Melbourne Virtual Tour

Melbourne Virtual Tour

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/19/2020

Reading time: 5 mins

Our tours from Melbourne will be recommencing soon, but for now enjoy a taste of some of our favourite spots around the city with our virtual tour.

Welcome to Melbourne! Officially the capital of the state of Victoria, and unofficially the Australian capital of sport, food and culture. As you wander the city’s characterful streets, heritage buildings and flourishing green spaces, you will easily understand how Melbourne frequently tops Most Liveable Cities lists. Melbourne annually hosts a stack of international sporting events, from the Australian Open to the Grand Prix, not to mention the all important Australian Rules Grand Final. Australian foodies know Melbourne is where you get the best coffee, and international influence has established a varied and first-rate food and drink scene. As the city emerges from a lock-down induced slumber, we can explore some of the top sights of the city, even if only virtually.

  • Federation Square, St Pauls, Flinders Street

    Standing in the centre of Melbourne’s main square, you can admire several of the city’s most popular attractions. First, there is Federation Square itself, an open space arts precinct where locals and visitors meet and mingle. Opened in 2002 to celebrate Australia’s centenary of federation (which was actually in 2001), the square houses several bars, shops and cultural attractions including the Ian Potter Centre (Australian art wing of the National Gallery of Victoria) and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). The screen at the centre of the amphitheatre is a popular spot to watch important sporting events such as the Australian Open. While the contemporary design was originally unpopular with Melburnians, the locals have come to love the unusual and vibrant city square.

    Across the road, juxtaposing Federation Square’s modernity, sit two of Melbourne’s most iconic older buildings. To the north is St Pauls Cathedral, an Anglican Church designed by William Butterfield and completed in 1891. On the other side of Swanston Street is Flinders Street Station, the main hub for Melbourne’s train and metro network. The instantly recognisable art nouveau building housing the station was completed in 1909 and is now used by tens of thousands of commuters per day.

  • Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton

    Heading north, we arrive in Carlton, a small inner suburb famous for the strip of Italian restaurants on Lygon Street and credited as the birthplace of Melbourne’s famous café culture. The area was home to many Italian immigrants in the early 20th century, who put their stamp on the area commonly known as Little Italy. While the demographic may have changed since then, you can still enjoy the sights and smells of the Italian influence on the area as you wander the streets and cosy cafes.

    Carlton is also home to one of Melbourne’s most impressive buildings, the World Heritage Listed Exhibition Building. Sitting in the picturesque Carlton Gardens, the Exhibition Building was built between 1879 – 80 to host the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 – 81. It was designed by architect Joseph Reed, who also designed the magnificent State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Town Hall buildings. If you would like a peek inside but aren’t attending one of the events that are held here, the nearby Melbourne Museum conducts tours of the building’s interior.

  • Botanical Gardens & Shrine of Remembrance

    Crossing back over the Yarra River, we arrive in the expansive Royal Botanical Gardens of Melbourne. These sprawling gardens, covering 94 acres, offer city residents and visitors a peaceful location to relax and connect with nature just a short walk from the city centre. The gardens are filled with an array of Australian and international plants and trees, with themed collections including the Australian Forest, Fern Gully and the Tropical Display Glasshouse. Visitors can enjoy a walk through the grounds to admire around 8500 different plants species, or simply relax on the lush green lawns and soak up the tranquil surroundings.

    The Botanical Gardens also hosts the grand and imposing Shrine of Remembrance, a memorial to all the Australian soldiers who have served in war. Designed by World War 1 veterans with a heavy classical architecture influence, the Shrine was dedicated on 11th of November 1934.

  • St Kilda

    Travelling further south, we arrive on the coast of the Port Phillip Bay at St Kilda. Named after the Lady of St Kilda boat that was anchored off the main beach during 1841, the beachside suburb has undergone a popularity rollercoaster with as many highs and lows as the Luna Park scenic railway by its foreshore. From playground of Melbourne’s elite, to bohemian red-light district and back again, St Kilda has retained many of the historical buildings and landmarks that demonstrate the suburb’s character.

    Meander along the foreshore to take in the wonderful views of Port Phillip Bay and wander along the historical St Kilda Pier. If you are here at sunset, stay and watch the colony of little penguins that nest in the rocks as they return from a day of fishing. During the summer, sunbathers lay on the sand and the bars are full of locals and travellers taking in the views with a beer, while kitesurfers race across the water. If you are ready for a drink, make a stop at any number of iconic pubs from the Espy to the Price of Wales.

Outside of Melbourne

Beyond the city, Melbourne is your gateway to a number of great attractions including the 12 Apostles on Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island and the Yarra Valley. A virtual tour just doesn’t do this incredible city justice – so we hope to see you here in person soon!

Related article: How many days are enough for Melbourne?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.