We asked Tony, General Manager of Urban Adventures and long-time resident of Melbourne, to answer a few questions for us. Here, he gives us a local perspective on things to do in Melbourne.
Where would you take your Mum on her birthday for a special local lunch? (When money isn’t an issue and you can spend as much as you’d like, of course!)
There is so much good food in Melbourne, it’s hard to pick, but I’d probably opt for Cutler and Co on Gertrude St in Fitzroy. Simple yet sophisticated food, located in an old metal works factory – can’t get cooler than that.
What is your favourite view of your city?
There is nothing quite like walking over the William Barak Bridge on your way to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with its lights shining for all to see. The atmosphere is one of excitement and usually some good humoured banter. Behind you is the city skyline with the Arts Centre spire, and beside you is the river with Birrarung Marr park and its array of public artwork.
Where would you take someone on a first date?
If you feel like taking a stroll, I’d opt for a meander through Fitzroy from Gertrude St to Johnson St, down Gore St and George St, so you can check out some of the coolest street art pieces in the city, and then stop into one of the old school local pubs in this area like the Napier or the Rainbow. Cruise into Juddy Roller for a coffee and then get to the Standard Hotel on Fitzroy St for some dinner, before the beer garden fills up!
If you’re not feeling quite that energetic, I’d grab a couple of takeaway beers and some fish and chips from the Kensington Fish and Chip shop and pull up a pew at Skinny Park, looking back over the city skyline.
If you make it to a second date and want something to wow the one you’re wooing, our Moonlight Kayak tour is definitely set to impress. Glide through the waters with the beautiful backdrop of the setting sun around you – fun, intimate, a one to tell the grandkids!
What is your favourite pastime in Melbourne?
Melbournians are mad for food, coffee, and sport. The perfect day is a latte from the Auction Rooms in North Melbourne on the way to watch a big Australian Rules football match, followed by some great food in a spot like the Supper Inn in Chinatown.
What is your favourite local snack and where do you get it from?
Bahn Mi from Nhu Lan Bakery in either Richmond (152 Victoria St) or Footscray (116 Hopkins St). If you can’t make it to Vietnam itself, this is the closest you can get in Melbourne!
Where do you go when you go “down the local”?
I’d say that Section 8 is the the quintessential Melbourne experience. A laneway, graffiti, and a bar in a shipping container, this spot pumps out some great local dub step or trip hop, 7 days a week.
If there was one souvenir you’d suggest travellers take home from a trip to Melbourne, what would it be?
If you come during the football season, you just have to go and see a game at the MCG. Australian Football League (AFL) is an indigenous sport, and if you believe that travel is about experiencing something new that you couldn’t do at home, then this is that experience in Melbourne. You might not understand what is going on (we can help you with that…) but the passion of the crowd and athleticism of the players are unmistakable. Your ticket stub for the game would be the perfect souvenir to take home!