Melbourne is considered one of the world’s best cities in terms of accessibility and inclusivity for aged individuals.
Even so, maintaining a high standard of living requires more than just the city’s efforts. Ask around and you’ll see that no one senior has the same hobbies and interests.
For people who’ve lived in Melbourne all their lives, it’s natural to feel like you’ve Melbourne inside and out. But don’t be too disheartened—seniors (and slightly-aged folks) like yourself can still live day-to-day with a fresh air of excitement.
Here are six senior-friendly activities in Melbourne.
Experience The Beauty of Melbourne Botanic Gardens
An aged person’s joints aren’t exactly in the same state as their prime—and if you fall under this category, we hear you loud and clear!
But still, we can’t recommend visiting the botanic gardens enough. Even if you’ve been around this place once or twice in the past, consider going again.
The beauty of the botanic gardens lies in the sheer volume of flora you can find within the vicinity. From succulents to rainforest plants, you’re bound to spend hours exploring this 170-year-old garden.
For people with difficulty walking, don’t worry! The Royal Botanic Gardens is senior-friendly with accessible paths for both wheelchair and walker users. The gardens even provide their own wheelchair if you don’t have one yourself.
You don’t have to go alone, either. The garden’s staff will issue a companion card for caretakers so that they can access the place for free.
Taste Exquisite Wine in Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley is home to about 160 wineries, from small establishments to giant suppliers. If you’re not much of a drinker, you can always enjoy the gastronomy within the area, enjoy the beauty of the region and all its local offerings, or go on wine-making tours to pass the time.
Allow yourself to age like fine wine by scheduling a day to taste the finest wine in all of VIC. Regarded as one of the most frequented wineries in Australia, this place is home to some of the best places to get a good bottle of wine (or two). This can be particularly appealing for seniors who may be looking for new experiences and a chance to expand their horizons.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are two of the most plentiful varieties that can be sourced from this area. But you can also find Savagnin, Chenin blanc, and Nebbiolo if you want to get out of your way to find these uncommon brands.
This experience can be enjoyable and makes an ideal activity for those who prefer something more slower-paced and leisurely.
Go with friends or family members to connect and create long lasting memories, while also strengthening these relationships.
Go on A Hot Air Balloon Ride
You’re not limited to wine tasting when you venture far out into Yarra Valley. Not too far from the wineries is one of the most thrilling activities you can do in Melbourne: hot air ballooning.
Hot air ballooning is a fantastic way to see the horizon up close. You’re not enclosed by windows or doors and you can feel the rush of the wind as you move around the air. It’s scary for some, but also exhilarating for the right crowd!
It’s a perfect activity for seniors who want to see the vineyards, farmland, and forest of Yarra Valle from a whole new perspective. The best time to do this is by far during sunrise or sunset, as the golden hues of the sun paint the ground below in a very magical light.
Watch a Show at The Arts Centre Melbourne
Cry, laugh, or smile with glee at the numerous shows and performances on display in The Arts Centre Melbourne.
This iconic theatre complex is a great place for seniors who want to watch a play, musical, or exhibition. There are always new forms of entertainment showing every night, giving you a chance to enjoy as much as you can whenever you want.
Some of the performances that you can find in this venue include the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia, and productions from the Melbourne Theatre Company. If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, there are also cabaret and comedy shows available!
The best thing about visiting the Arts Centre in Melbourne is that you don’t have to travel far away to enjoy the various sets within the facility. The Arts Centre is just a few kilometres away from the CBD, so you can go shopping or get your appetite fixed before or after shows as you please!
Volunteer at a Local NGO
If you want to make your retirement days worthwhile, volunteering for a local NGO can be a fulfilling way to pass the time.
Volunteering helps take you outside your house and into the trenches of something personally meaningful to you. Thankfully, Melbourne is blessed with many nonprofits and charities that offer exciting volunteering opportunities for seniors.
Some accredited ones include ChildFund Australia, Opportunity International Australia, WaterAid Australia, and UNICEF. You can find more accredited Australian NGOs in this list provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Admire Art at the National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is a wonderful place for elderly people who enjoy art and culture. The gallery has a diverse range of exhibits and collections, and includes works by Australian artists, Indigenous art, and international pieces. Being exposed to diverse perspectives can broaden seniors’ minds and allow them to gain a better understanding and appreciation of other cultures.
It’s a great place to meet like-minded individuals to discuss and engage in art and culture. These social connections can help combat the feeling of isolation in seniors and provide relaxation.
The gallery is also fully accessible with ramps, elevators and wheelchair access available, making it easy for elderly people with mobility issues to navigate the space. Research suggests that engaging in cultural activities can provide cognitive and social benefits for older people.
Spend the Day at Federation Square
Federation Square is a public space in the heart of Melbourne that hosts a range of events and activities throughout the year. The square is fully accessible, with plenty of seating areas and restrooms available.
The square is also home to a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping. Whether you like to spend time alone, catch up with friends or spend time with loved ones, Federation Square is a great place for the community to come together.
Spending time in Federation Square can even provide social and emotional benefits for older people, helping them to feel more connected to their community.
Take a Scenic Ride on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
Taking in the breathtaking views from the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel offers, the bird’s eye view of the city is a great way for seniors to take in the sights without too much physical exertion.
The cabins are enclosed and air-conditioned, making it a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all, including those with mobility issues or physical limitations. This means that elderly people can enjoy the experience without having to worry about excessive physical exertion.
Taking a ride on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel can be a great activity to do with friends, family or a caregiver, providing an opportunity for socialisation and connection.
Not to mention the experience provides a bout of stress relief and relaxation. The gentle movement of the wheel and the serene views of the city can be a calming and relaxing experience for seniors, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Visit Your Friends and Loved Ones
While this isn’t an exclusively-Melbourne activity, it shouldn’t be overlooked either!
When you get older, it’s normal to feel more disconnected from the world around you. In fact, Australians have it particularly rough, with one study reporting that 1 out of every 4 people suffers from loneliness.
Having a friend or loved one to talk to can help ease off the feeling of isolation. If your family’s always out and you find yourself alone in the house often, make it a habit of visiting your friends or relatives. Give them a video call if they’re in far-flung areas or overseas.
Alternatively, if you’re eligible, you can try to enter aged care facilities like Banfields Aged Care to get in touch with caretakers and other seniors who are looking for social interaction. It’s a great way to make new friends and stay connected with the people around you.
Overall, these activities provide a range of benefits for seniors and elderly people. These activities allow them to connect with the wider community, spend time with their loved ones and also provide health benefits for the seniors. By engaging in these activities, the elderly can benefit from physical exercise, mental stimulation, and social engagement. By staying active and engaged, elderly people can maintain their health and wellbeing and continue to enjoy all that Melbourne has to offer.