29 September 2023

How To Have The Best Melbourne Girls Trip (Top 10 Things To Do)

Melbourne - the cultural capital of Australia, is one of my favourite destinations for a long weekend or quick getaway. Two of my friends had never been before, so we spontaneously booked a trip across the ditch - gotta love friends like that!

We decided to make the most of it and book five nights away, which gave us plenty of time to see the best highlights of Australia's now largest city. There are even more people living in Melbourne than the whole of New Zealand! 

In this blog post, I share my top recommendations for things to do in Melbourne, especially on a girl's trip, plus a few travel tips at the end. Of course, there is sooo much to see and do in Melbourne, it really does depend on your own interests but these are my top suggestions and highlights of our trip that we personally loved.


We flew direct from Wellington with Air New Zealand and the flight time was just over four hours. We went in mid-May, and it was very pretty and autumnal everywhere and not quite wintery cold yet.

This was actually my fourth visit to Melbourne, (the last time being in 2017 - I used to live in Australia so I loved visiting during that time), and some of these recommendations I've done multiple times.

Top 10 Things To Do in Melbourne

1. Free Walking Tour

I highly recommend doing the 'I'm Free' Melbourne Sights Walking Tour, especially on your first full day. It's a great way to get your bearings, see the top city highlights, learn lots of history and get great recommendations. It's three hours long with only a quick ten-minute break for a toilet stop in the middle, so wear comfy shoes and bring snacks and a drink! The tour runs on tips so bring a bit of cash with you as well as a thank you. You finish up with this great viewpoint of the city skyline (below).

2. Iconic Street Art

Melbourne is internationally renowned for its cool and iconic street art and it's an important part of the vibrant culture of the city. Street artists have turned the laneways and alleys into a colourful playground, and they are ever-so-'grammable. Not anyone can do it - you actually require a permit or permission from the building owner. You can find street art pretty much around every corner, but the most famous places not to miss include Hosier Lane and AC/DC Lane.


3. Incredible Food & Coffee 

Not only is Melbourne the coffee capital of Australia, it's a haven for foodies and is renowned for its incredible cuisine. Spend some time researching where you want to eat and drink before your trip and prioritise, there are so many amazing food choices reflecting the diverse population and there just isn’t enough time to get to all of them! (I especially recommend checking out Chinatown, and the Greek and Italian districts).


4. Great Ocean Road Day Trip 

If you have a day to spare, I highly recommend doing a full-day trip to the Great Ocean Road with Go West Tours. It's a great way to get out of the city and explore more of the State of Victoria. You get to visit some beautiful beaches on the surf coast, drive along the national heritage Great Ocean Road highway, see Koalas in the wild, go for a little hike in a rainforest, see the famous Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge - it's such a memorable and epic day! 


5. Queen Victoria Market 

'Queen Vic' Market is a must-visit in Melbourne, it's the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere. The historic landmark is spread over two city blocks where you can shop at over 600 small businesses for everything from fresh Australian produce, local and imported gourmet foods, to clothing and souvenirs. 

6. Unique Bars

Melbourne has no shortage of unique and trendy bars. Berlin Bar is one of them, which is located near Chinatown. The bar is split into two themes, East and West from the Cold War Era, with plush banquettes, bunker-style decor and bathtub tables. Another cool bar is Naked for Satan in Fitzroy, specialising in pintxos and vodka with spectacular rooftop views. Or if you love craft beer another hidden gem is a graffiti-covered open-air bar called Section 8 on Stevenson Lane. The drinks are served from a shipping container, and they often have DJs and live music.

7. State Library of Victoria

Established in 1854, the State Library of Victoria is Australia's oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world. It's a super impressive building from the inside out and well worth a wander around. Head up to the top floor and admire the magnificent architecture of the octagonal La Trobe Reading Room from above - housing 32,000 books. There's also the Victoria Gallery and different exhibition rooms, one of which you can view Ned Kelly’s real armour. The Mr Tulk cafe on the left side of the library is also a really good spot for brunch.


8. See a Show

Melbourne hosts everything from popular Broadway hits to off-beat local comedy and theatre. Some of the bigger shows are held at Princess Theatre, Regent Theatre and Her Majesty’s Theatre which are all beautiful old buildings that would be at home in London. Book well in advance for the more popular shows. We saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in its final days at the Princess Theatre.

9. Laneways & Arcades

Melbourne's famous laneways are buzzing with shopping arcades, street art, cafes, bars and boutiques, all with their own individual character and charm. Spend some time exploring Block and Royal Arcades which will transport you back in time, and wander through the surrounding tempting laneways bursting with popular eateries.

10. Museums & Galleries

Melbourne has a huge range of incredible museums, exhibitions and art galleries if that's your thing. A must-visit includes the National Gallery of Victoria (Ian Potter Centre & NGV International). Founded in 1861, it's Australia's oldest and most visited art museum. Another great option is the Melbourne Museum, a natural and cultural history museum.

Melbourne Travel Tips

- If you’re travelling with a group of friends like we did, share an Airbnb apartment. It’s much more affordable than a hotel and you can stay in a great central location with your own room. 

- If you’re flying into Melbourne, I recommend taking the SkyBus. It’s the cheapest option and runs express right into the city. Buy a return ticket from the airport for $36 AUD.

- Take advantage of the trams within the main city centre which are FREE! Just beware of where the free tram zone ends and note that it gets very busy during peak rush hour times.

- There are free city Wi-Fi hotspots all over the place which makes navigating a breeze (I was initially planning on buying a travel sim card but I didn't need to in the end).

- Eating out in Melbourne isn't exactly cheap, and another thing to be aware of is the 15-20% service charge, not only on public holidays (like in New Zealand) - but on weekends! Ouch.

- Melbourne is often known to have four seasons in one day, so pack an umbrella or raincoat and wrap up warm if your trip is during the winter months (June-August).

Do you have any other Melbourne tips to share? 😊

If you're planning on a girls trip to Melbourne I hope you have the best time! It's such a fun and unique city with so many awesome things to see and do.

Feel free to keep up with my latest adventures on Instagram.

Happy Travels,


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