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My ultimate to do list – Melbourne

Melbourne

The worlds most liveable city.

Located in Victoria, second most popular city in Australia with a busy CBD, quirky yet stylish suburbs and of course, located on the coast. Melbourne became home for a large part of my time in Australia.

Oozing character, filled with personality and something always going on, it’s more then the shops and public transport. It’s a friendly, active city with a really easy going vibe.

Of course I fell in love.

Melbourne was always impressing me, with lonely planet naming it the sport and cultural capital of Australia.

I was always busy going somewhere and doing something. Everyday was an adventure.

Entering during Winter and coming from Asia, it was a shock to the system.

Feeling westernised, sanitizsed and busy, I wasn’t sure how to feet at first.

After a few months away from Melbourne, I was back to fall in love all over again, in Summer.

I can safely say, I could quite happily settle in Melbourne one day and see myself living there again.

Whether you’re after coastal runs by the beach, outdoor rooftop cinemas, impressive coffee shops and night markets filled with glorias food trucks.  Food festivals and worldwide hospitality, laneways covered with impressive street art, quirky cafes, sport central and beach’s to catch the sunset.

Melbourne is bloody brilliant.

Yes, it’s a major city which isn’t for everyone however I was surprised at how relaxed and actually pretty quite it was. Able to escape to quite parks, lonely libraries and tons of day trips out of the city, Melbourne has a lot to offer.

Unlike Sydney, there are no cut off times and curfews. If anything, Melbourne was the place you could party from Friday straight through to Monday with events on every night of the week.

So you’re going to see what all the fuss is about!?

Good for you.

I’m letting you in on my favorite places to hang out and things to do.

Here is my ultimate to do list. Melbourne.

All images are my own.

Alberts Park

A public and picturesque park, which transformes into the Grand Prix race track, is a large, relaxing place to hang out, excersise, get your bbq on and see some awesome views of the city. A lake with a flat path around the outside covered in palm tree’s and lushious greenery, I love coming here.

Albert’s Park offers a great path to walk, run or cycle with the circuit being 5km and bikes can be hired at this location.

AFL game

AFL is a somewhat culture to Melbourne. If you want to experience the local lifestyle, make sure to get yourself to a match. Tickets are affordable and easy to grab on the door from $25. (£15)

I managed to catch Geelong Cats and Hawthorn Hawkers. I would highly recommend going to see a game, especially on an evening.  It’s an easy walk along southwarf to reach the MCG stadium. It turned out to be another fabulous evening in Melbourne with a great atmosphere.

Prahan Pool

Photo taken from google.

Prahan pool is a 50m Olympic pool open to the public. For any outdoor lover, sports freak or someone who loves being in the water, Prahan pool is a great place to hang out. They offer outdoor seating, a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and a toddler pool. It’s awesome to hang with friends and sunbathe on the greenery or escape on your own to get some lengths done. They also offer healthy food and drinks so you could spend hours here.

Botanical gardens

This is one of those escapes I was talking about. Located close to the CBD, it’s a great place to wander around the green grass, read a book or just take a walk. Especially on a hot day, I love it here.

94 acres of beautifully kept and contained gardens, Melbourne respects their city. A great hang out for nature lovers with unique and rare plants.

  • Weekdays 9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Weekends 9.30am – 5.00pm

Transport: The Gardens are a 15-minute walk or 5-minute tram ride from Flinders Station to the Domain Road Interchange.

Brighton Beach

Despite being a huge tourist spot, it’s a favourable spot to check out the colorful beach huts. Escape the city for one of Melbourne’s most iconic spots.

Tip: Rent a bike and cycle along the coastal path.

One of my favorite places to watch the sunset during summer is Riva located in Saint Kilda at the start of the coastal path.

Chapel Street

A quirky, local street running from Balaclava to Richmond stretching over 4.13 km. It’s covered in charity shops, vintage stores, local business, health stores, fashionable boutiques, café’s, restaurants, hairdresser, barbers, clubs and bars and so much more. The personality of the place is never a let down whatever the weather. Some of the best clubs, bars and food spots are on Chapel street.

Some of my favorite brunch spots are Amicii, Oscar Cooper & Hannah.

Fitzroy

Hippy, arty and just cool, it’s always a treat heading over to Brunswick/ Fitzroy. Filled with talented street art hidden down all the roads, fashionable vintage stores, second-hand book stores, awesome café’s and some seriously chilled vibes, I was happy just to wander and find a glorious coffee spot.

See if you can find the full graffiti car park and the colorful little abandoned open van.

My favorite coffee spot: Black Cat 

Federation square

Located in the CBD by Flinders station, it’s a busy spot for everyone. I love grabbing a $1 7/11 coffee and just watching the city go by. They offer free wifi which any backpacker will find useful. There is always something going on and the view of Flinders station is quality!

Victoria Night market

Almost all year round on a Wednesday night, the night market’s are busy and bursting with the tastiest food trucks, unique stalls and a brilliant atmosphere. There is always live music going on and offers great views of the city.

Southbank

Southbank is definitely one of my favorite places. A trendy suburb located right next to the CBD, the promenade following the South Yarra river, filled with restaurants, bars and a few of Melbourne’s boat clubs, it provides a stunning view of the city and a perfect dinner spot.

With Melbourne’s Southgate shopping center, theater’s, art museums, access to the Eureka sky tower and the gigantic crown casino, there’s tons to do around Southbank.

Brunch

Get brunch anywhere. Melbourne has world class hospitality, with everywhere serving the finest all day brunch, it’s easy to spend all your money enjoying the food.

My favorite brunch spots are Oscar Cooper, Hannah & Fitzrovia.

Saint Kilda beach

By far, somewhere I could spend endless amounts of time. Especially in good weather, the beach and surrounding areas are beaming with good vibes. The atmosphere is sweet, there is a grass area, plenty of space, tons of cafes, restaurants, bar’s, ice cream parlors, fish & chips stalls and funky spots to grab a coffee by the beach. It’s an active and outgoing area.

During the week in summer, they hold volley ball competitions on the evening, give them a go. It’s so much fun and a great way to meet people.

Looking at moving to Melbourne? Check out my top tricks & tips on Moving to Melbourne by clicking here!!

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10 tricks & tips on moving to Melbourne

Thousands of us come to Australia.

Some to work, travel, find a new way of life or simply want to settle short term.

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Melbourne. Victoria.

Stylish, arty Melbourne is a city that’s both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and proud of its place as Australia’s cultural capital. Its stately Gold Rush–era architecture and a multicultural make-up reflect the city’s recent history, while edgy street art, top museums and sticky-carpeted band venues point to its present-day personality.

Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Despite a long-standing north–south divide (flashy St Kilda versus hipster Fitzroy), there’s a coolness about its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals and people that transcends the borders. The city centre has meanwhile reinvented itself with chic laneway eateries and rooftop bars opening in former industrial buildings.

Sport is also crucial to the fabric of the town, taking on something of a religious nature here. Melburnians are passionate about AFL football (‘footy’), cricket and horse racing, and also love their grand-slam tennis and Formula One car racing.

  • Lonely Planet

 

I recently moved here after 6 months backpacking Asia. It’s cold, civilised and pretty cool. Chilled vibes, quirky cafes, endless entertainment, sport central and just an awesome place to be.

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Known for being the best city to live in; I came to give it a go.

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I wanted to share with you some of my tips & tricks for moving to Melbourne.

1. Use Public transport.

 

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Melbourne has a decent public transport system. Despite everyone obsessed with Uber, and espresso martinis, the tram system is pretty efficient.

As confusing as it can be at first, pretty off putting coming from Asia, it’s the leading transportation around the city. Almost a 24 hour system, reliable, it’s something to get used too and get to know.

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2. Get Gumtree.

Don’t have it? Get it? Don’t know what it is? Search it.
Or just click here.. Gumtree au
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Many jobs are posted daily with job vacancies, business’ hiring and lots of work advertised.
You can post your own ad if looking for work People will be able to contact you through Gumtree if interested.
Not only that but it’s a great place to look for accomadation or to buy something. Everyone seems to be using it so don’t miss out!

3.  Use social media & it’s benefits.

Almost everyone has social media, I have even seen random little Cambodian villages on facebook. Social media has many negatives however there is one massive benifit when it comes to traveling.

Get on those social media pages. Join the groups, read the blogs, search Instagram. There are some great Facebook groups here to help with lots of information on backpacking Australia, living in Australia and more. These pages are designed to help find information and help you engage with other people also moving and living in Melbourne.

Search #hashtagged places in the city and see what is going on. I always find lovely little coffee houses by having a ponder on Instagram. Click here to follow @_littletravelbird on Instagram and see what new places I have been finding.

Mid week brunch

4. Saving?

Melbourne has something constantly going on. I am sure it is possible to save, I have too, however there is a lot going on. Melbourne is revolved around eating out, hidden hippy bars, vintage shops, the best places for coffee and so much more. Constant entertainment and great sport activities, theatres and shopping, arenas and stadiums, Melbourne is a very active city, make use of it!

 

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If you are coming to seriously save some dollar, maybe think of somewhere else to settle. With an income and some budgeting, anyone can save with the right priorities, however Melbourne is such a vibrant city with so much to do, enjoy it!

Pizza night

Pizza night in the city

 

5. Find a house share

Everyone all over Melbourne is in a house share, whether you are a backpacker, student, professional or just a travel bum, a house share is normally pretty affordable, a great place to meet people and an easy way of living. Find the area you want to live in, with ads for accommodation constantly on Gumtree or on Facebook pages, you will have no problem finding a room!
I have a good friend living in St. Kilda, where I was crashing when I arrived. I now have an affordable cute little flat in St. Kilda with 5 others. It is easy, convenient and affordable. If you don’t have anyone to stay with, hostels are a good place to head to first to meet people and get to know the area once you’re here.

6. Do your RSA/Permit/Visa research

Most places have restrictions on who can work where and for how long. For us British, it is ridiculosuly easy to come over to live & work down under. For other countries, the rules and regulations can be different so check the conditions of where you are from.
To work and live over here in Melbourne, you will need a working holiday visa. These are easy to get hold of and can use them up to 12 months from applying. It will cost around £230/ $500 AU. This gives you a year in the country which you can extend to two years if you do 88 days of agrictulture work.
You can’t bartend without an RSA. Hospitality is a big deal in Australia, especially in Melbourne. Bartenders need to attend a short RSA course. For those wanting hospitaity work, look at getting it booked and out the way. It’s easy and means you can get work straight away. Employees wont ask for it until you have been working with them for 3 weeks but it’s a good idea to get it done. Each state in Australia will require a different RSA.

7. Get an income.

It is easy to be busy enough with exploring the city. I could spend endless days down by the beach, wondering the streets of Fitzroy, drinking out on Chapel street or finding the best resturants in the CBD but Melbourne focuses on great entertainment, food and drink, live music and sport.
There is a lot going on and things to do and see. If you are looking on moving to Melbourne, get your self a job and have some sort of income!

8. Be prepared with the weather

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Melbourne is known for the random weather. Wake up to the sun beaming and clear blue skies and by the evening it can get pretty rainy and miserable.

The photo above was taken on a ridiculously wet and dull saturday day in the middle of winter, while I went to get the tram to work, this was my view of the sunset.

The weather is constantly changing so come prepared. I flew in from Asia on the 1st June where winter was starting. Despite being used to 45 degree heat, it can get very cold.

I am currently living in my hat and scarf, needing to keep the heating on. Depending on what time of year you come to Melbourne, always be prepared. Melbourne is south of Australia and can get some of the coldest weather!

Despite being in the middle of winter at the moment, it is still an improvement on English weather!

Morning beach run

Morning beach run

9. City life

Melbourne is a major city.

You won’t be in the country side, or close to the desert. Instead, are loads of suburbs filled with awesome streets filled with independant buisness and local cafes. Despite the CBD being a great place to explore, make sure to spend lots of time exploring the suburbs.

 

 

Places like hippy Fitzroy, flashy St. Kilda, Prahan, Brighton, South Melbourne and more are my favourite places to hang out.

 

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10. Make use of the coffee culture

Melbourne is known for the epic coffee scene. With some of the best coffee, baristas and places to drink them, embrace it all. Give the coffee shops a good chance and explore what Melbourne hospitality has to offer!

There you go. There are so many interesting and funky places in Melbourne. Despite suffering from one big culture shock coming from Asia, Melbourne has not let me down! These are just my opinions & tips, any feedback would be appreciated.

Happy traveling.

-Little travel bird