Author: Fiona Ludbrook
Date of Trip: August 2016
Melbourne has also established a world reputation for graffiti art embellished laneways, home to great eateries and coffee, upbeat fashion and general vibe. Don’t miss De Graves St, or Hosier Lane, off Flinders St. Yes, Melbourne is a city that loves its food. Lively bars can also be found in this area. Don’t miss a quick drink at Young and Jackson’s hotel, opposite Flinders Street Station. Here you will discover the famous and once contraversial portrait of Chloe, now something of a local icon!
Expect friendly and obliging service everywhere. Tips for such will be appreciated. Contrary to popular belief, Australians do tip for good service and wait staff and those in the hospitality industry will appreciate rewards for ther efforts. Their wages are very low. If you do experience nonchalant or inefficient staff, let them know why you will not be tipping!
Melbourne is a safe and easy city for solo travellers. It is also a wonderful city, for anyone who enjoys walking. It has regularly been voted the “world’s most liveable city” due to its extensive parklands, green spaces, size and laid back lifestyle, with a wonderful food culture and passion for accessible and innovative Arts. It’s public transport system is generally excellent, with trams, trains and buses running until after midnight. Melbourne is also awash with festivals, from the International Comedy Festival every April, Moomba in March, White Night light festival in February and Spring Racing Carnival from October to mid November. a mecca for horse racing lovers and fashionistas alike.
Inside Melbourne’s Town Hall, you will find yet more changing exhibition space, as well as a Half Tix agency, where you can purchase cheap unsold tickets to performances held the same day; great way to access Melbourne’s great live theatre and comdedy scene. But the tiny La Mama theatre in Carlton, is another matter altogether. This twenty seater gem launches new Australian works. Book via their website. La Mama is a must if you love live theatre. Though not every performance will be brilliant, many are and experiencing such an intimate venue, where the actors and audience are in each other’s face is memorable in its own right!
When planning travels to Australia, always remember it is a huge country. Unless you have several months you are best to plan to limit travels to one or two geogrphical areas. A combination of Melbourne, including trips to Phillip Island to see the little penguins, driving the Great Ocean Road, doing the round of wineries on the Mornington Penninsula or Pyrennese region together with Sydney and The Blue Mountains could be done in two weeks, preferably three!