One habit this expat picked up quickly, while living in Australia, is watching Channel Ten’s show ‘Offspring’. The characters appeal to me, the script is laugh-embarassingly-loud funny but also touching, and it is set in a bohemian and interesting suburb of Melbourne. When I had the opportunity to visit Melbourne, I knew I had to see this neighborhood for myself.
For those of you who are not familiar with this fantastic show, Offspring’s crazy characters live their lives around quirky Fitzroy. The series follows the many dramas of obstetrician Nina Proudman, her mostly dysfunctional relationships, and crazy but supportive family.
Here’s my guide on where to go if you want to relive the Offspring drama for yourself. (You can visit all these venues as a walking tour most easily if you visit in the order they are listed below).
Beautiful Carlton Gardens is where Cherie breaks bad news to Clegg.
The characters actions here may not be the most positive start to a tour(!) but planted with European and Australian flora, Carlton Gardens is a grand green space in the centre of Melbourne and a great spot to visit on a sunny day. The Victorian garden design is elegant and the gardens are also home to the Exhibition Centre.
Radio Bar and Café
79 Gertrude Street
Nina and Billie often catch up on the latest family drama over a drink here.
Despite the radio perched on the windowsill, Radio Bar is one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets. Radio Bar is understated and easy to miss. The bar has exposed brick walls, a cityscape wall, and a leafy courtyard.
Northcote Social Club
376 Brunswick Street
Mick and Roseanna perform at the Northcote Social Club, and Zara’s waters break there.
The club is a cosy little venue that showcases live music in funky surroundings and tends towards indie.
Corner of Victoria Street and Brunswick Street
Nina and Chris have a frank discussion on this eye-catching bench one evening.A classic example of Fitzroy’s quirky character, there are a few of these mosaic street benches, designed by Giuseppe Roneri. They are a great example of the street art found in Fitzroy.
|Victoria Street mosaic bench, Melbourne, Australia|
252 Brunswick Street
Chris and Nina discussed the possibility of them having a relationship over coffee by a vast window over Brunswick Street.
Offspring’s depiction of Black Cat is a little misleading because seeing Chris and Nina at the window-seat table makes it seem like a cafe that would be busy by day, but in fact the venue is more geared towards being a bar and a nighttime hangout. They’ll fix you a local coffee during the day but you’ll want to return to enjoy the atmosphere in the courtyard later.
|Garden Street Bench, Brunswick Street, Melbourne|
Garden street bench
252 Brunswick Street
Zara told Jimmy about her pregnancy on this bench.
The very private-seeming bench covered with a canopy of foliage is in fact just outside the entrance to Blackcat, facing the road. While it looked fairly intimate onscreen, it is actually very visible.
231 Brunswick Street
Chris took Nina here on their first date.
This eclectic French bistro serves beautiful food in lovely surroundings. The bistro has huge windows and it is lovely to sit and gaze at the world passing by on the street as you enjoy your food. It is a great stop for lunch or dinner.
|Madame Sousou, Brunswick Street, Melbourne, Australia|
The Union Club Hotel
164 Gore Street
The Union Club Hotel is the Proudman family’s local pub and so much happens there I don’t know where to begin! Jimmy works there and key moments include Mick singing the song ‘A six at best’ (horrifyingly embarrassing for Nina), Billie and Mick’s wedding, Mick and Roseanna’s first performance and Kim giving birth on the pool table.
|Union Club Hotel, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia|
150 Gertrude Street
Nina and Patrick say goodbye outside the diner, after his leaving party at the bowling club.
Belle’s Diner is an all-out American diner serving burgers and milkshakes. There is a pavement seating area for meals during the day. It attracts a young crowd.
156 Gertrude Street
Patrick and Eloise discuss the difficult working relationship they had in the past over drinks at the Everleigh.
The Everleigh is an atmospheric evening venue, with elaborate furnishings and an up market vibe. It’s a great place for a few drinks in the evening.
|Luna Park, Melbourne, Australia|
Other places that are nearby
Geraldine Proudman’s house
79 Delbridge Street, North Fitzroy
The Family home can be seen from the street in Delbridge Street.
Nina and Patrick’s apartment
7 Emma Street, Collingwood
The quirky building our favourite characters shared is easily identifiable from the street.
St Kilda waterfront
One of Nina’s panic attacks take place, somewhat symbolically, on the scenic rollercoaster at Luna Park.
Although not actually in Fitzroy (you can get a direct tram from Fitzroy though), Luna Park makes a memorable appearance in Offspring. Melbourne’s Luna Park shares the same crazed-face entrance as Luna Park in Sydney and offers rides and seaside entertainment. There are lots of restaurants and cafes nearby for a feed afterwards too.
Have you ever visited places that you have seen on television or in the movies? Where did you go and what did you see?
Photo credit: Offspringonten
Photo credit: Offspringonten