Melbourne consistently tops international liveability rankings and is often considered the cooler, edgier and artier sibling to shiny, scenic Sydney. It’s at the forefront of fashion and state-of-the-art design, from exceptional restaurants and cafes influenced by the richly multicultural heritage of the city to elegant, contemporary accommodation (see the Langham).
No-nonsense, minimal chic is on display in its fitness centres, with warehouses utilised for spin classes (see Art of Cycling) and bouldering (Northside Boulders). Thanks to trams, trains, and lots of cycling lanes, it’s easy to get around and with the magnificent Yarra River and an abundance of beautiful gardens at its centre, it’s ideal for outdoor exercise.
Want to get your sweat on? Take a power vinyasa class at Move Yoga on Flinders Lane. The studio – a converted warehouse with strong Japanese and Nordic design influences – feels a world away from the busy street below. Move Yoga offers three levels of Power Flow at 30 degrees, as well as open level Hot Flow at 37 degrees. And if you’ve been hitting the gym too hard, give your fascia the deep release it deserves in an ambient Yin class. There are 28 sessions weekly and with all the essentials provided (mats, showers and towels), it’s great for travellers, too.
Recently constructed in 2015 by the creators of Abbotsford’s climbing gym The Lactic Factory, Northside Boulders’ clean, stylish and expansive facilities play host to experienced and friendly coaches with a passion for bouldering. Featuring 4.5 metre high walls, inclined at range of angles varying from minor to completely horizontal, it’s a good entry point for beginner climbers and with plenty on offer for the experienced as well. Northside Boulders is located in the hip – dare we say hipster - suburb of Brunswick, easily accessible by tram, train, bike or car and and open late (10pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends).
CrossFit South Wharf
The newly opened CrossFit South Wharf offers a state-of-the-art 450m2 training facility, replete with Olympic lifting platform, a solid range of equipment, and on-site allied health professionals to handle your injury, rehab and nutritional needs. After your workout, recover in the sensory deprivation tank and then read the paper over coffee or a smoothie from the organic café. Travelling CrossFitters can arrange a casual pass, but classes are busy so be sure to book in advance.
The Art of Cycling
Based in Yarraville, this state-of-art cycling studio offers spin classes within an exposed brick, partitioned West Melbourne warehouse. And being Melbourne where coffee is never far away, there’s a cafe attached. All of this makes it feel more like an art studio than a gym... until you start sweating on the Wattbikes – excellent gear that provides accurate performance data and technical feedback through constant power measurements via the chain and cranks. They’re also designed to feel like you’re on an actual bike. Classes cap out at around 40 people with an instructor on a raised platform up front. Beginners are encouraged and cycling regulars will be challenged in their “sufferfest” classes.