For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit Australia. As a child, there was talk of moving there and although we never did, I think it peaked my interest in the land down under. I spent the majority of my 20’s living in Spain with my partner at the time who had already been to Australia and knowing that he had used his 1 year working holiday visa, we never went together. But when I found myself single, aged 30, the last year you can apply for the 1 year working holiday visa if you are from the UK, I just knew. I knew in my heart of hearts it was where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. A friend of mine actually laughed at the fact I spent longer one day choosing my nail colour at the salon than I did about my decision to fly solo across the other side of the world. What can I say? I think I have a gypsy heart. So I did a lot of research and some saving and a few months later (early 2020) I flew to the other side of the world to live in Australia and I chose to live in Melbourne. Sadly my year there got cut short when the Corona Virus pandemic spread across the world but I think I saw, achieved and experienced a lot in my 2 months there. I would like to share with you some wonderful things I managed to visit, eat, see, do in that time and hope that you too enjoy it as much as I did…
20 Must Do’s in Melbourne, Australia:
Experience the Street Art:
Melbourne is famous for the street art and there are a few streets you should definitely visit. It is exciting because each time you visit you will see something different, new art, new artists and designs. These photos were taken by me in February -March 2020 so if you went now I’m sure you would see different street art which is pretty cool.
This wonderful Street art & more was found at AC DC Lane in Melbourne, located on the map above.
Visit Luna Park:
Luna Park is the theme park in Melbourne with the iconic entrance way. It is a clown’s face and if you’re not scared of it during the day, you will be at night when it is all lit up! Such a cool place to visit, overlooking St Kilda Beach, it has a vintage, retro feel. From the traditional fortune teller machine to the Rollercoaster. Built in 1912, it is the oldest roller coaster which still operates with a brakeman who stands in the middle of the train, in the world. This would lead you to believe it is slow, of course it would be, it has a person standing on it pulling the break, but no, I still screamed and we found it hilarious & got the picture to prove it! A moment I will always remember was watching the sunset over the beach whilst on the rides, it was incredible. Definitely a must visit!
Visit the Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance serves as a memorial of all Australians who served in any war. It is a very impressive building, the grounds are beautifully kept and the view back to Melbourne city centre is also beautiful.
Visit the Summer Night Market:
The Summer Night Market takes place in the Queen Victoria Market. It is full of food, clothes, Australian artwork, second hand books, and live music. Such a fun night and one I will never forget. Definitely worth a visit!
Visit the Botanic Gardens:
The Botanic Gardens are beautiful, close to the Shrine of Remembrance and worth a visit for the relaxing gardens and beautiful flowers.
Read in the State Library
The State Library is a beautiful building. The design of the main library hall is stunning, I love the symmetry of it. Free to enter and definitely worth a visit.
Shop in Fitzroy:
Fitzroy is such a fun, quirky area with lots of independent and boutique shops. These were some of my favourite:
Spend a day at Brighton Beach:
Brighton Beach is just a train ride from the centre of Melbourne and with its cute beach huts you should definitely check it out!
Visit Federation Square:
Pretty much the central point of Melbourne City Centre. Just across the road from Flinders Street Train Station, close to river bars and restaurants. Federation Square is a good meeting point.
Visit St Patrick’s Cathedral:
St Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the oldest Cathedrals in Melbourne. Built in a gothic style, it dates back to the 18th century. It stands out in Melbourne’s fairly new architecture and modern design.
Browse at the South Melbourne Market:
The South Melbourne Market was my local market when I lived in South Bank and I loved it! It has a mixture of fresh produce to buy, hand crafted items and cake and hot food stands where you could sit in to eat. Such a cool vibe and one for the locals.
Have fun taking photos at Artvo Melbourne:
My friend and I had such a fun day at Artvo Melbourne. You buy a ticket and then have 24 hours to explore. You follow the path round and explore the different backgrounds painted onto the walls in such a way that when you stand in a certain spot the whole thing looks 3D. Very cool and a fun day out for everyone! I wrote another blog post all about it: A journey through ARTVO… A 3D world of fun!
Eat & Drink by the river:
There are lots of bars and restaurants by the river which is such a cool place to enjoy with friends.
Experience the Cafe culture:
Melbourne is known for its cafe culture. Apparently back in the day, the Italians came over and brought their world renowned coffee with them. Fast forward and Melbourne is now the creator of the Flat White. The cafe scene is big and the coffee is good.
Check out the Quirky Bars:
Melbourne has very cool, quirky bars. This one for example was outdoors but made of tin sheets, kegs and fairy lights with a DJ. I can’t remember the name of it but was a great night.
Go to an event at The Capitol:
I was lucky enough to be invited to the Fashion Film Awards Ceremony by a friend of mine who was studying fashion in Australia. It was hosted in The Capitol and was such a cool venue! From outside it looked quite ordinary but inside is very cool. These phone photos don’t do it justice so just make sure you go in to see it for yourself.
Party on the Rainbow street:
We had so much fun partying in the gay bars in Fitzroy! Everyone was welcoming, the drag shows were amazing and the party vibes were lit! No photos from that night but I do have one on the rainbow street during the day!
Go to the Moomba Festival:
The Moomba Festival is held once a year and is full of musicians, dancers, shows, rides, games, parades, sports on the river and the famous Birdman Rally where contestants aim to fly across the river. Such a fun weekend and topped off with fireworks at the end! Held in March each year.
Experience the city at night:
Melbourne at night is pretty special. With the lights all lit up, reflecting on the river. I’ll never forget the first night I moved into my flat with my new flatmates, there were fireworks in the sky and it was stunning.
Day trip to the Great Ocean Road:
The Great Ocean Road is not far from Melbourne, being still in the state of Victoria and is definitely worth a day trip if not a few days away. There are so many wonderful spots along the way. Beaches of all kinds, the home of surfing and more! I saw Kangaroos and Koala Bears in the wild and it was unforgettable. Please do yourself a favour and don’t miss it!
And here we come to the end of my 20 things not to miss in Melbourne, Australia. Although the list is not exhaustive and I’m sure there is still more wonderful things to do and see, this is all I crammed into my two months there and I think you’ll agree I managed to fit in a lot of unforgettable moments. If you are in Oz, please enjoy and if you are not, please keep this for the future and I hope that one day you will get to visit too!
If you have done any of these or would like to please comment below! I love to hear from you!
Love, as always,
The Wee Wanderer Blogger x x x