The best Ceres (pronounced ‘series’) experience is on Saturday mornings, when locals shop for organic produce and browse the flea market (9am to 2pm September to May, 10am to 3pm June to August) at this community environmental centre, established in 1982 and built on a former rubbish tip. You can visit the permaculture nursery and Merri organic cafe daily.

There's also a grocery store and community market; a bookstore on sustainability-related matters and organic gardening in the info centre; plus dinners at Tamil Feasts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Book ahead for a $35, three-course meal cooked by Sri Lankan men seeking asylum in Australia ($20 for kids). Bring a container and they'll fill it up for lunch the next day for $7.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Melbourne attractions

1. Counihan Gallery

1.34 MILES

While strolling down Sydney Rd, drop into this contemporary art gallery inside the Brunswick Town Hall. Named after Australian activist and artist Noel…

2. Edinburgh Gardens

1.47 MILES

Established European elms line the tranquil walking paths of this 140-year-old parkland. A short walk from the main strip of North Fitzroy, these gardens…

3. Melbourne General Cemetery

1.99 MILES

Melbourne has been burying its dead here since 1852. It's worth a stroll to see the final resting place of three Australian prime ministers, the memorial…

4. Centre for Contemporary Photography

2.15 MILES

This not-for-profit centre exhibits contemporary photography across five gallery spaces. Shows traverse traditional techniques and the highly conceptual,…

5. Melbourne Zoo

2.18 MILES

Established in 1862, this compact zoo remains one of the city’s most popular attractions and continues to innovate, having become the world's first carbon…

6. Backwoods Gallery

2.19 MILES

Set up in 2010 by a team of Melbourne street artists, Backwoods Gallery promotes and exhibits works by mostly Australian artists – with a focus on urban…

7. Keith Haring Mural

2.29 MILES

Anyone with an interest in street art will want to check out this Keith Haring mural, painted by the late New York artist on his visit in 1984. It adorns…

8. Sutton Gallery

2.33 MILES

Housed in a simple, unassuming warehouse space entered off Greeves St, this gallery is known for championing challenging new work.