Melbourne has welcomed people from all over the world in the past years, and now they have created a multicultural, and very efficient, other than picturesque, society. Visiting Melbourne, travelers have the feeling to be in a Northern Europe city, due to the every hour changing weather, high level organization, Victorian buildings, green spaces and trams constantly moving back and forth. But Melbourne is Australia, probably the most environment conscious between developed countries, so nature preservation, renewable energy and sustainability are taken into high consideration. An eco tour of Melbourne is encouraged by the many opportunities offered by this vibrant city.
Moving around in Melbourne
Public transport in Melbourne consists in a privatized system comprising buses, trams and trains. The greenest way of getting around is by tram, as they are electric and have received 100% GreenPower accreditation. Moreover, the Circle City Tram is free service that allows people to move around the Central Business District (CBD).
Buses are ecologic too, at least in part, as electric or hybrid-electric models are used in some of the urban and suburban routes.
Melbourne counts two railways stations, both in the CBD: Southern Cross Station for country rail services and Flinder Street Station for metropolitan area.
Public Transport Victoria website is helpful and exhaustive to gather information.
Bike lovers can subscribe for a day or a week to the sharing community and use the bike to move around Melbourne. Subscription can be purchased at any docking station. For further details, visit the City of Melbourne website.
Eco tours and attractions
Melbourne has a solid green structure, provided by parks, wildlife sanctuaries and the Yarra River. The latter can be explored by canoe, in order to have another a different perspective of the city, other than beautiful views. Kayak Melbourne offers four options to suit various tastes.
Melbourne City Bikes are electric pedal-powered means of transport, ideal for eco-touring and moving around in Melbourne. They are also emissions free.
The Royal Botanic Garden and Melbourne wildlife sanctuary are two main natural attractions that an eco-minded traveler shouldn’t miss. The sanctuary is suggested for people travelling with children, as it is a wealth of information for a green education and eco research.
Aboriginal Heritage Walk is an interesting journey across the Royal Botanic Gardens, exploring the Kulin culture and their way to use plants as food and medicinal.
The nature just outside Melbourne is stunning and give the opportunity to discover the wild part of Victoria. An unforgettable experience is driving along the Great Ocean Road, one of the most scenic road in the world. If you don’t want to hire a car, Viator provides a one day (13 hours) eco-tour from Melbourne to see the twelve apostles, spot wild koalas and visit secluded and spectacular beaches.
Green accommodation in Melbourne
Travelers looking for a sustainable stay in Melbourne (or Australia in general), could start from the Ecohotel website, where they can find any kind of green accommodation, ranging from luxury eco lodges to city hotels, reviewed in details.
In Melbourne area, the Metro YHA Backpackers is eco-tourism accredited and use solar power for hot water, electronic thermostats and promote a recycling program.
In Melbourne CBD, Alto Hotel has received the EarthCheck Silver Certification and it is carbon neutral. Hotel management has started a series of initiatives regarding carbon production, electricity and water consumption, organic food selection and separate waste collection.
Organic food and vegetarian dining
Vegetarians and vegan will find a heaven in Melbourne. The Vegie Bar (380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy) is considered one of the best vegan experience in town, with a large variety of delicious food.
Shakahari (201 Faraday St., Carlton) has also grown a good reputation and combines Japanese, Indian, Thai and Chinese cuisines.
A very affordable and good vegetarian-friendly option right in the CBD is the Purple Peanuts Japanese Caf?.