Federation Square is always busy with people coming and going as well as being the venue for 2,000 events annually. The Square is the site of festivals, performances, screenings, fashion shows and exhibitions. Most tourists will pass through Fed Square at some point as the Melbourne Visitor Center is located here.
The Square's Kirra Galleries display Australian contemporary art, glass, sculpture, handmade jewelry and ceramics. Visitors to the Square can find out more about the country's history at a free interactive exhibition, the Federation Story. In addition to all the surrounding attractions the Square is lined with restaurants, stores and cafes.
The Ian Potter Center is located on Federation Square, in the heart of the city. The structure was designed by architects of Lab Architecture Studio in association with Bates Smart Melbourne. They were given the task of designing every detail of the structure and interior, including fixtures, furniture and the colors of interior walls. The building was completed in 2002 and covers 44,000m². The plan of the building follows a crossbar layout with two wings of the building overlapping like an X. In the southern portion of the building one can look out through glass walls to get brilliant views of the surroundings. The art galleries are designed so that there are cross-connections between the galleries and shifting view lines.
The NGV art museum within the Ian Potter center is home to Australian art. The works cover prints, photography, paintings, drawings, sculptures, fashion, decorative arts and textiles. This is the site of the largest display of Australian art work in the world. In all, there are approximately 25,000 works of art in the collection which are displayed on rotation in 20 galleries. Aboriginal art is covered as well as art from the Torres Strait Islands. Entrance to the permanent collection is free. In addition you can visit the Crossbar Café on the 3rd level and enjoy breathtaking views across the city and Yarra River.
Hosier Lane is a bluestone cobbled vehicular and pedestrian laneway on the southern edge of the central city grid. It is a much celebrated landmark mainly due to its sophisticated Urban art.
Hosier Lane lies opposite the entrance to the Atrium at Federation Square on Flinders St, a prominent position in the city. The lane has been noted for the quality and the often political nature of its art. The graffiti-covered walls and art-installations have become a popular backdrop for fashion and wedding photography. Hosier Lane is also known for its upmarket cocktail lounges including the popular Misty and MoVida.
Take in Melbourne’s highlights from a unique vantage point on the scenic Yarra River cruise. Learn about the history of this modern metropolis on a narrated tour as you glide past beautiful gardens, historic buildings, and ultramodern skyscrapers. Relish the sights through panoramic windows from the inside cabin, where the complimentary coffee or tea is served.
The Skydeck is the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere and the fastest lifts in the Southern Hemisphere take you to the 88th floor in 38 seconds. From the Skydeck you have a 360° view of Melbourne through floor-to-ceiling windows. From here you can see the city center, Port Phillip Bay, Docklands and all the way to the Dandenong Range. From the indoor Skydeck you can walk out onto the Terrace. On this open-air observation deck only a wire mesh fence stands between you and the open sky. If you're feeling brave then visit Level 88 and go out on The Edge. The Edge is a glass cube projecting 3 meters out from the building and suspended 300 meters above ground.
Crown Casino, a huge entertainment precinct, is located on the south bank of Yarra River with the Crown Promenade running along the waterfront. The complex covers 510,000m² and includes a large gaming area, shops, restaurants, cinemas, games arcades, a bowling alley, laser tag game, spas, three hotel towers and places of entertainment. It is the largest casino complex in the Southern Hemisphere and a city within itself. There are 17 bars, 35 restaurants and cafes and 8 cinemas. The casino is often a venue for prestigious poker competitions
City Circle Trams are vintage trams painted maroon and yellow, and helpfully titled "City Circle tram". An audio commentary provides details of city landmarks and major attractions such as the City Museum, Parliament House, Docklands, Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium and the Princess Theater. To catch a free City Circle Tram service (route number 35), simply board the tram at any of the specially marked stops on the circular route. Trams run in both directions approximately every twelve minutes between 10AM and 6PM Sunday to Wednesday and extended hours, 10AM and 9PM Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Phillip Island, a popular day trip destination from Melbourne, offers spectacular coastal scenery, unique wildlife encounters and an eco-friendly farming culture. For an enchanting finale to the day, make your way to a local beach and settle in to a shoreline viewing platform for the famous Penguin Parade. As dusk falls, watch hundreds of adorable fairy penguinsemerge from the ocean and waddle across the sand to their nearby burrows. Unfortunately it is forbidden to photograph the penguins.