What to do?

Abbotsford Convent:

A huge, sprawling, converted convent which hosts events and gigs. Rolling grass hills meet the banks of the Yarra. There’s a children’s farm and market too however the jewel is vegan buffet ‘pay as you can/feel’ restaurant ‘Lentil as Anything’. Take some wine and beers to have with dinner and lounge on the grass.

Merri Creek Trail:

A tributary for the Yarra. The winding path runs next to the creek and cuts through from the upper course of the Yarra in Abbotsford to Clifton Hill, Fitzroy, Northcote and Brunswick. Hop on the creek by Clifton Hill station and have a dreamy wander part of the way to Edinburgh Gardens (exit the trail at Rushall station near Mixed Business) or ride all the way through to CERES (near Milkwood). You’ll feel miles from anywhere among natural bushland and sites significant to the indigenous Wurandijiri people. Hunt out the labyrinth for a curious spot of mindfulness.

Edinburgh Gardens Picnic:

Sunday lunch and afternoons on sunny days see the park fill with groups of friends. BYO picnics, drinks, and speakers (nearby McCoppins has an amazing selection of beers and cheese)

Botanical Gardens Picnic:

In the heart of Melbourne straddling the southern bank of the Yarra directly opposite the CBD is a sparkling garden broken into drastically different sections; desert to rainforest. Take a picnic and relax among the swans after checking out some of the laneways and museums (Bring some stale bread to feed the swans)

Rucker’s Hill view (86 tram, stop Westgarth or Northcote Town Hall):

The best panoramic view of Melbourne. Take some beers up at sunset. Afterwards wander up to Tahina or Pizza Meine Liebe for dinner.

Fitzroy Pool:

Incredible 50m all-year-round outdoor pool. 8 lanes wide. Inside has sauna/steam room/spa. Upstairs gym has all you need. Casual swim pass is only $5 for adults. Heaps of room for lounging around in the sun and people watching. On days over 30 degrees and on weekends, queues build.

Brunswick & Smith St’s Shopping/Cafe’s/Bars:

Great to wander along. N Lee on Smith St for lunch so is the super value freshly made juice at the grocer just next door. Alimentari, Friends of the Earth, and Huxtaburger are delicious. Lazerpig pizza is just on Peel Steet which runs off Smith. Best coffee nearby? Check out Rustica, Alimentari, or Everyday

Westgarth shops:

Tiny Westgarth (Merri Station or Westgarth station) is nestled between North Fitzroy and Northcote. Great cafes and the country’s best organic grocer ‘Terre Madre’ are here. Perfect for a Saturday afternoon shop and stroll. Get a coffee from Barry or Gypsy Hideout. Gelato and house roasted coffee from “il Melograno’ are ace. You can duck up from the Merri Creek trail by Rushall station to get here too.

CERES:

Community garden and nursery as well as educational centre. Cafe and market. Lovely place to wander and hang on a Sunday. 

Victoria St, Abbotsford/Richmond:

For amazing Vietnamese Pho’ – most places are BYO. Lots of little bottle shops are along the strip. An easy tram into the city or Fitzroy after dinner.

St. Kilda Pier:

At sunset to see the Fairy Penguins come home to sleep.

Studley Park Boat House:

Rent a little row boat and paddle along the tranquil Yarra. BYO picnic and wine.