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MELBOURNE: Just landed in Melbourne and wondering what the city is all about? And why does it have a global reputation for its diversity, energy and creativity. One of the best ways to discover everything is on foot, so a walking tour – with a guide or self-guided – is a great way to get to know Melbourne from the ground up. How about starting with our recommendations?
Melbourne is renowned for its innovative street art, and some locals run tours for visitors in the city. One walk covers the well-known CBD street art laneways like ACDC Lane or Hosier Lane, as well as some hidden underground treasures. It finishes at Blender Studios (located in West Melbourne), where participants get a tour of the studio and meet the artists and see them at work. There’s a gourmet selection of market-fresh produce, beer, wine, and soft drinks provided as you wander through the space.
Haunting Ghost Tours
Those who enjoy scaring themselves a little might want to try the Old Melbourne Ghost Tour. Starting from Young & Jackson’s Hotel Corner and running Friday and Saturday night, the tour takes visitors to CBD sites with shady histories of death and iniquity, and participants are encouraged to look out for paranormal activity. Tours go for 90 minutes and dinner at Young & Jackson’s prior to the tour is optional.
A Tour for the Books Buffs
Melbourne is a UNESCO City of Literature, so a literary walk is a must on a visit to the city. The Melbourne Bookshop and Writers Tour has been voted one of the top 10 literary walks in the world by Lonely Planet. Hear literature from stories, poems, books, places connected to the streets of Melbourne as the tour takes in specialist and independent bookstores, many of which are in historically significant sites and feature weekly readings.
Peaceful Garden Walks
Melbourne is home to some glorious gardens, particularly Fitzroy Gardens on the eastern edge of the CBD. The Victorian-era gardens feature paths lined with beautiful elm trees and are the site of Cooks’ Cottage – which visitors can enter – and a Spanish-mission-style conservatory. Pick up a self-guided walking tour from the Visitor Centre ahead of your journey.
Not far from Fitzroy Gardens is Carlton Gardens (1-111 Carlton Street), which features ornamental lakes, a number of intricate fountains, European trees and flowerbeds. The gardens are the site of the Royal Exhibition Building and the Melbourne Museum. Visitors can happily trail around the gardens by themselves and take in the 19th-century grandeur.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in the inner-city suburb of South Yarra is vast and beautiful, featuring sweeping lawns, a lake and a huge array of both introduced and indigenous plants. It’s also home to the National Herbarium, established in 1853, which houses 1.2 million dried botanical specimens. The Gardens’ well-equipped Visitor Centre runs comprehensive walking tours with a range of emphases.
Insider Tip: In summer, the Gardens play host to Melbourne’s favourite outdoor cinema, Moonlight Cinema, where you can watch advance screenings of new movies or old cult classics on the Central Lawn.
Suburban Nature Walks
Those looking for some nature-filled places to go in Melbourne that aren’t quite as carefully cultivated as the city’s formal gardens are in luck. The Merri Creek Trail, north of the CBD, is 21 kilometres long (you can do shorter sections, of course) and allows visitors a glimpse of Australia’s bushland close to the CBD. If you prefer to cycle this, check out this guide to exploring the Merri Creek Trail on two wheels.
If you’re willing to venture further afield, the Gardiners Creek Trail, which follows Gardiners Creek through the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, is a great option. The trail starts in the outer eastern suburb of Blackburn and runs through Blackburn Creeklands and Gardiners Creek Reserve. Enjoy wetlands full of frogs, ducks and birds, then link back to the Main Yarra Trail in Burnley.
After a big day of walking, rest your feet at Adina Apartment Hotel. With four locations across Melbourne, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Adina Apartment Hotel Southbank is housed in a eco-concious designed building that is celebrated for its innovation, while Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne on Flinders is ideally situated amongst all the action on Flinders Street.
Enjoy spacious and fully furnished studio apartments, or one, two or three-bedroom apartments at Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne and if you’re exploring Melbourne's eclectic north, rest your head at the newly opened Adina Hotel Apartment Pentridge.
Whatever you decide rest easy with Adina Hotels.