It’s simply not necessary to leave Melbourne if you’re looking for adventurous, experiential date ideas. From cycling tours to rooftop ‘glamping’ to a mock African Serengeti, there’s numerous ways you can have a blast whilst getting to know your date. And if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a fabulous rooftop bar.
Located on the rooftop of Melbourne Central, St. Jerome’s: The Hotel is a quite unbelievable camping experience. Stay in luxury canvas tents and drink and fall asleep under the stars with a panoramic view of the city’s skyline. Each tent has a pillow-top bed, linen, throws and robes — not to mention air conditioning and Samsung tablets! There are cocktails, pizza and Gelato Messina desserts on offer, so you and your date can drink and dine on the lush rooftop lawn as the night fills with a view like no other in Melbourne.
Whilst originally designed with tourists in mind, Freddy’s Bike Tours offer an excellent way to experience Melbourne (and get in some exercise, too). Most importantly, one can customize their tour, so if you’ve got an idea of the kinds of places that you and your date would like to visit, they’ll arrange everything for you. Standard tours on offer include the ‘Shore Excursion’, which roams from Port Melbourne alongside the water, and the evening food tour, which follows the Yarra River and dives into all the amazing eateries in China Town and the historic building-filled Collingwood over a 4.5 hour evening tour. Batman Park
What could be romantic (and fun!) than a moonlit tour of Melbourne by kayak on the Yarra River? Kayak Melbourne’s tours start just before sunset in Victoria Harbour, heading upstream through Melbourne’s downtown, passing the Crown Casino and Southbank (where a fire-ball display occurs during passing), and finally arriving a stone’s throw from Federation Square, which is where you get off. Along the way, the tour stops at a marina to collect fresh fish and chips, so that you can dine on the water, beneath the nights sky. Docklands
Madame Brussels provides a fantastic rooftop view over Melbourne’s skyscrapers — the perfect way to begin or end an adventurous date. It’s also a sight to behold in and of itself, with a mad garden party sort of feel thanks to faux green grass, vintage floral and wicker furniture, and latticework bar. They serve a heap of delicious “fancy foods” (mostly tapas) and “drinkipoos,” as they call them, including cocktails by the jug and chocolate fondue. Get a glimpse of their brand of fun on their Instagram (@madamebrussels69).
Located about 32 kilometers southwest of Melbourne, Werribee Open Range Zoo offers the chance to rest and relax through the night on premises. The ‘Slumber Safari’ provides intimate encounters with the zoo’s animals alongside a ‘glamping’ experience, with luxury tents complete with en-suites and electricity, of course. There’s also a balcony with a beautiful view out over the African savannah and the Werribee River for relaxing on after dinner, and then a night walk and marshmallow roasting by the camp fire. Those looking for something closer to home might try the ‘Roar N Snore’ package at Melbourne Zoo, which — although slightly less glamorous — is still a memorable experience.
Mostly held during the summer, from December through April, Rooftop Cinema is a great way to spend an evening. The curation of films is quite exceptional, with indie and cult films amongst quality new releases (most recently, The Big Short and The Dressmaker were on the menu). Otherwise, it operates as Rooftop Bar, open from 11am to 1am serving both drinks and food (from their Burger Shack). You can also smoke in certain areas. It is open air, which means it has a fantastic view, but it’s also subject to the elements somewhat, so you’ll need to dress wisely. Melbourne