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All good? Then enjoy our guide to Melbourne!
Mash it up in Magic Melbourne
As a native Melbournian, you already know how awesome this city is. From iconic sites like Fed Square, Flinders Street Station and the MCG, to cultural pursuits like Chapel Street shopping frenzies and chow downs in Chinatown, locals don’t really care if they cop any Best Australian City flack from their northern counterparts. And here are a few more Melbourne-like reasons why.
The Great Outdoors
Although Melbourne weather has been described as being able to annoyingly unleash ‘four seasons in one day’, it’s still privy to around 2,200 hours of sunshine annually. So make the most of it by soaking up some rays in front of the multicoloured bathing boxes at Brighton Beach, fish off the jetty at Sorrento Beach or enjoy a palm-fringed paddle at iconic St Kilda.
Make the most of the city’s lush parks and waterways with a picnic or bike ride along the Yarra River, take in a dusk-tinged movie in the City Botanic Gardens or get your greenie on and check out one of the city’s community parks. Here you can learn about organic gardening and how to wow your alternative-living dinner guests with a menu fashioned from a range of native bush foods.
Like to up the adventure factor? Try geocaching. A real-world outdoor treasure hunting game, participants search for a range of booties (yep, just like a pirate) with the help of GPS-enabled devices. Too lame? Book a hot air balloon ride over the city at dawn or if you’re really game, head for Point Impossible Beach and get your gear off – skinny dipping is totally ‘in’ here.
Pub grub bistros, hole-in-the-wall coffee houses, rooftop cocktail bars, wholefood cafes … venues of all shapes and sizes are here for your tastebud teasing. And flavours? Thai, African, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Mexican, Greek, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese … you can gorge yourself away in Melbourne’s celebrated foodie culture.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, grab one of the thousand-and-one-flavoured donuts on offer, chillax with an authentic gelato or grab a sugar-laden bite that even Willy Wonka would envy, at one of the many dessert franchises around town.
Like to get amongst it even further? Indulge in a chocaholic tour, buzz out on a coffee crawl, grab some fresh stuff at one of the city’s organic markets or pig out vintage-style onboard Melbourne’s iconic tramcar restaurant.
Melbourne’s not renowned as the fashion capital of Australia for nothing. From vintage seconds to high-end frocks that cost a year’s worth of rent, this city certainly struts its stuff on the international catwalk. Big brand seekers should start in the Bourke Street Mall, check out uber-shopping centres like Chaddie, and scout around bargain jaunts like DFO in South Wharf.
If you want to fancy it up a bit, visit the ‘Paris’ end of Collins Street, High Street’s designer boutiques, Clarendon Street for quirky one-offs and of course, Chapel Street. It’s a no-brainer for its high-end stores and up and coming designers.
But if you’re REALLY short on coin, this city’s also your stingy bestie. Fitzroy’s home to some bargain hunter’s factory outlets (take a bus tour for the authentic experience), check out the Queen Victoria Markets for hand-made stuff and if you’re into vintage, ‘top ops’ can be found around Richmond, Abbortsford and Footscray.
Funny and Fun
Scare your own pants off with a stunt car experience at Sandown Race Course, take a visit to Eureka Skydeck 88, where you can catch the fastest elevator in the Southern Hemisphere and then step up to The Edge (a glass cube that sits 285 metres about the ground), or try rap jumping, a charming little sport where you throw yourself face-first off the side of a building.
If you’re the arty type, book a sketch crawl of Melbourne (charcoals and pastels included), catch up with a street art walking tour and a sneak peak at Blender Studios with its open art studios, or give that DSLR a workout with a night time photography course.
Road Trip It
And if you’re keen to escape the daily grind, pack that overnighter and hit the road with a trip to some of Victoria’s most celebrated getaway spots.
Head north to Daylesford for a weekend of pampered bliss, drive south to Lorne for a spot of fishing or paddle boating, or head to the High Country’s Bright for a cycling tour (combined with a refreshing cider tasting or two).
Need roadside assistance while you’re away? Then we’ve gotU. Just pay as you go … as you need it!