Day 1: Meet Melbourne (aka. SE Portland)
We flew from Tasmania on December 12th into Melbourne (pronounced ‘mell-ben’), a city we discovered that is similar to Portland. We stayed at an Airbnb apartment in the popular Fitzroy/Collingwood neighborhood that, to us, mirrored SE Portland — hipsters rocking the ‘old is the new cool’ style, funky street art, small local boutiques, vintage chic shops and your unique ice cream shop (Gelato Messina) with strange favors like Robert Brownie Jr (i.e. Portland’s Salt n’ Straw).
We toured the city on foot in one day where we observed the Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens, Carlton Gardens, and some 18th/19th century monuments and churches. The city has hip character and a great foodie culture. On our venture around town we visited the famous Queen Victoria Market where vendors selling everything from fruit and veg to Ugg boots and kangaroo leather belts. We bought some cherries to snack on instead of a cute stuffed animal wombat and enjoyed the leisurely walk through the market.
That night we treated ourselves to some beer (Will enjoyed the taster tray) and dinner at Little Creatures Brewery Dining Hall, a large beer hall pub that reminded us of those in Germany. The brewery is originally from Fremantle near Perth, but we ran out of time to visit when in WA. Our other favorite restaurant was Breakfast Thieves, a small rustic restaurant with a great crab sandwich and amazing espresso. It was the kind of place where you want to order one of each item off the menu!
Day Two: Being Locals
The next morning we swam 2000 meters in the 50m outdoor Fitzroy community pool and I took my first Body Pump fitness class. BP is really popular in Aussie and I’d never heard of it so gave it a go. Basically, it was a high rep strength training class for all ages. The swimming pool was impressive yet again. The Aussies love swimming and have pools to prove it! Afterwards we explored the neighborhood and went shopping for a few replacement items at the outlet stores on Smith Street. Well worth visiting, but we had to limit our time in Patagonia or we’d go broke.
Day Three: Urban Adventures
On our final day in Melbourne we explored the Yarra Bend Park which was pretty dry in the heat but we made the most out of being on the trails and saw lots of different birds. In total we walked about 13 kilometers! Since we were tired and hungry on our walk back we spontaneously got Indian take away and wine (no way we felt like cooking). We kicked back at the apartment, ate our lentil curry with naan, enjoyed some wine and called it a night.
Our three day Melbourne urban adventuring was a success and we got a feel for the hipster lifestyle of the Collingwood/Fitzroy neighborhood. Unfortunately it was a short and sweet stay due to our a tight time schedule. We decided to spend 6 days road tripping from Melbourne to Sydney to catch a flight to Brisbane on the 22nd. We wanted to fit in as many national parks, beaches and adventures as possible on our drive so it was time to say goodbye to Melbourne. The morning of the 15th we headed towards the east coast of Australia not knowing what adventure we would find.
We hope you are out exploring something new! Keep adventure alive.
Jenny & Will