I had the opportunity to spend some more time in the audacious-coffee-loving city of Melbourne for a whole week this month. I relished the thought of a bit of time out of town as the crowds are descending and I also love a bit of city time when the mountains become a bit claustrophobic.
I didn’t envisage 36 degree heat and some whopper thunder and lightening but I’m a tough cookie and so soldiered on. I do it for you. All for you.
Melbourne is home to nearly 4 500 000 people and that’s alot when you come from Queenstown with one set of traffic lights. I had my jaw open most of the time as I’d forgotten how busy it is (and I’d only last been there in March).
I’d had a lot of tips from the gorgeous Melbourne Sights Instagram page and from my last visit of stuff I didn’t get to see, but also things I wanted to see again like the National Gallery of Victoria.
First up some beach time in Jan Juc (just an hour and half drive depending on traffic from the city). A massive surf beach best walked on in the morning so you can actually get on the beach (due to high tides). There’s some lovely coloured seaweed on the beach to snap and you can walk right down to Bells Beach if you have time.
Into the city and I headed straight back to the National Gallery where I was most put out to discover the next exhibition of Andy Warhol and Al Weiwei was starting the day AFTER I left. Come on guys. Think of me next time. But it’s such a wonderful place to lose 2-3 hours wistfully staring at paintings you wish you could afford. Ah well to the gift shop it is!
There’s so much to see and spend your hard earned crust on including Ikea (yes Ikea, I got lost but not divorced in), Sole Devotion where I nearly fainted at some gold shoes (but they alas didn’t have my size), the Shot Tower for photographs.
Cape Otway Ecology Centre are doing some amazing work around saving the Tiger Quoll. We stood and watched as it came right up to our feet! I also squealed like a tourist as I saw kangaroos bounding around the compound. Look up and there’s koalas right there in the trees above your head. They are working hard to look at how to keep some species in our wild and also look after some of the injured animals who arrive on their doorstep. Read more about them here.
On the way to Cape Otway along the coast we pulled over to
run like mad amble softly along the beach which was covered in stacks and stacks of pebbles and stones. Such a beautiful spot to launch your photography career. We could have stayed for hours but the worlds largest lamington’s were calling.
While we were in town we couldn’t resist pretending to be 18 again and heading to The Toff where Custard were playing their reform tour and new album since 1999. A great venue stacked high above the town with a rooftop bar, cinema, gigs, bars, bookshop and right in the city centre. We got sweaty, danced until our ears popped and headed home long after the witching hour feeling very naughty. I haven’t been out past midnight in a long time.
While you’re there don’t forget to get the tram into town. Forget your car and climb aboard. It’s so easy and they go everywhere. Imagine trams here in Queenstown. It would be carnage but fun! Lots of neighbourhoods there you can visit without having to go into the city, we stayed most of the time in Richmond but there’s tons and tons of other suburbs to head to, drink coffee, buy stuff you don’t need and amble the hours away. I love Melbourne. I think I mentioned that.
Eating is a particular favourite of mine and we headed to The European Restaurant where you could have been mistaken for thinking you were in Paris. Apparently lots of big wig deals have been done here (oh if the walls could talk). We sipped wine and I had the best french fries with salade Nicoise I’ve had in years. A must!
Degraves Street for coffee and the biggest nutella pastries this side of the fence. I have to be controversial and say I think Melbourne may just have the edge on coffee. It was never bitter, never bad and always hot. Come on Queenstown you can do it!
It’s so good to step out of town and head for the city every now and again. To breathe in some city smoke and smog and to wander the streets looking for new things to snap. Maybe I should start a #snappersmelbourne. If you’re interested get in touch here! I’m also looking for things to see and do next time I’m in the city again. It will be 2016 I promise!