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Explore Melbourne - An Exclusive Guide

A perfect day in... Melbourne, Australia

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Despite being Oz’s second-most populated city, Melbourne is often touted as Australia’s cultural capital, thanks to its heady mix of street art, cool contemporary galleries, striking architecture and vibrant food scene – all just waiting to be explored.

What to see in Melbourne

Start your day by soaking up some of Melbourne’s world-famous street art on Hosier Lane, where you’ll find technicolor works sprayed and stenciled along the alley. Get there early to avoid the crowds, which usually flood the cobbled lane trying to get photos of the irreverent art installations. It’s also worth checking out AC/DC Lane – named in honor of Australia’s most famous band – for the city’s homage to rock ‘n’ roll-themed graffiti.

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After all that arty urban grit, it’s time to immerse yourself in nature. Melbourne’s celebrated Royal Botanic Gardens are spread over 38 hectares and are home to more than 8,500 plant species from Australia and around the world. Spend a sunny afternoon exploring the herb garden and indigenous rainforest, or make like a local and stretch out on the grass with a picnic.

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For a slice of beach life, head to the seaside suburb of St Kilda, famed for its brightly-colored bathing boxes. This is where Melburnians come to feel the sand

between their toes and take part in a spot of sailing or windsurfing. It’s also known as the city’s beachside playground thanks in large part to the historic Luna Park, which has been serving up carnival vibes and thrilling rides for over 110 years.

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What to do in Melbourne

As one of Australia’s main cultural hubs, there’s no shortage of excellent galleries and museums in Melbourne. Top of the list is the National Gallery of Victoria, housed in a brutalist concrete masterpiece. The gallery hosts regular blockbuster exhibitions, shown alongside permanent works by Picasso, Turner and Rembrandt. Make sure you visit the Great Hall to gaze at Leonard French’s incredible stained-glass ceiling.

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In Federation Square you’ll find the Ian Potter Centre, which includes over 20 galleries showcasing a range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous art from the colonial period to the present day. A half-hour drive out of the city center will take you to the Heide Museum of Modern Art, where some of the country’s greatest 20th-century artists worked and played. Spread across three core buildings – Heide I, II and III – the site was originally the home of arts patrons John and Sunday Reed, and Heide II is noted for being one of the city’s finest examples of Modernist architecture.

Exhibitions tend to focus on former residents, such as Sydney Nolan and Joy Hester, and there’s also a beautiful sculpture park where you can stroll among works by Anish Kapoor and Anthony Caro.

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Sports fans can’t miss the chance to visit one of the world’s great sporting venues, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (or the ‘G’, as locals call it). Though it might be the birthplace of Test cricket, the 100,000-capacity stadium is just as famous for hosting AFL (Australian Football League) in the winter. Nab a ticket for a match if you can, or sign up for one of the non-match-day tours to experience the venue’s magic.

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What to eat in Melbourne

Melburnians are serious about their food and wine, and when there’s so much great produce on their doorstep it’s easy to see why. To taste the best of the local bounty head to the Yarra Valley, an hour northeast of the city. As Victoria’s most celebrated wine-growing region, it’s home to award-winning wineries and field-to-table restaurants such as Oakridge, which only uses ingredients from local farms, and Yering Station, the area’s oldest vineyard that also happens to have an excellent contemporary restaurant on site.

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In the city itself, head to the atmospheric art deco Deli Hall in the Queen Victoria Market, where you’ll find stalls selling everything from Australian cheeses and kangaroo biltong to mascarpone-stuffed figs. To sample some of Melbourne’s finest cuisine go to Chapel Street in the smart Windsor neighborhood, where you can take your pick from a selection of cool and contemporary Asian eateries as well as top Middle Eastern, Indian and Greek spots.

 

For more information, go to visitmelbourne.com

This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.

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