Where to go whale watching near Melbourne
Is there anything more majestic than watching a whale breach or seeing a huge tail disappear beneath the waves? Whales are fascinating creatures that are made all the more intriguing by the effort involved in observing them. Nothing really compares to seeing a whale in the wild, and in Australia we’re lucky to have around 60 per cent of the global whale population living in our waters. For Victorians, the prime whale watching season is roughly from May to October each year. While whales can be seen all along the state’s coast, you can improve your chances of getting a slice of the cetacean spectacular by visiting these locations.
Lavender fields in and around Melbourne
We all spend far too much time searching for the perfect Instagram shot, but these gorgeous lavender gardens are so good you’d be hard-pressed to take a bad photo. Best of all, they all come with their own cafés so you can enjoy lunch once you’ve finished frolicking amongst the flowers. Continue to explore the best of Melbourne's backyard with these 10 other-worldly locations or these mysterious destinations you need to see to believe.
The 21 things you only learn in Melbourne the hard way
Make no mistake, living in Melbourne is the bee’s knees. But everyone – even the people who have lived here all their lives – has had to face some shocking realisations about this fine city. Some might make you mad and some might make you sad, but rest assured every single one of us has been there too. We have all learned... 1. That you can’t buy a tram ticket on a tram, nor a bus ticket on a bus. 2. That the airport is further away than you remember. 3. That trains inexplicably skip the City Loop, leaving you unexpectedly stranded at Flinders Street Station right before you’re meant to start work or meet a friend. 4. That hook turns are never easy, and we've all had to face the wrath of other cars and then sworn to never drive in the CBD again (only to accidentally make a wrong turn immediately after and have to try to turn all over again – ugh). 5. That trams take waaaay longer than you think they will (especially on Sydney Road and Victoria Street). 6. That it’s always better to take the stairs at Curtin House or up to Madame Brussels because the lift will take forever and you just need a drink stat. 7. That you can’t just rock up at Chin Chin on a Friday night at 7pm and expect there to be a table free. 8. That you should never, ever, trust your phone’s weather app and always bring an umbrella/jumper/sunhat/bucket of sunscreen just in case you end up at Arbory. 9. That getting a taxi from the airport is a huge ripoff. 10. That you should actually book
The best free things to do in Melbourne
We’re aware of the stereotype that living in Melbourne ain’t cheap. But guess what? Not everything in Melbourne costs a bunch of money. From art shows to coffee tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free. Yep, free. Zilch. Nada. Zero dollars. We’ve found the best comedy show, free art galleries and activities, so you can have a super fun time in Melbourne without spending a cent. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Melbourne right now.
The best of Melbourne
Upcoming events in Melbourne
Dating in Melbourne
Outdoor activities in Melbourne
You might also like...
The 2018 Melbourne International Arts Festival is coming
Melbourne is known for its dynamic arts and culture scene year-round, but from October 3-21 it goes into overdrive when the Melbourne International Arts Festival takes over some of the city's most important public spaces, cultural institutions, galleries and theatres. If you're looking for a fiery public spectacle, French artists Compagnie Carabosse will be taking over the Royal Botanic Gardens with Fire Gardens, a series of huge, flaming installations that will light up the gardens for three nights only. The Royal Botanic Gardens will also play home to Lexicon, a new work (and the only Australian performance) by immersive circus arts troupe NoFit State. To follow on from last year's House of Mirrors, the trippy 1000 Doors will take over Arts Centre Melbourne's forecourt. It's a maze of doors, some locked, some open, some leading to corridors and rooms, and some leading to cupboards and dead ends. Visitors will be able to walk through the installation, opening whatever doors they fancy and discovering new and interesting pathways through the maze. Melburnian music lovers will want to nab tickets to 16 Lovers Lane, a one-night-only supergroup performance of the classic album with the original members of the Go-Betweens, Paul and Dan Kelly, Romy Vager, Laura Jean and Jen Cloher. Contemporary dance will also take centre stage with the Australian premiere of modern ballet A Quiet Evening of Dance, and a large-scale production of operatic dance piece Layla and Majnun. Check
Amex Eats: Dim sum to try in Melbourne
Melbourne is home to excellent Chinese restaurants that serve up dim sum with serious style. Whether you're after an elegant banquet, a hangover-soothing repast or some steaming hot dumplings, these restaurants have some seriously great dim sum dishes. At all these venues, you’ll be able to dine in confidence with the knowledge that they welcome American Express.
Fringe Hub: Festival Club
The beating heart of the Melbourne Fringe Festival is its raucous club, where art-loving audiences dance and drink at themed parties presented by different performers every night. The Melbourne Fringe Festival Club kicks off with the Opening Night Party on Thursday, September 13, complete with an opening ceremony lead by DJ Andrew McClelland of Finishing School fame and the Sydney duo the Dollar Bin Darlings. Other highlights of the program include All that Glitters is Blak, Fringe's very own First Nations dance extravaganza, as well as Queen of the Night a celebratory tribute to Whitney Houston. If you're after more nostalgia make sure you head along to the Year 10 Formal night, or 1992-1-OMG!, a super fun '90s themed pop party. If you're not into dancing, head in for the Test Drive comedy night hosted by Nath Valvo, the theatrical Circus Battle Royale, or sign up for All Gender and Sexuality Speed Dating. And that's far from it. For the full list of parties, head to the Festival Club website. It's open every Tuesday to Saturday night and it's totally free! It's not uncommon for queues to snake out of Arts House, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Find out more about the Melbourne Fringe's Festival Club here.
A celebration of retro gaming has landed at QV Melbourne
Do you long for the days of classic arcade games? QV Melbourne has heard your pleas and they’re hosting a free, three-week retro gaming festival called Game/On. From August 31 to September 23 QV Square and its surrounding laneways will be transformed into a gamer’s paradise complete with retro '80s fitout, a live game art mural, competitions and a selection of old-school arcade games. Here’s what to expect from the free Game/On festival at QV Melbourne.