This year is almost at a close, but that means one thing in Australia: Summer! If you want some inspiration to get your kids to enjoy the great outdoors, we’ve got you covered. Read below to learn about our favorite spots in Melbourne were to get back to nature but have some fun while doing it.
1 Royal Botanical Gardens
Melbourne’s 170+-year-old gardens are a state icon. Home to over 8500 species of plants, you can explore, splash, lunch, and relax across 38 hectares. Kids love the Ian Potter Children’s Garden, where they can play in the water spouts, construct cubby houses, or climb the Tree Tower.
Best of all, it’s completely free, but do consider donating to their research or maintenance projects so they can keep this spectacular place in great shape. If you have tired legs or are unable to do lengthy walks, book a spot on the garden’s very own open-air minibus, The Explorer. On this 30min tour, enjoy the live commentary and see all the sites in comfort.
2 Plum Garland Playground
It may not be Melbourne’s most significant, but parents know the value of a beachside playground that offers shade, sand, water play, bench seating, and a fully fenced playground. Spend the day alternating between the play equipment and the Port Melbourne beachfront. There are fish and chips across the road, and cafes close by. And don’t worry, the roaming ice cream vans will stop by! It can get busy, but being right on the ocean means you’ll have space to move and escape the crowds.
3 Gumbuya World
If you want a theme park in Melbourne, this is it. After an extensive renovation in 2016, Gumbuya World underwent a significant refurb from its slightly kitschy image as an animal park (although children of the 90s agree they had the best tv ads). Today you can expect a picturesque theme park that is lush with established greenery, a native animal sanctuary, rides for the toddlers through to adults, and our very favorite, water slides and splash park, Oasis Springs, whether you come for the wave simulator and stay for the luxury cabanas or want to relax on a floating donut along the Lazy River, head there now and thank us later.
4 Werribee Open Range Zoo
This is no ordinary zoo. Werribee Zoo is for animal lovers and those who support breeding and recovery programs, research, and conservation efforts. Whether it’s an animal encounter to feed the giraffes, gorillas up close, meeting the lions, or a trip on the free safari bus, you can participate in a set itinerary or take things on your own pace. For lunch, boxes and picnic hampers are available for preorder, including a plant-based option and discounted prices for zoo members. Delicious!
There you have it! From the beach, theme parks, animals, and gardens, Melbourne has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and plan your summer adventure. Don’t forget your hat and sunnies!