7 authentic Melbourne experiences


Here are my top 7 authentic* Melbourne experiences.
(*I mean "authentic" in the sense that these are things that Melburnians do.)

1. Go to the MCG stadium (Melbourne Cricket Ground) to see an AFL ("Aussie Rules") game or cricket match. The first ground in the world to hold a Test Match. In summer it is here that you'll hear the sweet sound of leather on willow. During most of the rest of the year it is AFL that takes over. Footy fans refer to it as the 'G, abbreviating the acronym to remove "cricket". It is obligatory to eat a meat pie while watching the footy.


2. Watch the sun set from the Esplanade Hotel (the "Espy") with a glass ("pot") of amber nectar ("beer"). The Espy is one of the best places to see live bands in Melbourne as well, so stick around for some rock 'n' roll. It has three stages.


3. Have a great coffee at one of the many cafes on Centre Place or Degraves Street. The standard of coffee in Melbourne is very high. Centre Place and Degraves Street in the city are what I refer to as the Cafe Latte Quarter. Here you'll find a high concentration of places selling great coffee and cheap lunches that serve the workers in the city.


4. The antipodean delicacies of Pavlova and Lamington can be found at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms. This is a step back to 1950s Australiana.


5. Have a Chicken Parma at almost any pub in Melbourne. This is the standard Melbourne pub grub. It is also a good test for the quality of the rest of the food served in the pub. If the kitchen can't get a Parma right, then they won't excel at anything else.


6. For one of the finest and oldest wine bars in Melbourne, catch a tram up Swanston St to Carlton and go to Jimmy Watson's. There you can savour the best Victorian wines.


7. If you want to burn off some of Melbourne's food and beverages, then go for a jog around the outside of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Affectionately referred to as the Tan, it is a 4km circuit. Alternatively, you could walk around the gardens themselves.