Arriving in Melbourne on a Friday afternoon is perfect timing for this bustling city that comes alive after 5pm.
Once you’re checked in and settled into the luxurious five-star Pullman Melbourne on Park – ideally located next to Fitzroy Gardens and across the road from the MCG the night is yours.
Don’t let the winter chill hold you back, Melbourne is heaving with bars and restaurants to get your night started.
Head into the CBD for a pre-dinner drink at HER, a relative newcomer on the bar scene in Melbourne. This multi-storey venue, with a stunning rooftop is a twilight favourite.
For dinner, you haven’t experienced the culinary delights of Melbourne unless you’ve dined at the renowned Chris Lucas institution, Chin Chin.
In the beating heart of Melbourne’s Flinders Lane, you’ll find one of the city’s most successful and sought after venues, Chin Chin. With delicious and bold Southeast Asian cuisine, impeccable service, fantastic reputation and cosmopolitan vibe, you’ll know what a great dining experience is after eating here.
Another excellent restaurant is Big Esso - the tastes of Torres Strait at Fed Square. With a focus on native fare, it might be the first time you sample some of the menu items like emu, crocodile and wild boar, and there’s plenty of vegan/vegetarian options too. Delicious, flavoursome Torres Strait inspired food that’s made with love.
Post-dinner, take a wander and you can’t go wrong with one of these bars to settle in for a night cap. Embla and City Wine Shop in the CBD, or Marion and Bar Liberty in Fitzroy are excellent establishments to sip on a glass of red or whisky.
In the morning, head out for a walk around the “Tan” – the ever-popular walking track affectionate moniker given by locals around the Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens. Even on crisp winter mornings, it’s a great walk to get the blood flowing.
Grab a coffee at one of South Yarra’s boutique café’s edging the park, such as Domain Brasserie, Baker D. Chirico or the Botanical Hotel.
Take a cruise down nearby Chapel Street, as it’s very close to the Botanical Gardens, for more quintessential Melbourne vibes and a cool retail district.
Jump on a tram and head to St Kilda nestled on Melbourne’s iconic Port Phillip Bay. Some delicious restaurants around here for lunch are the timeless Stokehouse, which has fine dining upstairs, or a more casual dining vibe downstairs at Pontoon as well as excellent Bay views and people watching. Alternatively, Mya Tiger upstairs at the refurbished Esplanade Hotel is a winner with a delicious Cantonese menu.
After refreshing back at the hotel (or if you're like us, indulge in an afternoon nap!), head to Richmond’s Swan Street to soak up the Bledisloe pre-game hype. With lots of bars to choose from, the popular street will be scattered with green and gold supporters as well as All Blacks fans eager to wander over to the nearby MCG.
You’ll find great atmospheres at The Corner Hotel and Richmond Club Hotel; both an easy walk to the stadium.
Don’t miss the first Wallabies match at the MCG for 16 years when they take on the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday, July 29.
Two-night premium packages available from Wallabies Travel. For more details, click here.