Time to talk about Melbourne! I could feel one of the differences between here and Sydney as soon as I arrived: the weather. Oh it is so cold and rainy here! Anyhow, I would not let the weather spoil my plans to know this city that is in the top 3 best cities to live in the world.The first thing I did was to meet very good friends that are living in Brisbane and were visiting Melbourne. It has been over an year since we last met, so I spent a day hanging out with them. We went to St. Kilda Beach, one of the main beaches there, where is the famous “Luna Park”, and walked around CBD.
After they had gone back home, I did a day trip with their family to the Great Ocean Road. This was by far the best I did here. The landscapes you find on this road are breathtaking! One day was too short to enjoy the road relaxed. I could easily spend a couple of nights there exploring every details of that place. Still in one day it was possible to see wild koalas, kangaroos, colorful parrots, and go to the main lookouts. Luckily this was one of few days when the weather was good and I could take awesome pictures.
The next day I did a free walking tour which was the best thing to do to get a good overview of the city, and also to know places that usually are out of touristic guides. By the way, I strongly recommend to do this kind of tours on the first day at the place you are visiting. I always get a lot of cultural information about the city and also a long list of things to do, places to go back to explore with more time, and nice cheap restaurants to eat.
During the rest of the the time I was here I went to the main touristic attractions, parks, museums and beaches. One famous beach I went was “Brighton Beach” which has these colorful bath houses along the shore.
Now I can tell why Melbourne beaches are not that popular. First of all the city is cold, secondly they are not that beautiful, but they do are great places for sailing, kite surfing, wind surfing, etc.
Melbourne is great for urban tourism. If you like architecture, modern buildings, museums, stadiums, etc, that is the place for you. One cool place I went is “Hosier Lane” which is an alley where street artists are allowed to expose their work (graffiti is illegal in Australia).
If you are into museums I also recommend going to “National Sports Museum” and to “Shrine of Remembrance”. On the first you will find vast material about Australia’s most popular sports – among than, Australian Football which the closest sport to “Quidditch” I have ever seen – and A LOT about Olympic Games, since its first edition. In case you have forgotten Sydney hosted it in 2000. On the second you will learn many facts about The First and The Second World War, focused of course on the role played by Australia.
As you may have noticed I appreciate more nature than manmade things. Thus to me Melbourne turned out not to be as attractive as I thought. On the other hand, thinking of it as a place to live, it becomes more interesting. Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia – worldwide sports events, festivals, and concerts usually take place here – public transport system is good and the life cost is a bit cheaper than Sydney. So between the two of them which one is better? Well… I think it is up to you to decide. I have my answer, but I would rather keep it to myself 😉
Well, time to continue with my trip. Check my post next week to find out where I am heading right now.