You may have seen on social media but Melbourne, Australia was recently ranked the most liveable city in the world for the sixth year in a row. Overseas Melbourne seems to be pretty under the radar, definitely less popular than its rival to the north, Sydney. But to anyone who has spent some time living in Melbourne, it’s obvious that it’s an amazing city to call home. So many different elements combine to make it the world’s most liveable city. While there are less tourist attractions compared to some other places, the unique culture is what makes Melbourne so special. It probably has the best food, drink, and shopping scene I’ve seen in any city. And that means a lot considering I spent some time living in New York! If you really want to experience the city’s culture, the best way to do it is by exploring all the Melbourne laneways that are hidden around the city centre. Venture into the inner suburbs like Fitzroy and Richmond, and you’ll find even more. Keep on reading for some of the most popular Melbourne laneways and my favourites!
It’s officially springtime in Melbourne now! One of my favourite things to do in Spring has always been to get outside and explore as many new spots as possible. Melbourne is an especially awesome city for this because there are so many unique places to see. On a recent trip into the city with my boyfriend, we hit a bunch of different spots around the CBD. One in particular that stood out to me was a place that I had never even known about before! Right behind Federation Square, there is a hidden little garden called Pop-Up Patch.
Pop-Up Patch used to be an old car park, but got renovated into the little garden a few years ago. People can become members of the garden and get a little plot to plant their own fruits, vegetables, or flowers. Pretty cool idea! They have events and gardening workshops pretty often as well. And even if you aren’t a member, the garden is open to the public most of the time, so you can walk through and enjoy it!
The cold Melbourne winter is finally coming to an end! So that means getting out and exploring all the beautiful outdoor things there are to do around the city! Last weekend, I checked something else off my Melbourne bucket list: the Brighton Beach to St Kilda coastal walk. It was sunny and about 18 degrees, so the perfect weather for an afternoon walk along the bay!
If you’re spending some time travelling around Australia, one of the cities you are likely to end up in is Cairns. Cairns is probably the most popular jump-off point along the Queensland coast for accessing the Great Barrier Reef, and there are lots of other nearby places to explore including the rainforest, cute little coastal towns, and beautiful beaches. Compared to other Australian cities I’ve been to, Cairns is really small. There’s a small area with restaurants, shops, and things to see, but the main beauty of the area lies outside the city itself.
Cairns is the northernmost city in Queensland and is located in the tropics. So no matter what time of year you go, it’s going to be warm and humid. Flying into Cairns is especially beautiful, because you can see green cliffs and bright blue ocean, almost how I would imagine Hawaii to look! The population of Cairns isn’t very high, but it has a huge tourism industry, so it will usually feel like most people around you are from somewhere else. In fact, even though Cairns is only the 14th city in Australia by size, it has the 4th biggest tourism industry after Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The city is right on the ocean, but the water there isn’t usually swimmable because of jellyfish and crocodiles. If you head just north of Cairns though, there are some beautiful beaches with areas that are safe to swim in. Something else to be aware of in the city: there are an insane amount of bats. For the most part they won’t bother you, but it can get a little freaky at night when you see thousands of bats flying overhead! There are lots of cool things to see in and around Cairns, so keep on reading for my top recommendations on things to do when you visit!
There are so many amazing experiences to cross off of your Australian bucket list, but the one that has to be the most exciting is the Great Barrier Reef. I have had some awesome experiences around Australia over the past eight months, and so far my favourite has been the day I spent out on the reef! There are lots of places along the Queensland coast where you can get access to the Great Barrier Reef: the Whitsundays, Townsville, and Cairns to name a few, and each place will give you a different experience. I definitely want to travel the east coast and visit more sections of the reef, but decided to start my reef adventures in the most popular jump-off spot, Cairns. There are so many different islands and beautiful sections of reef off Cairns with a huge variety of different excursions for you to go on, including the super popular Fitzroy Island and Green Island. I visited Cairns with my parents and a friend who is also on working holiday visa in Australia. We decided to do a day out on the reef on a boat called the Ocean Spirit. Our tour took us to a part of the reef called Michaelmas Cay where we had an amazing experience!
By far the best way to really experience the culture in Melbourne is to immerse yourself in its food and nightlife scene. I have been living here for almost seven months now, and the list of places I want to eat just keeps getting bigger and bigger…too bad my wallet isn’t! When you think of some of the top foodie cities in the world, Melbourne probably doesn’t come to your mind, but believe it or not, Melbs has more restaurants and cafes per capita than any other city in the world! Yup, more than Paris, more than New York, more than London…pretty impressive huh? And you’ll have no trouble finding good variety since there’s food from more than 70 different countries served somewhere in the city. There are so many different restaurants to tell you all about, so I’ll get right into it. I had a really hard time thinking about my favourite restaurants and a few more that I’m dying to check out, so this just scratches the surface on the Melbourne food scene! This post will be long and will probably make you hungry, so you might want to grab a snack to eat while you read 😉
When you think of places you need to visit around Australia, the first places that come to mind are probably Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, and Uluru. Try to think of some more destinations and you’ll probably think the Whitsundays, Fraser Island, Byron Bay, Adelaide, and maybe Perth. The state that tends to be the most under the radar, and sometimes forgotten, is also one of the most unique and interesting: Tasmania. Before doing some research on the state, the only things you might know about it are that it’s a little island south of the Aussie mainland and it’s most known for the Tasmanian devil. But look into Tassie a little more and you’ll realise just how amazing this little state is! A few months ago, I visited Tasmania with some friends and did a road trip to some of the state’s highlights. It has such a unique vibe compared other parts of Australia that I’ve been to—New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland—and even the big Tasmanian cities have a very different feel to them. I could almost compare Tassie to the north island of New Zealand and Auckland, but possibly even more impressive!
One of the most affordable cities you can visit in Asia and one you should definitely go to while travelling around Southeast Asia is Kuala Lumpur. In February, I took a trip to Singapore, and since KL was so close, I knew I had to take the opportunity to go there too. So early one morning, I caught a bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and spent two days exploring as much of the city as possible. While I would definitely recommend checking out the Malaysian countryside and coast as well, you can’t go to Malaysia without spending at least a couple days in their biggest city. If you hope to visit Kuala Lumpur someday or want to learn more about everything the city offers, keep on reading for my top recommendations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!
If you’ve ever spent much time in Australia, you probably know that there is a huge rivalry between its two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. One of the biggest arguments for people on the Sydney side is that Melbourne doesn’t have a lot to offer tourists. I can’t argue that Sydney definitely has more well-known landmarks, and unless you know much about the city, you might not be able to think of any tourist attractions in Melbourne apart from the beach. That’s ok. Before I lived here, I had no idea how cool and exciting the city can be for both locals and tourists. While Sydney’s appeal is more in the natural beauty and famous sights, Melbourne is a lot more under the radar and has more of a culture than Sydney in my opinion. The best ways to experience Melbourne are through its food and nightlife scene, and just wandering down the laneways and letting yourself get lost. Apart from the amazing restaurants, cafes, and bars (I’ll do separate blog posts on those), here are my top 20 picks to make sure you get the most out of your visit to Melbourne:
If you’ve been following me on social media, you probably know that I am currently living abroad in Melbourne, Australia. About a year and a half ago, I started working for the customer marketing team of the top beauty brand in New York City. It seemed like the absolute dream job, but after just a couple months there, I knew it was a totally wrong fit for me. After graduating from university about six months before that, I was completely lost when it came time to think about my future, and once I was offered the position in New York, it seemed like everything was falling into place. So going back into that state of confusion and uncertainty was the last place I wanted to be. After looking into some other jobs and opportunities abroad, a friend and I started talking about going to Australia. At first, I just thought about coming for a holiday because how could I just up and move to the other side of the world?! The more I thought about it and realised how unhappy I was in New York, the more reasonable going to Australia seemed. So before I knew it, I had been approved for a yearlong working holiday visa and booked a one-way flight to Sydney.