AUSTRALIA: Marvellous Melbourne. Australia’s capital of culture and cool… wherever you look.
Look up, and an ‘Ah’-worthy skyline awaits, punctuated by stunning skyscrapers and heritage icons. A global chart topper, no less. Ranked Australia’s #1 skyline, teetering high on the world’s Top 100 list, ahead of Sydney, London and even Las Vegas (according to the internationally-recognised Emporis ‘Skyline Ranking’).
Even more ‘Ah-worthy’, the newest addition to Melbourne’s skyline – TFE Hotels’ soon-to-be-opened Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Southbank – boosts the city’s very lungs, staking its claim as Australia’s first high-rise hotel to be built ‘out of the sky’.
Already turning heads and making headlines for its five-star green credentials, the Bates Smart-designed apartment hotel features the world’s tallest cross-laminated timber (CLT) extension, proudly offsetting around 4,200 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. Roughly the weight of four great white sharks, 600 carry-on suitcases, 47 baby elephants, 1,000 koalas, 70 full kegs of beer or 4,000 litres of water!
What’s more, looking down (and all around) from Adina Melbourne Southbank, sprouts a buzzing metropolis grounded in historic parklands and lush green spaces. Opening in September, and guaranteed to win hearts and eco-conscious minds, the spacious 220-room apartment hotel promises the perfect springboard for an urban escape, within walking distance of everything Melbourne is famous for. Art, culture, coffee, shopping, food, festivals and sport.
More importantly, the greenest hotel in a city dubbed Australia’s ‘garden state’ – and Mother Nature’s favourite staycation – also sits on the doorstep of zen-factor parks and gardens, adding up to 555 hectares of green space. Not forgetting Melbourne’s world-famous trees: 70,000 and counting, thanks to the city’s pledge to increase its canopy to 40 per cent by 2040. Arguably, the only trees on the planet to receive love letters from across the world after being assigned individual ID numbers in 2013.
In a city where natural beauty thrives from within, not even Melbourne’s street art-filled CBD laneways miss out (urban treasures voted Australia’s top cultural attraction by travel bible, Lonely Planet, in 2008). Psst: Don’t walk past Meyers Place, one of the city’s oldest laneways, selected as a pilot project for Melbourne’s ‘Green Your Laneways’ initiative. Here, urban greenery extends beyond jungle-inspired street art to Loop Roof (aka the rooftop bar of much-loved Loop art space), boasting a thriving vertical garden and drinks menu ‘curated around sustainability’ and hero-ing garden ingredients.
For the ultimate ‘green’ staycation, pack a picnic and venture to this following ever-blooming Top 5 (all within walking or cycling distance from Adina Melbourne Southbank):
1. Royal Botanic Gardens
Established in 1846, and celebrated as one of Australia’s largest and most iconic gardens – home to zen lakes, lush lawns and 8,500 plant species from every corner of the globe – this green idyll is just 10-minutes’ stroll from Southbank. Don’t miss its recently-launched ‘Wellbeing Gardens’, bringing together three meditative spaces, including The Bird’s Nest, complete with a suspended swing-seat.
2. Shrine of Remembrance Reserve
Situated next to Royal Botanic Gardens, forming part of the Domain Parklands, this green haven is home to Victoria’s largest and most important war memorial, with sweeping views to the city.
3. Fitzroy Gardens
Located opposite Southbank, to the east of Melbourne’s CBD, resides one of the city’s most historic and beautiful gardens. Laid out in the 1850s, it is also renowned as the home of Australia’s oldest building: Cook’s Cottage (circa 1755), shipped to Melbourne and reassembled brick by brick, in 1934.
4. Treasury Gardens
Nestles next to Fitzroy Gardens, this tranquil green space is famed for its large population of Brushtail possums.
5, Flagstaff Gardens
Australia’s first public garden, just steps from Queen Victoria Market – only the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere… and perfect pit stop to stock up on gourmet picnic goodies.
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