During our trip we visited Melbourne twice and thank god we did. On our first visit we were still finding our feet with van life, still figuring out the pace in which we should travel and still very new to the whole ‘life on the road’ thing. In all honesty, we just didn’t allocate enough time to Melbourne. We had our sights set on other cities and didn’t give Melbourne the chance it well and truly deserves.
Having visited twice now, I feel I’ve gathered enough information to put together a little city guide. Everything you need to know from what to do, where to visit and how to get around. So buckle up, grab yourself a coffee and take notes. You’re about to learn everything you need to know about Melbourne.
// Getting There & Getting Around \\
Where you stay in Melbourne can really have an impact on the entire time in the city. It’s a big place and to be fair not the easiest to get around if you’re living in the outskirts. We stayed in Discovery Parks both times during our stay and although perfect for van lifers such as ourselves, it wasn’t the most central of sites. We decided to leave the van in the park and taxi in. Although you’re saving on fuel and parking, this seemingly simple 20 minute taxi journey will set you back anywhere between $35 – $60.
Top tip: Do not try to get in or out of the city at rush hour. We got caught twice doing this and the taxi fair is ridiculous.
When you’re in the city, everything is near enough within walking distance. We averaged around 20000 steps per day on this trip, we walked a lot! If you’re a big walker then save the dollar and walk around the city. You’ll stumble across things you never knew existed, you’ll see way more and it’s a great way of saving a bit of money.
Not feeling the walk? Jump on the trams that run throughout the entire city. They’re super simple to use & navigate. Just download the app to plan your journey and you’ll be flying.
// Things To Do \\
I could sit here and go on forever about all the different things you can get up to in Melbourne. Instead I’m just going to list the few that stood out to us and the things we enjoyed the most.
Queen Victoria Market – Running on just a couple of days a week, for a very short time frame, Queen Victoria Market is absolutely not to be missed. Spend hours getting lost in and out of the different market stalls, get chatting to the owners and learn about the goods they’re selling. Word of warning: A lot of it is total crap and just there to bring in the tourists. However, there are some very entertaining things for sale and we saw away a good few hours, meandering the market & trying on all the different clothes.
Melbourne Gaol – If you’ve read my blog before, watched any of my YouTube videos or remotely know anything about me, you’ll know I have a strange fascination with prisons. I don’t know why, I don’t know what it is, i’m just forever enthralled by the history of the buildings and absolutely love learning about everything that went down there, many years ago. Melbourne Gaol was no different. Take the tour of the Gaol, learning about the inmates and get to grips with the grim history of this incredible building. Wanting something a little more lighthearted? Head next door to the hold cells where you’ll endure a simulation arrest with quite possibly, the funniest characters ever. For a really reasonable price, I’d highly recommend Melbourne Gaol.
Melbourne Zoo – We made the mistake of visiting Sydney Zoo before visiting Melbourne Zoo. So already, Melbourne Zoo had a lot to live up too. We visited on a day where we had nothing planned, we needed to fill the time with something and this was the next best thing. Although just a time filler, we were both pleasantly surprised at the variation of animals Melbourne Zoo had to offer. This massive zoo, home to animals such as lions, tigers and elephants made for a really great day and a great way to spend our last day in Melbourne.
The Great Ocean Road – Okay I know, It’s not technically in Melbourne however if you’re on the Great Ocean Road, you’re either heading to Melbourne or have just visited. Quite possibly one of the most spectacular roads in the world, you could literally spend an entire day exploring The Great Ocean Road and seeing what it has to offer. From start to finish it’ll take you 9 hours to complete, so yeah, plan wisely. Check out this blog post >> HERE << to learn everything you need to know about The Great Ocean Road. Without a doubt, the best thing to do in and around the Melbourne area.
Albert Park – Want to get the best skyline of the city? Want to top it off with a little trip to the beach? Head down to Albert Park for a relaxing walk around the lake, a stroll along the beach and capturing the epic skyline of Melbourne. A really beautiful part of the city and a suburb I’ll definitely be eying up when I get back.
// The Coffee \\
Oh boy, here we go. I like to refer to myself as quite the coffee connoisseur. Having worked with coffee, having drank my fair share of coffee and having photographed many a coffee in my time. So when I heard Melbourne was famous for its coffee and being the best in the world, I was straight on google to scout out the best places. That’s when I came across Proud Mary’s.
Situated slightly North of the city, very close to Fitzroy Park, Proud Mary’s is probably the most trendy, instagrammable coffee shop I’ve ever been to. With table service, the coolest and most friendly staff and yes, the best coffee I have every sampled, Proud Mary’s has to be at the top of your bucket list for your visit. The prices are high but trust me, that reflects the taste and service you get here. In the space of 30 minutes, between the two of us we had already downed 4 cookies and 4 coffees. This place is truly incredible.
// The Food \\
You can’t go wrong with the food here in Melbourne. There are vendors on every corner, restaurants along every road and malls that go on for days. It caters to everyone and everything. Serving every cuisine in every way. You really are spoilt for choice in Melbourne. Wanting some authentic Asian food? Head to china town and pick one of the hundreds of restaurants to have lunch. I’m pretty sure you’ll leave feeling very full up. Melbourne really has it all.
In the simplest of ways, there we have it. A quick and simple guide to Melbourne. Everything you’re going to need to help you with your trip and make the most of your time in this incredible city. When I return to Australia, Melbourne is definitely a contender for somewhere I’ll be calling home.
| By Harrison |