Ask anyone who’s been to Melbourne and they’ll probably tell you that it’s Australia’s coolest city. It’s vibrant, eclectic and full of picture-perfect spots for you to strike some poses for the ‘gram.
Whether it’s Instagrammable street art, architecture or picturesque nature spots, there are plenty of sights in Melbourne and its surrounds that will take your breath away. We’ve rounded up this 5D4N Muslim-friendly road trip itinerary for you to get the best out of Melbourne!
#HHWT Tip: If you’re planning your next trip to Melbourne, book your flight with Malaysia Airlines! Check out promotional fares here.
Day 1: Melbourne City
Queen Victoria Market (2h)
- Start your day with a visit to the iconic Queen Victoria Market which has been opened for around 140 years!
- Soak in the ambience and atmosphere of the Southern hemisphere’s largest open-air market.
Credit: Queen Victoria Market on Facebook
- Take your time to look through the 600 stores here - they sell almost anything from fresh produce to handmade goods, clothes, souvenirs, coffee and food. Check out the full list of stores here.
- #HHWT Tip: Don’t forget to swing by the popular Market Lane Coffee to get your caffeine fix! If you’re feeling hungry, you can also head to Gozleme Turkish Cafe for some yummy Turkish breakfast or The Borek Bakehouse which sells really good Turkish pastry ?
- Do note that Queen Victoria Market is not open on some days. Check out the opening hours here.
State Library of Victoria and Coop’s Shot Tower (1-2h)
- You’ve probably seen pictures of a gorgeous library in Melbourne and wondering where they were taken. It’s none other than the State Library of Victoria!
- The library is home to over 2 million books and thousands of other materials which contains the 150-year history of the state of Victoria.
Credit: @mehdi.sahrapour on Instagram
- Housed in a 19th-century building, the library has some of Melbourne’s most beautiful heritage architectures. A photo op at the La Trobe Reading Room is a must ?
- Their free permanent exhibitions - The Changing Face of Victoria and Mirror of the World - are worth a visit too. Alternatively, you can also go on free guided tours of the library.
Credit: @imlee_ on Instagram
- After a visit to the library, make a short stop at the Coop’s Shot Tower at Melbourne Central. This is one of the most photographed buildings in Melbourne and it was once the tallest building in the city ?
Flinders St Station (30 min)
- You can’t say you’ve been to Melbourne without heading to the Flinders Street Station!
- Located right in the heart of Melbourne, this was the first train station to be built in Australia. Can you believe it once used to be the busiest train station in the world?
Credit: @schulhund.milo on Instagram
- Today, tourists and Melbourne locals flock to the station to take in the station’s unique architecture ?
- Here’s a fun fact: the famous Melbourne catchphrase “meet me under the clocks” was coined as the clocks outside the station were a convenient meeting spot for locals.
Lunch at Lord of the Fries (1h)
- A short walk from Flinders St Station, you’ll find Lord of the Fries (or LOTF), a vegan eatery which started out as a humble food van in Melbourne in 2004.
- With 4 types of fries and a whole array of veggie burgers, nuggets and hotdogs, you won’t be able to tell that LOTF is a vegan eatery.
Credit: @lordofthefries1 on Instagram
- There have been a lot of reviews saying that the “meat” at LOTF tastes almost like the real deal, so we highly recommend you to try this Melbourne specialty!
- Halal status: Vegan
- Address: 55 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Explore Street Art (1-2h)
- One of the main highlights of Melbourne city are its Insta-worthy laneways which are filled with vibrant street art.
- Just a stone’s throw away from Flinders St Station and among the alleys along Flinders Lane, you’ll uncover the city’s creative scene.
Credit: @hazeherdz on Instagram
- One of the best places to start is Hosier Lane where the street art is always changing. Then, make your way to Rutledge Lane, Duckboard Place and finally AC/DC Lane which was painted as a tribute to the Australian rock band.
- Other than street art around Flinders St, you can also head to other parts of Melbourne CBD like Croft Alley, Caledonian Lane and Drewery Lane for more Insta-worthy backdrops!
Royal Botanic Gardens (2-3h)
- For a respite from the bustling city, head over to the Royal Botanic Gardens - a magnificent oasis set against the backdrop of the city’s skyline ?
Credit: @royalbotanicgardensvic on Instagram
- Here’s where you can discover diverse plants and flowers from camellias to cacti, rainforest plants and even species from California and Southern China.
- The Guilfoyle’s Volcano water reservoir is not to be missed either and has sweeping views of the city while a boat ride on the Ornamental Lake is also an interesting way of admiring the beauty of the gardens.
Credit: @iris_hartsuiker on Instagram
- #HHWT Tip: If you have time to spare, we recommend heading to the Shrine of Remembrance, which was built to honour men and women of Victoria who have served in wars.
- P.S. If you’re looking for more activities to do in Melbourne, we’ve rounded up a list of 10 things to do in Melbourne for free!
Sunset at Eureka Skydeck (1h)
- There’s no better place to end your first day in Melbourne than by going up the Eureka Skydeck to catch the sunset. Head up the 88th floor to catch some magnificent views of the city ?
Credit: Eureka Skydeck 88 on Facebook
- #HHWT Tip: We recommend arriving around an hour before sunset for the best of both worlds. You’d get the view of the city skyline in daylight and then watch as the lights take over the city during sunset.
- If you’re up for something thrilling, try out The Edge. Picture this - you’re in a glass cube - glass walls, ceiling and floor - and you’re almost 300 metres above the city. Definitely an experience not for the faint-hearted!
- Price: from AUD21 (Adults), AUD16.50 (Concession), AUD12.50 (Child). Book your tickets here.
Dinner at Hunky Dory (1h)
- After all the day’s sightseeing, fill your tummy with a scrumptious seafood dinner at Hunky Dory South Melbourne.
- This eatery serves fish and chips (and more!) with healthier options and you can choose a range of other grilled seafood too.
Credit: @princesspinklily on Instagram
- Take your pick from fried dory, calamari rings and prawn cakes or grilled salmon and barramundi for a satisfying meal ?
- The best part is, they don’t use beer batter for their fish and chips!
- Halal status: Seafood options available, meats are not halal but no pork served, alcohol not used in preparation of seafood but served in establishment. We advise you to dine at your own discretion.
- #HHWT Tip: Looking for more halal food options in Melbourne? We’ve rounded up a list of Muslim-friendly eateries in the city!
Day 2: Brighton Beach and Phillip Island
Brighton Bathing Boxes (2h)
- Start your second day by taking a leisurely drive to the Brighton Bathing Boxes at Brighton Beach south of Melbourne. The drive is about 45 minutes from downtown Melbourne.
Credit: @lost.down.under on Instagram
- Built more than 100 years ago, the boxes were once used in the Victorian era by women when they needed to change into their swimwear.
- Today, there are 82 boxes here and they are each painted in a distinctive pattern, making it a good photo spot!
Drive to Phillip Island (2h)
- After posing with the colourful boxes and spending some time at Brighton Beach, continue your drive South to Phillip Island, a popular destination for day trips from Melbourne ?
Lunch at San Remo’s (1-2h)
- Before reaching Phillip Island, you’d pass by San Remo’s Fisherman’s Co-op and here’s where you can get your fix of seafood!
- San Remo’s seafood are caught fresh and you can choose to have them at the eatery or take them home to prepare your own seafood meal.
Credit: @nazrinahmad on Instagram
- You can choose to have your fish, prawns, scallops or calamari fried or order their grilled seafood packs. Those who love fresh seafood would love getting your fill of their oysters or lobsters!
- Plus, you can also choose to have crayfish prepared based on your preferences.
- #HHWT Tip: If you’re here with kids, don’t miss the sight of the pelican feeding at 12pm daily!
- Halal status: Seafood options available, meats are not halal but no pork served. Do dine at your own discretion.
Cape Woomalai (1-2h)
- Start your exploration of Phillip Island by making a stop at Cape Woomalai. This beach spot is popular for surfing and bird-watching.
Credit: @caiz___ on Instagram
- The pristine beaches here are a great breather from all the driving and if you have more time to spare, we recommend following one of the four coastal walking trails until you get a breathtaking view of The Pinnacles.
Stroll along The Nobbies boardwalk (1-2h)
- You can’t get enough of the beach, can you? Head over to The Nobbies on the western end of Phillip Island to get a view of the stunning coastline.
Credit: @afidazaidi on Instagram
- Take a stroll along the boardwalk and you’d be able to spot a few geographical wonders like the blowhole (blast of water from sea caves) and the seal rocks which is home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals.
- Pop by the Nobbies Centre for an interactive and immersive journey to the Antarctic ?
Sunset and watch the Penguin Parade (1-2h)
- The penguin parade is definitely the main highlight of Phillip Island! Every day at sunset, you’ll be able to witness the sight of adorable penguins will come home from a day of fishing.
Credit: @princessnatalie_rocks on Instagram
- The little penguins will waddle up to their homes in the sand dunes - this amazing sight is almost too magical to miss!?
- The main penguin viewing area is at Summerland Beach where there are bleachers for travellers to sit on and get a good view of the penguins.
- #HHWT Tip: Do note that sunset times vary with seasons. It can be as early as 5.15pm or as late as 8.45pm. So, do check before you go!
Dinner at Burger Edge (1h)
- Before you make your way back to Melbourne, refuel with some scrumptious burgers at Burger Edge at Cowes.
Credit: @burgeredge on Instagram
- Bite into their juicy Angus beef burgers or chicken burgers which are herb-marinated and flame-grilled.
- Halal status: Halal beef and chicken available. Bacon, salami and ham are served in establishment so do request to have your halal meat prepared separately from the pork-based items. Do dine at your own discretion.
Drive back to Melbourne (2h)
- After being treated to the majestic spectacle of penguins and a satisfying dinner, it’s time to make your way back to Melbourne. The journey will take you around 1h 45min to 2 hours.
Day 3: Great Ocean Road
Drive along the Great Ocean Road (3h)
- It’s day 3 and you’re about to go on the highlight of your trip - the Great Ocean Road! We recommend you to start your day really early.
- Known as one of the world’s scenic drives, the 243-km Great Ocean Road is not to be missed if you’re in Melbourne and its surrounds.
Credit: @_jenizita_ on Instagram
- To drive along the coast, take the B100 from Geelong or Torquay where you’ll drive on the Surf Coast Highway before going into the Great Ocean Road.
- Your first stop is Apollo Bay but before that, if you need a break from driving, Torquay Beach, Anglesea and Lorne make for perfect stopovers ?
Apollo Bay (2h)
- Apollo Bay is one of the most beautiful stops along the Great Ocean Road. Not only are there impressive views of the ocean here, but there are also many eateries where you can stop by for lunch.
Credit: @arie.lsy on Instagram
- The first thing you have to do here is to drive up to the Marriner’s Lookout for an aerial view of Apollo Bay
- If you don’t have much time, take a leisurely stroll on the Great Ocean Walk instead, where you’d still get a stunning view.
- While you’re here, Apollo Bay is also the perfect place for you to refuel before you explore the rest of the Great Ocean Road.
Credit: Masala Bay on Facebook
- Head over to Masala Bay, one of the few Muslim-friendly restaurants in the area. Although they specialise in Indian vegetarian dishes, they have a selection of seafood options too.
- Make sure you try their Coffin Bay Oysters, Harvey Bay scallops or mussels prepared either naturally or with Indian spices. They also have Indian seafood dishes like grilled prawns, prawn or fish curry.
- Halal status: Seafood and vegetarian options available, meats aren’t halal but no pork served. Do dine at your own discretion.
- Do note that there are many other seafood eateries in Apollo Bay too. But most of them serve bacon so we advise you to check with the eateries if they can prepare their seafood separately and dine at your own discretion.
Apollo Bay to Cape Otway (35min drive, stay for 30min)
- After lunch, it’s time for pit stops along the Great Ocean Road. The first stop is Cape Otway, the southernmost point of the Great Ocean region.
Credit: @helmuts.jauja on Instagram
- One of the icons and photo spots is the Cape Otway Lightstation, the oldest lighthouse in mainland Australia. Head up the 90m tower to get a panoramic view of the coast!
- The Cape Otway area is also a national park, so you’ll be greeted with lush and beautiful rainforest before reaching the coast.
Cape Otway to Twelve Apostles (1h 15min drive, stay for 1h)
- The Twelve Apostles is probably the most famous point along the Great Ocean Road.
Credit: Oceania Beauty on Facebook
- The “apostles” refer to the limestone pillars that seem to rise from the Southern Ocean but they were in fact, part of the limestone cliffs on the mainland before the rocks were eroded to create this marvellous wonder we see today ?
- #HHWT Tip: If you’re not on a tight schedule, we recommend taking a walk down to the Gibson Steps where you’ll uncover a splendid beach beneath all the limestones.
Twelve Apostles to Loch Ard Gorge (5min drive, stay for 30min)
- The limestones along the drive are so stunning that you’ll most likely can’t get enough of it, so head over to the Loch Ard Gorge next, just a 5-minutes’ drive away from the Twelve Apostles.
Credit: @lynndajenny on Instagram
- You’ll find an untouched beach here with clear blue water and fine sand, flanked by 2 gorgeous cliffs. This is one photo spot you can’t miss!
- Besides the Loch Ard Gorge, there are walking trails and other lookout points here too.
- Although the Loch Ard Gorge isn’t as popular as the Twelve Apostles, you’ll most likely still see a lot of visitors if you’re here on a weekend.
Loch Ard Gorge to London Bridge (17 min drive, stay for 30min)
- No, we’re not driving to that infamous bridge in London! The London Bridge is actually an offshore natural arch formation along the Southern Ocean.
- It used to be a natural rock bridge and tunnel and visitors could walk on it until it collapsed in 1990.
Credit: @taylovatto on Instagram
- Now, you can’t get on the “bridge” but you can still admire it from a distance and strike some poses for the ‘gram ?
London Bridge to The Grotto (5 min drive, stay for 30 min)
- The last stop on your Great Ocean Road drive, The Grotto is unlike the other rock formations you’ve seen along the way.
Credit: @elisabethsdiary on Instagram
- This enchanting open cave is a geological sinkhole and looking through its arch, you’ll be able to see the ocean beyond and hear the sound of waves crashing.
- The reflection created by the rock pool is also a sight to behold. Not to mention that the rock arch creates a natural frame for your photos!
Spend the night at Port Campbell
- After a wonderful day out on the Great Ocean Road, we recommend spending the night at Port Campbell, just a 10-minutes’ drive away from The Grotto.
Credit: Brad Huddleston on Facebook
- Port Campbell is a small coastal town and there’s a decent number of inns and eateries here. Some of the accommodations that we’d recommend are Southern Ocean Motor Inn, Loch Ard Motor Inn and Sea Foam Villas.
- There aren’t any halal eateries in Port Campbell but there are seafood and vegetarian options at Frying Nemo Fish & Chips and Grassroots Deli Cafe.
- Do note that Frying Nemo uses beer batter for their fried seafood but they have a selection of grilled seafood and vegetarian snacks. They also prepare their ham and bacon separately. Grassroots Deli Cafe does not sell pork but the meats are not halal and they can prepare them separately from seafood/vegetarian dishes. We advise you to double-check with the staff and dine at your own discretion.
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Day 4: Grampians National Park
Drive to Grampians National Park (2h 30min)
- After a day along the ocean, it’s time to head to the mountains. One spot for spectacular views of mountains and waterfalls is the Grampians National Park.
- The drive from Port Campbell to the Grampians takes around 2h 30min so we recommend you to start your day early!
Boroka Lookout (1h)
- Boroka is one of the best lookout points to get a sweeping view of the mountain ranges around the Grampians.
Credit: @aleksandar_bobic_ on Instagram
- It’s only a short distance from the carpark to the lookout point and the trek is an easy one.
- Take a moment to soak in the awe-inspiring view or you can also choose to have a picnic here!
Brambuk National Park & Cultural Centre (1h)
- Brambuk is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the culture and history of the Aboriginal groups in Australia.
- There are photographs, films and artefacts here where you can learn more about their culture as well as rock art sites.
Credit: @thegoodalllife on Instagram
- You can also learn to play the didgeridoo (wind instrument) or do some boomerang-painting. There are also opportunities for you to learn how to throw a boomerang too!
Lunch at Livefast Cafe (1h)
- After an interesting morning at Brambuk, it’s time for your first meal of the day! Head to Livefast Cafe for some brunch food and a hearty meal.
- What’s interesting about Livefast is that their ingredients are ethically sourced. Not to mention that the cafe is set in a beautiful space - there’s a verandah with mountain views!
Credit: @beckypie24 on Instagram
- Whether you’re looking for yummy poached eggs, pancakes, crepes or toast, you'll have a satisfying meal. They have a decent range of specially crafted coffee and tea too.
- Halal status: Vegetarian/vegan/seafood options available. Pork-based items are served but do inform the staff to prepare your meal using separate utensils. Alcohol is served in establishment. Do dine at your own discretion.
Mackenzie Falls (1-2h)
- Mackenzie is one of the largest waterfalls in the state of Victoria and it’s a must-visit when you’re at the Grampians!
- The sight of water cascading over huge cliffs and into the stunning gorge is one to keep for the books. Did you know the waterfall flows all year round too??
Credit: @gnirnops on Instagram
- Choose between 2 hiking tracks here - there’s an easy 1km track to the viewing platform or if you’re up for a challenge, you can walk all the way down to the base of the waterfall.
- Don’t forget to snap as many photos as you can in front of this majestic falls!
Reeds Lookout and The Balconies (1-2h)
- Here’s one final lookout spot before you head back to Melbourne! Reeds Lookout is where you can get a magical view of the picturesque Victoria Valley and the mountains.
- Trust us, the view here is almost surreal! We recommend making a quick stop at Reeds and then continuing your hike all the way till you reach The Balconies.
Credit: @radawiyah88 on Instagram
- The unique rock formations at The Balconies make for an interesting photo spot here, especially with the backdrop of the beautiful mountains.
Drive back to Melbourne (3h 15min)
- After a good 2D1N on the road, it’s time to drive back to Melbourne! As the journey is around 3h 15min, do stock up on some snacks for your ride back.
Stop by Ballarat Town (2h)
- If you have time to spare, we recommend stopping by the town of Ballarat. Head over to Sovereign Hill where you can step back in time and experience life in 1850s Victorian era Australia.
Credit: @hannah0310 on Instagram
- Set during the Australian gold rush, you can try your hand at panning real gold here and see what a goldfield town is really like.
- Step into one of the shops, theatres, factories or schools to witness the working exhibits where staff are dressed up in old-fashioned costumes. Guess what? You can dress up in those costumes too!?
Credit: @odetta_ on Instagram
- Afterwards, make your way to Lake Wendouree, a picturesque area with a botanic garden. The lake has been a popular recreational area for locals for around 150 years!
- You can have a picnic here, do some bird-watching or take a scenic tram ride around the lake.
Dinner at Dolan Uyghur (1h)
- Once you’re back in Melbourne, treat yourself to some scrumptious halal Chinese and Turkish fusion cuisine at Dolan Uyghur Food Heaven!
Credit: @tyailyana on Instagram
- Have your fill of Xinjiang lamb skewers, authentic hand-pulled noodles, dumplings, steamed buns and more - definitely the best treat you can give yourself for the last night of your trip.
- Halal status: Halal ingredients used
Day 5: Melbourne - St Kilda
St Kilda Beach (2h)
- It’s already your last day in Melbourne ? There’s no better way to wind down your trip than by heading to the beach, and we’re talking about St Kilda’s Beach!
- Known to many Melburnians as THE place to go for summer, this laidback and hip beach has something for everyone.
Credit: St Kilda Esplanade Market on Facebook
- If you’re here on a Sunday, don’t miss out on the St Kilda Esplanade Market. The arts and crafts market prides itself on celebrating local makers.
- You can find over 120 stalls selling various artworks, jewellery, accessories, wood products and more.
Have brunch at Matcha Mylkbar (1h)
- Time to have brunch Melbourne-style at Matcha Mylbar, a vegan cafe which uses 100% plant-based ingredients.
- This cafe has been featured on various sites like Buzzfeed, Insider and Yahoo so you know you have to try it!
Credit: @ozzie.foodie on Instagram
- Of course, with matcha in its name, you can’t miss out on their matcha items here. Get your fill of their Matcha Burger and Matcha Made In Heaven Pancakes and round it all up with some yummy Matcha Latte.
- They also have a great selection of breakfast items, acai bowls, smoothies and interesting lattes, so give them a try.
- Halal status: Fully vegan menu
Shopping at Fitzroy and Acland (1-2h)
- After brunch, take a stroll down Acland and Fitzroy streets and do some last-minute shopping before you head home in the evening!
Credit: @alzosadventures on Instagram
- Head over to Acland Street Village which has a wide variety of clothing stores, quirky gift shops, collectables, homeware and more. There are outlet stores here too!
- If you have more time to spare, head over to Fitzroy St and check out the independent boutiques there.
- Acland St is also known for its cake shops so make sure you grab a slice or two. Check out Europa Cake Shop, Monarch and Acland Cake Shop. Do check with the staff if they have alcohol or animal-based products in their cakes. Some shops like Europa cater to dietary needs too by providing vegan or gluten-free cakes.
Luna Park and St. Kilda Pier (2h)
- Before you leave St Kilda, head over to Luna Park, a small family-friendly amusement park and one of Melbourne’s icons.
Credit: @sherryeima on Instagram
- Luna Park is known for its giant “Mr Moon” entrance where visitors will enter through its mouth. You definitely can’t miss a photo spot here!
- For those of you who are interested in experiencing a carnival atmosphere, you can take rides in the park including the world’s oldest continually operating roller coaster.
- Admission fee: AUD5 (entry only), AUD10.95 (single rides), AUD49.95 (unlimited rides)
Credit: Herbert Ho on Facebook
- After taking that must-snap photo with Mr Moon, head over to St Kilda Pier, where you can experience the most spectacular sight during sunset!
- Not only is a walk at the pier relaxing, but you can also get an impressive view of Port Phillip Bay and the Melbourne skyline.
That’s the end of your 5D4N road trip adventure in Melbourne and its surrounds! From stunning Instagram spots in Melbourne city to breathtaking natural wonders on the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians, there’s just so much to see and do. With our Muslim-friendly itinerary, we hope you’ll have a great time exploring this exciting region of Australia. So, start planning your Melbourne adventure now ☺️
PLAN YOUR TRIP WITH MALAYSIA AIRLINES!
Malaysia Airlines flies 14 times (17 times from July 2019 onwards!) from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne. Book now to enjoy promotional fares!
This article is brought to you by Malaysia Airlines and Visit Victoria.