As The Economist’s most liveable city for the seventh year in a row, Melbourne is the place to be (plus, you won’t find a better coffee anywhere else in the world!).
Aside from the well-known Federation Square, MCG and Botanical Gardens, there are many other incredible areas to explore, and today we highlight the Docklands and Geelong as our two top picks for families.
The Docklands is an area of Melbourne that has quickly moved on from its past slightly sterile reputation. Families can easily spend an entire day here brunching, lunching and taking a ferry to Williamstown or shorter boat ride along the Yarra River.
For meals there are good Middle Eastern and Mediterranean options, as well as plenty of casual ice cream and fish and chips for kids with more particular palettes. Quality Yum Cha is also available for those seeking Asian cuisine.
Docklands is also home to Melbourne’s equivalent of the London Eye, the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. This is a fun way to view the city, but check around online for deals prior to entry to save on ticket prices.
For the truly organised, you may wish to time your visit to the Docklands with an outing to the Channel 9 television studios. Monitor ticketmaster.com.au for dates when they need a live, studio audience.
Artvo has also recently opened in the Docklands, which is a must see attraction for people of all ages. This immersive ‘trick-art’ gallery not only encourages you to touch and play with the exhibits but is a dedicated place for illusion photography that features you! So take your phone/camera and explore over 1900 square metres of space and become part of the art yourself.
If you’ve visited Melbourne before, you may choose to plan some fun family activities in Geelong, which is only an hour’s drive from the CBD. Here, you have iconic spaces such as the huge Adventure Water Park, which houses hours of water play activities along with rides, mini golf and even an archery range.
A visit to the Geelong Waterfront is also highly recommended, with some fun public art on display as well as a variety of restaurants with truly waterfront dining available.
Also of note for the young and young at heart, is the Carousel Pavilion which houses one of Australia’s most beautiful and working carousels. Inside a stunning glass pavilion, it’s been painstakingly restored from its 1892 construction, featuring a majority of the original hand carved horses.
Next, hit up Eastern Beach for its swimming and recreation reserve and a stroll along the boardwalk. Families will enjoy the children’s swimming pool and ample dressing room facilities and the shark proof sea bath is useful for anyone who prefers their flake on a plate.
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Photo credits: Featured header image by Russell Charters.