Saturday, March 25, 2017

What to Do in Melbourne

I finally made that trip Down Under! After decades of witnessing batches of friends flying to and fro Melbourne, I managed to see for my own what 'stole' all my friends from Malaysia. From the day they decided to receive the famous Australian education, only a few returned for good, creating the impression that Melbourne is most probably a mini-Malaysia already.
Melbourne is ranked as the most livable city 6 times by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) before Vienna and Vancouver. As a person flanked by so many friends who migrated there, I could have visited earlier but better late than never! So here is of what to do in Melbourne that made my whole trip so enjoyable.

1. Walk along Yarra River & Crown Hotel 
The Yarra River had me at hello. Melbourners are so lucky to have this river in their city. The night scene of this river is just breathtaking. If you have no idea of how to make a date romantic, let this river do the job. Oh, The Yarra River! Just look at it!

Yarra River at night
Totally fell in love with the scene
Strolling at the bank of Yarra river
At the iconic Crown Hotel
Cabaret girls at the Crown Hotel
Be sure to visit the casino!
Visit those food trucks
Yarra River- beautiful day and night

2. Colourful Huts at Brighton Beach
Brighton lives up to its name with 82 adorable and brightly coloured beach huts along its shore. For me, you have not been to Melbourne if you did not take a picture here. You won't be able to resist photographs anyway. The iconic beachscape yells Melbourne through and through. You won't believe that these huts have been built over a century ago! 
Mummy and I at Brighton beach.
With dearest couzie
Just cannot get enough of these cute huts with Jamie
At my birthday number 23!
Watch ang mohs sunbathe as Asians like yours truely covers with hats and jacket hehehe

3. Spot Penguins at St. Kilda Beach

Summer is the best time to spot penguins at St. Kilda beach. The fairy penguins (the same type that dwells on Philip Island). These little angles are the smallest of all penguin species. Go to the beautiful St. Kilda beach for a relaxing stroll and head to the jetty after sunset when the penguins return to their homes. Please take note that NO FLASH LIGHTS should be used. Use red lights to ease vision. Friendly rangers will be there to point out the penguins to you too.
At the windy St Kilda beach
Follow the red lights by the rangers
Do not make noise or use flash
Skyline of Melbourne glowing behind
The happy face after spotting penguins

4. Brunch and coffee at Alleys
Culture is one reason I travel. Coffee is culture in Melbourne and alley cafes creates the charm that Melbourne is famous for. When in Melbourne, take the opportunity to eat at their cafe's which can be seen replicated in Malaysia but they are still not quite the same. Some cafes are fully functional in the tiniest of spaces. Enjoy some avos on toast or lasagna toasted hot for brunch!
At Central Place
Coffee tastes better here...inexplicable
An Aussie brunch before starting the day!

5. Graffiti
Turn to Flinders Lane for an artsy time. Appreciate talents using spray paint on walls at no cost at all! The drawings change from time to time as artists overlap their drawings when they run out of space. Soak up the passion of street art when you stroll down the lane. They tell you so much about emotions expressed on the wall, creating a colourful dimension amid the chaos. 
Street art at Flinders Lane Melbourne
Soak up the expression transferred to the walls
Mom is not missing out on taking photos

6. Victoria State Library
The word 'library' might not sound exciting but this one is different. Other than being a big landmark and a cultural icon, it is home to one of the most beautiful reading rooms- the La Trobe Reading Room. The 19th century building is an epitome of grandeur. Walk into the La Trobe Reading Room for an immediate transfer back to the Victorian era.
Outside the grand Victoria State Library
Classic interior that stood the test of timme
'Reading' at the La Trobe Room
Well preserved 19th Century building

7. Queen Victoria Market
The Queen Victoria Market must have been murmuring in your head from the moment you google Melbourne. Also affectionately known as 'Vic Market' or 'Queen Vic', it has been one of the most trustworthy place for food and knick-knacks for locals and tourists since 1878.
The Queen Victoria Market
Mummy just overwhelmed with what Queen Victoria Market has to offer
Fresh seafood
Lunch at Queen Vic Market with mom and couzie Joanna
Remember to get the famous fresh oysters!

8. Great Ocean Road
Go on a Great Ocean Road tour that offered aplenty in the city. For a standard tour, it should cost roughly AUD 90-130. The blue from the sea layers with the white foams of waves which makes it a hypnotizing scene. I couldn't get my eyes off the window. The road is actually a war memorial, built by soldiers between 1919 and 1932, dedicated to soldiers killed during World War 1. Along the way, enjoy forest walks, local food in towns and meadows that has no end.

The 12 Apostles
The coastal scene along the Great Ocean Road
Stop by for food in small towns along the Great Ocean Road
Forest walk on the way to the Great Ocean Road which smells so fragrant

9. Heavesville Wildlife Sanctuary
When I bought my tickets to Melbourne, I promise myself not to leave without seeing a real life kangaroo! I want to permanently end my virtual kangaroo encounters with youtube and documentaries. The Heavesville Wildlife Sanctuary is a zoo specializing in native Australian animals. It is a great opportunity to see animals that are exclusive to the country, including other marsupials and birds. Check out also their splendidly orchestrated bird show, featuring all the beautiful feathered beauties in Australia.
Finally saw the roos!
Feel liberated in nature.

10. Yarra Valley
Of course who can ignore the famous product of Australia- wine! Drive down to Yarra Valley, a place where you will be flanked by grape vines. One of the famous wineries is Chandon and the most friendly would be Yerring (friendly as they offer complimentary wine tasting =))
Flanked by grape vine
With mommy on a beautiful day
The Yerring Winery

11. Admire Iconic Buildings 
Back in Melbourne city, do go around their archaic buildings like the Flinders Train Station, Royal Arcade, the General Post Office (now H&M), St Paul's Cathedral and Town Hall. They are all at walking distance away from each other. Awe at their pillars, tiles, ceilings and window sills that are all well preserved since the 19th century. Not surprisingly, they make wedding-worthy backgrounds. So imagine those deep and sentimental photos you can create!
The beautiful Flinders Street Railway Station that you cannot miss
Royal Archade
St Paul's Cathedral
The pillars of General Post Office (now H&M)
Melbourne Town Hall

12. Chill at Fed Square
If you have more time to spare, chill at the Federation Square! They are never without activities and events. Join the locals and sit on the floor to watch the huge screen.
Watching the Australian Open Tennis Championship.
Cosplay event