Travel Writing, content for ROL Cruises site.
An explosion of culture and history
ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Hit the highlights in the city’s heart
Make the most of Melbourne’s extensive public transport network and get those iconic landmarks under your belt. Dart into the city centre and take in the sights at Federation Square, which represents the meeting point of stunning old and new architecture in the midst of Melbourne’s central business district. Look out for Flinder’s Street station building (listed on the Victorian Heritage register), St Paul’s Cathedral and the ultra-modern, glass-covered Deakin Edge theatre.
2. Experience the best of Australian art – inside and out!
For a comprehensive review of Australia’s art history, make your way to the National Gallery of Victoria. Boasting a collection of over 73,000 works of art, the gallery’s exhibits trace the Australian artistic journey from Indigenous (Australian Aboriginal) artefacts to modern and contemporary pieces. But, if these pieces still aren’t fresh enough for you, take to Melbourne’s network of lanes and seek out the vibrant street art that has earned the city global notoriety as Australia’s cultural capital – watch out for wet paint!
3. Have a heritage shopping experience
The Block Arcade forms part of Melbourne’s Golden Mile heritage walk and offers visitors a premium Victorian shopping experience in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district. Alongside its shops and boutiques, the arcade is packed with original architectural features and ornate finishings. However, if you would rather get some fresh air, try the nineteenth century Queen Victoria Market instead. At the largest open-air market in the hemisphere, you can have all the pleasure of browsing the wide range of goods on offer without that claustrophobic feeling during busy periods. Head over early to make the most of this great opportunity.
4. Appreciate peace and quiet
If you need a break from the bustling streets of central Melbourne, take a contemplative stroll around the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, situated on the south bank of the Yarra River. Comprising of 38 hectares (94 acres) of landscaped gardens, the site is home to over 10,000 species of both native and exotic vegetation. If you have time, wander over to the nearby Shrine of Remembrance. The shrine is the state’s largest and most visited war memorial and was built to commemorate those who served and died in World War I and also to honour the men, women and children who remained at home.
5. Propel yourself to panoramic paradise
For the best views in Melbourne, head to Southbank’s Eureka Skydeck 88 and take the high-speed lift up to the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere. Feeling brave? Don’t miss the ‘Edge’ observation deck – a glass cube (including glass floor!) that slides out from the building, offering unmatched 360 degree views of the city and beyond.