Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published August 5th 2012
Time to shake the winter blues
Spring in Melbourne
Much to everybody's relief, winter doesn't last forever. When the rain outside is the size of golf balls, it might be hard to imagine relaxing on a sunny beach, but summer's coming anyway. Before then, however, is spring, the silly season, where it's warm enough to leave your gloves at home but not quite warm enough yet for everybody to start sweating all the time.
During this time of year, we Melburnians emerge from our houses, blinking owlishly, thick blankets falling from our shoulders. It's hard to get back into the swing of things, so here are some activities to bridge the gap between winter and summer.
Golf is the perfect spring sport: not quite energetic enough to keep you warm on a cold winter's day, but, if you don't cheat and use a golf cart, it's easy to overheat during summer. Melbourne's full of golf courses, too, from the celebrated Huntingdale Golf Club (host to the Australian Masters) to the excellent Yarra Bend Golf Course (host to hundreds of fruit bats).
No matter your skill level, it's always fun to get a few friends together and play. Not great at fine control? Hire a club and whack some balls Happy-Gilmore-style at a driving range. Too feeble for that? There's always the putting green, where it's much harder to humiliate yourself. A little friendly competition – perhaps assisted by a handicap – is an excellent way to ring in the changing of the seasons.
The Mountain Goat Brewery
Another excellent and perhaps more traditional way to ring in the changing of the seasons is with copious amounts of alcohol. The Mountain Goat brewery sits at the corner of North St and Clark St, and the fine folks there have cleared a spectacular amount of warehouse space for friendly drinkers. There are more huge tables than a Viking mead hall, and almost every delicious thing the Mountain Goat brewers have ever produced is available from the bar.
Like sausages, sometimes it's better not to see beer in the process of being made
It's a fine place to make the transition from winter stouts to summer ales. What beer sits in the middle? Porter, maybe, or a hearty IPA? We at WeekendNotes encourage you to go forth and discover the answer for yourselves. Don't do so on an empty stomach, though – especially when the Mountain Goat brewery offers tasty pizzas at a very reasonable price.
Victorian State Rose Gardens
Ask anybody to describe the seasons, and when they get to spring they'll mention the bounties of Nature. New growth, the poking of green buds above the soil, and the blossoming of flowers all happen at this time of the year. While going to watch the beets grow at a Victorian farm is rarely an interesting time, there are other kinds of flora out there – like the roses at the Victorian State Rose Gardens in Werribee Park.
This is the 'Love Potion' rose
There are over five thousand roses on display, including some very impressive and very expensive ones. In fact, the whole garden is laid out in the shape of a rose, complete with a leaf-shaped garden hanging off the 'stem'. This Federation Leaf is dedicated to Australian rose varieties, so you can enjoy the warmer weather and feel patriotic at the same time. You might even want to visit again on Australia Day.