Couple on a picnic date in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne

8 Great Melbourne Date Ideas

Andrew Gung

With its charming culture and laid-back lifestyle, it’s no wonder why so many singles from all over Australia and overseas flock to Melbourne every year to find someone special with whom they can spend time and create memories with. Melbourne has everything to offer when it comes to romance and dating, so there are plenty of places you can go on your next date to make sure it’s unforgettable.

Although it might be tempting to suggest a movie date at the cinemas, here are some options that will offer you a better chance to get to know your date.

Date Spot #1: By the Yarra River

Melbourne’s Yarra River is often overlooked as a date location, which is a shame because it’s arguably one of Melbourne’s most romantic spots! A visit by boat will take you around Flinders Street and over to Southbank where you can grab dinner or check out some of Melbourne’s best views from Federation Square. If the weather's warm enough, you can do an evening picnic by the water.

Date Spot #2: Southbank

Southbank is arguably one of Melbourne’s most popular destinations for dinner and drinks. It’s just across the river from the city, with a wide variety of dining and nightlife options. There are also great views of the city skyline and plenty of open space perfect for strolling along and getting to know someone new. I think Southbank is ideal for first dates; it’s close enough to the city that you will still have great views and the bustling energy of the city and there are also plenty of things you can do and see. And while there are certainly crowds at night (on weekends especially), there are still plenty of spots with room for intimate conversation.

Date Spot #3: National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

The NGV is free and is a great place for a first date! In my opinion, spending too much money on a first date implies that her value greatly exceeds your own and sets a precedent for the next dates. The NGV is also one of Melbourne’s best-known galleries, so if you find yourself without things to talk about (you know how it goes), you can always talk about the artwork. There are usually at least five or six different exhibitions running at any given time, so there will be something new every time you visit.

Date Spot #4: Royal Botanic Gardens

Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens are beautiful and conveniently located close to Melbourne CBD. The gardens are home to over 7,000 species of plants from around Australia, so you have plenty of flora-themed topics to bring up during your date. They also have many places for you both to sit together while enjoying each other’s company.

Date Spot #5: Scienceworks and Planetarium

If you’re more of an indoor couple, it doesn’t get much better than Melbourne’s iconic Scienceworks and Planetarium. The first planetarium built outside of Europe, it offers awe-inspiring views of our solar system with state-of-the-art telescopes. With an expert astronomer at your side, you’ll learn all about planets like Mars and Jupiter while gazing up at them through one of the most sophisticated stargazing systems in Australia. Located within South Wharf Promenade, it’s easy to reach by tram.

Date Spot #6: St. Kilda Penguins

St. Kilda is one of Melbourne’s most iconic suburbs and easily one of Australia’s most loved beachside destinations. The classic penguin parade at dusk—seeing penguins waddle back from their fishing grounds—is well worth seeing for any animal lover. You can take a romantic walk along Acland Street and grab an ice cream afterward!

Date Spot #7: Escape Room

Escape rooms are an exciting, immersive game where players work together to solve puzzles and find clues. Solving all of these riddles wins you your freedom, but if you get stuck, there’s nothing quite like pressure from your date for motivation.

Date Spot #8: Holey Moley Golf

Did you know that more than 50% of first dates take place at a restaurant? If you’re going out with someone for casual dating, dinner, and drinks is usually appropriate. But if it’s your first time meeting up with someone, consider trying something different. What type of person are you interested in? Do they share your same interests? No matter what your taste or preferences may be, there’s a date location that will cater to them. If golf is your thing, try hitting some balls at Holey Moley Golf – two people can play 18 holes for less than $50.

There are plenty of great date locations and activities in Melbourne, and while we may not be able to narrow it down to just one spot, these places will definitely get you off on the right foot. Happy dating!

Andrew Gung

The CEO and founder of Core Confidence, Andrew and has been studying, applying, and teaching the skills to develop real, meaningful relationships with incredible people over the last decade.