Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria
Victoria offers everything from the cultured capital of Melbourne, which is rich in Halal restaurants, to the ski fields of the Australian Alps.
The capital of Victoria, Melbourne, is enriched through the many migrant cultures that have settled here – creating a city that relishes art, culture and food. The biggest selection of Halal dining options is along Sydney Road in the suburbs of Brunswick and Coburg.
Start your journey by visiting Melbourne’s iconic laneways. Lose yourself among the hidden galleries, cafés, shops, creative corners and art spaces located in these intimate urban arteries. Alternatively, join a walking tour for plenty of laneway secrets. For a bite to eat, try the Singaporean café chain Killiney Kopitiam for a Halal snack to keep you going.
You don’t have to travel far for Melbourne’s open spaces. The beachside suburb of St Kilda is only 30 minutes away from the city. Modern Malaysian diner Chinta Ria Soul serves plenty of Halal options in the shadows of Luna Park.
For a wilderness experience, visit Phillip Island, located 90 minutes from Melbourne. Here you’ll discover beautiful beaches, bushland parks and an abundance of wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, seals and penguins. Don’t miss the nightly parade when the resident Little Penguins return from a day’s fishing.
Next, drive the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. On the 240 kilometre stretch, you’ll see beaches, cliffs and the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formation. At the quiet seaside towns along the drive you can go surfing or ride horses on the beach.
For something completely different, go skiing in the Australian Alps. Victoria’s ski fields and resort towns include Mt Buller, Hotham and Falls Creek. They offer slopes to satisfy all skill levels, professional tuition for beginners, as well as toboggan rides and even dog sledding. The ski season in Victoria runs from June to September.
For great eating it’s hard to beat the streets of Melbourne, jam-packed with everything from food trucks to fine diners.
Start with a visit to the Queen Victoria Market where you can wander the many aisles of fresh produce and the displays of locally produced specialty foods.
There are many restaurants with Halal-certified kitchens in central Melbourne. Try Zam Zam Café Restaurant for spicy Indian and Malaysian cuisine. Or visit Little Ipoh for Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai and Indonesian dishes.
If you want to see where some of the city’s produce comes from, head to Victoria’s lush Yarra Valley, just over an hour’s drive north-east of Melbourne. Pick fresh stonefruit at Rayners’ Orchards , catch your own lunch at Buxton Trout Farm or indulge in sweet treats at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery.
For shopping, head back to Melbourne’s maze of laneways where you’ll find a network of small and quirky shops. Some lanes are connected by arcades of incredible elegance and grandeur like the Block Arcade and Royal Arcade which were both constructed in the mid-19th century.
For a change of pace, try Fitzroy’s Rose Street Artists’ Market, the place for artworks, jewellery and clothing by local artisans.
Victoria is home to more than 150,000 Muslims, represented through The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV). The ICV lists dozens of mosques on its website as well as a list of Halal-friendly places to eat.
The Melbourne West Mosque is associated with the ICV and holds prayers in English and Arabic. The largest mosque in Melbourne is Broadmeadows Mosque in the city’s northeast which provides services in Turkish.