Next day I flew in Jetstar from Perth to Melbourne, and took 3 hours 20 min. Again I was in a different time zone. On the same day I opted for a guided bus tour which had city highlights of Royal Botanic garden, Yarra river, bathing boxes, St. Kilda and tramcar restaurant. Saw the Melbourne cricket ground, Port Melbourne by the sea and Acland Street in St. Kilda. Got a lot of options there as its a vibrant cosmopolitan mix of funky bars, eateries, electic shops and world famous patisseries. They charged for this tour $ 65.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Melbourne is from February to August and October
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Right next door to the Hilton, where I was staying was one of Melbourne’s top sites and the temple for sports-mad Melbournians: the Melbourne Cricket Ground (also known as the MCG or just the “G”). Seating almost 100,000 fans, the G was the site of the first Australian Rules football game in 1858 and the first Test cricket match between Australia and England in 1877. It’s massive and I can only imagine what the atmosphere is like around here on a match day. From the G, I wound my way over to the Yarra River and walked along the water all the way to the Docklands area and Victoria Harbor. Along the way I passed several of Melbourne’s beautiful bridges. The most interesting of which was the Sandridge Bridge. From there, I cut over to the modern steel and glass wonderland that is Federation Square. This is Melbourne’s central meeting place and on a beautiful summer day like today it was overflowing with people. The square is home to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI) and is the site for regular cultural events and sports telecasts.
Queen Victoria Market
Greeted by glorious fruit, handicraft and busking street opera singers (What a dream) belting out classics like Phantom of the Opera pieces was reinvigorating, especially since we were tired out from the flight there. With the large variety of delicacies and handicraft, Queen Victoria market reminded me of London's Borough market, except that the latter has more upmarket gourmet cuisine. If you want to know, the Market stalls are open everyday, other than Mondays and Wednesdays :) (During the summer months, a night market filled with live entertainment, bars and dining and such can be found on Wednesday evenings) We made a lunch pit stop for cheesy tortellini and smoked chicken sandwiches. Of all choices, my sister had to settle for prata...Asian cuisine is slightly more expensive there so I suggest you settle for local food if you ever visit.
Eureka Skydeck 88
On the last day, we decided to head up the Eureka tower aka Skydeck88, a 297.3 metre skyscraper in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne. It's the 10th tallest residential building in the world, and the highest public vantage point in a building in the Southern hemipshere. The view wasn't fantastic, but it did give us a glimpse of the landmarks we have been visiting in the past week.....the outside portion of the viewing platform was freezing though.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
After you leave Melbourne Cricket ground, make your way in the state of Victoria to find yourself at The Melbourne Sea Aquarium. The bedazzling place has been featured in numerous movies and you need to feel the place yourself to understand why. During your time inside the tunnel that guides your way through the real aquatic habitat of Australia, you will actually realize the beauty and diversity of Australia.
Well I wanted to rest in the recluse of nature and serenity and that’s why I chose this particular lodging. It gives the vibe as if we are just staying at our home making it a home away from home. The hosts Pavi and Rita Sarin make the stay extremely comfortable being helpful hosts and cater to our special needs. There is fantastic view of the hills and of the tea plantations. However, for the perfect stay one needs to go at the right season otherwise service might dwindle.
CERES Community Environment Park
I took the 96 tram for a morning’s stroll around the CERES Environmental Park. This is something you won't do if you are not from Melbourne. It is too local to be featured on some quick city guides. i moved along the park's markets, workshops. Even discovered a plant nursery and an outdoor cafe. It is such an amazing atmosphere. If you plan to go to Melbourne, this should feature among your must halts.
When in the city one may catch a film or see a band perform but being in the capital of the most sports mad place on earth, you have to go to the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Tell a local you are heading to 'The G' and they will scribble directions for you with a proud wide smile. Whichever season you decide to visit this city you can always catch a game here. Summers are for cricket while winters for Australian football. The supporters are so passionate about their players, umpires and opponents that is hard to not be a part of the screaming-cheering-crazy-loud crowd! The energy here is intense and so infectious!