So Much to See and Do in Melbourne…

So Much to See and Do in Melbourne…

After just a couple of weeks into our move to Melbourne we were starting to settle in and had already taken part in quite a few of the ‘must do’ activities!

One ‘must do’ for me was starting work as a receptionist in Melbourne city centre (or CBD). Working to fund your travels is something that lots of people do and is a great way of enhancing your trip as you get to interact with the locals. Often the best way to find out what to do in a place is to ask someone who lives there – that way you can discover lots of activities that aren’t always listed in the tourist books!

Whilst I was getting the low down on what’s hot and what’s not in Melbourne from my new colleagues, Richard was taking part in his own Melbourne must do down at Sandringham Yacht Club. His sister, Sarah, is an avid sailor and she offered him the opportunity to take part in a race around Port Phillip Bay with her and her crew. Richard has always preferred motor-boats and has therefore never been sailing as he believes that it’s slow and far too much like hard work, but he couldn’t pass up on this chance to spend some time with his sister and see is she could prove him wrong.

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Their boat came 4th in the race but the biggest highlight for Rich was when a pod of dolphins swam alongside them just inches from the hull!

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The dolphins were a definite sailing bonus but it’s fair to say that whilst he enjoyed trying something different for an afternoon, Richard still came away from the experience preferring motor-boats over good old fashioned sails!

Later that evening (after making me extremely jealous over his dolphin encounter) Richard and I headed up to Queen Victoria Market for the last Suzuki Night Market of the season. Queen Vic market is a huge open air market which has been part of Melbourne life for over 130 years. It’s most famous for its fantastic array of fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, seafood and delicatessen products but the night market goes one better with live music, salsa dancing and beer tents!

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The market was absolutely packed but we still managed to meet up with Chris and Cheryl from Oz Bus 21 who we hadn’t seen since just after New Years Eve. It was great to see them again and we enjoyed catching up with everything they had been up to over the past two months!

It was back to work for me over the next few days, but come Friday evening we treated ourselves by getting out and about within the city itself, starting with a gorgeous meal at the Spicy Fish restaurant in Little Bourke Street – aka Chinatown!

After our meal we went to one of Melbourne’s coolest bars (in our opinion anyway) – Section 8 in Tattersall Lane. Melbourne is renowned for its funky nightspots, hidden away down laneways and alleys. Section 8 is certainly unique – the bar itself is an old container and the seating consists of warehousing pallets, perfectly complimented by a backdrop of ‘street art’ which covers the bare walls. We loved the laid back, urban vibe and hip hop music too. Section 8 is a dangerous place as once you get there, you could easily stay for hours!

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Last stop for the night was 252 Swanston Street – home of the Rooftop Cinema. There were no movies showing that evening so we went up simply to enjoy the views from the bar’s unique astro turf terrace!

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That Sunday we indulged ourselves in another Melbournian ‘institution’– the annual Food and Wine Festival – a fortnight long celebration of the city’s great ‘foodie’ status. The festival has been going since 1993 and consists of over 250 events across the city, each of which promotes the region’s multi-cultural influences as well as local food and drink producers. It was very hard to choose which events to go to but we decided on the Bright ‘n’ Sandy festival in the morning, followed by ‘Paella in the Park’ in the afternoon.

Bright ‘n’ Sandy is held on the banks of Brighton beach – around half an hour on the train from the CBD. It was a fantastic day – really hot and sunny – and Brighton was the perfect setting for the event. We tasted a few dishes from the food stalls, including some gorgeous Peking duck potato cakes with mustard & dill potato salad, washed down by cider from the local True South Brewery. As well as the food stalls, the event consisted of live bands, cooking demos and games for the kids.

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After we’d had our fill of Bright ‘n’ Sandy, we hopped onto the train to Coburg – a suburb north of the city centre where we were very excited about attending ‘Paella in the Park’, an event designed to celebrate all things Spanish! This event was held in Bridges Reserve, a park in the centre of Coburg which was crammed full of stands serving a range of paellas. We opted for chicken & chorizo and pork & mushroom paella which were both muy sabrosa (really tasty!).

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No Spanish event would be complete without Sangria and a bit of music and Paella in the Park didn’t let us down on these fronts either!

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The weather was fantastic all day long and we absolutely loved just chilling out in the park, listening to feel good music and watching everybody else around us enjoy the festivities. The sun and Sangria had left us feeling slightly drowsy however, so we hopped back on the train and went home – fully satisfied with our Melbourne experience so far!


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  1. May 27, 16:56 #1 Aisleen Author

    Cool – you had a much different experience to us then – we never knew which way the weather was going to turn! Adds to the fun of it though I suppose. Hope your still enjoying your travels!?

  2. May 20, 04:54 #2 Dan Collins

    Ah I loved Melbourne! It was so hot when I was there though… the coldest it got was 32 degrees celsius!

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