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The article is written by Paola Bianchi  Cover pic by Kieren Andrews

Is general knowledge that Eureka Tower is the tallest building, that the tram network is one of the largest one in the world, and that the city is full of alleys with ever-changing graffiti. We have seen these images all over the web. All these are real facts. But there is some information about this city that you might get wrong.

It is not the most liveable city in the world

Melbourne has been chosen several years in a row as the most liveable city in the world. But not anymore! According to the Economist Intelligence Unit rankings, Vienna is now the top number one in 2018. Melbourne got the second spot and Sydney got the fifth. Not because something is not going forward for Melburnians, but It seems that the Austrian city is doing even better.

pic 1Pic by Johan Mouchet

It is not ideal for night owls

Big cities are known for having stores open 24hs per seven days. So even if you get hungry at 3am, there is somewhere to go for a quick bite. However, in Melbourne is rare to find shops open that late. Shops shut down relatively early. As a general rule, cafes close by 4pm or 5pm, restaurants by 10pm or 11pm, retail stores at 6pm except on certain days like Friday.

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Not many people live in the city

It’s said that Melbourne is home for around 4.5 million people. But as stats show, the residential population is over 148,000 (as of 2016) in the City of Melbourne. This area counts the CBD and some inner suburbs like Parkville and Southbank. That means that the grand majority lives in The Greater Melbourne. Another interesting fact is that almost 1 million walk in the city on an average weekday.

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Hot wheatear doesn’t last long

When thinking about Australia, we usually imagine ourselves on a hot day sunbathing in white sandy beaches, spotting kangaroos in the wild and, let’s be honest, looking after our back while swimming because of sharks. That’s not the case at all about Melbourne. You might find wild fauna but the sunny hot days just last for the summer season which is December, January and February. The rest of the year tends to be cold, rainy and windy. Take a look at these averages temperatures:

Season Average maximum Average minimum
Summer (December to February): warm to hot 25°C (77°F) 14°C (57°F)
Autumn (March to May): mild 20°C (68°F) 11°C (52°F)
Winter (June to August): cool to brisk 14°C (57°F) 7°C (45°F)
Spring (September to November): cool to mild 20°C (68°F) 10°C (50°F)

 

Closest best surf spot is not Torquay

The west coast of Port Philip Bay is famous for its surfing. Mainly, Torquay beach is a favourite for all levels, and Bells beach is popular for the Rip Curl Competitions, both close to the Great Ocean Road. But if you head to the East coast of the bay and to the open sea you will find lots of fantastic surf spots like Flinders beach, The Pines, Honey Suckles, Serial and Gunnamatta Beach. The Gunnamatta Beach it’s known for having good waves and stable surf conditions throughout the year.

pic 4Pic by Alex Wigan 

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The article is written by Jane Churchill

LANGUAGE BARRIERS

Darren (Hong Kong): One thing I wish I knew before coming to Australia was that the English I knew was not the English many Australians speak (particularly young people)! I really struggled to understand people when I first arrived because almost every sentence has a slang word or strange expression in it. I wish I knew more Aussie-slang before I came so I wouldn’t have felt so confused!

Ingrid (Sweden): One thing I wish I knew before moving to Perth was how sarcastic the humour is here; I never know when people are joking or being serious! Australians will insult you- but they mean it in a nice way (this is a way they express their friendship).  I have learnt that it is best to assume if an Australian says something rude, they are probably just joking!

 

INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS

Isabel (Sweden): Before coming to Australia I really did not know anything about the Indigenous Community here. Indigenous Australians are a big part of Australian culture and I think if I had done some research before moving I would have understood some of the issues like Australia Day a bit more. Also, Aboriginal traditions and culture are just really interesting and very different to Sweden obviously! I would encourage everyone to learn about Indigenous Australians before studying here.

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GETTING A JOB

Ligia (Colombia): I wish I knew how hard it was to find a job. As international students are limited to hours we can work, it was hard in the beginning to find a place that would hire me. As most Australian students also work part-time, there is much competition, especially in areas close to universities. I found that applying for jobs online was really a waste of time and that the best way is actually to just walk around and hand in your resume in person.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Darren (Hong Kong): Coming from a place where public transport is so good, I really struggled to adapt to how (bad) the public transport system is here (Perth). In particular, the buses. They are never on time! Sometimes they just don’t even show up. I have learnt to always have a backup plan and to allow extra time when using public transport…

 

CONVENIENCE

Emma (United States): I wish I knew that America is the land of convenience and that the rest of the world doesn’t operate in the same way. 24-hour food is just not a thing in Australia! There are only a very small amount of McDonald’s which are open 24 hours. I was also shocked to find out that many grocery stores close at 7pm, with the latest being 9pm (even in big cities). Before you move to Australia, learn to plan ahead! Even restaurants and cafes that are open for lunch and dinner will close in the early afternoon between 3pm-5pm.

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The article and the pictures by Rebecca Todesco

If you’re planning day trips around Victoria, then stop what you’re doing and immediately put Phillip Island at the top of your list. I’m talking about koalas, kangaroos, beaches and penguins all in one day!

Phillip Island is an Australian island that is a few hours’ drive southeasts of Melbourne. The island itself is less than 100 square kilometres so it is very easy to get from place to place once you’ve crossed onto the island. The island is extremely popular with tourists, especially in the warmer months and on the weekend. I would strongly advise making your visit on a weekday.

There are plenty of hotels and hostels on the island (or just across, on the mainland) if you decide to make your trip an overnight one. But if you leave early and have some people to share the driving with then it’s possible to do it all in one day.

Start your day with a visit to the Phillip Island Wildlife Park. This park is home to more than 100 species of Australian animals and is spread over a whopping 60 acres. You can see an array of famous Australian animals including dingoes, wombats, echidnas and bats.

The reptile house will bring you up close and personal with some of Australia’s scalier residents and you’ll be grateful for the wire that separates you from the birds of prey in the bird section. There’s even a raised platform that you can walk on which will allow you to get on the eye level of the koalas.

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For a small fee upon entry to the park, you can purchase a small bag of feed which you can use at my favourite area of the park: the free-range section. You’ll find yourself completely surrounded by kangaroos and wallabies with no fences to separate you. You can pat and feed them and it’s the perfect opportunity for you to get that snapshot for your Facebook.

If you’re brave enough you can even feed the emus but be warned: they’re big and they run fast!

After getting your fill of petting kangaroos and running from emus, head over to the western tip of the island to The Nobbies Centre. The headland cliffs are covered with a network of boardwalks which you can walk on, enjoying spectacular views of The Nobbies and Seal Rock.

At certain times of the year, if you’re lucky you can see some of the little penguins hiding in under the boardwalks or in their little burrows along the cliff’s edge.

If you choose to, there are boat tours that’ll take you offshore and closer to Seal Rocks for the chance to catch a glimpse of some seals. The Nobbies Centre boasts a gift shop chock-full of cute souvenirs as well as a café where you can sit and enjoy a coffee or snack in front of the floor to ceiling windows, overlooking the cliffs.

As the last activity of the day, head to the famous Penguin Parade. Phillip Island boasts the largest little penguin colony in all of Victoria. Decades worth of research effort has gone into the conservation of these little penguins at Phillip Island, making it one of the longest continuous seabird studies in the world.

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The research centre has plenty of information and exhibits about the little penguins, as well as a gift shop with an abundance of adorable penguin souvenirs. Visitors can learn all about what the penguins do at sea as well as why they make their way inland every night.

Just before sunset visitors make their way to Summerland Beach and fill the tiers of seating overlooking the water. Once the sun begins to set, keep your eyes peeled: that’s when the penguins make their way out of the water, up the beach and back to their burrows. You’ll be able to follow their journey from a safe distance as you make your way back up to the visitor centre.

If you get any time between activities head to the small town of Cowes. Like any quintessential beach town, the main strip of Cowes is crammed with fish and chips shops and coastal clothing and furniture stores. Spend some time having a wander or grab a serving of fish and chips and eat it on the beach.

(These are only a few of the activities available on Phillip Island. There is also a chocolate factory, Grand Prix circuit visitor centre and plenty of other wildlife parks)

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The article is written by Rebecca Todesco

For those of you studying in Melbourne, there’s plenty in the city to keep you occupied. But if you’re looking to leave the skyscrapers behind and escape to the coast for the weekend then here’s a couple of places you should consider.

Sorrento 

The limestone buildings that line the main street are a hat tip to Sorrento’s history. Sorrento beach offers white sand and shallow water, perfect for the littlies to get their feet wet and have a paddle.

Sorrento’s main road is lined with enough boutiques, restaurants and cafes to keep you entertained for the day. Be sure to make a stop at Just Fine Food and sample their famous vanilla slice. If vanilla isn’t really your taste, then there are plenty of other scrumptious desserts for you to try.

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Rye
Rye really comes alive during the summer holiday seasons. Rye beach offers a large stretch of fine, white sand and shallow water. The Rye pier is a popular nighttime fishing location. Even if you’re not much of a fisherman (or woman), hanging around the pier and watching other peoples’ fishing success is a lovely way to pass the time.

The main strip of Rye, running parallel to the beach, is home to shops, restaurants and ice cream and gelato stores. Speaking of gelato: an after-dinner trip to Vulcano Gelato is an absolute must! You can find it by following the line of people waiting their turn to be served. Don’t be put off by the line though: it is well worth the wait!

The annual summer Rye carnival happens in the beach car park and is usually around in the months of December and January. There is no better way to spend an evening than walking along the pier – gelato in hand – watching the carnival lights reflect off the water.

Arthurs Seat

The Arthurs Seat State Park rises above the Mornington Peninsula and provides fantastic views of the surrounding area. There are plenty of hiking and walking tracks through the park for the more adventurous to lose themselves on.

A popular spot is the Arthurs Seat Summit, where visitors can stop and enjoy a picnic or barbeque while being treated to spectacular views.

The Arthurs Seat Eagle is the perfect opportunity for braver souls to get their adrenaline pumping. This attraction is a state of the art gondola ride that flies you over the forest to the highest point of the peninsula. The ride takes about 14 minutes (one way).

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Mornington

There is plenty to see in Mornington. You can visit Victoria’s oldest courthouse and adjacent lockup or even take the steam train ride on the Mornington Railway.

The main street of Mornington boasts a large number of boutiques and shops to peruse and find the perfect beachy souvenir to take home. If, after a long morning of shopping, you want to give your weary feet a rest, there are plenty of fantastic places to satisfy your hunger pangs.

The Mornington Main Street Market is on every Wednesday. Stalls line the street, selling an array of items from handcrafted soaps to locally grown produce, homemade cakes to handmade jewellery and everything in between. The market has been up and running for over thirty years, making it the state’s longest running street market.

Hot Spring

Peninsula Hot Springs
The Peninsula Hot Springs is a hidden sanctuary tucked away on the peninsula. You can almost feel your stress and worries disappear as soon as you don the fluffy white robe and begin your bathing experience. I would recommend setting aside an entire day at the springs because once you’re there, the hours seem to fly.

The Peninsula Springs water carries a range of minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium. The temperature of the pools ranges between 37 and 43 degrees Celsius and the water runs untouched from the source directly to the pools.

The springs have two facilities: the Bath House and the Spa Dreaming Centre.

The Bath House offers more than 20 bathing experiences, including a Turkish steam room, plunge pool, reflexology walk and a sauna. Be sure to make the journey to the very highest pool and you’ll be treated to 360-degree views of the surrounding area.

If you’ve got a bit of extra money to splurge, then head to the Spa Dreaming Centre for massages and beauty treatments.

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The article is written by Paola Bianchi  Title pic by Smith & daughters

 

Did you ever wonder where a plant-based lover would eat if given a chance to eat in the best spots in Melbourne for just one day?

Choosing where to eat in Melbourne can be exciting and painful at the same time. This city has gained the irrevocable reputation of foodie-obsession for a reason. The more amazing eateries options you have, the more confused you get. It is overwhelming. Needless to say, who has so much time and budget to try them all?

To help in this delicious endeavour, here is where to eat if you have just one day in the city:

For BREAKFAST head south to Elwood: Combi

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A superfood- focused café offering organic treats and coffee, raw food, colourful smoothies in a small venue. Food and drinks presentation is ready for an Instagram post. I would recommend avoiding peak times if possible because seats are extremely limited. That said, is a vibrant and cosy place.

Top pick: Mango shack with Sweet sprouted bread or ice coffee deluxe with Dragon fruit bowl.

 

For LUNCH, take a walk through the Esplanade and go to St Kilda: Sister of Soul

A vegetarian café and restaurant with a menu that will make you fall in love with food, without overpricing! Such a delicate combination of flavours. The menu has a strong mixed influence from Asia to India. Huge windows, chic decoration and friendly service. Overall, great location. No booking accepted but you won’t need to wait too long because the place has lots of seats.

Top pick: Massaman curry or the Jack Black burger.

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For DINNER head to Fitzroy North: Moroccan Soup Bar

Small restaurant that just opens for dinner. Good luck trying to get a spot to seat as they are always full, but that’s because their food is absolutely like eating in heaven. There is no written menu, but a verbal menu. The waitress will explain about the two banquet options you can choose from. Then the food will start coming in steps. Each one will blow your mind. Non-complicated delicious food. Finish with some special tea.

Top pick: eat everything!

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For DESSERT stay around and proceed to: Smith & daughters

A vegan eatery that ticks all the trendy’s boxes. Seasonal menu, attractive visual atmosphere and women directing the orchestra. You can book, and please do so. The cocktails are to die for and better if accompanied with a Milanese Schnitzel. Nop, it’s not chicken!

Top pick: The Tiramisu. How on earth can this be vegan?

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The article is written by Jane Churchill

Cradle Mountain, TAS

Cradle Mountain is a World Heritage Area in the Tasmanian Wilderness which showcases some of the most stunning landscapes and views you can find throughout the country. With hikes, bushwalks, boat tours and kayaking, it is easy to keep yourself entertained. Although it is a little off the beaten track, it is well worth it! Cradle Mountain can be reached by car and is roughly 2 hours drive south from Launceston.

Perisher/Thredbo, NSW

Much to the surprise of many international visitors, Australia actually has decent snow fields! The most famous resorts are Perisher and Thredbo, located in Kosciuszko National Park (Australia’s tallest mountain) which is about 2.5 hours drive south of Canberra. Fun fact: Perisher is actually the largest snow resort in the Southern Hemisphere! Skiing in Australia is a unique experience with both advanced and beginner slopes that weave through snowy gum trees and native flora.

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Hervey Bay, QLD

Hervey Bay, situated at the bottom end of the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best places in the country to have the ultimate whale watching experience (whale migration season is July to November). Hervey Bay is also the main hub for transport over to the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island. It is located 3.5 hours drive north of Brisbane but can also be accessed by Train or Plane.

 

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Esperance – Pink Lake, WA

Esperance is a town in the Goldfields region of Western Australia (south east of Perth) and one of its most notable attractions is the Pink Lake. Pink Lake is a unique natural body of water that gets is ‘rosy hue’ from red algae living in water. The untouched coastline of this area is beautiful and definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Western Australia. There truly isn’t anywhere else on Earth quite like it!

Jervis Bay Territory, NSW

Jervis Bay is a quaint little seaside bay located three hours south of Sydney. It is known for having some of the whitest sand on earth and has all the characteristics of a dream beach getaway without swarms of tourists or developments. One spot in particular, Honeymoon Bay, is a local favourite. For the best experience, switch off your phone and pitch a tent!

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El Questro Wilderness Park, Kimberley WA

Among the vast, ancient landscapes of the Kimberley region sits a township and National Park called El Questro. The area is a must stop visit for those wanting to explore the untouched, natural beauty of Australia that is encompassed within the deep mountain gorges, waterfalls, thermal springs and rainforests.

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The article is written by Bernadette Sanfilippo

Most have this general conception that Australia endures hot weather all…the…time. The truth of the matter is, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s trek around to several Australian capitals and explore their accompanying weather conditions…

SYDNEY

Sydney is prone to experiencing four seasons in a single day. The summer days tend to endure periods of high temperatures, coupled with relatively high peaks in humidity however, in the late afternoon, the sky can quickly become overcast and, if so, a downpour is likely to ensue. The maximum temperatures can also differ greatly from one day to the next. A day of 38oC can easily be followed by a day of 26oC. Winters in Sydney do tend to be milder, with temperatures typically hovering between the high-teens and low-twenties.

MELBOURNE

Melbourne is a rather interesting one for weather. Winters are icy cold, with most days never reaching a temperature higher than 15oC. While that may seem warm compared to many other winters around the world, the humidity is usually extremely low, making the weather feel much icier than it may actually be. In more recent years, very little rainfall has been experienced throughout the season, and the absence of such has greatly contributed to the lower levels of humidity. Summers, on the other hand, tend to experience lower average temperatures, primarily due to the city’s close proximity to Antarctica, but periods of extremely high, uncomfortably dense humidity.

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BRISBANE

Brisbane experiences a humidity so high in the summer time, it is virtually impossible to be active outside. While the peak temperature may not necessarily be high, there is often little to no relief from the humidity, which remains consistently high all throughout the day and deep into the night. The capital experiences intense tropical weather conditions and, in the last few years, has endured a number of relatively serious cyclones and tropical storms. Brisbane does not tend to experience a formal winter, but rather a period of lowered humidity and heat between June and September.

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PERTH

Perth is situated between the sea and the land, literally. Situated on the coast of Western Australia, the Indian Ocean sits on one side of the city, while both the Gibson and Great Victoria Deserts sit on the other. With all this in such close proximity, Perth experiences very high temperatures in the summertime, typically enduring consecutive days of 40oC+ weather. Unlike other Australian cities however, the overall humidity tends to remain quite low. Perth’s winters tends to resemble Sydney’s, with temperatures typically floating between the high-teens and low-twenties, with strong, short bursts of rainfall occurring periodically.

CANBERRA

Canberra, our nation’s capital, experiences the lowest winter temperatures in the country. While the average daytime temperature tends to sit between 10oC – 15oC, much like Melbourne, the nightly average can frequently fall several degrees below zero. While the city can experience rainfall throughout the winter, it is not nearly as prone to strong downpour as other Australian capitals. While the summers in Canberra will often endure much higher peaking temperatures than those in neighbouring states, these, once again, tend to be followed by much cooler nightly conditions.

 

 

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The article is written by Bernadette Sanfilippo

Though it goes without saying, almost all international travellers are familiar with, or have at least heard of, Australia’s east coast capitals, a list typically reduced to Sydney, Melbourne and (to some extent) Brisbane. Mention anywhere else in the country and, more often than not, at least in my experience, you’ll receive a relatively blank expression! Cities like Sydney and Melbourne have done an excellent job at securing themselves prime positioning on the world stage, particularly over the last two decades and, while this is wonderful, it has unfortunately made the rest of the country appear almost redundant in the process. As a result, many are completely unacquainted with the west coast of Australia and have little to nothing to compare our major capitals against.

I was born in Sydney, raised in Perth and moved to Melbourne more than a year ago, so I can certainly draw a number of comparisons between the two coasts. Here are amongst my most significant findings thus far:

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1. THE POPULATION

Obviously the bigger and better cities become, the more people want to live in them. As a result, they become overpopulated and Sydney and Melbourne are certainly busier and more bustling than they have ever been before. The wonderful offset to this is that the people who reside there are more exposed and far more desensitised to contrasting cultures, influences and experiences. Perth, by comparison, has a relatively low population count and a much lower rate of immigration, so the level of exposure there is much lower. However, the less people you place in a city, the less pace and congestion you receive and, generally speaking, Perth is a much slower, far more relaxed city to reside in. Perth is typically recommended as a great place to either retire or raise a young family in.

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2. THE JOBS

There are stacks upon stacks of job opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne, particularly now that dozens upon dozens of companies are based there. In fact, it was my primary reason for relocating. There’s only one factor I didn’t take into consideration…there’s a lot of people living in Melbourne and, unfortunately, this means there’s a lot more people to compete against each time you hand in an application. Prior to moving, I had worked for several national retail brands, so I truly (truly!) believed that getting a job would be a cinch! In reality, I spent my first 4 months in Melbourne unemployed. In Western Australia it’s far less competitive and far easier to score work, particularly with a little experience on the resume. The biggest downside is that applications move very slowly in Perth and it can take several weeks just to score an interview. Unfortunately (major generalisation alert!), it’s a city with no real sense of urgency!

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3. THE WEATHER

Weather has been a bit of a battle for me since I moved to Victoria, simply because it differs so greatly to the climate in Western Australia. In order to understand Australia’s varying weather conditions, it is important to understand how Australia sits geographically. Capitals like Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart are closest to Antarctica, so they experience incredibly cold, icy cool winters and relatively mild summers. Brisbane sits much higher on the east coast, closer to Asia, and thus tends to endure very tropical weather patterns year-round. The middle region of Australia is comprised primarily of desert and dry arid land, so seasons in the neighbouring capitals, these primarily being Perth, Adelaide and Darwin, are riddled with much higher annual temperatures.

4. THE SIZE

Ready for a mind-boggler? Here it is: States like Victoria and New South Wales are comparably amongst the smallest Australian states geographically, yet they are the biggest in relation to sprawl. Essentially what this means is that, while they don’t occupy as much landmass as neighbouring states, they utilise the land they do occupy to the greatest possible extent. This often results in more regular, lengthier commutes. Geographically speaking, Western Australia is the nation’s largest state, occupying approximately one-third of Australia’s total landmass however, the current population of Western Australia is a mere 2.5 million, against a national population count of nearly 25 million. This effectively means that most of the state’s land is uninhabited, making what is inhabited relatively small geographically and thus quicker and easier to get around. Weird huh?

 

 

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The article and the photos by Paola Bianchi  

Climbers and belayers, beginners or advanced. These are four top places to climb in Melbourne and Victoria. Choose one place, grab your gear and go climbing!

Hardrock, central climbing spot

Located in the CBD, close to Melbourne Central, this climbing gym has become the most popular place for locals and students (make sure you show your credentials for a discount). They offer beginners classes and Lead training and the staff is super friendly. It is a relatively small space and can get crowded during peak times, but music is great and the location is super convenient. Situated in a strategic corner on a second floor, has lovely views of the city and the natural light that is coming through the enormous glass windows is an advantage. Here is where I usually bring my friends for the first climbing experience. A great place to start the journey.

 

You can check this gym here

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North Walls, appealing climbing gym

As soon as you walk into this indoor climbing gym, you can’t avoid appreciating the clean aesthetic atmosphere. They thought about the visual aspect of this building, and we can thank that. It’s a pleasure to climb in white walls with colourful routes and a roof that displays natural light. Inside there is a cafe that provides that often needed caffeine fix, a -in development- training section with bars, and offer several kinds of courses like movement and strength. Lots of seats to relax, great for that friend you invited to shoot the cool pics.

 

Climbing and coffee, you got me. Located in Brunswick, you can check this beautiful place here:

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Gravity Worx, comprehensive climbing gym

This indoor climbing gym has all you ever needed. Over 200 routes that are changed regularly, 16 auto-belay routes (in case you go alone!), a speed wall (what!?) like the one used on international competitions, a training section and experienced instructors. Courses are also available and schools are welcome. Competitions are often held with prices. This place is huge. Impossible to get bored.

 

Located in Pasco Vale, check this gym here.

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Mount Arapiles, magic outdoor climbing

Arguably, one of the best climbing spots in the world, this PARADISE for climbers has it all. As it was stated by Chockstone, an online website for climbers in Victoria, Mount Arapiles may be ‘the very the heart and soul of traditional climbing in Australia’.
Located in a protected park in the Wimmera region in western Victoria, this big rock formation can easily compete with the famous Grampians region because of its thousands of quality climbing routes, hiking tracks, bouldering walls, killing sunrises and a gorgeous natural setting full of wildlife. Kangaroos included!

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I know what you might be thinking, ‘that rock does not seem big at all’. Let me tell you that, with its just 370mts of high, you will feel challenged when unrolling your rope on the base.

 

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Everyone stays at least a long weekend. Some may stay for a whole month. The only option available is a rustic campsite that you should book in advance for a super cheap price. It’s an unpowered site with toilets.

One of the most beautiful aspects of this place is the great vibes of the climber’s community. You can go looking for good climbs, but you will return after making such good friends. The best months are from February to April, as it is not too hot nor cold, and little rain! The least you want is a wet rock that makes impossible for grabbing. Take into account that due the dry weather, there is a wood fire ban from the 1st of November until the 30th of April.

There are different levels of climbing routes to choose from. You can check them on the Arapiles book guide (shown in next pic), or check the classic routes here, or get help to start with these guys.

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The article and the photos by Paola Bianchi  

In Mount Dandenong, Victoria, there used to be a hidden tranquil place called the William Ricketts Sanctuary. Not anymore. During weekends tourist’s tours invade each corner, photographing every sculpture, every leaf. It’s hard to take a picture without someone walking in the background.

However, the sculpture park is a fantastic, unrealistic place to visit. It’s like living inside a NatGeo documentary or a science fiction movie. Some may call it magical. Some may say is a little on the terror side. Either way, I will let you take your own conclusions. Just make sure to go on a weekday and the park is all yours.

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I came across this place when my mom came to visit me in Melbourne. She is an artist, used to be ceramist to be specific, so I thought visiting this Sanctuary was going to be of interest to her. Certainly, it was.

William Ricketts was a sculptor born in Richmond, Melbourne in 1898. Through his artwork, he wanted to express respect for nature, and help embrace aboriginal’s cosmovision in the modern world. In the 30’s he started making his sculpture park until his death on 1993. That is more than half-century focused on this project. A video showcasing in the park’s hut explains in detail about his peculiar life, his philosophy and personality.

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Overall, Mount Dandenong is an amazing place to explore and a quick stop at the Sanctuary will enhance your trip. Should you complement it with bushwalking and birdwatching, you got a great day. Each season add its own beauty to the mountain. Autumn is the best, my mom said.

 

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