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Melbourne

Travel 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

  • Lost in laneways
    Quirky boutiques, bustling brunch spots, craft coffee stalls, walls of multi-coloured street art, secret raves and cocktail hide outs - Melbourne's laneways are a key part of what makes this city so darn cool. Spend hours lost in these captivating streets before parking up at a cafe and watching the uber-trendy locals wander on by. 
  • 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
The CBD
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
Fitzroy
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
Brunswick
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.

Straight Outta' Melbourne: The best road trips and tours

Melbourne adventure tours & day trips

Great ocean road
3 Day Ocean Road & Grampians (start Melbourne)
Begin the ultimate road trip, cruising towards the Great Ocean Road - stop to watch surfers in action at famed beaches, marvel at the Twelve Apostles and stroll through National Parks - as you enter the Grampians NP, take a walk to MacKenzie Falls, where before sunset the local wildlife, such as wallabies, kangaroos and kookaburras come out to play.
3 days | from £230
book now
Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula & Phillip Island
Experience the Great Ocean Road, the jaw-dropping 12 Apostles and the lush Otway Ranges, then head to the Mornington Peninsula and its resident koalas. Then its on to Phillip Island to spot penguins... call us to find out more.

 

2 days | fr £182
Call to book
Yarra Valley Wine Experience
Take a terrific tour of tutored tastings around Melbourne`s premier wineries and see for yourself why Australian wines have exploded in popularity. With presentations, transport, tastings and food all included, this is a fun way to acquire a bit of viniculture sophistication.
1 day | from £75
Call to book

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
call to book
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.
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 £25 per van perday
Find out more

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 £16 pppn
Call to book
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 £21pppn
Call to book
4* Causeway Inn on the Mall
• With a buzzing Bourke Street location, in the vibrant heart of Melbourne
• The hotel is surrounded by lively cafes, boutiques and international stores
• Comfortable, well-appointed rooms at affordable prices
 
From £46pppn
Call to book

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

Read Blog
STA Travel Blog

Melbourne City Guide - Food & Drink

read blog
STA TRAVEL BLOG

5 places to get your live music fix in Melbourne

Read Blog

Terms & Conditions of United Airlines upgrades & lounge pass lucky draw

There are 10 lounge passes to give away for economy bookings made with STA Travel. They have a maximum validity of 12 months from date of issue.

There are 5 economy plus upgrades to give away for new economy bookings made with STA Travel (flying United Airlines). These are only valid for flights departing LHR, where the United Airlines club lounge is located. 

These are United Airlines flights only and must not be code-share with another airline.

1 per person (if there are multiple passengers in the booking then all passengers will be awarded a lounge pass/economy plus upgrade, only to the maximum limits stipulated above.)

The winners will be drawn at random

Winners will be notified before 21st December 2018

This is for bookings made through STA Travel only. It cannot be redeemed directly through the airline

It is a non-transferable and non-refundable product with no cash value.

STA Travel reserve the right to withdraw the offer and any passes/upgrades at any time.

Available for new bookings only (from 7th December 2018)

This is including United Airlines bookings made via our website, in store or over the phone.

Offer ends 16th December.