Fun things to do in East Melbourne, VIC

April 24, 2023
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East Melbourne offers a range of fun activities for tourists and locals alike. Visit one of the many cafes in the area and enjoy a delicious meal and coffee. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful gardens and parks, admiring the stunning flora and fauna. Catch a game at the nearby stadium and experience the excitement of local sports culture. And for those looking for a more cultural experience, explore the many historic landmarks and museums in the area. East Melbourne truly has something for everyone, and is a must-visit destination for those looking for a fun and fulfilling day out.


Cooks’ Cottage

Cooks’ Cottage: A Quaint Piece of History in East Melbourne

Cooks’ Cottage is a small and cozy dwelling located in Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne. Historically, it was occupied by a cook or domestic servant who worked in a larger estate or mansion.

Charming Design and Simple Interior

The exterior of Cooks’ Cottage features a simple and traditional design, with a thatched roof, exposed wooden beams, and white-washed walls. There is a small garden or courtyard in front of the cottage, which could be used for growing herbs and vegetables or for relaxing outdoors.

Inside, the cottage has a functional layout, with a main living area that doubles as a kitchen and dining space. There is also a small bedroom or loft area for sleeping, as well as a basic bathroom and storage space.

A Quiet and Peaceful Retreat

Overall, Cooks’ Cottage is a charming and quaint dwelling that is steeped in history and tradition. Its simple design and cozy interior make it a popular choice for those looking for a quiet and peaceful retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Visitor Experience

The conservatory at Cooks’ Cottage is stunning and the staff are helpful and friendly. Visitors can buy tickets for $7 each and explore the cottage at their own pace. The staff at the house are more than happy to answer any questions. The fairy tree and other attractions in the area are also worth a visit. Visitors are recommended to set aside at least two hours to explore and take in the peaceful surroundings.


Fitzroy Gardens

Fitzroy Gardens: A Green Gem in the Heart of the City

Located in East Melbourne, Fitzroy Gardens is a stunning park that offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This magnificent green gem is a place where visitors can unwind, relax, and enjoy the beauty of nature. The park is home to several attractions that cater to people of all ages.

Attractions and Features

Visitors can explore the park’s various attractions, including the Conservatory, which showcases a vast collection of exotic plants and flowers. The fairy tree is also a must-see feature of the park, with intricate carvings and detailed artwork. The mini Tudor village and dolphin fountain are other attractions that draw visitors’ attention.

Fun Activities

Fitzroy Gardens is a perfect spot for a picnic, and there’s plenty of room for kids to run around and enjoy. The gardens are also home to some art installations and offer a fascinating insight into the city’s history. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or sit back and relax in one of the many seating areas around the park.

Accessibility and Amenities

Located near the treasury gardens and accessible via trams, Fitzroy Gardens is easily reachable. There is also limited metered parking around the park. However, visitors should note that the toilets are located in a far corner rather than at the information centre. The park is a popular spot among locals and tourists alike and is perfect for anyone looking for a peaceful and relaxing day out.


Parliament Gardens


Explore Parliament Gardens in East Melbourne

Nestled in the heart of East Melbourne, the Parliament Gardens is a perfect spot to unwind and relax. With its beautiful flowers, tranquil water fountain and sounds of magpies, ducks, and lorikeets, this small and hidden garden provides a peaceful escape from the busy streets surrounding it.

A Peaceful Retreat

Parliament Gardens is a quiet and serene oasis for visitors. It’s an ideal place to spend some quality time with friends and family, enjoy a picnic or read a book, and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Charming and Accessible

For those with mobility issues, the Parliament Gardens is a charming place to visit, with its easy walking paths and plenty of seating areas. The Summer Jacaranda blooming season is a spectacular time to witness the beauty of the garden, which provides a refreshing and peaceful environment for all visitors.

A Hidden Gem

Although Parliament Gardens is not as popular as other Melbourne parks, it’s still one of the city’s hidden gems. The Coles Fountain, built in 1981, is the highlight of the park, providing a picturesque spot to take memorable photos.

How to Get Here

Parliament Gardens is conveniently located near Parliament Station and tram stop (Parliament Stop 10). If you’re driving, limited metered parking is available on Albert Street.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a hidden gem to explore, Parliament Gardens is a must-visit destination for all nature lovers.


The Fairies Tree

A Magical Tree Sculpture

Located at 230-298 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002, Australia, The Fairies Tree is a magical tree sculpture loved by children and adults alike. It was sculpted by author Ola Cohn between 1931 and 1934 and is located in the Fitzroy Gardens. The carvings are on the stump of one of the original Red Gum trees in the gardens that was well over 300 years old. The carvings depict a series of Australian animals, birds, and bush spirits.

A Sanctuary for Fairies

The tree’s plaque bears a foreword from Ola Cohn’s book, “The Fairies Tree,” in which she explains her intentions for the sculpture. The foreword reads, “I have carved in a tree in the Fitzroy Gardens for you, and the fairies, but mostly for the fairies and those who believe in them, for they will understand how necessary it is to have a fairy sanctuary – a place that is sacred and safe as a home should be to all living creatures.”

A Fascinating Discovery

The carvings were done years after the death of the tree, and the preservation of the trunk presented a problem. In 1977, the trunk was extracted from the ground for chemical treatment and the removal of rotted wood. During the process, a mummified brush tail possum over 40 years old was found perfectly preserved within the trunk. The tree was remounted on a concrete base to prolong its life.

A Must-Visit Place

Visiting the Fairies Tree is a must-do when in Melbourne. Spend some time spotting all the different things depicted in the carvings, and you will find it very entertaining, especially for young children. The tree is a nice dedication from Ola Cohn for all of us who believe in fairies.


Australian Sports Museum

Experience the Thrill of Australian Sports History at the Australian Sports Museum

Located in Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Gate 3 Brunton Ave, East Melbourne VIC 3002, Australia, the Australian Sports Museum is a must-visit attraction for sports enthusiasts of all ages.

Guided Tour

Take a one-hour guided tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and explore areas that are usually not open to the public. The tour covers the players’ rooms, long room, and other exciting spots. The tour moves fast and keeps the children engaged throughout. Book online in advance to get your preferred MCG tour time.

Interactive and Educational Museum

After the tour, step into the Australian Sports Museum to discover a wide range of interactive and fun games and challenges for all ages. The museum is full of fascinating information presented in various formats. Spend a minimum of 3 hours here as you immerse yourself in the history of Australian sports.

Private Tour

For a premium experience, take the Private tour of the MCG, which includes entry to the Australian Sports Museum. On this tour, you will see the inner sanctums of the MCG, including the cricket club private rooms, player change rooms, media areas, and the centre of the oval.

Exceptional Value for Money

The combined MCG tour and museum entry is an excellent value for money and highly recommended for families looking for an engaging activity. All guides are volunteers and go the extra mile to make your experience special.

From the life-size hologram performance of Shane Warne to the interactive exhibits, the Australian Sports Museum is a place of learning and entertainment for everyone.


The Conservatory

Explore “The Conservatory” in Fitzroy Gardens

[Situated at 298 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002, Australia, The Conservatory in Fitzroy Gardens is a hidden gem worth exploring.

A Tranquil Greenhouse Experience

Step inside and feel transported to a peaceful greenhouse atmosphere. It’s an ideal spot to sit and relax, no matter the day, and enjoy the quiet environment. The displays of flowers change throughout the year, so there is always something new to admire. With beautiful plants and stunning arrangements, this is a perfect spot for photography of all types.

Mouth-watering Food and Excellent Service

The food served at The Conservatory is amazing, and the crispy pork belly is a must-try. If you’re a seafood lover, the fresh oysters and prawns won’t disappoint. There is a great variety of food to choose from, and the staff is helpful, polite, friendly and efficient. They’ll make sure you have a pleasant dining experience, no matter what.

Convenient Location and Easy Access

The Conservatory is located in the Landsdowne St- Wellington Parade busiest quarter of Fitzroy Gardens, and most tourist buses offload here. It’s also close to Cook’s Cottage & Visitor’s Centre. The glassed Spanish Adobe building with pretty fountains at either end is easy to navigate with a pram or wheelchair. The plant displays & arrangements are changed every season, making each visit a unique experience.

A Gorgeous Little Greenhouse

In conclusion, The Conservatory in Fitzroy Gardens is a stunning little greenhouse that is worth the visit. Although it’s small, it won’t disappoint. There is seating inside if you wish to linger, but the selfie takers will always be buzzing around. If you’re passing through the area, don’t miss the opportunity to check it out. It’s a gorgeous spot that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


The Johnston Collection

Discover the Charm of The Johnston Collection: A Hidden Gem in Melbourne

Located at 192 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002, Australia, The Johnston Collection is a hidden gem in the city that boasts an exceptional collection of antiques and artworks.

Personalized Experience

Upon arrival, visitors are welcomed with a cup of tea, making the experience even more personalized. The knowledgeable guide provides a tour of the collection, making the visit even more enjoyable.

Exquisite Collection

The collection features beautiful pieces of furniture, including a splendid Roger Brooks silver collection, that is displayed three times a year. Visitors can marvel at the exquisite antiques and diverse collection of contemporary artworks created in response to them.

Knowledgeable Staff

The staff members are adorable ladies with vast knowledge in the history of each item in the collection. Visitors can chat with them and learn more about the history of the antiques and artworks on display.

The Johnston Collection is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates art and antiques. It is a hidden gem in the middle of Melbourne, and it is definitely worth a visit. Visitors can spend a leisurely two hours exploring the collection, and they are sure to enjoy every second of it.


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