My family recently returned from a three-day holiday in beautiful Melbourne, and our itinerary was so spectacular I just had to share it. Now firstly, I need to preface the fact that you will need a car to be able to enjoy everything that we got up to. We hired ours from the airport through Avis.
We flew into Avalon Aiport in Melbourne, with the incredible team at Bonza Airlines. Our plane took off from the Sunshine Coast Airport, which was very easy considering it was only 15 minutes from our house. We were blown away by the customer service, and our experience with this low-cost, regional airline. Some highlights were the cute purple uniforms the staff wore, the all-Australian dining menu which you can order on demand, and the pilots allowing us to say a quick hello before we disembarked the aircraft. Our return flight was through Melbourne Airport and both legs of our journey were fantastic.
Our accommodation was booked using an Amex credit and we stayed at Inner Melbourne Serviced Apartments which was basic, but large and had a swimming pool. The price point and the location were the best points, being only a short walking distance to Southbank.
We arrived late on a Friday and after a good night’s rest began the first day of our holiday, which started with breakfast at St Ali in South Melbourne, where I enjoyed the avocado on toast and my husband the coffee.
After breakfast, we took a drive along the docks to Williamstown to enjoy its beautiful streets. Williamstown is a charming and historic suburb located in the western part of Melbourne, Australia. Situated on the shores of Hobsons Bay, it offers a unique blend of natural beauty, maritime history, and modern amenities. The suburb is known for its picturesque waterfront, colonial architecture, and a relaxed seaside atmosphere. We adored it!
Next, we drove a few minutes to Scienceworks, a renowned science museum known for its engaging and interactive exhibits that captivate the minds of both young and old alike. Situated on Spotswood’s historic Pumping Station Road, Scienceworks is a hub of scientific exploration and discovery. My children aged 3, 6 and 8 all thoroughly enjoyed the interactive exhibits. We also visited the Planetarium located within Scienceworks, we absolutely loved the children’s show called Tycho Goes To Mars.
For lunch, we walked next door to Grazeland, an open canteen-style dining area with street stalls and entertainment that features a diverse range of food vendors. There was something for everyone. to enjoy, including a play area and games for children. The view looking back to the heart of Melbourne was also a highlight.
To finish off our day we drove back to the Southbank area where our accommodation was, and took a stroll along the waterfront. Crown is also in this area and is a fantastic place to explore. We enjoyed dinner at Hopscotch where the food was absolutely delicious.
We skipped breakfast and headed straight to Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, a renowned and expansive garden in the heart of Melbourne. The Melbourne Botanic Gardens, as it is also known, spans over 94 acres (38 hectares) and is situated in the South Yarra area, just south of the Yarra River and adjacent to the Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne. The garden is divided into several distinct areas, each showcasing a diverse range of plant collections and landscapes. You can find science walks, a specific garden garden, picnic areas, lakes and more. Also within the gardens is The Terrace cafe, which is the most spectacular spot for brunch, honestly the food and location were equally divine.
Post brunch we hopped in the car and drove just over an hour to what I believe to be the highlight of our trip, Puffing Billy. Puffing Billy is a historic steam railway located in the Dandenong Ranges. It’s renowned as one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world and is a significant tourist attraction in the region. It is captivating and educational, but fun and exciting too. The railway traverses a picturesque route through the lush Dandenong Ranges, here we experienced breathtaking views of eucalyptus forests, fern gullies, and beautiful fern-lined tracks. The journey took us across trestle bridges and through lush, green landscapes. There are a few routes of offer, I would recommend the one to Lakeview. now, the exciting part of this adventure is that when you ride Puffing Billy you don’t just sit on a seat, in fact, you sit on the edge of the window with your arms and legs hanging out of it. It was a truly incredible experience that I enjoyed just as much as my children.
Upon returning to our accommodation we ordered takeaway bugers from My Goodness which… of my goodness so delicious!
On our final day in Melbourne, we woke and headed straight to the CBD side of the city. It was an easy walk from Southbank over one of the many bridges and through the underground train station. We headed to Hosier Lane where you can see some incredible street art, and then had breakfast on Flinders Lane.
Next, we jumped in the car and took an hour’s drive to the Mornington Peninsula. We had the whole day before our night flight home, so this was the perfect time to explore a little more. First off we visited Arthurs Seat Eagle, a breathtaking and exhilarating aerial gondola experience. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to soar high above the stunning landscape and is something special that I highly recommend. The Arthur’s Seat Eagle takes you on a gentle, scenic journey as it ascends to the summit of Arthur’s Seat, one of the region’s most iconic landmarks. At the summit, there is a range of amenities and activities to complement a visit. Whether you’re interested in exploring the walking trails, enjoying a picnic, or simply savouring the breathtaking views from the viewing platforms, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Our next stop was to Enchanted Adventure. This enchanting attraction offers a captivating blend of fantasy, nature, and adventure, creating an unforgettable journey for visitors of all ages. The ambience is reminiscent of a fairy tale, with each twist and turn of the path revealing new surprises and delights. We loved the tube ride, it was so much fun. There is also an incredible park that’s 10 meters in the air which our children absolutely loved. Other activities can be added on like high ropes.
Lastly, we finished off the day with dinner at Zero95 which was absolutely delicious, I loved their limoncello martini. Then took a walk on the pier, before heading to the airport and catching our return flight with Bonza.
What a trip!
Enjoy and happy travel planning.