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What Sydney-siders Need To Know For The Australian Open Melbourne

Photo: Chin Chin restaurant (Chin Chin)

Okay Sydney-siders, so you are planning on coming to Melbourne for the Australian Open. You’ve already booked your apartment at The Olsen or if you couldn’t get in there, you’ve discovered The Cullen is probably in an even better location.

No doubt you’ve also remembered to pack clothes to guarantee you are protected against both sunstroke and frost bite and have work-shopped outfit ideas to ensure you know what to wear when it happens within the same day.

But, here’s a few tips to help make your Melbourne sojourn just that little bit easier and far more enjoyable.

Myki. Pronounced ‘My Key’, not ‘mickey’. Melbourne’s answer to mass stupidity, the Myki card. If it works, it will allow you to travel on just about all public transport. Yes we know it sucks, but there is no alternative.

So you will have to go to a 7 Eleven store and pony up for a card as well as put money on it.It you are staying in the heart of Melbourne then pop into the Visitors Centre at Federation Square and get an ‘interstate card’.It will provide you with discounts on a number of attractions and comes with $8 credit.

There are a number of free trams in the city, but once you move outside these zones you will need your Myki card. And don’t forget it otherwise you will have to buy another one.

Photo Trip Advisor (

Restaurants. I’d recommend heading to the ‘Windsor-end’ of Chapel St and trying to score a table at Mr Miyagi’s, Hanoi Hannah (just off Chapel St) or the newly opened Hawker Hall. For something a touch more upmarket, try the Woods of Windsor. For the best lamb shish you can’t go past Marmara and for something truly Melbourne check out Colonel Tan’s, upstairs at Revolver.

But, if you venture into the city then you will be spoilt for choice. Movida (Spanish), my personal favourite Chin Chin (Asian), Tonka (Indian), Coda (Vietnamese) and Fonda (Mexican) are all within a 5 minute walk of each other.

But don’t just limit yourself to the usual suspects, why not head down to St Kilda beach and check out Radio Mexico or Cicciolina (Italian) or Bay St South Melbourne for Harry & Frankie’s great wine bar.

The downside to many of these restaurants, especially the city and Chapel St ones, is they don’t take reservations. I have suffered first hand the hunger pains from a 3 hour wait for a seat at dinner on Saturday night. My tip, go between the peak lunch and dinner times on Saturday or Sunday where you will likely get straight in. You have been warned.

Clothes. For some reason, the tourist information center sends everyone to Chapel St in Prahran. First things, first. If you want to sound like a local then you’ll need to pronounce Prahran as one word – Pran – no H and R sound in the middle. Second thing, I’m pretty sure you didn’t come to Melbourne to shop in the same chain stores you have in Sydney, so my advice is to head over to Brunswick, Fitzroy and Collingwood.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia By Mat Connolley

Chapel St rents are ridiculous!As a result, up and coming designers have locked onto the cheaper inner Northern suburbs.It maybe a little edgy in places but it is a quick and easy tram ride from the tennis or the city. Use Brunswick Street as a starting point and venture out from there.

I hope you enjoy your stay.


Stephen Mobbs is the CEO & Exclusive Partner of Slow Cow Australia and NZ. Stephen travels frequently between Sydney and Melbourne.


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