Forget you're in a city of four million people and slow down in Melbourne's lavish parks, gardens and waterways. Surround yourself with age-old trees, manicured lawns and abundant wildlife in a pocket of calm and tranquillity in the middle of this bustling city.
A quiet corner
Wander the tree-lined pathways through the Treasury and Fitzroy gardens or enjoy the sculptured terraces of Birrarung Marr, Melbourne's newest garden situated on the shoulder of the Yarra River. For a truly Alice in Wonderland escape, head to the Royal Botanic Gardens – an ornamental labyrinth of lawns, weaving paths and venerable old trees.
Friends in the foliage
Melbourne's gardens are also home to a host of bird, animal and aquatic life, but for a more formal introduction to native Australian wildlife and other locally-found or more exotic species, visit the internationally acclaimed Melbourne Zoo. As well, the state-of-the-art Melbourne Aquarium harbours thousands of creatures from the Southern Ocean.
Relax by the water at Melbourne's bay beaches, from the popular swimming spots at St Kilda and Elwood to the boat-friendly beaches further out at Sandringham, Mordialloc and Hampton.