Melbourne is a glorious city. Usually, a visit to Melbourne would include a visit to the theatre, lots of restaurants, rooftop and laneway secret bars, market visits, galleries and all kinds of the usual city fun! Unfortunately, this visit over Christmas and New Years was overshadowed by escalating Covid Omicron cases, long testing queues, masks, avoidance of crowds and indoor spaces. Therefore, you will notice this in this post that this visit took on a distantly open air flavour (for Covid safety). Actually, there are plenty of things to do in the open in Melbourne and there are a surprisingly number of lush gardens in the CBD and surrounds which are perfect for a picnic.
Cycling to Saint Kilda from Melbourne CBD is not too difficult especially as it is mostly downhill. You can cheat by jumping on the train to get back! Once you get to Saint Kilda, you can ride along the coast down to the colourful Brighton Beach Boxes.
Only a 30 minute drive from Melbourne CBD is the historic town of Williamstown. From here you can get a view of the Melbourne skyline from across the water and spend a lovely day at the beach or looking at the other sites.
The Blue Lotus Water Garden is only open for a few months of the year when the lotus and lilies are blooming. It costs $22 for an adult to enter but you will be faced with a number of lakes and a lot of lilies and lotuses. There are so many varieties. You will yourself taking too many photos! They are quite elegant and beautiful flowers and this location which is 1 hour and 10 minutes out of Melbourne makes for a lovely day out. Drive back via Olinda and Sassafras and take a stroll through the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden (formerly known as the National Rhododendron Garden) before heading home. The drive is through some beautiful countryside with lush ferns and rolling hills. It is quite a special part of Australia.