MELBOURNE, Victoria, is a city brimming with diverse culture and community, a destination where tourists can anchor themselves into the beating heart of this vast continent.
It is famed for being home to the nation’s largest sporting events, its fizzing nightlife, eclectic neighbourhoods, and for being the Australian hub for creativity – many internationally acclaimed brands have originated here, including Aesop and Zimmerman.
We discover the Immigration Museum and are glued to the cinematic footage of the first arrivals of immigrants from across Europe, Asia and Lebanon who, to this day, continue to maintain their identities within pockets of neighbourhoods spread across the city and spilling out into the suburbs.
In the trendy Fitzroy district, we join the queue at Lune to sample Melbourne’s rich coffee culture and to indulge in one of their world-renowned croissants.
Melbourne at night
We’re staying at the recently opened voco Melbourne Central, a dimly lit hotel with all the mod cons, located in the CBD, or Central Business District (you will find these CBDs in numerous Australian cities). The hotel is perfectly located and is nestled between skyscrapers, best viewed when taking a night swim in the heated outdoor lap pool illuminated by the city lights.
Big Esso by Mabu Mabu at Fed Square 5
We are in walking distance of Flinders Street Station, the city’s most iconic historical landmark, as well as the Koorie Heritage Trust on Federation Square, which promotes and celebrates Aboriginal people, and is home to the only public collection in the state dedicated to Koorie art and culture. Big Esso, the famed Aboriginal restaurant by author and chef, the Torres Strait Islander Nornie Bero, is just across the street.
Koorie Heritage Trust
Melbourne may not have the best climate on the Australian continent but it is definitely the most culturally diverse city, with its eclectic range of gastronomic destinations, including the ultimate in fine dining, the award-winning Farmer’s Daughter.
Added to this are the myriad of museums, galleries and street art displays that bring colour and vibrancy to the historic Melbourne lanes we dawdle through.
by Amanda Bernstein