10 Unique Experiences You Can Only Have in Melbourne

Melbourne in the afternoon
Melbourne in the afternoon | © wikicommons
Monique La Terra

From cultural events such as the AFL Grand Final, the Melbourne Cup and Moomba to attractions such as Sovereign Hill, Puffing Billy, and the Penguin Parade, Melbourne is packed with exclusive experiences. Here are 10 unique things to do in Melbourne.


Dating back to 1955, Moomba is Australia’s largest free community festival, attracting over a million people each year across the Labour Day long weekend in March. Celebrating Melbourne’s diversity and traditions, Moomba features a variety of events including the Moomba parade, the crowning of the Moomba Monarchs, a carnival, fireworks, live music and the birdman rally.

Moomba Parade 2013

AFL Grand Final

Held every year at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the last Saturday in September or the first Saturday in October, the AFL Grand Final is the most momentous game in the season as it determines the Premiership champion. A parade has been held in Melbourne on the Friday before the game since 1977 and in 2015 the day was declared a public holiday. The game itself attracts 110,000 spectators with a further 3.3 million home viewers.

Stoppage in an AFL game

1. Puffing Billy

Train Station

1. Puffing Billy
© Douglas Peebles Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Located in the Dandenong Ranges, an hour east of Melbourne, Puffing Billy is one of the most popular steam heritage railways in the world. First opened in 1900, Puffing Billy takes passengers on a scenic journey from Belgrave to Gembrook. Dangle your legs over the side just like you did when you were a kid or board the Steam & Cuisine Luncheon for a unique dining experience.

2. Sovereign Hill


The Lorry at Sovereign Hill
© Chris Fithall/Flickr
Depicting Ballarat’s gold rush era (the 1850s), Sovereign Hill is a 25-acre open-air museum in regional Victoria. Opened in 1970, Sovereign Hill has a diverse range of attractions including gold panning, sweat making, mine tours, coach rides and more. A major highlight is the multi-million dollar sound-and-light show ‘Blood on the Southern Cross,’ which tells the story of the 1854 Eureka Uprising.

Melbourne Cup

Known as the race that stops a nation, the Emirates Melbourne Cup is run on the first Tuesday in November at Flemington Race Course. The most-anticipated race of the Spring Racing Carnival, the Melbourne Cup is the ‘richest two-mile handicap’ thoroughbred horse race and is celebrated in Victoria with a public holiday.

2014 Melbourne Cup

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