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Things we can’t wait to do in Melbourne again

Visiting a hair salon, browsing in a bookshop, sitting in a cafe. These are the things we’re most looking forward to doing once again.

Taking an endless garden stroll

Topping the green list is Melbourne’s beloved Royal Botanic Gardens. When the gates are open to everyone at last, going for a wander down a winding pathway to the lake will be as sweet as can be. With Cooks’ Cottage, the Tudor Village and the Fairies Tree, Fitzroy Gardens comes a close second. And popping into KereKere Green for a latte and pastry will put the icing on the cake.

Two people walking along a footpath surrounded by trees and bushes

Royal Botanic Gardens

Watching the sun set over the Yarra

The river’s been out of bounds for most of us for months. Taking a stroll beside the Yarra at sunset has been something we could only dream of. Stop and gaze downriver from Princes Bridge, and watch as Melbourne begins to glow. Take in the view from Hamer Hall walkway or follow the steps down to Southbank Promenade.

A pink sunset over a city river

Sunsets over the Yarra

Reading a book on the sun-soaked State Library lawn

Everyone’s favourite stretch of city-centre green is the State Library  front lawn. When the sun peeps out, it’s the cue to get down on the grass and chill.  When they reopen, we’ll pop into a bookstore first for a browse. Metropolis is nearby, for books on what Melbourne does best: design, culture and the arts. Or maybe we’ll step inside the Library for some Oz literature from Readings. Buying a copy of Monkey Grip makes sense. Why? Because Helen Garner wrote most of her 1977 classic in the Library’s domed Reading Room.

The interior of a large old library

The State Library Reading room is one spot we miss a lot

Stocking the pantry at Queen Victoria Market

Haven’t we envied Melburnians with a central postcode? They’ve been able to shop at Queen Victoria Market during the past few months. When iso ends, we’ll be beating a path to the market’s fruit and vegie stalls and Dairy Hall delis. Then sip a coffee on the go from Market Lane while snacking on gozleme from the Borek Bakehouse. It’s simple, everyday pleasures we’re hanging out for.

A large old building on a sunny day

Meet you at the market

Grabbing a laneway coffee

Our caffeine options have been limited over the past few months. We’re longing to be spoiled for choice once again, and we’ll start our coffee reunion in Degraves Street. Where you can order a traveller and Danish from tiny Tulip. And, just imagine, stopping for a sit-down coffee with fruit toast at The Quarter, or a Euro-style break at Caffé E Torta around the corner. Then one last latte from subterranean Cup of Truth before heading home on the train.

The outside of a cafe

Caffe E Torta

Spotting the latest street art

Checking out the street art is another Melbourne thing we’ve missed. What’s been added and what’s changed since you last strolled the laneways? Visit the graffiti mecca, Hosier Lane, to find out. Then visit Duckboard Place to pay homage to Steen Jones’ Melbourne. Maybe AC/DC Lane to say g’day to Bon Scott, or Higson Lane to greet Elton John and Yoda. And Meyers Place to admire Mike Makatron’s murals. Check out more new street art spots here.

A leafy street art mural on a large wall

Mike Makatron’s mural in Meyers Place

Dining alfresco

This summer will be a season of alfresco dining like no other. So we’re looking forward to getting some practice in at Arbory Afloat. The floating bar has a different theme each year, and this one’s hard to beat: relaxed beach-house. Lie back and think of summer holidays, while sipping a fruity cocktail or chilled glass of rosé. While overhead the sky turns from indigo and orange to star-twinkling night.

Umbrellas along the side of a river at sunset

Arbory Afloat is back

Getting a gelato in Carlton

And when we get a thirst for something sweet? We’ll follow Swanston Street up the hill to Carlton, Melbourne’s home of gelato. Ah, but then decisions will have to be made. Will it be pistachio and rose meringue from Pidapipó? A cup of vegan passionfruit sorbet from Lavezzi? Or creamy caramelised fig from Casa del Gelato? There’s no better way to spend a warm spring evening than eating ice cream on Lygon Street.

A person holding an ice cream

Pidapipo’s finest scoops

Meeting up under the clocks

We’ve all been hanging out to catch up with friends. And we can’t imagine a finer place to reconnect than Melbourne’s signature meeting place. The busy Flinders Street Station steps have been empty over the past few months. If night is falling, we’ll stay on to see the station’s illuminations light up. The view from the station over to St Paul’s and Fed Square is a classic Melbourne view we can’t get enough of.

A large old building lit up at night

Meet you under the clocks

Metropolitan Melbourne is still under certain restrictions. Please note businesses may close or run out of stock at short notice: check with individual businesses. Make sure that you live within 25kms of the business before ordering for takeaway or click and collect. Please, be smart, be safe and follow directions from the Victorian Government.