Melbourne is an exciting city to be in, known for hosting countless sporting events, it’s foodie culture and intriguing, street art filled laneways. Each week there are numerous events happening across the city whether it’s a film festival, sporting event, performance, installation, food festival or other community events. If you find yourself stuck for something to do, you don’t have to look too far.
Melbourne is a city full of foodies and fun food experiences. Boasting an abundance of excellent cafes and restaurants. The hardest part can be choosing where to go. Broadsheet is a great go-to for finding hot new restaurants as well as old favourites: https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/food-and-drink
A favourite among anzuk staff, and conveniently located near the Collingwood office, Le Bon Ton, boasts traditional southern comfort foods such as pit-smoked meats and New Orleans inspired cocktails. https://www.lebonton.com.au/
Chin Chin, an inner-city restaurant serving up bold south-east Asian flavours, is undeniably one of the most popular restaurants in Melbourne, famous for it’s perpetual queue. The one benefit of COVID-19 is they now take bookings. They still accept walk in’s so for the full experience try your luck sometime. https://www.chinchinrestaurant.com.au/
You can’t talk about Melbourne for too long without mentioning coffee. Melbourne leads the way with sourcing, roasting and brewing specialty coffee. When drinking coffee in Melbourne look out for a single origin espresso and filter-style brews to really enjoy the full experience. Read more about the history and some of the best coffee Melbourne has to offer here: https://www.trafalgar.com/real-word/inside-melbournes-coffee-culture/
In the heart of Melbourne’s theatre district is a cocktail lounge which lives and breathes the history of cocktails, being named after the year in which the word came into use, 1806. A classy establishment that takes the art of cocktail making seriously. https://1806.com.au/
Another staff favourite, and again, near the Collingwood office, Stomping Ground Beer Hall, is a great place to socialise of an evening. https://www.stompingground.beer/collingwood
Late-night cheese cravings? Check out Milk the Cow, a late-night wine and cheese bar. https://milkthecow.com.au/
If you are into shopping, you can’t be in Melbourne for long without finding your way to Chadstone Shopping Centre, the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere. A shuttle bus runs from the city centre to Chaddy hourly (temporarily suspended doe to COVID-19) making it easy to get to but be sure to book your spot ahead of time. Housing everything from high end to budget friendly and everything in between. https://www.chadstone.com.au/shopping
There are also plenty of markets to check out, a favourite is Finders Keepers which is a large-scale Market that is held in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane at various times throughout the year, due to 2020 COVID-19 Restrictions they have also expanded their website giving you the option of browsing online: http://www.thefinderskeepers.com/
Given the propensity for educators to have a love of stationery, take a look at these stores to discover some of the finest paper and pens Melbourne has to offer.
It’s also worth looking out for your local thrift stores and secondhand boutiques, you’ll find some unique pieces and you’ll be supporting a more sustainable shopping experience. For a guide to both: https://fashionjournal.com.au/fashion/best-op-shops-in-melbourne/
If you are interested in live performances without the expensive prices you might like to look out for some community theatres near you. There are amateur theatre companies across the city with very reasonably priced tickets! You can find out more at: https://vdl.org.au/whats-on/
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) houses a vast permanent collection and there are numerous free entry exhibits to view at any time. In addition, several exhibitions are held each year showcasing various internationally renowned artists and movements. Give yourself plenty of time if you want to enjoy the full experience. https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/
Melburnians love a laugh which is why every year the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is such a big hit, featuring the well-known to the obscure, stay informed of events throughout the year. https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2021
Melbourne hosts world-class shows, exhibitions, and performances throughout the year, whatever your interests, you’ll find the right event for you.
Melbourne is a sporting capital hosting numerous national and international sporting events such as the Australian Open, The Formula One Grand Prix and of course Aussie Rules Football to name a few.
Connecting to Country
Australia has a rich history, to really uncover the depths and beauty of this country, consider engaging with an experience facilitated by a Traditional Custodian.
Learn about Victorian Aboriginal art and expression, celebrate the historical and living vibrant, present Aboriginal culture of today.
Go on a walking tour around Melbourne led by an experienced Aboriginal guide, providing rich insights into the history of the CBD and Birrarung Marr (the Yarra River). https://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/melbourne/things-to-do/tours/walking-tours/koorie-heritage-trust-aboriginal-walking-tours/aboriginal-walking-tours
Tips for making new friends
Eager to connect with other teachers? Each year in the spring school holidays the Victorian Teachers’ Games is held in a regional city. With an abundance of events to choose from including team sports and individual events, there is something for everyone. See what it is all about here: https://www.victeachersgames.com.au/
There are plenty of common interest groups, sporting teams or community groups throughout Melbourne that will be open to new members. You could try a site like meetup to help: https://www.meetup.com/cities/au/melbourne/
Eureka Skydeck, take the elevator up to the top floor of the Eureka Skydeck and enjoy a breathtaking view from the tallest building in the city and see what Melbourne has to offer.
Luna Park, located on the beautiful shores of Melbourne and nestled within the vibrant St Kilda. There is always something going on in and around Luna Park, an absolute must see for the young at heart!
A 2-hour drive from the centre of Melbourne. This quaint little spot offers beautiful views, located at one of the southern points of Victoria. This area is great for wildlife viewing, including the famous penguin parade!
Looking for wine country? The Yarra Valley is only an hour away from Melbourne. There are many farmers markets, walks and gardens to explore. You can enjoy winery tours or if wine isn’t your thing, there are also breweries and a distillery in the area.
About 2 and a half hours from Melbourne, The Otways is a beautiful region where you can enjoy time at the beach, go mountain biking or experience the local towns and villages. While you are there, check out the Otway Fly Treetop Walk and perhaps got on the Zipline Eco-Tour.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
A 4-hour drive from the centre of Melbourne. Wilsons Prom is known for its rugged mountains and abundant wildlife, including kangaroos and wombats. Hike all day and then cool off at Squeaky Beach, with its white quartz sand!
Great Ocean Road
This Road Trip is a must do! You can book through a tour company, you’ll have the option to make it a day trip or you might take a few days to soak up the sights and local towns. You could instead rent a car and give it a go yourself! See the iconic and spectacular Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge and beautiful, rugged coastlines.
More to do
To make things even easier, here are some useful websites that can keep you informed of what is going on:
But if you are not sure where to start, here are some fantastic lists with lots of helpful suggestions:
- Things to do in Melbourne
- 25 best things to do
- Cheap things to do
- Lonely Planet Guide on Melbourne