January 11, 2014

Host Highlight: Melbourne

By Maria Noble In Archive

How awesome would it be if your local club is the venue of one of the Grand Slams? Tennis writer, Kait O’Callahan (@kait_oc), knows all about that. When the Australian Open is not going on, she spends time in Melbourne Park to work on her groundstrokes and serves. She says of playing there, “The courts are beautiful to play on and it’s surreal walking the same hallways as our beloved players.”

Kait moved to Melbourne from New Zealand four years ago for a change in lifestyle and the city has given her many reasons to stay a while.

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“My favourite thing about Melbourne is its love of sport. From big events like the Australian Open and the Grand Prix to the smaller tournaments like A-League soccer and ice hockey, Melbourne has a true passion for sport. The Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Park and AAMI Park are all located a short walk from each other. I love that on a certain day in January I can go from the Australian Open to a soccer match in five minutes.”

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To enjoy and/or endure (!) all these sports, the city must have some great spots for coffee and cocktails, right? “I always take visitors to our laneway bars and cafes. Some bars here involve serious navigational skills and I love feeling like I’m in on a little secret. I think Melbourne does laneway culture stupidly well. Check out Degraves Street for coffee and side streets off Little Bourke for drinking establishments. My favourite is Manchuria Bar.”

For some sightseeing (and maybe a little culture), Kait recommends Southbank. “It’s expensive but quite pretty. It’s along the river and the best spot for a summer night walk.”

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BONUS! If you have an extra day or two, be sure to check out these places that are a little outside Melbourne:

Healesville
“It’s just over an hours drive from Melbourne and is such a cute little town with a great native animal sanctuary. Anyone who knows me knows I adore animals.”

Phillip Island
“Also about an hour away but in the other direction. It is super cute.”

Photos by Neal Trousdale, Sheng Han

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