Having lived in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs for several years now, we are sometimes asked for ideas for travel activities and recommendations from friends and family members. While the Lonely Planet and other guidebooks are helpful, the people who seek us out are usually looking for something a bit different. Here are seven of our favourite places to point travellers to Melbourne to for fun and off-the-beaten-track activities in our city.
Eat at Welcome to Thornbury – a vibrant food truck park & bar in a converted car wash away from the city but accessible by tram. They have different selections of food trucks every night but always enough variety to satisfy everyone.
Friday nights at the NGV – see the National Gallery of Victoria in the evening with live music and a bar. Your $30 ticket includes the special exhibit (right now it’s Degas but that might change by December) and sometimes a special talk about the art on display.
If you ask a North American what a long-haul flight means, most will tell you about the torture of a 7-hour flight to Europe or the time they spent 16 hours in transit to South America.
When you ask an Australian, that’s a short flight! A flight from Sydney to LA takes about 15 hours, and that’s not counting any other destinations on either side. Getting to Europe usually means going through the Asia or the Middle East for a longish layover.
Between the two of us, we’ve done dozens of these types of trips now. It never gets any less annoying, but I’ve found a few good tricks to make the experience of flying long distances a bit more bearable:
I’ve been gathering documents this week for the final stage in my quest to finally stop giving my hard-earned money to Immigration: dual citizenship! Many thousands of dollars and about a half dozen police checks later, I’m finally going to be done with the anxiety of not having security in Australia. M. is in the same boat, with only his swearing-in ceremony left to go.
This doesn’t mean that we’ve decided to stay here forever (who knows what they’re going to be doing forever, anyway?) but it does make me reflect on the last 5.5 years in this sunburned country.
What I have I learned? Lots of positive things, for sure. But I’m going to start with a few regrets in hopes that others can learn from my mistakes.
Melbourne has recently had something of a renaissance of American food. With more people travelling than ever before and lots of great deals on flights to L.A., New York, and San Francisco, more varieties of food have made their way to our restaurants and cafés.
It’s not quite up to the standard of what you can get in a major city or down South, but there’s a huge variety of barbecue, burgers, po’boys, you name it popping up in my Aussie city. When I moved to Melbourne five years ago there were two diners and one bar that served U.S.-style meals.
As much as I adore burgers, the foodie trend I have really gotten behind these last two years is the rise of the donut.