01. Get your arts fix

Laneway bars and street art are the con­joined twins of Mel­bourne’s un­der­ground cul­tural life. Their in­sep­a­ra­ble na­ture is show­cased in the likes of Hosier Lane, where aerosol artists can of­ten be seen work­ing in broad day­light on the ex­te­rior walls of ac­claimed ta­pas bar MoVida ( and its sib­ling bodega, Bar Tini (bar­ The truly bo­hemian go for a gan­der to AC/DC Lane, where the band’s first lead singer, Bon Scott, is re­born as a 3D sculp­ture emerg­ing from the wall of the rau­cous rock ’n’ roll Cherry Bar (cher­ry­

02. Be a cul­ture vul­ture

Mel­bourne’s thriv­ing arts scene is no stranger to the block­buster, be it head­line ex­hi­bi­tions at the Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria ( or master­pieces at Heide Mu­seum of Modern Art ( and the best names on the com­edy cir­cuit at The Comic’s Lounge (the­comic­ The city’s artis­tic de­sire is also sat­is­fied by the quirky and unique, from the ad­ven­tur­ous modern-art col­lec­tion of the Lyon House­mu­seum (ly­on­house mu­, viewed in the own­ers’ re­mark­able modern Kew res­i­dence, to the clever cabaret at South Mel­bourne’s kitsch-to-the-max But­ter­fly Club (the­but­ter­fly­

03. Shop then drop

If Mel­bourne is our fash­ion cap­i­tal, the glit­ter­ing Em­po­rium (em­po­ri­um­mel­ is its Par­lia­ment House, bring­ing to­gether a host of big names in in­ter­na­tional and Aus­tralian de­sign. For cloth­ing with a more vin­tage bent, there’s no beat­ing Chapel Street’s Wind­sor end, where cow­boy boots and retro dresses are de rigueur. But to re­ally sink your re­tail teeth into the city’s in­de­pen­dent la­bels such as the whim­si­cal prints and quirky colours of Obus ( or the boho-chic of Me­gan Park (megan­, take your credit card di­rectly to Fitzroy’s Gertrude Street.

04. Put your game face on

Walk­ing the Tan Track around the Royal Botanic Gar­dens ( is more than an ob­ses­sion here – it’s a pa­tri­otic duty. Af­ter com­plet­ing the 3.8kilo­me­tre cir­cuit, let your feet take you across the river to the nearby Mel­bourne Cricket Ground and the Na­tional Sports Mu­seum (, where you can test your bowl­ing skills against a holo­gram of Warnie and see Brad­man’s baggy green. And to clock one up for only-in-Mel­bourne pride, try a game of Trugo ( au), the mal­let-and-rub­ber-ring sport in­vented by New­port rail­way work­ers in the 1920s.


The city’s most sto­ried bay­side ’burb, which has played host to artists and ad­ven­tur­ers, mu­si­cians and muses, re­mains one of the most colour­ful ar­eas. Take a walk along the his­toric pier, say hello to the pen­guin colony that wad­dles ashore at sun­set near the break­wa­ter (stk­il­dapen­ and pop into the re­vamped Ho­tel Es­planade (hote­le­s­ for live mu­sic in one of three band rooms. Get a grip on the ’hood that Nick Cave, Sid­ney Nolan and Mirka Mora have called home by book­ing a ta­ble at Café Di Sta­sio (dis­ta­, where cham­pagne cork marks on the ceil­ing bear wit­ness to 30 years of fun over­seen by ebul­lient owner Ron­nie Di Sta­sio. If it’s fes­tiv­i­ties of a more low-key kind you’re af­ter, grab a game of bare­foot bowls and a beer at the St Kilda Sports Club (stk­il­das­

Take a break from St Kilda’s bus­tle with a stroll along the board­walk

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