Whether you’re born-and-bred or it’s your adopted city, you’d be forgiven for missing some of Melbourne’s hidden gems. We’ve wrapped up the top eleven places you might have missed.
West Side Place Artcade
Art collective Juddy Roller and Melbourne artists have teamed up to transform the West Side Place arcade into a public art gallery. This ‘artcade’ includes contributions from local contemporary art heavyweights including Reko Rennie and Rone.
Elvis Shrine at Melbourne Cemetery
Pay tribute to the King of Rock and Roll at the Elvis Shrine in Melbourne Cemetery. The shrine is believed to be the only authorised Elvis memorial outside the US. This carefully landscaped grotto was commissioned by Elvis’ Victorian fan club, and unveiled by rock legend Johnny O’Keefe.
The MCG library
Sport and literature make an unlikely pair beneath the MCG, where a light-filled ‘members-only’ library is stacked with books. And that includes a 400-year old French dictionary containing the first ever reference to cricket. Turn your back on the stadium for a moment, and one of the best views of the city is revealed beyond its floor to ceiling windows. Book a tour here.
Manchester Unity Building
Stepping into the Manchester Unity Building is like a 1930s timewarp. Tours of this stunning art deco building include the (usually off-limits) beautiful wood-panelled boardroom, a masterpiece of 20th century interior design. You’ll also get a rare peak at the rooftop terrace, once the location for a buzzing café and tearoom. Tours begin with treats at 1932 Café & Restaurant in the marble arcade.
Little Mandarin Yoga
Looking to see things from a different angle? Aerial yoga at Little Mandarin Yoga in Nicholas Building will have you suspended in a hammock from the ceiling in the most tranquil of settings.
Looking for your 80s montage moment? Cherry-pick that one-off accessory, track down a streetwear classic or dig up a designer find at Vintage Sole. Span the style decades from the 1960s to the 1990s and rummage through the racks. There's everything from dresses, skirts and overalls, to outerwear, knitwear and shoes.
One of Melbourne’s original laneway bars will transport you to a New York piano bar. Slip into Murmur, gather around the baby grand and hit those high notes, you’ll feel like you’re lost in the West Village.
The Little Library
If you’ve run out of books to read, or are looking for some inspiration, Melbourne Central’s Little Library is the answer. Visitors are encouraged to borrow a book and return it once they’ve finished, or grab a book they fancy and replace it with one of their own favourites. Welcoming every age, The Little Library is the cooler, laid back cousin of your public library.
Corky Saint Clair
Hidden away in the art deco Century Building is some of the city’s best locally made jewellery and unique pieces. Corky Saint Clair houses the creations of Christopher Bril and that of other Melbourne jewellery makers. The unique, quirky and beautiful pieces are displayed in the tiny boutique’s elegant cabinets among antique items.
Mailbox Art Space
Mail might be going out of fashion, but Mailbox Art Space is anything but old school. This contemporary art space supports emerging local artists, with rotating exhibitions. Using small restored mailboxes, artists are invited to create site-specific work for this public space. The space is currently empty, but stay tuned to their socials for upcoming exhibits.
Tropical Glasshouse at Royal Botanic Gardens
Have a break from Melbourne’s impending winter in the Tropical Glasshouse at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Explore rainforest plants that you won’t see in your backyard, it’s the next best thing when we can’t be somewhere tropical.
There’s a word for everything in German, and Wunderkammer says it all. This gift shop translating to ‘cabinet of curiosities’ is home to everything rare, unusual and unique in Melbourne. A collector’s emporium, products include minerals, fossils, insects, preserved animals and ancient science equipment. You’ll never purchase a boring gift again.
More unique Melbourne spots
Hidden spaces in Melbourne
Melbourne is crammed with hidden spaces, nooks and crannies. Here are some gems you may have missed.
Eau de Vie
A bar with liquid nitrogen cocktails, tasting menus, plus a secret lounge hidden behind a bookcase.
The Basement Discs
Offering Australian music lovers an eclectic mix of new CDs, DVDs and vinyl from around the world.
Last updated on Thu 2 Dec 2021
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