Postcard From… Melbourne

Welcome to this week’s Postcard From – the feature where I chat to some lucky explorer about their recent travels.

This week I’ve been chatting to Jeanette, the main writer, editor, coffee consumer and Tweeter in the little team of aPostcard From Melbournedventurers that makes up Travelling Honey Bird. With an extensive background in hospitality, international horse transport and logistics it’s usually Jeanette who dreams and puts the dreams into an efficient travel itinerary. This stems from her current job as an executive assistant and chief cat herder

You’ll usually find Jeanette out and about with a coffee in hand. Even when traveling in remote locations she can sniff out the espresso. Follow her adventures on Twitter @honeybirdtravel.

Welcome, Jeanette! Where are you at the moment?

Melbourne, Victoria Australia.

Melbourne is our home town. I love this city as much as I love New York, Tokyo and even London. Few cities manage to capture my attention and keep it as well as Melbourne does. Even when we lived a good hour regional train ride away I would happily flirt down to Melbourne on my lonesome on a Saturday and do stuff. 

Melbourne Skyline. Image by Anna Phipps.

Melbourne Skyline. Image by Anna Phipps.

It’s summer in Australia right now. How’s the weather in Melbourne?

Melbourne, the city famous for having four seasons in one day. Don’t like the weather? Don’t worry, give it an hour and the weather will change.

Whew, that’s crazy! Can you recommend somewhere to stay?

Hostels in Melbourne can be almost as expensive as hotels. When we want to stay in the CBD we usually avoid the $100/night hostels, unless you want to shack up in large dorm rooms. There are some amazing hotels, like the Aldephi.

What do you do on a day out in Melbourne?

I always visit at least one cafe. But let’s be honest I’ll probably visit more. My suggestion is to start off at 7Seeds Coffee, 106-114 Berkeley St, Carlton. Even though their address is Carlton this little gem of a place is just around the corner from the Queen Vic Market and is on the brink on the CBD. A perfect spot to start your Melbourne wanderings.

Coffee chocolate, Postcard From Melbourne

I always like to do my meat and vegetable shopping at the Queen Vic Market. On weekends the parking around here isn’t too bad if you’re in for the big weekly shop. If I’m just meandering around town then I like to start here with a latte from Marketlane and wonder down through the laneways down to the National Gallery of Victoria. It’s a whole day activity but great to do on your own or with friends.

What’s your highlight?

Finding all the coffee in and around the laneways. Melbourne is hitting well above her weight with amazing coffee and creative laneway cafes.

How’s the food scene in your city?

Melbourne is truly cosmopolitan when it comes to food. There are far too many amazing places to list them all. If you have time and feel like Spanish food I’d suggest trying Movida NextDoor or Bomba (who do a great $15 express lunch). The big and very delicious craze at the moment is Vietnamese Street Food. Every second street seems to have a small space serving up pho and banh mi.

I just got back from Vietnam and I loved the food – especially banh mi! Do you have any tips or advice for anyone heading to Melbourne?

Let’s talk about the hideous public transport, which in reality isn’t that bad. Confusing – Yes. But generally serviceable and user friendly once you know how. First things first you must purchase a Myki. Think London style Oyster card but way less cool and functional. Though things are improving. You can not buy these cards once you are on buses, trains, planes and trams. They need to be pre-purchased. You can buy these easily from a Myki store or a 7Eleven.

As of January 1, 2015 there is a free tram zone in the CBD.

Just an FYO the current fine is $75 on the spot or $217. Accumulating fines in Australia and not paying can result in issues if you decide to return.

Local birds, Postcard From Melbourne

Wow – good tip! I won’t be sneaking through any ticket barriers if I visit, then! So, a little more about you now. What’s your favourite travel read?

I can’t go past The Alchemist or anything by Khaled Houssein. I like to loose myself in books when on planes/train/cranes.

What do you love most about travelling?

The freedom to be whoever you want to be. When you’re travelling, learning and expanding yourself you don’t have to be restricted by others’ expectations. I’m not considered a glorified secretary (a gross understatement of my job) or a desk jockey. I’m a real person who real hopes, dreams and ideas. That I’m out fulfilling.

About Postcard From

Postcard From is a weekly interview feature, where I chat with a fellow blogger or travel lover about their latest trip. So far, this exciting feature has taken this blog to over one hundred countries and touched on every continent - even Antarctica! Get in touch to take part.

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