Melbourne & Phillip Island, Australia

It’s been almost a year since I went on this trip and wrote this blog post, and it’s just been sitting in my drafts for all these months. I thought I would still post it for my own sake, and also for anyone who may be planning to go to Australia, and specifically Melbourne or Phillip Island, in the future! It’s been so long since my trip though that the remaining stops on my Australia trip may just become posts in the form of photo diaries.

This past December, I traveled to Australia with my family. It was incredible there - so much so, that while I was still there, I was already thinking about what I would do on my next trip there! I thought I could put together a sort of travel guide for anyone who’s interested in visiting! As we went to a few different locations, I’ll be splitting this into a few different posts based on location. First off, as the title suggests, I’ll be sharing my experiences in Melbourne and on Phillip Island!

Places To Go & Things To Do

Hosier Lane Street Art: An alley near Federation Square filled with cool street art.


Flinder Street Station: A railway station in the city center. We walked by and took a picture of it.


Queen Victoria Market: One of the must visit places in Melbourne. It’s a massive market that covers two city blocks, selling fresh produce, meats and seafood, souvenirs, and more. We ended up spending half a day here.

The main entrance of Queen Victoria Market

The main entrance of Queen Victoria Market

Me, sipping on my iced latte from Market Lane Coffee in Queen Victoria Market

Me, sipping on my iced latte from Market Lane Coffee in Queen Victoria Market

Fitzroy Gardens: A beautiful garden that has been around for over 150 years. There’s a couple of little cottages in the garden, the Tudor Village (a village of little model buildings), and a conservatory with beautiful floral displays, which unfortunately, was closed when we visited on Christmas morning :(

In front of one of the cottages

In front of one of the cottages

A wall by Tudor Village

A wall by Tudor Village

Phillip Island

An island just off Australia’s southern coast and just a day trip away from Melbourne. We ended up going here on Christmas day, since most places in the city were closed. I definitely want to come here again and explore more of the island, as we were limited this time to where the day tour brought us.

Koala Conservation Centre: A little woodland area full of eucalyptus trees and koalas. There are boardwalks amongst the trees, so visitors can see the koalas up close in their natural habitat, sleeping in the trees.


The Nobbies Boardwalk: A beautiful boardwalk located on the southern coast of Phillip Island. The ocean views here were incredible!


Penguin Parade: The cutest thing ever. Every day at sunset, little penguins come out of the ocean and head back to their nests. Visitors sit in designated areas on the beach and are able to watch these little penguins make their trek home. I don’t have any photos of the penguins because no photography or videos were allowed. The sunset was also beautiful though!


Food & Drink

Overall, two winners in this category: beer (just overall throughout Australia) and Asian food.

There is an insane number of Asian restaurants in Melbourne. It was incredible. Honestly, I had been worried about the lack of good food in Australia, as I had assumed Australia would be like the UK, but I was put at ease as soon as I saw the variety of Asian food available in the city. And if you’re used to being able to satisfy your boba craving easily, have no fear. There’s a different boba place on every block in the city center, and, sometimes, there’s a couple on the same block.

A few food/drink recommendations:

Chin Chin: An amazing Thai fusion restaurant with super hip decor reminiscent of what you’d see at a restaurant in SF.

Butter Chicken Curry

Butter Chicken Curry

Jungle Curry of Steamed Fish

Jungle Curry of Steamed Fish

Pad See Ew of Braised Wagyu Beef

Pad See Ew of Braised Wagyu Beef

Twice Cooked Beef Short Rib

Twice Cooked Beef Short Rib

Dainty Sichuan (149 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia): We had come here thinking we could order the usual Sichuan dishes, but it turns out this location in the city center was a hotpot-only location. It wasn’t really much of a disappointment, because I had the best hot pot of my life here. And the spicy soup is actually spicy. Like really spicy. It was incredible. Heads up: There’s a 90 minute time limit for you to eat.


Crafty Squire: An awesome microbrewery that also served good eats. The awesome beers from this brewery also made appearances every so often at other bars/pubs and at bottle shops throughout the rest of our trip.


Bar Ampere: Local bar featuring awesome street art in its outdoor seating area.


Queen Victoria Market

There’s a small food court here with a variety of foods. I had a laksa noodle soup at the Malaysian/Cantonese stall, and it was delicious.

Market Lane Coffee: A hip coffee store near the produce area of the market. Their coffee was really good, and I ended up getting their tote because I liked the typography on it.

Market Juice: A juice and smoothie stand in the produce area of the market. I ordered a smoothie, and it was fresh and delicious.

American Doughnut Kitchen: Known for their hot jam donuts.


Public transportation is super convenient in Melbourne, and in the city center, it’s all free. The city center is also pretty walkable. We actually walked most places rather than take buses. Uber is also really convenient in Australia, so that is definitely an option as well.


We stayed at the Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens Hotel throughout our whole time in Melbourne and Phillip Island. I have no complaints about the hotel - it’s a pretty standard four-star hotel in a great location, across from the Fitzroy Gardens and right at the edge of Melbourne’s city center. Breakfast is also complimentary and provided 6:30 am - 10 am every morning.

travel, australiaCathy Liu