All you need to do is jump on a plane at Newcastle Airport and get exploring
Want to enjoy a cocktail at Australia's best cocktail bar? Have a beer at Australia's best pub? Catch a Harry Potter theatre production or go courtside at the Oz Open? Whatever your preference here's why you need to visit Melbourne this summer.See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
If you haven't visited the southern city in a while you may be a little out of the loop, so, to get you up to speed, and save a whole load of searching,
we've pulled together this list of Melbourne's Twenty Must-Do's.
All that's left is for you to do is book a flight out of the all-too-easy to get to Newcastle Airport, take the 45 minute drive to Williamstown and start enjoying that weekend (or week-long) Melbourne escape.
20. A Disney-Themed Boozy Bottomless Brunch
Melbourne is soon to be hosting a massive Disney inspired boozy sing-along party called The Magical Brunch. Dressing up as your favourite Disney character is a must whilst you brunch your way through a fairytale-style menu.
Where: The Hawthorn Arts Centre
19. Check Out The Espy's Renovation
One of St Kilda's most iconic buildings is undergoing a massive refurb and is set to reopen in November. Renowned for its live music scene The Espy will not only bring back the live tunes but plans to open areas of the hotel not seen to the public in years. Also expect a modern Cantonese bar and restaurant, Garden Terrace, Cocktail Bar and of course the Gershwin Room.
Where: 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda
18. Shop Australian on Lonsdale St
We all know about the shopping scene in Melbourne, but if you like to keep your threads to Australian only brands then Lonsdale St in the CBD is where you need to head. Let's start with Gorman and Viktoria & Woods, there’s also Dion Lee, Zimmerman and one of our fav’s Camilla and Marc.
17. Visit the Pub of the Year
What makes a pub so good that it gets the title of Pub of the Year? Is it the food? the booze? or the atmosphere and quality service? Well in the case of The Lincoln in Carlton it’s all four and a bunch more. Pouring its first beer back in 1854 The Lincoln is a traditional pub at heart and is all about good old fashioned, quality service and a beautifully crafted menu that focuses on sourcing seasonally and sustainably from its regional neighbours.
Where: 91 Cardigan St, Carlton
16. Hosier Lane
It has to be on every Instagramers check list of things to post about when in Melbourne. The graffiti-laden walls of Hosier Lane are not only super cool but is smack in the middle of the CBD making for an easy detour following your morning coffee(s).
Image credit - Sophie Tyler
15. One for the Whisky Lovers
Whisky bars have become a thing in Newcastle, and if it’s your flavour of choice then you’re going to want to seek out a few whilst in Melbourne. Be sure to include Australia's best Whisky Bar, The Elysian, to your list and see what all the fuss is about. With some 350 bottles on the shelf, The Elysian focuses on sourcing rare and unique whisky’s from independent Bottlers around the globe and delivering them with the finest of service.
Where: 113 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
14. Hang out in St.Kilda
Be like a tourist and spend the day taking in the sights of St.Kilda. From Luna Park, to St.Kilda Beach, take a stroll through the Botanical Gardens or go for a walk out to the Pier and have afternoon tea at the Kiosk. Finish up with a beer at the soon-to-be-opened Espy Hotel.
13. Hang a little longer with a Fitzrovia Picnic Lunch at St.Kilda Beach
Linger a little longer seaside with a 5 course grazing gourmet picnic hamper from Fitzrovia. Complete with cutlery, crockery, glassware and wicker hamper you'll have everything you need for a seaside feast. Friendly tip - you will need to preorder 24 hours in advance.
Where: 2/155 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
12. Small Bar Enthusiast?
Well they don’t get much smaller than this. Above Board in Collingwood allows only 12 seated guests at a time, with no standing permitted. In addition to the intimate setting and seriously good cocktails Above Board is all about providing each guest with a next level experience.
Where: Level 1/306 Smith Street Chopper Lane", Behind "Beermash", and through the back door, Collingwood.
11. Coffee… Of Course
No trip to Melbourne would be complete without sampling the much talked about coffee scene, and with more than 1,600 cafes in the City of Melbourne, you’re spoilt for choice. For the true coffee snobs we’ve been told on good authority that your coffee must-stops include:
Patricia Coffee Brewers: Cnr Little Bourke & Little William St.
Proud Mary’s: 172 Oxford St, Collingwood
Dukes Coffee : 247 Flinders Lane
St. Ali: 12-18 Yarra Pl, South Melbourne
Aunty Pegs: 200 Wellington Street, Collingwood
10. Have A Late Night Cheese & Cocktail Experience
Cause that’s what you do when you’re in Melbourne, eat cheese and sip cocktails at all hours of the day and night, and there’s no better place to do it than at Milk The Cow. You can find the licensed fromageries in St Kilda and Carlton with both late-night cheese bars offering up around 180 different kinds of cheeses from around the globe.
We also love that cheese merges with cocktails here, with each hand-crafted cocktail being perfectly garnished and paired with a cube of cheese. How could you say no to a Fig Shrub Cocktail with it's Fig Balsamic, Pear & Vodka balanced with citrus and garnished with Gorgonzola Piccante cheese. Oh yeah!!
Where: 157 Fitzroy St, St Kilda & 323 Lygon St, Carlton
9. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
For fans of Harry Potter you’ll be all over this, that being in January 2019 Melbourne will become only the third city in the world to welcome the critically acclaimed Harry Potter play. Premiering in London back in July 2016, New York followed in April this year, and next up is Melbourne's Princess Theatre. Be sure to get in early as these tickets are sure to magically disappear!
Where: 163 Spring Street, Melbourne
8. Have A Beer At A Sustainable Craft Beer Brewery
A massive craft beer brewery has opened in Melbourne's Docklands, Urban Alley Brewery is challenging the way craft beer is made with the strictest quality and sustainabiltiy benchmarks put in place.
Where: G09/12 Star Circus Docklands, Melbourne
7. Melbourne Night Noodle Markets
No one does a festival quite like the Melburnians, and the Melbourne Night Noodle Markets are no exception. Running from November 8 – 25, and set within the inner-city Birrarung Marr Park, for 18 nights the Noodle Markets will sizzle with the smells and flavours of some of Melbourne’s best foodie stalls. From Thai, to Taiwanese, Filipino, Korean and all kinds of sweet stuff in between it’s one worth travelling for.
Where: Birrarung Marr Park, Melbourne
6. Lune Croissanterie
The ridiculously popular Lune Croissanterie has opened a second store in the Melbourne CBD! Not as big and brash as its big sister the new location offers a more simplified menu with around five trusted favourites including the much loved Almond and Ham & Cheese Croissants, Pain Au Chocolat and the Lemon Curd Cruffin.
Where: Shop 16, 161 Collins Street, Melbourne
5. Lune Lab
If you can’t get enough of Lune, like us, then go one better and book yourself a Lune Lab Experience. The three-course pastry flight takes place at the private bar overlooking the ‘The Cube’, Lunes purpose built working space, allowing you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the workings of one of Melbourne’s most talked about kitchens.
Friendly tip… tickets aren’t easy to come by so perhaps secure your seat at the Lune Lab before booking your plane flight.
Where: 119 Rose St, Fitzroy
4. Book an Omakase Experience at Minamishima
Omakase translates in Japanese to ‘I will leave it to you’ and is the Japanese tradition of letting the chef choose what you eat. Minamishima, recently awarded Three Hats with the Good Food Guide Awards, is considered by many as Melbourne’s, and Australia’s, best sushi experience. Minamishima also lays claim to having one of the most extensive Sake lists in the country for all your Sake lovers.
Where: 4 Lord St, Richmond
3. Reunion Island Pool Club
The deets have been released around Australia’s first Rooftop Pool bar and leisure oasis, Reunion Island Pool Club. With 10 temperature-controlled pools and 4 bars operating from October 2018 to April 2019 it’s going to be the place to be when Melbourne’s temperature hots up!
2. Cocktail Bar of the Year Award
If you consider yourself to be a cocktail snob then your visit to Melbourne has to include The Everleigh. With classic cocktails and service at the heart of the business, The Everleigh has for a long time been considered Melbourne’s place to be when cocktails are required. It also happens to be where you’ll find once Newcastle local Michael Madrusan, whose 20 years of hospo experience includes some of the best bars in London an New York, and has brought all that he knows to this now Melbourne institution.
Where: 150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
1. Australian Open
One of the highlights on Melbourne's sporting calendar, the Australian Open is something everyone should do at least once in their life. Running from January 14 - 27 there's plenty of ways to experience all the tennis action, whether it's casually with a Ground Pass or go all out and book finals tickets at Rod Laver Arena the atmosphere is next level.
Now all you need is that flight! Don't concern yourself with the inconvenience of tolls, freeway congestion and train delays – flying out of Newcastle Airport is the smarter way to start your Melbourne shortbreak.
Virgin Australia and Jetstar operate flights daily to Melbourne. Choose from the 29 weekly flights, and you'll be exploring all Melbourne has to offer in just 95 minutes.
Fly direct from Newcastle Airport to ten destinations in Australia, and in one-stop hub through to more than 65 destinations around Australia or overseas.
Direct international flights from Newcastle Airport to Auckland, New Zealand via Virgin Australia are available until 17 February 2019.
Make Newcastle Airport your point A. It’s right on your door, and has no tolls to pay, or big city parking fees. Instead it’s easy parking and check-in and time to relax.