After our day of travel we reached Melbourne, thing is though we spent almost a week in Melbourne I feel we didn’t really see a lot. We were based in Flinders Street Backpackers Hostel which was relatively cheap for our double room and included a free breakfast but since the cookers were absolutely rubbish all other meals were problematic.
Melbourne’s weather turned out to be really unpredictable and every changing so it could be scorching sun one minute and pounding rain the next so this made our days a little difficult to plan. But despite the weather, we were both in agreement that we liked Melbourne, especially in direct comparison to Sydney before.
We ended up spending a lot of time in Federation Square solely for the purpose of using the free wifi that the square provided, which I think is a great idea and we should do this everywhere though probably isn’t so great in a rainy George Square in Scotland. We did visit several other places too. We explored ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) where we played with all the interactive exhibits including one which included all the old console games and did you know Skippy was totally filmed in Australia? We also hopped on the free tram and spent a day wandering round Fitzroy Park where we found The Fairies Tree, Cook’s Cottage and a Burns statue.
These were not great attractions and did not excite us in any way but we made the most of it. The Fairies Tree was just a fairy scene carved and painted into a tree stump which yes, was well done, but in the end it’s still just a tree stump. The cottage was supposedly owned by Captain James Cook but was actually his parents home which had been dismantled and shipped from its location in Yorkshire and rebuilt here. As for the Burns Statue, it was just nice to see something Scottish I guess. There was also a greenhouse in the park but it was actually closed. What entertained us more than anything else was the Japanese businessmen in the park all dressed in their suits taking pictures of everything, and I mean everything, every single tree. What an exciting slide show that will be on their return.
That evening, following a lot of advertising for Melbourne Quay, with its busy shopping and dinning scene, I decided we should go have a look see. However, after a lot of walking and searching we ended up just looking dodgy in a boat mooring point and residential area in the dark. We never found this must see location but I have no clue how to find it or even where it was supposed to be. It ended up a greatly disappointing excursion.
We spent a day at the Botanic Gardens which we managed to get the free tram to as well. It turned out to be a really sunny day so it was nice to sit in the sun for a bit and watch the several weddings which where taking place in the gardens, one of which included several songs from Disney films. We also visited The Shrine of Remembrance, Victoria’s War Memorial which was across the road and quite impressive as well. We got annoyed at the tourists who were laughing and carrying on in the tombs underneath and especially at the Americans who compared the building to a mall carpark. We both were a bit put out by peoples lack of respect but I guess our opinions are outdated or something as we were definitely in the minority.
Other fun activities of Melbourne included trying to find a take-away shop to satisfy my pizza craving which was an epic fail though we did find food, a walk along the Yarra River and also attending Andrew’s cousin’s birthday party. Now Andrew’s cousins were the reason we ended up staying in Melbourne so long, awaiting contact and then hanging out until the day of the party. Andrew seemed quite happy to meet up with them again but I felt a bit side lined by the many Australian girls who had gathered around Andrew due to his non- Aussie accent.
But after a long week in Melbourne in which we both forgot about the Neighbours tour, it was time to move on and we had decided to head to Phillip Island just off the coast. It worked out cheaper to get the coach over the bridge than the ferry across so we hopped on a bus to Cowes to go explore the Island.