Australia is a strange place. The size of a large continent, with more uninhabited space than Russia, it’s about as far as you can fly from the UK. But fly there I did, back in 2009 when I did the usual – hit Sydney, travel up the East coast and drink Goon. Because oh my god expensive, and oh my god big and why oh why does it take DAYS to get to the next place on a Greyhound.
Yeah, you get it — it’s big. Big and far away. Truth be told, I didn’t love Sydney at all. I actually actively disliked it! So I hot footed it to the Greyhound office to grab a bus ticket to anywhere else. I wound my way through hippy Byron Bay, and to bonkers 1770 doing the oh so usual stops at Surf City (disgusting), Fraser Island (breathtaking) and, of course, Cairns, where I almost died of shock at a shark swimming underneath me. Yes, A SHARK.
But for 6 months I made Melbourne my home. I knew one person, but we weren’t exactly close and finding friends was hard for me. Travelling solo is hard work sometimes, as much as it is liberating and I had some pretty low moments. But my overriding memories of Melbourne are truly happy ones. Yes, the weather is kind of crappy sometimes (they don’t call it “Four Seasons in One Day” for nowt) and it can be a little, well, hipster. But I liked that. I liked the amazing food and music scene and the amazing arty vibe.
Think of this as less of a listicle, and more of a love-letter.
The little lane-ways that characterise the CBD are one of my favourite things about Melbourne. Well, obviously they are given the title of this post. Doh. If you have ever visited Brighton’s Laines you will know that there is nothing more fun than wandering down a street you can’t see the end of and popping out the other end 3 hours later. With several coffees, cupcakes and vintage bags later……just me?
Flinders Street Station
Okay this seems strange but bear with me. This station is SO beuatiful and imposing. It’s a total juxtaposition from the arty square to the North and the tram lines running throughout. It’s dreamy, busy and full of cool Aussies on their way to wherever. There’s something a little gritty, and dare I say it, dive-y about the place but I like it.
Also, I lived on Flinders Lane. Maybe that’s why……
Melbourne may be an uber cool city, but it has a beach people! And on said beach after dusk, you will spot the adorable fluffy grey penguins that live in the shingle. Magical, people, totally magical. the weekly flea market is also worth a visit (Sunday’s only) and do not leave without visiting the beautiful Botanical gardens.
TOP TIP: If you do the Neighbours tour (which you should) then you end in St Kilda (normally meeting someone like Harold….but not as good)
Anyone who has visited a cafe run by Australian’s will know this statement to be true — Australians do breakfast better. Better than anyone……Better than God. Seriously, breakfast and brunch are akin to Godliness to Antipodean’s and, in my opinion, Melbourne is the best of the best. From hot, velvety flat whites, to sourdough bread and of course — AVOCADO TOAST — breakfast is probably my number 1 fave thing about Melbs.
Brunswick & Lygon Street
Like any well organised and lovely cities, Melbourne’s CBD and around has fabulous, themed, streets. that’s to say that various streets around the city were known for one thing or another. I loved Lygon street (where I worked incidentally) for the pizza and old school Italian (and more often than not, Lebanese) charm, and yes please all the Gelato. I also loved escaping the my home on Flinders lane and my work on Lygon street to Brunswick street — home to some of the coolest bars around. I adored the bonkers echo room and $5 pizza specials at Bimbo Deluxe
Have you been to Melbourne? Tell me your fave things to do in the comments!
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