This Friday, the main draw for the 2015 Australian Open will be released, and by this time next week play will be in full swing. While you may be looking forward to seeing the pros back in action after an off-season hiatus, how much do you actually know about Victoria, Australia’s capital city, where the tournament takes place? Here’s everything you need to know about Melbourne and the first major tennis tournament of the year.
David Gray, Reuters
How do you take your coffee?
Anyone who follows last year’s Australian Open champ Stan Wawrinka knows the man is obsessed with coffee. The world no. 4 fits right in with Melbourne residents, who take great pride in their world-renowned cafés and brews. Here’s some of Melbourne’s best coffee shops that are just a couple of miles from Rod Laver Stadium.
Helpful Google Review: “Knowledgeable and attentive staff in a focused and minimalistic space. Great beans, great coffee, and all in the hyper-competitive heart of Melbourne!”
Helpful Google Review: “Focus is clearly on the coffee. One of the best espressos I have had. Unique place to savour coffee.”
Feeling hot, hot, hot
On day one of the Open, temperatures in Melbourne are predicted to reach a high of 81°. That’s nothing compared to six years ago when players battled through the warmest event on record, which had a daily average temperature of 94°. But when the heat’s unbearable Melbourne inhabitants can spend the day inside at one of the art mecca’s many museums or galleries. Explore a few of the exhibits open now.
Emily Floyd, The Dawn at NGV Australia
This Melbourne-based artist works with sculpture and installation and this particular exhibit includes an interactive section for children.
Carsten Höller, Golden Mirror Carousel at NGV International
Visitors can take a free ride on this stunning carousel created by German artist Carsten Höller.
This year’s winners of the Australian Open will receive a record prize amount of AUD$36.3 million. The victor may want to spend some of that on Victoria’s restaurant scene — and yes, Australians do eat kangaroo and wallaby. Take a look at a couple of the top-rated restaurants in Melbourne.
The restaurant has been named one of the best in the world by several international publications.
“Yes, you do need to book a few months in advance and it is an awful lot to spend on one meal but goodness is it worth every cent and more.” — The Guardian, April 2014
Vue is a conglomerate of cafés and restaurants, so you can visit one location for a coffee and another for wine and a six-course meal. One of the favorite locations is The Lui Bar. Located on the 55th floor of Rialto Tower, its views don’t disappoint.
“It’s painfully expensive and utterly, incredibly wonderful. You will never have another experience like it.” — Yelp, June 2014