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Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

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AB
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Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

A group of 5 of us will be in Melbourne in mid-May and we've basically settled on the Fitzroy area and right now have two places that look great:

The Loft - Fitzroy North http://www.thefitzroyloft.com.au/

FitzGeorge - Fitzroy http://www.fitzgeorge.com.au/

We're having a hard time deciding between the two - maybe you all can help? If you've stayed at either, we'd love to hear your reviews, ditto for other recommendations in the area.

We want:

1) quiet and safe

2) interesting places in walking distance, say within 15 min walk. Interesting for us = cafes, shops, restaurants, lounge. Things that stay open past 6pm ideally for relaxed evenings close by.

3) super easy access to the CBD, Richmond shopping

4) easy to drive to and from. We'll have a car. While we're in Melbourne we want to visit Healesville and the Yarra Valley for sure. (We're driving the GOR before arriving in Melb).

Also... and this is a long shot probably, but we'd love to get at least a taste of "outback" while we're there. Even just a chance to see red red earth and far far horizons. We only have 2 days - probably just 1 night, a stretch might make it 2 nights and would like to keep our costs down so nothing too extravagant. Does anyone have any suggestions? Uluru is probably out... yes? But how far, minimally, would we have to drive from Melb to see the outback-type vista?

Thanks!

Melbourne
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1. Re: Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

In my opinion, the Fitzgeorge in Fitzroy is a much better location. It is just a short tram ride (approx 10 min) from the city and is surrounded by one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Melbourne. Cafes, restaurants, clubs and shopping are plentiful in this area. Access to Richmond is easy as well as it is a short taxi ride or tram ride.

To access the outback from Melbourne will take you a lot longer than 1 or 2 days driving. Realistically, for your time frame, I would not even think of it.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

If you're really keen on seeing the outback, you could fly to Cairns, hire a car, and head inland towards Mareeba up the Kennedy Highway. but for 1 or 2 days you'll really be wasting your time rushing because you won't be able to enjoy everything else the area has to offer! To see the "red earth" you speak of, you would probably have to travel between 1 and 2 thousand kilometres from Melbourne.

If you're staying in Fitzroy or Fitzroy North, stay away from Smith Street if you want to feel safe. That is traditionally one of the streets where one finds a lot of junkies in Melbourne. They usually just ask for money if anything, but they make a nuisance of themselves and are a menace by their very presence in my opinion.

Brunswick Street has many hip bars and restaurants. Also Acland Street in St. Kilda is accessible by the number 96 tram, and has lots of European-style cafes and cake shops, as well as many other dining options. That whole area can be quite interesting to visit. Fitzroy Street in St. Kilda (nowhere near Fitzroy itself!) also has lots of restaurants, and tends to have a slightly younger crowd.

Trams to the CBD are plentiful in the inner-city areas you mention such as Fitzroy or Fitzroy North. The other posters have made some good suggestions about accommodation close to transport.

Edited: 19 February 2012, 22:51
Sydney
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3. Re: Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

Forget the Outback - there's nowhere you could drive to from Melbourne in a day or two.

You could fly to Uluru - but that'll cost.

Broadford, Australia
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4. Re: Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

You could almost get some Outback by going to Mungo National Park, but it's 6 hours to Mildura with a tail wind, then a bit more. Unless you flew to Mildura. Or Broken Hill. Problem with our Southern Outback is the weather has greened it up a bit.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

The Fitzgeorge is a great location but I don't think you need to avoid Smith Street. I (solo female) frequently walk down Smith Street and feel perfectly safe and it has some great factory outlets if you are interested in shopping. The Fitzroy area is lovely and is as safe as any area in a big city - just need to take the usual precautions.

Sorry have to agree that there is no time for outback experience

AB
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6. Re: Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

Thanks everyone! We did end up going with the Fitzgeorge.

It is a bummer about the outback. Well, more about our restricted time. It'll get its own dedicated trip one day, so I guess I'll just have to be patient.

7. Re: Fitzroy or Fitzroy North? Outback from Melbourne?

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