The first Bledisloe Cup this year will be in Melbourne, so it’s a good reason to spend a holiday across the hole.
What happens when you combine a century-old major sporting event with an ancient, world-class city?
Last visit to Melbourne.
Here’s how to treat yourself to the cup, plus our accommodation, food and shopping recommendations in Melbourne.
Find out about Bledisloe events
On Saturday July 29 arch Rugby Union rivals the Wallabies and All Blacks will meet again for the Bledisloe Cup.
It’s hard to say who likes to win. The All Blacks have a good record behind them (having won 20 consecutive years), but the Wallabies are not getting on. In fact, this year they brought out the big guns: Eddie Jones, a rugby coaching expert, is the last Aussie coach to take the Bledisloe name.
Come support these guys and take this as an excuse to book your flights and cheer them on in person at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground.
But your whole trip…
Bledisloe has plenty to do, but you’ll have plenty of time before and after the game to enjoy Melbourne’s world-famous shopping and dining scene. Give yourself a few days and you’ll have all the time in the world to enjoy the city.
For local shopping and fashion, ALPHA60, Masons and ELK Melbourne are your go-to places. You’ll also find vintage fashion at the Vault within the city’s famous Arcade block.
Then you’ll head to The Strand, with its beautiful glass fins and beautiful central square. The Strand is full of fashion and lifestyle shops, including plenty of food if you need to eat.
Oh, and we can’t forget the Queen Victoria Market, one of our favorites. The downtown market is home to over 600 small businesses, where you’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities you won’t find anywhere else. Or, just enjoy the market itself! It has been here for 140 years.
Rather have an example of everything? Marvelous Melbourne Shopping Tour and Fashion by Foot ethics tour are unique ways to see the city, including gems that aren’t on Google.
Dining & live music
You can blindfold yourself, walk around, and choose the first place to see and enjoy in Melbourne, but if you want, here are our suggestions:
Merit Feast is where you will find contemporary Middle Eastern delicacies made with a sustainable philosophy. There’s also the Indian-inspired menu of Tonka, a Hatted restaurant located in one of Melbourne’s most iconic streets. Or, venture to Flinders Lane and sample Cumulus Inc.’s seasonal cuisine.
For music, start at the Corner Hotel, with shows three nights a week, then head to rock ‘n roll hotspot Cherry Bar (where Jet and Airbourne both got their start). The vintage-inspired Hotel Esplanade (the Espy) is another great place that has recently been renovated, as well as the neo-gothic Forum.
Finally, special afternoon music can be found at the Australian Music Vault, a free exhibition exploring the history and culture of Aussie musicians.
Where to stay on your trip
Melbourne is a tourist-friendly city, with all the hotels, motels, boutique B&Bs, hostels and assisted living you could ask for. No matter what you like, no matter your budget, you will find somewhere to love.
Yes, we have other ideas.
Pullman on the Park is not only one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, it is also located near the Melbourne Cricket Ground. You could get out of bed, throw on your team colors, walk across the street and you’d be there. So is the nearby Mantra in Jolimont, with its relaxed atmosphere and home-away-from-home style rooms.
The newly opened Motley Hotel is a gorgeous hotel with an artful interior that will delight your Insta feed. For something even more unique, there is also Hotel No which is located on the roof and entrance, hosting its guests in beautiful 1970s Airstream trailers.
Be ready to impress your team. Start planning your winter trip to Melbourne at visitmelbourne.com/nz.