Chinatown

Suburbs and Areas

Chinatown by mugley/Flickr

Ballarat

You might say that Ballarat is a shadow of its former self. This sleepy Victorian city was once the epicentre of Australia’s Gold Rush. In the mid 19th century, what was originally a dusty colonial settlement suddenly exploded, attracting tens of thousands of migrants from around the country and the world in search of riches. Things have quietened down a little since then, but Ballarat today is still a superb tourist destination and well worth a visit.

You can relive the gold rush days at Sovereign Hill, a recreated goldfield and open-air museum. The entry fee includes the opportunity to pan for real gold, just like they did in the 1850s. (Don’t expect to find anything too big, though).

Ballarat will truly appeal to the history buffs. The town is rich in Australian yore, and a great place to glimpse into Victoria’s colourful colonial past. This was the site of the 1854 Eureka Rebellion; the only armed uprising in the country’s history and a major turning point on our road to democracy. Ballarat is symbolic of Australia’s earliest years as a nation and our struggle to forge an identity.

Even if history isn’t your cup of tea, there’s plenty more to see and do in Ballarat. The city is ringed by an excellent network of cycle paths, and exploring the surrounding countryside on two wheels is a lovely way to spend a couple of days. If you’ve just come from hectic Melbourne, Ballarat is the ideal place to slow things down a bit and discover the pleasures of country Victoria.

Bayside

The coastline area between Brighton and Beaumaris with water based living and small shopping villages.

Block Arcade

The best places in Melbourne are all hidden; it is part of the city’s charm. The best bars, shops, and eateries are all hidden down little alleyways, behind bigger stores, and in arcades. And the Block Arcade is no different.

The Block Arcade, with its impressive etched glass roof and spectacular interior, boasts the largest mosaic floor area in all of Australia. Designed and constructed in the early 1890’s, the arcade is classified by the National Trust and is in prime position on the register of the National Estate.

The Block arcade was restored and refurbished, which upgraded the once simple arcade into a complex of modern retail and consumer delights. Never losing its original Victorian vision, The Block arcade retains its old world charm whilst enticing the modern shopper.

You can find The Block arcade between Collins and Elizabeth streets, under the impressive entry canopies. Not as hidden anymore as some of the other laneway shopping destinations, The Block arcade houses some of the most impressive stores and retail collections in this part of the central business district. Cutting edge designer stores, vintage boutiques, and specialty streets are all housed within one of Melbourne’s most spectacular examples of the glorious architectural past that came before.

For eating, the Block Arcade holds some fantastic coffee and cafe fair, which is sure to tempt your taste buds. From Panini’s to French pastry, and coffee that will draw you in with its mere aroma, you might find you spend more time than you planned browsing, eating, and delighting in all that The Block Arcade has to offer.

Bourke Hill

Here you will find an enclave of bookshops, music stores, and theatres.

Bridge Road, Richmond

Shopping at Bridge Road. Just a short tram ride from the centre of Melbourne is the Bridge Road shopping area. Among the many types of stores are designer boutiques and other clothes stores, speciality stores, and art stores.

Those looking for bargains can try the Country Road Clearance Warehouse, Esprit Clearance Outlet, Bendon Outlet, Christopher Ari Factory Outlet, Ginger Tree Clearance Outlet, Gorman Factory Outlet, Kamikaze Direct, Alberto Piazza Clearance Outlet, Betts Outlet Bridge Road, and Pumpkin Patch Outlet Store.

There are many restaurants along Bridge Road. Those who want their food more quickly can stop at the McDonalds, Subway, or Roosters Charcoal Chicken.

If you need accommodation in the area, there is the Amora Hotel Riverwalk Melbourne and Quest Richmond.

Trams from the Melbourne CBD and other areas travel to Bridge Road. The West Richmond train station is close to Bridge Road. Richmond Station is also within walking distance. Parking is available for those driving there. Travelling from the city along Wellington parade, or going along Punt Road, will get you quickly to Bridge Road.

Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

There are over one hundred shops and businesses to visit along Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Around fifty stores are dedicated to fashion and clothing. These include Dangerfield, Fun Fashion, Swimwear Galore, American Vintage, Jack London, Quick Brown Fox, and Rogues.

Some of the places to buy food are Babka Cafe, Jasper’s Cafe, Little Creatures Dining Hall, San Shurro Chocolateria, Souvlaki King, The Perseverance Hotel, and Tim’s Gelateria.

Many small specialty stores are located there; these include Brunswick Street Antiques, Fitzroy Nursery, Gallin’s Guitars, and The Grub Street Book Shop.

Other businesses along the street include barbers and hair stylists, newsagents, a jewellery store, and several gift shops.

Brunswick Street is only a block away from the Carlton Gardens, Royal Exhibition Building, and the Melbourne Museum.

Take a tram to Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Limited parking is available on the street when driving a car there. Brunswick Street is several blocks north-east of the Melbourne CBD.

Carlton

Carlton is to the north of the centre and is the home of Lygon Street. If you walk along this street for a while you will find Melbourne’s Italy, and, in particular, a number of Italian restaurants.

Chinatown

Around Little Bourke Street, between Swanston and Exhibition streets, you will find Chinatown. This is where the Chinese first settled when they arrived in Australia from about 1850. The Chinese Museum is a good place to start to learn about the history and culture of the Chinese in Australia. And, of course, there are lots of Chinese restaurants to try out while you are in the area.

Collins Street

This is Melbourne’s boulevard, with prestigious shops, hotels, churches and banks in grand buildings.

Docklands

The newest ‘place-to-be’ in Melbourne is only five minutes from the CBD and right on the water. The Docklands is definitely the new up-and-coming destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Relatively new, and still in partial development, the Docklands gets better every month. The beauty of the waterside development allows you to sit by the water in true class, sip champagne, dine on exclusive, cutting edge cuisine, and take in stunning views of the city.

If it’s family entertainment you are after, Docklands is sure to cater for you too. With fun filled adventures for kids of all ages around the harbour front, you are sure to find more than enough to keep the little ones entertained.

Docklands is becoming Melbourne’s next hub for eating, with international cuisine spanning the globe from Japanese to Moroccan fair; anything you could possibly imagine is here, and it is here in style. With boutique shopping, art tours, fashion parades, events, attractions, and excitement, Docklands has something for everyone.

Located right by the Etihad stadium, only minutes from the city, it’s a great place to eat, drink, and party before or after catching a game.

With Melbourne’s largest public marina right at your fingertips, you can spend the day by the water, or even on it! Or, for something a little different, why not put on some ice skates and have an old fashioned day on the ice at the MediBank Icehouse.

With so much to do, just minutes from the city, Docklands is a classy, well set up, modern area with plenty of entertainment. With a free shuttle bus from the city, why wouldn’t you go explore what modern Melbourne has to offer?

 

Federation Square

Since it’s opening in October 2002, Federation Square has become the primary arts and tourist hub in Melbourne. An entire city block of events, attractions, and information, Federation Square is hard to miss. A bold and colourful design that truly represents Melbourne’s modern creative flair, this modern Melbourne Icon is internationally recognised as one of the world’s great public spaces.

The public area is a unique combination of cultural and civic spaces, which allows guests from far and wide to come and enjoy a little slice of what Melbourne has to offer. From art galleries to fine dining and events, Fed Square (as called by the locals) has something for everyone. For the art lovers, Federation Square is home to the National Gallery of Victoria’s Ian Potter Centre, which houses some of Australia’s premiere artworks from history to now. The Australian Centre of Moving Image is also housed in this great space, which showcases some incredible film festivals all year round.

Throughout the calendar year, Federation Square hosts many incredible public events, ranging from sporting to festivals. With over 2000 events every year, no matter when you are in Melbourne you are sure to catch one of them. Fashion shows, films, performances, exhibits, festivals, and event launches are just a few of the events that are held in this great public space annually.

Within Federation Square there are sixteen diverse eating houses, restaurants, and bars, which allow you to taste the diversity that has made Melbourne so famous the world over. From true Australian cuisine to burger grills and Chinese fare, there is something for every taste and budget.

Federation square is the tourism hub for Melbourne and the bustling Information centre is proof to this. Here you can organise guided tours, bike hire, cruises, and sight-seeing day tours so you can really soak in the sites. There are quite a few great free options available, and you will be surprised at the range of options when you chat to the friendly staff.

 

Fitzroy

The area has a really bohemian feeling to it, and is really relaxed. You feel a bit like you have been transported back to the 70’s! But the place just feels like a modern version of the old hippy suburbs!

If you get to Melbourne between September and October, then do not under any circumstances miss the Melbourne Fringe Festival. It���s on every year and acts from around Australia come to perform there.

Based in Fitzroy, the festival includes shows, comedies, and plays that are truly first class. Combine this festival with the fact that it is based in the lovely village atmosphere of Fitzroy, and there should be no excuses for missing out on this great event.

Flinders Lane

In Melbourne’s CBD, Flinders Lane is a small street that is full of things to do.

Some places to eat along Flinders Lane are Coda Bar and Restaurant at 141 Flinders Lane, Japanese Restaurant IBUKI at 321 Flinders Lane, and Yak bar at 150 Flinders Lane. Degraves Street is an even smaller laneway that runs off Flinders Street where you will find some lovely outdoor cafes to eat at.

Located at 137 Flinders Lane is the Flinders Lane Gallery. Australian art is the specialty of the gallery. The telephone number is (03) 9654 3332. It is open Tuesday to Saturday.

Quest on Flinders Lane is a place to stay in serviced apartments right in the middle of Melbourne. The address is 161 Flinders Lane and the phone number is (03) 9652 3333. At 267 Flinders Lane is the Punthill Apartment Hotel, call 1300 731 299 for details.

The Victoria University has a campus at Flinders Lane. The address is 301 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

To get to Flinders Lane, take a train to Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station and walk a short distance to Flinders Lane.

Flinders Quarter

Melbourne’s hip area and the home of the Melbourne rag trade.

Greek Area

Melbourne is home to the largest Greek population outside Greece. Londsdale and Russell streets are full of Greek restaurants and cafes.

High Street, Armadale

High Street has been a place to shop in Melbourne’s leafy eastern suburbs since the 1880s. Many antique stores are located in High Street. Bridal wear, fashion, furniture, hairdressers, and gift stores are some of the other types of businesses you will find there.

Some of the fashion stores in High Street are Carla Zampatti, Brides of Armadale, Dana Boutique and Megan Park.

The Armadale train station is located right near High Street. Another option is stopping at Malvern Station, visiting the mall and other stores there, and then catching a tram north along Glenferrie Road to High Street. From the city, catch the Frankston or Dandenong line train to the area.

If driving to the area, from the city area take St Kilda Road or Punt Road and turn into High Street. From other parts of Melbourne, the Princes Highway and Monash Freeway will take you to the area, then get to Armadale via Glenferrie Road and, if coming from the north, Toorak Road.

Lygon Street

The Italian area of Melbourne, Lygon street is reached using tram 1 from Swanston Street.

Melbourne Central

Underneath the hustle and bustle that is Melbourne city lays the shopping and entertainment hub of Melbourne Central. From bookshops to cafes, bars, movies, bowling alleys, and a superb combination of high end fashion and boutique wares, anything you desire is right here at your finger tips.

Melbourne central holds over 300 stores inside a funky modern design that was careful to restore, represent, and celebrate its history. The heritage listed Coops Shot Tower stands in the centre of this amazing multi-tiered experience and truly reflects the ever developing architectural landscape that is Melbourne’s inner city life.

For street and surf ware, Central Walk is the place to go. Located on the ground floor of the centre, the walk holds some of the best fashion options for the active and surf conscious. From Carhartt to Calvin Klein Jeans to Diesel, and Australia’s very first Billabong concept store, you will find everything from designer jeans to skate shoes, hoodies, and the best accessories for the beach.

If it’s more contemporary and designer fashion you are looking for, Central One and Central Two are the places to browse. With stores committed solely to the latest in fashion, you will find the newest trends and some pretty spectacular wares. Local and international designers including Saba, Satch, and Morrissey are all housed here for your shopping delight.

If you are hungry you are sure to be spoilt for choice in Menzies Alley, where you can get a good aromatic coffee, a sweet treat, or a lazy late breakfast to give you the energy you need to keep exploring all that is on offer.

At night, Melbourne Central keeps pumping with bars, movies, and bowling alleys to help you relax and shake off the day. Enjoy a leisurely meal, a game against some friends, or a good film, topped off with desert at one of the many delicious eateries scattered around the centre.

Melbourne Central covers two whole city blocks and lies between Swanston, Latrobe, Lonsdal,e and Elizabeth street and houses the Melbourne Central train station, so access couldn’t be easier.

Mornington Peninsula

The Mornington Peninsula is a place that Melbourne residents would prefer you didn’t know about. They like to think of it as their own personal retreat. This little appendage of land is home to the most eclectic and diverse range of towns in all of Victoria. It’s a fascinating place to visit and a sublimely effortless escape from the big city.

North Bank

On the North banks of the Yarra rive is the Melbourne Aquarium and the immigration museum.

QV

On the site where the Queen Victoria Hospital formerly stood is now a shopping centre. It is located in the middle of Melbourne, along Swanston Street. The Big W store at QV is a large department store that sells clothes, appliances, toys, books, and everything else that is available in suburban Big W stores. There is a large entrance inside the QV site. A smaller entrance is situated on Swanston Street, where you take an escalator down from the street to the store.

The Woolworths store at QV gives those in the city the convenience and range of items of a large supermarket.

Entertainment venues at QV are the Strike Bowling Bar, Flight Experience, and Match Bar & Grill.

Banks, a post office, and many other stores are located at QV.

Call (03) 9207 9200 for information.

Take the train to Melbourne Central Station. It is a short, downhill walk from there to QV. Trams along Swanston Street also take visitors from Flinders Street Station to QV.

Richmond

Richmond was settled early and is a multi cultural quarter with historic streets and lanes. Victoria Street is home to the Vietnamese community and many Vietnamese restaurants.

South Bank

On the south edge of Melbourne city lays the heart of arts and entertainment. South Bank is an easy stroll from Flinders street station and Federation square, and stands against the shore of the Yarra River. For all of your artistic and entertainment desires, South Bank will cater. If it is hours browsing the National Gallery you are after, or just taking a walk along the promenades, shopping, dining and gambling at the famous Crown casino, South Bank is the place to be.

The riverside walkway is always bustling with tourists and locals coming and going from the entertainment hub of Melbourne, enjoying the fine dining and casual eating options, and delighting in the tricks and shows of the local and international performing street artists.

The Crown Complex is home to the famous casino, many of Melbourne’s top dining options, great bars, excellent shopping, theatres, and of course the famous Crown Towers hotel, as well as a fire show every hour on the hour.

There are great shopping promenades around South bank that house one of a kind boutique wares, art, and fashion. You will also find hole in the wall galleries run by local and international artists. Whether you are looking for classy restaurants and bars or star spotting, South Bank is the place to go. You can spend hours shopping, eating, people watching, and being entertained by the endless options on hand.

An easy walk from anywhere in the city or from the free City Circle Tram, South Bank is easily found by the Art Centre Spire, which stands tall above the cityscape.

St. Kilda

Made famous by a string of TV Shows, novels and movies, St Kilda is perhaps the most famous suburb of Melbourne. When strolling down the beach sidewalk or through the hustle and bustle of Fitzroy St or Acland St shopping and eating, you are sure to see why St Kilda is easily Melbourne’s favourite sea side suburb. St Kilda is another of Melbourne���s many outer city arts hubs; an epicentre for arts training, galleries, and theatres, St Kilda shows off its artisans proudly with displays, street art, and street theatre to invite you in and entertain you.

A truly independent area, you know when you have hit St Kild—everything is a little different here. The food is a rich mix of international cuisines and bake houses, including some of the most famous bakeries in Melbourne, which serve delicious treats from window displays every day of the week.

Whether you like to walk, cycle, skate, or sail, St Kilda Beach is welcoming to people of all ages. For families and friends, Luna Park will call you to come and play on the rides and laugh and enjoy the entertainment on offer. Fine dining and seafood fair is offered right on the waterfront and live music is always pumping at the Esplanade hotel.

For a taste of luxury, the St Kilda Sea Baths feature an indoor sea water pool and a Spa that uses purified sea water to pamper you.

With funky café’s, retro shopping, and plenty of characters, artisan markets, and festivals, St Kilda is definitely a great place to spend a day exploring the other side of Melbourne. You can visit St Kilda on a sunny or a wet day and you will be fascinated with the place no matter what the weather is like!

Jump on Tram 96 and head out to the suburb of St Kilda to see what all the fuss is about! Do not become confused between St Kilda Rd and St Kilda itself, they are two different places and the place you want is St Kilda, which is the suburb itself!

South Yarra

If you are looking for that somewhere special in the city of Melbourne, then you will just love the suburb of South Yarra.

South Yarra is modern, clean, cool and sophisticated, and, seemingly, is the place to be seen. It sits close to Richmond, which is another, possibly less chic area to the east of Melbourne CBD.

You can get to South Yarra by tram, coming through Richmond on the way, and here you will find an abundance of chic boutique type shops. Café culture is all around you too. South Yarra manages to mix things up by offering some vintage shops to tempt you as well, and pulls off the urban cool thing in its many “uber” trendy bars dotted along the long main road.

West End

The West End is where Melbourne started, and the legal precinct is also located here.

Williamstown

Williamstown is the terminus for one of the suburban rail routes. This was the first place in Port Phillip Bay to be surveyed and it was originally thought that it might be the main area for settlement. It was named William’s Town in 1837, after the King of the day. Now it is for its old buildings that it is worth visiting, for these have survived in this interesting port area, while they have long vanished in the more progressive city of Melbourne. There is a Heritage Trail, with maps available from the Information Centre, and there are also good views of the city and across the bay. There is a ferry to Southbank in the city centre and one to St. Kilda on weekends only.

Yarra River

For thousands of years before the European settlement of Australia, the Yarra River was a major congregation point and an important source of food and water for the indigenous population.

When the first settlers arrived in the area, they sensed opportunity on the fertile banks of the Yarra, and developed agricultural settlements. These colonial outposts were prosperous and grew rapidly, eventually becoming the city of Melbourne. The great Victorian capital never would have been possible without the life source of the Yarra River.

The Yarra River today is an impressive tourist attraction in its own right. The river snakes through the outer suburbs and into the centre of Melbourne, affording the traveller superb views of the city and its important architecture. Three of Melbourne’s most vibrant centres—Federation Square, Southgate, and Crown—are linked together by riverboats.

If you’ve got a long day of Melbourne sightseeing lined up, there’s no better way to travel the city than on the Yarra. And when you feel like getting your feet back on solid ground, there are excellent footpaths and pedestrian trails along the length of the river, taking you through some of Melbourne’s most beautiful and interesting areas.

If you prefer to take things a little slower, several companies operate Yarra River cruises, where you can savour the sights of Melbourne over a gourmet meal and glass of premium Australian wine. This is Australia’s classiest city, so why not treat yourself and explore Melbourne in style.