Melbourne is a city of possibility. With a vibrant food culture, world class sporting events and a thriving arts scene there is something on offer for everyone.
The capital of Victoria, Melbourne is as diverse as its multicultural heritage, resulting in a sprawling modern city that blends old and new, built and natural environment. There is plenty to explore in the city and surrounding suburbs, making Melbourne the perfect destination to add a few extra days, pre- or post-conference, to your visit.
Melbourne’s reputation for erratic weather, means there is always the possibility of sunshine just around the corner. Dress in layers to fit in with the locals, and make the most of the outdoor opportunities available.
The CBD is home to a network of laneways hiding boutique shops, ever-evolving street art and your new favourite restaurant or rooftop bar. The city centre offers free tram services including the tourist City Circle route which takes in the best of Melbourne’s historic and cultural landmarks.
Branching out from the city, Melbourne’s inner suburbs, are cultural hubs offering bustling markets, live music venues, public art, green spaces and the world-famous St Kilda beach.
Further afield you can take in the Yarra Valley wine region, the sandy beaches of the Surf Coast and the Mornington Peninsula, Dandenong and Grampians national parks, or begin one of the country’s most picturesque tourist drives along the Great Ocean Road, all within 2 hours from the city centre.
Visit the sites below for more information and to plan your time in Melbourne;
Top Things to do in Melbourne
Please note: Some of the attractions listed below do require admission tickets. To pre-book your tickets online or secure deals for multiple attractions passes, please visit this website: https://www.itoursntix.com/attractions/melbourne-flexi-attraction-pass/
World-class art galleries and installations. Mind-blowing food and drink. Thrilling, extraordinary events that capture the hearts of Melburnians year after year. Fed Square is anything but square. Since opening in 2002, Fed Square has seen more than 100 million visits and been named the 6th Best Public Square in the World.
Walk down the famous laneways and admire the street art that has made the Melbourne urban art scene known across the globe. Take in the dizzying array of colours, characters and shapes created by local and international artists alike. Pick out everything from stencils and paste-ups to murals and installations. Take a wander on your own or join one of the popular walking tours to get some background on the artists and their work.
Step through the grand red gates of Melbourne’s Chinatown and enter a whole new world of Asian cuisine, karaoke, cocktail bars and fashion boutiques. Explore the strip of nineteenth century buildings between Swanston and Spring streets on Little Bourke Street – Australia’s oldest Chinatown.
Queen Victoria Market
Officially opened on 20 March 1878, the Market has been serving the people of Melbourne for more than 140 years. The Market has seen many transformations and has recently been added to the National Heritage List, recognising the significant place it holds in Australian history as our nation’s most iconic fresh produce market. Experience the Market at its liveliest on a Ultimate Foodie Tour. Click here to book a tour today.
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
SEA LIFE Melbourne takes you on an interactive ocean adventure filled with amazing discovery around every corner. Discover creatures of the Southern Ocean in the 2-million-litre oceanarium. Melbourne SEA LIFE aquarium is home to King and Gentoo penguins, nurse sharks and a mega croc.
Eureka Tower, a 297 metre (975 ft.) gold plated skyscraper by the Yarra River in the heart of the Southbank precinct. High up on the 88th floor, 285 metres above sea level, you’ll find the – Eureka Skydeck: Melbourne’s greatest point of view, and one of the most stunning observation decks in the world.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Gardens is a treasured part of cultural life and a valuable asset to the heritage rich city. With its stunning vistas, tranquil lakes and diverse plant collections, the Gardens are a place of continual discovery and delight. Enjoy the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, a Free Guided Walk, a ride on the Garden Explorer or Punting on the tranquil Ornamental Lake, all set against a beautiful backdrop and just moments from the city. Visit the website for more information.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia. With a capacity of 100,000 and a history dating back to 1853, the MCG is considered one of the world’s greatest stadiums. Daily 75-minute tours take visitors for a trip down a memory lane of great moments in sporting history and incorporate the National Sports Museum, including the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum. Daily 75-minute tours take visitors for a trip down a memory lane of great moments in sporting history and incorporate the National Sports Museum, including the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum.
Getting Around Melbourne
There are a number of transportation options from Melbourne Airport to MCEC, and around the city of Mebourne.
The SkyBus transports visitors direct from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station. Bus stops are located outside Terminal 1, Terminal 3 and Terminal 4. Tickets can be purchased when you arrive at the bus stop or online from www.skybus.com.au.
MCEC is a 10 minute walk from the station or catch tram 96 which stops opposite the Clarendon Street entrance of MCEC.
The Sky Bus single adult fare from the airport to your accommodation is A$19.75 and the return fare is A$36.50 (please check here for your price zone and further services).
Ask your taxi or Uber driver to drop you off at MCEC’s Clarendon Street entrance. There are two nearby taxi ranks – Crown, Clarendon Street and DFO, Convention Centre Place.
A taxi fare from Tullamarine airport to DFO South Wharf is approximately A$75. If you would prefer to pre-book your taxi during your stay in Melbourne, please call 13 2227 or book online via https://book.13cabs.com.au
Open 24 hours, seven days a week Wilson Parking manages 1060 undercover parking spaces. Entrance and exit is off Normanby Road. View MCEC Maps page
Fees (subject to change)
0.0 – 1.0 hour: $14.00
1.0 – 2.0 hours: $28.00
2.0 – 3.0 hours: $42.00
3.0 + hours: $56.00
Earlybird rate – $17.00, enter between 6am – 9am and exit between 3pm – midnight Monday – Friday.
Parking is available for people with disabilities in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre car park. Disabled parking locations are near entry doors 1, 6 and 10, which have lift access to the concourse and exhibition area on Level 1. To access Level 2 or Level 5, a separate elevator is located behind the customer service desk. Easy access to a taxi rank and the street is via a ramp outside the main Clarendon Street entrance.
Tram routes 96, 109 and 12 (Stop 124A Casino/MCEC) will all take you to our Clarendon Street entrance. Otherwise, tram routes 70, 75 and the City Circle (Stop D5) take you to Flinders Street. From there, it’s just a short walk up Clarendon Street until you reach the MCEC. The trams do NOT run to the airport.
Take the train to Southern Cross. Once you exit the station, you can catch the 96, 109 or 12 tram routes and arrive at MCEC in just a few stops. The trains do NOT run to the airport.
Hugging the tip of Australia’s east coast, Victoria is Australia’s second-smallest state, covering 227,600 square kilometres – roughly the size of the British Isles.
A wealth of diverse regions and attractions are packed into this compact area, with sweeping coastlines, pristine beaches and national parks and forests teeming with wildlife, plus wineries, lakes and mountains offering skiing, climbing and hiking. Best of all, many of Victoria’s unique and varied landscapes are easily reached as day trips from Melbourne.
Why not add a day onto your Conference trip and spend a Saturday to take in a slice of what Victoria has to offer?
Distance from CBD: 114km
Driving time: 1 hour 33 minutes
Restore the balance and find a new sense of wellbeing on your journey through the Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges region. Rest and rejuvenate in spas and natural mineral springs, stroll through historic gardens and quaint villages, and uncover a region brimming with history, art and creativity. Enjoy fine dining at some of Australia’s best restaurants, meet local winemakers at rustic cellar doors and taste fresh produce at farm gates and roadside stalls as you make your way around the region.
Great Ocean Road
Distance from CBD: 208km
Driving time: 2 hours 25 minutes
See the towering 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife, and take in iconic surf breaks, pristine rainforest and misty waterfalls along the spectacular Great Ocean Road. Get outdoors on bushwalking, surfing and mountain biking expeditions or take the cultural route through galleries, museums and heritage attractions. Feast on spectacular views and local produce along the way.
More information – https://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/great-ocean-road
Distance from CBD: 67.8km
Driving time: 1 hour 11 minutes
Get your foodie fix in Healesville, a regional food and wine hub surrounded by stunning scenery, before experiencing iconic encounters of the wildlife kind. Home to some of the region’s most talented artists, why not visit some of the town’s galleries and studios, or explore the boutique shops and stock up on fresh regional produce from the huge range of local growers and suppliers.
Distance from CBD: 75.5km
Driving time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Breathe in the fresh sea air, sample innovative local cuisine, and soak up the relaxed alfresco lifestyle of the Mornington Peninsula, just an hour from Melbourne. Explore the galleries, spas and cafes in breezy seaside villages, cool off with a day on the beach, or escape to the hinterland for gourmet delights at boutique wineries.
More information – https://www.visitvictoria.com/Regions/Mornington-Peninsula
Distance from CBD: 141km
Driving time: 1 hour 59 minutes
Idyllic beaches, captivating coastlines, family fun activities and world-class events, adventure awaits you on Phillip Island, just 90 minutes from Melbourne. See Little Penguins return to their burrows on sunset, watch inquisitive seals play at sea, go in search of whales and be in awe of natural scenery on a coastal walk.
More information – https://www.visitphillipisland.com.au/
Distance from CBD: 236km
Driving time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Mount Buller is the most accessible major snow resort in Australia and a premier ski destination for snow enthusiasts from across the nation and around the world. Take in spectacular views as you whiz down the slopes on skis, snowboard or toboggan on an exhilarating day trip or extended holiday.
Mount Baw Baw
Distance CBD: 176km
Driving time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Discover the stunning Alpine landscapes, crisp mountain air and family friendly ski fields of Mt Baw Baw, located just two and a half hours from Melbourne.
Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges
Distance from CBD: 50km
Driving time: less than an hour
Take an early morning balloon flight, meet passionate food and wine producers, and encounter a platypus at Healesville Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley. Wander the walking trails, meander the villages and discover the hidden delights of the Dandenong Ranges among its scenic winding roads, abundant artist studios, craft stores and renowned gardens.
More information – https://www.visitvictoria.com/Regions/Yarra-Valley-and-Dandenong-Ranges