Featuring off-the-beaten-path watering holes, up-and-coming fashion designers and more
For those who want to bring their four-legged friends
Hello Hounds Melbourne’s tours cater first to man’s bestfriend — their humans may opt for the VIP package, with pick-up and drop-off services, to join in the fun — taking them on both on- and off-leash urban, coastal and city adventures.
Each trip lasts about three hours, and group photo or video shoots can be arranged. Tours from A$45; hellohoundsmelbourne.com
For beer lovers with a taste for history
With Melbourne’s thriving bar and nightclub scene, it’s no surprise that the Drinking History Tours company exists. More than a bar crawl, each tour promises an educational experience to justify that second glass of beer; you’ll hear about the people who helped lay the foundation for Melbourne as a booze town. The tour might come with a hangover, but hey, at least you’re learning something — cheers! Tours from A$85; drinkinghistorytours.com
For the foodie who wants to eat clean
Melbourne Vegan Tours might be just the ticket to that healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle you’ve been promising to lead. Appealing to carnivores and seasoned vegans alike, each tour consists of two- to 3.5-hour runs around hip neighborhoods like Fitzroy, with four or more stops. For further-out areas like the Mornington Peninsula, tours can take a full day. Tours from A$55 to A$299 (private tours); melbournevegantours.com
For dyed-in-the-wool fashionistas
Imagine having your own personal stylist take you on a tour of the city while offering useful, lifelong tips on what to wear and what to avoid. With Fashion by Foot, professional stylists Donna Cameron and Briar Jasper-Batson are on hand to guide you to and through the city’s top fashion stops. Go on a therapeutic retail journey in places like Brunswick, Fitzroy and Collingwood to discover the trendiest local designers. Tours from A$165 (early bird); fashionbyfoot.com
How to be a Melburnian
Dan Pinne, co-founder of Melbourne Vegan Tours shares a few tips:
1. Head to the suburbs. Melburnians love hanging out in their local districts. Travel a short distance out of the inner city to experience the local vibes and possibly dip into some history along the way.
2. Hit the “Vegan Mile”, which stretches from Gertrude Street to Alexander Parade in Fitzroy. Known as the most vegan-friendly street in the world, it features over 30 dedicated vegan establishments.
3. Be on the lookout for hidden-away cafés and bars in the city’s many alleyways and rooftops or in other pockets of urban space.
4. Have coffee with a local. Early Italian settlers have influenced the longstanding desire for good —and perhaps also best-in-the-world — coffee. It can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
5. Check into a vegan and sustainable accommodation. These include the Beet Retreat bed and breakfast in Smiths Gully and Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary in Lancefield (which also has an animal sanctuary on site).
This article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of Smile magazine.