by James Ridenour
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Top Romantic Things to do in Melbourne


  1. Enjoy a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens.  In summer enjoy Punt Tours on the Lake with a luxury Cambridge style boat on the garden’s ornamental lake.  In winter enjoy the camellia gardens which will be in full bloom and lunch at Shannon Bennett’s Jardin Tan a modern Vientames cafe located at the Observatory Gate in the gardens.
  2. Wander through the historic Yarraville village and enjoy the many shops, cafes, bakeries and pubs that this wonderful suburb has to offer.  Many of the original buildings have remained untouched so this is a great spot to enjoy Melbourne’s history.  The highlight of your trip can be the chance to take in a movie at the art deco Sun Theatre.  This historic theatre is one of the best places in the city to take in a film and screens a number of new releases.  If classics from the silver screen are more your style the newly renovated Astor Theatre in St Kilda should be your destination.  Regular screenings of some of the best classics are on offer here and the newly renovated theatre means you can cozy up to your loved one in comfort while enjoying the best of classic films!  One of the newest and most notable cinemas in the Thornbury Picture House. Located in hipster Thornbury you where can also enjoy some of Melbourne’s best food and beverage too.  Carwyn Cellars which is home to the Back Room Bar has an ever changing variety of 20 craft beers on tap from around the world along with over 200 whiskeys.  Other notables in the area are The Mooreshead (Lebanese Pizza), Cedars Bakery (Lebanese coffee, snacks and groceries), Umbertos (Italian cafe) and GRK – Greek Kitchen and Bar (Greek restaurant), Greek Street Food (Souvlaki), Som Tam (Thai restaurant), Northern Git (steaks) Pallino (Bar) and Trumpy (Cocktails)!
  3. Lunch or dinner at Donovans with St Kilda beach views is always a wonderfully romantic way to impress your partner. For dinner ensure you book about an hour before sunset to enjoy some of Melbourne best food, wine and views.   This is one of my personal favourites.  Donovan’s serve Melbourne’s best seafood and an excellent grill along with a large diverse menu to ensure everyone will find something they will love.
  4. Fly to the Yarra Valley.  Splurge on a Microflite Wine – Food – Fly tour of the Yarra Valley with flights from Melbourne including a private tour and lunch at Levantine Hill.  Depart from the city helipad on the Yarra River and enjoy a 20 minute flight out the Yering Station where you will be met on arrival with a glass of sparking.  Enjoy a private tour of the winery and finish your experience off with a gourmet lunch.  Return to the city with a spectacular flight down river flying over the Botanic Gardens, Government House and then down river through the city.  It is glorious Melbourne at its best.
  5. Take a private wine tasting tour of the Yarra Valley with Localing.  This tour features some of the best wineries in the Yarra Valley and includes private barrel tastings.   Your food and wine experience will be second to none.  If wine is not your thing Localing can take you on a nightlife tour of Fitzroy & Colllingwood, not your typical romantic night out but some alternative fun for your and your partner!
  6. Enjoy an afternoon on the Yarra River with a self drive boat hire from Melbourne Boat Hire.   Make sure you order a bottle of champagne and some catering so you can while away the afternoon in one of the world’s great cities by meandering up and down the river at your own pace.  Be the skipper of your own romantic afternoon.  That has to impress your loved one and no boat licence is required so you don’t have any excuses! If you prefer to have someone do the navigating for you Venice on the Yarra will give you a romantic Venetian gondola experience like no other.
  7. Enjoy one of Australia’s best contemporary art galleries, the Heide Museum of Modern Art.  There are three galleries and 17 hectares of gardens featuring some amazing sculptures.  You can also see Shannon Bennett’s garden in which he grows produce for his restaurants like Vue de monde.  If music is more your style don’t forget about the amazing Melbourne Symphony Orchestra concerts including many free concerts.  Try MSO’s twitter feed for up to the minute details on special concerts
  8. Create your own bespoke perfume at Fleurage Perfume Atelier (now located in Surfers Paradise).  Nothing is more romantic that fragrance, except perhaps diamonds.  For the gift of a lifetime or the ring to begin your lifetime together there is no better place than the Australian designs of Canturi Jewels.

Here is the real trick to romance.  Say I love you and buy flowers or a small gift just because, don’t wait for a special occasion.  A surprise I love you is the most romantic thing in the world, so celebrate “Happy I Love You Day” any day you choose!

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