Things To Do in Melbourne Solo
Known as one of the most liveable cities in the world (they keep winning that award!) it’s not hard to see exactly why this Australian city is so liveable. There are (fantastic) coffee shops on practically every corner, world-class food and incredible fashion, and everywhere you go, it seems like there’s a stunning laneway or heritage-listed building just begging to be explored.
And it’s visitable any time of the year. All you have to do is book your flights, pick one of the lovely hotels, and then pack a cute hold-all to take your belongings. Just a word of warning – don’t pack too much, because you might find that a couple of boutiques catch your eye and you come home with twice as much as you left with. I loved my time in Melbourne. Having spent 9 weeks in this cosmopolitan city, here are my favourite things to do in Melbourne solo.
See Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station, located on the corner of Flinders and Swanston street, has been serving residents since 1854. It is the heart of the Australian railways, and aside from its history, it has fast become a sightseeing spot for tourists and locals, as it is still in use today. As one of the places to visit in Melbourne, when you visit, be sure to check out the row of clocks at the entrance doorway, which has become a significant landmark in the city.
Indulge in Some Art
Established in 1972, the Ian Potter Museum of Art is home to arts from all eras and one of the Melbourne attractions for art lovers. Some of the artwork within its walls are contemporary art and Neolithic pieces. Whether you’re a creative solo looking for inspiration for your next masterpiece, or just someone who loves being around fantastic art, then the Ian Potter Museum of Art is a place you must visit.
See a Tasmanian Devil & Kangaroo
You can't come all the way to Australia and not see the wildlife. Moonlight Sanctuary Conservation Park specialises in housing native Australian wildlife, and you can observe a Tasmanian Devil in his natural habitat without fearing for your life. Other animals found in the sanctuary include kangaroos, koalas, pythons and more. Just don’t get too close as apparently, a Tasmanian Devil has the strongest bite of any mammal.
* Check prices, dates and availability: Moonlight Sanctuary Conservation Park
Melbourne is proud of its sporting heritage and is a sports-lover's dream. If you’re lucky enough to be in town when the Melbourne Cup is on, head down to the races or just watch it from of the many bars. This way you’ll get to soak up the atmosphere and have a flutter at the same time.
If you’re not in town for the Melbourne Cup itself, there are plenty of other ways to get your sports fix. Watch a game of cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or indulge in a proper Australia sport: Australia Football League (AFL), held at the same grounds.
What better way to see the city and the outskirts than by bike? Melbourne has some top cycling routes and being flat makes it easy (and less strenuous) to navigate your way around. Cycle along the Yarra River on the capital city trail cycling past the city’s iconic landmarks, or follow the path of the historic railway line through vineyards and farmland. Melbourne has many cycle routes to choose from.
Explore Harbour Town
Don’t feel like going anywhere and just want to walk around and see what the city has to offer? Then Harbour Town might be the perfect place for you. Harbour Town is best known for their many shopping options, restaurants, and entertainment. You can shop for souvenirs, catch a movie, or maybe even find a restaurant to eat, all in one location.
Take a Boat Cruise
One unique way of seeing this city is on a Melbourne river cruise. Start at the Southbank Promenade and venture out into Port Phillip Bay seeing the city from the water’s edge. The ferry operates 7 days a week and seeing the Melbourne skyline and its stunning waterfront bay is a wonderful way to experience this city from a different viewpoint. Or take a cruise to see the highlights of Melbourne and meet others.
* Check prices, dates and availability: Highlights of Melbourne 2-Hour River Cruise
Watch The Sunset
You don't need company to enjoy the romantic side of Melbourne. Watching the sunrise on Swan St. Bridge is just as amazing when you are solo. There is something so peaceful and beautiful about starting a day as the rest of the world is still fast asleep.
Get a Good View
For a good view of the city, head to the Melbourne Observation Deck at the Rialto Tower for a panoramic view. Situated in Collins Street, the Rialto Tower is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, and apparently you can see up to 60kms away (on a clear day).
If you fancy soaring 120 metres above Melbourne, capturing some incredible views of the city from a birds-eye view, hop aboard the Melbourne Star, one of the Melbourne tourist attractions. This large observation wheel, located in the Docklands, gives you a 360-degree view over Melbourne and its busy port on a 30-minute flight. You'll also get an in-cabin audio tour teaching you about the surrounding sights so you'll know exactly what you're seeing and the history of the landmarks too. (Update August 2022: The Melbourne Star is currently closed)
If you prefer your view from a stationary point, one of the things to do in Melbourne at night is to visit one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets. The Lui Bar is the cocktail bar attached to Vue de Monde’s restaurant and enjoys the same incredible views from level 55 of the Rialto Tower.
Ride a Harley Davidson
If you need a bit more excitement during your visit then how about seeing the city on the back of a Harley? One of the fun things to do in Melbourne. Starting from the centre of the city, the bike will take you through the city’s heart before winding its way around the Melbourne Grand Prix racetrack at Albert Park.
So you can follow in the footsteps of your favourite racing driver by racing the exact same track on the back of a Harley Davidson instead. No peddle power is required for this ride. All you need to do is just sit back, relax and take advantage of the many photo opportunities along the way. I did this when I was there and loved it! It's one of the best things to do in Melbourne to get the heart pumping.
* Check all tours: Harley Davidson ride in Melbourne
Go Wine Tasting
When you’re in Melbourne, you’re only really an hour and a half at most away from some of the best wineries in the world. The Mornington Peninsula is one of the places to visit near Melbourne, where you can sample some of the greatest cool-climate chardonnays around. You will be surrounded by stunning forests and within nature before you know it. And, with the Peninsula only a short drive away from town, you can be back in time for supper at one of the many glorious cocktail bars in town.
* Check prices, dates and availability: Mornington Peninsula Full-Day Tour
Experience a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Another one of Melbourne's wine regions is the Yarra Valley, only an hour's drive from the city district. What better way to experience this area, its countryside and the Yarra River than on a hot air balloon ride. This region is made up of 90 vineyards and gliding silently over the 35 wineries with clouds gently floating past, will give you a totally different perspective of seeing this world-renowned wine region from the ground, especially with a champagne breakfast waiting for you when you land.
* Check prices, dates and availability: Yarra Valley Hot Air Balloon Flight
Take a Road Trip Along The Great Ocean Road
Melbourne has one of the most scenic road journeys in the world and a road trip along the Great Ocean Road should definitely be on your travel wish list. With spectacular views of the coastline, the Great Ocean Road starts just 90 minutes outside of the city from a town called Torquay and ends nearly 250 miles later in Nelson.
Along the way is the surfing mecca of Bells Beach, the old fishing beach of Port Fairy and natural formations such as the London Bridge, and the 12 Apostles (the iconic photo of this famous coastline). You can see most of the sites in a full day but I recommend taking your time to cruise along this coastline and take in all of the sites at a more leisurely pace.
* Check prices, dates and availability: Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles Day Tour
Whether you're a wine lover, a nature lover or just on the search on a riverside location with some great coffee, Melbourne is such a great city with enough to keep a solo girl occupied for a while.