I recently got back from Melbourne, Australia – 15 hour flight from California and it was well worth it.
Here are some suggestions from Shantel Wetherall – a local of Melbourne to ensure you have a great experience.
Melbourne Tips from a Local
Welcome to Melbourne I’ve been here for 6 years and I am so happy to call it home. Melbourne is safe and friendly, you can get around town day and night pretty well (if you aren’t foolish). When an Aussie greets you with ‘how are you?’ It’s not a rhetorical question!
Melbourne is the most multicultural city in Australia. There’s few POC, but Aussies are by en large pretty chill folks. This is a country of immigrants that has food culture to prove it.
Lovely little places to stay off the beaten track and not touristy. Accomodation can be pricy, if you’re looking for options outside the norm big hotels these are recommended and in a safe and cool part of town close to great stuff to do (my neighbourhood) http://www.brooklynartshotel.com.au/ http://nunnery.com.au/
Great Ocean Road! A must do for any visit and just such an Aussie experience. Drive/go for a day trip on a coach. Stop at bells beach and watch the babes surf the famous point break. Then go to eye river/Lorne and stay overnight. http://m.viator.com/tour/melbourne/great-ocean-road-small-group-eco-tour-from-melbourne/0-3181GOWEST1/info.htm
For those who are more adventurous the hike is and you can just do a section and tour companies will rent you kit and shuttle your bags along for those keener on clamping than camping ☺️ 10/10 🙌🏿 http://m.visitvictoria.com/greatoceanwalk?MobileRedirected=1
Melbourne is all about culture and food!
NGV Australia has a fantastic indigenous gallery. It’s free and right in the city centre. They often have free activities that can give you a chase to hear from indigenous artists. http://fedsquare.com/shopvisit/ngv-australia
Melbourne has a gorgeous zoo that also has great special events including live music from January to March. http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/melbourne-zoo-announces-2016-twilights-music-program/
The NGV gallery (yes there is two) has incredible shows and Friday night late events including live music and food and the garden out back is a gorgeous spot for an afternoon coffee/bubbly. http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/
Get indie in the inner north – Fitzroy is a hub of creatives and and indie kids. Great markets and live music. Buy locally made crafts and enjoy all the brunches/soy lattes and vegan cheesecakes you can handle. Then hit the craft beers and enjoy some live music. http://thethousands.com.au/melbourne https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/ http://www.rosestmarket.com.au/
Yarrah valley winery tour – the valley is gorgeous and full of wineries which you can visit for lunch and good food. This company is highly recommended and well priced. http://www.chilloutwinetours.com.au/yarra-valley-wine-tours/yarra-valley-wine-tours-public/?gclid=CP_3k-PMpMwCFYWYvAodA78Faw
The Bellarine Peninsula is stunning too, just 1 hour out of town to gorgeous wineries and beaches. http://www.visitgeelongbellarine.com.au
Jack rabbit winery is one of my favourite spots the food wine and views are stunning. http://www.jackrabbitvineyard.com.au
Eat Eat Eat!
Queen Victoria market is gorgeous. Get up early, walk round and eat bits and pieces from the deli vendors or a famous bratwurst. Check out the market doughnuts then have coffee at market lane espresso. Take a last look around for provisions maybe a souvenir from books for cooks/the AMAZING spice shop (mail your favorite foodies back home some smoked applewood salt/truffle salt with that postcard) finish the day with a doused oysters from the fish hall. http://www.qvm.com.au/tours/ http://www.qvm.com.au http://www.gewurzhaus.com.au http://www.booksforcooks.com.au/
Go for pho – when you’re hung over in Melbourne this traditional Vietnamese breakfast is exactly what you need https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/food-and-drink/directory/restaurant/misschu
Eat at a fabulous restaurant run by an indigenous foundation, offering fine dining and native flavours. Run to train and profit the communities. http://www.charcoallane.com.au/
Have Sunday yum cha – http://orientalteahouse.com.au/about-us
Rooftop cocktails and movie – great burgers and cocktails and a great view of the city at sunset. After the movie you can enjoy a drink and dance under the stars https://www.rooftopcinema.com.au/
Wrap up warm and head to Moonlight cinema in the botanical gardens. Pack a picnic, blankets and some wine get there for sunset then lie back and enjoy the atmosphere while bats fly overhead – https://www.moonlight.com.au/
Rent a bike and do a self guided tour – http://www.melbournebikeshare.com.au/Explore-Melbourne
Go to the top of the town for a killer view – https://www.eurekaskydeck.com.au/
Tour round the lake in a punt – http://punttours.com.au/
Try stand up paddle boarding in the bay – https://sandybeachhq.com.au/
See what’s on in the city while you’re here – there’s literally a festival on every other weekend! These sites will give you great and current overviews. http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/Pages/Home.aspx https://www.timeout.com/melbourne