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Adventure Travel

Outdoor Activities in Melbourne – Adventure City Guide

Outdoor Activities in Melbourne – Adventure City Guide

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Photo by Raider of Gin - Outdoor activities in Melbourne - Sunset St Kilda

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Melbourne?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, here are my expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Melbourne.

St Kilda sunset 1

Why visit Melbourne for adventure?

Melbourne always ranks highly in the top liveable cities around the world. While the weather may not always be the greatest, it is a beautiful city and integrates so well with nature. Whether it is the sea, harbour or the mountains it is easy to get outdoors after work, at lunch or during your weekends.

Plus you can fly cheaply to Melbourne from New Zealand in just a few short hours.

Outdoor Activities in Melbourne

Skiing in Melbourne

Okay so you can’t technically ski in Melbourne, but it is an easy weekend trip away from the city. Within just a couple of hours drive of downtown Melbourne you can visit a couple of ski areas.

Lake Mountain is the closest to Melbourne and is considered Australia’s premier cross-country ski resort. It is also the third most visited cross-country ski resort in the world due to it’s close proximity to the city. Perfect for anyone wanting to stretch their legs and warm up afterwards with a hot chocolate.

Picnic table at Mount Baw Baw

Mt Baw Baw ski resort is the closest downhill ski resort to Melbourne and is only 173 kms away. It can be considered small but is great for a day trip, or longer weekend adventure from Melbourne. If you are a beginner then Mount Baw Baw is the place to start.

Getting to the Ski Resorts from Melbourne

The easiest way to get to the ski resorts is to drive the couple of hours yourself. If you don’t have a car you can hire a car from Melbourne or jump on one of the buses or shuttles that run from Melbourne during the winter season.

Cost of skiing near Melbourne

Day Ski Passes range from $30 for a mid-week pass to $50 for a weekend for adults.

Surfing in Melbourne

While surfing in Melbourne might not be as well known as Surfers Paradise further up the coast of Australia, it can still get some really nice waves. Waves roll up from Antarctica so the water can be a little bit colder than usual, yet these same swells are what produce high quality waves for surfing.

If you are a beginner then there are plenty of surf schools along the Victorian coastline within an hour or two drive of Melbourne. These surfing classes are taught by local experts who truly understand their waves so you will be hanging ten in no time.

If you have been surfing for a few years then you might want to go on a road trip out of Melbourne to seek the perfect waves.

Bell's Beach

Torquay is located 95 km south of Melbourne and is well known as the official start of the Great Ocean Road. Every year surfers descend here for the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach. So unless you are quite experienced then you might want to skip Bells and head straight to Fisherman’s Beach or Back Beach.

Anglesea is another few kilometers along the road from Bells Beach and is a great spot for beginners. The waves are more consistent than most places in Victoria and this is where you can hone your skills.

Getting to the surf spots in Melbourne

Grab some mates, fill up the car with wetsuits, surfboards and a couple of chilly bins for beer and hit the road. There is nothing more fun than a surfing road trip. Especially when you only have to travel a few hours.

Melbourne Beach Fl

Cost of surfing in Melbourne

Free if you have your own equipment. But if you want to rent your gear it’s going to cost about $40 a day for surfboard and wetsuit rental.

Explore St Kilda

St Kilda is only 6km from the city centre and is the seaside playground for Melbourne. It has beautiful views of Port Phillip and will keep you entertained all day long. Whether you hang out at the beach, which is very safe for swimming, roll along the Esplanade on bikes, or go to enjoy the food, St Kilda it the perfect trip.

You can also ride along the Bay trail which runs along the coastline of Port Philip Bay for 69 kilometres.

Getting to St Kilda

You can get to St Kilda from across Melbourne via the awesome tram system. They run every 10 minutes from 5.30am – 2.30am every day.

Near Melbourne Beach

Cost

Apart from your transport costs of a couple of dollars it is free to swim, relax and hang out at the beach. There are also lots of bike rental stores along the esplanade if you want to explore the Bay trail.

Best time of the year to visit Melbourne for adventure?

Melbourne has it all. It’s summers are warm, springs and autumns are mild and winter can be downright cold. December to February is the best time to visit Melbourne as it’s warmest then and usually dry.

Of course if you want to go skiing in Melbourne then go during June and July.

Finally, the reason I love Melbourne for adventure is because…

Melbourne is a city that has it all. It’s city centre never sleeps and yet just a few minutes away you can get out to the beach or explore the mountains. And when you are not enjoying the outdoor activities in Melbourne then the city is home to loads of festivals, events and activities.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Shirley

    August 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    One definitely must visit Australia before they die. 🙂

  2. Steve

    September 2, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    After meeting so many great people on the road who were from Melbourne and hearing all there great stories about what to do there I’m ready to go. Thanks for this handy guide with some great information – I hope to visit this part of the world soon. Cheers!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Hope you get to visit this part of the world soon too Steve! Just make sure you call into NZ first haha.

  3. Kristy of Family Visa

    September 3, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    Yay, I want to try surfing when I go there.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 3, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Once you start surfing then you are going to be hooked!

  4. Abby Ang

    October 9, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Hello there!

    Thank you very much for sharing this. I also wanna go surfing in Melbourne.

    -Abby

  5. Arti

    October 18, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    I will leave for Melbourne on Sunday. I think I will surely visit St Kilda, can we spot penguins there?

  6. Sonali

    October 24, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Love those colorful buildings on Burano Island. It’s surprising that residents need to get the painting pre-a[[roved, since tehy seem to represent such freedom of creative expression. I haven’t been to Venice, although I got close with a visit to the nearby Emilia-Romagna region.

  7. Jamie @ Living in Dubai

    October 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    This is one of the most beautiful places I have seen, I hope I can get there someday, it has very different options, snow, the beach and it looks like you can have a great time and just relax.

  8. Tina

    November 6, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    The best thing that you can do in Australia is surfing. The Box, Margaret River Valley is one of the best surf spots in the world.

  9. Lily Eva

    December 16, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Melbourne is top city for adventures their is lot of fun.

  10. Timothy W Pawiro

    January 1, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    I didn’t visit St. Kilda when I visited Melbourne last year, so I think I should put it on the list next time! Haha 🙂

  11. Drew Goldberg

    February 12, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Wow, awesome post! Now I really want to go to Melbourne!

    Cheers and happy travels 😀

    Drew

  12. hanoi food tasting tour

    June 20, 2015 at 4:03 PM

    I used to live in Melbourne for studying within 4 years, Among Top Surf Beaches Near Melbourne, I like Mornington Peninsula back beaches – a beautiful region offering a spectacular landscape. Here Gunnamatta is one of the best surfing.

  13. Same day taj mahal tour

    July 29, 2015 at 1:03 AM

    Awesome pictures for provides in their adventure to traveling in outdoors activity in luxury Melbourne in showing the Travelers……….Thanks

  14. John Parker

    February 7, 2017 at 1:58 AM

    Thanks for posting suach informative blog .

  15. Rajendra Sharma

    April 29, 2017 at 7:03 PM

    Hi I Am Raj I Am a Travel Agents From India and I read your Article carefully and there I got many information and many things. this is very nice and I am going to give You Excellence for this Blog. Your Blog Written very Nicely and Your Thoughts are Awesome

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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Adventure Travel

Best Time to Visit Panama and Costa Rica

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The fact that Costa Rica and Panama are close makes both countries perfect for visiting. During your holiday there, it’s easy to travel back and forth between the two countries and enjoy all the wonders they have to offer. Keep in mind that the timing of your holiday will influence what sorts of sites you can visit and what activities you can make part of your plans. By understanding a little about what to expect, it’s easy to determine the best time of year to visit both countries, based on what you would like to do.

Learning More About the Dry and Rainy Seasons

If you’re the type who prefers the hustle and bustle that comes with holidays during the tourist season, plan on being in Costa Rica and Panama during what’s known as the dry season. Expect plenty of sunshine and warm weather during this part of the year. Many of your activities will be outdoors, although you will find a number of indoor sites that you will want to include in your plans.

The dry seasons in both countries overlap. The dry weather for both typically arrives during the first to the middle part of December. In Costa Rica, the dry season usually lingers until sometime in April. Panama enjoys a slightly shorter dry season, with it usually ending sometime in March.

Keep in mind that since this dry period is the height of the tourist season, the cost of visiting from December to April will be higher than at other times of the year. Even so, if your plans include spending a lot of time exploring the rain forests or soaking in the rays on one or more of the beautiful beaches, the dry season is the only time to consider.

Making the Most of the Dry Seasons

During the dry season in both nations, do expect the weather to be more humid and the day temperatures to be a little higher. There is some variance depending on which regions you plan on visiting. As a general rule, locations nearer the coast will include warmer weather and higher levels of humidity. By contrast, the more mountainous areas will offer slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels.

During this time, do plan on enjoying the lush greenery found in the rain forests. During much of the dry season, the abundance of rain from what’s known as the rainy or green season ensures that the forests are at their best. Consider adding some variety to your holiday by spending time at the beach, soaking in the nightlife along the coast, and doing some shopping at many of the open air districts. This is also the perfect timing to enjoy some of the local cuisine while dining outside.

There are special events to celebrate during the dry season. President’s Day in Costa Rica occurs during this period. Along with locals, you can enjoy a number of celebrations, open-air festivals, and just about any type of entertainment that one can imagine.

Since the dry season does attract more tourists, it pays to book your lodgings in advance. Along with President’s Day, there’s also spring break and the Easter Season to consider. While you could look at different hotels and other properties near beaches, there are also hostels that make perfect places to sleep. After all, how much time do you plan on spending indoors when there’s so much to do?

Things to Do During the Rainy Seasons

In spite of the name, it isn’t always raining during the rainy or green season. Most days, there will be brief periods of sunshine that do allow you to spend some time at the beach and other outdoor venues. Do expect the evenings to be cooler. At times, the temperature may make wearing long sleeves or possibly a sweater a good idea.

Even if you’re out and about while it’s raining, there are plenty of things to see. Towns and cities in both nations offer indoor concerts, a number of restaurants catering to all sorts of tastes, and clubs and other settings for entertainment. You will find museums that will tell you more about the history of indigenous peoples and the complexity of their cultures.

What are some of the activities you can enjoy during this time of year? Both Costa Rica and Panama offer options to go horseback riding. Generally, this will happen during the morning when the sun is most likely to be out. Walking tours are also a great way to learn more about the culture and possibly find some interesting places that you will want to return to a little later. Don’t overlook the opportunity to get in some fishing when there’s a sunny morning coming your way. There are changes to engage in freshwater fishing as well as charter boats that will take you to some of the better places to enjoy salt-water fishing.

Coffee and rum tours are also something to consider during the rainy season. These tours allow you the opportunity to see different facilities and how they produce their products. As a bonus, you get to enjoy some taste-testing at many of the places that you visit along the tour. Some of the sites will also have bistros or restaurants included, allowing you to enjoy a nice meal or snack with your coffee or rum.

In terms of museums to visit, San Jose offers some of the most interesting museums in Costa Rica. Many of them are located in or adjacent to what’s known as the Central Market. It’s a great way to enjoy time indoors during the rainy afternoons and early evenings.

In Panama, check out the Panama Canal Museum in Casco Viejo. You can make use of headphones that offer the guided tour in multiple languages. If you happen to be proficient in Spanish, feel free to check out each exhibit on your own. You can also check out the Biodiversity Museum, which features exhibits on the over 1,000 species of animals and plants that are found in the country. Make the most of the discounts offered on Sundays. Retirees also get to enjoy discounts when visiting these museums.

Which season is the best time to visit Costa Rica and Panama? It’s really up to you. For those who prefer a slower pace and don’t mind rain during the afternoons and evenings, the raining season is ideal. Those who thrive on activity, sunshine, and plenty of tourist activities will enjoy going during the dry season. Whatever your choice, plan on coming back a second time. It’s rare for anyone to see everything they want to see during a single holiday.

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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