City Walking Guide: Melbourne

As I write this, I’m sitting in the reading room of the State Library of Victoria, enjoying a relaxing time that perhaps doesn’t belong to ‘tourists’. This trip to the Southern Hemisphere seemed to be a split second decision, from a confident desire to visit all of Australia’s south-eastern coastal cities, to a decision to narrow it down to Melbourne and its environs. One of the central questions involved was: how many days does it really take to get to know a city? My teammates and I agreed that one week was definitely not enough. Having long since grown tired of all types of ‘special forces style travel’, we decided to take it easy and enjoy the city like ‘locals’, seriously experiencing summer in the southern hemisphere (or maybe four seasons in Melbourne).

Part I. Pre-trip Preparation


The most important step before booking your trip is to get your visa. Epidemic a few years did not go abroad, the passport has expired, first went to apply for a new passport. As for Australia’s visa, in fact, the application is still relatively simple, as long as the embassy in accordance with the requirements of the submission of information, pay the fee, without having to face the visa directly waiting for the visa can be, if the language is not a problem, there is no need to look for an intermediary. Now Australia’s visa policy is relatively loose, after submitting the application soon got a one-year multiple-entry visa. Through the visa information will be sent by e-mail, the PDF file saved, I also printed a paper version of the insurance in the passport bag. But in the entry, paper and electronic version are not used, the entire entry are self-service machines directly scanning the passport can be, the experience can be said to be very smooth.

Since the entire trip revolves around Melbourne and its surroundings, booking accommodation is made easy. There are actually two general directions to choose from abroad, Airbnb and hotels. Although, the price and location of B&Bs in Melbourne’s CBD were very attractive, but to be on the safe side, I chose hotels that I could not go wrong with. Perhaps this is the effect of having experienced the epidemic, trying to choose the safest option when traveling for fear of something going wrong in the middle. Of course, this is also the first time to go abroad after the end of the epidemic, the heart can not help but still with a trace of apprehension, this feeling is like back to the college age when the first time to go abroad mood.

Phone Card
The most convenient thing to do is to buy a phone card from Taobao in advance and activate it the day before you leave, so that you can use it directly when you land. Another option is to open the domestic operator’s traffic roaming, but then be careful, such as Google Maps and other (you know what I’m talking about) software can not be used, which is still not convenient in foreign countries.

Transportation after landing
There are two ways to get from the airport to the city, one is to take the airport bus Skybus to the city, which is only suitable for one person because the fare for two people is basically the same price as taking a cab. We used the airport’s Wifi to download the international version of DDT, and the experience was a bit better than the domestic version, with a very simple interface and good functionality. In Melbourne a few days down, I found this side of the drop mainly Toyota Camry, most of the drivers are immigrants, the car is very clean and tidy, this experience I can score ten.

Melbourne’s city center area has a Free Tram Zone, in this area to do the tram is free, and we booked the hotel is in this area, so after solving the transportation from the airport to the hotel, we basically rely on walking in the city or take the tram, which is still relatively convenient. Note that there are trams outside of the Free Tram Zone, but you need to buy a Melbourne Transportation Card, Myki, which can be purchased at convenience stores, 711, or from machines at stations and larger transportation hubs. Make sure you don’t forget it, or you’ll get fined and it’s not a good idea. However, this transportation card is not very cost-effective, so if you are traveling with two or more people, you may want to consider the taxi option.

Part II. On the Road

Since the main part of the trip was in Melbourne city, I didn’t do much planning for the general itinerary, except for two days to go to Great Ocean Road and Philips Island around Melbourne, the rest of the time I spent there, I just did whatever I wanted to do. Even so, there were a lot of surprises during the trip.

As the capital and largest city of Victoria, Australia, Melbourne has a lot of famous attractions and activities. Apart from the regular cultural and leisure venues such as museums and exhibition halls, I am afraid that what attracts me the most is the street culture and coffee culture in this city. The most worth mentioning is that Melbourne is also selected as one of the world’s most livable cities, the whole city interface and human life is very rich.

State Library Victoria

The reason why I’m writing this first is because this library got so much love from my teammates and I that we went there three times in a few days of our trip, which might sound a bit extravagant, but we really went to the library to read and write things like locals. It was inside this library that most of this post was written.

The whole structure of this library has a dome in the center, and when you go up to the upper floors of the library, you can have a very good view of the study area below, which is full of symmetry and beauty. If I were to live in this city, this is the kind of “classic” reading place that I would want to visit whenever I could. The green lamps on each seat match the classic style of the library. When I sat down, I found some interesting nameplates on the different seats.

Flinders Station

This station is one of those places that you find people flocking to when they are doing their travels. It is not only one of the busiest train stations in Victoria, but it is also right next to the Yarra River. Its architectural style is very typical of Victorian architecture, with a clock tower and steeple. Because it is located in the center of the city, there are many stores, cafes, restaurants and other very lively areas around.

Yarra River

Next to Flinders Station is Melbourne’s mother river, the Yarra River. I’ve come to the relatively crude and simple conclusion that cities with rivers tend to be more spiritual, for example, in Germany I’m familiar with Cologne and Bonn, in the summer, the river is always a place where people can spend some time enjoying life, and the Yarra River is no exception in this regard. There are not only parks along the riverbanks, but also walking trails river recreation facilities, and even restaurants, bars and cafes on the river, which basically satisfy everyone’s need for relaxation.

Hosier Lane

Close to the Yarra River and Flinders Station is Hosier Lane, a street famous for its “street culture”. Not surprisingly, Hosier Lane is one of the most graffitied streets I’ve ever been to. Although there are huge graffiti everywhere in Melbourne city center, I was still shocked by the colorful walls in this alley. It’s hard to say how much I can understand about graffiti, but at least I understand how accommodating the city of Melbourne is to creativity and free expression.

Block Arcade

This location is teammates in doing the guide time found, in fact, is a long history of shopping centers, built in the late 19th century, is also a product of the Victorian era. The first feeling of going in is more like a small street in Europe, with boutiques, jewelry stores, coffee shops and art stores, giving people an extremely rich feeling. The center of the arcade is filled with natural light through a giant skylight, making it the perfect light for photos.

Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is one of the largest and oldest open markets in the southern hemisphere. Thankfully, Melbourne is a city with a strong coffee culture, which makes me a coffee lover ecstatic. There’s a highly rated coffee shop in Wee Maa Market that you can stop by and make a card. Because this market is right in the center of the city, there is still a big contrast between this market and the tall modern complexes around it.

National Gallery of Victoria
For the impression of art museums and art galleries, it seems that when I was a student, I walked all the way to the Louvre in one day and then stopped. Now stroll in the art museum, it seems that there is not too much must be strolling through the obsession, in the inside casually walk around to see, can see some of their favorite works, so that they have a feeling even if not in vain. I have to admit that the entrance to this gallery is still very well designed, with a flowing glass curtain wall that gives the photo a very oil painting-like quality.

China Town

This is probably my first impression of Chinatown. Most of my previous travels have been in Europe, so I don’t seem to have much of a concept of Chinatown. In Melbourne, I really felt it. It is a wonderful experience to feel the closeness of the homeland in a foreign country. The history of Melbourne’s Chinatown can be traced back to the 19th century, when Chinese immigrants came to Australia to take part in the gold rush, and many of the signs on the old buildings in Chinatown can be seen as traces of the history of that time.

Eureka Tower

On Melbourne’s Southbank, near the Yarra River, Eureka Tower is the tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere. On the 88th floor of this building, there are open observation decks where you can go to see the panoramic view of the city. We were lucky enough to watch a stunning sunset from up there on a clear evening, the one pictured on the cover. I’ve always been a hopeless sunrise and sunset lover. For sunsets, every time I feel the blazing golden rays of light flooding the city, the sun shrinking into a small orb and then disappearing below the horizon, all the golden magic it brings with it suddenly disappears and the world begins to fade into a calm blue.

South Melborne Market

South Melborne Market is located relatively far away from the city center. But in comparison, this market received a lot of positive feedback from my teammates and I. It was much cleaner and nicer than the Wee Ma Market. It’s much cleaner and nicer to browse, with a wide variety of food available. Our flight on our last day in Melbourne was in the evening, so this market was supposed to be a place to casually pass the time on our last day, but it gave us a great surprise.

Albert Park

Also surprising us was Albert Park, a city park in the south of Melbourne. It’s not too far from the Southern Market, but it’s about 3km from the city center. In the middle of the park is Lake Albert, around the lake is a footpath, very suitable for running and walking. Inside the park, there are not only all kinds of sports fields, but even a track for the main Formula 1 Grand Prix. The best part of the park for me with my camera is that I was able to get a full view of Melbourne CBD from this park.

Extending out from the city

Since this trip was in and around Melbourne city, I booked a one-day small group tour to Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island for two of the days. I was torn between these two trips, because obviously renting a car would be a better experience, but I’m an “old driver” and I’m not too sure about right hand drive, so I finally gave up.

As you can see from the map below, one is the Great Ocean Road in the lower left corner, which is a nature route, and the other is Phillip Island in the lower right corner, which we will call the Animal Road for the time being.

The Great Ocean Road

On the whole road, there are actually a lot of attractions for viewing, but because of the compactness of the day trip, there are a lot of unscientific time arrangements, for example, when arriving at the Twelve Apostles Rock in the afternoon when the sunlight is the strongest, the light ratio of the photos taken is really too large. If you have the opportunity to drive, you can arrange to arrive at the Twelve Apostles Rock in the evening, where this angle to shoot the sunset must be very beautiful.

Phillips Island

This route is basically for the animals, with a side trip on the Puffing Billy Steam Railway, Australia’s oldest steam train. What’s very cool is that this train is open and you can sit in the window and look at the view like in the photo. Of course this is not recommended if you are at the head of the train as you will get a face full of soot. Next up were the crazy animals, although it is said that koalas have a very enviable lifestyle, eating and sleeping every day, and eating when they wake up from their sleep. But knowing the reason behind it, I also think that nature is really wonderful. Koala living eucalyptus tree, the leaves are actually poisonous, so the koala ate eucalyptus leaves, to consume calories to detoxification, in which case it will not be enough to support him to live, can only sleep, can be said to be very justified. But fortunately, this time or see the wild awake koala on the roadside, this chance is still quite low. The next step is to wait until you get to Phillip Island to see the world’s smallest penguin nesting (Penguin Parade). The staff didn’t allow photos to be taken while watching the penguins return to their nests, so I recorded some video, but it was too dark to see clearly and the pixels were a bit too sensitive. So you need to imagine the little penguins, waddling back from the sea in groups, stopping to look for their homes, it’s really adorable. The penguin’s routine is to go out to hunt before dawn and return to their nests after the sun goes down in order to avoid flying and swimming predators. But it’s hard not to think of myself as a laborer with this routine.

Restaurants & Café

Melbourne as a city of high integration, food is actually quite a lot, coupled with a strong coffee culture, where you can find a good store, because the morning wake up late, so hit a few brunch stores, the taste is not bad.

Operator 25
This was the first place we went to after we landed and checked in, as it was a short walk from the hotel. The location is in a small box, if not for the large queue at the entrance, it is not easy to find. Because it’s a Netflix restaurant, it took a while to get in line, so if you decide to come, it’s best to make a reservation in advance. The flavors were moderate, and the essence of ordering the store’s signature was the hot sauce on top of the omelette, which was both unctuous and richly layered.


This is a restaurant on the banks of the Yarra River, the food doesn’t taste like anything special, but it has an interesting name, and we didn’t know until we read about Melbourne’s history later on, that Melbourne’s original name was Bearbrass, and it was only renamed Melbourne in 1837.

Higher Ground
This restaurant is a converted restaurant in an abandoned factory and is basically within walking distance of the hotel. The food is supposed to be one of the more amazing brunches I’ve had in Melbourne and I recommend it.

Patricia Café

If I had to recommend just one store, this would be it. The sales clerks are unbeatably friendly, remembering you and finding you in a pile within just a few seconds of ordering. When I was taking photos, the staff would even remind each other and give me a big smile. Apart from that, this store is also ‘Wine and Spirits’, in an unassuming alleyway, but the place is really very photogenic. Just look at the people outside the coffee shop and you can see how hot the store is.

Part III

I started this trip in 2024 to escape the winter in the northern hemisphere, hoping to enjoy a vacation in a warm place. Later, because of the special timing of the change of two years, I thought I could take this vacation to summarize 2023, when I didn’t have much time to summarize, and then to plan for 2024, which is full of possibilities and imaginations, but the imaginations are beautiful, the reality is cruel, and it seems that I didn’t do what I had originally planned to do, so this period of time was purely as a vacation to empty my mind, which is quite good. Life needs a pause button, and to physically leave the place you are used to and experience another kind of life is a very good thing in itself.

During this trip, I also gradually realized that there are simple ways to do some things we want to do, and complex ways to do some things we want to do. In the past, when I traveled, I brought a lot of cameras and lenses with me, and after taking photos, I had to do a lot of retouching and color adjustment. Sometimes there were too many photos to take and we just gave up. This trip is the only time to streamline into a “one camera, one focus”, only save JPEG, do not save RAW, no retouching straight out, but also quite good. Some of us may get used to this mode if we do it more often, but after simplifying, we have more time to immerse ourselves in experiencing life itself, and this experience should be the biggest reward of this trip.

Comments are closed.