Australia is a young country, but the energy of Australians is intoxicating. As such, it isn’t surprising that in every capital there is a hidden gem tucked away waiting to be discovered.
FALL FROM GRACE | 477 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC
State of Grace is the venue that you walk inside of. The walls are full of books, decorations and treasures. The bar menu encourages visitors to drink marmalade with tequila; gin and chocolate or apple and lavender in a tall glass of alcoholic happiness.
Head downstairs to the cellar bar and Fall from Grace will have you spellbound from the moment you lock eyes on the chandeliers as you traverse down the many stairs. Here, the beverages get more adventurous and the music is louder as the rowdy downstairs crowd mingle in the basement.
THE JAZZ CELLAR | Corner of Buxton Street and Scarborourgh Beach Road, Mt Hawthorn WA
Fancy some free jazz on a Friday night? Walk down a dimly-lit alleyway, through an old phone booth and down a dark flight of stairs to find the Jazz Cellar. With only enough room for 100, the small entrance fee is worth it for the live music and chance to drink with 99 of your nearest and dearest friends. BYO food and drinks.
McIVER WOMEN’S BATHS | 145-149 Beach Street, Coogee NSW
Perched on a cliff and overlooking the ocean views of Coogee Beach; these private baths for women and children costs each visitor 20c. The price has been the same since the baths opened to the public almost 100 years ago. That entry fee will get you a spot on the rocks as you stare out at the vast ocean. While not exactly on the Sydney streets, this unforgettable location on the outskirts will help anyone recover from a few nights enjoying what Sydney has to offer.
NATIONAL ELECTORAL EDUCATION CENTRE | Old Parliament House, King George Terrace, Parkes ACT
I know, I know, it’s an educational destination – but one that is often skipped on the Canberra itinerary. Australia is one of the only places in the world where voting is mandatory. Have you ever wondered how one simple vote can make an election’s difference? Book a tour and find out. Strong coffee and wine is within walking distance of this destination, I should add.
CROCOSAURUS COVE | 58 Mitchell Street, Darwin NT
The Northern Territory is infamous for two things – the heat and crocodiles. Why not enjoy them both at the same time? Only one place in Australia offers you the opportunity to feed baby crocodiles, swim with the fully-grown ones and watch from behind the glass as reptiles get almost too close for comfort. A little touristy; but not to be missed.
ASH AND BESTERS | 100 Elizabeth Street, Hobart TAS
Literally below the surface of the city, Ash and Besters will serve you a meal made from ingredients grown in Tasmania. The dark, romantic atmosphere is complimented by the cement walls and candles surrounding the cosy room. For those who fancy a beverage – the menu is dominated by beers and ciders grown in the Apple Isle.
BACCHUS BAR | Corner Grey Street and Glenelg Street QLD
Take a stroll down the Southbank strip on the outskirts of the city before the sun sets and find yourself a perch on a bar stool at the Bacchus Bar. The view on a timber balcony will be one of a setting sun as tourists walk along the grassy knoll of The Parklands and the city falls asleep in front of you.
CAFÉ KOMODO | 118 Prospect Road, Prospect SA
If you reach this café early in the morning you will be delighted by the breakfast menu with a wide variety of vegetarian options and strong coffee. Literally hidden down a laneway full of mosaic decorations, if you discover this delight late on a Friday night you might be treated with some live blues or folk music as you eat until you’re full.
Each city doesn’t just have one hidden gem waiting to be discovered but a multitude of them. This is just a start.
How to find more? Ask locals. Ask bartenders. Ask shopkeepers. Ask buskers. Try to wake up early and stay out yes. Take a walk down alleyways and take a chance on hidden venues.
Seek your own hidden gems.