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Alternative Things to Do in Melbourne

Melbourne Things To Do
Melbourne, being the Cultural Capital of Australia, has plenty up its sleeves in terms of offerings to visitors. Apart from the usual sightseeing activities like going up to Eureka Skydeck for an aerial view of the city, there are many other interesting things one can do.

Melbourne offers man things to do like visiting galleries and museums, exploring the Queen Victoria Market, going back to nature at Royal Botanic Gardens and even getting up close with the animals at Melbourne Zoo and Aquarium.

However, this article focuses on the alternative things you can do besides the same old commercial touristy attractions here in Melbourne. 

Alternative Things to Do in Melbourne

One of the most unique and interesting ways to see the city is possibly by getting, and shown around, on a Harley Davidson. Touted as a “Tour with a Difference”, Harley Rides in Melbourne aims to provide an opportunity to see Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges from a different angle.

And saw Melbourne from a different angle I did. Donning a leather jacket, my friends and I hopped on our Harley and went on an exhilarating tour of Melbourne city and its beach front.

Our riders not only showed us around but also explained tits and bits about the city and places we passed through.

Don’t feel that a Harley ride is cool or romantic enough for you? Then maybe a ride on a beautiful antique horse-drawn carriage appeals more. There are a few options for this and among them is Classic Carriages.

Perfect for couples and even groups of up to 6 people, you can usually rent it for some city sightseeing the “traditional” way or just to travel and arrive at an event or a place in style. 
Melbourne horse-drawn carriages
Horse-drawn carriage in Melbourne
If the above are too touristy for you, then fret not. You can just take a walk around the city. You can do this either on your own or just join one of the many walking tours available in the city, from free ones to ones with a fee. Each one has its own attraction.

Hidden Secret Tours for example has an interesting Café Culture Walk. Interesting because Melbourne has a very established coffee culture and it has plenty of unique cafés throughout the city.

You get to explore the streets and lanes and visit little gems like Captains of the Industry and Patricia Coffee Brewers.
Captains of the Industry in Melbourne

Captains of the Industry is not only popular among the locals, it also offers 3 other services and products apart from good food and drinks, namely bespoke footwear and leather accessories, gent’s traditional haircut  and clothes fitting.

Patricia Coffee Brewers, which is also popular among locals for its coffee and leather goods, is located in a nondescript side of a building you could easily miss it if you’re not careful.

Apart from coffee, Melbourne also prides itself for having restaurants offering specialties from all around the world.

You can find them everywhere, in Lygon Street, Little Bourke Street, major roads and even on a small back lane.

San Telmo, an Argentinian restaurant and bar, is one such restaurant. If you go there, don’t forget to try its alfajores, Argentine cookies filled with dulce de leche.

If walking however is not your thing, then perhaps cycling could entice you to explore more of the city’s backstreet scenes.

Hop on a bike and cycle to suburb areas like Fitzroy which are famous for their Bohemian culture and offerings. Their back lanes are dotted with some cool street art.
Street Art around the Fitzroy area
Street Art around the Fitzroy area
You can rent a bike from any of the 50 bike stations in the city centre. You can even rent it for free if the trips you make (between bike stations) take less than 30 minutes each.

All you need to do is pay a very minimal daily (AUD2.80) or weekly subscription fee (AUD8.00).

With some good planning, this is just perfect if you’re on a budget. If you’d like to get on a guided bike tour however, Real Melbourne Bike Tour can help you with your bearings exploring the bohemian backstreets, lively markets, cafes, hidden arcades, bike paths and bluestone lane ways.

If cycling is also not your thing, again, fret not. The city has quite a good tram network that extends further than the free tram service.

Just get a myki card (works similar to Malaysia’s Touch’n’Go and London’s Oyster), and you’re set to go on your adventure in the city.

Melbourne Things to Do

About the writer

The writer Rusli Wahab was in Melbourne on a special familiarisation trip with Tune Hotels, AirAsia X, Tourism Australia and Tourism Victoria.

You can also read Rusli's other articles about his review on review of Tune Hotels Melbourne and also his experience at Yarra Valley.

Tune Hotels has more than 40 hotels in 8 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, India, Japan, United Kingdom and Australia. Tune Hotel Melbourne is also the first Tune Hotel in Australia.

AirAsia X is a long-haul, budget airline based in Malaysia. The airline flies twice each way daily between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne.

Other than Melbourne, it also flies to 5 other cities in Australia including Adelaide, Darwin, Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney.

This is also a special edition guest post from Malaysia Asia which highlights the alternative things to do in Melbourne, Australia. 


Katie Featherstone said...

Interesting ideas! Melbourne is such a great city- amazing street art. Thanks for sharing!

Malaysia Asia said...

Thank you Katie. I'm sure there are more to explore, provided you have the time.

Roland said...

i like this concept with the bikestations. we have a similar system here in vienna(its only 1€ for registration, after that, its free to use. I think a bike is a great way to explore citys