The Economist magazine recently voted Melbourne, Australia the world’s most liveable city 2017 for the seventh year in a row. The survey takes into consideration 30 factors related to safety, health care, education, infrastructure and the environment. Melbourne celebrates diversity in its culinary experience, fashion statements and exciting array of weekend activities.
Melburnians are active, outdoorsy people who have a strong connection to nature. It’s no surprise that the city and its surrounds are full of organic eateries, farmers markets, rooftop bars, sustainable festivals, outdoor activities and alfresco dining options. Come explore with us!
Eat & drink
Melbourne is the perfect city for foodies. With fresh local produce so readily available and an abundance of passionate chefs, it’s almost impossible to have a bad meal. Here are some top choices.
380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
As its name suggests, this Melbourne institution serves up strictly vegetarian cuisine including vegan, raw food, gluten-free and lactose-free options. The wide variety of items on its menu incorporates the freshest ingredients and flavours from around the world. The portions are generous and affordable so you’re guaranteed not to leave feeling hungry. Try the Jack “Fish” Tacos, filled with crispy jackfruit fillets, black bean and sweet corn salsa, coriander and wasabi aioli.
52 Madden Grove, Burnley
Serotonin Eatery touts itself as Australia’s first “happiness cafe”. The menu here is specifically designed to improve people’s wellbeing by promoting the release of serotonin, a chemical in your brain that promotes sleep patterns, appetite and happiness! Our pick? “Positive Pancakes”—made with organic banana flour, house-made banana ice cream, mixed berries, toasted almonds and organic agave syrup. Yum!
This innovative restaurant is run by New Zealand born and bred chef, forager, artist and owner, Ben Shewry. From Tuesday through to Saturday Attica offers an Extended Tasting Menu for AUS $275 per person (US $214). It also offers a full vegetarian option on these evenings and caters for dietary requirements with advance notice. Customers rave about Attica and think it’s well worth it.
A diverse menu of locally sourced produce well prepared, presented & articulated.
—Lance F., Tripadvisor
You might be eating kangaroo, wattles and waxflower or hot jam doughnuts with gumbi gumbi—an Australian plant that is thought to have healing properties.
141 Greeves Street, Fitzroy
This boutique cocktail bar showcases locally brewed, fermented and distilled tipples. With all their beers, wines and over 150 spirits produced locally, you can guarantee the carbon footprint of your night on the town is kept to a minimum. Not a big drinker? Even their soda water is from Melbourne. Book a Bad Frankie Master Class and learn how to make your own tipple.
No matter what your needs, Melbourne has you covered for comfort. With so many great parts of town to explore, your only problem will be choosing where to stay.
636 Bourke Street, Melbourne
The centrally located, award-winning Alto Hotel is the first carbon neutral hotel in Australia. All of their electricity is from renewable sources, and rainwater is collected and used for flushing toilets, gardening and cleaning duties. You won’t find any single-use toiletries here; everything is refillable. They even have their own beehives on the hotel roof!
271 Little Lonsdale Street
Looking for something a little different? Try luxury camping on the roof of a Melbourne CBD building! St. Jerome’s Hotel offers 20 world-class canvas tents appointed with fine linens and special touches. Fall asleep under the stars and wake up to a 360-degree view of the city, morning meditation class and complimentary breakfast hampers delivered right to your tent.
People travel from all over Australia to go shopping in Melbourne. The majority of shops can be found along leafy streets rather than in air-conditioned shopping malls.
1013 High Street, Armadale
With their bright colours and bold prints, Gorman is a Melbourne favourite. From its shop fit-out to packaging, Gorman prioritises sustainability in all aspects of its business while maintaining a fabulous aesthetic. Its organic lines use eco-friendly fibres and materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and raw rattan linen.
345 Lygon St, Brunswick East
This creative mecca carries unique sustainable gifts made by local artisans, including cards printed on recycled stock by a solar-powered press, solid shampoo bars rich in plant and nut oils, hand-printed linen dishtowels, and much more. Not only will you be supporting local craftsmanship, but the shop also donates to local charities with each purchase made.
The Melbourne area has so many activities on offer, it’s impossible to get bored. Whether you head down to the coast, up to the mountains, or just stay central, there’s loads to explore in any season.
Melburnians love to cycle, so grab a bike and join the fun! For the adventurous, Victoria’s High Country offers challenging but spectacular alpine bike trails. For a more leisurely pace, get a bike with a basket and take it slow, stopping at local wineries, craft breweries and farm stalls to stock up on gourmet cheeses, fresh berries and organic wines as you go.
These spectacular inner-city gardens are home to over 12,000 different plant species and act as a sanctuary for native wildlife. Take a stroll around the gardens or have a picnic by the Ornamental Lake. Keep an eye out for local seasonal events hosted here, such as the open-air moonlight cinema that runs December to March. Exciting news 2021! The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria have won a bid to host the international Botanic Gardens Congress in 2021.
With all the amazing activities on offer, cafés to try and shops to explore, you’ll definitely be in need of some well-deserved relaxation. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating treatment at one of these eco-minded spas.
69–71 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD
This organic day spa is an urban oasis inspired by the energizing properties of the sun, grounding nature of the earth and calming effect of the water. Endota uses its own line of scientifically developed skincare products formulated with native Australian ingredients. With outlets all over Melbourne, you’re sure to get a booking. You can also pop in to stock up on organic beauty products.
Springs Lane, Mornington Peninsula
The beautiful, multi-award winning Peninsula Hot Springs, located just 90 minutes from Melbourne, is a must. Enjoy reflexology walks, steam rooms, saunas, cold plunge pools and thermal mineral showers at the natural thermal mineral springs and bath house. For a more private experience, the Spa Dreaming Centre offers private pools and an array of soothing treatments, including traditional Aboriginal-inspired Kodo massage. The spa is currently undergoing an expansion phase and should be up and running beautifully in 2018. Service as usual until then but it’s going to be fab!
If you’re lucky enough to be in Melbourne from October 4–22, check out the Melbourne Festival celebration of the arts at different venues all over the city.
Edited By: Adriane Rysz