This year it is all about seeing some of the Australian countryside and at the beginning of June we headed down to Melbourne for 4 days to have a bit of a look around and to go to the King Tut Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum and to the Cirque Du Sol while it was showing down there.
We had a great couple of days visiting the following: -
The Victoria Markets – located near the Therry Street and Elizabeth Street corner and extending back a couple of blocks the Victoria Markets are indicated on every sightseeing map that you will lay your hands on. I would definitely recommend a visit to the older original parts of the market – the areas of the specialty shops, the meat and fish markets and in particular the delicatessen area – great history here with all the old market shop fronts with the, brick walls and sliding windows.
I wouldn’t suggest that you look through the clothing section of the markets, unless you need to add some cheap clothes to your wardrobe - there are a couple of interesting stores in here but most are selling the identical stuff.
Lygon Street – great for lovers of Italian food this is the place for you. The restaurants line both sides of the road for about 3 blocks and practically all the restaurants were Italian – there were Pizza joints, flash upper class restaurants – whatever your budget you’ll find something, somewhere. For those of you who don’t like Italian – there are a couple of pubs that sell traditional pub meals (cheap and you can get a pint or pot of beer) and a couple of Indian or Thai Restaurants. It was great to wander along the street just soaking up the atmosphere.
Visit the Melbourne Museum for a visiting Exhibition and a wander around afterwards. While we were there the King Tut exhibition was showing. I had bought the tickets prior to arriving in Melbourne but there were facilities at the museum where could purchase tickets on the day. The show was great and it’s always interesting seeing all that history. The great thing about visiting the exhibition is that the admission to the general museum is also included in the price. The Melbourne Museum is only a small museum and it is well set out so you can follow a circuit around the different sections. The most interesting sections we thought were the human body areas, the Melbourne local history areas and the Aboriginal History areas.
Brunswick Road – Is great for new and second hand clothes shops, novelty shops and alternative shops, trendy cafes and bar hopping. We spent a couple of hours prowling around the shops looking at different items, ducking into bars for a quick drink and to rest the feet and stopping for a bite to eat in the window of one of the many cafes so we could people watch. Could people watch all day – fascinating to say the least. This street is frequented by many university students and alternative lifestyle people.
The Rod Laver Arena for shows, concerts and the like – we had booked tickets, via the internet, for the Cirque De Sol show so we went along and enjoyed every minute of it. Afterwards we decided to walk up to our hotel via the central shopping district. Interesting – all the different people out and about, coming out of the different theatres we passed along the way.
St Kilda’s – a seaside suburb, located just a short tram ride form the centre of Melbourne – Tram numbers 16 or 69 will get you out here and back – you can buy tram tickets from most hotels ($6.20 for a whole days travel (on Sunday) on any tram, train or bus). St Kilda’s has a reputation for its trendy café and shopping district and for its street markets which sell locally made handcrafts from many of the local artists. We spent a morning just walking along the road drawling at the cakes, pastries and other sweets in the windows and on the shelves of the various cake shops and cafes after visiting the markets.
The Melbourne Aquarium – great for kids and adults alike - get on the No.69 tram from St Kilda’s and get of near the Casino – if we can do it anyone can. The aquarium is only a small one compared to Sydney’s one but well worth the visit. It is laid out in a way that it is easy enough to follow a path around the exhibits and not miss a thing. You get presented with a map and timetable of the feeding times and talks when you enter. We loved all of it but most memorable were the penguin enclosure and the tropical reef display
The central Melbourne shopping district is interesting in its own right with all its little alley ways with artistic graffiti providing interesting backdrops. Melborne is thought of as the arts capital of Australia, although those from Sydney try and dispute it, and has a huge, thriving art scene which is apparent in the modern building designs going up all over the joint and the murals and graffiti around the joint. There are numerous art galleries and several art/acting colleges around the suburbs and city. Great place to just relax and wander around and take your camera/
Dale and I loved the place and will definitely go back.