Magical places in Melbourne
Well, obviously the best way to have a riddikulusly fun Harry Potter experience in Melbourne is to see the incredibly successful stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne. After the play became the highest-selling play on both Broadway and the West End, Melbourne is the third stop on the Hogwarts Express. Safe to say we're pretty damn excited it's here.
Bourke Street’s Imperial Hotel has decided to tip its hat to literature’s most famous wizarding world by transforming its rooftop into Vertic Alley, a spellbinding pop-up bar at the top end of the city. Each of the pub’s rooftop booths has been taken over my six magical “stores”, including owl shop The Owlery, book shop Spring St Spell Books, toy shop Impossible Feats of Trickery, wand shop Bourke St Wands, antique store Wills and Burke and wizarding bank WIZPAC Bank. Guests will also be able to imbibe on house-made “potions” and a series of shared plates that go well with the theme.
Welcome to a shop that would fit right into Diagon Alley. Wunderkammer on Lonsdale Street sells scientific curiosities, artefacts and ephemera. From butterflies in shadow boxes, fossils and emu eggs to sundials, orreries and storm glasses, Wunderkammer stocks it all and then some. If you've seen all that there is to see in Diagon Alley, maybe give this Muggle shop a try?
Kay Craddock has an extensive (and expensive) collection of antiquarian and secondhand books dating back to the 15th century, and it would honestly be a task to make Hermione leave the store (maybe she can borrow the invisibility cloak and just live there?). There is even have a collection of little owl sculptures (thousands of them, we have been told) spread throughout the store!
TRAPT Bar and Escape Room is home to a Harry Potter-inspired escape room called Alchemy. The goal of Alchemy is to find the mythical Philosopher’s Stone, the elixir of life, and Nicholas Flamel’s favourite piece of bling. Punters will be able to practise spells and enchantments and test magical skills inside the room to try to solve the mystery before the time runs out. TRAPT has listed the difficulty level of this room at beginner, so we reckon even Hufflepuffs will be able to beat the clock.
The Store of Requirement is a wizarding shop perfect for anyone who still checks their letterbox for their Hogwarts letter (maybe it just got lost?). The Store of Requirement is stocked with everything a Harry Potter fan could dream of. You can buy wands, cloaks, more Harry Potter books and even tiny versions of Dumbledore and Dobby.
Tap on the brick walls of Driver Lane with the wand that chose you at the Store of Requirement and enter through to Diagon Alley... er.. we mean hidden bar Beneath Driver Lane. This bar is housed in an old bank vault with booths under brick wall arches and candles lit throughout. It's an atmosphere that any Potterhead would thrive in. Leaky Cauldron, anyone?
We think Mámor Chocolates would have been the place of choice for the Malfoys had they been Muggles. Mámor Chocolates provides different high tea experiences among rich velvet furniture and beautiful antique china and silverware. The venue has also been known to put on Harry Potter-themed high tea events with Annie, a tea leaf reader (or Divination professor, you decide!). Check the website for more information.
Visiting Melbourne? Stay at the Wizard’s Suite at the Hotel Windsor. A suite at the hotel is being transformed into a magical place with Harry Potter memorabilia such as wands and artwork. If you're in town to watch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, it only makes sense to stay here considering the Windsor is just minutes away from the Princess Theatre.
Have you ever wanted to run headlong at a wall and suddenly find yourself in a magical place? Head to the back of this nondescript takeaway pizza joint in Myers Place, confidently walk into the curtain at the back, and you'll find yourself in a sophisticated cocktail bar. Not only will you be practising your potions, but you'll get to feel like you have lifted the veil on an entirely new, magical world.
Complete the final task of the Triwizard Tournament and navigate through a hedge maze at Sky High in the Dandenong Ranges (with a guarantee of no weirdness, no Voldemort and a safe return – we promise!)
So you broke your nose after running into a random wall between platforms nine and ten? Don’t worry, Muggle, you can still board a steam train that takes you through a picturesque route to – not Hogwarts, but lovely Gembrook in the Dandenong Ranges. Puffing Billy, the century-old train, takes passengers through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges.