When I decided I wanted to find an occupational therapy job into Australia, the hardest decision to make was where would be best to live. I had never visited Australia prior so could only go off the recommendation of others and some google searches. I had heard nothing but good things about living in Melbourne, apart from the slightly dodgy weather conditions.

I have now been living and working in Melbourne for the past 5 months and I have completely fallen in love with the city. There is always something going on and the social opportunities are endless. When moving over, it is important to think about how you want to be spending your evenings and weekends so here are some cool things Melbourne has to offer.

Melbourne as a city is full of personality. It is well known for its laneway culture, which is filled with shopping arcades, live music, street art, quiet side street cafes, some amazing bars and a free concert or festival on most weekends. Melbourne also really appeals to the food and coffee lovers. The food is so diverse, and the list of restaurants goes on and on. One of my favourite places to visit is the queen Victorian night market which holds several around the world stalls from some of the best Greek food I have ever eaten, Mexican food, fish and chips (if you’re wanting that home comfort) and so many deserts. The loaded biscoff brownie is a personal fave! There is also a street called Lygon street, known as Melbourne’s little Italy. It is home to a number of authentic Italian pizzerias and gelato shops, and it is honestly like stepping into Italy!

Melbourne also takes their coffee very seriously. Not only does the coffee taste delicious but the coffee art is a whole new standard.

Melbourne’s location is another attraction to the city. Since living here, I have been on many roundtrips. Firstly, there is the Great Ocean Road. This is a 240- kilometre stretch of road along the southeastern coast of Australia. It is known for its rugged natural beauty, shipwrecked stories and surfing culture. This could be completed as a weekend trip, or I did a road trip from Adelaide back to Melbourne and incorporated the great ocean road into this. I’d highly recommend a trip to south Australia if beautiful beaches and wineries are your thing. My favourite winery has to be down the rabbit hole. They have the most beautiful live music on a Friday evening, charcuterie boards and an extravagant wine tasting experience. If wine is your thing, I would also recommend a trip to Yarra valley which is only around one and a half hours from the city. There are 80 wineries to choose from and they all offer something unique.

A short ferry or plane ride away you will find yourself in Tasmania which is perfect for all outdoor activities. I went on many beautiful hikes and boat trips whilst visiting. We saw dolphins, seals and even spotted a whale. It’s a lovely peaceful holiday destination that leaves you feeling fully refreshed.

In terms of cool daytrips, if you travel east away from the city you will find many hidden gems. The Mornington peninsula is worth the trek and is a nice escape from the busy city life. You can relax in the mineral hot pools, explore walking trials and beaches and capture some of the most incredible views! Arthur’s seat is a mountainous region in the peninsula, and you can either drive, walk or get a cable car to the top and this offers a fantastic view of the Victoria. Sorrento is also a popular destination on the Mornington peninsular ideal for snorkelling with dolphins, seals and sea kayaking tours. It has a lovely village to wander around brimming with surf shops and ice cream parlours.

A final recommendation would have to be Philip Island. Philip island is a tranquil region dotted on Victoria’s southern costal line. It offers incredible Australian wildlife experiences and is where the famous penguin parade takes place. You are also guaranteed to see koalas at the conservation centre where massive groups of Koalas are found roaming the bush trees. Due to Koalas typically

sleeping in the highest branches of the tree, the centre has built a skywalk way so you can see the Koala’s eye to eye. You can also head to seal rock, Australia’s largest fur seal colony with around 35,000 seals hanging out here.

These a just a few things Melbourne and Victoria has to offer. If you do choose to move here, you will definitely never be bored!

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