7 of Australia's Hippest Neighbourhoods

Whether you want to soak up the bohemian vibe of Fitzroy in Melbourne or stroll the historic waterfront buildings of Hobart's marina, we have the coolest Australian neighbourhoods for you to explore. 7 of Australia's Hippest Neighbourhoods
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7 of Australia's hippest neighbourhoods

Whether you want to soak up the bohemian vibe of Fitzroy in Melbourne or stroll the historic waterfront buildings of Hobart's marina, we have the coolest Australian neighbourhoods for you to explore.


By Paul Chai

Australia's most interesting and creative city enclaves are packed full of vintage shopping, cool bars and on-trend restaurants. Wander the streets, people watch, or do some serious gift buying in the country's most fashionable addresses. 

FITZROY, MELBOURNE

Rose Street Artists' Market, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria

Fitzroy, just a 10 minute tram or taxi ride north of the city centre, is an alternative haven full of street art, retro clothing and live music. Walk along Brunswick Street, Fitzroy's main artery, or head to Gertrude Street for local fashion designers. Discover bars such as Bad Frankie, which specialises in Australian spirits, escape to the tiki-themed tropical paradise of The LuWow, or survey the whole 'hood from the rooftop bar Naked in the Sky. Don't forget to shop at Rose Street Artists' Market, and pick up a pastry from Lune Croissanterie.

NEWTOWN, SYDNEY 

Young Henry's, Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales

Newtown, in Sydney’s Inner West, has always been popular with students due to its close proximity to Sydney University. The neighbourhood's distinct aesthetic – you'll find alternative bookshops, cheap eats and late-night drinks here, mingling among vintage clothing stores and record stores – has made it the preferred backdrop for countless photo shoots. UK band Coldplay shot their A Sky Full of Stars video on the main strip, King Street. Locals love Earls Juke Joint, a playful cocktail saloon with a double shot of personality, and laid-back afternoon drinks at local pub, the Courthouse Hotel. You'll find excellent food at Hartsyard and industrial-chic Bloodwood, and live music hub Leadbelly offers a relaxed, social atmosphere.

FORTITUDE VALLEY, BRISBANE

Bigsound, Brisbane, Queensland

Fortitude Valley, in Brisbane's inner city area, was one of Australia's first entertainment districts, but in recent years there has been less grunge and more style as the area has become progressively gentrified. It is still the best place to sample Brisbane's live music scene, and is home each year to the music industry conference Bigsound, at which hundreds of bands take to various stages. Cram in to the distressed brick walls of Black Bear Lodge, catch international acts at The Zoo, or join music fans at The Foundry, which has a recording studio upstairs.

BRADDON, CANBERRA

The Hamlet, Braddon, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Shopping is the draw in Canberra's inner city suburb of Braddon, with pop-up design stores, retro op shops (charity shops) and local homewares stores such as Handsomepretty to rummage through. Good food is not far away: The Hamlet, on Lonsdale Street, is a meeting place for food trucks and art and design stalls. Or grab one of the best burgers in the nation's capital at Burger Hero.

CITY CENTRE, ADELAIDE

Clever Little Tailor, Adelaide, South Australia

The parallel laneways of Leigh and Peel streets in Adelaide's city centre have a huge concentration of cocktails and great bar food. Start with a bespoke creation from Clever Little Tailor, order up some tapas ­– plates of jamon Iberico or anchovies marinated in citrus olive oil – in the high-ceilinged surrounds of La Rambla, or hide away in the award-winning Maybe Mae, inspired by the Cotton Club era.

NORTHBRIDGE, PERTH

Urbanistar, Northbridge, Western Australia

The Perth suburb of Northbridge, just a 10 minute walk from the city centre, is a cosmopolitan area with so many good restaurants that it has inspired foodie walking tours. Get a taste of Indian street food, such as the signature twice-cooked lamb ribs, at Sauma. Try some Mediterranean bites at the southern Italian-inspired wine bar No Mafia. Or if you have a bit of a sweet tooth try the pimped waffles at Superstar Waffles.

HOBART WATERFRONT, HOBART

Mures Fish Restaurant, Hobart, Tasmania

In Hobart’s historic waterfront precinct you can stay in one of the city's oldest warehouses, now home to the stylish Henry Jones Art Hotel. The hotel epitomises the unique mix of history and luxury that is drawing travellers to the city. Pay a visit to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), which celebrates local culture and artists. On the other side of the harbour from Henry Jones, a visit to Salamanca Market is a must.

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