5 Must-Dos In Melbourne, Australia

Food enthusiast and traveller Rupali Dean is excited that Australia is open to visitors again.  Melbourne is a great place to start exploring again 

A stylish, vibrant city, with an exhilarating city centre, downtown neighbourhoods that each burst with unique character, and plush green parks and foothill ranges where one can enjoy Australian nature at its best, Melbourne is also known for its countless laneways, its outstanding dining options for all budgets, and its remarkable street art. No wonder it has been repeatedly voted the world’s most liveable city! It’s winter time in Australia currently, and it’s now open for travel, so there’s no better time to visit. Start with Melbourne like I did… 


Find Every Nation At The Immigration Museum 
The First Nations people are the original natives of Australia, having existed on this land for thousands of years. Since Captain James Cook first landed at what is now Sydney in 1770, however, people from over 250 different countries have settled here, which amounts to approximately a third of Australian inhabitants who are not native born. Melbourne is one of the most diverse metropolises on the planet, experiencing several waves of relocation from all across the world, which is why it’s not surprising that there are more than enough stories about settlers to validate a dedicated museum.

Go On A Winery Trip To The Yarra Valley

Victoria’s premier wine region is all rolling green hills, swaying vines and old ranches. Bonus: The Yarra Valley is a mere 45 minutes’ drive from the CBD. The cellar doors of the region’s well-known wineries are open every weekend, and the winery restaurants are becoming some of the most desirable dining destinations near Melbourne. My pick of the region is Rochford Wines; with a varied collection and ever-revolving rota of wines on hand, they know how to keep their tastings exciting. The restaurant sits above the lawn and looks out over the spectacular property. Explore on foot or by Segway to get a comprehensive feel of the estate.

Get Close To Nature At The Healesville Sanctuary
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A boardwalk through eucalypts brings you within close range of koalas, whose characteristic apathy allows you plenty of photo ops. Still, the kangaroo section would perhaps be the most photographed area, with visitors clicking frantically to capture a loved one standing next to the globally familiar symbol of Australian wildlife. The highlight here is definitely the Spirits of the Sky show, featuring snow owls and ospreys and concluding with the astounding sight of the wedgetail eagle! The birds fly surely through the spectators and roost within close distance. At this sanctuary, you can just about tick each box in terms of native Australian animals, including the mysterious and (seldom spotted in the wild) platypus.


Hit The Foodie Trail 

Melbourne is celebrated for its food scene, but it’s difficult to decide where to go if you are hard pressed for time or on a short visit. In a carefully-curated multicultural food walk with Foodie Trails, you can take in as many home-grown flavours as possible on your visit to Melbourne. Starting at the Immigration Museum and then proceeding to the city’s  laneways, this tour goes beyond tastings and tips – it puts the city’s gastronomy into context. The variety of Melbourne’s societies has added to an ever-evolving melting pot of antiquity, food and ethnicity. A favourite lunch stop is at Tim Ho Wan for its decadent dumplings.


Lose Yourself In South Melbourne Market

Established in 1867, this Victorian building of wood and red brick is a charming cocoon of fresh produce, local goods and epicurean treats. The vibe is cool, and there are plenty of food options; popular stops include croissants at Agathe Patisserie, roasted almonds, chocolate and cheese at K-Sein Fromagerie, any blend that catches your fancy at Fizzi Tea, award winning chocolate at Atypic, and more.

Images: Rupali Dean, Shutterstock

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