16 Jul 2018
From stingrays and sporting cathedrals to buried treasure and body armour, this is one route that covers all bases. Start your adventure in the city with some of Melbourne’s most popular attractions before rolling through the sports precinct and winding your way through the inner east to bustling Camberwell. Of course, once you’ve had your fill you can simply glide your way back to town.
Start your adventure on Route 70 at the water’s edge. Take in the sights of some of the most impressive vessels in Australia on Victoria Harbour. Stroll along the water’s edge and even check-in at Melbourne’s newest library, Library at The Dock [107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands] for a great coffee and to start the day with a perusal of the newspaper (if the kids will allow it!).
Of course, one of Docklands’ biggest drawcards is Marvel Stadium [740 Bourke Street, Docklands]. Home to major sporting events, the city’s biggest concerts and all sorts of other massive events, the 53,000-capacity stadium and its retractable roof have been mainstays on the city skyline since the year 2000. Unless it’s an event day you can take a one-hour ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour of the stadium. Tours depart at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, Monday to Friday (excluding event days). You’ll visit the players’ change rooms, plead your case at the AFL Tribunal and smell the resin and liniment as you follow in the players’ footsteps, walking up the tunnel onto the ground.
Who knew so many attractions could be found within a block or so of one tram stop? Start your learning by walking back west a few hundred metres to the Victoria Police Museum [637 Flinders Street]. Open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, the museum lets you and your kids can get up close and personal with the largest collection of Kelly Gang armour in Australia, as well as forensic evidence from some of Melbourne’s most grisly and notorious crimes.
Keeping with the theme of family learning, the Immigration Museum [400 Flinders Street] provides a snapshot of the multicultural history of Melbourne, Victoria and Australia. Discover the stories of migrants from across the world, from Britain to the Middle East, the Pacific Islands to China. Learn not only about their journeys here, but also the impact and legacy their arrivals have had on their adopted homeland.
If the kids want to add to all the knowledge they’ve just soaked in (and see a giant saltwater crocodile while they’re at it), stop by at SEA LIFE Melbourne [corner King and Flinders Streets] before hopping back on the tram.
Opposite the memorable facade of Flinders Street Station sits Federation Square [corner Flinders and Swanston Streets]. Wander across the cobblestones, watch one of the many events that are regularly happening in the space, or make a beeline for the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia (Federation Square, corner Russell and Flinders Streets). With artefacts spanning Australia’s history on display – from ancient Indigenous art to contemporary creations – it details the story of our country in the most inspiring way imaginable.
Also worth visiting is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image [Federation Square, Flinders Street]. Children – and adults – will get a huge thrill via ACMI’s permanent (and free) Screen Worlds exhibition, while the on-site cinemas screen arthouse movies and picks from various film festivals. The jewel in ACMI’s crown, though, is the procession of major touring exhibitions it has welcomed over the past decade. From DreamWorks to David Bowie, they are immensely popular with locals and visitors alike.
If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you might choose to walk from Fed Square to Rod Laver Arena [Melbourne & Olympic Parks, Olympic Boulevard], through Birrarung Marr and over Melbourne’s new Tanderrum Bridge. If you’d prefer to give your batteries a quick charge, then hop back on board the Route 70 to the stadium’s rear entrance.
Anyone with more than a passing interest in tennis would know what centre court of the Australian Open looks like. But despite the angles you see on TV, walking inside Rod Laver Arena is quite a different experience altogether. The spine-tingling atmosphere that runs through you will stay with you until long after you return home.
You are now deep in the heart of Melbourne’s sporting precinct, with the 30,000-capacity AAMI Park to the south of Olympic Boulevard and Hisense Arena to its north. But the undisputed champion in Melbourne’s sporting profile is the mighty Melbourne Cricket Ground [Brunton Avenue, Richmond]. It’s a rare occasion that the MCG is filled with the 100,000 people it can hold, but even on a non-event day it is, for many, a truly spiritual experience.
Enjoy a guided tour of the MCG, hosted by knowledgeable and passionate volunteers. Operating regularly between 10am to 3pm on non-event days, these 75-minute tours take you deep into the heart of the 'G, through the historic Melbourne Cricket Club and onto the hallowed turf. For more, visit the National Sports Museum, accessible via Gate 3 on the northern side of the ground.
Climb back aboard Route 70 and travel your way along Richmond’s grungy Swan Street and Riversdale Road, Hawthorn. You’ll be tempted by the bars that line the route and Glenferrie Road (Stop 32) would be a worthy detour, but sit tight until you arrive at Camberwell Junction. You’ll want to keep your wits about you because there the Junction is busy – six roads converging on one intersection – but it means that no matter which direction you look, there’ll be something that takes your fancy.
Catch a family film at the Art Deco Village Cinemas Rivoli [200 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East], where blockbusters screen alongside foreign and arthouse films, or search for some inspiration at Music Junction Camberwell [204 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East]. Stroll up Burke Road for a bite to eat at My Other Brother [586 Burke Road, Camberwell) or try Pour and Sip Cafe [250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell], which is especially good for kids.
Sunday in Melbourne’s inner east means the Camberwell Sunday Market returns for another week. Run by the local Rotary group, the market has been operating for more than 40 years, giving locals a place to sell their creations (or their vintage hand-me-downs). Spend some time saying hello, discovering the story behind that trinket or treasure you’re sure to spy, and contributing directly to the local economy.
Heading back to the city and want to take the quick way home? Walk a block north of the market to Camberwell Train Station, and you’re 15 minutes away from the heart of Melbourne where you can do it all over again…
Need some help getting from A to B so you can discover Melbourne?
Just pop your starting point and where you want to go into the PTV Journey Planner, as well as your ideal departure or arrival time.
The Planner will find the easiest way for you to get where you want to go, plus give you easy-to-follow instructions on how to get there.
For more information, visit ptv.vic.gov.au