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For years Victoria’s “City by the Bay” has been considered the best place to call home in the world, and for good reason. From the unbeatable view of Port Phillip Bay to boutique-lined streets and gourmet eats, Melbourne is always a great place to be.
We know, we know: You’re looking for places to stay in Melbourne while you’re on holiday, not hunting for a new home. But take a few cues from the locals and plan your trip around quirky neighbourhoods, non-stop nightlife and colourful community events.
In short, let this Melbourne travel guide pique your curiosity for all the new adventures you’ll have in this waterfront city.
Whether you’re taking the family to a museum or meeting up with friends for mojitos, Melbourne has a neighbourhood—or two or three—to fill up your itinerary.
It may be the second-largest city in Australia, but you’ll have no problem curving around Port Phillip with top-notch public transport, including the world’s biggest tram system. Melbourne Airport (MEL) is located on the north side of town and you can ride the sky bus directly to the central Southbank District.
If your flight arrives just in time for a good night’s sleep, book accommodation near MEL airport and rest easy! Relax in one of Wotif’s luxurious Melbourne hotels, then weave between Victorian terrace houses in search of the perfect cup of morning coffee and a yummy brunch. Eat up, because you might go spelunking later—just sayin’.
Check in at one of the top hotels in Melbourne and follow the scent of tzatziki to the nearest gyro cart—you won’t have to go far. Speaking of gyros, Melbourne is quite the melting pot of cultures and traditions, and there is no better way to explore this awesome diversity than one delicious bite at a time.
Can’t decide between a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich or Ethiopian injera wrapped around savoury stew? You’ll find international eats in the Footscray district, just west of the Maribyrnong River. To add some wining to your dining, check out charming cafes among art deco flats and designer boutiques in South Yarra.
Melbourne isn’t just for city slickers. Heck, you can go off the grid in the Yarra Junction caves just 55km east of the city centre. If you’re new to caving, don’t worry; local guides help you avoid getting stuck between a rock and a hard place.
And hey, here’s a bonus: Yarra Junction happens to be close to the Yarra Valley wine country, along with the beautiful Mount Donna Buang. Reward your stellar spelunking with a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a gorgeous landscape. Bottoms up!
Wanna trade the underground adventure for a bird’s-eye view? Catch the next hot air balloon before it floats over the vineyards. Look to the southwest and you might be able to see your Melbourne hotel from the sky.
Bringing the kids along? Go for a spin on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel—it will feel almost like a night at the carnival, but the view of the waterfront and the unmistakable skyline will remind you real quick that you’re downtown, front and centre. Which means you’ll be close to top Melbourne accommodation at nap time. Haha, just kidding. You won’t want to miss a minute of fun.
If you’ve got to boogie down to a digeridoo, check out the Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre, where kiddies of all ages can learn about Victoria’s aboriginal heritage and contemporary customs.
After a long day, the kiddos will sleep like babies, so browse our deals to figure out where to stay in Melbourne’s CBD near these and other top family activities.
Melbourne’s nightlife is sprinkled throughout the city, ranging from laidback pubs to classy cocktail bars and pulsing clubs. Sample craft cocktails to the soundtrack of Collingwood’s live music venues. Collingwood is both artsy and unassuming…and quite punk.
Next-door neighbourhood Fitzroy has its fair share of tasty libations, too. Your bartender’s tattoo sleeves might be as colourful as the original drinks they pour, which we say adds character. If you stay out way past your bedtime, but want to sleep in a quieter part of town, you don’t have to wander very far to stay in accommodation in Melbourne’s classy Carlton neighbourhood, directly west of Fitzroy.
To really celebrate Melbourne-style, make sure you’re in town for the St Kilda Festival in February. Locals dance, hang out on the beach and enjoy concerts right on the sand—because, summer.
Can you stay through the second week in March? Since 1955, Australians have gathered in Melbourne for Moomba, lighting fireworks, building floats and enjoying all kinds of merry-making to celebrate the Yarra River. It’s a pretty big deal.
There is more fun where that comes from, so score sweet Melbourne hotel deals with Wotif. Wanna save some extra dollarydoos? Add awesome airfares to mix and match Melbourne holiday packages that are just right for your next adventure!
Hotels in Melbourne start at NZ$88 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.