Walking around Royal Park in Melbourne’s north can be a disorientating experience. The sprawling parkland – Melbourne’s biggest – couches intimate pockets of untouched bushland that can make it feel like you’re a million miles away from the metropolis over the hill. Bicyclists, runners and sportspeople of all kind can be found dotted throughout the park, but there’s enough space and nature along the five-kilometre walking track to call it your own.
Further south you can walk – or ride – the Capital City Trail for some of the best views of the Yarra River at sunset. The 30-kilometre route takes in Merri Creek, Royal Park and Docklands. There isn’t a lot of signage as it transitions from section to section, so keep an eye on your phone for directions.
The owners at Fitzroy’s Drinkwell are used to people taking their shoes off and sitting on the grass. “It’s like being in a park,” co-owner Harris Plane told Broadsheet when it opened last December. The outdoorsy little brother of Bar Liberty was made for relaxation, with a mural by Melbourne artist Kit Bennett and a couple of summer-style snacks including oysters. There’s only room for about 30 people to sit, unless they’re happy to laze on the (fake) grass. It’s open until 11pm every day, so an ideal spot to relax and watch the shadows grow long.
Two storeys above street level on Russell Street is the Red Hummingbird Rooftop. Rare for an outdoor venue with sections exposed to the elements, Red Hummingbird has a timber floor, lending a touch of old-world elegance to the space. It’s an ideal setting to gaze up beyond the skyline with a glass of Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial and ignore the outside world for a while.
Take a late class
Based in Fitzroy, Work-Shop is a community-based learning centre offering all sorts of interesting courses. From vector lettering, welding for beginners, making your own jewellery, to whether you should rent or buy a home, practical tips are key. The classes span all hours of the day, but many of them begin at 6pm or 6.30pm and run into the evening. Ideal class to keep summer going in the home? The beginners terrarium workshop.
If you prefer something a little more carefree on a warm evening, inject some disco into your night at Richmond’s Yoga 213. Dress to impress in your finest ’80s disco chic threads for the Boogie Nights classes in April. The vinyasa flow events are led by DJ M.A.F.I.A on the decks.
Date night at a show
The secret to a good relationship? Laughter. Forget zoning out in front of the laptop on the doona, take your lover to see some live comedy. Ruby Wax, Jenny Eclair, Richard Gadd and Abandoman are among headliners for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year, but with hundreds of comedians on the undercard you can confidently roll up and pick a show on impulse.
If you’re planning on dinner beforehand, head to the official website to check out dinner deals around the city when showing your MICF tickets. The festival runs until April 23.
Get out of town
Head down to the sea while the water temperature is still bearable. Cumberland River Holiday Park is tucked away on the Great Ocean Road just around the corner from Lorne. If you can snag a site by the stream, pitch your tent facing the breathtaking cliff faces – equally impressive by day and moonlight. Set up a dinner table, get out the card games, and hold on to the summer feeling while you still can.
This article is presented in partnership with Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial, the first Champagne designed to be served exclusively over ice. Please drink Moët & Chandon responsibly.