A perfect weekend away in Australia can be found in the city of Melbourne at just over an hour flying time from Sydney. With a combination of coffee, creativity, culture and coast, I know we’ll definitely be back soon.
- Do as the locals do and ride the iconic Melbourne trams
- Frequent the Queen Victoria Market– the largest and oldest open air market which is in fact on Australia’s National Heritage list
- Explore the charming neighbourhoods eg: Fitzroy, Carlton, South Yarra, Collingwood, Brunswick and St Kilda
- Walk or cycle the banks of the Yarra River
- Spend the afternoon in the Botanical gardens and savour tea and scones in the tea room
- Book a show. Melbourne has no shortage of Australia – we were lucky enough to visit during the International Comedy festival and walked off the streets into amazing popup comedy shows at a whim
- Enjoy shopping the streets of Fitzroy for designer and boutique stores
- Book at one of Melbourne’s many restaurants and soak up the city’s culinary culture with a focus on all things foodie
- Get your walking shoes on and do a walking tour. We normally do this in most cities we visit and in Melbourne we explored the laneways and street art via this map.
I was lucky enough to recently be on a TV shoot in Melbourne and was handed a list of restaurant recommendations from the producer plus our dear friend Ella spent many years living in Melbourne so I’m sharing their tips here. Melbourne’s foodie scene is exploding and you could literally plan your stay around the newest spots to try.
- France Soir – a French institution
- South Press – little wine bar
- Da Noi – Italian daily menu
- Hunky Dory – fish and chips
- Embla – wood fired interesting food and vibe wine bar
- Supernormal – Japanese modern with a nice Tokyo vibe
- Tonka – modern Indian in very nice setting
- Cumulus – modern Australian
- Coda – modern Australian
- Chin Chin– an Australian take on South East Asian flavours (a big fan of the Sydney branch too)
- Trattoria Emilia – Italian
- The Hardware Societe – brunch
- Longrain – South East Asian cooking
- Cutler & Co – high end dining
- Builders Arms – Gastro pub
- Napier Hotel – Gastro pub – old school vibe, a good sport watching venue
- Romeo Lane – low lit wine bar
- Lui bar – joined to Shannon Bennett’s Vue De Monde for sweeping city views (check the dress code)
- Arbory bar– floating on the Yarra river – great for good weather
- Marion – wine bar with excellent food. Also great for brunch
If the French are known for their wine, Australian’s are known for their coffee culture and no city loves their coffee more than Melbourne. You can’t pass a street corner without a coffee shop to tempt you in. From indie spots to new trends, here are a few favourites but you definitely won’t be short of options.
- Vertue Coffee Roasters, Carlton
- Brunetti for pastry and sweet treats
- Lune Croissanterie, a Fitzroy icon
- Laurent Patisserie, CBD
Thanks Ella for the recommendations
Day trips from Melbourne
- Take a leisurely drive down the scenic Mornington Peninsula and soak up the shoreline.
- Drive all the way up to Sorrento (just over an hour and a half) near the western tip of the Mornington Peninsula – a beautiful and historical village that is now home to stylish and sophisticated boutiques, design stores, galleries and eateries.
- Stop off at one of the many beautiful Mornington Peninsula wineries. We visited Point Leo’s Estate and I would highly recommend this for food, sculptures, views and of course, wine.
- Head south along the Great Ocean Road, an Australian National Heritage listed 243-km stretch of road. We stopped off at world class surf spot Bells Beach. We didn’t make it that far but the Twelve Apostles is another recommended spot for dramatic views.
For more inspiration visit
Melbourne is the kind of town that really makes you consider the question ‘Is there life after death? Bette Midler