PORT MELBOURNE BEACH
I’m going to be honest, Melbourne’s beaches are a hit and miss and you have to head a few hours out of the CBD to the peninsula for a true Aussie beach experience. In saying that, the fact we do have beaches so close to the City is a real plus and something you should still take advantage of.
Most tourist books or websites will tell you St Kilda is the place to head to, but Port Melbourne is fast becoming its competitor. It has less of a tourist dynamic than St Kilda, giving it a more family friendly community feeling.
All dog owners will be happy to know there is a dog beach, as well as walking and bicycle paths, playgrounds and its also a popular spot for kite surfing and beach volleyball.
Across the road is Bay St, with an array of shops, cafes and bars and apartment buildings you can only dream of living in.
Beach St, Port Melbourne
Melbourne is arguably the breakfast capital of the country – one thing for sure, when you are here, you will never be hungry. There is always a new cafe popping up on the scene and with so many to choose from, it’s hard to narrow it down.
Hard Pressed is my local and top choice for amazing coffee; divine Instagram worthy breakfast and fantastic service. Located in East Melbourne, easily accessible by tram and train and walking distance to the MCG and the CBD, Hard Pressed prides itself on its Latino inspired menu and Coffee from a selection of top class roasters.
What i love about the menu here is they don’t over complicate it, every dish lets the ingredients speak for itself, its presented amazingly well but doesn’t fall victim to the over the top photo worthy dish, which a lot of the time doesn’t translate in taste. Top picks for me are the Mac and Cheese croquettes, or if you have a sweet tooth the Blueberry and coconut flour pancakes will satisfy your cravings.
76 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
Once you have had a delicious breakfast at Hard Pressed, walk down (or catch the tram) to Hosier Lane and admire the street art that has made the Melbourne urban art scene across the globe.
Throughout the CBD, there is countless laneways tucked away that have some of the worlds best art work that is ever-changing, but Hosier Lane is the original and most well-known. Everything from small tags, stencils and paste-ups to murals and stunning installations.
If you want to explore the laneways of Melbourne in more depth, there is a range of walking tours available. Check out this link on Trip Advisor for details. Prices start at $45.
Hosier Lane, Melbourne (opposite Federation Square)
Just like the Central Parks and Hyde Parks of the world, the Botanical Gardens are located right in the middle of the CBD. With the constant sound of trams, taxis, trains and the usual city noises, it’s nice to have somewhere to escape it without leaving it entirely.
Established in 1846, the gardens extend over 36 hectares and display an amazingly diverse collection of over 50,000 plants from around the world, including rare and threatened species. Considered one of the finest examples of Victorian-era landscaped gardens in the world, the Royal Botanic Gardens hosts year-round events, picnics, weddings and tours.
Head down to the Garden cafe and enjoy some tea and scones whilst admiring the view of the lake, or look at taking a walking tour with one of the guides to learn more about the history of the gardens and its wildlife.
Birdwood Ave, South Yarra
If you are looking for culture, fashion, good food and great bars, look no further than Brunswick St.
Located in the heart of Fitzroy, you will see all walks of life, from uni students drinking green juices to businessmen sipping lattes over their laptops. It’s quite common to see a high-end fashion boutique next door to an op-shop, or a souvlaki stall you only would visit at 2am, next to a 5-star restaurant.
A great tip from me would be drinks and dinner on the rooftop at Naked For Satan. Their rooftop bar gives you 360-degree views of the Melbourne skyline, and their baked camembert is simply to die for.
285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy