Melbourne makes for a fabulous introduction to travelling around Australia. It’s an amazing family-friendly city that always has something exciting going on for all members of the family.
With the help of our city expert Katy from Untold Morsels, we have put together this fabulous 3 day Melbourne Itinerary to make sure you capture all the best Melbourne has to offer on a short trip to Victoria, Australia.
You can listen to an interview between our editor Marianne and Katy on our City Travel with Kids Podcast below – full show notes for the podcast can be found here.
Day 1 Melbourne Itinerary with Kids
Start your day with the FREE City Circle Talking Tram (Route 35) that takes you on a loop around the city’s CBD and past many of the city’s famous buildings. It’s a great way to get your bearings and enjoy an iconic Melbourne experience.
Next up, pay a visit to the State Library Victoria (extensive renovation works are due to complete on 5 December 2019 – check if things will be open if visiting before this time). One of the city’s most iconic and beautiful buildings, and can you believe also very family-friendly, check out the Play Pod for under 8’s.
Top Tip: Katy recommends grabbing one of Melbourne’s best coffees from nearby Mr Tulk!
Before lunch, take a stroll through Melbourne’s famous Laneways. Otherwise drab corners of the city have been transformed over the years by street art and are now an Instagram heaven! Try Hosier Lane and Manchester Lane for some iconic shots.
You can join an informative laneways tour, but with kids, you may prefer to move at your own pace.
There is so much variety in Melbourne, and honestly, it’s hard to find a bad meal in the foodie capital of Australia! Even if a restaurant doesn’t have a specific kids menu, you’ll find most cafes and restaurants willing to adapt dishes to suit.
If you have a good head for heights, head to the Southbank and the Eureka Tower Skydeck. Melbourne’s tallest tower gives you brilliant birds-eye views over the entire city skyline.
The more daring of you may want to take on the glass-cubed “The Edge” for a genuine birds-eye view over the city, a lookout sitting 300m above street level on the 88th floor.
Alternatively, spend the afternoon exploring the extensive Royal Botanical Gardens. The Melbourne gardens really are amongst the best you’ll find in the world. With kids, the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is a must.
This is a long walking and exploring day, but do take advantage of the free CBD trams when you can.
For dinner, try the Emporium Melbourne. An upmarket food court with plenty of cuisines available to keep everyone in the family happy!
Where to stay in Melbourne with kids
The best place to stay in Melbourne is in or close the CBD. From here you have great access to transport, as well as parks, playgrounds, cafes and restaurants. It’s a relatively easy city centre to navigate. Chose from hotels or self-catering apartments on longer stays:
Some top Melbourne CBD picks include:
A good alternative is staying on the South Bank. There are options attached to the Crown Casino complex and nearby Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, as well as easy walking distance to the Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV and the Royal Botanical Gardens. You can try:
Check out our full selection of hand-picked Melbourne hotels for families as chosen by our Little City team of experts here.
Day 2 Melbourne itinerary with kids
We’re starting Day 2 just north of the CBD in Carlton. The Melbourne Museum is a brilliant place to explore for all ages. For younger kids especially they will enjoy the Children’s Gallery, then head outside to enjoy the Carlton Gardens playground.
You are nearby here to Melbourne’s famous Lygon Street, packed full of restaurants with a particular focus on Italian cuisine. There are plentiful family-friendly choices, let your nose pick a favourite spot!
Heading back into the CBD now, we will explore the Melbourne SEA Life Aquarium, one of the better inner-city Aquariums you’ll find with lots of funny activities for kids. The extremely brave in your group may want to try the Shark Dive Xtreme Experience!
Sporting fans in your group will love a tour of the MCG. Sports memorable and many memorable events from the 1956 Olympics to the Ashes and Aussie Rules football. Great engaging tours, through the Museum, change rooms and on to the turf. Best suited to your tweens+.
For dinner, we’re heading to a Melbourne institution, Brunetti! A family-run Roman Pasticceria for some of the best pasta, pizza and desserts outside of Italy!
Planning to See several Melbourne attractions? We recommend the iVenture Pass as a great way to save! Includes Eureka Skydeck, Melbourne Zoo, SEA Life Auquairum, Healesville Sanctuary and many more Melbourne favourite family attractions. Check out the 3, 5 & 7 day options here.
Day 3 Melbourne itinerary with kids
We’ll start our final day exploring the giant Queen Victoria Market, just north of the CBD. The markets open very early in the day so you can grab some brekkie here and experience the hustle and bustle before doing your shopping.
It is a great place to pick up your Aussie souvenirs (from quality sheepskin products through to tourist tat!), as well as fresh food – why not grab a picnic for later in the day?
Next, we’re going to explore the Old Melbourne Gaol. Old and spooky but the staff go out of their way to make it a fun and educational experience for the kids. They will dress you up in convict uniforms, or walk around the goal and hear re-enacted stories. They have lots of interactive experiences.
There are also nighttime ghost tours for your over 16’s!
An alternate way to spend the morning, and especially good on those rainy days in the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Not only do they have excellent permanent exhibits, but they also have brilliant rotating exhibits, which always include a kids section.
The water wall outside the NGV is also a great attraction for kids, it’s a very welcoming space, targetted at all different age groups.
Head to the seaside suburb of St Kilda. It’s a nice wide sandy beach sitting on Port Phillip Bay. The water is calm making it excellent for children, it’s a popular seaside escape for Melbournians, especially on a hot sunny day!
Head out to the St Kilda Pier for great views back to Melbourne and stay until evening to see the Fairy Penguins make their way to shore.
Have dinner in one of the trendy nearby restaurants – yes even with the kids! Just pick your spot carefully as it can become a younger rowdy crowd at some venues later into the evening.
Further family activities from Melbourne
If you have more than 3 days in Melbourne, it’s time to go exploring on some day trips. You are best to hire a car if you want to head beyond the transport network of the CBD.
Theses trips can make for a great full day, or even better arrange to stay a night or two to enjoy the best the state of Victoria has to offer:
- The Yarra Valley: Renowned for its’amazing family-friendly wineries and fresh produce. You can also make a full day out of a stop at Healesville Sanctuary.
- Mornington Peninsula: A great day road trip down the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay with wineries to rope courses.
- The Great Ocean Road: One of Australia’s most iconic drives from Torquay, south-west of Melbourne all the way to Warrnambool.
- Phillip Island: a great natural wildlife spotting place close to Melbourne.
How to get around Melbourne
Melbourne’s inner-city public transport network is excellent, and within the CBD – FREE. There is a good network of trains, buses, and trams that operate across the city to outer suburbs too.
You will find footpaths are wide and transport stops have all been designed to allow stroller & disabled access.
What to pack for Melbourne
- The weather can change quickly in Melbourne and whilst you might set out with umbrellas and coats in the morning, you could need hats and sunnies in the afternoon!
- Sun protection in Australia is essential. You will want sunscreen and a hat whenever you are out during the day, and if you’re heading to the beach a Rashy to protect your skin out playing in the water.
- Bring a cardigan or pullover for everyone whatever the season, and in the cooler winter months thick puffer coats along with beanies and scarves will be needed.
- Kids will want their own small backpacks and bring your reusable water bottles (free refills available) as well as your reusable coffee cup!
Remember to pop on over and listen to the podcast if you would like to learn more about all the places we mention from Katy & the Little City team.
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