12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne

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History, animals, tennis, cricket, art, festivals, history, museums, culinary delights, beaches, music, and cafés around every corner...where are you? Why, Melbourne, of course! This city is an incredible place to visit, as there is so much to see and do.

Besides the aforementioned, Melbourne is packed with quirky treats. 

Here are a dozen of our favorites:

12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne

Find the Bar Hidden Behind a Bookshelf in Melbourne

Have you always wanted to discover a secret behind a bookcase (a la Scooby Doo, Nancy Drew, or classic mystery novels)? Head to State of Grace, a beautiful restaurant with a hidden bar…located, of course, behind a bookcase. Eat well, and then play detective to head downstairs to Fall From Grace for a digestif.
Fall From Grace - the bar hidden behind a bookshelf! From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Fall From Grace - the bar hidden behind a bookshelf! From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Photos: State of Grace/Fall From Grace

Get Spooked: Haunted Bookshop & Ghost Tours

Do you love a good ghost tour? You’ll find it at the Haunted Bookshop—as well as new and antiquarian books on a variety of occult and supernatural topics.
Get Spooked: Haunted Bookshop & Ghost Tours. From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Photo: Haunted Bookshop & Ghost Tours, via Facebook

Enter Another World

Located about 95km northeast from Melbourne, Bruno's Art & Sculpture Garden offers a trip to another world - that of the imagination. Artist Bruno Torf 's rainforest-based sculpture garden was burned in a bushfire in 2009, and completely rebuilt. It's a place filled with magic, with creativity, with great artistry and passion. Well worth the drive, it's a treasure you'll never forget experiencing.

 

Caffeinate

You can’t visit Australia’s coffee capital without stopping at one of Melbourne’s 2,000 cafés! Perhaps the most interesting, to me, is Aunty Peg’s. Named after the director’s grandma, this café is home to global coffee favorite Proud Mary Coffee Roasters (served here in Kalamazoo, Michigan, at Civil House Coffee!). Besides getting a great cup of coffee, you can shop, and tour the roastery. 
Caffeinate at Aunty Peg's! From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Photo: Aunty Peg’s via Instagram

Watch for a surprise

In Melbourne Central (where you'll probably be going to shop, anyway) hangs an enormous pocket watch. While that is enough to be quirky, you'll love what happens every hour, on the hour. Head upstairs to see the back of the watch, which features koalas keeping time!

 

Relax at a Mineral Hot Springs and Hammam

Just 90 minutes away from Melbourne is an out of this world place, a natural mineral hot springs that offers Turkish Hammam, Swedish sauna, and more. Drive to Peninsula Hot Springs for all of the above, Warrnambool, and upcoming resorts at12 Apostles and Phillip Island Saltwater Springs for more hot springs rejuvenation in Victoria.
Relax at Peninsula Hot Springs and Hammam. From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Photo: Peninsula Hot Springs via Instagram

Love your Library

Of course, the one place we visit, wherever we travel, is the library.  You’ll learn much about a place at the library, including events, local authors, great suggestions for things to do and see, and, of course, art.  At the State Library Victoria, you can see a lovely sculpture of a bunyip, a creature from Aboriginal Australian mythology. This particular version is based on a children's book by Jenny Wagner, illustrated by Ron Brooks, entitled The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek.
 From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Photo: State Library of Victoria 

Satisfy your Scientific Curiosity 

Are you interested in the macabre, natural science, and oddities? Perhaps you’ve loved visiting Dr. Mütter’s marvelous museum in Philadelphia? Melbourne's Wunderkammer is a unique museum and store featuring scientific curiosities, artefacts, and ephemera. You'll find specimens, fossils, insects, taxidermied animals, and more. Poke around – you never know what you’ll discover!
Satisfy your Scientific Curiosity at Wunderkammer.  From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Photo: Wunderkammer via Instagram

Go underground

Did you know that Melbourne has over 900 miles of storm tunnels? In the mid-1980s, a group of urban explorers started, well, exploring them. Called the Cave Clan, this informal group is intrepid. Filled with spiders, art, bugs, spiders, snakes, and water, of course, the tunnels form a labyrinth of sorts underneath the city. If you choose to explore, sign the seemingly always-present guest book! 
Go underground in Melbourne's storm tunnels. From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Photo: The Bohemian Blog

View Tiny Art

Do you love to peer in and glimpse tiny art? I’ve got the art gallery for you! Mailbox Art Space, located in the public foyer of 143 Flinders Lane, offers an ever-changing array of art within a small row of 19 glass-fronted letterboxes. Check the schedule for current and upcoming exhibits. 
View Tiny Art in Mailboxes! From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne
Elwyn Murray, Notifications, Mailbox Art Space, installation view, February 2016. Photo: Mailbox Art Space

View Not-so-tiny Street Art

While not located in one spot, street art of all kinds abounds throughout Melbourne. While you wander, keep your eyes peeled! Fans of Australian rock band AC/DC will, of course, directly head to AC/DC Lane, where appropriately named street art has been created.
Street art! From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne

Be Here for White Night

Founded in 2012, White Night Melbourne is a one day public art event that takes place all throughout the city. Held in February, White Night features over 100 events, from museums to streets, installation art to films, music to exhibits, and visual art to performances.
White Night Melbourne. From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne

Hot Tip:

The easiest way to get around and about Melbourne, Australia? Rent a car! It’s easy to get around, and can save you money, whether you are driving around town, planning to visit quirky places outside of the city, or road tripping on the Great Ocean Road.
Road tripping on the Great Ocean Road. From 12 Quirky Places to Discover in and Around Melbourne

Have you been to Melbourne? What is your favorite quirky thing to do?

 

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