Melbourne isn't a big city but it punches well above it's weight in plenty of categories. There's so many places to eat and drink, festivals and event, exhibitions and gigs and markets and all the rest. We've visited a few times and know our way around but really felt we could have used some help from a savvy local.
If you've got a friend like that in the city it's a big help. We were recommended Localing by my sister and found the service really helpful. We had Dan take us on a great day tour but the unique thing about the Localing service was all the extra stuff. They gave us a mobile to use while we were in the city and whenever we wanted to do anything we just called them up and asked for recommendations. That's how we found Misty's bar and the Ciglo rooftop, a really great cafe near our hotel called Cherry and Twigs. This last one was definitely our best trip to Melbourne and Localing were a big part of that.
My wife and I first discovered Lamingtons in 2009. Lamingtons are little sponge cakes coated in chocolate and topped in shredded coconut. We have found Lamingtons in every bakery since it is such a popular Australian treat. I actually like them but my wife is not a fan of coconut.
During our visist to Melbourne we picked up a rather large Lamington at the Queen Victoria Markets for our friend's daughter at home. We always bring Laurel back something either candy or treat that is specific to that country/locale. With careful packing we delivered Laurel her Laminton intact and she loved it. Now she's working on getting a good recipe to make her own.
Visitors to Australia can reclaim any GST on goods purchased over $300 from a single store no more than 30 days prior to departure. Refunds are payable at the designated refund facility located past Customs up to 30 minutes before flight departure. You will need your tax invoice and goods to obtain a refund.
Melbourne has the largest Greek population in the world outside of Greece and is the 3rd largest Greek-speaking city in the world. The Greek community holds an annual festival from March to April called the Antipodes Festival. The major highlight of this festival is the two-day Greek Glendi held on Lonsdale Street near the end of March on a Saturday and Sunday around March 25th for Greek Independence Day. This is the largest ethnic festival in Australia and the largest Greek festival in the world.
You will find tents set up for food, shopping, arts, sports, and religion. There is a stage set up at the corner of Russell and Lonsdale set up for Greek dance troupes to perform, and a live Greek band will also be on hand. You can also stop inside one of the many stores or restaurants on Lonsdale Street. This festival attracts thousands of people each year.
Just in case the official website has old material, here is another one...
Known as the 'Race that stops a nation', Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday in Melbourne. Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday in November each year and is a great excuse to don a fancy hat and dress and drink champagne till the cows (or horses) come home.
there was a time visitors from other countries were not that common, even know the social life is such that unless you are introduced to you through the circle of friends you already have, little chanfe of knowing visitors. so imagine my surprise, when an umonhon indian friend of mine from Nebraska, emailed me to say she would be in Melbourne for a day and that we could have lunch together.. it was sheer delight.. friendship, the ambience of melbourne, nostalgia, love and affection... this is the stuff of dreams.
i will look for her the next time in Australia if she is still there. Knowing the Indians, they dont like to be away from their native country too long.
I miss you MiHuSa
Its a real institution the AFL or footy as we Melbournians know it. Many locals entire existance revolves around the game of Australian Football and in particular their own team. The season runs from March/April through to September, the Grand Final being typically played on the last Saturday in September. Many locals including me, ride the rollercoaster that is their favourite teams success and failure over the 6 months of the season.
The two stadiums hosting Footy in this city are the MCG and the Docklands Stadium, both located close to the City of Melbourneand easily accessible by public transport.
The good news for visitors is that they are large stadiums and aside from games palyed on Big Occassions like Anzac day (April 25th) you can generally buy a "walk up" ticket for around $16 and get a reasonable view of the game. You need not worry about rival supporters waging violent war on each other apart from accosianal friendly verbal stoush, so it is very family friendly.
If you watch a local at sometime they'll be heading off to a park with a pick-nic basket, hamper and almost certainly an Esky (cooler). There will be meat and sangers (sausages) packed away along with cutlery, plates and tongs - but they won'tneed to pack a BBQ as most of the parks in and around Melbourne have electrically operated and FREE (yes I did say free) BBQ's
The kids will be in tow, there will be a cricket set or a footy and maybe even a frisby. The dog will almost certainly be coming along and no doubt will get his fair share of sausages.
OK that's the locals - what about visitors. Stock up at a local supermarket and head for the local parks for an el fresco meal - enjoy.
BBQ photographed is at Ruffey Creek park in Doncaster with a nearby bridge that spans the creek and part of the walking trails within the park.
Web site below is for Albert Park, however check with local councils for parks in the area, or check the Melway Street Directory.
Melbourne has become famous around the world for its street art culture. After the birth of stencil art in Britain, Melbourne has embraced this form and many suburbs of Melbourne now contain some stencils, mostly near train stations.
The main areas that art can be found in Melbourne are St Kilda, Fitzroy, Carlton, and the Melbourne central business district.
In recent years, the city has claimed the SportsBusiness title "World's Ultimate Sports City"..
The city is home to the National Sports Museum, which until 2006 was located outside the members pavilion at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and reopened in 2008 in the Great Northern Stand
Melbourne is considered the spiritual home of Australian cricket and Australian rules football - the most popular sports in Australia.
The Australian Football League is headquartered at the Telstra Dome and ten of its teams are based in the Melbourne metropolitan area and collectively average over 35,000 spectators to each game.
The first ever official cricket Test match in Australia was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March 1877. The city is also home to a Rugby League and Soccer team; the Melbourne Storm, who play in the NRL competition, Melbourne Victory who play in the A-league, netball team Melbourne Vixens who play in the trans-Tasman trophy ANZ Championship and basketball team Melbourne Tigers who play in the National Basketball League.
Annually, the city hosts the AFL Grand Final, as well as the international sporting events of the Australian Open tennis, Melbourne Cup and the Australian Grand Prix. In 2008 Melbourne's Telstra Dome will play host to the Australia versus England match at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
The Age is the local broadsheet, and in these days of maximising corporate profits, they've resisted the temptation to go tabloid like the former broadsheet the Courier Mail.
I've always enjoyed reading The Age for its insightful perspectives and its quality of journalism is undoubtably one of the best in Australia. Their international news section do regularly carry reports and editorials that the BBC had not yet touched on which is why I like The Age. Even now that I'm based in Brisbane, I still read The Age online on a daily basis as not every newsagents interstate sell newspapers from other cities due to the high cost of transporting them overnight. But still, the online version is adequate to catch up on what's happening.
When in Melbourne be sure to take plenty of time out for coffee and the accompanying danish, muffin, bagel or whatever you fancy. There are squllions of options from cafes in the department stores to grungy spot in the back streets - all serving a good cuppa (esp the grungy spots!!).
Melbourne is home of one the most bizzare road items - the hook turn. Cars turning right on some of the busy inner city streets all line up on the far left of the street until the lights change then rapidly turn right as the oncoming traffic starts to move. Looks quite bizzare but seems to keep the traffic moving!!
Apart from Cricket these people like 'Footy' many of us known as Australian Football. The Footy seasons starts (hope) during the month of Feb & March and goes until August. Almost every weekend there is match at the 'Telstra Dome' Indoor stadium (One of its class). Just buy a ticket to know how they play the Footy....you will be quite amazed...and will soon like it.
Melbourne does not require people to tip for services... Our wages are reasonable and only tip if you feel you want to.. You will get the same service and employees are not going to treat you like a leper like some parts of the world, and you know who you are lol