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Melbourne Things to Do – Page 2


Situated near the west gate bridge in the historic Spotswood Pumping Station Scienceworks has many hands-on exhibits and live demonstrations to keep you entertained for hours. Housing the only digital planetarium in the Southern Hemisphere Science works is a great way to to keep curious minds working young and old.


The Melbourne Arts Centre

The Melbourne Arts Centre comprises of series of theatres and exhibition space. It is on the South Bank of the Yarra river overlooking Flinders Street Station and Federation Square. The largest theatre is the Hamer Hall which is a beautiful concert hall which can seat up to 2600 people. It is a popular venue for many international acts from classical to rock. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra uses the venue as it’s home and many of the Australian Chamber Orchestra performances are also held in the Hamer Hall. The landmark building with the high spire is houses three theatres and many of the centre’s facilities. The spire is 162 metres above St Kilda Road. At night the structure is the most spectacular structure on Melbourne’s skyline with a dazzling display of lighting from 6600 metres of fibre optic lighting, 14,000 incandescent lams and 150 metres of neon tubing. There are nearly 500 computer controlled devices which the colour and movement of the lights. The spire is sometimes lit special colours for special days throughout the year.

The National Gallery of Victoria

The recently upgraded National Gallery of Victoria is situated in St Kilda Road next to the Melbourne Arts Centre complex, with the Ian Potter Gallery being situated in the new Federation Square Complex. The St Kilda Road building is now home to international artwork, while the Ian Potter centre is home to Australian Art.

The Australian collection has some 200,000 pieces, including many works from our most famous artists, Streeton, Roberts, McCubin, etc. The St Kilda Road complex has large moving exhibition space, where visiting artwork can be displayed. One of the more famous painting in the permanent International collection is Pablo Picasso’s Weeping Woman which rose to fame in the 1980’s when it was stolen from the Gallery. It was later found and returned to the gallery.

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Victoria has been renowned for being the Garden State, and Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens are one of the World’s great gardens. Being established in 1846, after Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe selected the site on the southern bank of the Yarra River. Today, the Gardens have grown and are home to more than 51,000 individual plants, representing over 12,000 different species, and have become a natural sanctuary for native wild life including black swans, bell birds, cockatoos and kookaburras. Over recent years the Flying Fox Bat has made it’s home in the Gardens and has been made unwelcome. Fortunately many of the creatures were relocated before they could destroy the precious plants.


The Queen Victoria Market

The Queen Vic is probably Melbourne’s biggest tourist attraction, opening in 1878 and still on it’s original site, it is estimated nearly 10 million people visit the market each year. The market is huge, spread over 7 hectares, with much of it covered. It is a great place to pick up something truly Australian, there are some great artefacts and souvenirs. Fresh food, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables and clothing, manchester, footwear, toys… you name it the market is sure to have it… and at bargain prices.

The market is usually open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It is closed some holidays and has special “Gas light” markets on Wednesday evenings in the warmer months. The Queen Victoria Market is a short stroll or tram ride from the City Centre, along Elizabeth Street towards Victoria Street.

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