I guess it’s easy to say that Melbourne has it all. It isn’t the capital of Australia, but it certainly has all the qualities and attributes to qualify as a capital city. It boasts a busy and buzzing Central Business District, full of shops, restaurants, cafes, offices, you name it. The surrounding areas are home to some famous buildings, landmarks and locations, such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the State Library, which boast impressive old-fashioned architecture designs, alongside Flinders Street Station. Federation Square is also a treat for the eyes with a very modern feel.
The Yarra River runs beautifully through Docklands into Southbank. A huge array of sport causes excitement throughout the city on a regular basis, from cricket and AFL matches at the MCG, the Australian open at Melbourne Park, AFL at AAMI Park, the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse and the Grand Prix at Albert Park. Not to mention the many sporting and music events which occur regularly at the Etihad Stadium, which stands proudly overlooking Docklands, close to the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel which rotates daily and provides an impressive sight during both daylight hours and night time.
Melbourne thrives with iconic aspects; not least the famous tram and tramlines, which run throughout the city and its suburbs, providing an irreplaceable means of transport for residents and visitors alike, all who are going about their daily tasks and business.
What better way to see and admire this incredible city than from the unique perspective of an open top hop-on, hop-off bus, which covers a vast area of the city and the very popular beach suburb, St Kilda.
The bus has various stops and truly allows passengers to admire the city in all its glory. It really highlights how much the city has to offer the locals, tourists, backpackers and students. You’ll find yourself in the middle of the city enjoying the culture and buzzing atmosphere, only to drive a few minutes out of town to reach picturesque and peaceful parks and landscapes, top quality restaurants next to the Yarra River, impressive shopping complexes such as DFO, great destinations for a day out such as Melbourne Zoo, and the unique streets which boast their own personalities such as Lygon Street.
There is a plethora of things to see and do in Melbourne, and the hop-on, hop-off bus is a great way to make the most of your time and make as many memories as you possibly can. On the city tour, after departing from Federation Square, you’ll stop at well-known locations such as Eureka Skydeck, the highest building the Southern Hemisphere which allows you to see for miles over Melbourne and admire the views through day and night time hours. You’ll be taken through Southbank and past the famous Crown Casino, which boasts a huge complex which is home to many high-end shops, restaurants and, of course, an impressive casino. You’ll see the DFO shopping area located in South Wharf, Etihad Stadium, the famous Queen Victoria Market and Melbourne Zoo. This is all complimented by an informative and humorous running commentary, highlighting certain areas and landmarks as the bus approaches them.
It is surprising how close all these locations are; you are simply spoiled for choice with things to do and places to go! The tour truly highlights the diversity of the city and how it really offers something for everyone. Whether you are a backpacker looking for some unique bars to attend or varied shopping locations to wander around, a family wanting an enjoyable day out for all involved, or a couple seeking a waterfront restaurant following a concert at the Etihad, you will not be short of options.
One unique activity is Rap Jumping, which takes place along City Road in Southbank, close to the Crown Casino stop; this operates on both the city and St Kilda tour routes. This is a unique form of ‘forward abseiling’ and really provides an adrenaline rush! The method was invented by the Australian SAS, and is an advanced form of freestyle rope work, allowing you to walk or even jump from the top of a seven-storey building all the way to the bottom. It is completely safe and very professionally run, allowing all participants to fully immerse themselves in the experience. It’s great for all thrill seekers and suitable for anyone over the age of seven. A truly magical experience you’ll certainly want to repeat time and time again with friends!
The St Kilda tour is also uniquely special in its own way and provides another perspective of the famous city, and shows how beautiful suburbs and beach areas are within such close proximity to the CBD, and so easily accessible. During this version of the tour you will be treated to stops at the Shrine of Remembrance, an overwhelmingly impressive structure which provides breathtaking views of the CBD from the top of its steps. Following the drive into St Kilda, you can hop-off and enjoy Luna Park, an iconic theme park which contributes towards St Kilda’s unique beach town identity, being present for over 100 years. The Park certainly has a nostalgic feel about it, with the famous carousel providing fun and excitement for all ages, alongside traditional bumper cars, a pirate ship and, of course, the compulsory candy floss stand! The most stand-out ride would have to be the Scenic Railway Roller Coaster, which is as old as the park itself. It provides a bumpy yet extremely fun ride, and you’re also treated to great views of St Kilda beach as you climb high on the wooden tracks. This is certainly a unique day out for families and groups of friends. It is special to see an attraction which has been looked after and preserved in such pristine condition, and which has inevitably provided fun and memories for visitors for many years.
Overall, the city sightseeing hop-on, hop-off bus is the perfect way to see Melbourne and immerse yourself in its unique culture, witness its many famous buildings and landscapes, whilst enjoying yourself to the full at iconic attractions. The two routes cover a vast amount of the city with stops at a total of 26 locations, giving you such a huge amount of options to make your visit to this special Australian city as memorable as possible.
I’m Helen, a marketing graduate from England who is currently discovering the world in the best way – out of a backpack! As with most backpackers, I think every country is on my ‘to do’ list but so far I have crossed off the USA, Fiji and I am now in Australia. You cannot beat the freedom of backpacking, and the anticipation of the next adventure. I am part of the Backpackerdeals.com team as Social Media Guru – so make sure you follow us on the various platforms!