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What You Should Visit Around Melbourne

Melbourne‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌hip,‌ ‌dynamic‌ ‌metropolis,‌ ‌with‌ ‌an‌ ‌exciting‌ ‌city‌ ‌center,‌ ‌inner-city‌ ‌neighborhoods‌ ‌that‌ is ‌full‌ ‌of‌ ‌unique‌ ‌character,‌ ‌and‌ ‌lush‌ ‌green‌ ‌parks‌ ‌and‌ ‌mountain‌ ‌ranges‌ ‌where‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌enjoy‌ ‌Australian‌ ‌nature‌ ‌at‌ ‌its‌ ‌finest.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌city‌ ‌is‌ ‌known‌ ‌for‌ ‌its‌ ‌many‌ ‌laneways,‌ ‌its‌ ‌cultural‌ ‌diversity,‌ ‌excellent‌ ‌dining‌ ‌options‌ ‌for‌ ‌all‌ ‌budgets,‌ ‌and‌ ‌amazing‌ ‌street‌ ‌art.‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌also‌ ‌known‌ ‌for‌ ‌being‌ ‌the‌ ‌coffee‌ ‌capital‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌world,‌ ‌and‌ ‌for‌ ‌being‌ ‌regularly‌ ‌voted‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌world’s‌ ‌most‌ ‌livable‌ ‌city!‌ ‌
Let’s‌ ‌explore‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌things‌ ‌to‌ ‌do‌ ‌in‌ ‌Melbourne:

Esplanade Hotel MELBOURNE

Have a drink at the Esplanade Hotel

What is it? 

One of Melbourne’s most iconic pubs located right beside St Kilda Beach.

Why go? 

In late 2018, the Espy opened after an extensive (and expensive) revamp. Now, this beloved 140-year-old pub spans over six floors and boasts 12 different bars, two restaurants and three stages.

Don’t miss: 

Seeing a big in the Gershwin Room. Rock’n’roll is infused in these walls like prayers in the vaulted ceiling of a cathedral. It’s a wonderful thing to see it open again, largely unchanged from years gone by.

The latest incarnation of the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, one of Melbourne’s most famous pubs, is far too big and sprawling to simply pop by for a pint. So to make the most of this venue’s epic new incarnation, we spent 12 hours of an early summer Sunday there. Here’s what we saw.

Noon in the Front Bar

The wide front stairs still lead up into the palatial front bar, but instead of dark and sticky, it’s bright and beautiful, the ceiling replaced with glass to flood the area with the summer sun. Chandeliers and molded ceilings, a soaring wrought-iron staircase, peeling paint, towering potted palms and walls adorned with black-and-white photos of Aussie rock legends make the space feel like a Miami nightclub in a historic beachfront mansion collided with a classic Aussie pub.

1pm in the Espy Kitchen

Down a hallway past the working recording booths is the Espy Kitchen, which serves as the pub’s bistro. Most of the executive chef Ashley Hicks’ menu is available throughout the venue, but the Kitchen offers table service and food like seafood platters and an 800g dry-aged T-bone that beckons from a meat cabinet in the corner. We opt for octopus. Unfortunately, that charred and smoking mollusk on the fire seems unrelated to what we’re served – our tentacled friend seems cool, chewy and very salty.

2pm in the Balcony

The Balcony is set aside as a function space on level two, offering its bar and views out to the water, as well as windows back over the front bar. It’s the most spacious and open part of the venue.

3pm in the Gershwin Room

Rock’n’roll is infused in these walls like prayers in the vaulted ceiling of a cathedral. It’s a wonderful thing to see it open again, largely unchanged from years gone by. The bar and stage are in the same place, folks in black band T-shirts slurp cans of Melbourne Bitter, and Iggy Pop plays on the fantastic sound system. Band booker Sean Adams (previously of Prince Band Room) is doing a cracking job with the line-up. Today it’s Jim Mogini (Midnight Oil) and the Family Dog – classic Aussie rock that’s tight and loud and fun.

4pm in the Public Bar

The public bar occupies the space under the Gershwin Room, downstairs from the front bar.  It’s retained a bit more of the rough-and-tumble locals vibe that the main pub area has lost, with the cricket playing on a big screen at the end of the bar (sound down). We order a pizza – it’s head and shoulders above what you’d find in most pubs. The beer list is also a highlight.

5pm in the Basement Bar

There’s no one playing in the basement bar tonight, but the website lists upcoming shows for local acts, and anyone is welcome to email in to book a gig.

6pm in the Front Courtyard

The small front courtyard on street level is shaded with green-and-white-striped umbrellas for a decidedly seaside look. Here lunching ladies, tattooed rockers and sunburnt backpackers enjoy the view and a dart or two and chat with the incredibly friendly security guards.

7pm back in the Front Bar

The Espresso Martini, one of the many high-quality cocktails on offer throughout the venue,  is on the sweet side. But it does the trick if you want to wake up without slowing down on the booze. You can also get a “pony & shot”, a tiny beer paired with a nip of spirits. Bar snacks are great, like a brioche roll filled with crispy fried Moreton bay bug, fresh and satisfying, slathered in spicy mayo.

8pm dinner at Mya Tiger

Up the wide staircase, you’ll find the restaurant Mya Tiger. It’s a fun-times Chinese-inspired diner in the vein of Supernormal, serving bao, dumplings, pippies in XO and Peking duck with a great attitude and lots of color. Are there better spicy pork wontons in Melbourne? Yes. Are there any served in a gorgeous 140-year-old pub while the sun sets over Port Phillip Bay through the windows? Nope.

10pm cocktails at Mya Tiger

Across from the restaurant is a dedicated cocktail bar. The drinks are largely the same as those on offer downstairs, but it’s a more intimate and (somewhat) quieter space, and there are a few extra tropical numbers to be had.

11pm with the Ghost of Alfred Felton

At the front desk you can ask for a special key to get you into the cocktail bar on the very top floor, the Ghost of Alfred Felton, named after the philanthropist and art collector who once kept rooms at this historic pub. Attentive bartenders are happy to talk you through the drinks of the day and tailor something to your needs. The cocktails, presented in a gorgeous bound bar book, are all pre-Prohibition style and beautifully executed.

Midnight at the tram stop

The new Espy is new, there’s no doubt about it. There’s a disconnect between the old rock soul of this place and its new shiny personality that might never be comfortably reconciled. But maybe that’s what Melbourne is now – a place where community and inclusion are more important than tribe. This is not the Espy of old, but it’s here and big and 100% Melbourne, and that’s a good thing for all of us.

Find out more at https://www.timeout.com/

Mothers Beach melbourne

Mothers Beach

As the name suggests, Mothers Beach is a favorite amongst locals because of its family-friendly nature and safe shallow waters. An hour’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD, Mothers Beach is sheltered by towering cypress trees and has a number of BBQ and picnic facilities that make for a great day out with the family. 

On the Mornington Peninsula, one is lucky enough to have some of Victoria’s best bay and back beaches that are separated by a small stretch of land in between. Some of the beaches are only accessible via coastal walking tracks within National Parks whilst others are located near the main shopping strip along Point Nepean Road.

Mothers Beach is below the Mornington Park and playground so it can be easier to get parking and it overlooks the Mornington pier. There are also toilets and BBQ’s. One of Mornington’s three beaches north of the jetty, this is a stand-out for its family-friendly safe swimming and shallow waters. It has a lovely stretch of clean sand and there are picnic tables and barbecues under shady trees.

Find out more at https://www.thrillophilia.com/

Clay Target Shooting Session - Epping Melbourne

Clay Target Shooting Session

Highlights

  • Learn the basic skills of clay target shooting from a professional
    Shoot at targets flying through the air from different locations
    No experience or license required

Experience the rush of shooting clay targets flying through the sky! With no experience required, the session begins with a briefing on how to handle the shotguns and hit targets like a pro. A qualified instructor will be by your side as you shoot at a variety of single and double targets.

What’s Included?

  • All equipment, ammunition, targets and safety gear
    Expert tuition

Do you have the focus and coordination skills to hit moving targets? Learn the basics of clay target shooting from a professional and try your hand at breaking a variety of single and double targets. Most of these sessions are hosted by Adam Vella, trap shooter, Olympic bronze medalist, four-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and the former national high-performance shotgun coach of the Australian shooting team.

The experience starts with a safety briefing where you will be familiarised with the firearms. Then, with a qualified instructor by your side, you will shoot at a variety of single and double targets from various stations on the range. Even if it’s your first time picking up a gun, you’ll be surprised at your success!

Session Length

This experience is 1 – 2 hours in duration depending on participant numbers

Please arrive 15 minutes before your session time

Booking is required to secure your spot

Restrictions

The provider does not allow any person/s to participate or attend if you are deemed a ”prohibited person” under section 3 of the Firearms Act 1996.

Guidelines

  • The minimum age to participate is 15 years old
    Participants under 18 must have a legal guardian accompanying them during the session
    A firearm license is not required

Participants found to be under the influence of alcohol/drugs will not be allowed to shoot. Your voucher will be forfeited without entitlement to a refund or reschedule

Participants must have a photographic ID to shoot

Cancellation

Once this experience has been confirmed, changes are at the discretion of the experience provider and arranged directly with them according to this policy:

Rescheduling is permitted up to 10 days before your session. Please contact the experience provider in writing

No shows and late arrivals: participants will forfeit their experience and therefore not entitled to a refund or reschedule

Participants found to be under the influence of alcohol/drugs will not be allowed to shoot. Your voucher will be forfeited without entitlement to a refund or reschedule.

Find out more at https://www.redballoon.com.au/

Skydive Over St Kilda, Melbourne

Skydive Over St Kilda, Melbourne

Highlights

  • 15,000ft tandem skydive over St Kilda
    60 screaming seconds of freefall
    Uninterrupted coastal and city views

Tick skydiving off your bucket list with this exhilarating half-day experience. Take the ultimate leap of faith from up to 15,000ft in the air and be rewarded with panoramic views of Melbourne CBD, Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington Peninsula.

What’s Included?

  • 15,000ft skydive
    Highly qualified and experienced instructors
    Personalized certificate, loyalty rewards card and bumper sticker
    APF levy

Experience an adrenalin rush like no other with a tandem skydive over St Kilda, the closest skydiving location to Melbourne CBD. After a safety briefing and getting suited up, board the plane for a short scenic flight to jump altitude. Your experienced instructor will prepare you for the countdown and together you’ll exit the plane from up to 15,000ft in the air. Enjoy 60 seconds of life-changing freefall before floating under the canopy for 5-7 minutes, reveling in 360 degree views of Melbourne curling around the sparkling Port Phillip Bay.

Session Length

Please allow half a day as the exact take-off time depends on the winds

Available seven days a week, excluding Christmas Day

Guidelines

You must be aged 12 years or more, with a maximum weight of 110kg. There is a $50 surcharge if you are over 95kg and $75 if you are over 105kg. This is payable directly to the supplier

If you are under 18 years, you must have a legal guardian attend to sign paperwork

No alcohol or recreational drugs are to be consumed at least eight hours before your skydive

You must bring your voucher to the drop zone. No voucher = no jump

Please note that Public Holidays that fall on weekdays may incur an additional surcharge to be paid directly to the provider on the day

Cancellation

Once this experience has been confirmed, changes are at the discretion of the experience provider and arranged directly with them according to this policy:

Changes can be made to your skydive booking with 48 hours’ notice. Please contact the supplier directly to make changes

Cancellations or changes made with less than 48 hours are subject to loss of $110 deposit or entire payment

If you do not arrive at the drop zone at your allocated booking date and time, no refund will be issued unless sufficient evidence is provided directly to the supplier

iFLY Melbourne Indoor Skydiving

iFLY Melbourne Indoor Skydiving

Highlights

  • Experience the feeling of freefall skydiving from 12,000ft
    No planes, parachutes or extreme heights involved
    Enjoy two guided 60-second flights

Experience the sensation of freefall skydiving from 12,000ft in the air without the fear of jumping from a plane or falling through the sky. Suit up for two guided indoor skydiving flights at 60 seconds each and undergo a pre-flight briefing to learn safety and all of the basics.

What’s Included?

  • Two indoor skydiving flights
    Flight gear
    Pre-flight training
    One-on-one instruction
    Personalized flight certificate
    Locker rental

If you’ve always wondered what it’d be like to fly, now’s your chance! Experience the feeling of freefall as your body is suspended by a wind tunnel in a purpose-built flight chamber.

Your indoor skydiving adventure begins with a pre-flight briefing to cover safety and the basic flying position. After suiting up, you will enter the chamber and experience the thrill of a simulated 12,000ft skydive. Enjoy two adrenaline-fuelled flights at 60 seconds each, receiving constant support and guidance from your instructor throughout. With no planes, parachutes or extreme heights involved, you can relax and fly safely on a smooth cushion of air. This experience is for one person.

iFLY’s wind tunnels have a fresh air advantage over other retail experiences. This works by simply recirculating and refreshing the air from outside to create the most efficient and clean environment in our wind tunnel.

Session Length

  • Each flight is sixty seconds in duration
    Please allow 90 minutes for the whole experience which includes checking in, pre-flight training, gear up, flight session and post-flight debrief
    Please check in 30 minutes before your scheduled flight time
    This experience is available on the weekend only
    This voucher is for 1 person only

Guidelines

The weight limit is 136kg, if you weigh between 114kg – 136kg, please notify the experience provider upon booking in

The minimum age is three years old (you must be able to comfortably wear one of the helmets). Those under 18 years of age must have signed permission from a parent or guardian

Participants must not be pregnant

Participants must not have previously dislocated their shoulder

Participants must not be under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs

Participants must not be wearing a hard cast

Participants must sign a Declaration of Risk form

Cancellation

Once this experience has been confirmed, changes are at the discretion of the experience provider and arranged with them directly according to their policy.

Rescheduling:

If you know you will not be able to make your flights, you may reschedule as follows:

For standard bookings with more than 48 hours’ notice, you may reschedule your flights

For standard bookings with less than 48 hours’ notice, you may reschedule your flights for a $10 fee per person

For standard bookings with less than 24 hours’ notice, you may reschedule your flights for a $30 fee per person

For standard bookings with less than 3 hours’ notice, you may not reschedule your flights

If you fail to arrive for your flights, are late for your flights or fail to reschedule your flights within the times above, your booking will no longer be valid and you will not be entitled to a refund. The rescheduling fee must be paid at the time of you notifying us that you need to reschedule and a new date for your booking must be decided upon.

Find out more at https://www.redballoon.com.au/

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