Blog by Fauve Kurnadi, Migration Services Associate at AMVL Migrations.
I have recently relocated to Melbourne, which is arguably the best decision a coffee, wine and food obsessed 20-something year old can make. More recently though, the excitement of my move has been dampened by this infamous chill they call a Melbourne winter. I’m sure some of you come from much colder climates than Melbourne, but it's all relative....
Born in Sydney and raised in Brisbane (where a cold day is usually at the 15 degree mark), I had only heard rumours of these southern chills. Now here I am, and winter has well and truly set in for 2014. Learning how to adapt to biting cold winds and icy rain that attacks you from all angles is not an easy feat – so here is my cheat sheet for you, should you need it.
In fashion, less is usually more. This couldn’t be further from the truth in a Melbourne winter. My life motto has quickly changed to “be prepared”. At all times you should be wearing several layers and carrying a coat, jumper, scarf, gloves, umbrella, snow shovel and hot water bottle. OK, perhaps that’s a touch extreme – you probably don’t need a coat and a jumper – but you get my drift.
2. Download a trusty weather app
Find a trustworthy weather app, load it up on your smart phone and check it before you leave the house. I use Weatherzone, which can be downloaded from the App Store, and find that it is fairly accurate. It is 100% true that Melbourne can experience four seasons in one day, so a sunny morning probably means 40km/hr winds and rain by midday.What was that motto again?
3. Get caffeinated!
It’s almost impossible to have a bad coffee in Melbourne…almost. So rediscover your love for coffee, chai, tea, hot chocolate and all things warm to really thaw out. Beanhunter.com is great for keeping up to date with where to find the city’s best coffee. Browse by suburb, peruse their new and noteworthy suggestions or play it safe with their ‘Top Cafes in Melbourne’ list.
4. Stoke the fires
As if Melbourne wine bars and pubs aren’t enticing enough, the city is home to an amazing array of watering holes equipped with toasty warm fireplaces. Every suburb seems to have at least one, so do a little exploring, pick out a bottle of red and bring the marshmallows!
5. Don’t be afraid to leave the house
One great thing about Melbournians is that the weather doesn’t stop them from going out. Winter in the city is never short of festivals, live music, markets, theatre productions and art exhibitions, so plan your weekends (and your school nights for that matter) and enjoy what the city has to offer. Sign up to www.broadsheet.com.au for a great way to stay up to date with what’s going on.
6. Get fit for free
There are always fun and enjoyable ways to keep fit in Melbourne, and you don’t have to look very far for the freebies! Whether it’s a salsa class, a run through Albert Park, meditation groups, or a naked bike ride (courage and confidence are mandatory) there is bound to be something intriguing going on that’s easy on the wallet. Also, if you’re anything like me, winter is synonymous with pasta binging, so let’s strap those runners on together!
7. Forego the rooftops and go underground
Don’t get me wrong, find a nice rooftop bar where you can get close to a heater and you’ll surely have a great night out with a view! However, the Melbourne CBD is also famous for its hidden laneways and, more often than not, getting lost in them can prove to be a fun-filled adventure. Restaurants, cocktail bars and dance floors abound below the surface, so get lost in the moment and descend the staircases for a change!
8. Vitamins and Vegies at Queen Vic
Stock up on all things good at the Queen Victoria Markets on the corner of Victoria St and Elizabeth St. Fresh organic and biodynamic produce, including fruit, vegetables and gourmet deli foods will keep your immune system fighting this winter. The markets make for a great weekend of people-watching, sampling and grocery shopping, just be sure to dodge the endless stream of shopping trolley bags (for the hipster or grandma in all of us). If the crowds prove too daunting to take on, then more limited markets are open during the week.
Also, QVM Vitamins has a permanent store in the heart of the markets and offers great discounts on most brand name vitamins and supplements – definitely worth checking out.
9. Free films
The State Library of Victoria holds movie screenings free of charge right throughout winter. This can work on a number of levels: spend two hours out of the cold and choose a movie set in summer! Screenings include mainstream movies, documentaries, animation and musicals. Jump online to see what’s on: http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/film-screenings.
10. Get away from it all
Living in such a spectacular city, you almost forget that a 1-2 hour drive in any direction will get you to some beautiful places. For warm winter getaways, consider the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs (www.peninsulahotsprings.com). Only 90 minutes from Melbourne, the springs offer an oasis of natural thermal mineral pools and baths at a cosy 36-43 degrees. Strip off that onesie and take the plunge! Prices range from $20 for public bath-house bathing to $400+ for private treatments.
As it turns out, winter in Melbourne isn’t so bad after all!