With autumn in Melbourne comes parks full of leaves changing colours and days of sunshine amongst the ever-crisper mornings and dropping temperatures in the evenings. Whichever type of autumn weather, Albert Park is one of the most exquisite of the Melbourne suburbs to spend a morning, an afternoon, or an entire day. We’ve put together some of our favourite things to do in Albert Park so that you can pick one activity, or choose them all and make a day of it!
Photo: Angela Wylie
Learn to Sail
The Boatshed, 3 Aquatic Dr, Albert Park VIC 3206
Albert Park lake is a must-mention in almost any blog post on what to do in Albert Park, but have you ever considered experiencing the lake from atop its waters? If you head to the northern end of the lake between the Yacht club and the Sailing club, the friendly team at The Boatshed will take you on an exciting and informative adventure. If you’ve never sailed before, you can sign up for the three hour intro course to learn the basics, and you have the option of staying on to complete day 1 of the ‘start sailing’ three day course. You can continue on to the second 3-day course and the final ‘better sailing’ course if you’re really keen. The crew at the boatshed expects that participants who complete the course will become valuable members on any sailing expedition, and be equipped with boat handling skills, water safety knowledge, sailing terminology, capsize recovery skills, and be able to identify weather conditions. At the very least, head out for a few hours on a cool, autumn, Melbourne morning to play sailor before warming up with a cup of tea.
Enjoy a quintessential Melbourne coffee
84 Bridport St, Albert Park VIC 3206
What better activity to do in Albert Park come autumn than to enjoy a cup of famous Melbourne coffee? If you spent the morning on the chilly lake waters, you’ll definitely want to enjoy a hot beverage before the sun warms up the day. Just a 15 minute stroll to Bridport street will lead you to the hip and elegant no.84 cafe. Besides serving excellent Zest single-origin roast, this husband wife duo has put together quite the beverage menu (the food is fantastic too if you’re ready for a feed). You can choose from your normal Black coffees or go white with a choice of full cream, lactose free, skinny, soy, almond, or even macadamia milk! You can enjoy a filter coffee hot or iced, or fancy it up with an affogato or iced coffee with ice cream. The team at no.84 also makes delicious hot or iced hot choccies, but they go a step further with their decadent peanut butter hot chocolate that has the option to add an espresso shot.
They also serve up a warming 9 spice Fresh chai or a creamy turmeric milk. If you’re more into pots of tea, you can choose from all the old favourites, or go for something like tulsi rose, Rooibos, liquorice and peppermint, or a French breakfast. There truly is something for everyone and you’ll enjoy it upon timber benches with hanging plants and soft, calming hues, or sit outside if the autumn sun is shining.
Photo: Rachel Korinek on broadsheet.com.au
Bird watching at Albert Park
Albert Park VIC 3206
Since you’re already near the park, you may as well make a day of it and head in to the areas of the park that have been revegetated with native plants and trees. With these varied plant species and a large water source (the lake), Albert Park attracts myriad birds to make their home amongst its grounds. If you tread lightly and whisper softly, you may be lucky enough to spot some of the rarer ones. That said, many of the birds are used to human park-goers and will happily chirp at you from a lamp post. Birds that have been sighted by keen experts include: Rainbow Lorikeets, Eurasian Coots, Long-billed Corellas, Welcome Swallows, Honeyeaters, Australian Ravens, Willie Wagtails, Masked Lapwings and several more including at least six kinds of parrots. The birds that prefer the aquatic life include the famous Black Swans, but also Purple Swamphens, Pekin duck, Australian Darter and even Pelicans. Before you embark on your bird watching journey, check out this bird site to familiarise yourself with the local, winged residents.
Shop at the Farmer’s Market at Gasworks Arts Park
21 Graham St, Albert Park VIC 3206
On the third Saturday of the month, the Gasworks Arts Park hosts a plastic bag-free farmer’s market featuring environmental packaging wherever possible and a request that market goers bring reusable coffee cups and non-disposable shopping bags. The food and produce is especially beautiful and nutrient-dense at this particular market, and it is for good reason. Markets accredited by the Victorian Farmers Market Association (VFMA) emphasize stallholders offering local and seasonal products and produce and that those selling are those growing and making. This makes for especially enlightening conversation with stallholders who handpicked the seasonal autumn fruits you are taste-testing, or churned the butter you’re taking home with a fresh loaf of sourdough. In autumn, you can find the Gasworks Farmers market on the 16th of March, 20th of April, 18th of May, and on into Winter. Forego your grocery shopping on those weeks and pick up all the goods from the farmers themselves!
If you’re already at the market or you’ve wandered over to Gasworks on an off-market weekend, check out the work from the resident artists and creatives, or check out the website to see which gallery, exhibition, stage performance, music concert or film is going. Whether it’s a grey, cloudy Melbourne day or one full of sunshine, the Gasworks Arts Park always has something strange and interesting happening within its borders. Don’t forget to bookmark this page for the next time you’re looking for autumn-friendly things to do in Albert Park!