This is one of the weirdest things you'll see. Part movie theater, part photo booth. You'll find it on the ground floor of ACMI, in the Federation Square. Once inside, the Booth will play 3 short films of your choice (out of 16 or so), typically 60-90 seconds long. At some point during each film, a camera will take a photo of you, and after you're done with the screening, you get a "souvenir" that's printed at the back of the booth that includes your photo and something about the film that you watched. You can get up to three printed souvenirs, depending on how much you pay. It's A$4 for one, A$6 for two, and A$8 for three. You also get your own character in the Virtual Reality version of the booth on its website.
The films tend to be somewhat odd, but at such short duration it is to be expected. Be sure to pick Pneumatic as one of the movies. Was my favorite of the three.
Brunswick Street in Melbourne's oldest suburb of Fitzroy is well worth a look. Walk it's length and you'll see the evolution of a great city.
Since the late '80s Brunswick St. quite rappidly moved towards gentrification! As with these kind of streets, and there arn't so many left, there has long been standing a defiant crowd of certain individuals. Take that please from a definitive source!
This long geomantrically straight stretch of bitumen holds secrets. Striding it's east and west sides are some remarkable marvels of inner suburban architecture. Take the c1888 "Bewicke Building", it's got no offical name, located at 252 running south. I have never grown tired of this special building. This three level polychrome brick oddity boasts two feature towers, mysteriously unnoticed by many. The so called "bell" tower, named for it's shape rather than what it emits, sits high over the famous, but actually not original "Black Cat Cafe". The original which was the creation of Henry Mass, a local figure, went from 1982 - 2001. Various boutiques fill the other shop spaces.
Brunswick Street is yet more an extended version of what is found in those shops of the Beswicke Building. From about this location wander on north for several blocks and you will find more cafes, bars and boutiques than there are in perhaps any other street on earth, other than in Chapel Street, which surprise is in Melbourne also.
There have been many so called "institutions" along Brunswick Street, such as the "Punters Club Hotel", gone like the "Cat", and who would remember the "Marijuana Cafe"? I can't, but evidently it was once there. But this has always been a street in flux and no great city is without one. It has it's critics and I can be counted, but I'm always back.
Really off the beaten path and only of interest to a select few, since this hobby is rather personal:
On my travels around the world I now and then happen to come across IKEA, the Swedish furniture warehouse, at various locations, and one of my habits is to go and try their Swedish meatballs. I wouldn't let Melbourne become an exception to that rule.
Rating (1-10): 7. OK, but the meatballs back home in Scandinavia seem more spicy and tasty, so does the sauce. The meatballs. however, had more meat than I expected, so that was a positive surprise.
Melbourne is on Port Phillip Bay. There are great beaches outside of the city that are very nice such as Sorrento beach. Be aware that there are big waves here though. Close to the city centre is St. Kilda beach which is nice to walk and bike around, but I wouldn't swim in the bay there. I like Torquay beach also and the drive there on Great Ocean Road is beautiful.
When we took a visit to the Collingwood Community Centre we were amazed at the Mosaics and the Gardens and the real community spirit that we found in the middle of Melbourne.
Collingwood Community Centre is built at the bottom of a huge set of high rise apartments (units, flats) that are owned by the Ministry of Housing. The high rise apartments are rented out to families or singles.
We had a tour of some of the flats, had a meal prepared by the local College, with food from thier own community garden. The Mosaics are amazing. We also toured the local open space area and took in the local scenery. The Mosaics were all laid by members of the public housing estate.
An absolutely amazing place in the heart of the suburbs!
Hoddle Street, Collingwood
Get's real cold in May in Melbourne. When we arrived at Hanging Rock you could play smokes with the air, it was so thick. (That's for those that don't smoke haha). A few of us got a bit cold (wasn't drinkin' like Tina-Perth haha). So we hit the cafe for a nice coffee and to warm up.
If you will be staying in South Yarra for a while like Sarah and I, I would recommend getting a library card. There are very liberal rules on the book check outs, and you can take as many with you as you want. With all of the beautiful parks throughout South Yarra, this is very important! Directly across the road from this library is a wonderful little park to sit out and soak some sun.
MONDAY - THURSDAY
As italian I'm used to see soccer matches finishing with people invading the football field, supporters of the two teams hitting each other, police, injured people at the end of all matches. You can imagine how happy I was to see all supporters sitting one next others, even if they belong to 2 different team.There are no violence scenes. At the end all descend stairs singing their own team songs together!!!! I went to the Collingwood- Carlton match! I even put on the Collingwood hat!!!
Oh I had so much fun!!!
The garden was founded in 1846 and it extends over 38 hectares. There are more than 50.000 plants representing almost 10.000 differents species from every part of the earth.
Beside the garden there is the national Herbarium of Victoria, founded in 1853 and considered as the oldest scientifici institution in Victoria.It is alos renowned for its research into plant systematics, taxonomy and biodiversity.
It is totally free,even if I suggest to pay the 4 dollars and something for the guided tour. I run after a lively lady who made the group I joined running veeery fast!She explained us all she could and showed all we asked to see.
It opens at 730am and closes at 530pm from May to August, at 6pm in Aprile, September and October and at 830pm from November to August.
Take the Epping line train to Clifton Hill (about 15 minutes from Flinders Street) and head down Ramsden Street until you reach a park with a big oval and cricket nets. Unless you want to brush up on your spin bowling, keep walking and, suddenly, you'll find yourself surrounded by big old eucalypts, native birds and even snakes (!). The Yarra Bend park is a lovely area to walk around or have picnic.
Dights Falls (just past the underpass) are worth a look as is the Merri Creek - sometimes you can spot lizards or the aforementioned snakes (keep your distance!). Even though the Eastern freeway runs nearby and the city is always on the horizon, you can't hear the cars and you truly feel asa if you are in the countryside!
The track runs for miles, with Studley Park and Fairfield boathouses at either end (sort of). Stop off at Fairfield boathouse for a lemon, lime and bitters, a beer and a bbq meal. Oh glory be! Merri Creek / Yarra Bend - one of my fave places in Melbourne!!
One of the off the beaten path things to do in Melbourne is to walk around the Universities and enjoy the sculptures.
This particular sculpture is by Inge King, who is a fairly well known sculptor in these parts. This was sculpted for Kaye Fox in memory of her parents, Earnest and Fannie Kaye Fox.
Some people would disagree with me when I say that the Great Ocean Road is a "Off the beaten path" tip for Melbourne, as many people consider this a major reason to visit here. I had a long discussion with AussieDoug on this topic, and we both agree that this is actually the right place for the Great Ocean Road for a Melbourne page, because although it is very popular, you really do have to make a concious decision to go visit it!
If you want more in depth information, check out pages for Port Campbell or Warnambool, but the long and the short of this tip is to say that Melbourne's close neighbor is well worth a visit, and you are missing out if you do not make out to see this great wonder!
The sandstone is quickly wearing away, so it would be best to get there before another one of the 12 apostles becomes one with the surf! Only 8 left!!
If you are going to be in Melbourne for an extended period of time (more than 5 days), I would definitely recommend an excursion out to Daylesford/Hepburn Springs. It is a 90 minute drive out northwest of downtown Melbourne (less than an hour from the airport) and has beautiful scenery, as well as a big look into Australian country life without the huge drive into the bush.
This area is known as the spa capital of Australia, although many people will dispute that claim. Either way, this is an enjoyable drive, pleasurable scenery and a good backrub or facial spot!
Also, if you are going to make your way out to Daylesford make sure you let Anne12 know you are coming, and special things will be planned for sure. She is a great host and will most likely volunteer for tour guide duty (tips or buying her dinner is suggested for the good tour).
For more information on Daylesford, I have included a link to my Daylesford VT Page.
One of the most popular figures in the history of Victoria, and forever in the minds of the Victorian Police here in Melbourne is Northeast Victoria's own Ned Kelly.
Ned's story is confused based on who you hear it from, but for the long and short of it, Ned was either a hero or a rebel, which in some cases can even be the same thing. Ned is said to have been fighting the Victorian Police to save his family's honor, although in the end, he ended up being hanged in the Old Melbourne Gaol.
Starting from Melbourne, at the Old Gaol, head out the Hume Highway, stopping off in Glenrowan to see where the final encounter between the Vic Police and Ned was played out. See the huge statue to Ned here in this town, and then keep driving.
Finish in Beechworth, the home for Ned and his mother, in the Beechworth Gaol which still operates today, and go through some of the history!
For those who are of the intrepid type the Lerderderg Gorge area, a State Park, is a great place to go. About forty-five k's north-west of Melbourne on the Western Highway it is very easy to get to. Just past Bacchush Marsh and its apple orchards there is enough climbing and challenge around the next ten or so k's, over a wide area, to satisfy the most hardy. The surrounding countryside provides magnificent viewing. For the less energetic sight -seeing on foot around the "back-beach" track areas of the Mornington Penninsula, is the go. The same distance but this time to Melbourne's south-east; accessible on perfect roads. Again beautiful countryside this time beside the ocean which is Bass Strait. Approximately four hundred k's south across the Strait is the lovely island of Tasmania and from that direction come the strong cold winds, the edge of "The Roarin' Forties". The exploring is well worth doing. In both areas flora and fauna abound( this includes plentiful bird life ) (Photographs will follow).