Our last day in Melbourne was a free day to explore the city, so we planned it out and visited all our Melbourne bucket list items!
Hosier & Rutledge Lane
We ate breakfast at one of the many lovely little cafes throughout Melbourne, then walked along the parks and over the river into the city. Our first stop was Hosier and Rutledge Lane, a small section of alleyways decked out in graffiti art. This had been one of the places I wanted to visit since before I came to Australia, so it was definitely exciting! Some of the art is semi-permanent, while some of it changes more frequently, but it is all colorful and intriguing. Other locations throughout the city are known for similar graffiti artwork, but this is the most popular.
Obligatory dance picture at Rutledge Lane
The downtown area of Melbourne is lovely, very artsy and clean. We spent a little time looking at artwork in Federation Square, which is a cool building itself, but also had very interesting art inside. My favorite was a glass exhibit that was centered around the ocean and coral reefs, the work was absolutely stunning!
After becoming a master of the State of Victoria public transport (difficult to do in one day), we took the tram to Brighton Beach. At Dendy Beach, located at Brighton, there are 82 huts lined up along the beach. These iconic “bathing boxes,” were originally built for a place to sleep near the beach, but now the colorful huts are more of a novelty. These tiny vacation homes start at $25,000, and create an iconic beachscape. We checked out all the different designs painted on the huts walking along the beach, and looked at the beautiful Victorian-inspired homes built along the road on the way back.
Row of Brighton Beach huts
Close up of Brighton Beach hut
Mid-afternoon, we visited the Arbory Bar & Eatery, the longest bar in Australia. With all outdoor seating on on old tram-station deck, the kitchen and two bars are located inside repurposed shipping containers along the deck. This restaurant was quite delightful, the food and drinks were great, and it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon sitting on the river’s edge.
The Arbory Bar & Eatery
Our last adventure of the day was at St. Kilda Pier at dusk to see penguins! I know this is Australia, but it just shows how versatile the environments are here! A small colony of little penguins, Eudyptula minor, having been living in the breakwaters protecting St. Kilda harbour since the 1970’s, and have been studied since 1986. The best way to see them is at dawn or dusk, and you can find them popping out of the rocks of the breakwater where they raise chicks in the protection of the rock wall. They are completely adorable and well-worth visiting!
I am very happy that we got to check off all the major activities we were hoping to get to do in Melbourne, but am still sad to leave! Hopefully I’ll be back one day to explore the city more, but for now we’re off to Tasmania!