&noscript=1" /> 16 Must-Visit Hipster Towns in Victoria for Arts, Food, and Vintage Vibes
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16 Must-Visit Hipster Towns in Victoria for Arts, Food, and Vintage Vibes

13/05/2024
11 mins read
Aireys Inlet
Source: Visit Victoria

Get set to check out Victoria’s most hip places! From the creative streets of Fitzroy to the calm spa town of Daylesford, we’re guiding you through the hippest towns out there. Whether you want to shop for old-school items, eat fancy food, or just enjoy the beach atmosphere, Victoria has a place for you. Pack up, and let’s explore the cool and secret spots of these trendy towns!

Our editorial picks for the hippest towns to visit in Victoria are:

Brunswick East, Melbourne

Brunswick East is a lively area known for its unique blend of the old and the new. Take a stroll down Lygon Street, and you’ll come across a wide variety of artisan cafes and ethnic restaurants, each offering their own spin on classic tastes. But this suburb offers more than just delicious meals; it’s a place where art and community initiatives, such as the CERES Environment Park, thrive.

Whether you’re interested in doing some organic shopping at a local market in the morning or spending a relaxed afternoon in a quirky coffee shop, Brunswick East provides a real taste of Melbourne’s varied personality.

  • How far from CBD: 5 km
  • Best time to visit: March to November for pleasant weather and vibrant community events
  • Known for: Multicultural eateries, CERES Community Environment Park, and artisan coffee culture
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/Q5izMgMvUUezzMbk7

Collingwood, Melbourne

Just a stone’s throw from the city center, Collingwood is the playground of Melbourne’s creative souls. This suburb boasts an impressive array of street art and galleries, with Smith Street at its heart—a strip famous for its cool bars, vintage boutiques, and the eclectic dining scene.

As night falls, the area buzzes with energy, offering everything from underground music venues to top-notch eateries serving up everything from vegan dishes to gourmet burgers. If you’re looking to experience Melbourne’s dynamic arts and nightlife, Collingwood is the place to be.

  • How far from CBD: 3 km
  • Best time to visit: All year round, with a lively atmosphere that peaks on weekends
  • Known for: Street art, vibrant nightlife, and trendy cafes
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/M6fNBLnNhM3eMUsz9

Thornbury, Melbourne

Thornbury is a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern hipster culture, making it a must-visit for those who enjoy a laid-back vibe with a side of historical intrigue. High Street is the lifeline of the area, lined with vintage stores, eclectic boutiques, and organic grocers.

The local food scene is a fusion of global cuisines, showcased in both fine dining and casual street food settings. Don’t miss the Thornbury Theatre for a night of live music or a vintage film screening, encapsulating the artistic spirit of the suburb.

  • How far from CBD: 7 km
  • Best time to visit: Spring and autumn for the best experience of local festivals and outdoor dining
  • Known for: Vintage shopping, diverse cuisine, and a thriving arts scene
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/sZcJcapWfBNYanyv6

Northcote, Melbourne

Northcote is the perfect mix of nature and city style. This area is great for people who love being outside because it’s close to Merri Creek, which has beautiful bike paths and places to walk. High Street is the heart of Northcote, with its organic cafes, independent bookstores, and places for live music that make this community lively.

Whether you’re checking out the Northcote Social Club for local music or having a craft beer at a bar, there’s always something exciting to find in this lively area.

  • How far from CBD: 6 km
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, with a special charm in the warmer months
  • Known for: Green spaces, dynamic music scene, and bohemian lifestyle
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/mozeYs1tNQ7R2rF46

Fitzroy, Melbourne

Fitzroy is the poster child for Melbourne’s hipster scene, a place where creativity and individuality reign supreme. This is the stomping ground for those who march to the beat of their own drum, with streets lined with vintage shops, vegan eateries, and some of the best coffee spots in town.

The Rose Street Artists’ Market is a weekend must-do, where local artisans showcase their crafts. And when the sun sets, the nightlife here doesn’t disappoint, with bars and pubs offering everything from craft beers to cocktails with a twist.

  • How far from CBD: 2 km
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, with a special buzz during the Melbourne Fringe Festival
  • Known for: Street art, vintage shopping, vegan cuisine, and a dynamic bar scene
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/CG6f8J2nyZb9gaH18

St Kilda, Melbourne

St Kilda is where Melbourne’s cool crowd goes to soak up the seaside vibes. With its iconic Luna Park, palm-lined boardwalk, and a beach that buzzes with activity, it’s a slice of holiday heaven just a tram ride away from the city.

As the day winds down, the penguins at St Kilda Pier come out to play, and so do the locals, with live music venues and bars that keep the area lively well into the night. Don’t miss the chance to catch a sunset here; it’s nothing short of magical.

  • How far from CBD: 6 km
  • Best time to visit: October to April for beach weather and festivals
  • Known for: Beachside fun, penguin sightings, and vibrant nightlife
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/UtT4Kk7uLKudLhYa6

Prahran, Melbourne

Prahran is a mix of different cultures, fashion, and food, with the well-known Chapel Street as its main attraction. This is the place where trendy people from Melbourne go shopping, finding both luxury shops and second-hand stores. The variety of food available is wide, ranging from places to have brunch to restaurants serving food from around the world.

At night, this area becomes lively with some of the most famous clubs and bars in the city. For those who prefer something more relaxed, the Prahran Market is a great spot for food lovers, with its fresh produce and high-quality food items.

  • How far from CBD: 5 km
  • Best time to visit: Weekends for the bustling market and nightlife
  • Known for: Shopping on Chapel Street, diverse dining options, and nightlife
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/QSDyAGtcTdENVksc6

Geelong

Geelong is on the rise, shedding its industrial past and embracing a more refined, cultural identity. The waterfront is a focal point, with beautifully landscaped gardens and public art installations. Little Malop Street is the city’s answer to a hipster haven, with cool eateries and bars that wouldn’t be out of place in Melbourne’s laneways.

The city’s transformation is palpable, with a burgeoning arts scene and a culinary landscape that’s gaining momentum. Geelong is a city on the cusp of something great.

  • How far from CBD: 75 km (Melbourne CBD)
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, with a lively atmosphere during events like the Geelong Cup
  • Known for: Waterfront views, revitalized laneways, and a growing food and arts scene
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/hSjhDzN6mCaSJhAh9

Daylesford

Daylesford is the perfect spot for those looking to relax and enjoy some of the best things in life. It’s known as the top place for spas in Australia, with many mineral springs, fancy spas, and places focused on healing, making it great for a relaxing trip. This town has a strong artistic feel, shown in its many galleries and shops, and is a place where visitors can enjoy culture.

For those who love food, Daylesford has a great food scene with restaurants that use fresh, local ingredients. Whether you’re enjoying a coffee at a trendy café or walking through the beautiful Wombat Hill gardens, Daylesford offers a mix of calm and class.

  • How far from CBD: 115 km
  • Best time to visit: Autumn for stunning foliage and spring for cool, comfortable weather
  • Known for: Mineral springs, luxury spas, and a thriving arts scene
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/H4JRx5iYyFyhq3YH9

Marysville

Located in the mountain ash forests of Victoria, Marysville is a beautiful getaway known for its stunning natural scenery and calm vibe. This town is the starting point for exciting outdoor adventures, including walking and biking on beautiful trails and visiting the impressive Steavenson Falls.

Marysville is also admired for its ability to bounce back after the 2009 bushfires, with the community focusing on rebuilding through tourism and conservation. It’s a spot where those who love nature can feel at one with the surroundings and appreciate the tranquil atmosphere.

  • How far from CBD: 97 km
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, with each season offering a unique charm
  • Known for: Natural beauty, outdoor activities, and Steavenson Falls
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/EPpqMTwM2c6GVfcP6

Healesville

Healesville is a great place for those who love wildlife and wine, situated in the center of the Yarra Valley. This town is well-known for the Healesville Sanctuary, a place where you can see Australian animals up close. It’s also known for its food, with local wineries and food makers giving visitors a chance to try some of the best products from the area.

The active community in Healesville keeps the town lively with markets and many festivals all year round, making it a fun and interesting place for people of all ages to visit.

  • How far from CBD: 52 km
  • Best time to visit: Spring and autumn for mild weather and local festivals
  • Known for: Wildlife, wineries, and a strong community spirit
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/DcMWnps2FpwTHGYk7

Bendigo

Bendigo is a city that mixes its gold rush history with a lively modern arts scene, making it a great place for people who love history and culture. The beautiful Victorian buildings downtown are home to museums, galleries, and theaters that share the city’s rich history.

Bendigo’s food scene is also something to talk about, with an emphasis on local ingredients and upscale eating. The city has even been named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, showing off its excellent food and dedication to keeping its culture alive.

  • How far from CBD: 150 km
  • Best time to visit: All year round, with special events and exhibitions frequently occurring
  • Known for: Rich history, stunning architecture, and a renowned arts and culinary scene
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/9xtHiShXYMej8ssP6

Queenscliff

Queenscliff is a cool mix of old-world charm and modern style, standing out as a one-of-a-kind place on the Bellarine Peninsula. This beach town isn’t just about its pretty shores; it’s also known for its deep history seen in its Victorian-era buildings and fort.

The Queenscliff Harbour offers beautiful views for those who want to eat out or shop, and the Bellarine Railway brings a bit of the past to life with its old trains. If you’re interested in local culture, the yearly Queenscliff Music Festival is a fun event that features a variety of Australian and international music acts by the sea.

  • How far from CBD: 104 km
  • Best time to visit: Summer for beach activities and festivals
  • Known for: Historic architecture, vibrant music scene, and maritime heritage
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/KHZbG1KuQdqK6gvw8

Red Hill

Red Hill is a rural idyll on the Mornington Peninsula, famed for its stunning vineyards and culinary excellence. This small town is a food lover’s paradise, offering everything from gourmet restaurants to rustic farm gates selling local produce. The cool climate is perfect for pinot noir and chardonnay, making wine tasting a must-do activity.

For art enthusiasts, the many galleries and the annual Art Red Hill show provide a cultural feast. Red Hill’s tranquil landscape and rich soils also make it a prime spot for truffle hunting, adding a unique twist to its rural charms.

  • How far from CBD: 75 km
  • Best time to visit: Autumn for wine harvesting and spring for gardens in bloom
  • Known for: Wineries, gourmet food, and artistic community
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/PNC1GbywD7PJP6fw6

Aireys Inlet

Aireys Inlet is a calm coastal town located on the Great Ocean Road, famous for its laid-back vibe and beautiful natural surroundings. The well-known Split Point Lighthouse allows visitors to see far across the dramatic coastline, and the nearby beaches are great for surfing and soaking up the sun.

This town serves as a gateway to the green rainforests and flowing waterfalls of the Otway Ranges. The community in Aireys Inlet is lively and friendly, hosting local markets and festivals that celebrate things like local art and eco-friendly living.

  • How far from CBD: 120 km
  • Best time to visit: Spring and summer for outdoor activities
  • Known for: Scenic coastline, Split Point Lighthouse, and proximity to Otway Ranges
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/RrLdiXz4oxCQvcRKA

Mansfield

Mansfield is the gateway to the Victorian High Country, offering a picturesque setting that combines rural charm with adventurous activities. Known for its proximity to Mount Buller, it’s a hotspot for skiing in winter and mountain biking or hiking during the warmer months

The town itself is rich in local culture, with a thriving food and wine scene that includes local distilleries and farm-to-table dining. Mansfield’s lively community spirit is encapsulated in its festivals and markets, making it a year-round destination for those who enjoy the great outdoors and small-town vibes.

  • How far from CBD: 180 km
  • Best time to visit: Winter for skiing and autumn for its stunning foliage
  • Known for: Outdoor sports, local produce, and proximity to Mount Buller
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/Pk7CNgBKrb1LhpBQ9

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Fitzroy, Melbourne a top hipster destination?

Fitzroy stands out for its street art, vintage shopping, vegan cuisine, and dynamic bar scene. It’s a cultural hotspot where creativity and individuality are celebrated, making it a must-visit for those seeking an artsy and alternative vibe.

Can I experience wildlife in any of these hipster towns?

Yes, Healesville is renowned for its wildlife experiences, particularly at the Healesville Sanctuary, where you can encounter native Australian animals in a natural setting.

Are there any hipster towns near Melbourne that are good for a beach getaway?

St Kilda, Melbourne is the perfect beachside hipster destination. It offers a lively boardwalk, beach activities, and the chance to see penguins at the St Kilda Pier.

What town would you recommend for food and wine enthusiasts?

Red Hill is a food lover’s haven, known for its wineries, gourmet food, and local produce. It’s part of the Mornington Peninsula, which is famous for its cool climate wines and culinary delights.

Is there a hipster town that also offers spa and wellness experiences?

Daylesford is the spa capital of Australia, offering a range of mineral springs, luxurious spas, and wellness centers. It’s ideal for those looking to relax and indulge in self-care.

Lachlan Taylor

Lachlan aka Lockie is a contributing writer at Humble Trail, known for his down-to-earth style and passion for the great outdoors. Born and raised in the small town of Deloriane, Tasmania, Lockie developed a deep love for nature and adventure from a young age.

His articles are a blend of his personal adventures and insightful explorations, often focused on sustainable travel, wilderness treks, and the serene beauty of untouched landscapes.

Always with his own reusable coffee cup in hand, Lockie loves a good caffeine fix as much as everyone else on the Humbletrail team.

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