Melbourne has so much more to offer than meets the eye. The trick is to go off the beaten path, and you will discover numerous hidden gems. It would take you years to learn all of them as the city reinvents itself regularly. Melbourne’s gems are stunning from grand interiors, underground bars, colorful laneways, and rooftop cafes.
Love stumbling on street art? Then Hosier Lane would be a lovely place for you to discover. It’s a narrow lane with messy but dazzling graffiti and murals plastered over every wall. Good thing, the art is constantly changing, and it’s not unusual to spot an artist making a new drawing. Right ahead, there is Rutledge lane, which is equally colorful, including garbage bins with graffiti drawings.
As you go on one of the Yarra river cruises, visit 10 Russel Place. It’s accessed through a dark valley and hosts Melbourne’s first gin bar. Yes, as creepy as it may be, it’s one of the rare places you can enjoy a stellar gin martini in the midst of velvet drapes and exquisite lounges. Gin fanatics have over 200 gins to choose from, including Four Pillars that originate from Yarra valley. Every June, the world celebrates World Gin Day, and the staff at Gin Palace hold classes during the day, ending with unique cocktails in the evening.
Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural walk
Along the Yarra river, as the city comes alive, you may miss the stunning works of art hidden in plain sight. These artworks illustrate the history of the Aboriginals of the Birrarung Marr and those of the Kulin Nation. Every day at 1 pm a guide from Koorie Heritage Trust in Federation Square for the BirrarungWilliam, also known as common ground, takes visitors on a guided tour. They give the history of Melbourne, which is significant in the works of art of the Aboriginal people. You will leave there having a deeper appreciation of the city’s history and its people.
Koorie Heritage Trust
Located at 38 Easy St, Collingwood, in Melbourne’s classic eatery. If you have wished to eat Australia’s comfort food while seated in a train carriage decommissioned ages ago, placed on a rooftop, then this is the place to be. At Easey’s, you will be served with fish, chips, and burgers while listening to classic and new hip-hop beats from an in-house DJ. There is also a gallery full of street art. The Collingwood space is a trendsetter on this end of Melbourne.
Coop’s Shot Tower
Get to the corner of LaTrobe and Swanston Streets, go to Melbourne central, then stand under the large glass cone. What do you see? A historic shot tower was built in 1888 and still stands in the same spot to date. It’s listed as a heritage building and makes a magnificent contrast with the new architecture. You can visit the museum on the second floor to learn more about its history.
There was a rumor age ago that a queer creature was spotted swimming in Yarra River. This island is named after it. It’s located on the Southbank on the Evans Walker Bridge. Enjoy the Yarra river cruises, sip on micro brewed beer and watch the glowing Melbourne skyline. The Ponyfish Island is hardly noticeable as it is underneath a pedestrian bridge on Yarra River, and you may only realize it when you are practically standing on it.
Though the markets at Queen Street are open all year round, something extra happens over the summer and winter seasons. Every Wednesday, the market on this avenue is available, letting you have a delicacy of street food and wander into retail stalls. Then the same happens on Wednesday night from June to August. There are open fires, warm drinks, and live music arts.
After enjoying the Yarra river cruises, go for casual drinks in an alleyway bar on 322 Little Collins Street. It’s easy to walk past Chuckle Park unless you know it exists. This is one of the hidden gems in Melbourne where they serve pulled pork rolls with cocktails of sangria. All this happens in a décor featuring numerous plants and hanging lanterns.
This is a cozy coffee and drinks venue with decoration depicting the style of an American Italian bar in the 1930’s. It’s so snug that only ten people can fit inside at a time. The drinks are worth going for topped up with a cocktail that changes every week. Bar Americano is marked by a blue Tabacchi sign-on Presgrave place.
Discover the hidden gems in Melbourne which include Hosier Lane, Chuckle Park, Gin Place, Night markets on Queen Street and the floating Ponyfish Island. They are tucked away on streets that you can only know exist through a keen eye.