Tours

The free City Circle tram operates every 12 minutes from 10 to 9 Monday–Saturday and 10–6 Sunday around the edge of the Central Business District and Docklands, with stops on Flinders, La Trobe, Victoria, and Spring streets, and Harbour Esplanade. Look for the burgundy-and-cream trams. A red tourist bus (the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle, A$10 for two days) does a loop around central and inner Melbourne suburbs daily, every 30 minutes between 9:30 and 3:45, stopping at 13 destinations including Federation Square, Docklands, South Yarra, and the Botanic Gardens. Metropolitan buses operate daily until around 9 pm to all suburbs, while the NightRider bus service runs between 1:30 am and 4:30 am on Saturday and 1:30 am and 5:30 am on Sunday.

AAT Kings. This tour agency runs a half-day Magnificent Melbourne tour (A$65) that explores historical sights, gardens, and the Queen Victoria Market. The company also organizes longer tours outside Melbourne. Federation Sq., Flinders and Russell Sts., City Center, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. 1300/228546; aatkings.com. From A$69.

Chocoholic Tours. Chocoholic Tours runs tours every day of the week for chocolate lovers, including the weekend Chocolate and Sweet Temptation tour, which focuses on organic and fair trade chocolate. The Spoil Yourself Chocolate Tour includes a gift at each stop. On weekdays, Melbourne’s Chocolate Wonderland Tour goes for 2½ hours. Other tours are available, including private ones. Bookings are essential, and all tours depart from the Little Collins Street entrance of Reader's Feast Bookstore. 195 Little Collins St., City Center, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. 03/9650–0795; www.chocoholictours.com.au. From A$99.

Golden Mile Heritage Trail. Hidden Secrets Tours runs guided walks of Melbourne's Golden Mile Heritage Trail, visiting the city's architectural and historic sites. The two-hour tours depart daily at 10 am from Federation Square and finish at the Melbourne Town Hall on weekdays and the Melbourne Museum on weekends. Melbourne, Victoria. 03/9663–3358. From A$29.

Gray Line. Explore Melbourne and its environs on Gray Line's guided bus and boat tours. The Melbourne Morning City Tour visits the city center's main attractions and some of the surrounding parks. The 3½-hour tour departs daily at 8:20 am. Federation Square East, Flinders and Russell Sts., City Center, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. 1300/858687; www.grayline.com.au. From A$62.

Melbourne's Best Day Tours. The tour company runs half-day tours around Melbourne as well as taking visitors farther afield on three- and four-day treks. Federation Sq., Flinders and Russell Sts., City Center, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. 1300/130550; www.melbournetours.com.au. From A$70.

Melbourne Greeters. The Melbourne Greeter service, a Melbourne Information Centre program, provides a free orientation walking tour, guided by a knowledgeable local volunteer. Tours are available in languages other than English. Book tours 24 hours ahead, and depart from the Melbourne Visitor Centre. Federation Sq., Flinders and Swanston Sts., City Center, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. 03/9658–9658; 03/9658–9942; www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/greeter. Free.

Melbourne River Cruises. One of the best ways to see Melbourne is from the deck of a boat on the Yarra River. Melbourne River Cruises’ fleet of modern, glass-enclosed boats operate 1- and 2½-hour Yarra River cruises daily (A$23 and A$29, respectively), traversing either west through the commercial heart of the city or east through the parks and gardens, or a combination of the two. Cruises run roughly every half hour from 10 to 4, depending on weather and tide conditions. Vault 11, Banana Alley, 367 Flinders St., City Center, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. 03/8610–2600; www.melbcruises.com.au. From A$23.

Queen Victoria Market Food Tour. The two-hour, guided Hunt and Gather food tour is conducted at Queen Victoria Market, where you'll taste your way around the market while learning some of its history. This tour runs Tuesday and Thursday to Saturday from January to November each year. Other tours include a meal or focus on history and gifts. Queen Victoria Market, Queen and Elizabeth Sts., City Center, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. 03/9320–5822; www.qvm.com.au. Hunt and Gather Tour A$49; others from A$40.

Vietnam on a Plate. Take guided walking tours of the Asian food markets of Footscray and Springvale, visiting traditional herbalists, food stalls, and spice and herb specialists. These tours are designed for aspiring cooks and focus on sourcing and selecting the ingredients needed for authentic Asian cooking. A substantial Vietnamese lunch is included. Tours are usually given Saturday 9:30–2, for a minimum of four people. Other days can be arranged in advance. Reservations on all tours are essential. Footscray Market, Hopkins and Leeds Sts., Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria, 3011. 03/9332–6848; 0411/578–641; www.vietnamonaplate.com.au. From A$77.

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