There is a special place in my heart for the city of Melbourne. It was one of the first cities that I lived in outside of NZ and the UK. I spent 6 months there when I was 19 and enjoyed every moment of it. The plan is to eventually go back and live there one day but in the meantime I will have to make do with day dreaming and the occasional holiday over there.
I haven’t been for a few years now but I have lots of friends living there or who are moving there soon, so it got me looking at what Melbourne has to offer people these days. There were lots of things that I found online, some of which I have done when I lived there or whilst on holiday, but others I can’t wait to see or do.
One of the main things I love about Melbourne is that it has a great live music scene. There are lots of bars/clubs/working men’s/social clubs in areas like Northcote, Fitzroy or Brunswick that have some great bands playing. Most of the time it is either free entry or a small ticket cost so well worth checking out.
The Queen Victoria Market is a must (www.qvm.com.au) – it’s a huge bustling market and an awesome place to visit. The food court if especially worth a stop but there are also stalls selling clothing, souvenirs, and all sorts of other bits and bobs. There is a 2 hour tour for about $30 that you can do around the market which I haven’t been on yet but would love to try next time I am there.
Along the same lines Melbourne is a mecca for foodies. There are all kinds of restaurants and various suburbs around the city seem to specialise in various cuisines. It’s definitely not a city for those trying to watch their weight!
For those art lovers out there then a stop off at the National Gallery of Victoria should be on your list. It’s been years since I went here so it’s definitely on my list. As well as the permanent exhibits, they do have various shows on throughout the year so well worth checking out what they have on when you are in town. Go to www.ngv.vic.gov.au for more info.
Federation Square – I first went here last time I was in Melbourne. It’s really bright and colourful and a great place to not only start exploring Melbourne, but a fantastic place to people watch. Lots of events happen in the square too so again check what’s on when you are in Melbourne.
For the best view over Melbourne, I’ve been told you have to go to the observation deck on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower in Melbourne’s Southbank. Again this is on my list of must do things for next time but from photos I’ve seen you have the most amazing views over the city. For more info go to www.eurekaskydeck.com.au.
Go on a Hidden Secrets Tour – I’ve only just recently discovered this company and can’t wait to give them a try. They started off creating tourist cards with little ‘hidden’ places for people to find including bars, restaurants, shops etc and now have tours including The Lanes and Arcades Tour on which you’ll discover everything from well-concealed lofts with designer clothing to basement music stores. This particular tour is advertised for $70AUS per person. For more information check out www.hiddenscretstours.com.
I love the trams in Melbourne and on days when I had nothing to do I would just hop on the first one that came along and see where it took me. I discovered some of the most amazing things doing this and anytime I’m in Melbourne I try to do this at least once.
Check out St Kilda. It’s the funky backpacker, beach party of Melbourne. Again it’s been a while since I have been there but it always had great bars and a really good night life. There is also the Luna Park too which I have never been to so I can’t wait to check it out next time I’m there.
If you love wine then a trip out to the Mornington Peninsula should be on the list. The famous wine-producing region on the coast about 45 minutes from Melbourne is home to more than 40 wineries. The peninsula is the playground for Melbournians and a lot greener than the rest of Victoria.
Shopping – need I say more! Melbourne is a shopaholics paradise but don’t blame me if you have to remortgage your house to pay off your credit card bill when you get home 🙂
And finally, on one of my last trips to Melbourne, I managed to get out of the city and head along the Great Ocean Road to see the 12 Apostles. We drove from Melbourne to Port Fairy return. On the way we stopped at various little towns for lunch or a look around, and stayed overnight at the YHA in Port Fairy. Why Port Fairy you may ask? Well because I looked at the map before we set out, saw the name, loved it and decided I wanted to go head there to see what it was like. The town itself was small and quaint and although not much to do, I was glad we mad it there. It was definitely a beautiful drive along the Great Ocean Road – not quite as beautiful as NZ’s West Coast though – but I would highly recommend getting out there if you have time. Depending on the time you have you can go as far or near as you want before returning either the same route or choosing the in land route for a bit of variety.
If anyone has any other recommendations for things I should see or do in Melbourne then please comment below.