19 January - 1 February 2015
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Summertime bars Coffee Breakfasts Shopping Road trips
Melbourne arts After dark Best kept secrets RCT experiences Outdoor spaces

Keep that grand slam buzz long after the winning serve in an epic match by hitting Melbourne's cafes, boutiques, restaurants and bars.

Melbourne saves its best for the Australian Open, with an array of art, culture and music events adding to the atmosphere when the Grand Slam reaches the pointy end.

The city's lauded laneway life is just a serve and volley from Melbourne Park, allowing you to load up on caffeine and bumper breakfasts at quaint cafes before a five-setter, shop for clothes and accessories to look the part at centre court, or wind down in a hidden bar afterwards. Warm summer nights are perfect for outdoor drinks with friends to dissect the day's play, for catching a local band in a bar, or sampling the city's best fare.

Some of Melbourne and Victoria's most iconic sights are just a short trip out of town, so you can pair your sightings of tennis stars with a look at local legends and be back in the city in time for the next contest.

Make sure you ace your Australian Open experience and check out the following lists of recommendations. And, go to visitvictoria.com for more information about Melbourne and Victoria.


Summertime bars

Soak up Melbourne's summery atmosphere while enjoying drinks with friends at the city's best bars, which just happen to be outdoors. Perch over the Yarra River with a beer, teeter on milk crates and pallets with a cocktail, sit up amid the skyscrapers with a G&T, or loom large over city streets with a cold glass of local wine on balmy evenings that feel like they could go on forever. Watch the sun set on a great day of tennis and city sights at these five summertime bars.

Rooftop Bar
Take in jaw-dropping views of the CBD skyline at Rooftop Bar, set seven storeys atop the popular Curtin House. – View More

Naked in the Sky
Hit the rooftop of Fitzroy favourite Naked For Satan for authentic Basque country comfort food, complete with views of the distant Dandenong Ranges. – View More

Ponyfish Island
Clinging to a pylon beneath the pedestrian bridge over the Yarra to Southbank, you'll find a pop-up oasis of beer, coffee and tasty toasties. – View More

Section 8
So much more than two shipping containers in a car park, Section 8 is where Melburnians go for unpretentious drinks and delectable audio offerings. – View More

Channel Spanish workers with a touch of Melbourne flair with authentic tapas atop the Bomba rooftop, where cocktails, cerveza and manzanilla flow. – View More


Like the merits of a serve-and-volley player versus the attributes of a baseline devotee, Melburnians are passionate about their preferred cafes and bean roasteries. Start your mornings in city laneways filled with the aroma of espresso, or venture into inner-city neighbourhoods to test the mettle of their offerings. Try some of the more scientific extraction methods, like syphon or clover, for a certain caffeine hit, or sit back and relax with a flat white and a finely crafted breakfast to prepare you for a day of tennis. Fill your cup at five of our favourites.

Proud Mary
Put your faith in Proud Mary and the fancy equipment for a smooth cup o' Joe and a breakfast or lunch that will get you rolling, rolling, rolling. – View More

Seven Seeds
Peep at the mini coffee bean plantation to get greater pleasure from a flat white, extracted to high standards by a crack-team of coffee connoisseurs. – View More

Brother Baba Budan
Have your caffeine and drink it too in a cafe named after a legendary coffee smuggler, where chairs hang high and the beans are roasted with pedigree. – View More

Market Lane Coffee
Follow the aromas of espresso to Market Lane Coffee at the entrance to Prahran Market and leave your coffee order in the hands of the expert barista. – View More

League of Honest Coffee
Become a member of the city's finest League and savour the rewards of its commitment to the Padre ethos of doing coffee simply, and doing coffee well. – View More


Just as Novak Djokovic and the Williams sisters have a refined routine for the morning of a big match, so you should stock up on a big breakfast to prepare for a day courtside at Melbourne Park. Luckily for you, Melbourne is a city that values the first meal of the day. Melbourne's best breakfast spots place as much emphasis on their coffee as what's on the plate, so you're sure to be equally well fed and caffeinated. Try innovative takes on old favourites or mouth-wateringly bold concoctions that will become new favourites. Try these five for guaranteed great starts to the day.

Manchester Press
Get in line to praise Manchester Press, the huge lucent space softened with old timbers and quirky junkyard installations where coffee reigns supreme. – View More

St Ali
Anoint St Ali of South Melbourne your patron saint and savour in his name the carefully crafted espressos and the excellent breakfast and lunch. – View More

Silo by Joost
Start your day sustainably with an eco-friendly breakfast. Just about everything here is made on site – from the bread to the butter and yoghurt. – View More

Top Paddock
Give thanks to the local producers who have helped Top Paddock deliver their vision from the paddock to your plate, which will surely be licked clean. – View More

Cumulus Inc
There are eggs, and then there are Cumulus eggs and there is no comparison. Cumulus breakfast is done simply and is a certain perfect start to a day. – View More


You'll be spoiled for choice in Melbourne's shopping precincts, with options for lovers of sport, fashion, literature, music, art and design. Small, vibrant shopping strips boasting a colourful and diverse range of traders dot inner city neighbourhoods, while the city centre's laneways and arcades are treasure troves just waiting to be discovered. Independent local designers and fashion's best-known names happily co-exist with vintage emporia and jewellery ateliers, ensuring you'll look the part when you take your seat at centre court.These five recommendations will fill your shopping basket in no time.

Night markets
Balmy evening? Embrace twilight retail therapy, food from around the globe and live entertainment at Melbourne's fabulous night markets. – View More

Record stores
Visit an independent record store in Melbourne – find second hand bargains, obscure new releases and live in-store performances. – View More

Melbourne boasts more bookshops per head than anywhere else in Australia. Browse independent retailers stocked to the rafters with lovely literature. – View More

Shopping streets
Who says the High street is dead? Melbourne locals love their vibrant shopping strips, alive with a colourful and diverse range of independent retail. – View More

Art and design
Scratch the surface of Melbourne's laneways and arcades and discover countless artisan workshops, designer boutiques, and hole-in-the-wall galleries. – View More

Road trips

Victoria is a compact state, so when you find yourself with a break between matches or nervously anticipating the final, you can head off on a short drive from Melbourne. Within a matter of hours you'll be devouring fresh local produce on the beaches of Mornington Peninsula, watching the waddling penguins on parade at Phillip Island, or sipping wines among the vines in Yarra Valley's boutique wineries. Take a bit more time and refresh body and mind in Daylesford's day spas or discover Australia's gold history in Ballarat and Bendigo. Here's five ideas to get you raring to go.

Yarra Valley wineries
Sip, sniff, and savour fine wines within the hallowed walls of historic Victorian viticultural institutions, or discover secret winery gems. – View More

Daylesford spas
Expect total relaxation in Australia's spa capital, with a large variety of treatments, bathhouses and mineral pools, just over an hour from Melbourne. – View More

Phillip Island Nature Park
See Phillip Island's little penguins emerge from the sea, peek at life inside a burrow, and spot other Australian animals at this wildlife wonderland. – View More

Modern Love at Bendigo Art Gallery
Discover fashions from some of the world's most influential designers at Modern Love: Fashion visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA. – View More

Mornington Peninsula local produce
Fill up with farm-fresh delights at inviting farms and roadside stalls, or taste the harvest cooked to perfection at esteemed eateries. – View More

Melbourne arts

It's hard to believe there can be more happening in Melbourne during the Australian Open than the top-tier tennis, but beyond Melbourne Park there are more theatre, exhibitions, concerts and festivals than you can whack a ball at. Take the opportunity to see a blockbuster stage show or a touring exhibition that coincides with your visit. Wander through free public galleries for a whirlwind tour of the local art scene, join a gallery opening, and keep your eye out for installations and exhibitions in the unlikeliest places. See our five picks to get you started.

Strictly Ballroom the Musical
Come and join in the fun and experience all the glitz, glamour and laughs of this brand new production of Strictly Ballroom The Musical directed by Baz Luhrmann and based on his much-loved Australian film. – View More

Melbourne Now
See bold new works by visiting international artists, engage with commissioned works by local luminaries, and hear fresh sounds from around the globe. – View More

Bond at Melbourne Museum
Get an inside view of the world's favourite secret agent and the iconic cars, fashion and gadgets at Melbourne Museum Designing 007 – 50 Years of Bond Style. – View More

Public galleries
Get a priceless opportunity to see some of Australia's finest art collections for nothing at Melbourne's public art galleries, or see visiting shows. – View More

Artist run initiatives
Claim a booth in a train carriage and use the buzzer to order Thai food and fine cocktails all night, leaving only to catch a band in the stage room. – View More

After dark

Just because your days at Melbourne Park are jam-packed with Grand Slam tennis action doesn't mean your nights need to be sedate affairs. Melbourne puts on a show when the lights go out. Special menus for midnight dining? Yes please! Rare vintages in a plush wine bar? You betcha. Table service to your private indoor railway carriage? Every night! Add a handful of rock n' roll bars for late-night dancing and perhaps some spicy snacks and cocktails to recharge, and you might find yourself rushing to be courtside on time the next morning. Check out some of our picks.

Toff in Town
Claim a booth in a train carriage and use the buzzer to order Thai food and fine cocktails all night, leaving only to catch a band in the stage room. – View More

The Melbourne Supper Club
You just know a place is good when waiters go there for knock-off drinks. This favourite combines one of the city's longest wine lists with a rooftop bar. – View More

Make a night out last even longer with a Boney midnight feast and the infamous 2am live music slot, then dance to the DJs until the sun comes up. – View More

Late night snacks don't need to end with next day remorse. Choose Mamasita and its all-night taqueria menu, designed to sate post-11pm snack attacks. – View More

Chin Chin
Give a big night out a recharge in the early hours with a feast of spicy Thai flavours and neon cocktails at Chin Chin, open every day until late. – View More

Best kept secrets

There's nothing like having a bit of local knowledge up your sleeve when you're visiting a new city, and Melbourne's network of laneways and arcades are hives of untold gems just waiting to be discovered. With our tips for five of Melbourne's best-kept secrets you can have a truly Melbourne experience and gather starting points for your own local discoveries. Enter an inconspicuous doorway for a fine wine experience, find an edible green space atop a carpark, stumble across some quirky jewellery and unlock a very unusual cabinet of curiosities. Discover the city's secrets.

Lucy Folk
Cure your craving for delicious jewellery design with these unique pieces provocative and fierce enough for the likes of Snoop Dogg and Lily Allen. – View More

Pop Up Patch
Encounter an edible oasis right in the middle of the city at Little Veggie Patch Co's Pop Up Patch, and join a workshop for some gardening tips. – View More

There's always an exhilarating thrill to be had in Melbourne's hive of bustling, creative laneways with their boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars – View More

Find a truly eclectic mix of scientific oddities, taxidermy, artefacts and ephemera from the mystical to the macabre in this cabinet of curiosities. – View More

Von Haus
Squeeze in for rustic food, great music and coffee, and personable wine service. Just don't tell anyone. This has been a cosy city favourite for years. – View More

RCT experiences

For five days in October the world got to explore Melbourne like never before, controlling real tourists live online and uncovering some of Melbourne's best kept secrets. From quirky boutiques and laneway eateries to rooftop cocktail bars, their adventures revealed hundreds of hidden gems. Check out some of the Remote Control Tourists' most entertaining adventures.

Rod Laver Arena

Guy Grossi

King Kong

Helicopter ride

Captains of Industry

Outdoor spaces

Melbourne is part of the Garden State for a reason – green spaces, floral displays, sandy beaches and the banks of the river are a big part of daily life. The Royal Botanic Gardens are a stone's throw from the tennis action at Melbourne Park, and a calm, verdant space for between-match meandering. Relax on the banks of the Yarra River as swans and rowing teams glide by, or spend a while soaking up the atmosphere from Federation Square. Here's where to go for some wide open spaces

Royal Botanic Gardens
Step into a leafy green world of discovery and delight in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, with stunning vistas, tranquil lakes and exotic plans. – View More

Federation Square
'Fed Square' is a public space buzzing with a daily program of events, restaurants and cafes and art. Grab a deckchair and watch the world go by. – View More

Birrarung Marr
Listen to the ringing of the eye-catching Federation Bells and browse the open-air collection of artworks to discover Melbourne's indigenous culture. – View More

Fitzroy Gardens
Marvel at the tiny doorways of historic Captain Cook's Cottage, the carved Fairies Tree, the model Tudor Village, and myriad fountains and statues. – View More

Carlton Gardens
Laze around the water features in Carlton Gardens before summoning the energy to explore the adjacent Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building. – View More

Sunday, 21 December 2014
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