Nicole Smith


  • Melbourne, Australia

Nicole Smith is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent based in Melbourne. Moving from Adelaide to Melbourne for university, she never returned to her hometown after falling in love with Australia’s cultural capital. It’s easy to see why in a city so passionate about art, food, fashion and sport. Smith has worked in radio and television, but now she splits her time between Melbourne and London as a freelance writer, social media consultant and travel blogger on Bitten by the Travel Bug and Stylish Travels.

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    What is public transportation like in Melbourne? Melbourne has one of Australia’s best transport systems with a network of trams, trains and buses throughout the metropolitan and greater Melbourne areas.

    Tickets are called Myki and can be used on all metropolitan transport.
    Daily full fare tickets cost AU$7.00 or AU$1.75 for concession holders for zone 1 which includes the city. There are options for 2-hour tickets and also weekly passes (7-day or longer) for those staying in Melbourne longer.

    Melbourne also offers a NightRider Bus service on Friday and Saturday night that has stops throughout the city and metropolitan areas.

    For all public transport information and to plan your journey check the Public Transport Victoria website.

    Other ways to see Melbourne

    One of the best ways to get around Melbourne’s city centre is using the City Circle Tram. The tram runs in a loop around the city with stops at many of Melbourne’s major tourist attractions, as well as linking with other tram, train and bus services. The tram is free and runs in both directions with around12minutes between each tram.

    Another free service is the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle which covers the inner city Melbourne, but stretches to Lygon Street (Little Italy), the Queen Victoria Market, and The Shrine of Remembrance and Royal Botanic Gardens.
    Buses depart each 30 minutes between 9:30am and 4:30pm.
  • On July 20, 2013
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    What are the best places to watch football in Melbourne?

    The Australian Football League (AFL) is the highest-level of competition for Australia rules football - also known as footy, Aussie rules, and AFL.
    In Melbourne, the home of the sport, AFL is not just a game but also something of a religion and with 10 Victorian based teams there is a great certainty that a game will be held within the city each weekend of the season.

    Within Melbourne there are two stadiums - the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Docklands Stadium (currently known as Etihad Stadium due to sponsorship) and one stadium in Geelong - an hour from the city on the Great Ocean Road - called Kardinia Park.

    But that still begs the question, which is the best place to watch football in Melbourne?

    If you only have one chance to watch AFL in Melbourne I suggest you head to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), particularly during the finals season or Grand Final if possible (throughout September).
    The stadium will swell up to 100,000 as 36 men take to the field and head into battle.
    There is no better way to understand the game than to be amongst the fans as they cheer their team on (hopefully) to victory. If the game is good the atmosphere is almost electric and anticipation runs high. There are also a number of 'traditions' to take part in - drinking a cold beer amongst friends or 'the half time pie' (enjoying a meat pie during the half time break).

    If you aren't keen on braving the crowds then most good bars in Melbourne will have the game on TV. One of my favourites is the Match Day Bar in Hilton on the Park - with a view of the MCG on the border of the city.

    Click here for more informataflion about AFL.
    Click here for information and tickets to all AFL games Australia wide.
    Seasons run from April - September, with a pre-season cup held from late February or early March.
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    What are the best coffee shops in Melbourne?

    Melburnians are crazy for their coffee and they're determined to make sure they get a good cup.
    Don't stop at Starbucks - there's only five left in Victoria - and follow the locals to their favourite spots. Here are five of this locals favourites:

    1. Brother Baba Budan359 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
    Brother Baba Budan's funky warehouse-style café in the city centre has minimal seating available meaning that there is a real focus on good coffee – fast!

    2. The League of Honest Coffee8 Exploration Lane, Melbourne
    You know that a place that takes the time to roast their own beans have a great blend and that’s so true here.
    If you have a milk preferences then I recommend you try their coffee as the blend they use is extremely flexible with all milk types, but still tastes great black.

    3. Seven Seeds114 Berkeley St, Carlton
    This company lives and breathes their coffee, roasting their coffee beans on site and taking the time to educate their consumers; in fact I’d go as far as to say they are the leaders in Melbourne’s constantly growing coffee scene.

    4. St ALi – 12 – 18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne/815 Nicholson St, Carlton North
    Another coffeehouse which roast their own beans. It’s hard to decide which coffee to have here as everything is great, though I’d recommend the house blends and enjoy it over breakfast which is served from 7am.
    They have two stores to get your coffee fix - one in South Melbourne and their new store in Carlton North.

    5. The Little Mule19 Somerset Place, Melbourne
    A bike themed cafe, the blends are done well, if not a little bitter sometimes, but overall it’s the perfect smooth mix which you crave when drinking the first coffee for the day.
  • On July 20, 2013
    Nicole Smith answered the question: Nicole Smith

    What are the best food gifts to buy in Melbourne?

    Skip bringing back Tim Tams and Vegemite, instead bring back locally sourced Victorian products from your Australian trip!

    For foodies, be sure to bring some of Milawa Cheese’s award winning Milawa Blue as a gift. They do a range of cow and goat milk. If you can’t make it to the factory then a number of stores in the Queen Victoria Market have their cheese products for sale.

    Beechworth Honey is also another popular gift and can now be found in many of the cities Woolworths, Coles, IGA and Thomas Dux Grocer stores. If you want their full range of products – including their beauty products that are perfect for female friends – you’ll have you order online and visit their store in Beechworth. Be sure to try their natural moisturiser!

    For coffee lovers, Melbourne is the place to find great coffee. Some of the top independent cafes in Melbourne is stocked with blends from Seven Seeds. Find their beans for sale in their cafes,  Brother Baba Budan and Seven Seeds - or order from the limited selection on their online store.

    For your friends who like a good drink don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine – the Yarra Valley wines are among the best in the world - or consider getting them a single-malt whiskey from the Bakery Hill Distillery – the factory is a 30-minute drive outside of the city in Balwyn North or bottles are available to be purchased at the City Wine Shop on Spring Street.

    If you want to buy food gifts for children or those young at heart consider some Australian lollies or chocolate.
    For chocoholics, consider gifting them with Koko Black chocolate.
    For lolly lovers, step inside The Original Lolly Store and pick out from their range of hard candies and gummies, many made in Melbourne. They have branches in Fitzroy, Melbourne Central or Carlton.

    Please note that many countries do not allow the importation of eggs, meat, plant, dairy or items with seeds. For the most up to date information see your countries Customs page and remember to declare items.
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  • On June 17, 2013
    Nicole Smith posted:

    Hi, Just wanted to say a quick hello to everyone and thank you for following me! Be sure to check back weekly as I unearth and share the best of Melbourne with you. I look forward to talking with you soon! :) Nicole