Melbourne Culture & history

Our most recommended Melbourne Culture & history

From Melbourne: Great Ocean Road Full-Day Trip

1. From Melbourne: Great Ocean Road Full-Day Trip

Discover the beauty of Port Campbell National Park on this day trip from Melbourne. Travel in a comfortable and airconditioned coach and enjoy a refreshing morning tea. Stop for pictures viewpoints, take a stroll at Apollo Bay and admire the 12 Apostles limestone stacks. Enjoy morning views of Melbourne city and Port Phillip Bay as you cross the Westgate Bridge, Australia’s longest bridge, at just under 1.5 miles (2.6 kilometers). Embark on one of the world’s greatest drives to tour the Great Ocean Road. Take in a scenic journey along the Great Ocean Road. Stop for photos opportunity the Memorial Arch at Eastern View as well as at Kennett River, home to a large population of cute and cuddly wild koalas. A sighting is almost guaranteed as they munch away on Eucalyptus leaves. Marvel at Apollo Bay and walk around the famous coastal town. Afterward, follow the Great Ocean Road away from the water and into the mountains. Proceed through the spectacular Otway Ranges and stop to enjoy a stroll in the cool, temperate rainforest at Maits Rest. Continue to Port Campbell National Park, with its iconic array of rock formations. Visit Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps, and be awestruck by the majestic monoliths of the 12 Apostles. Take advantage of a dinner stop on the journey back to Melbourne at the township of Colac. Enjoy a scenic view of the illuminated city as you cross Westgate Bridge on the way home.

Melbourne: Pentridge Prison Ghost-Themed Walking Tour

2. Melbourne: Pentridge Prison Ghost-Themed Walking Tour

Explore Pentridge Prison in Coburg on this walking tour that focuses on the macabre. Uncover the secrets of this location where 44 bodies are buried. Hear about the key members of Australia’s criminal underworld who called Pentridge home. Enter the site and begin your tour of Pentridge Prison, D Division which has been standing since 1850. Trace the history of this site since the first prisoners arrived at the prison in 1851.  Immerse yourself in the dark side of Australia's most famous prison as you hear the harrowing tale of Ronald Ryan, the last man executed in Australia. Find out how this prison relates to Chopper Reed and Ned Kelly through spine-chilling stories. 

Melbourne: MCG and Australian Sports Museum Guided Tour

3. Melbourne: MCG and Australian Sports Museum Guided Tour

Experience the highlights of the Melbourne Cricket Ground on a tour including a visit to the famous MCC Long Room, the players’ changing rooms, the cricketers' viewing room, and the Ron Casey Media Centre. After your guided a walk through the arena, take in the Cricket Victoria Bill Lawry Centre, and head to the Melbourne City Terrace for views of the stunning skyline.   Next, visit the all-new Australian Sports Museum for a truly memorable experience. This isn’t your typical museum: it’s an exciting, interactive, and ever-changing experience where the latest technology has been used to create immersive exhibits and galleries.

From Melbourne: Sovereign Hill Gold Mining Town Day Trip

4. From Melbourne: Sovereign Hill Gold Mining Town Day Trip

Immerse yourself in daily life during the 19th-century gold rush on a day trip to Sovereign Hill, a replica gold mining town. Wander through faithful model buildings and watch professional actors reenact scenes from the 1850s. Enjoy optional gold mine cart rides or horse carriage tours. Meet your driver in Central Melbourne and begin the journey to Sovereign Hill with views of the Australian countryside on the way. The town is full of interactive exhibits and demonstrations to discover: gold panning demonstrations, underground gold mines, and gold bar-making demonstrations. Wander through the town's true-to-life buildings for an insight into daily life. From grandmothers teaching grandchildren how to embroider to the local primary school and police station, the buildings are a great way to travel back in time to the excitement of the era. Feel free to ask the traditionally dressed actors for photos. You can also enjoy optional activities at an additional cost. You could go for a horse-drawn carriage tour of the town or take an underground mine cart ride. There are also occasional dramatic reenactments throughout the day.

2 Day Great Ocean Road Small Group Tour

5. 2 Day Great Ocean Road Small Group Tour

Day 1 Guests on this small group tour are picked up from their city hotel or Federation Square and quickly depart Melbourne via the West Gate Bridge. Travel through the vast volcanic plains en route to Geelon, where you have time to stroll along the beautifully transformed waterfront. Start your journey along the Great Ocean Road at Torquay, stopping at various places along the coast including Bells Beach and the scenic morning tea location. Your focus then turns to Australian native wildlife as you observe Eastern Grey Kangaroos in the wild. This is one of many opportunities to see and hear about Australia's unique and unusual animals in their native habitat. Your journey then begins along the very scenic, cliff-hugging section of the Great Ocean Road. While winding your way along you stop to view sites such as the 'Memorial Arch' and hear about the intriguing story of this incredible road. Lorne is the largest of the seaside resorts. With its abundance of cafes and restaurants, it is the perfect place for a lunch break. You may even find time to have a swim or do some shopping. After lunch you cruise along the spectacular road, stopping at many scenic spots, including Kennett River where you can see koalas and many colorful native birds in the wild. Traveling through Apollo Bay, you go into the Great Otway National Park. Enjoy a 1-km guided walk through a cool temperate rainforest gully to see the world's tallest flowering plants, prehistoric trees and ferns, and unique features such as 'yabbie chimneys'. Visit Apollo Bay before checking in to Beacon Point Ocean View Villas. Your private self-contained villa is set high on a hill overlooking the Southern Ocean. This amazing setting is a great place to relax and unwind for a couple of hours. You'll have dinner tonight at the the award-winning Chris's Restaurant, next door to your accommodation, where the only thing that matches the food are the views. Day 2 Your second day starts with breakfast at the locals favorite Bay Leaf Cafe. Great coffee, tea, and a vast breakfast menu make this a perfect way to start another full day. Your journey starts with you traveling through the Otway ranges and onto the so-called 'Shipwreck Coast'. Your first stop is at Castle Cove overlooking the Aire river valley. Your guide will introduce you to the strong Aboriginal heritage of the region, where many tribes prospered around the coastline for thousands of years. In the same area, millions of years ago, when Australia was part of the great southern land, Gondwana, dinosaurs roamed the land. A unique find along the coast in 1987 uncovered important clues into the world's prehistoric past. The 12 Apostles are icons of Australia's natural beauty. You'll arrive as the stacks are lit with the morning sun, making them perfect for photos and crowd-free. This is a bonus for taking a 2-day trip as the stacks are silhouettes in the afternoon and overcrowded. After hearing of the creation of the stacks and holding some of the limestone rock you can explore the boardwalks or brave a helicopter flight along the coastline at your own expense. You'll then visit 'Loch Ard Gorge', the site of the most famous 19th-century Australian shipwreck. You'll hear the entire story, from the calm voyage, to the tragic wreck, to the courageous survivors and their ultimate fate. While hearing the tale you will be able to see and hold some original artifacts, photos, and documents from the 'Loch Ard' contained in treasure chests. Port Campbell is your lunch stop for today. This small fishing village of just 350 is set in a beautiful natural port and has some wonderful cafes and restaurants for food and views. After lunch you'll travel to a lesser-known but highly impressive area of the Great Ocean Road west of Port Campbell. This section includes London Bridge, the Bay of Islands, the Bay of Martyrs, and Boat Bay before your journey turns inland and travels through open farmland towards Melbourne, arriving there around 18:00.

Melbourne: City and Williamstown Ferry Cruise

6. Melbourne: City and Williamstown Ferry Cruise

Embark on a sightseeing cruise along Port Philip Bay to Williamstown. Take in the views of the Melbourne skyline and enjoy insightful audio commentary on board as you sail down the Yarra River. Admire the skyline of Melbourne from a different perspective as you listen to the informative audio commentary. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city center and soak up the sun on the sun deck. Upon arrival in Williamstown, get the choice to take a break in Williamsport and visit the historic seaport, or stay on board and return to Melbourne. Linger in one of the cafés or galleries of Williamstown, known for its heritage buildings such as Customs House. If you choose to take the round-trip option, then just sit back and relax on one of the finest bay cruises on the return journey to Southbank.  

Visit J Ward Lunatic Asylum: Night Ghost Tour in Ararat

7. Visit J Ward Lunatic Asylum: Night Ghost Tour in Ararat

Be incarcerated for the evening at Australia's home to the criminally insane: the famous J Ward Lunatic Asylum. Meet at J Ward, Girdlestone Street, Ararat in the evening and commence the tour with free museum access to explore the memorabilia of the past including straight jackets, electro shock therapy devices, and fascinating patient records. After exploring the museum, enjoy a guided ghost tour of approximately 2 hours through the home of notorious criminals such as Chopper Read, Gary Webb and William Wallace. Explore the governor's bathroom, the hangman's gallows, the original kitchen, the showerblock, the grave sites, the West Wing, the J Ward Block, and the exercise yards and grounds in search of the souls that still linger, and hear the terrifying stories of murdered inmates and prisoners buried in the grounds as you explore the property. Tours run every Friday and Saturday evening at 9:30 PM.

Adelaide to Melbourne: 3-Day Ultimate Overland Journey

8. Adelaide to Melbourne: 3-Day Ultimate Overland Journey

Embark on a 3-day tour from Adelaide to Melbourne with accommodation in the heart of the Grampians surrounded by kangaroos and cockatoos. Travel south to the Shipwreck Coast and visit the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and other stunning locations before continuing the journey to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road. Day 1: Adelaide - Halls Gap Depart the city through the Adelaide Hills en route to the Grampians National Park. Traveling through the western plains of Victoria, watch as the mountain range slowly grows on approach. Hike to the base of Mackenzie Falls and explore other famed lookouts of The Balconies and Boroka Lookout before checking in for the night in the heart of the Grampians Halls Gap. Day 2: Halls Gap - Warrnambool Start the day with a hike up to the iconic Pinnacle lookout with an amazing view over the Grampians. Later, visit the Tower Hill Conservation Reserve, an extinct volcano, rich in Aboriginal history and an abundance of wildlife. Finish the day with time to relax in the town of Warrnambool, before coming together for a group dinner and at a local hotspot (dinner and beverages at guests' own expense). Day 3: Warrnambool - Melbourne The last day is a journey along the historic Great Ocean Road. Begin with the highlights of the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Bridge. Embark on a guided rainforest walk before lunch in the popular seaside town of Apollo Bay. Follow the road to its end as it twists and turns with stops at Memorial Arch and a famous surf beach or two, arriving in Melbourne in the evening.

Melbourne Sports Lovers Morning Tour

9. Melbourne Sports Lovers Morning Tour

Melbourne Sports Lovers Morning Tour is a sightseeing tour with a difference. Explore the vast Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australian Open venue, or the Australian Sports Museum, led by a professional tour guide, and learn about the history of Melbourne through its sporting achievements. Visit the venues that have hosted some of Australia’s favorite sporting events. Explore Flemington Race Course, home of the Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops the nation. Drive through the Commonwealth Games athlete’s village and around Albert Park, on the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix Circuit. Choose from the following options: take a tour behind the scenes at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, visit the Australian Open arena , or explore the Australian Sports Museum. At all venues you will have access to the exclusive member areas and media centers. Following your tour, lunch is included at the city's docklands precinct.

Melbourne: Nighttime Private City Tour with Transfer & Stops

10. Melbourne: Nighttime Private City Tour with Transfer & Stops

Melbourne Drive by Night is a unique sightseeing tour proposition since it's a low cost, great introduction to the beauty of Melbourne after dark. Sit back, relax and enjoy Melbourne in a private tour, as we cruise around for 2 hours at night with stops for photo shoots and exploring. This tour begins with a you being picked up by your driver and guide in a luxury vehicle. You will be chauffeured through various locations around Melbourne that have been specially selected to give you the opportunity to experience a diverse array of scenery within 2 hours. We begin the journey by heading through East Melbourne past the historic churches and Princess Theatre to make our way through the elegant Collins Street. Leaving the Melbourne CBD we head through the centre of Docklands stopping by the Stadium for a photoshoot of the area. Making our way to historic Williamstown we go deep into Melbourne Ports for an amazing night-time experience. On return we drive over the West Gate Bridge from which you will see all of Metropolitan Melbourne in lights. This tour is not simply about seeing great views and lit up skylines, but also to visit the parts of Melbourne which offer the best experience at night. There will be multiple stops and breaks to provide plenty of opportunity to walk around and take photos.

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Frequently asked questions about Melbourne

What top attractions are a must-see in Melbourne?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Melbourne?

The best day trips and excursions from Melbourne are:

Great Ocean Road

Other Sightseeing Options in Melbourne

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What people are saying about Melbourne

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 654 reviews

Perfect ! I highly recommend this tour, the tour guide is very engaging and helpful. I feel satisfied with both the plan and the management time.

Debbie was excellent and is a great guide. Also her driving skills and knowledge about all attractions is excellent.

Our guide Peter was very knowledgeable and we were amazed by the history behind todays MCG. Had a great time!

Great evening at pentridge -the guide was extremely informative and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour

Informative around not only the history of the prison but also former inmates.