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I’m an Aussie trying to “make it” in Amsterdam and found your blog whilst on an expat blog crawl. I just had to put in a good word for Melbourne because I think it’s a fantastic place.
I’m not sure where else you’ve been in Australia but Melbourne is particularly known for its love of hideaway places without signage…the thrill of walking down a nondescript alleyway in the city and suddenly landing in front of a cool cafe or bar. My first trip to Melbourne, I was a bit amazed how little there seemed to be in the city, not realising that its best places are usually hard to find.
There are plenty of Melbourne bloggers getting the info out there, but if I was to recommend one suburb with good food and shopping, it’d probably be Fitzroy. See indolentdandy.net/fitzroyalty for tons of hints for eating, drinking and seeing.
Personal fave: I used to live across the road from Albert Park in South Melbourne, and having brunch at Carousal Cafe with the birds and the sun and the water was always a beautiful way to start a weekend morning. http://stkildatoday.blogspot.com/2006/12/carousel-restaurantcafe-on-albert-park.html
I hope you give Melbourne another go but be sure to look around for some local “best ofs”. 🙂
All the best!