7D6N Muslim-Friendly Itinerary For A Family Road Trip To Melbourne & Its Surrounds


Shasha Dania •  Nov 04, 2019

[Updated 12 Mar 2020]

Looking for a laidback family-friendly destination that has gorgeous scenery, lots of interactive activities, and great food? Then you’ve definitely got to visit Melbourne! ? Whether you’re enjoying the city centre or soaking in the beauty of the countryside, you’ll make memories with your family that will last a lifetime. I had a chance to visit the city and its surrounds last October (that's springtime for Melbourne!) and it was an amazing experience. ?

Credit: Giphy

This amazing city in the south of Australia is home to famous attractions such as the Phillip Island Penguin Parade, as well as some hidden gems scattered amongst its laneways and arcades. And what better way to discover all of it than to embark on a self-drive road trip of your own! ? This 7D6N Muslim-friendly itinerary is all you’ll need to have the family adventure of a lifetime!

Find out what else you can do in Melbourne (complete with tips) with this useful guide!

Day 1: Arrive in Melbourne

Credit: Melbourne Airport on Facebook

  • Melbourne has 2 international airports, Tullamarine and Avalon.  These are some of the airlines that offer direct flights:
    • From Singapore: Jetstar, Scoot, Emirates, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways
    • From Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia X
    • From Jakarta: Garuda Indonesia

  • A direct flight is just 6-8 hours long so it’s best to fly overnight so you can catch up on your sleep.

Credit: Melbourne Airport on Facebook

  • Once you’ve arrived at the airport, collect your rental car and drive into the city to check-in at your hotel. For Tullamarine Airport, the car rental kiosks are conveniently located opposite Terminal 2, and there is plenty of signage directing you there. For Avalon Airport, the kiosks can be found in the main terminal.
  • Self-driving is one of the best ways to explore Melbourne and its surrounds and it lets you enjoy the beautiful countryside views at your own pace.
  • There are various brands offering rental services at both airports so you can compare prices and models to find one that’ll fit your needs!
  • P.S. Don’t forget to select a child car seat if you’re travelling with children as child car seats are compulsory throughout Australia for children up to 7 years of age. Babies up to 6 months are also required to be in a rearward-facing child seat.

  • Drive into Melbourne city and check into your hotel. Melbourne city has plenty of family-friendly accommodation including apartment hotels, and Airbnbs. Do remember to check ahead of time if your accommodation has parking available!
  • Spend your evening enjoying Melbourne’s lively streets and abundant green spaces within the city. The Carlton Gardens is a heritage-listed park where you can stroll amongst flowers and miniature lakes. If you have time, you can also visit the Melbourne Museum located within the park – admission is free for kids 16 and younger.

  • For dinner, walk over to D’Penyetz & D’Cendol, an Indonesian ayam penyet and ice cendol restaurant! Their menu is full of your favourite Indonesian dishes, with everything from fried chicken to soups to noodles that the whole family will enjoy.
  • Their take on the classic Ayam Penyet Asli has tender chicken meat and crispy skin – it’ll be one of the most memorable meals you’ll have during your trip. ? Try the Tahu Telor too – the combination of fluffy fried egg and soft tofu is perfect!
  • End your meal with an ice-cold cup of Cendol for dessert, and then head back to your hotel for a good night’s rest.

Halal Status: Only halal-certified ingredients are used. No alcohol is served.

Average Price: AUD11 (Main dishes)

Opening Hours: 12PM – 9.30PM (Wed – Fri, Mon), 11.30AM – 9.30PM (Sat-Sun), closed on Tuesdays

Address: 112 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Contact: +61 03 9639 8777

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Day 2: Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Yarra Valley

  • Start your adventure by driving out of Melbourne to the beautiful countryside in the Yarra Valley.
  • The Valley is a popular wine-making destination, but it has so much more to offer visitors! You can enjoy hot air ballooning to give you a unique view of the beautiful scenery or visit the  Healesville Sanctuary to meet some native Australian animals up close.

  • One of the region’s biggest attractions is the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, where you can enjoy some of the freshest and most delicious couverture chocolate (chocolate that contains at least 32–39% cocoa butter resulting in a creamy flavour) in Melbourne! Walk through the door and pick up a handful of their milk, white, or dark chocolate pastilles to taste the creamy goodness. ?
  • The Chocolaterie hosts seasonal events year-round so if your visit happens to coincide with one of them make sure to indulge in the free tastings and limited-edition products. Some of their most popular events are the Ice Cream Festival in February and the Hot Chocolate Festival in August.
  • If you have more time to spare, you can also sign up for one of their paid chocolate tastings or making workshops. There’s even a Junior Chocolatier class for kids aged 6-12!

Halal Status: The pure couverture chocolate uses only Muslim-friendly ingredients, and the staff has confirmed with us that they use vanilla bean and not vanilla extract. All ingredients are clearly stated on the packaging, including alcohol. We recommend you to ask the staff for further clarification and to dine at your own discretion.

Opening Hours: Open daily; 9AM – 5PM (Closed on Christmas Day)

Address: 35 Old Healesville Rd, Yarra Glen, Victoria 3775

Contact: +61 03 9730 2777

Getting there: 1 to 1.5-hour drive from Melbourne CBD

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  • If you’re in Melbourne between late November to mid-January, you have to make a stop at CherryHill Orchards! CherryHill is one of the largest cherry producers around (they even export to Southeast Asia so you might see them in your local supermarket!) and during this time, the fields are open to visitors to pick their own cherries.

  • The orchards at this location are reserved just for visitors, so you can pick all the sweet cherries you want! You can bring your own container, or pay an additional fee for one of their buckets.
  • #HHWT Tip: For sweeter cherries, go slightly later in the season when the fruits will be riper. ?

  • After all that hard work picking cherries, make sure to treat yourself to one of their delicious cherry ice cream cones! ? All visitors to CherryHill also receive a free bottle of non-alcoholic Cherish Spritzer drink, so you can sit back and enjoy the beautiful view while tasting some of the best fruits the Yarra Valley has to offer.

Halal Status: The cherry ice-cream is made with only cherries and frozen yoghurt. The Cherish Spritzer is a non-alcoholic drink that contains only cherries and water, which is then carbonated to add a fizzy texture. No alcohol is produced during the Spritzer production process. Do note that the other cherry beverages produced by CherryHill contain alcohol. We recommend you to dine at your own discretion.

Ticket Prices:

Pick Your Own: AUD15 (Adult), AUD6 (Children 4-13 years old), FOC (Infant 3 years old and below)

Grab & Go Pick Your Own: AUD30 (Adult, includes picking box for 1.5kg of cherries), AUD10 (Children 4-13 years old, includes picking box for 500g of cherries), FOC (Infant)

Opening Hours: Open daily during the cherry season except for Christmas Day, 9AM – 5PM (Check their social media for special opening times during festive days)

Address: 474 Queens Road, Wandin East, Victoria 3139

Contact: +61 3 5964 4235

Getting there: 30-minute drive from Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, or 1 to 1.5-hour drive from Melbourne CBD

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  • Another seasonal event the whole family will enjoy is the flower festivals at Tesselaar Flower Fields. Held during spring (Sept-Oct) and autumn (Mar-Apr) every year, the flower fields transform into a dazzling display of colours and scents. ?
  • The festivals have been held for almost 70 years and are some of the biggest seasonal events in Melbourne. One of the most popular activities amongst families is packing a picnic lunch to enjoy amongst the beautiful rows of colourful blossoms.

  • There are even food stalls set up during the event so you can spend a whole day there! Some of the halal options available during the festival we attended in early October 2019 included lamb kebab salad and fish and chips. The lamb meat was halal, and the fish and chips were cooked in canola sunflower oil with no beer used in the batter.
  • Disclaimer: Do note that there are no eateries in the countryside serving a fully halal menu. The local guide we talked to informed us that eateries which advertise halal options will know to prepare halal meat with other halal-certified or Muslim-friendly ingredients. However, they may not be able to avoid all cross-contamination with pork, non-halal meat, or alcohol as the ingredients may not be stored separately. We recommend you to dine at your own discretion.

Halal Status: Some food stalls at the festivals may serve halal meat but do note that pork is also served, and we are unable to confirm if the meat is stored and prepared separately from non-halal ingredients or alcohol. We recommend you to check with the stall owners and to dine at your own discretion. You are also allowed to bring your own food into the venue.

Ticket prices: AUD25 (Adult), AUD22 (Concession including seniors and students), FOC (Children 16 years old and below)

Opening Hours: Open daily; 10AM – 5PM. The upcoming festival will be held from March 28-April 19 2020.

Address: Tesselaar Flower Farm 357 Monbulk Road, Silvan

Contact: +61 3 9737 7722

Getting there: 10-minute drive from Cherryhill Orchards, or 1-hour drive from Melbourne CBD

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  • One of the most iconic attractions in the Yarra Valley is Melbourne’s own Puffing Billy steam train. The steam engines have been lovingly restored and conserved, and visitors are welcome to enjoy a leisurely ride through the countryside to enjoy the unique vintage experience.
  • Note: While individual sections of the full route last between 30mins to 1h50mins long, a return journey may take between 3-5h due to the staggered timetable. We recommend you to try out the Puffing Billy as a day trip from Melbourne, rather than as part of a self-drive trip. (Although if your road trip itinerary has enough time for a round-trip we say go for it!)

Ticket Prices: From AUD36 (Adult Single-journey), AUD29 (Concession Single-journey), AUD18.50 (Child aged 4-16 years old Single-journey). Click here for more information on return- and single-journey tickets. Do note that single-journey tickets can only be purchased at the respective station on the day of the journey.

Timetable:Click here for more information on the timetable.

Contact: +61 3 9757 0700

Getting there: The most popular starting station is Belgrave, which can be accessed via the Belgrave line, taking approx. 70 minutes from Melbourne CBD. All stations along the Puffing Billy route can be accessed via car, or day tour packages. Belgrave Station is a 13-minute drive from the Tesselaar Flower Fields.

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  • Drive through the winding roads of the Valley until you reach the beautiful Mornington Peninsula further south.
  • Check into the Rye Hotel located in the small town of Rye to wake up to a gorgeous seaside view. Though the hotel may be small, its spacious and fully furnished suites will give your countryside vacation a stunning touch of luxury so you can have a peaceful and rejuvenating rest.

  • All rooms can accommodate 2 or more adults, and only children that require extra beds will be counted as an additional adult by the hotel. The room types that can accommodate 4 or more adults are the Poolside Mezzanine Suite, Beachfront King King Premium, Beachfront King King Suite (All max. 4 pax), and Beachfront Self-Contained Apartment (Max. 6 pax).
  • Each room comes with a large and comfortable private bathroom, and the Mezzanine Suite and Self-Contained Apartment come with a kitchenette and full kitchen facilities respectively. The hotel even has an indoor play centre for kids to enjoy as well as swimming pool facilities!
  • All ground-floor poolside suites are wheelchair and pram-friendly but do remember to request this directly with the hotel. All beachfront suites are accessible via an elevator and can accommodate wheelchairs and prams.

Halal Status: The on-site restaurant has seafood, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly options available but do note that ingredients are not stored or prepared separately from pork or non-halal meat. Alcoholic beverages are also served. We recommend you to inquire directly with the restaurant staff about specific ingredients and to dine at your own discretion.

Rate: From AUD205/night on Agoda

Address: 2415 Point Nepean Road, Rye, Victoria 3941

Contact: +61 03 5985 2277

Getting there: 1 hour 30-minute drive from the Tesselaar Flower Fields, or 1 hour 25 minute drive from Melbourne CBD

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Day 3: Explore the beautiful nature of the Mornington Peninsula

Credit: Arthur’s Seat Eagle

  • Start your morning by taking in the full view of the Peninsula on the Arthurs Seat Eagle, a gondola ride with clear windows and a view that will take your breath away. We recommend starting your round-trip journey from the summit station, as there’ll be more exciting activities to do nearby afterwards!
  • You can also grab a simple breakfast such as coffee, tea, and pastries or yoghurt at their in-house cafe.

Credit: Arthur’s Seat Eagle

  • Each gondola can seat 8 guests – perfect for the whole family to enjoy together! Both Summit and Base stations, as well as individual gondolas, are wheelchair- and pram-accessible, and the gondolas can also be further slowed down as they arrive for further assistance.
  • If you keep an eye out during the ride, you might even spot local wildlife including kangaroos, bandicoots, and koalas! For the best chance to see a kangaroo, come early in the morning as that’s when these Australian icons will be out and about.
  • P.S. During the winter (June – Sept) or early springtime, gondola rides may be put on hold if the winds are too strong.

#HHWT Tip: The staff we spoke to still recommended pre-purchasing tickets as the attraction is quite popular, and as the tickets are valid within 6 months you can always try going back the next day as the weather can change very rapidly in Melbourne.

Halal Status: There is an on-site café at the Eagle with vegetarian options available but do note that they are prepared externally and we are unable to confirm if the ingredients are halal-certified or prepared separately from non-halal ingredients. Coffee and other hot and cold drinks are also served.

Ticket Prices:

Return: AUD24 (Adult), AUD21 (Concession including seniors), AUD15 (Child 4-16 years old)

One-way: AUD17.50 (Adult), AUD11 (Child)

Opening Hours: Daily in Spring; 10AM – 5PM (1 September – 24 December), closed on Christmas Day. Do check out their social media for updates on opening hours for subsequent seasons.


Base Station: 1085 Arthurs Seat Road, Dromana, Victoria 3936

Summit Station: 795 Arthurs Seat Road, Arthurs Seat, Victoria 3936

Contact: +61 03 5987 0600

Getting there: 25-minute drive from Rye Hotel, or 1-hour drive from Melbourne CBD

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  • After a relaxing morning, it’s time to experience some family-friendly adventure! ? A short drive away from the Arthurs Seat Eagle Summit is the Enchanted Adventure Garden, which has a great mix of relaxing and more exciting activities for the whole family to enjoy.

  • The Garden’s main attraction is its hedge mazes and gardens, with more than 20 themed and formal gardens that allow you to soak in the scenery at your leisure. There are also picnic tables scattered across the Garden so you can bring your own snacks to enjoy!
  • If you’re craving a little thrill, try out some of their signature “soft adventures” instead! ? Unlimited tube slide rides are included in the general admission ticket, or you can add on a new experience with either Tree Surfing or the Big Zip zip line.

  • Tree Surfing is a high-elements course across various elevation and includes short zipline courses and rock-climbing walls too. There’s also a Tree Surfing Nippers course just for kids between the ages of 4-12 years old (with a supervising adult) so that your young daredevils won’t be left out of the fun.
  • We got to try the Big Zip, which lets you zoom across the park and back for a total of 190 metres! A safety briefing is given before you start your adventure, and the instructors were all very helpful and reassuring despite how nervous we were. ?

Ticket prices: From AUD30 (Adult), AUD20 (Senior/Child between 3-17 years old). Do note that admission to the zip line or tree surfing can be pre-purchased as a bundle or added on top of your general admission ticket on the day itself (subject to availability).

Opening Hours: Open daily except Christmas Day; 10AM – 5PM (Mon – Fri), 9AM – 5.30PM (Sat-Sun), 9AM – 5.30PM (Australian school holidays). During winter (June – September), the park opens until dark.

Address: 55 Purves Road, Arthur’s Seat, Victoria 3936

Contact: +61 03 5981 8449

Getting there: 5-minute drive from Arthurs Seat Eagle Summit Station, or 1-hour drive from Melbourne CBD

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  • After you’ve tired yourself out exploring the Garden, drive across the peninsula to the Tulum Store. A cross between a general store and café, here’s where you can pick up a hot meal for the road, or enjoy along the beautiful sands of Balnarring Beach.
  • The retail area of the store also has some basic ingredients such as cooking oil and grains, which might be useful if your vehicle or accommodation has an attached kitchenette. You could also pick up some souvenirs including tote bags or books by local authors!

P.S. Do note that dogs are allowed on the outdoor seating area, but not within the store itself.

Halal Status: Seafood, vegetarian, and vegan options available however the ingredients are not stored or prepared separately from non-halal meat and ingredients. The chips are prepared with beef tallow but can be substituted for a side salad. Alcohol is also used in some dishes, so do consult with the friendly staff. We recommend you to dine at your own discretion.

Opening Hours:Find out more about their opening hours on their website.

Address: 181 Balnarring Beach Road, Balnarring Beach, Victoria 3926

Contact: +61 3 5931 3091

Getting there: 25-minute drive from the Enchanted Adventure Garden, or 1-hour 15-minute drive from Melbourne CBD

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  • From the Tulum store, it’s time for one of the longest drives of the trip to reach Phillip Island. Phillip Island is a popular day trip location from Melbourne city itself, but did you know that you can even stay on the island to give yourself a more relaxed experience? ?  There are several townships on the island where you can experience the quiet small-town vibe of the countryside before you make your way back to the busy city centre.
  • Check into the North Pier Hotel located in the island’s central township of Cowes (pronounced ‘cows’), with a view of the seaside from your window. The room types available range from dorm rooms with bunk beds, to full suites to suit every type of traveller. There are several supermarkets in Cowes including Coles, Woolworths, and IGA so you can pick up ingredients or snacks here!

P.S. While check-in is available 24/7, do note that reception is only available from 8AM – 8PM. Late check-in is facilitated by a key drop box, and you will have to report to the reception after 9AM the next day to formally check-in. The key drop box is also used for early checkout. Do remember to request for a ground-floor room if you are travelling with a wheelchair or pram.

Rate: From AUD68/night on Agoda

Address: 5 The Esplanade, Cowes, Victoria 3922

Contact: +61 03 5951 4400

Getting there: 1 hour 30-minute drive from the Tulum Store, or 1-hour 53-minute drive from Melbourne CBD

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  • End your day with dinner at the Cheeky Goose, one of the most famous restaurants on the island! Their chicken and wagyu beef are halal-certified, and there are also seafood, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly options available.
  • Their restaurant manager was born in Singapore, which is why there’s a dish with a Southeast Asian twist on the menu: The Salmon “Gado Gado” Poke Bowl (above) served with Gado Gado sauce! The sauce had a strong peanut flavour that tasted just like what you’d get back home, and the salmon was so soft it fell apart without any effort. ?

Halal Status: The chicken and wagyu beef are both halal-certified, and no prior reservation is required. The staff has also confirmed that all oil used is vegetable oil. Seafood, vegetarian, and vegan options are also available. Do note that the halal meat and seafood are not stored or prepared separately from non-halal options, and alcohol is used in some of the dishes. Alcoholic beverages are also sold. We recommend you to dine at your own discretion.

Opening Hours: 9AM - 8PM (Tues - Thurs, Sun), 9AM - 9PM (Fri), 9AM - 10PM (Sat), closed on Mondays

Address: 4/72 Chapel St, Cowes, Victoria 3977

Contact: +61 03 5907 6900

Getting there: 10-minute walk from the North Pier Hotel

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Day 4: Get up close with nature on Phillip Island

  • Phillip Island is most famous for its Penguin Parade, but there are many other family-friendly activities you can enjoy before watching the penguins! One such hidden gem is A Maze’N Things, a local favourite that has 19-hole mini-golf, a trick-eye museum, magical illusions, a giant 3D maze, and a high ropes course. ? 
  • If you’re planning to spend 1-2 days on Phillip Island enjoying its various nature and outdoor activities, you can check out the Phillip Island Experience pass that gives you huge discounts to A Maze’N Things, whale watching, and even nature cruises so you can enjoy the beauty of the island without burning a hole through your pocket.

Ticket Prices:Check their website for more information on tickets

Opening Hours: Open daily; 10AM - 5PM (last entry 3.30PM)

Address: 1805 Phillip Island Road, Cowes, Victoria 3922

Contact: +61 03 5952 2283

Getting there: 15-minute drive from the North Pier Hotel

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  • Stop by Pannys Chocolate Factory for lunch! The founder of Pannys (the eponymous Mr Panny himself) has Indian and Malaysian heritage, and the factory’s cafeteria uses halal meat in its meals. The dishes even include familiar favourites such as curry and rice! Plus entry to the cafe is free to all, so you won’t have to purchase an entrance ticket to enjoy a great lunch.

Halal Status: Halal meat used in the cafeteria. No pork or alcohol is used or sold in the facility. We recommend you dine at your own discretion.

Opening Hours:Click here for more information on opening hours

Address: 930 Phillip Island Rd, Newhaven, Victoria 3925

Contact: +61 03 5956 6600

Getting there: 10-minute drive from A Maze’N Things, or 20-minute drive from the North Pier Hotel

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Credit: Phillip Island Nature Parks

  • Spend the afternoon with some cuddly animals at the Koala Reserve, which is part of the Phillip Island Nature Parks that also runs the Penguin Parade.
  • Walk down a boardwalk lined with eucalyptus that’ll bring you close to koalas in their natural habitat. If you keep an alert eye out you might even spot some wallabies or echidnas!

Ticket Prices: AUD13.20 (Adult), AUD6.60 (Child aged 4-15 years old), AUD33 (Family - 2 Adult + 2 Children). Click here for more information on bundled ticket packages.

Opening Hours: Click here for more information on opening hours year-round.

Address: 1810 Phillip Island Road, Phillip Island, Victoria 3923

Contact: +61 3 5951 2800 or +61 35951 2830 (Ticket enquiries)

Getting there: 10-minute drive from Pannys Chocolate Factory, or 10-minute drive from the North Pier Hotel, or 90-minute drive from Melbourne CBD

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Credit: Phillip Island Nature Parks

  • It’s finally time to see the Penguin Parade! The penguins are in the ocean from sunrise to sunset catching fish to eat and return to the beach after sunset to feed their babies. They usually arrive immediately after sunset, as the nightfall keeps them hidden from predators.
  • Watching the arrival of the penguins is a popular day trip from Melbourne, but one of the upsides of staying on Phillip Island is that you won’t have to rush back to your tour bus and can sit and enjoy the penguins for as long as you want. ?
  • General admission ticket holders are recommended to arrive at least 1hr before the penguins’ expected arrival time to get a good seat. The boardwalk from the Visitor Centre to the beach is quite long, so we’d recommend you to plan ahead especially if you’re using a pram or wheelchair!

  • If you want to get even closer to the penguins, you can try out the Penguins Plus or Underground Viewing options. Penguins Plus has tiered seating that will bring you right next to where the penguins arrive, whereas the Underground Viewing brings you directly to eye-level with the adorable waddling birds.
  • We got to experience the Underground Viewing option and while photography and videography aren’t allowed due to the penguins’ sensitivity, we definitely recommend it for all nature lovers! Seeing the penguins up close (some even approached the glass in curiosity) was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that adds a whole new sense of wonder to the Penguin Parade.

Ticket Prices:

General Admission: AUD26.60 (Adult), AUD13.20 (Child aged 4-15 years old), AUD66.40 (Family - 2 Adult + 2 Children)

Penguins Plus: AUD55 (Adult), AUD27.50 (Child), AUD137.50 (Family)

Underground Viewing: AUD70 (Adult), AUD35 (Child), AUD175 (Family)

Opening Hours: 10AM to 1hr after the penguins’ arrival time. Doors to the boardwalk will open 1hr before the penguins’ arrival time. You can refer to this chart for the expected arrival timings year-round.

Address: 1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands, Victoria 3922

Contact: + 61 3 5951 2800

Getting there: 10-minute drive from the Koala Reserve, 15-minute drive from North Pier Hotel, or 1-hour 50-minute drive from Melbourne CBD

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Day 5: Head back to Melbourne CBD

  • After 4 days in the countryside, it's time to get back to the city! Phillip Island is only 1.5-2hrs away from Melbourne CBD, so enjoy the beautiful and scenic drive back!
  • Before you drive back to the city, make sure to check with your rental car provider for locations where you can return the car in the city itself. Public transport within Melbourne city itself is quite affordable (more on this below!) and the city itself is fairly walkable even with a pram or wheelchair so you won’t need a rental car unless absolutely necessary.

  • Stop by the South Melbourne Market on your way back to the city. The market is a mix of wholesale grocers, hot food vendors, and other locally-made trinkets. The Market is a popular attraction on its own, and it’s even recommended to spend at least an hour or half a day exploring its stalls!

  • If you plan to prepare some of your own meals, this is the perfect place to get fresh ingredients at amazing prices. Check out Georgie’s Harvest, whose owner has become a mini-celebrity for her amazing service and attitude as much as her support of local farmers; and Aptus Seafood, which has operated since 1969 and is famous for their oysters.
  • You can even buy extra-fresh ala carte oysters at Aptus Seafood’s oyster bar to try right there and then. We tried the Freshly Shucked “XL” St Helen’s Oysters from Tasmania (AUD24.99 for 12pcs) - they were creamy yet light, a perfect mid-day treat! ?

  • For some Muslim-friendly fare, head to Asian Grocery which stocks familiar products including some imported from Southeast Asia (look out for halal-certification logos!) and Pickadeli, which sells halal burrata cheese as well as halal dips! Do note that both of these stores also stock non-halal-certified items, so do approach the staff to request for the halal-certified items.
  • Refuel at Market Borek, a Muslim-owned stall that sells borek (a Turkish pastry filled with meat), wraps, and other hearty dishes that will re-energize you for the day ahead.

Opening Hours: 8AM - 4PM (Wed, Sat, Sun), 8AM - 5PM (Fri), closed on Mon, Tues, Thurs. Click here for individual shops’ listings and opening hours.

Address: Corner of Coventry & Cecil Streets, South Melbourne, Victoria 3205

Contact: +61 03 9209 6295

Getting there: 1-hour 50-minute drive from North Pier Hotel, or a 20-minute drive from Melbourne CBD, or click here for public transport options from Melbourne CBD

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  • Check into your hotel and take a short rest - you deserve it after all that driving!
  • If you’re looking for an accommodation that includes kitchen facilities, you can consider City Tempo - Power St (From AUD99/night on Agoda) or Pegasus Apartment Hotel (From AUD159/night on Agoda).

  • Unwind with a visit to Woolworth or Coles, two of the biggest supermarket chains in the city! You can pick up groceries or simple items such as yoghurt for breakfast, or look for some Muslim-friendly souvenirs to bring home. (We recommend trying out Coles’ banana bread - it’s made from Muslim-friendly ingredients!)

  • For dinner, head over to Killiney Kopitiam, a Singaporean brand that has several outlets in Australia! Feast on classics such as Char Kway Teow, Mee Siam, Singapore-style Laksa, and Nasi Lemak Fried Chicken.  ? If you weren’t already homesick for local food, the delicious dishes here will have you feeling right at home.

Halal Status: The Lygon Street outlet confirmed with us that they use only halal-certified ingredients. No alcohol is served in the establishment. Do note that this may not apply to all Killiney Kopitiam outlets in Australia. As the eatery itself is not halal-certified, we recommend you to dine at your own discretion.

Opening Hours: Open daily; 11.30AM - 10PM

Address: 114 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053

Contact: 03 9650 9880

Getting there: Take bus services 200/207 to the “Queensberry St” stop. The nearest tram station is “Queensberry Street/Swanston Street”.

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Day 6: Learn about the history of Muslims in Melbourne

  • Start your day with a quick visit to some of Melbourne’s most iconic street art. There is street art scattered around the city, but the most famous location is Hosier Lane. Anyone is free to come and draw here, and you’ll often find the street crowded with visitors eager to make their mark.

#HHWT Tip: Don't forget to check out nearby AC/DC Lane for more street art goodness. This lesser-known lane tends to be less crowded too!

Address: Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Getting there: The nearest tram station is “Russell Street/Flinders Street”, and “Exhibition Street - Stop 7”.

Credit: A1 Bakery

  • For lunch, head to the suburb of Brunswick where the famous Sydney Road is located. Sydney Rd is home to a large Muslim population, and is famous amongst locals for being a great Muslim-friendly area where you can find many halal butchers, and Muslim-owned eateries and shops!
  • Enjoy lunch at A1 Bakery, which is a family-owned business that has been around since 1992. Their affordable hand-made breads are a huge hit with locals and visitors alike, and the Cheese Pie and Zaatar bread are the 2 biggest sellers!

Halal Status: Muslim-owned, no alcohol served.

Opening Hours: 7AM - 7PM (Sun-Wed), 7AM - 9PM (Thurs-Sat)

Address: 643-645 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC 3056, Australia

Contact: +61 3  9386 0440

Getting to Sydney Road: Take tram Route 19 from Elizabeth Street (City to North Coburg) to Brunswick Rd/Sydney Rd. Click here for more information on this route.

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  • After lunch, visit the Islamic Museum of Australia in the nearby suburb of Thornbury to learn more about the history of Islam and Muslims in Australia.
  • The museum was created to promote cross-cultural experiences in the wake of Islamophobic sentiments in Australia, as well as promote the profile of local Australian Muslims and their achievements. They hold community outreach events such as afternoon teas, as well as a seasonal art exhibition for Muslim artists!

#HHWT Tip: There’s also a prayer space here, with ablution facilities and separate rooms for men and women. If you’re feeling peckish, head to their on-site cafe for some light bites - all of the cafe ingredients are halal-certified!

  • Though the museum is small, it’s definitely worth a visit. Make sure to visit the exhibit of different azans (call to prayer)! Hearing the same lines repeated by different voices in different styles was a beautiful show of how diverse the Muslim community worldwide is.
  • Learning that the first Muslims in Australia came from Makassar in Indonesia also made us realize that while the Muslim community is diverse, there are deep roots connecting us that transcend global or national differences. ?

Ticket prices: AUD12 (Adult), AUD8 (Child aged 6-12 years old), AUD10 (Students/Concession), FOC (Children 5 years old and under), AUD35 (Family - 2 Adult + 2 Child)

Opening Hours: 10AM - 4PM (Mon-Sat), closed on Sundays. The cafe is open from 9AM - 3PM (Mon-Sat).

Address: 15A Anderson Rd, Thornbury VIC 3071, Australia

Contact: +61 1300 915 171

Getting there: From the intersection of Sydney Rd and Moreland Rd (bus stop “Sydney Rd/Moreland Rd”), take bus service 510 to “Merri Business Park/Normanby Ave”. Click here for more information on this route. Walk 10 minutes to the museum.

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  • After an enriching afternoon at the museum, head back to Sydney Road for dinner before heading back into Melbourne CBD.
  • Tiba’s Restaurant is another family-owned business that has been around since 1987. Their Lebanese dishes have become so popular, there are even queues for takeaway leading out the door!
  • We tried some classic dishes including tabbouleh, hummus, and baba ghanoush. But the stand-out dish was definitely the shish kofta. The lamb meat was tender and well-spiced and was one of the best meals of the trip. ?

Halal Status: Muslim-owned, no alcohol served.

Opening Hours: 12PM - 11PM (Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs), 12PM - 12AM (Fri - Sat), closed on Tuesdays

Address: 504-508 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Victoria 3056

Contact: +61 3 9380 8425

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Day 7: Explore the iconic laneways and arcades before flying home

  • No trip to Melbourne would be complete without a visit to its laneways and arcades! Originally built during colonial times, laneways were originally used for horses and carts whereas arcades were some of the first sheltered shopping areas in the city.
  • Today, the laneways and arcades are famous for housing everything you could want to buy, ranging from cafes and the latest eateries to souvenirs you can’t get anywhere else.
  • They’re also a great way to spend a rainy day - the arcades are entirely sheltered, and while the laneways are not fully sheltered you can easily duck into a nearby stall during a shower or keep on walking to the next area!

  • Start your final morning in Melbourne with a cup of coffee and a light snack at Degraves Street. Melbourne has a very strong coffee culture, and you can find a coffeehouse or cafe with its own unique blend and flavours on every corner.
  • The Organic Food And Wine Deli has vegetarian and vegan-friendly options for sandwiches, pies, and rolls that will fuel you up for the rest of the day. Do note that alcoholic drinks are served here. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.

  • From Degraves St, head northward towards the Block Arcade and Royal Arcade. Both arcades’ interiors have been conserved to retain their beauty and grandeur - the elaborate mosaic tiles of the Royal Arcade are original! Here’s where you can pick up snacks to bring back home such as Beechworth Honey.

  • This Beechworth outlet even lets you try the different flavours before you purchase a jar. The honey here includes local flavours such as Lemon Myrtle, and there are even honey-based cosmetics such as lip balm!

Halal Status: The raw honey does not contain any additional ingredients, although some flavours may include vegetarian ingredients such as nuts, fruits, or spices. Do note that Beechworth also produces items such as alcoholic mead or other honey-based drinks. Do consult with the staff before purchasing anything, and we recommend you to dine at your own discretion.

Opening Hours: 9.30AM - 5.30PM (Mon - Thurs), 9.30AM - 6PM (Fri), 9.30AM - 5PM (Sat), 11AM - 4PM (Sun & PH)

Address: Shop 14, The Block Arcade, 282 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3747

Contact: +61 03 5728 1433

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  • Now that your luggage is full of souvenirs, it’s finally time to head back to Melbourne Airport for your flight home!
  • The airport is quite a distance away, and some of the ways to get there from the city include taxi, public buses, or shuttle buses. Do remember to time your journeys on these properly as you won’t want to miss your flight.

  • You can also purchase a ticket from SkyBus that will take you straight from the city to either Tullamarine or Avalon airport! SkyBus operates year-round, and you can check their timetables here to find a timing that’s perfect for you.

Ticket Prices (One-way): AUD19.75 (Adult), AUD19.75 (Family - 1 Adult + up to 4 Children), AUD39.50 (Family 2 - 2 Adult + up to 4 Children). All fares stated are valid for online, self-serve kiosks, and SkyBus ticket booth purchases. Click here for more fare options.

Operating Hours: The Melbourne City Express service operates 24/7 year-round.

Pick-up Location: Southern Cross Station, Spencer St, Docklands VIC 3008, Australia

Contact: +61 1300 759 287

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And with that, you’re back home with some of the best memories of your lifetime! ?

The writer was hosted by Tourism Australia and Visit Victoria on a media trip.