The world’s most liveable city, Melbourne, has something for everyone, and none of it involves sitting on your couch watching Netflix.
The city is filled with free events, amazing exhibitions, and plenty of things to do, see, and discover. Here are 11 things you should have done after spending a year in Melbourne.
1. Caught some comedy
Posters for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival make the event hard to miss, featuring thousands of performers gathering in the city for the sole purpose of making you laugh.
But did you know comedy in Melbourne runs all year round? Clubs and bars including The Catfish in Fitzroy, European Bier Cafe in the CBD, and The Comic’s Lounge in North Melbourne offer weekly comedy nights every month of the year – and big names often drop in.
2. Visited a brewery
Unleash your inner hipster by trying a beer so local, you can watch batches brew while you drink. Two Birds Brewing in Spotswood, the Burnley Brewing in Richmond, and Thunder Road Brewery in Brunswick all offer delicious craft beer on tap. Last year, the Moon Dog craft brewery in Abbotsford hosted roller disco once a month – although we recommend skating before downing that second pint.
3. Sat under the stars at an open-air cinema
What better way to enjoy a movie than under a blanket of twinkling stars? Rooftop Cinema in the CBD, Lido in Hawthorn, and Moonlight cinema in the botanical gardens show cult classics and current blockbusters throughout Melbourne’s warmer summer months. Best not make that blanket entirely metaphoric, though; Melbourne’s weather has a tendency to take a turn for the worse.
4. Indulged in a bottomless brunch
There’s no such thing as too much brunch, and what better way to take the edge off that hangover than with a boozy mid morning meal. Melbourne hosts an array of bottomless brunches, with free-flowing mimosas, hearty bloody marys, and delectable dishes – we can guarantee it’s better than sitting on the couch drinking juice from the carton. Check out The National in Richmond, Gingerboy in the CBD, and the House of Lulu White in South Yarra for some great deals.
5. Absorbed some culture at the NGV
The National Gallery of Victoria features a variety of unique collections, ranging from fashion to artefacts, to surreal art. To act like a true art avant-garde, wear a big, floppy hat and loudly discuss the contemporary exhibit’s social commentary on the patriarchy. Head there on a Friday night to sip a drink and listen to some beats while enjoying the exhibitions.
6. Ambled through Abbotsford Convent
Wander hand-in-hand with your partner through the ex-monastic site of Abbotsford Convent, or lay on the grass in the dappled sun enjoying the fresh air. The convent, while stunning in itself, also features galleries, cafes, and wellbeing classes. Head there in autumn to enjoy the hues of reds and oranges of the falling leaves, which compliment the convent’s colour.
7. Watched some penguins waddle up from the St Kilda beach
The St Kilda penguins are an adorable sight to see. Present all year round, the colony waddle up from the water just after sunset – though the best viewing times are during summer. Bring a flask of tea, get cosy on the pier, and listen to the cute critters call to one another at dusk.
8. Embraced the ‘80s at an arcade bar
The ‘80s were full of fantastic things – rock music, perms (ok, maybe not everything was fantastic), and arcade games. Bartronica in the CBD, Pixel Alley in Fitzroy, and Beta Bar in Hawthorn house heaps of arcade games – they even give out game tokens for every round bought. You might as well dust off those old spandex pants for the occasion.
9. Visited the Queen Vic Night Market
Whether you visit on a balmy summer night or a crisp winter evening, the Queen Victoria Night Market offers plenty. Listen to live bands and entertainment, smell the sizzling aromas from over 60 different food stalls and bars, and shop at one of the 130 artisan stalls. The winter night market runs on Wednesday nights from June until October, while the summer night market starts in November and finishes in April.
10. Hiked through the Dandenong Ranges
Prove to your friends that you’re better than them by spending your weekends hiking through the leafy canopies of the Dandenong Ranges. The national park is just an hour’s drive from the CBD and has a variety of hiking trails to suit every fitness level. Enjoy the breeze at the Olinda Falls, or head over to one of the local pubs to reward yourself with a hearty meal.
11. Wandered around White Night
White Night occurs just once a year, in February. The whole city is reimagined and transformed with breathtaking displays of lights and colours. This year, white night featured an animatronic dragon breathing fire to protect her egg; the State Library adorned with vines and jungle animals; and the Royal Exhibition Building illuminated with 3D projections and kaleidoscopic colours.