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How to Melbourne like a local 

Melbourne is home to Australia’s dynamic arts scene and the birthplace of sports in the form of Aussie rules. 

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a city also renowned for its coffee, culinary delights, and cultural events.

When you’ve ticked the usual suspects off the list (Hosier Lane, coffee on Degraves St and so on), we suggest you embrace the eclectic city like a local. 

And we’re here to show you how to do it!

Sure, be a tourist. But be more than a tourist, too.

Punting, Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are an institution in the heart of Melbourne. And, while you may have already spent an evening strolling the 38ha of manicured gardens, have you considered punting?

View the landscape from a different perspective via a punt ride on Ornamental Lake. Glide along on a guided history tour and view aquatic plants and fascinating bird life up close and personal. It’s like your very own piece of Venice with a Melbourne twist.

Take a punt. It's fun!

Best bathroom views, Sofitel hotel

It’s not every day you can recommend going to gents/ladies and count it as a remarkable experience, but here we are to break the flow. Welcome to your loo with a view on the 35th level at the Sofitel hotel located on Collins St. Seriously, we are not kidding when we say this toilet experience offers some of the most pee-rfect (we couldn’t help ourselves) bird’s-eye views of the city.

On a clear day, you can see all the city’s treasures and as far as the Dandenong Ranges. We’d even go as far as saying it’s one of the best panoramic views you’ll find in the city (yep, we’ve got your back(side) with this recommendation – gosh, we’re on a roll!)

This is not the view from the loo, but you get the idea. 

Melbourne street art augmented tour

Melbourne is iconic for its art splash laneways, but that’s not new news to anyone. What is relatively fresh is Melbourne’s street art augmented tours, and it’s the most innovative way to lock your eyes on the laneways.

To get started, simply download the free app Eyejack and wander to 12 artworks positioned in the block surrounded by Collins, Swanston, Flinders and Elizabeth streets. Watch each art piece come to life thanks to the augmented app. It’s an immersive, entertaining, and unique way to discover the legendary art and laneways.

See street art in a whole new light.

See fruit bats, Yarra Bend Park

Ever seen a colony of 30,000 fruit bats in one place? Well, make your way to Yarra Bend Park and witness the delight! The Australian native fruit bat is quite an elaborate creature with a wingspan of over 90cm. Come and view the bats along the riverbank at sunset as they take to the skies. Or visit during the day to see them in their precarious upside-down position dangling from the trees above. A spectacle!

Hang out with the locals.

View the world’s most beautiful Maccas

Located in a heritage-listed art deco building in Clifton Hill, this Maccas features a stunning red brick exterior, cantilevered balconies, and perfectly rounded exterior edges. And look, should you need more convincing that this is the best place for your next happy meal, it’s only been dubbed ‘the most beautiful McDonald's in the WORLD’. I’m Lovin’ it!

Maccas and beautiful? Yep, they can go together.

Go vintage at Bartronica

Tinnies and pinnies are what’s on offer at Melbourne’s unique arcade bar. That’s right, it’s time to round up your crew and test your Mario Kart or Smash Bros skills and then enjoy a craft beer while you’re there, too. Try out this basement bar with a twist, you won’t be disappointed.

It's an old-school experience at Bartronica.

Try Melbourne’s underrated markets

Sure, you’ve heard of the Queen Vic Markets and don’t get us wrong, we adore a cheeky Wednesday evening there. But for something a little less known, venture to Prahran or Fitzroy markets.

Prahran Market is a food lover’s mecca, and it’s rated as Melbourne’s number one food market. Alternatively, make your way to Fitzroy Market for a real community experience with local artisans, vintage goodies, and pre-loved treasures. A shopper’s delight!

Prahran-tastic. This is a buzzing market. 

Last supper at a Titanic-themed restaurant

Why do any ordinary dinner when you can dine like royalty (hello Leo, or should we say Jack) at Melbourne’s Titanic Theatre restaurant? Operating since 1995 by the water in Williamstown, the restaurant allows you to step aboard for an exciting experience.

There will be a three-course menu and flowing entertainment in interiors that replicate the world’s most famous ship. It’s a night you’ll remember.   

Titanic Theatre restaurant or not, get yourself to Williamstown.

Go on safari at Werribee Zoo

Sure, you’ve been to the zoo, but have you experienced an up close and personal off-road safari escapade?

With exclusive animal viewing opportunities on a guided safari tour, you’ll travel in an open-air vehicle across the zoo plains. Meet rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and more majestic creatures on your voyage. It's a wild time at Werribee Zoo!

Stick your neck out and go on safari.

Check out Wunderkammer

Weird and extraordinary are words to describe this historical museum on Lonsdale St. Housing medical and scientific instruments, its German translation means ‘wonder chamber’, and that’s precisely what’s behind the doors in this fascinating establishment. You must discover it for yourself!

A picture says a thousand words. Maybe. Credit: @wunderkammermelbourne on Instagram.

Melbourne accommodation

Need somewhere to rest your head after you’ve tried all these new places to play? Click below.

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