Melbourne city skyline at twilight in Australia - Shutterstock ID 652935751
Grey silhouette of a person's head and shoulders

Sharon Parsons


Melbourne is a city of contrasts. Graceful tree-lined boulevards, breathtaking flower gardens, and elaborate Victorian buildings lend an air of established refinement, but an evolving modernity – seen in everything from the gleaming futuristic architecture to the vibrant influences from those who have made this city their home – means it’s considered the Australian hub for culture, education, and finance.

Whether it’s your first visit or you’re making a welcome return, there are so many things to do in Melbourne – and Cunard ensures all bases are covered. A starting point for many exciting excursions is the 974-foot-high tower, the Eureka Skydeck: it takes a mere 40 seconds to reach the 88th floor where you can take in a bird’s eye-view of this dazzling metropolis and beyond.


Alternatively, some of the city’s most notable landmarks can be enjoyed on a leisurely sightseeing tour – from iconic local beaches to the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance. A stroll in Fitzroy Gardens – planted in 1860 and laid out in the shape of a Union Jack – is a must, and it includes a visit to Captain Cook’s cottage, which is nestled in the grounds. Incredibly, this little dwelling was shipped piece by piece from its original Northern England location and painstakingly reconstructed. Or for a very different perspective, take a river cruise on the Yarra River, which meanders gently through the city.

Grey silhouette of a person's head and shoulders

“The city is the cultural hub of Australia – from sampling world-class coffee to gazing in awe at the ever-changing street art.”

Mike Locke, Urban Adventures Partner, Melbourne

If you’d like to tap more into the local vibe more, then the enlightening Urban Adventures tours, organized for guests on board a Cunard cruise, offer a fascinating insight into Melbourne. These unique itineraries, headed up by a local guide, lead small groups on city adventures that are off the standard tourist track. You might, for instance, discover why Melbourne’s street-art scene, with its constantly evolving graffiti, has become an art form or dip into a delicious exploration of the food and drink for which this city is renowned. On one tour, you’ll get a farm-to-table lesson with a walk through Queen Victoria Market, piled high with fresh produce, while on another you’ll discover the fascinating stories behind some of the city’s iconic drinking institutions – from the classic Aussie pub to a speakeasy-style cocktail bar. And not least, the fragrant aroma of just-roasted coffee beans drifting from one of the many coffee “larders” in town will undoubtedly tempt you inside …

Grey silhouette of a person's head and shoulders

“For a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife opportunity, the You Yangs Regional Park is a must. Take a stroll with a naturalist guide through the savannah grasslands and bush in the company of wild kangaroos and koalas.”

Julia Stoica, Shore Experiences Advisor

And while we’re on the subject of delicious drinks, Cunard has joined forces with the award-winning Starward Distillery to produce a unique single-malt whiskey, Starward The Seafarer, which has been matured during a 12-month journey on board Queen Elizabeth. For a closer inspection, take a city drive, followed by a visit to the distillery for a glimpse behind the scenes of this well-traveled liquor – along with a small taste, of course.


If you can tear yourself away from Melbourne’s charms, there’s plenty to see beyond the city, too, with excursions that bring you up close to kangaroos, koalas and emus – a must-see on any vacation in Australia. Alternatively, hop aboard the Puffing Billy narrow-gauge steam train for an unforgettable trip to the Dandenong Ranges, where you can take in breathtaking views of the surrounding forests from the observatory there.

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