-shaped island had I fallen in love with it; I was captivated by its unique wildlife, spectacular natural scenery and the laid-back lifestyle that Tassies lead. A trip to Tasmania hadn’t always been the plan, however after discovering the cheap price of flights from Melbourne, myself and my family decided to spend a week on the island, and it was a decision we’d never regret. After much research into how to get around, we decided to hire a car (public transport is lacking) and wasn’t disappointed; every twist and turn of the road brought stunning scenery. Sugar-white sandy beaches, crystal clear lakes and impressive mountain ranges were among the many sights coming from every direction that didn’t fail to capture our attention. We wouldn’t have time to go everywhere, but we could give it a good go!laura-redmile
A lovely clean, welcoming and sunny (if very windy) city that has a lot to offer and is a great gateway for day trips to Rottnest Island and Freemantle. My decision to start off my year in Perth was an easy one as it cost less money for me to fly there from England and then fly to Melbourne, than it did to fly straight to Melbourne so I thought why not check it out on route! There’s plenty to do to keep you busy from Kings Park (great for a day out, get a picnic going!), the zoo, aquarium, some nice art galleries and museums and a decent shopping scene with bars and restaurants to rest your tired feet and lay down your recent buys.Lisa Ward
Planning An Australia East Coast Road Trip
Gold Coast to Melbourne = $89 Melbourne to Cairns = $209 2 weeks car hire = $316 Cape Tribulation Tour = $175 2D 1N Whitsundays Tour = $225 Cairns Hostel (2 nights) = $44 Total = $1058 eachLolly McCafferty
How to get lost while traveling?
When I arrived in Melbourne two and a bit years ago I felt a freedom and a willingness to explore like I never had before. I have lived in Amsterdam, an amazing and beautiful city that is NR 1 on a lot of travelers to do lists. Looking back on my time in Amsterdam I wish I had the same adventures mind while living there as I do have being so many miles away from home and explore more than just the bike ride from home to work and the other way around. Being so far from home makes you want to explore, enjoy and fully absorb everything you see. Being home in a beautiful l city makes you take it for granted.Puppyrocks
The Anti-Starbucks: Melbourne
The red sun rises and I wake up to a 34ºC morning in Melbourne, Australia. I stretch my arms and am not quite surprised to find that at some point in the night, in a heated delirium, I undressed myself to keep from melting.Julia Harrison
Overpacking - and how to get it under control.
When I went backpacking through Europe my backpack was around 20kg and 3ft tall, I’m only 5ft, oh and I was only away for 4 weeks… I have a serious packing problem. This time around when we moved to Australia I promised myself never again will I pack too much and regret it. 30kg of checked baggage and 10kg of hand luggage later, plus living in Melbourne for four months surrounded by amazing shops and a giant H&M and you guessed it, I had WAY too much stuff, again! But now I’m getting this terrible habit under control and here’s how you can too…Holli McCarthy
Living in the suburbs of Melbourne
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