While Sydney tops a lot of itineraries on account of its many famous sights, Melbourne is a wonderful place to relax and dive into some arts and culture. You’ll stay busy with its wonderful art museums, the local chapter of penguins parading to the ocean, and the internationally recognized wine country.
When you’re tired and sore from running through your itinerary, take an afternoon to rejuvenate! Pack a lunch and head into the open air to enjoy these perfect picnic locations.
1.Eat Your Heart Out in the Heart of Melbourne
Whether you’ve just settled into your hotel or are enjoying a weekend away from the grind, a convenient respite sits right in the heart of Melbourne. You can find it on the south shore of the Yarra River.
Stop at any of the restaurants and cafés that surround the river walk, then head over to the Main Yarra Trail for an afternoon stroll. The Southbank Promenade has beautiful views of the river and of downtown Melbourne’s skyline.
2.Picnic with Penguins at the Pier
While Phillip Island is a renowned spot for seeing the area’s local penguin population, St. Kilda’s Pier is a great way to bypass the crowds and the fees. It has crisp views of the beach and skyline. There’s even a café to curb the afternoon munchies. The penguins parade in and out of the river, so there are several times to catch a glimpse of their cuteness.
3.Food, Flowers and Film
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne is an impressive 94 acres of manicured flora perfect for an afternoon walk or bike ride. Over 50,000 plants are presented beautifully between the Yarra River and the park’s various lakes and ponds.
Have a nice meal on the steps of the Shrine of Remembrance, then follow the adjoined Forest Walk or check out the Children’s Garden. At sunset, head over to the Moonlight Cinema for an evening screening of both classic films and new releases.
4.Winning Hearts and Seeing Arts
While river walks and cityscapes are beautiful, there’s a different set of sights to see at the National Gallery Victoria. While it would be easy to spend a full day perusing the art collection, try grabbing a refreshment at the museum’s café then head into the sculpture garden. With 22 sculptures in its sprawling green, a picnic here should inspire an evening of romance.
5.Head to the Hills, Healesville Has It
Healesville is a short drive northwest of the city. For those who don’t drive, it’s a wonderful weekend bike ride. There’s beautiful rolling hills and plenty of places to camp. But for a day trip, just grab some driving lessons in Melbourne and hit the road.
Climb out of the valley to the Maroondah Reservoir and its views of the reservoir and surrounding catchment. Bring lunch from Healesville, sit underneath the park’s exotic flora, and watch the native wildlife. This also is a playground for the kids!
There are plenty of ways to relax in Melbourne. So grab your loved ones, pull up some lawn, and have a breath of fresh air.