Going Down Under

Ello, Mate! Our first flight is a long one! About 3 months ago I packed my bags, sat on a plane for 15 hours, and arrived down under! My sister, Gaby, was studying abroad my Melbourne, Australia {pronounced mel-bon with the best accent ever} for the second semester of her junior year of college. I was completely emerged into the lifestyle living in my sister’s apartment in the Central Business District (CBD). Melbourne is ranked the number one city in Australia for students on the basis of livability, cost, and university. I set out to explore if this was true through food and fun. There’s nothing better in life than eating and exploring and exploring through eating!

Destination: Melbourne Australia

More to do Than Play with Kangaroos

There is so much more to do in Melbourne than sit and listen to the accents (although that was my favorite activity). By the time I arrived, my sister, who had been living there 5 months, had already scheduled everything for me. Since I was there for about 3 weeks, I had lots of time to check off everything on the list. Here are three things you must do:

First: For me, the first thing I think of when I think of Australia is a kangaroo. Thus, my first check off my list was the Moonlit Sanctuary. This wildlife conservation park houses all the Australian animals you want to see including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and koalas. You don’t just have to look, you can touch! I spent about an hour feeding various species of kangaroos and wallabies and also paid $10 to pet koalas. Totally worth it. You will leave this place with a smile on your face no doubt!

Second: The city of Melbourne is known for its extensive street art. Graffiti artist are contracted to create masterpieces in the laneways of the city. If you are with someone who lives in the city, as I was, you can spend half a day doing a walking tour of all the well-known laneways. Or, there are amazing tours led my artists themselves. The only reason my sister knew the laneways was because she went on one of these tours. Highly recommended!

Third: If you enjoy being a tourist, my final recommendation is to get out of the city and head to the beach! Only a short 30-minute train ride from the CBD you can end up on the famous Brighton Beach. This beach is most well known for its colorful beach boxes. These boxes are actual storage units for beach goers and are worth millions. Yes, millions!

More than Aussie Meat Pies

The city of Melbourne has some hidden gems when it comes to food. The CBD has just about any type of food you may be craving from pizza to meat pie. If you have just one day in the city, here is what your meals should consist of:

IMG_5010
Hipster view of Manchester Press. Home to delicious coffee and specialty bagels.

Breakfast: Off a small laneway in the CBD, I stumbled on Manchester Press. An eclectic specialty coffee and bagel café that will not disappoint. I ordered the mixed berry: a toasted blueberry bagel with whipped raspberry mascarpone, fresh strawberries & crushed pistachios. The answer is yes; it tasted just as good as it sounds.

Mixed berry open faced bagel from Manchester Press
Mixed berry open faced bagel from Manchester Press

Lunch: The Queen Victoria Market is home to local vendors of both food and goods. A great tourist destination that’s for the undercover tourist. Here, you can find all the local cuisine made fresh. You can’t go to Australia without trying a traditional meat pie, and this is where you have to get it. I got the classic filled with lots of meat covered in puff pastry. You can’t go wrong with one of these.

Traditional meat pie that can be found in the Queen Victoria Market
Traditional meat pie that can be found in the Queen Victoria Market

Dinner: Stalactites. Any time of day. That’s because it’s 24 hours. This traditional Greek restaurant located on Lonsdale Street is the perfect atmosphere to go with all your friends and consume your body weight in Greek food. My personal favorite is a chicken souvlaki and a side of hummus. While they may be 24 hours there’s no need to worry about lamb at 7am, because they also have a breakfast menu. You can’t go wrong.

If Melbourne, Australia wasn’t on your list before, it should be now. There is so much to see and so much to eat! No wonder Australia is ranked as the 6th best country to visit. By the time you get a taste of the city and a listen to the accents, the flight won’t even be a thought in your mind!

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