Food & Laneways
Known as a foodie hub in Australia, Melbourne has a large number of restaurants led by major chefs. Firstly there’s the Press Club, founded and headed by George Calombaris, Frank Camorra’s MoVida, and Cumulus Inc., where you’ll find Andrew McConnell. Melbourne’s laneways are another great attraction for food lovers. Here, small laneways are transformed into little pockets of activity filled with street art, live music, cafes, bars and restaurants.
For funky bars and cafes, there’s St Kilda, which comes complete with its very own theme park, Luna Park. Hit up St Kilda Beach and Luna Park during the day before moving into the adjacent Acland Street for a bite to eat and a few drinks in the evening.
The Eureka Tower is up there with cool touristy attractions in Melbourne. Its observation deck, Skydeck 88, is the tallest vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere. And once you’re up there, you’ve got the option to take it a step further and go out to ‘The Edge’, which is a glass box that actually moves out of the building out over Melbourne at over 300 metres. Then, those who are after a fancy-pants dinner can head up to the top floor and get a fine dining degustation dinner at Eureka 89.
Queen Victoria Markets
Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, known to many Melbourne locals as just Queen Vic., is a huge attraction, not least for its lively Wednesday night offerings: every Wednesday from 5pm-10pm the market is transformed into an evening of international food stalls, fashion, bars, music, art and much more.
One of the many great things about Melbourne is the number of scenic suburban escapes nearby. The Yarra Valley is a hugely popular one, famed for its sprawling vineyards, cellar door wine tastings and restaurants situated amongst the vines. But there’s more than just food and wine offerings: the Dandenong Ranges are a lush haven where you can hike, run, bike and picnic. Although there’s heaps of wildlife, the area is particularly famed for an abundance of native birdlife. Those who really want to challenge themselves can give the 1000-step Kokoda Walk a go. As the name suggests, there are 1000 steps, but there’s also loads of green scenery to enjoy as you puff and pant your way up to the top.
In the winter, head up to one of the few acclaimed ski spots. There’s Falls Creek, which is Victoria’s largest ski resort that’s renowned for cross-country trails and terrain parks, Mt. Buller, which is often dubbed as the ‘powder capital’ of Australia, and Hotham, which has plenty of on-piste accommodation, both quaint and luxurious.