We love Melbourne.
What makes Melbourne so great? Well, I can tell you right now, most Sydneysiders reading this are likely to turn their nose up at that question. However, the proof is in the pudding! The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Melbourne the world’s most liveable city for seven consecutive years, and if we didn’t win, we were likely to finish with a podium spot.
Although this post is titled ‘6 Things to do in Melbourne during your stay’ and not ‘Why is Melbourne so great?’ (Don’t worry, I’m sure that post is coming!), you will come to realise how diverse this city is and why it should be on the top of your list for study locations. So without further ado lets dive in:
1. Enjoy the coffee.
All good days start with one, as should lists like these. So, grab yourself a coffee, sit back, relax & enjoy! Just like our population, our coffee is very diverse. We have our unique coffee lingo, we have our speciality blends/tastes and we have our own coffee experience. We care about our coffee, and we take the title ‘coffee snob’ with pride.
Arriving at a Melbourne cafe during peak-hour can be a daunting experience, especially if you aren’t familiar with Melbourne style coffee. However, you will find that baristas take great pride in their little creations and they are not just trying to churn out as many as possible to tired customers looking to start their day. The balance in the blend between fruitiness and bitterness is carefully crafted by experienced coffee roasters, creating a flavour to be used exclusively for expert baristas, designed to suit your palate.
The coffee experience alone is incredibly diverse also. Need to pick up a quick caffeine hit on your way to class, no problem. Want to catch up with a friend over a skinny latte and some avo on toast, well, one of our many Melbourne cafes have you covered there as well. Just want to pass the time and tap away at an assignment with some background noise, you’re always welcome.
2. Embrace the food.
Food glorious food! Melbourne is ready to supply it. It’s no surprise that Melbourne can add ‘Food Capital of Australia’ to its long list of accolades. Although we don’t necessarily have a ‘Melbourne Cuisine’ we are in the privileged position to have one of the most diverse restaurant scenes in Australia, and across the world.
Any student from Box Hill Institute will tell you the some of the best Chinese food outside the mainland is only a short walk away. Need a quick snack between classes? Walking to and from is the easy part, deciding where to go from the abundance of options is a little bit more difficult! Want to celebrate with your group assignment team members, after crushing that group presentation enjoy some traditional Dumplings at Dumpling King!
They say food and fashion are some of the strongest influences on culture, so it’s no coincidence that RMIT’s $8 million Fashion Hub is located at the RMIT Brunswick campus. The RMIT Brunswick campus is surrounded by a plethora of fashionable and trendsetting restaurants, bars and cafes. Some of the most creative designs are not thought up in the classroom, they are created through inspiration derived from amazing food and wine experienced in the real world. Students looking for accommodation in one of the trendiest parts of Melbourne to live out their fashion dreams, look no further.
3. Get sporty.
Just before you jump to any conclusions and start suspecting this blog post was written by The Tourism Board of Melbourne, I can assure you that is not the case. Just another proud and passionate Melbournian trying to share what makes this city so great. If there is one thing pride and passion is associated with, in Melbourne, that would be sport. If I keep mentioning what Melbourne is the capital of, I feel as though I might lose a few readers, but after all, Melbourne IS the sporting capital of the world. We have two public holidays a year dedicated to sporting events! Not one, but two! On top of that, we have one of the largest sporting stadiums in the southern hemisphere. The MCG, or The G if you are a local.
The MCG hosts mouth-watering sporting events every week, however, for those who are more interested in the history of sport and the impact it has on this amazing city, then look no further than the Australian Sports Museum. The Australian Sports Museum at the MCG is your one-stop-shop for celebrating sport in Australian society. It has artifacts, tours, interactive exhibits and so much more! For those coming to study in Melbourne and interested in ALL sports, you might just feel like a kid in a candy shop.
4. Witness the Wildlife.
Australian wildlife is truly something special, and sometimes only seen to be believed. Melbourne’s environment is so diverse and unique, it provides an abundance of opportunities to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures.
Healesville Sanctuary is a fantastic way to witness the majority of Australia’s popular flora and fauna all in one place! Conveniently located just one hour from the Melbourne CBD, there you will find all the weird, wonderful and wacky creatures Australia has to offer. Cuddle a koala, admire an echidna and be amazed by Australia’s birds of prey.
Zoos aren’t your thing? Grab some new Uni friends and head over to one of Melbourne’s many national state parks for a bushwalk and a local adventure. You’ll be able to get off the beaten track, get your steps up during your study breaks and even see some animals in their natural habitat!
Not keen on venturing too far out of the CBD? Never fear, the penguins are here! Every night of the year, down at St Kilda Pier, you will find some penguin cheer! Head down just before sunset to see these adorable little creatures in action. You will find them waddling around the rocks and swimming in the breakwater as they show off their fishing skills!
5. Suss the street art.
You don’t have to be the next Banksy to realise this incredible city is decorated with a significant amount of street art. Whether you are waiting for a train after class at Melbourne Central, enjoying a drink at a rooftop bar or sipping on an espresso in a Melbourne laneway, chances are you are only an AFL drop-punt away from some unbelievable street art.
Similar to our Weather and Wildlife, Melbourne’s street art is incredibly diverse and always changing. The street art throughout the city diversifies from miniature dioramas to enormous 3D sculptures of famous Australian Rock & Roll icons. Another advantage of this incredible open and endless art show is: it’s free! Being a student can be tough financially, so don’t waste your hard-earned cash on art exhibitions when there are thousands of free pieces all within walking distance from major Melbourne universities and all Student Housing Australia Buildings.
6. Shop til you drop.
Christmas is certainly creeping up on us, and if you are like me, and you prefer the advantages of shopping physically rather than online, then Melbourne has your Christmas needs covered. Besides, we’ve done everything virtually this year from exams to mother’s day lunch, it’s time to get out of those track pants and Ugg’s and explore Melbourne’s shopping scene with a soy latte in hand and company in tow!
Melbourne hosts the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere being Chadstone shopping centre. This monolith of a building houses high-end luxury fashion brands, enormous food courts and cures to all your Christmas present conundrums. Whether you are trying to knock the Christmas socks off your partner with a jaw-dropping designer bag, or just need the workplace Kris Kringle gift, you’ll certainly be able to find it at Chadstone.
Students located in the city are surrounded by an abundance of shopping opportunities throughout the city: Bourke Street Mall, The Block Arcade, Melbourne Central, Emporium Melbourne… the list is endless!
For our Prahran and South Yarra students, Chapel street is the answer. Although it isn’t one of the largest shopping ‘centres’ it’s certainly one of the longest and most popular shopping strips! Jump on a famous Melbourne tram and cruise up and down the Chapel street shopping district as it spans across seven different suburbs. Plus, once you’ve finished shopping, watch the nightlife spring into action as one of Melbourne’s most popular bar and club scenes kicks into gear almost every night.
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