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City Guide

Welcome to the world’s most liveable city! Far more hip and multicultural, with heaps more bars, clubs, restaurants and street art-clad laneways than anywhere else down under, this coastal city in Victoria has fast overtaken its Australian cousins when it comes to culture. In fact, we think its up there with New York, London and Berlin. And it has beaches. What more could you need?
Grab yourself a flat white, arm yourself with a camera, and prepare to get swept away in Melbourne’s cool undercurrent. 

What to do in Melbourne - the highlights

  • Royal Botanic Gardens
    These 94 acres just south of the Yarra River are home to over 10,000 different types of of Australian and tropical plants. There's also some pretty awesome views of Melbourne's skyline. Take a picnic and some mates - the gardens are free!
  • National Gallery of Victoria
    Located next to the Botanic Gardens and surrounded by awesome riverside bars, Victoria's National Gallery hosts exhibitions from international artists and designers, and houses heaps of gorgeous Asian and Aboriginal art, making it worth a stroll around on one of Melbourne's rainy days.
  • Shrine of Remembrance
    Over 60,000 Australian soldiers were killed in World War 1. The Shrine of Remembrance was built in 1934 for grieving families, and remains an iconic spot where Australian's gather each ANZAC (Australia & New Zealand Army Corps) day to pay tribute. Climb to the top for the best (free!) views of the Melbourne skyline. 
  • White Night
    Hitting up Melbourne in February or March? You're in luck! You could be in town to witness the city's annual White Night, when the whole of the CBD, the National Gallery and Museum, and the Botanic Gardens come alive with incredible light projections and colourful art installations. Grab yourself a map, wear comfy shoes and be prepared to stay up long past sunrise...
  • Cafe culture
    "We love to make coffee for the city that loves to drink it." is the quote emblazoned across the window's of the perpetually rammed Market Lane Coffee. If you haven't heard, in Melbourne, coffee is a cult - a cult that's impossible not to get sucked into. Head to Brother Baba Budan in the CBD, Seven Seeds in Carlton, or Industry Beans in Fitzroy for the best brews. Top Paddock in Richmond serves up another must-have brunch which is scrumptious (and Instagrammable) enough to trump any fancy dinner. 
  • Melbourne's beaches
    Sydney might have better beaches but Melbourne's are all accessible and within easy reaching distance from eachother. St Kilda is where it's at for backpackers, but hire a bike and head to Williamstown, Sandringham or Half Moon Bay for a proper chill. There's also Brighton Beach, filled with quirky painted beach huts.
Melbourne coast

Melbourne neighbourhood guide

Heading to Melbourne armed with a working visa and wondering where to call home? There are so many suburbs of Melbourne, all with their own unique personality. If you're a food junkie, don't miss Richmond. If nightlife's the only life for you, head to Chapel Street and Prahran. Here's our four favourites...
Melbourne central business district
Unlike many cities’ Central Business Districts that often seem a little bland, Melbourne’s is built for the curious – you’ll never stop discovering new colourful laneways, coffee shops and pop-up bars. Head to Hosier Lane and reach street-art nirvana, fill up in the huge China Town, or stop for lunch in any one of Centre Place’s cosy cafes – a feast for your eyes as well as your stomach.
st kilda melbourne sunset
St Kilda
If us Brits are crossing the pond, we need a beach nearby our new home. St Kilda’s stretch of sand is a 24-hour hotspot, always inhabited by hundreds of backpackers. It’s the place to be any night of the week, full of awesome bars, cool eateries, the funnest hostels and the legendary Luna Park fair ground. Head along the pier at sunset to meet the resident penguins.
Fitzroy warehouse street art
Does your ideal weekend consist of brunches, art fairs, vintage shopping, rooftop cocktails, craft beer, and/or warehouse parties? This north-eastern suburb is the place for you. Shop 'til you drop in the boutiques of Gertrude Street, load up on vegan scran at Smith & Daughters, then wash it down with a few drinks on top of Naked for Satan. This is Melbourne's answer to Brooklyn. 
Brunswick melbourne
This northern suburb is walking distance from the CBD and Fitzroy. Still hip, but less in-your-face, this is the home of relaxed bars, cafes, multicultural food and great thrift shopping. Lygon Street runs the length of the suburb and is your one-stop shop for the best Italian in Melbourne. Got a free evening? Head to DOC or 400 Grazi for pizza, then catch a gig and a sink a pot (a beer) at Howler.

Staright Outta' Melbourne: The best road trips and tours

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Up to 20% off Melbourne adventure tours & day trips

Great ocean road
Great Ocean Road & Grampians
Hit the tarmac and take on Australia's most epic coastal roadtrip, watching out for koalas along the way. Visit the iconic Grampians National Park where you'll also hike to McKenzie Falls, then round it off with the opportunity to swim in Apollo Bay, then see kangaroos and learn about Aboriginal life.
3 days | from £244
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Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula & Phillip Island
•Experience the Great Ocean Road, the jaw-dropping Twelve Apostles and the lush Otway Ranges, then head to the Mornington Peninsula and its redident koalas. Then its on to Philip Island to spot penguins... call us to find out more.

*Get a FREE flight on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel*

2 days | fr £172
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Phillip Island Beach & Wildlife Escape
Learn about the conservation of wallabies, kangaroos, koalas and more, see hundreds of little penguins waddle across the beach at Phillip Island, the historic Church Island and Coorong's sand dunes... all departing from Melbourne. Bargain!
2 days | from £123
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Start Planning Your Adventure

Plan your trip

great ocean road
A 4 day Great Ocean Road Self-Drive
Koalafield to drive? Sweet. Depart from Melbourne armed with a zippy car, a pack full of maps and other goodies, four nights accommodation and peace-of-mind that you'll have 24-hour assistance just a phonecall away. Prepare for one of the best roadies in the world!
4 nights | From £371pp - book before Thursday 30th November!
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Work in Melbourne
Shake cocktails on the a rooftop, or head out of Melbourne and spend your days working in a vineyard in the Yarra Valley. The average hourly wage for backpackers Melbourne is $18 and jobs are plentiful! With our Work Starter Packages and Working Holiday visa assistance, you can hit the ground running.
Get up to 15% off Work Starter Packs*
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Hire a Campervan
Wanderlust getting the better of you? Victoria is the perfect state for a roadtrip. So hire a campervan and tick off Australia's highlights in your own time.
From £12pp perday
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Our favourite Melbourne hotels and hostels

Base Hostel, St Kilda
• Situated in St Kilda, a stone's throw from the beach
• Voted one of the top ten hostels in the world. 24-hour fun!
• Enjoy a drink in the Red Eye Bar, chill out in the glass atrium and chat in the TV lounge
From £20 pppn
United Backpackers
• This brand spanking new, award-winning new hostel is located opposite Flinders Station, right in the CBD. 
• Heaps of cool spaces including a funky basement bar and huge kitchen - no more knocking elbows!
• All beds have their own power point, light & locker
From £19pppn
Discovery Melbourne, CBD
• A fun vibe in the heart of the city
• Minutes away from the world-famous Queen Victoria Market and city centre shopping
• Has a bar, rooftop and cinema room
From £45pppn

When is the best time to visit Melbourne?

Unlike other parts of Australia such as tropical Queensland, Melbourne has distinct seasons and can get pretty chilly in its winter, which falls between June and September - the same time of year as British summer. During this time, you can head to Mt Buller to snowboard or ski!

Spring lasts from September to November - during this time, expect as many rainy days as warm ones. Christmas brings amazing heat, with Melbourne's summer temperatures regularly hitting 35 degrees. 

How easy is it to find a job in Melbourne?

Super easy! Step one, arm yourself with a working holiday visa or one of our fail-safe starter packs - which are valid for up to a year. Step two, hone your CV and send it out to as many businesses as possible. There are heaps of online jobs boards and forums so it will take you no time at all to find hospitality, shop, bar or cafe work. The economy is pretty strong in Melbourne, meaning you can earn between $15 and $30 an hour, even for unskilled work. Step three, hustle, baby!

Step four is optional - you can choose to complete three month's 'regional work' (meaning fruit picking, farming or agriculture) in order to meet the requirements to have your working holiday visa extended for another year. Trust us, you won't want to leave Melbourne after just one year...

What's on in Melbourne?

Melbourne is Australia's sporting and cultural capital and a peek at the events calendar explains why. Whether you are into fast cars, food and wine, horse racing, tennis, any other sport, music, art or fashion, there is something on for everyone. Don't miss the Australian Open in January, White Night Melbourne in February, the Formula 1 Grand Prix in March and the Melbourne Cup in November.

Excited? Us too. Get more Melbourne travel inspiration from the STA Travel blog!

get a taste:

24 hours in Melbourne

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STA Travel Blog

Melbourne City Guide - Food & Drink

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Meet our awesome content creator, Hannes

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