Located direct south of Yarra River, Southbank is one of the inner suburbs of Melbourne, and you can catch the beautiful skyline and Princes bridge very well from Federation wharf on the opposite side of the Yarra River. It also holds one of the primary Business centers in Melbourne, with skyscrapers and office buildings and entertainment establishments such as the Crown Casino. In the midst of all these hustle and bustle, Australia's tallest tower (Eureka tower) stands. However, just like how Singapore has a green belt even in the Central Business District, Southbank has preserved many significant heritage buildings and Arts precinct on the eastern end and along St. Kilda Road. These include Victorian Arts Centre and National Gallery of Victoria. By a stroke of luck, we found out about the Sunday Art and Craft market which occurs on the promenade at the Arts Centre. Home to many freelance buskers and pavement chalk artists, which are such a joy to watch, they bring together over 80 of Victoria's finest artisans. This happens every Sunday, from 10am to 4pm. The Arts Centre Melbourne Lawn will be filled with market stalls, selling handmade goods from art pieces to homemade enticing delicacies and even freshly baked goods! Dined at Phone De Bortoli Winery and Restaurant before travelling down to Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary - a cosy place with all the llamas (seriously the cutest ever), kangaroos, wombats and other wildlife
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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.
After stepping out of the church, I roamed around the streets and gathered some information from the visitor's centre about the tourist attractions around the city. I walked down a little further and came across the Southbank bridge over Yarra river which is a picturesque sight. A lot of cafes surround the river and one can also spend some quality time on a cruise ride. Melbourne Arts centre is also located across the river which can be a soulful delight for art patrons. The best feel for me was to take a walk over the bridge sipping some hot latte. There I witnessed hundreds of locks with written messages hanging on the railings of the bridge. I was stunned and asked a few people around the story behind it. And when I got to know the answer, I just could not stop smiling. Those were love padlocks with scribbled initials and messages which signified the everlasting love of many Romeos and Juliets.
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.
Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex
Day 8 - Next day we had our flight to Melbourne and lucky for us, we landed there on a white night! This is when the city decides not to sleep and there was such hustle and bustle everywhere. We headed towards CBD and then to the Crown Casino where we spent our sleepless night.Day 9 - Next day we had tickets for the India-SA World Cup and we got a chance to see the inside of the Melborne cricket ground. It ha a capacity of 90,000 and it was pretty much full that day.
Melbourne Aquarium - Stop 2
Walking down a little further, I saw sign boards directing towards Melbourne Aquarium. And in a matter of next few minutes, I was at the aquarium. Any form of wildlife brings the child inside me into action. It was a colourful vibrant world in there. I saw varieties of fishes from the tiny ones to the jellies to the sharks , held starfish in my hands and also attended the fun penguin show. I just wanted to get inside those cages and feed the entire cast of happy feet by myself. They were so cute and it was completely enthralling in itself to watch them flap their wings, slip over ice and eat their food.Cups of coffee and oodles of excitement kept me going throughout the day and this was what I did for next 25 days-Travelled, explored, wandered and repeat.Travelled, explored, wandered and repeat.