Melbourne has so much to offer in the way of family holidays I had a hard time picking out just ten family destinations in Melbourne Australia. The destinations I picked out are perfect for toddlers through teenagers and fun for us adults too!
Werribee Open Range Zoo
The Werribee Open Range Zoo consists of approximately 560 acres and is part of the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board. This wonderful habitat has something to offer children of all ages. There are hourly safari bus tours through grasslands where giraffes, antelopes, rhinoceros and ostriches run free.
For the more adventurous there are also two walking trails the Pula Reserve trail and the Australian Journey trail. On the Pula trail you can get up close with African wildlife such as the hippopotamus, lions and cheetahs. On the Australian walk you will meet kangaroos, emus and koalas. Your family can even enjoy a overnight slumber safari.
This marvelous city center was Melbourne’s first public square and was opened in 1968. It is situated on almost 8 acres and went through major reconstruction and reopened in October of 2002.
The whole center is paved with sand cobblestones from Western Australia’s Kimberley region and hosts festivals, sporting events and open air markets. Features include the Atrium which houses art exhibits, the Edge, an indoor amphitheater and the Ian Potter Centre which is the only gallery to consist of just Australian art.
There are various outside activities as well. At the Art Play Center children can create their own masterpiece alongside professional artists. You can travel through historic tunnels that link the Yarra River to Federation Square. These tunnels date back to the late 1800’s. Located adjacent to the square is Birrarung Marr park which includes an enormous playground.
Puffing Billy Steam Train
The Puffing Billy steam train at a 120 year olds, is one of the oldest steam train in Australia. Starting operations began in the beginning of the 20th century and is one of the original five gauge lines of the Victorian Railways.
As you travel, the train crosses wooden trestle bridges and offers open-sided cars that children of all ages love to set on the ledge of. This day trip takes you up the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, travelling through the Sherbrooke Forest and stopping at the Healesville Sanctuary. At the sanctuary the family can enjoy a lunch at open-air cafes and see over 200 species of Australian wildlife.
Williamstown Ferry: Historical Family Destinations In Melbourne.
Sit back and relax as you float down the Yarra River heading to the historical Williamstown seaport. While you are on the ferry enjoy complimentary beverages and listen to the onboard commentary. During the hour ride you will see such sights as the Docklands, Hobson Bay and historic landmarks.
After arriving in Williamstown, stroll down the waterfront, enjoy a casual lunch or take a guided tour. What’s best is the ferry leaves on an hourly basis so you can stay for an hour or make it a day trip.
Located just 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island has something for everyone to enjoy as a family destinations in Melbourne. The Grand Prix Circuit is a hit with teenagers and adults alike. The circuit has the largest slot car track, go-karting and race trim cars you can rally race. The Nobbies Center brings you up close to penguins and seals.
Younger children will enjoy the Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory which has a functioning village made entirely of chocolate. Don’t leave before visiting Cape Woolamai and catch a wave at one of the most popular beaches in Victoria. In fact, it is so popular with water sports Cape Woolamai has been declared a National Surfing Reserve.
Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens features over 93 acres with more then 50,000 plants from all around the world. You can pack a picnic and enjoy the sun here and the best part, it is free! It’s a gorgeous family destination in Melbourne. They have interactive children’s gardens, plant tunnels and a kitchen filled with just edible plants. There are various events that are scheduled daily so each day is a new adventure.
St. Kilda Beach
This is one of Melbourne’s most popular beaches and it is less the 4 miles from the city center. Older children will love the St Kilda Skate Park while the younger ones will enjoy the adventure playground and everyone will have fun at Luna Park, an amusement park, where there are rides for every age.
During the evening a casual stroll down the pier will bring you to the sightings of the penguins that live there. The boardwalk features numerous restaurants and shops.
Scienceworks: Thoughful Family Destinations In Melbourne
This astonishing destination features everything that science has to offer. This interactive museum was designed with children in mind. They have numerous exhibitions such as the Lightning Room where the mystery of lightning is explored.
The Melbourne Planetarium puts on daily displays of outer space and Sportsworks has over 20 hands-on experiences in sport activities. There is also a museum that holds over 17 million historical finds.
Eureka Skydeck 88
Opening in 2006, the Eureka Tower stands 975 feet tall and is one of Melbourne’s tallest skyscrapers. The Eureka Skydeck is located on the 88th floor with an elevation of 935 feet and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Melbourne. There are free viewfinders on the observation deck for a closer look at the city and the landmarks below.
There is also a very unique feature called “The Edge”. The Edge is a clear viewing booth that once occupied projects 10 feet further out from the tower. Once fully suspended the glass becomes clear and you appear to be floating over the city below.
Melbourne Aquarium: Happy Family Destinations in Melbourne
The Melbourne Aquarium opened in January of 2000 and is located on the Yarra River. It was designed to resemble a moored ship with 23 feet of the structure under the water surface. It features over 10,000 species of animals and has astonishing exhibitions. One of its main attractions is known as the ‘Oceanarium In The Round’ which is located on the lower floor and contains a 580,000 gallon underwater glass encased viewing station.
This exhibition is home to over 2,000 species of marine life including the grey nurse shark and sandbar whaler sharks. The Croc Lair exhibit includes one of the largest saltwater crocodiles in the world. Other features include the Rainforest Adventure, Penguin Playground and the Conservation Cove to name just a few. There are 4 levels to explore so you can either pack a lunch for the days’ adventure or enjoy the aquariums café.
Melbourne, Australia is full of cultural events, historical landmarks and above all is very family oriented making it the perfect spot for a family holiday. These family destinations in Melbourne offers diversities from beaches and island retreats to steam trains and open range zoos. Children of all ages are able to find something to capture their sense of adventure and parenting on a holiday has never been so stress free and fun.