Every city seems to have a high point where locals and visitors can get a birds eye view of the city or town - Melbourne is no different, EXCEPT that we have several high points and the highest of them all is Eureka Skydeck located on the 88th level of the Eureka Tower. All the superlatives of the tower can be found in the wikipedia article - the tallest etc, etc.
The view from the 88th level is STUNNING and although it was a wet and cold day and night of our visit, the rain-splattered windows made for interesting viewing. At the time there was a photo opportunity to be 'safely' held by the huge hand of King Kong and dangled over the edge of the building. As the above photo shows, Lady Gaw and I screamed in terror at the thought of the 300 m (984 ft) drop to the ground.
The Skydeck experience starts on the ground level of the tower located on Riverside Quay where tickets are purchased (discount coupons available on line - search 'discount coupons eureka skydeck') and there is a display area. Then a short wait for the lift (elevator) for the very fast ride to the 88th level.
There are 2 distinct views - day time when the panorama of Melbourne and the sprawling suburbs can be seen and the distant views of The Dandenong Ranges, The You Yangs, The Great Dividing Range and much of Port Phillip Bag can be seen. At night a different view of the millions of lights that make up Melbourne. Perhaps the best night view is when there is a night match (football or cricket) at the nearby MCG and much of the surrounding area is illuminated by the huge 'G' light towers. Skydeck does offer a 2 entries in the same day ticket - see web site for details and all pricing. Possible suggestion is to enjoy the day view, have a meal at the nearby Southbank food court and then return for the night view. Alternatively stay over several hours and watch the sun set over the city and the lights twinkle on as darkness descends.
The Skydeck has a small café with limited selection of food and drinks, but prices are a bit high (to go with the 88th level - LOL)
Also available is 'The Edge' and for $12 ($10 seniors $8 children) a ride on what is touted as the worlds only glass cube that juts out from the building and gives uninterrupted views straight down - a bit scary for those who don't like high places. I felt that was a bit overpriced and the outdoor 'Terrace' gives a better high up experience complete with strong winds - and driving rain on the day of our visit.
All up a worth while but expensive experience, however there is a free view from the upper level of The Shrine of Remembrance along nearby St Kilda Road, which in my opinion is perhaps better as it gives a view of the entire city skyline.
About the photos;
1. View of part of the city skyline from the Shrine of Remembrance. The Eureka Tower is the tallest building in the photo. The yellow ring placed by me (I had to climb up the outside of the building - LOL) shows where 'The Edge' and 'The Terrace' are located.
2. Lady Gaw and I screaming in terror as King Kong dangled us over the edge - arrrrrrrh.
3. First of 2 of the same view - day time showing off Flinders Street Railway station and Fed Square in the foreground, with the eastern half of the city behind.
4. Arts precinct foreground. Yarra and the parkland with the sporting precinct in middle and the sprawling eastern suburbs leading to The Dandenong ranges just visible in the gloom of a wet and wintery day.
5. Same as 3, but night view. Some of the lights within the Skydeck do impede photos.
My wife and I came upon this exhibit and we walked along the river. There was a long table, set with dinnerware and 257 empty chairs. Written on the table was, "This many people won't make it to Christmas lunch." 257 people have died on roads in Victoria at the time of the exhibit; later they had to add six additional chairs. This was a sad reminder of how speed and not paying attention when driving can kill.
One of the nicest cities in Australia that you absolutely not miss is the city of Melbourne. The second largest city in Australia and the largest city of the state Victoria. The city has a mix of Australians and many other nationalities including a very large population in India and Asia. The mix of cultures makes Melbourne an attractive, culinary and exciting city. This is clearly reflected at various events through out the year, such as during the parade on January 26, when Australian Day is celebrated.
The classic tale, told by us Aussies about common misconceptions held by overseas visitors to Australia concerns their supposed expectation of encountering kangaroos bounding down the streets of our cities.
Rather like my visits to Canada (where I am yet to see a bear, beaver, mountie or igloo), visitors don't really expect to see a mob of roos in Bourke Street. But sightings happen in the suburbs more commonly than you might think, this example happening in Box Hill North, only a few streets from my childhood home!
Kangaroo in Box Hill North, Jan 2013
The kamgaroos can be found in many of the bushland parks bordering the city. Sometimes they get disoriented at night and end up in the wrong place. The one in the story related above related to a kangaroo wandering from Westerfolds Park in Templestoew, near the Yarra River.
A mob of kangaroos can also be found in Gellibrand Hill State Park, very near to Melbourne Airport. The Park is also home to the Woodlands Historic Homestead, and to the 'Living Legends' paddocks, where some of Australia's champion racehorses including Fields of Omagh, Might and Power, Brew, Better Loosen Up, Rogan Josh, Doriemus, and Paris Lane have been put out to pasture.
There are 360° views from the granite boulders atop the hills. Marked walking, mountain bike and horse trails run through the park
In 1870, the Evelyn Tunnelling and Mining Company dug through 145 metres of hard rock at Pound Bend to divert the Yarra through what is now known as the Tunnel. This left five kilometres of old river bed exposed to dredge for gold.
Now we can get access to this part of the river and see the old tunnel. There are walks along the riverside where the keen sighted can spot koalas in the treetops. There is a canoe launching ramp in the attractive picnic area, so it is also popular with canoers and kayakers.
The water flowing through the tunnel is treacherous. A rite of passage for some young men is to swim through it.
At the mouth of the Yarra River, by the Newport Power Station, you will see many fishermen, on the foreshore, or even perched on rocks, angling for the fish which are attracted by the warm water from the power station outfall.
Even if you don't go fishing, Williamstown is a great place to visit, abounding in cafes and restaurants. It is the best place to get a view of the Melbourne skyline, especially in the afternoon and evening light
A walking track (bicycle trail) runs alongside the Port Phillip Beaches, from Port Melbourne to Mordialloc. On the way you pass from the palm lined Beaconsfield Parade, passing expensive real estate, with multimillion dollar views, the public promenades of St Kilda foreshore, the mansions of Brighton's Golden Mile, the multicoloured bathing boxes of Middle Brighton beach to the ti-tree scrub and cliffs of the Sandringham artists trail.
There are many places en rout to stop for food, refreshment, or a coffee. There is fine dining, and there are snack shops. You can choose between a gastro-pub, or the rock on at the Espy.
The walk/ride can be as long or short as you desire. About 5-6 hours end to end walking, about 90 minutes riding.
Possums are found all over Melbourne. They are the great survivors, adapting from the bush to the city with great success.
Melbournites - particularly those with gardens containing fruit trees, deciduous trees (possums love the young shoots), flower gardens (they'll strip the fresh buds!) aren't quite so keen.
Best times for sighting just after dusk. Try any of the parks surrounding the city.
- Fitzroy & Treasury Gardens
- Flagstaff Gardens
- Carlton Gardens
- Catani Gardens (near St Kilda)
Most visitors enjoy seeing them. The tame ones will come for fruit if approached with care.
Captain Matthew Flinders was a British naval navigator, chart maker and explorer who was the first person to circumnavigate the Australian Continent in the ship Investigator, in 1802. He is responsible for mapping and charting the coastline of Australia.
Captain Flinders wrote a book called Voyage to Terra Australis(Southern Land). From this title came the name Australia which would later be suggested by the Captain to name this new land. Who knows what the country would have been named without him?
The Larry La Trobe statue is a bronze dog statue that sits right on Swanston and Collins Street. The statue was originally made in 1992 and was stolen in 1995. Fortunately for the citizens of Melbourne, their beloved watchdog Larry was recreated in 1996 and place back in his original spot.
Our visit to Melbourne was during the height of the Christmas season with many Christmas events and displays happing all over the city. The Gingerbread Village was one of the displays at the City Gallery. The event was free but they were taking donations for a Children's donation when you exit.
The Gingerbread Village was really a fun thing to see. They had all sorts of scenes from Melbourne life: Victoria Markets, Luna Park as well as typical Christmas scenes. We enjoyed walking around and inspecting each creation especially the fairytale castle complete with figures of Shrek and Fiona. It was quite fun and I was happy my wife knew about it.
The Puffing Billy Steam Train is a sightseeing steam train in the Dandenong Mountains travelling from Belgrave to Gembrook via Lakeside. Originally the train line was built in 1900's to encourage and help the citizens of Melbourne to be able to travel to more remote areas in the Dandenong region. The train still runs on the original tracks. The trip can take a good half a day depending if you get off at some of the stops and have a walk around, there are some beautiful woodland areas that you can walk through and plenty of small cafes and refreshment areas around.
Train fairs vary depending on which route you take and how far you want to travel on the train. I have added the website address to the bottom of the tip so you can check out the prices.
Just for a change from our usual walk about town we jumped into the elegant horse drawn carriage waiting for us just outside Crown Casino ....and the horses had white plumes as part of their head gear which looked very smart I must say.
Actually this seems to be a very popular activity on a Sunday as we saw a number of other horse drawn carriages waiting for customers outside Flinders Street Station.
Our journey took us from Southbank down to the Botanical Gardens, past the Sunday Markets, across the bridge and past Flinders station before taking us back 'home'.
We had one little bump as one of our horses did not fancy the white plastic bag being blown by the wind.....I did not like it either...plastic bags are harmful to so many creatures.
But if you fancy a nice relaxing 1/2 hour or so....keep a look out for our lady driver and her horses....
Out in the funky inner-city suburb of Fitzroy, CCP is one of Australia's main centre's for the exhibition and education of photography.
It's been going since 1986 but only moved to the current, purpose built space in 2006. It's a wonderful exhibiting space - contemporary but welcoming. Along with four galleries, it has a small shop and is close to some great little cafes and bars in the trendy backstreets.
Needless to say it has some excellent exhibitions of major significance and annually collaborates with the Melbourne Festival - 2012 saw the first Australian retrospective of Gregory Crewdson, 2010 Taryn Simon. Most shows run for approximately 6 weeks.
Essentially an extension of Yarra Bend Park, Fairfield Park is one of the closest areas of bushland to the city centre.
The brown, upside down Yarra River runs through the park and is much used by runners and cyclists, as well as locals and their BBQs. The Fairfield Amphitheatre is to be found here as is the Fairfield Boat House. If you cannot be bothered with walking, you an always hire a boat...
The Pipe Bridge (pedestrian) provides access to the other bank where more unspoilt bushland and grassland meanders on towards Heidelberg. And cutting through the park is the Yarra River Trail - a shared bike and walking track.
Panoramic city views are breathtaking from this ideal location on the famous South bank Promenade....more
When it comes to luxury and service the Crown gets it right. Crown Towers is located on the banks...more
Everything was really good at this hotel, well located, comfortable, decorated with excellent taste,...more