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!
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.
For addicts only. Not for the faint-hearted.
See my "Death By Chocolate" tip.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
Across from ACMI, Federation square. This lane features some cool and crazy artwork and tags.
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.
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.
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..
One person's graffitti is another persons street art!! There is some world class street art in Melbourne particularly around the small streets and lanes of the CBD start off with Hosiers lane adjacent to the Forum theatre off Flinders Street.
Don't forget Melbourne is the place to visit if you want the capital of music, food, arts and culture in Australia.
A great day trip from Melbourne would be to toddle off out to Walhalla. I happened to get lucky on a day when there was a charity horse ride in progress (pic 1).
There's quite a lot to do there for all the family. You can visit an old gold mine, view the historic cemetery on the hillside (pic 2), ride the historic train (pic 3), dine at the historic pub (pic 4) or do the scenic walk around the town (pic 5).
For details on these and other activities, see my Walhalla pages.
I love the building in pic 3 for two reasons - 1. It's the best looking building in Kew; 2. It was originally a bank building and it's still a bank building - how extraordinary is that!
The first pic is something that appears in every Australian town and village, a war memorial to those that gave their lives fighting in other countries. I always wonder when in the presence of these, how many wars must we have before we learn anything.
The second pic is that of a bar that used to be the post office, these days cleverly called the QPO.
The fourth pic is interesting. The State Government has agreed to sell the Court House to the local council for a "knock down price" of $825,000. Its true value is around $2,000,000 and it is intended to be used for community purposes.