21 Oct 2019 16:39:12
Getting to know Melbourne’s neighbourhoods takes time. As one of the world’s most liveable cities, it’s full of family-friendly suburbs. This quick guide has you covered with top places to tick off your bucket list.
This is the thick of it here; think Bourke, Russell, Flinders and Spencer Streets – the centre of all the action. Here you’ll find all the tourist hot spots, and plenty of places to shop, eat and explore. Head to Queen Victoria Market and start your day in foodie-utopia; let the kids loose at the famous American Doughnut Kitchen for some serious parent-points! Take a tram down Swanston Street to check out Flinders Street Station and Federation Square. Then walk to Hosier Lane for street art wow, and get lost in the laneways.
For an all-sensory experience, head to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium for hours of underwater fun. Located on the banks of the Yarra, opposite Crown – it’s only a five-minute walk from Flinders Street Station. As well as countless fish and sea creatures, you and the kids can also catch talks and learn about everything from penguins to sea stars and all animals in between. Make sure you remember the pram if you’ve got toddlers in tow.
Show the whole family a fab view of the city from this neck of the woods, and give them some perspective of the skyline. Wander over Princes Bridge and explore the gorgeous Yarra River as it snakes through the city. Or get out on the water for a cruise to Williamstown. For some family-friendly culture, the National Gallery of Victoria has free exhibitions and is a must-see for budding architects. For a relaxing, run-free space, the Royal Botanical Gardens is perfect for a picnic.
Once you get the obligatory Luna Park ‘big mouth’ family photo out of the way, there’s no better place for the whole family than hanging out at St Kilda beach. BYO kite and your kids will love you. And the best part is – if you stay until sunset, you’ll get a spectacular light show, and you may be lucky enough to see the famous little blue penguins waddle their way up the sand.
The young professionals going about their lives is what gives this neighbourhood its eclectic, creative vibe. When in Rome… or the Inner North, it’s all about brunch; there’s plenty of family-friendly places to fill your plate. Carlton Gardens has a lovely low-key atmosphere, but the real heart of this area is the uber-cool Gertrude Street, where your family can fit themselves out in some gorgeous threads. Get off the main drags to explore the heart of Northcote, Fitzroy and Brunswick.
If the family is in the mood for shopping, the Chapel Street precinct is the place to wander. When you end up in Prahran, get off your feet and grab some dumplings. Learn about the Aboriginal culture at the Emerald Hill Heritage Centre, and stop for a story or two at South Melbourne’s local library.
Wander around Williamstown for boutique shopping, and gorgeous-looking neighbourhoods. Take a heritage walk to spot the Toorak-style houses and historic buildings. Check out the bustling Footscray Market then seek out an authentic Vietnamese family-feast and perhaps a craft beer for tired parents.