Melbourne Off The Beaten Path

  • Rampant Rust
    Rampant Rust
    by Orchid
  • Westgate Bridge
    Westgate Bridge
    by Orchid
  • Wildlife in the pink
    Wildlife in the pink
    by Orchid

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Melbourne

  • craic's Profile Photo

    McClelland Sculpture Park

    by craic Updated Oct 11, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This beautiful place is in Greater Melbourne but it is a long way from the centre. It's at Lang Warrin, 4 k from Frankston.
    It is sometimes called the Elizabeth Murdoch (Rupert's mum) Sculpture Park because she was a major patron. Her big house (the garden is sometimes opened for charity) is just around the corner.
    DON'T GO ON A MONDAY! We went there for lunch on a Monday and the inside gallery and coffee bar are closed. Mind you can still wander the grounds and see the beautiful stuff dotted around here and there.
    If we had known the cafe was closed on a Monday we would have bought a picnic because there were very few people there, more or less just us, and there are many shady trees and delightful places to settle down and enjoy the peace.
    It would be possible to get there by public transport, train and then bus, but it would be an epic of human endurance, so best to go when you have the use of a car.
    A really lovely place.
    Entrance to the inside gallery is by donation.

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Sights and tastes of the Yarra Valley

    by xuessium Written Feb 2, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It may take a few dots to connect to get here really....I arrived, courtesy of my colleague...so there!

    Not too far out of Melbourne, say 1 hour by driving, suddenly you run into open space. Not that there is a lack of in the first place but if you are craving open skies, open lands and an open soul, the Yarra Valley might just provide you with a little respite.

    Home to the vineyards of Victoria, there are plenty here along with quaint B&Bs and Homesteads, swanky restaurants, smarmy eateries, orchard farms, dairy farms, cheese delicatessens, balloon rides and a good time....

    Popped by a few spots.

    Yarra Valley Dairy: Lovely cow and goat cheeses. Check out Cheese & Dill, House Cow and Hot Cow.

    Kuranga Native Plants Nursery: Pop by for a little Aussie flora and tuck into some real Aussie Bushtucker food. Tantalise your taste buds with Wild Hibiscus, Macadamia, Native Plums, Native Pepper and much more at the Paperbark Cafe.

    Yarra Glen Craft Market: Experience the sensation of country fair. Weave through stalls selling items you may never find elsewhere and taste homemade jams and lemonades.

    And by the end of it...if you are all heated up, there is always the Yarra River to take a cool dip in!

    YarraValley PaperbarkCafe
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Food and Dining
    • Wine Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Go Way Off: French Island

    by xuessium Updated Oct 20, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Isle de Francaise....so named because early French explorers claimed the island for Napolean. Of course, the British would have none of that and very soon expelled the French but the name stuck. So don't expect chi chi French cafes and swanky boulevards here....though those wishing for a little French dust, Kylie (as in Minogue) may grant you glimpses of "Bleuciel" (Blue Sky), her private estate on the island....but currently up for sale.

    The wind-swept island has only a permanent population of 80. Compared to touristy and noisy Philip Island just across the waters, it is as day and night. Two-thirds of the island is National Park, and is home to an ecosphere of Australian flora and fauna. There are plenty of wild koalas on the island...so productive they are, that some of the population have to be removed to maintain the island's fragile ecosystem.

    Did a half-day tour with the effervescent Rod Johnston of French Island Eco Tours (there are 2 other tours available on the island) for A$40, including an organic lunch at the organic farm currently running out of the previous McLeod Prison. (He has a dog, Eddie, just as effervescent). He has plenty of tales and history of the island to amuse you with. The half-day tour includes a drive around the main island sights, among the rugged beauty are defunct Chicory Kilns (when growing chicory was a big industry decades ago), Perserverance Primary School (population of 4 students) with a drop over at the now defunct Prison for lunch, provided by the organic farm currently occupying the site.

    There are no tours from the city to French Island. You need to take the Frankston Line train all the way to Stony Point and then hop on the Inter-Island Ferries for the 15 minutes journey across the waters. Tickets are A$10 1 way. You can bring along your own bicycles.

    Rod also manages a Lodge on the island for folks wishing to stay over.

    FrenchIsland Train&Ferry
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Discover more than gold in Ballarat's eerie past

    by FoxPearl Written Oct 6, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Eerie Tours Ballarat (1 hr 15mins northwest of Melbourne) is an excellent alternative experience to have if you don't want to follow the tourist crowds to Sovereign Hill. With stories covering many eras in Ballarat's history, the awful tales are another view of the beautiful and world renowned town. With ghost stories and history stories all bases are covered.
    People who enjoy seeing different things to the usual will love this tour, and everyone will be taken in by the guide's flamboyance and passion for his topic. This tour does not employ the use of cheap tricks or tacky cliches... history and strange occurrences are the basis for all stories. It is a pleasure to watch someone with a breadth of knowledge and tour guiding experience ploy his trade!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Now cook up a storm!

    by xuessium Updated Sep 23, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aussie chow is essentially a mish-mash of external influences - Italian, Greek, Asian and in recent years, Northern African. This truly melting pot of culinary influences leave plenty of virgin grounds for one to go and fully explore what is essentially "Aussie" cooking.

    I recently went for a North African cooking class. Well, I was there to replace another colleague who couldn't make it but hey, since it was already paid for by the company, why waste it?

    The class was conducted by the "The Essential Ingredient" Cooking School inside Prahran Market where I have a chance to refresh my memory on Moroccan cooking (having already done a class in Marrakesh)

    4 hours on getting my hands all dirty with squeezed tomatoes, chopped garlic, onions and bellpeppers before eventually sitting down as a class to eat the food.

    As far as I know, there are other cooking classes available though there are other cooking schools as well for you to choose from.

    CookingClasses
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Women's Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • Eggboy's Profile Photo

    Badger Weir Picnic area

    by Eggboy Written Sep 5, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of my personal faves. Around 2-3km onwards from Healsville Sanctuary, along Badger Weir Rd (Route C505) is hte Badger Weir Picnic area. They have set up picnic tables and free gas barbecues for cooking your favourite local meats. There are many wild birds, (Chrimson Rosellas, King Parrots, Kookaburra) which tourists feed with seed despite the warning signs discouraging this practice. You can take awalk up to the weir which is not that spectular but the walk is the real pleasure. You can take the easy way along the "channel" with a nice easy path or you can take the forest walk (which I prefer) thorugh magnificent temperate rain forest. Very Special.
    The egglets and I were fortunate to see the very rare lyrebird up here in the wild last year. Believe me, they are extremely hard to see even in captivity at the nearby Healesville Sanctuary.
    Make sure if you plan to go to Healesville, do not miss a trip to Badger Wier.

    Egglets, Creek at Badger Weir Kookaburra, Badger Weir

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Free Exhibitions @ The State Library

    by xuessium Written Aug 3, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wanna catch an exhibition but not willing to split a buck? Fret not. The State Library does hold exhibitions from time to time and most importantly, for purse strings conscious folks, they are free!

    The building itself is an architectural marvel, built in 1856 and designed by celebrated colonial architect Joseph Reed. The much-loved domed reading room, built later in 1913, is the dominant feature. Natural light actually pierces the dome after a renovation in 1990 and now floods the reading room. Seen in an askewed way, it kinda reminded me of a starship!

    Do note that this is a Library afterall....so this is not a place for you to be ooo-ing and ahh-ing your way through.

    Entry into the Library is free but you are not allowed to bring bags in. You'll have to deposit your bags into lockers and depending on the size of the lockers, cost you from A$1 - A$3 per 6 hours.

    Hmmm....leave your bags in the hotel room then?

    StateLibraryDomeReadingRoom
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Study Abroad
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Melbourne Open House..if it returns....

    by xuessium Written Jul 20, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a most intriguing activity...possibly a great way to draw the crowds out on a cold miserable wintery day to see a side of Melbourne most folks will never do.

    For 1 day, free of charge, a number of Melbourne's buildings open up sections that the public would never get to see on a given normal day. You'll get to wonder through these buildings, realise and experience a side of the city you probably never knew existed.

    Take 2008, 8 buildings in the CBD participated in the inaugural Open House Day.
    1) The 6-stars "green" CH2 (Council House 2)
    2) Melbourne Town Hall
    3) Capitol Theatre
    4) Manchester Unity Building
    5) Plaza Ballroom, Regent Theatre
    6) The Chapter House, St. Paul's Cathedral
    7) St.Paul's Cathedral
    8) The Labyrinth, Federation Square

    Certainly hope it would be repeated in 2009 and beyond on a grander scale.

    MelbourneTownHallInterior
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Work Abroad
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Footy!!

    by xuessium Written Jul 13, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The rites of becoming a honarary "Melburnian" is only complete after you have been to your first Footy match.

    For the uninitiated, it is not something kinky.

    The Australian Football League (AFL) governs the game of Australian Rules Football, or as it is commonly known, "Footy", a mutation from Rugby and extremely popular in the state of Victoria. It has a long history that could be traced back to 1857. It is a sport that tugs at the heartstrings of every Melburnian household, men and women; young and old. I have never seen women spoke so passionately and fiercely about sport in my entire life! It's almost like life and death.

    This is a sport that occupies the Autumn and Winter calendars of Victoria. Families deck out in their team colours, chant and rally to support their teams in stadiums around Melbourne (as well as in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as there are inter-state teams) - all 16 of them in the League, during the weekends.

    And going to a match is always something special - lots of sights and sounds - as expressions and human emotions explode around you abundantly, always vibrant but never hostile. This is a family game, mind you.

    There are 4 quarters to a game and it's a fight to the finish. Teams try to send as many balls through the posts (6 points through the middle, and 1 point through the sides ones) - nothing too complex!

    And the atmosphere on the trains can be electric as train loads of winning team supporters could break out into jubilant songs and cheers, which well, could colour your memories of Melbourne a shade sparkling!

    FootyMatch@TheMCG
    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Study Abroad
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sirgaw's Profile Photo

    Old Colonists Association

    by sirgaw Written Jun 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Although not open to the public the Old Colonists Association is a great spot to take in some of the history of Melbourne.

    The Old Colonists Association was founded in part by George Coppin who was a business man, philanthropist, member of parliament, founder of Sorrentoand many other notable institutions can be traced back to Mr Coppin.

    He founded Old Colonists Association as a retirement home for the acting fraternity and the first cottages on the estate are still called "Founders Cottages" and can be viewed from Rushall Crescent, which adjoins the estate. A short walk along Coppin Avenue passes the oldest of the cottages, which date from 1869.

    If you are interested in a guided tour of the estate, contact details below.

    Address:
    20 Rushall Crescent, Fitzroy North 3068
    Close to Queens Parade where there is a tram to/from city

    Main entrance Part of the older cottages that line Coppin Avenue Coppin Avenue
    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mount Buller

    by nesh50 Written Jun 16, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are looking foward to snow in Melbourne, rent a car in Melbourne (see my transportation tips for more details) and head towards Mount Buller. It is aout 4 hours drive from Melbourne city. But it only snows during the month of June/July (Av. temperature:-2 degrees celcius). Up at the village, there are many snow activities like snowboarding, skiing, sliding etc. Do becareful when you are driving at the top of the mountain as the roads are narow and may be slippery when icy.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Melbourne Street Art at its Best

    by deecowling Written Jun 14, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If your into art, the 'Rose St Artists MArket' is fab.

    With all different mediums, textiles, styles and ideas its a great way to catch the 'up & coming' talent in Melbourne.

    Not only can you browse around, there is heaps of gear to buy.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    South Melbourne Market and the Clarendon area

    by xuessium Updated May 6, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not as famous as Victoria Market, The South Melbourne Market, opened in 1867 is still one of Melbourne's most popular markets. It hosts a huge range of stalls including food, clothing, footwear, giftwear and produces.

    Being less touristy, it goes by the moniker "The Local Economy", and Melbournians can go about their daily purchase without brushing shoulders with the "you"s and "me"s.

    The surrounding Clarendon area is also home to much of Melbourne's alternative lifestyle culture. Incidentally, though not necessarily coincidental, it is also home to a number of cafes, restaurants and lifestyle shops.

    The South Melbourne Market is located at the intersection of Cecil and Coventry Streets in South Melbourne.

    Normal Opening Times:
    Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday: 8.00am - 4.00pm
    Friday: 8.00am - 6.00pm
    CLOSED: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday & some Public Holidays.

    To get to the Market:
    * The City - catch the St Kilda light rail No 96 from Bourke Street, and get off at the South Melbourne Market stop. Ask your friendly light rail conductor if you are unsure.
    * The City - catch the No 112 from Collins Street which take you along Clarendon Sreet, and get off on the corner of York St.
    * The City - catch the No 109 from Collins Street which takes you to the corner of Clarendon Sreet and Normanby Road. Then transfer onto the No 96 or walk up Clarendon Sreet.
    * St Kilda- catch the Fitzoy Street / St Kilda Beach tram No 12 from the corner of Park Street and Fitzroy Street St Kilda, which travels along Clarendon Street, and stops at York Street on the corner of Dorcas Street.

    Side notes: If you are a lover of eggs and coffee, check out Cafe Sweethearts (which served great eggs!) and St.Ali Cafe (tucked incognito along Yarra Place).

    SouthMelbourneMarket CafeSweethearts St.AliCafe
    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Beaches along the Peninsula

    by xuessium Updated May 2, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Melbourne is home to long stretches of beaches, just an hour by trains from the city. They don't attract many tourists since they tend to be local beaches (and guidebooks tend to leave them out) but hey, if you are just dying to be roasted alive in front of the locals, well, slap on some sunblock, grab your trunks/costumes (and in the cases of some South Asian tourists, just their daks) and go spend some money on a train ticket!

    The 2 train lines you should be considering will be the Sandringham and the Frankston Lines.

    The Sandringham Line is home to Brighton Beach. Have you seen the 08 cover of the Lonely Planet Victoria? On it, it's a picture of an Australian flag painted onto a beach shack. Well, these (A$100000 and rising) shacks are on Brighton Beach.

    Beaches littered the last few stations of the Frankston Line. So take your pick and pray for good sunny weather!

    BrightonBeach FrankstonBeach
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    The Immigration Museum

    by xuessium Updated May 2, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Come and discover the immigration history of Australia right down to settlement by the Europeans.

    Located in the stately Old Customs House, the museum re-creates the real-life stories of coming to Australia with a rich mix of moving images, personal and community voices, memories and memorabilia.

    As Australia grasps with its identity, walk steps backwards towards how Australia becomes what it is today: British settlements, Gold-rush triggered population explosions, "The White Australia Policy", The waves of Romanised and Grecianised immigration and finally, the arrival of the Asians.

    There is a gallery, created to replicate the bunks in the ships that carried immigrants to their new homes, and relive their dread, sadness, misery and hope.

    Read about personal experiences. I almost cracked into laughter reading about the story of an Italian wife, worried that there would be no condoms in Australia and had a suitcase of them. Read about racist treachery as you try "The Diction Test", used to deter no English speakers from entering "White Australia" of the 40s and 50s. Read about aboriginal sadness at the loss of their land. I remember the passage (in gist) that goes ..."As Australia celebrates its bi-centennial, the Aboriginal groups mourned".....

    Opening hours and admission prices
    Open daily 10am - 5pm
    Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.

    Adults $6, Concessions and Children free entry.
    Additional charges may apply for temporary exhibitions.

    TheImmigrationMuseum
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Melbourne

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

92 travelers online now

Comments

Melbourne Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Melbourne off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Melbourne sightseeing.

View all Melbourne hotels