Backpacker Date Night Ideas | Melbourne

Darryl Newby
Darryl Newby


So you’ve made eye contact across the free breakfast, engaged in lackluster conversation when entering the dorm and now you’ve even passed each other in the corridor. The time is now – ask them out.

It’s hard to know what to do and where is good to go on a date when travelling. You also don’t want to break the bank! Well, it’s a good job that the Welcome to Travel team are real-life romantic heroes then isn’t it? 

Take a look at these.

St Kilda Penguins

Surely this is an absolute winner? These lovely little creatures only come out at sunset meaning you’re going to have to see them after a romantic stroll along the promenade watching an epic St Kilda sunset. When you’re done, you can swing a left up the pier and take a look at these little fellas.

It’s SUNSET and WILDLIFE. If your date doesn’t like this then it’s probably worth just giving them the boot….

Picnic on Herring Island 

Grab the cheese, quince paste and crackers because we’re going for a picnic darling…

I’ve been here 7 years (yes I’m that old, hard to believe right?!) and only heard about Herring Island a few weeks back, so what is it?

Well, it’s a tiny but picturesque island consisting of cute gardens dotted with some pretty impressive sculptures made purely from natural materials. It also has an all-important picnic area. It’s as if they knew you were coming!

Here you are: thoughtful, in the know, cool and well researched… oh you’re everything I want, just take me now!

NOTE: Ferry is $2 (your shout remember!). The punt leaves from Como Landing (Melways ref Map 58, G2). Car parking is available on Alexandra Ave.

It only leaves Sat/Sun and public holidays between 11am-5pm.


Grabbing those delicate little balls (not those ones!) of joy that we call dumplings is well and truly part of the Melbourne way. It’s not a big thing but something that’s just done at the drop of a hat as a Melbourne norm.

So that’s why suggesting a dumpling bar down a random laneway is a f*%$ing cool thing to do for a first date. You look like you’re the happening, in the know kid and your suggestion is just you throwing out another one of your regular haunts. Go one step further and pretend you know the waiter. Don’t get too cocky though, it gets awkward when you try speaking Mandarin. Try Empress of China or China Red for some firm favourites of ours.

Comedy Club

This is pretty old school but it’s a good icebreaker for sure. It’s the cooler, more mature and less awkward version of going to the cinema. It should be a funny night and they’re often in bars you never knew or in parts of town you were unaware of. I didn’t even realise until writing this, the Comedy Club is a real door opener isn’t it? It’s the gateway drug to being a more-well versed socialite.

Personal recommendations includ Spleen (Bourke St, CBD), The Local (Carlisle St, St Kilda East) and North Melbourne Comics Lounge.

2-for-1 Cocktails at Pablo Honey

Maybe some would say there’s something a bit tacky about taking a first date to somewhere for a 2-for-1 deal and that would be right if you were taking them to Subway or 7/11 for a coffee. I reckon it’s more than acceptable when it’s a rather fancy establishment offering high quality goods, and that’s what Pablo Honey does, just at the bottom of Acland St. It’s got an outrageously long list of impressive cocktails and they’re 2-for-1 from 4pm-7pm, Mon-Fri.

Now you know it’s at the bottom of Acland St yeah? You know what’s close yeah? And then you know what’s also close yeah? That’s right, finish the cocktail (last order at 6.59pm, every time!), head to the promenade for sunset and walk to the penguins for ultimate date success.

Ohhhh you’ve done it, you’ve nailed the date with TWO of these non-bank-busting ideas.

Be careful though, you’re setting the bar very high here…

Darryl Newby

Darryl Newby

Travelled to Australia from the UK in 2010 for what was supposed to be a 6 month visit...that didn't quite go to plan. He now calls Melbourne home, co-founded Welcome to Travel and is a proud dog dad to his pug, Harvey.


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