Romantic Melbourne things to do?
October 27, 2009 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Aussie Hive Mind: What are some some incredibly romantic things to do from say 10am to 3pm in Melbourne in late November, early December?

I have 3 afternoons in Melbourne, during which I would like to surprise my wife by taking her to places she's probably never seen, or to do things she probably never has.

They don't need to be over the top - this is more about sharing mutual experiences than about 'wow'ing her with extravagance.

My wife is from Melbourne, but never had the opportunity to do little 'fun' things. This is my 3rd trip there ever, and apart from the campy tourist things I've done previously, I can't think of anything!

This would be last week in Nov, first week in Dec.
posted by burhan to Travel & Transportation around Melbourne, Australia (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I forgot to add that these 3 days can occur either on weekdays or weekends, but weekdays are best.
posted by burhan at 12:26 PM on October 27, 2009

Lunch at the Cellar Bar at Grossi Florentino.
posted by zamboni at 1:09 PM on October 27, 2009

I just asked a native from Melbourne what she thought about your question. She said that balloon rides cam to mind right off the bat. According to her, Melbourne is one of the few cities in the world you can fly over in a hot air balloon.
posted by Tchad at 1:32 PM on October 27, 2009

Grab a basket of fresh food - some salad things and fresh meat/fish/tofu whatever and wine/juice and find one of the nice quiet secluded free bbqs along the river in Richmond heading toward Kew along The Boulevard.

Go out to Monsalvat for morning tea or lunch If you don't have access to a car you can catch the train to Eltham then it's a 2km walk.

Or pick Warrandyte instead and walk along the river before lunching at the Old Bakery (wood fired oven dating back to the Gold Rush)

The National Gallery of Victoria - lie on the floor in the Great Room looking at the stained glass ceiling.

Find a tree in Faulkner Park (Sth Yarra) to climb and sit in the branches eating canapes and drinking champagne - these trees are really comfy for sitting in - not sure how legal.

Long live romance!
posted by Kerasia at 2:33 PM on October 27, 2009

I have never been on it, but you could try a boat ride on the Maribyrnong (the other and not so well known river in Melbourne) with Blackbird Cruises.
posted by AnnaRat at 3:36 PM on October 27, 2009

The museum of contemporary is always interesting (tram ride away, walking if you like).

Check out if there's any interesting films being shown at ACMI (australian centre of the moving image, fed square), they often have classics.

During summer the zoo (bus or tram) often does jazz in the park type stuff.

Go out to Heidelberg (tram), look at paintings, think about being a group of bohemians.

Catch the tram to St Kilda, get some delicious sweets from the greek bakeries, eat them in the St Kilda gardens, lovely gardens, used less than they should be.

Hire a bike, ride the bikepath along Port Melbourne out to St Kilda.

Grab a hot chocolate at Koco Black near the Block Arcade, or better yet, do it as part of the "chocolate tour".

Go out to Fairfield park, have tea at the tea house, or better yet hire some kayaks and paddle up the yarra until you get somewhere a rope is hanging over and go for a swim (it's fine for swimming, really).

That should get you started!
posted by smoke at 3:51 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't think he Blackbird cruise is that romantic. The Maribyrnong can be pretty crappy.

Go to the domed reading room at the State Library and see the exhibitions, then have lunch in the city. Don't however have lunch at Mr Tulk in the State Library as the service gets pretty slow and awful.

Visit the Gardens near Parliament house or in Carlton - take a picnic and look at the possums saunter across the lawns.

Get proper turkish food on Sydney road.
posted by elephantday at 4:33 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some good ideas so far. 2nding balloon rides

Access to a car?
Drive out towards Healsville and check out some of the many wineries there (not that I'm implying anything at all, but you have an excuse to stay sober, she can imbibe to her heart's content).

There is also a very cool animal sanctuary out that way if she's into that sort of thing.

Closer to town, you have William Ricketts sanctuary, in Kallista. Basically some natureland with some very cool sculptures of aboriginal people done in clay, melded into the surrounding trees.

Lots of antique shops out that way also.

A ride on Puffing Billy from Belgrave to Emerald lake and then a picnic and a walk in the forest once you get there.

In town itself, there is no shortage of great restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
Restaurants I'd recommend:

Vue de Monde
...actually if I list them all, I'll be here all day.

Bars -
Check out Kelvin in Northcote. A very cool little cocktail bar with staff that love what they do. Ask Brett to make you martinis. He's a craftsman.

Coffee shops - again way too many, but you could do worse than Brunetti's in Carlton.

See what's going on at the Arts Centre. They generally have ballet and theatre going on. I saw Ian McKellen play King Lear there once. It was amazing.

If she likes movies, there's the moonlight cinema in the botannical gardens - should be kicking off at about the right time for you. This is nice. Take food, wine and something comfy to sit on (or you can hire something) and watch a move in the gardens on a giant inflatable screen.

That should keep you out of trouble.
posted by CardinalRichelieuHandPuppet at 4:34 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ask her to buy a bag of apples and meet you at Treasury Gardens. If you bite off pieces of apple and throw them on the ground, the tame possums will climb down from the surrounding trees, and will eventually let you feed them. (Watch out when you run out of apple, though - you might have to make a run for it!)
posted by hot soup girl at 4:50 PM on October 27, 2009

Oops, you want an afternoon activity? My bad; possums are nocturnal, of course.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:11 PM on October 27, 2009

You might want to check out the 1000 steps if you're the active type and you have a car to travel there. Beware roadworks on the M1 though.

Otherwise I can certainly vouch for the food at the Grossi Cellar Bar and Vue de Monde - here you can get a 3 course lunch if you don't feel like splurging for the full 12 with matching wines!
posted by WayOutWest at 7:53 PM on October 27, 2009

The problem with hot air balloons and moonlight cinema both is that neither can happen between 10am and 3pm...
posted by smoke at 9:43 PM on October 27, 2009

Go on a foodie tour or maybe a cooking class at the Queen Victoria Market?

Cakes in Acland St at St Kilda. Is there anything more romantic than cake? I think not!

Unless... it's punting and afternoon tea at the Fairfield Boathouse. Very pretty and romantic location. Catch train/tram to Fairfield station.

Or loaf about in the CBD and check out the laneways. I recommend Centre Place. It's my fave!

It's not far from there to the Block Arcade, which is lovely for a wander, but also has a massive Haigh's. Chocolate = Romance, no? Yes! Especially Champagne and Shiraz truffles.

Maybe go for a wander in the Botanic Gardens? Lots of secluded spots to steal a kiss, or just hold hands as you walk along the Yarra. You could end up at Southgate and stop by Trampoline for icecream.

Balloon rides are romantic, but I'm pretty sure you won't be able to do them between 10am-3pm. They leave ridiculously early, like, dawn. You're more likely to be able to do it and be back by 8 or 9am. Often they have complimentary breakfast included. If you can work it into your schedule, there's a list of operators here.

If you're set on the view from waaay up high, you could go to the Skydeck.

And this might be too tourist-y / camp for you, but, but... the Tramcar Restaurant.
posted by t0astie at 12:01 AM on October 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, I knew I'd forget something. This is so Melbourne, it's not funny.Collingwood Children's Farm. Adorable! Lambkins! Also close the Yarra and some nice river walks / parks.
posted by t0astie at 12:04 AM on October 28, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you all so so much! The suggestions are PERFECT!

About all I came up with was the state library, and some nice Moroccan restaurants!

As an FYI, we can drive in, or take the train into town each day.

Thank you all! WOW! Such a list!

As a last question - a romantic saturday night too? Thoughts? We can be anywhere near Melbourne then, so say from Geelong to Dandenong going East-West, and say Williamstown to Yarrambat going North-South.
posted by burhan at 8:41 AM on October 28, 2009

I don't have any real recommendations for out of Melbourne, although I like both Queenscliff and Sorrento, they're a bit of a drive. And the highway is not that romantic. Or head for Healsville, perhaps? There's loads of wineries and things out that way that will have dinner. Still about an hour's drive back to Melbourne though.

In the city, I'd recommend for dinner, De Los Santos on Brunswick St. Order tapas, share. Order desert. Share. Aw. Go for a walk down Brunswick Street and people watch. Have a mocha at San Churro chocolateria. Or wherever takes your fancy really. The Black Cat might be nice if there's music playing. (Altho... I saw there are plans to demolish it, so mayb not!) Stop in at Kleins Perfumery for lovely romantic presents. It's just a few blocks down and has heaps of tiny sweet gifty things that would make a gorgeous spontaneous present, especially if you went and scoped it out first on your own. Poke your nose into Brunswick Street Bookstore. Meander. Enjoy.

You can do the Skydeck thing at night too, which might be cool.

And there's the Night Market too.
posted by t0astie at 7:53 PM on October 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I wish I could mark them all as my favorites.

Thank you everyone! :-)
posted by burhan at 9:29 AM on October 29, 2009

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