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The Most Unusual Things to Do in Melbourne

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 15 June 2017
If you’ve been there and done that, then it’s time to hop off the beaten tourist path and experience Melbourne’s most unusual attractions. From a Cold War themed bar, to rooms riddled with cryptic challenges, crafty cafes and a simulated coffin ride, you won’t find these attractions on your typical tourist brochure.

Escape Room

Devised by two psychology Ph.D. students, Escape Room traps you and a small group in a room where together you must unravel cryptic puzzles in an effort to escape. You have 70 minutes to solve the mystery and with six locations around Melbourne, there are plenty of enigmas to crack. Through the lingual, visual, mathematical, spatial, physical and lateral brainteasers, visitors can investigate unusual activity in a mine in South Melbourne, uncover the truth behind mysterious disappearances at a Burlesque club in Oakleigh and discover why an apartment in Flemington was abandoned.

Escape Room Flemington, 9 Lee Street, Flemington, VIC, Australia, +64 55 661 777

Pixabay | Pixabay

Berlin Bar

Melbourne is home to many quirky bars, and one of the city’s most popular is Berlin Bar. Concealed in a laneway off Chinatown’s Little Bourke Street, visitors must ring the doorbell for entry and once cleared at the checkpoint are transported to Cold War Germany. A boozy history lesson awaits as the bar is split into East and West Berlin with a stark contrast between the bleak and the lavish. Order a cocktail and immerse yourself in Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.”

Level 2 16 Corrs Lane Melbourne, VIC Australia +61 3 9639 3396

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Kryal Castle

Since 1974, Kryal Castle has been transporting noble guests into a mythical age where dragons, knights and wizards roam. After many reincarnations, the medieval adventure park re-lowered its drawbridge in 2013 and has since been welcoming visitors to wander through the castle. Enter The Dragon’s Labyrinth, see the horrific Torture Dungeon and Museum, watch as brave knights’ joust for supremacy and test your strength with the Sword in the Stone. Those keen to stay a little longer can book a room and there are also dinner and show packages available.

Kryal Castle, 121 Forbes Road, Leigh Creek, Ballarat Victoria, Australia, +61 5334 8500

Courtesy of Kryal Castle

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Looking for the pawfect day out with your pooch? Then look no further than Johnston Street’s DogHouse. From dogachinos, to dog muffins and raw meat, this café puts the pooch first. DogHouse features a courtyard with ten gated booths, making it the ideal place to host a canine birthday or wedding as well as a store where you can treat your furbaby. There is also a select menu for dog owners to feast upon.

DogHouse, 195 Johnston Street, Collingwood VIC, Australia, +61 3 9417 4253

Photographer Sherwin Vangunster/Courtesy of DogHouse

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Cat Café

In 2014, Australia’s first cat café opened in Melbourne much to the delight of cat people. Offering furry companionship along with a small selection of snacks and beverages, visitors can play, pat and relax with the Cat Café’s 16 rescue residents, each with their own purrsonalities. Studies have even show that interacting with cats has pawsitive effects such as lowering high blood pressure, stress, depression and anxiety. Hourly sessions with Lopez, Waldo, Sherlock and the gang can be booked through their website.

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

Courtsey Cat Cafe

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For 32 years, Australians have followed family drama play out on the soap opera Neighbours. With over 7,000 episodes spanning 33 seasons, the show has cemented itself as the longest running drama series in Australian television history. Set in Ramsay Street, Erinsborough, the show follows neighbouring families who “become good friends.’ In reality, Ramsay Street is located in Pin Oak Court, Vermont South and tours to the famous filming location run daily. You may even encounter a cast member!

Pin Oak Crt Vermont South VIC Australia

The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

The first of their kind, the historical fleet of Colonial Tramcar Restaurants has been a popular culinary experience since 1983. Enjoy the seasonal menu and premium Australian wines as you dine within the opulent burgundy trams, while beholding city sights as you roll along. The all-inclusive moving menu includes three, four or five-course meals with vegetarian and gluten free options.

© WilliamWatt Courtsey Colinial Tramcar Resturant
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Put on your smock and go back to play school with painting, pasting and playdough at Crafternoon. This artistic café allows you to nurture your creative side while enjoying a pot of tea and a meal from the all day brunch menu. Named one of the top 5 child friendly cafes in Melbourne, Crafternoon also hosts crafty kid’s parties as well as high teas for adults.

718 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC Australia +61 3 9995 2861

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Punting on the Lake

Melbourne’s iconic Royal Botanic Gardens feature in all the guidebooks, but many people aren’t aware that there’s a unique way to see the picturesque grounds. Since 2013, punt tours have guided visitors through the shallow waters of the Ornamental Lake. Gliding around the islands and bays, you’ll be treated to a water level perspective of the gardens and you may even see a turtle or two. Each punt seats up to eight people and tours last 30 minutes.

Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC Australia +61 3 9252 2300

Courtesy: Punting on the Lake

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The Coffin Ride

Do you have the nerve to experience your own burial? The Last Ride at GlowGolf Docklands takes you on grim sensory ride inside a pitch black casket. As you in lie in wait, two Cockney gravediggers will load you into their hearse and drive you to the graveyard. Listen as they shovel dirt over you before the bugs invade, all the while being watched by your friends on a screen.

NW F05 Star Cres, Docklands VIC Australia +61 39642 5442