We arrived on our working holiday visa in Melbourne in the middle of September on a 9 degree, drizzly day, cold and tired, sharing a 6 bed dorm, wondering why did we fly to the other side of the world to be in a grey city that looks like England. Melbourne...... We realised was a grower, which we grew to absolutely adore!
Within a few days we had cafe jobs, had found a beautiful CBD apartment room to rent and had started to explore the city. It turns out Melbourne is pretty special and is an amazing place to live for a while, these were our favourite things about the city and its surroundings.
There is always something to do, no matter what time of day of night you can always find something fun to do. Within walking distance you have world class restaurants, shopping, cute cafes, quirky bars, nightclubs, rooftop terraces, street food, outdoor entertainment, galleries and museums. Everywhere is vibrant and modern, shops and cafes are pushing the boundaries, there are amazing art installations, protests and buskers, there is always something exciting to see or do.
The War memorial
A picnic at the botanical gardens
The street art is out of this world.
Everywhere within the city, the graffiti art has been embraced and is now a huge draw point for the city. It's a real adventure to seek it out, down lane ways and alleys.
The lane ways themselves are beautiful. The tiny shops and cafes, the architecture and the cobbles are charming. There is always a secret place to find in Melbourne's lane ways.
St Kilda is a tram away from the city and it has its own hidden gem.
It is a charming seaside town with a beautiful white sand beach, ice cold sea and a lovely wooden Boardwalk to stroll down, calling and beachfront bars of cafes.
It has its own pier with a cafe at the end with a great view of the nearby CBD. The charm in St Kildas crown however arrives at sunset. St Kilda has its own colony of little penguins, the smallest penguin in the penguin family which nests in the rocks off the pier. At sunset the adults return from sea to feed there babies which are snuggled in the rocks. It is the cutest and least expected thing to do when visiting Melbourne.
These tiny little penguins are the most wonderful little things and to see them in the wild is such an honour. If your visiting Melbourne seeing these little guys is a must do for anyone of any age.
Also close by, a bus ride away is Brighton. This is a lovely curve of beach lined with famous colourful beach huts.
From here you can walk all the way down to St Kilda on a coastal walk which is an easy and very pleasant beach stroll.
Another great point of Melbourne is Victoria Markets. This is a permanent market just outside the CBD which offers hand made goods, fresh fruit and veg, a huge deli, meat, fish as well as cafes and a food court.
It is absolutely vast and the quality and diversity of what is on offer is amazing. Also during the summer months the market open on a Wednesday night for one of the best night markets we have been to. There are countless food and drink stalls, live music and gifts to buy. It is a world class market that any food lover should attend.
And last but not least the diversity. Melbourne has the biggest population of Greeks outside Greece and the biggest Chinatown outside China, as well as countless other backgrounds and ethnicities.
This makes for a huge melting pot of traditions. China town has some of the best and cheapest food in Melbourne and every corner offers a new cuisine to try.
As you can tell we grew to absolutely love Melbourne and can hundred percent see why it was voted the worlds most liveable city.
We decided to say here and work for three months before moving on to see more of Australia. There was just one downside to living in the city....... We missed seeing the stars, which is why as soon as we left we decided to go straight into the countryside, into our first bush camping adventure.... The Grampians.