7 Secret Zen Places to Recharge in Melbourne

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Photo of Monique La Terra
21 June 2017

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne without leaving the city, then these secret sanctuaries are for you. Unwind and find your Zen as you transcend into a state of relaxation. You can thank us later.

The Nook at Federation Square

Map View
Federation Square
Federation Square | © Jamie Wang / Flickr
Tucked away in a corner inside the Atrium at Federation Square is a new pop-up venue known as The Nook. In juxtaposition with Federation Square’s modernist architecture, the cozy Nook is styled as a mid-century sitting room complete with retro chairs, a couch and community bookcase. Recharge in the quiet abode or join in with the local groups that occasionally use the space for knitting, embroidery and crafts.

Gravity Float

Feel the tension from your daily life slip away as your body defies gravity inside a floatation pod. Surrender to a weightless sensation as the Epsom salt solution induces your mind, body and soul into a deeply relaxed state while relieving musculoskeletal tension. Sound and light proof, the cocoon compels your mind to disconnect while expanding your focus and clarity.

559 High St, Northcote VIC Australia +61 3 8394 6690

Cat Café

A session at Melbourne’s Cat Café is a serene experience where patrons can play, pat and relax with the café’s 16 rescue residents, while enjoying snacks and beverages. Cat people can attest to the therapeutic benefits of having a feline companion, and studies have shown that cats have pawsitive effects on their owners, including reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of stroke, which is why a visit to the Cat Café is the purrfect way to unwind.

30 Guildford Ln, Melbourne VIC Australia +61 3 9642 8540

Courtesy of Cat Café

Crafternoons at City Library

Nurture your artistic side at Crafternoons at City Library. Each Thursday in the Activity Space, you can develop your needlework, sewing and craft skills using the library’s resources or bring your own materials. If you’re stuck for inspiration, be sure to browse their superb art and crafts book collection while you are there.

253 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC Australia +61 3 9658 9500

Australian Mediatheque at ACMI

Browse through a wealth of visual and audio content at Australian Mediatheque ACMI. Settle into one of 12 private booths, each fitted with four sets of headphones and watch on demand digital films, highlights from over 100 years of Australian, international films, short films, documentaries and more. In collaboration with the National Film and Sound Archive, ACMI’s free visual experience allows movie buffs to tune out from the busy city and enjoy the moving image.

Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne VIC Australia +61 3 8663 2200

Guilfoyle’s Volcano

Covering 94 acres, Melbourne Gardens, part of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria are often overlooked including Guilfoyle’s Volcano in the south-east corner. Built in 1876 for water storage, Guilfoyle’s Volcano has since been transformed with low water use plants, including succulents and cacti, as well as circling boardwalks and viewing platforms which offer views of the city’s skyline.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC Australia

Courtesy of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, photographer Adrian Vittorio

Virgin Active Sleep Pods

Fitness Studio, Gym
Map View
The gym floor at Virgin Active Collins Street
Courtesy of Virgin Active Collins Street
If you’re craving an afternoon siesta, then visit Virgin Active and drift away in one of their sleep pods. The zero gravity shells recline for optimum comfort, while stimulating blood flow and reducing lower back pressure. Soothing sounds will help you doze off and after 20 minutes, gentle vibrations will rouse you awake, feeling fully rested.

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