Respite in Carlton Gardens, Melbourne
Art Series: The Larwill Studio
A little out of the action in the city but made up for by its spacious rooms, bright common areas and thoughtful service. Easily accessible by public transport. Parkview rooms are bathed in natural light and accented with quirky elements. The Workspace Twin fits 2 couples comfortably. Rooms are tastefully equipped with modern amenities and bright colors inspired from the palette of David Larwill. Prices start at AUD$178. Read our review here.
1 – 24 Hours
Peel yourself off your comfortable double bed and greet your first morning in Melbourne with the idea of a hearty breakfast – that should get you going for a while.
A short tram ride away is Operator25, located in a repurposed heritage-listed telephone building. Step in for a taste of Melbs brekkie and specialty coffee at one of its best. Unwind in its industrial chic interior, high ceilings and indulgent natural light. Go for the BBQ Pork Benedict and Matcha Almond Hotcakes.
Operator 25, Melbourne
Pop into the State Library of Victoria and admire one of the most beautiful reading rooms. The La Trobe Reading Room is home to over 32,000 early books and literature housed under its iconic glass dome roof. The viewing platform on level 6 is accessible daily until 5pm.
Venture out of the Free Tram Zone and into Southbank to visit the National Gallery of Victoria. Don’t miss the ongoing art installations and exhibitions when you are there. Bask under the tinted glass ceiling of The Great Hall or unwind in the everchanging landscape of Grollo Equiset Garden on a fine day.
A nice, easy walk back to Flinders Street Railway Station takes you pass the Arts Centre Melbourne, ACMI, Federation Square, where you can stop to enjoy one of their many free music and cultural performaces outdoors.
Late Afternoon ~ Evening
Lose yourself in the malls of Melbourne. Shops do close a lot earlier than they should. Be sure to round up your shopping by 6:30pm. For a taste of Australian labels, pop into Emporium, QV, Myers and David Jones.
End the night easy with a cosy dinner at Smith + Singleton back The Larwill. Indulge in a quiet session of conversations in its semi-open kitchen concept relaxed cafe and restaurant. Room service is also available should you wish to dine in the comforts of your room.
Overlooking the Loch Ard Gorge in Salt Water Luxe, Great Ocean Road
25 – 48 Hours
Start the day early with your very own coastal adventure along the beautiful Great Ocean Road. You can easily rent a car to explore this route at your own pace or simply book a bus tour to make the experience comfortable and seamless. Early morning pick-ups usually start from 6am and the entire tour requires about 10-12 hours.
Experience the famous Great Ocean Road, an Australian National Heritage along its breathtaking coastline. Explore neighbouring surf towns and villages, wild rainforests and its native wildlife. Included in the tour are visits to the towering 12 Apostles, Memorial Arch, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge.
Breaking waters in Sass and Bide, Great Ocean Road
Our Choice: Melbourne Australia Tours
One of the most affordable options available. Modern fleet of buses with ample leg space and comfortable seats. A family-owned business equipped with professional and seasoned tour drivers. Our experience was perfected by our brilliant tour guide and driver, Neil who offered us informative and thoughtful service throughout the journey. Though reviews are mixed, we highly recommended they as a back up or last minute option.
Chuckle Park & Bar, Melbourne
48 – 72 Hours
Start your day early at Auction Rooms. Housed in the old WB Ellis auction house, enjoy a hearty all-day brunch menu in this rustic chic cafe. Breakfast starts at 7am and the crowd tends to gather right after 10am but its well worth the wait. A top contender of Top Paddock. Let the waitress know that you are waiting for a table once you arrive to get in line.
Auction Rooms, Melbourne
Pop into Guild of Objects to explore their shelves of quirky curios while you are in the area.
Afternoon ~ Late Afternoon
Don’t forget to make a trip to the colorful bathing houses of Brighton Beach in St. Kilda. Stop by SUPERRANDOM, a hidden neighbourhood gem for a takeaway Nobu cuppa and Jaffle or dine-in at The Deck. We heard their coffee is amazing – but then again, everywhere in Melbs serve up an amazing cuppa.
Alternatively, stay in the city and explore the quirky Bourke Street Mall, lined with many cafes and boutiques shops for your choosing.
Settle into our favourite lane-way find, Chuckle Park and Bar. Super casual and hippy, serving their menu out from their caravan. They serve mighty awesome sandwiches put together deliciously that are great for a quick bite while resting your feet. Open daily from noon till late.
Enjoy a movie at Rooftop Cinema @ Curtin House, one of the few of its kind in Melbourne. Check the schedule to know what’s showing. Enjoy a drink or two from the bar or chomp down a juicy burger at The Burger Shack. They screen a diverse range of films, ranging from comedies to thrillers and dramas. Open from December to April yearly.
Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens
72 – 96 Hours
Get off the bed early on your last morning in Melbourne and make you way into Hardware Lane. We would strongly insist that you try your luck at The Hardware Societe as early as your flesh allows. Breakfast starts at 7:30am on weekdays and 8am on weekends. They are the most popular kid on the block and heard to serve amazing baked eggs that are Spanish-inspired and French-executed.
Pork Benedict & Pulled Beef Burger, Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters
If the queue bums you out, head over to Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters instead for a comparable and uncompromising Aussie breakfast and lunch menu. Don’t miss their Mork hot chocolate served with a mountain of milk-flavoured fairy floss.
Spend the afternoon at the Carlton Garden, a Victorian-era park and the Royal Exhibition Building. Listed as a World Heritage Site, enjoy beautifully landscaped park on a warm autumn afternoon over a picnic or a nap. Do note that the Royal Exhibition Building is not open for general viewing but there are daily guided tours at a fee to help you access and explore the interior of this magnificent museum.
Late-Afternoon ~ Evening
Just off Carlton Garden is the characteristic neighbourhood of Fitzroy. Work your way from Gertrude Street onto Smith Street. Treat yourself to the quirky selection of boutique coffee houses, fashion outlets, restaurants and more along this popular shopping street. Don’t miss Third Drawer Down, Sonido, The Standard Store and Modern Times. Also, dinner reservations at Cutler & Co. is highly raved.
Grub Food Van, Fitzroy
Hidden away in Fishers Lane just off Fitzroy Street is Grub Food Van. Spend the last light of your evening at the curious makeshift space for a quick pick-me-up. They offer a good menu of hot cuppa and casual food served from their 1965 Airstream van parked in the yard of the owner’s house. It’s very communal with eclectic outdoor seating accompanied with many unexpected corners and curios.