Melbourne Off The Beaten Path

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Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Melbourne

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    Architectural gems of the City

    by xuessium Written Apr 19, 2008

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    Melbourne has plenty of architectural gems. Sown downright in your face; some shyly hiding away from sight.

    There are too many, so I will just throw in a few that I have not mentioned in the other sections.

    MELBOURNE ARTS CENTRE
    The Arts Centre consists of two buildings - The Theatres Building and Hamer Hall.
    Hamer Hall opened in 1982 while The Theatres Building opened two years later.
    You can do a tour of this iconic complex (have not done it myself) with its antenna like structure.
    Time: Monday to Saturday at 11am (including public holidays); Sunday (backstage tours) at 12.15pm.
    Pricing: Adults: $11, Concessions: $7.50, Family: $27.50 (2 adults & 2+ children), Sundays $13.50.

    PARLIAMENT OF THE STATE OF VICTORIA
    You can't miss this imposing building along Spring Street on the far eastern flank of the inner city. Forever popular as a site for wedding shots. Work started in 1856 and additions were made till 1929.
    You can do a tour of the building too (not done this yet) when Parliament is not sitting.
    Public tours take place at 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12 noon, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 3.45 pm from the Vestibule.

    MELBOURNE CITY BATHS
    The Melbourne City Baths was first opened in 1860. In Melbourne’s founding years, a bathroom in the home was a luxury only the wealthy could afford and, for most, a weekly wash or dip in Port Phillip Bay or the Yarra sufficed. Unhygienic conditions eventually saw the bath being built for the poor. The architect was a well-known architect J J Clark, who also designed Melbourne’s Treasury Building. Melbourne City Baths is now a health, fitness and wellness centre with swimming pools, spas, saunas, gyms etc.

    MelbourneArtsCentre ParliamentHouse MelbourneCityBaths
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    The City Museum

    by xuessium Written Apr 19, 2008

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    Melbourne has a number of museums and this little museum, tucked inside the building of the Old Treasury on the far eastern flank of the inner city, is a little gem.

    Perhaps for museum aficionados only, this could be a place to wear away a couple of hours as you explore the displays explaining the rise of Melbourne into the city as it is today. The 4 permanent displays are "Making Melbourne", "Built On Gold", "Gold & Prosperity" and "Growing Up In The Old Treasury" which kinda sort of tell you that Gold is heavily featured in Melbourne's growth if you are not that dense! (You will see more than your bite size nuggets of glimmering gold, though don't expect them to be real....not by a million chance)

    You'll see clothes, cutleries and other daily items put of display and learn a little bit about history as well. Bet you didn't know that Melbourne was once nicknamed Smellbourne due to extremely bad sewage systems in the 1880s. And then, there was the room, purportedly the scene for the discussion of federation among the states of Australia.

    I like the "Growing Up In The Old Treasury" displays as you step back in time and relive the childhood memories of the Maynard family. John Maynard was the Old Treasury’s caretaker. From 1916 to 1928, John, his wife Emma and their eight children lived beneath the Governor’s office in one of Melbourne’s most prestigious Government buildings. Walk through the living rooms of their home, faithfully recreated from family records and recollections. You'll see real books, yellowed with age, still on the bookshelves and newspapers from the era, (protected of course) lying on the table.

    The museum is located at Spring Street (top end of Collins Street).
    Open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. 10am to 4pm, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.
    Closed on Good Friday, Boxing Day & Christmas Day.
    Admission, All Areas (circa 2008)
    Adult $8.50; Concession $5.00; Family $18.00

    Seasonal Exhibitions (circa 2008)
    Adult $5.00; Concession $3.00; Family $10.00

    CityMuseum
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    Graffiti Art Lane & Other City Arts

    by xuessium Updated Apr 19, 2008

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    You couldn't tell the difference between a Van Gogh and a Monet? Heck, you don't even know who these creatures are? Too high brow? Too arty farty?

    Or you are arty farty but too cheapskate to shell out a few bucks to go visit a museum or a gallery?

    Fret not. Melbourne to the rescue.

    Hidden among the little lanes around Bourke Street is Union Lane (look for the street sign announcing Union La; for Singaporeans, it will be Union La Lah ya?) and in between 2 buildings decked with things you must shell out money to buy, it's an entire street of graffiti.

    Not the rough edgy "if you want her or him, phone XXX" kind, mind you...but high standard graffiti art that really put some of those so called contemporary artists/painters out there to absolute shame.

    Take a stroll down this lane, it's bright enough, so no worries about muggers...and experience a tidal wave of colours enveloped you in.

    You get your fair dosage of art (see, you got style) for the day, see a less known side of Melbourne and wouldn't even have to pay a single cent.

    And for the even more adventurous, well, don't let alley ways and lanes deter you from finding and seeking out little delights. Sometimes, you may never know what you'll stumble upon.....though of course, a note, don't throw caution too entirely to the winds.

    UnionLaneGraffiti ArtOnABuilding
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    Street Performances

    by xuessium Written Apr 19, 2008

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    You will find plenty of street performances littering the streets of Melbourne. Some god awful. Some run-of-the-mill. Some intriguing. Some mesmerising. And some, honestly, why aren't they a bigger star?

    In between you running from 1 tourist point to another or craning your neck out, searching for the next landmark to tick off, take a breather. Slow down for a few minutes and enjoy some off-the-cuff merriment. And if you think the performers are good enough, well, reward them for their effort. Sometimes, that few dollars actually turned out to be quite well spent!

    StreetPerformances
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    Check out Ken Duncan's Gallery

    by xuessium Written Apr 12, 2008

    Actually I was kinda disappointed.

    Ken Duncan's Gallery turned out to be rather small and compact, compared to the vast ones I have seen in Cairns for Peter Lik and Peter Jarver. Those were impressive.

    Tucked inside Southgate, an upmarket shopping mall along the Southbank, drop in and just browse around the many beautiful pictures that Ken Duncan has to offer. His style is very close to that of Peter Lik's: The same wide panoramic shots that adorns postcards and coffee table books.

    Grab some souvenirs while you are at it.

    For avid photographers only I guess.

    KenDuncanGalleryInSouthgateMall
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    Chocolate and Coffee Tours of Melbourne

    by xuessium Updated Apr 12, 2008

    For addicts only. Not for the faint-hearted.

    CHOCOLATE TOUR
    See my "Death By Chocolate" tip.

    COFFEE TOUR

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    The Ancient Art of P*nis Origami

    by xuessium Written Apr 12, 2008

    Yes, you saw it right. Don't blink.

    2 guys brought "OUCH!" to new heights with their ability to contort and twist about in any manner unnatural to man-kind (or in this case, unkind).

    And it all started here in Melbourne in 1998.

    Yes, welcome to the next stage of human evolution: evolution of a grand repertoire of genital gesticulations. Mr.Fantastic of the Fantastic 4 has competitors.

    Simon Morley and David "Friendy" Friend have their debut at the 1998 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and it was a huge hit, kicking off an eight-month tour of Australia. They had never looked back since as they took the western world by storm.

    Crack up at their jokes, and pray that you don't become a victim of their high jinked pranks. They have been known to jump onto the laps of ladies buck naked and sending them into heights of squealing frenzy. Old women have been known to stare down their endowments as if they are looking right into the sun.

    Catch a performance if they and you are ever in town. I had the great fortune of catching them when they were back in town for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival of 2008.

    You have (and will) never seen anything quite like it.

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    Listen to some great radio

    by meggy88 Updated Mar 28, 2008

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    One of Melbourne secrets is not something that you visit or eat but that you can listen to great independent radio. Melbourne has always had a good live music scene which is partly due to two community radio stations, 3RRR and PBS. 3RRR is found on the FM dial at 102.7, and PBS at FM 106.7, both stations have been around for many years and play a wonderful non commercial blend of music. These station do not get any revenue from commercial advertising and is funded by limited sponsorship of local organisations. The other income source is from people like me who suscribe once a year to keep these stations going which offer an alternative to bland commercial radio stations who only play music that is commercially popular.
    My favourite show is on 3RRR and is called "Vital Bits" and is on every SAT/SUN from 6:00am - 9:00am. So if your ever in Melbourne dont forget to tune in, or they do live streams www.3rrr.org.au

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    Hot Air Ballooning!

    by peeweekathi Written Jan 6, 2008

    Ever considered having a view of Melbourne, from a Hot Air Balloon? No?
    Well, I highly recommend it! Another part of birthday celebrations (2008 is great so far!!)

    This is definitely an unusual way to start your day and get a view of Melbourne, not many get. Good news, the experience and views are just FABULOUS! Bad news, you have to get up at between 3.30 and 4.00 A.M. (!!!) to do it, but it is well worth it. Plenty of time to sleep later! Flight area dependent on weather of the day. And, you can choose to stand back & watch the balloon being set up and packed away, or dig in and help, which is also great fun and part of the experience and you're encouraged to do so, so don't be shy!

    Several companies to choose from, all roughly in the same price range and breakfast included in price. Champagne supplied at breakfast, to toast your successful flight. The company I went with, also gave a 'Certificate' of achievment, which, personally, I love getting! It's always nice to have something like that, go with a great photo, to remember such action packed activities:)

    Total time: Approximately 4-6 hours.

    Balloon flights also available over the wineries of the Yarra Valley.

    Fired up & almost ready to go! Melbourne Sunrise view from Balloon. Different view of a roundabout. Self portrait:) Up, up & away!
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    The Cranbourne Experience

    by iandsmith Updated Oct 21, 2007

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    Though the aforementioned garden is unquestionably the main attraction, you can park and walk on the bush trails for nothing. These take up a much greater area than the garden and make for a pleasant stroll.
    Shown here is more of the main attraction and, after you've toured, you may wish to take a cuppa overlooking the desert landscape (pic 2), parts of which can been seen in pics 3 & 4 on the far side from the cafe.
    The last picture gives yet further weight to the thought that has gone into this area with imaginative use of 1950's building pieces.

    Enticing entrance of kangaroo paw Desert Garden A lovely piece of landscaping Some of these plants are 400 years old! Meanwhile, back in the 50's
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    The Cranbourne Experience (cont)

    by iandsmith Written Oct 13, 2007

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    There are aspects to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Cranbourne, one of those is sculpture.
    Fine examples of the art form abound though none are more striking than the 93 metre long Escarpment. It's really only when you get around the back of it that it becomes formidable and by that time you've already gone past several other imaginative examples, such as the colourful clusters of watering cans (pic 2) and the children's section (pic 5).
    When you stroll around to the other side of the garden (assuming you're going anti-clockwise) you come across themes that appear to be more in synch with arid lands and here the untitled sculpture (pic 3) seems perfectly at home, along with the strands of upright and rusting steel (pic 4).

    The Escarpment One of the clusters David Abecassis - Untitled The uprights For the kids
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    Chinese Museum

    by arianne_1504 Written Oct 10, 2007

    If you're a bit of a history buff, this place is definitely worth the visit. Their website describes the museum as "An exciting range of changing exhibitions, heritage tours and public seminars are some of the ways by which the Museum shares the past, culture, and values of Australia's Chinese community" and this is definitely on the mark. Featuring permanent displays and special exhibitions. Don't forget to check out the gift shop.

    10am - 5pm everyday (Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day & New Years Day)

    General Admission Adults: $7.50 Children & Concession Card holders: $5.50

    Special events and exhibitions: Additional price to General Admission may apply.

    22 Cohen Place, Melbourne

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  • Graffiti - Street Art

    by WannaTravel77 Written Jul 11, 2007

    Melbourne is filled with lanes. Lanes filled with cafes and restaurants. But Melbourne is developing a world wide reputaion for it's Graffiti or Street Art. There are 2 must see lanes in Melbourne you have to check out.

    Hosier Lane
    Across from ACMI, Federation square. This lane features some cool and crazy artwork and tags.

    Centre Place
    Located close to Hosier lane, north of Degraves St. lane and off Flinders Lane. Walk down past all the restaurants and before you get to the shops turn left and you'll see a little alcove with Street art.

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    Centre Place - Coffee Central

    by fishandchips Written May 20, 2007

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    Centre Place is one of the best coffee spots in Melbourne and is complete with a wide range of food options. Centre Place becomes Centre Way at its northern end.

    There are a couple of really interesting options here. Hell's Kitchen is a dim sort of spot but has a view over the street below as its on the first floor. The small Jungle Juice Bar is good for a spot of soup and comes highly recommended from local friends.

    Centre Place
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    WILLIAM BARAK BRIDGE.

    by wanderingbilly Updated Apr 22, 2007

    WE CAME ACROSS THE WILLIAM BARAK BRIDGE WHILE WALKING BACK FROM THE VODAFONE ARENA.. THE 525M BRIDGE WAS BUILT FOR THE 2006 COMMONWEALTH GAMES AND WAS NAMED AFTER WILLIAM BARAK THE VICTORIAN ABORIGINAL DIPLOMAT NEGOTIATOR AND ARTIST.
    IT PLAYS OVER 50 CULTURAL SONGS FROM ARTISTS AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH IN AN ENTANGLEMENT OF VOICE AND SONG....IT IS A REAL JOY JUST TO WALK ACROSS THE BRIDGE AND LISTEN TO ALL THE DIFFERENT VOICES AND SONG AS THEY MIX IN FROM ONE TO ANOTHER. THE BRIDGE LINKS MELBOURNE'S CBD AND THE MCG AND ALL THE OTHER SPORTING VENUES.
    TRY WALKING ACROSS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS LIT UP WITH THE CITY SKYLINE IN THE BACKGROUND... I LOVED IT..
    EVERY CITY SHOULD HAVE A BRIDGE LIKE THIS..

    THE WILLIAM BARAK BRIDGE.
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