There are 59283273 places I want to visit… and Australia, the continent is one. Too large to visit entirely… unless I take one of those trans-continental trains but Melbourne seems to be a good place to start. Why? It’s a city and for the following reasons. So this is a pretty map of Melbourne to start with…

I am fascinated with maps. And love artists who do their own impressions of their favourite place/city/country.

Luna Park: For chills and thrills

What’s the first thing that stands out in this map… a funny, white and oversized face in the South of Melbourne. The face is of Mr Moon, the entrance of a popular amusement park called the Luna Park located in a Melbourne suburb called St Kilda. It is one of the 5 Luna Parks that were built in Australia, of which the only other one that still operates is in Sydney.

Mr Moon of the Luna Park
Mr Moon of Luna Park fame. Look at his grin, so wide but a great place to take a selfie :p I love amusement parks… In and around Mumbai, I’ve been to Essel World, Fantasy Land (no more, sigh), Yazoo Park (Virar) and Imagica (Khopoli). Here’s a short video on the history of the Luna Park in Melbourne. History of an amusement park, pretty killer.

Random fact worth knowing: Luna Park’s Carousel is the largest and most elaborate in the Southern Hemisphere. Carousels have always been magical rides for me.

The free-spirited Yarra River

The second thing that caught my attention is the Yarra River. Why? Cause I teach Geography and I dig nature. Rivers are fascinating. Their origin, their flow, the habitat around and inside them, the temperature of the water, what the water is use for, etc etc. Known to be one of the cleanest capital city rivers in the world, the Yarra is one of the reasons why Melbourne became a big city.. access to fresh water from the river was key. It feeds the city’s reservoirs! A history of the Yarra River and why it is so crucial for Melbourne!

The iconic river is central to numerous Melbourne events like the Moomba festival, the Melbourne Festival and Dragon Boat Festivals. Dragon boat racing is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia today.

Photo courtesy
The Dragon Boat Festival on the Yarra River Photo courtesy

The picturesque settings are also home to rowing regattas. In addition to these, the banks of the river are popular for being barbecue and picnic spots and fishing hangouts. The valley formed by the river is home to wineries and you can view it from the sky by taking one of those hot-air balloon rides. There are river boat cruises that you can try too.

The Eureka Tower SkyDeck

Architecture! This city grows upwards and beautifully. Its buildings are pretty. The tallest of them all is the Eureka Tower and yes, you can touch the sky and reach the sky in 38 seconds flat cause the elevator is so fast it can take you from floor 1 to floor 88 so very fast. The SkyDeck lets you view the city from this highest point in the Southern Hemisphere. And if you’re not someone who is scared of heights you should visit the glass cube on the top floor called ‘The Edge’ that protrudes outside of the tower allowing you to see beneath your feet, suspended almost 300 meters above the ground!

The vibrant street art 

The stencil art capital of the world. You cannot miss the street art in the city! Legal street art includes stencils, paste-ups and murals. The official Melbourne city site says, “The City of Melbourne recognises the importance of street art in contributing to a vibrant urban culture. Melbourne’s street art has become internationally renowned and has become an attraction for local and overseas visitors experiencing Melbourne’s creative ambience.” Sweet! Hosier Lane is supposed to be the most-famous area to see street art in the city. It’s awesome for its vibrant colours, each wall, very Instagrammable. A virtual tour of the street

Here’s a look at the other talking walls of this city

Rash, a film on the street art in Melbourne is worth a watch.

Queen Victoria: Shopping like a royal

Love shopping and food, you cannot miss The Queen Victoria Market. This is perhaps the Crawford Market of Melbourne. Why? Cause it is a historic landmark. It spreads over two city blocks. You can shop for everything from Australian fruit and vegetables, and local and imported gourmet foods, to cosmetics, clothing and souvenirs. Here’s market matriarch Carmel taking you on a foodie tour around the Market

For many places to visit and plan your trip, visit the official Tourism Melbourne website. Here’s a playlist of some more! Featuring Rohan Joshi and Tanmay Bhat
A question for my readers: Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why? One winner gets a gift voucher!