6 Under the Radar Things to Do in Melbourne

flickr / Bernard Spragg. NZ

Are you looking for a distinctly local experience for your vacation to Melbourne? Whether you are interested in unusual art galleries, urban green space, a funky new restaurant or unique accommodations, this will give you ideas for a distinctively Melbournian travel experience!

1. Mailbox 141 – Melbourne’s Smallest Galleries

Melbourne boasts over 100 galleries, from large commercial ventures to Bohemian artist-run cooperatives. Mailbox 141, the smallest gallery in the city, is located off Fender’s Lane in the middle of one of Melbourne’s most eclectic neighborhoods. This gallery is in the foyer of buildings and consists of a series of glass-fronted former mailboxes with exhibits inside that have been specially designed for this display. The exhibits are changed every other month and give you the chance to view some of the most distinctive art in the city. 

2. Treetops Bed and Breakfast – Victorian-Era Quiet in the Heart of Melbourne 

In the center of the, all the bustle and energy of Melbourne is the quiet, green oasis of the Treetops Bed and Breakfast. Even though it is just minutes away from the city center, this Victorian-style retreat is located near the Blackburn creek lands and offers lovely walking, jogging, and nature photography opportunities. The bed and breakfast itself serve traditional full breakfasts and private parking is available.

3. St. Edmund’s All Day Eatery – The Best of Off-Beat Melbourne Cuisine

Whether your tastes run to haute cuisine or to simple, home-style pubs, you are sure to find the perfect spot to eat in Melbourne, which is home to coffee houses, bars, gourmet restaurants and hole-in-the-wall cafe’s like St. Edmund’s All-Day Eatery. This charming spot has been converted from a garage (and still boasts the roller door to prove it!) but is now a charming dining room and open-air courtyard where you can enjoy their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with on-top beer and an extensive wine list.

4. The Pop-Up Patch — Melbourne’s Foray into Urban Agriculture

Tucked neatly behind the crowded bustle of Federation Square is this surprising and pleasant green space called the Little Veggie Patch Co.’s Pop-Up Patch. This wonderful example of urban agriculture is a community garden where locals rent spaces to cultivate their own fruits, herbs, and vegetables. You are free to wander through the gardens, sign up for a class, and shop for tools, books, seeds, and gifts for the gardener in your life!

5. South Melbourne Market — Local Shopping at its Best

If you are wanting to shop local and truly get a feel for this amazing city, then go on a spree at the South Melbourne Market. This opened in 1867 and is the city’s oldest shopping area of its kind. With over 150 stalls, this is an all-day adventure and you can carry home fresh fruits and vegetables, local meats and fish, as well as clothing and accessories, fresh flowers, pastries from the confectioners, and a wide range of items from the home.

6. The Australian Open — Your Opportunity for World-Class Tennis

For the ultimate tennis experience Down Under, you will not want to miss the excitement of the Australian Open. Held in the last two weeks of January every year since 1905, this championship showcases some of the most breathtaking tennis talent from around the world and is the first of the four Grand Slam events of the tennis year. And what better way to watch world-class tennis than in beautiful Melbourne itself? 

These are just a few funky and unique ideas to enjoy Melbourne’s charm to the fullest and get a sense for what this city is really like.