Australia is such a vast and varied territory that it’s hard to encapsulate its kaleidoscopic culture in one sentence – it stretches from the mystic slopes of Uluru to the space age curves of Sydney Opera House and from Crocodile Dundee’s battered cork hat to the eclectic eyewear of Dame Edna Everage.
But how exactly does Melbourne emerge from this mesmerizing milieu? The state capital of Victoria often lays claim to being Australia’s cultural capital – and although it hasn’t cemented itself established itself as the main honeypot for tourists and travelers, there are plenty of reasons it’s a sweet spot to spend some time during a radical sabbatical or whistle-stop tour.
With that in mind, here are five reasons Melbourne is marvelous.
It’s the home of Neighbours
If you’re of a certain vintage, you’ll fondly remember recurring Aussie drama Neighbours – it’s still running to this day, but in its late 80s and early 90s heydays, the fictional suburb of Erinsborough fuelled many a misty-eyed daydream for TV fans from colder climes.
If you want to rekindle memories of Scott, Charlene, and Bouncer the dog, you’ll relive soap history on an official Neighbours tour in Melbourne.
It’s got great craft beer bars
Traveling can be thirsty work, and if you’re in Melbourne during the summer there’s every chance you’ll work up a bit of a sweat simply going about your everyday business.
But the good news is that the city boasts plenty of cracking craft beer bars where you can slake your thirst. There are plenty to choose from, but with 17 draft beers on tap and 350 to take home, Penny Young is a pretty good pick – find out more at pennyyoung.com.au.
It boasts brilliant restaurants
Foodies amongst you will be glad to know that there are lots of excellent culinary emporiums in Melbourne – and you’ll find everything from authentic antipodean dishes to Asian fusion food.
It’s tough to pick a favorite, but for starters why not try the roti with Vegemite curry at Sunda? Once bitten, forever smitten!
It has terrific theatres
If you’re a culture vulture, Melbourne has more theatres than you can shake a stick at – you can smell the greasepaint and hear the roar of the crowd as top performers tread the boards at vibrant venues like Arts Centre Melbourne, Speakeasy HQ, Meatmarket and more.
For tips on 2020’s best shows, check out the events calendar at whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au.
It has an award-winning airport
When you need to pop out of town for the weekend, a well-connected air hub is a must.
And as well as serving a host of domestic and international destinations, Melbourne airport has just won three Australian Airports Association (AAA) awards for security screening, airfield pavement repair and using advanced data modeling for managing passenger and vehicle movements. Throw in secure airport parking from the likes of Looking4.com and great shops and restaurants and you can see why Melbourne is rated by high flyers from around the world.
So ends our list, but please share your own Melbourne travel tips in the comments section.