Melbourne – Day Nine

Day Nine marked the last full day in Melbourne. It was a Saturday, sunny & very hot, and here’s what I got up to…

My sister and I had already decided that we would be doing the hop on hop off bus so about 10amish (from memory but I can’t actually remember!) we headed off to Federation Square where the bus starts from. My great-niece was still asleep so we left her at the apartment and she was going to join us later at Federation Square.

There are two routes for the hop on hop off bus and we decided that we would do both of them. The Red Route is the City Tour and takes you around the Central City, Docklands and out to the Zoo, whilst the Black Route takes you out to St Kilda and the cruise terminal at the Port of Melbourne. We thought it would be a great way to spend out last day in Melbourne.

As a rule, I tend to go full circle on a hop on hop off bus and then decide if I want to stop anywhere. We had decided that we were just going to sit and enjoy the ride, each route takes about 90 minutes for a full circuit. We also happened to have the same driver for both routes, a very friendly fella called Simba, who upon hearing we were from New Zealand said (and I quote!) “ahh.. the All Blacks. I am the original All Black!” .. he just happened to be of African descent.

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From Federation Square, we headed over to Southbank to the Crown Casino complex before stopping off at the Melbourne Convention Central where the shopping precinct of DFO is located. We then headed back over the Yarra River towards the Docklands, which lies behind Etihad Stadium. We had a bit of excitement along where when a fire engine passed us and as we got closer to the Docklands we could see a number of police and other fire engines. It turned out that a suspicious item had been left so it meant all hands on deck to sort it out.

The Docklands is a cool area next to the mariner with a lot of apartment buildings and restaurants/cafes. It’s a pretty chilled out part of the city but extremely close to the CDB and Etihad Stadium too. Other attractions in the area are the Harbourtown shopping precinct and the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.

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The Docklands area

From there we headed up to Queen Victoria Market before going north to the Melbourne Zoo. We went past the historic University of Melbourne campus and then down the Lygon Street Precinct towards the Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens.

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The Royal Exhibition Building sits in between the Melbourne Museum and the lovely Carlton Gardens

We then drove past the Majestic Theatre & the entrance to Chinatown before heading past Parliament and Hotel Windsor – where I took what I think is one of the best photos of the day.. that’s saying a lot since I took over 1000 photos that day!

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My favourite Melbourne building – Hotel Windsor

We then drove past St Patrick’s Cathedral and towards the Melbourne Cricket Ground (or MGC). Melbourne is a HUGE sporting city. They have days off for horse races (Melbourne Cup) and footy finals (AFL) and they also host the Australian Open for tennis. The Melbourne Park Sports Precinct is home to a lot of sporting arenas plus the National Sports Museum (if you are into that kind of thing). Also in this area, we drove past a lot of residential homes that are very well-kept!

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Well looked after Melbourne homes

After that, we headed back towards Federation Square and was given a great view of the Southbank skyline with the tallest building being the Eureka Tower, which you can vist for amazing views of Melbourne from the Eureka Skydeck.

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The Southbank skyline

We had about 45 minutes before our next bus so enough time for a toilet & food break (not at the same time!) plus stocking up on water. It turned out that it was still pretty darn hot on the top deck of the bus, the temperatures were heading in the 30+ degrees Celsius direction. After the wee break, we were back on the bus and started our next journey out to St Kilda. First off we headed past the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance. We drove past a number of cute stores in South Melbourne before going past the South Melbourne Town Hall and sitting at the back of the bus, I got a pretty good look at this building. I had no idea it even existed!

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South Melbourne Town Hall

From there we made our way past Albert Park Lake and then very, very slowly down Fitzroy Street into St Kilda proper. Did I mention it was a very hot Saturday!? It seemed that everyone was heading in the same direction as we were and it was very slow going indeed.

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The traffic heading into St Kilda

St Kilda is famous for a lot of things – its beach, the Acland Street cake shops, cafes and restaurants. It is also where you can find Luna Park, which is an amusement park that opened in 1912. There is also one in Sydney as well, both with the well-known giant mouth that serves as the entrance to the park. I have been passed many times and taken a lot of photos of the giant mouth but have yet to go through to the other side. One day…

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The famous entrance of Luna Park

From there we drove down Beaconsfield Parade, which connects West Beach to Middle Park Beach and Port Melbourne Beach. Port Melbourne is where the cruise ships dock when visiting Melbourne, it is also the Spirit of Tasmania docks. The Spirit of Tasmania is a ferry services that takes people & vehicles over to Tasmania. The ferry runs mostly overnight but on the weekends there is a day sailing as well.

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Boarding time

From there we headed back to the start at Federation Square via the Crown Casino complex and the Art Centre. By the end of it, despite doing nothing but sit and take photos, I was quite knackered so I decided to go back to the apartment while my sister and great-niece (who we caught up with at the ACMI Art Centre) hung around Federation Square for a bit as there were a couple of things going on including a Marvel Day. I was going to check it out but the combination of being too hot, tired and loads of people meant that I wanted to get away from there as quick as I could.

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A Marvel event at Federation Square

By the time I got back to the apartment it was probably going on 3.30pm, and it was still hot – about 32 degrees Celsius – to say I was tempted to stop in at the pub for a cold beer was an understatement but I just wanted to get home and get into air con to be honest..

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We didn’t do anything that night because we were all leaving the next day. My great-niece was leaving about 8am to get to the airport for her flight & my sister and I headed off about 9.30am in our first Uber (very exciting). We did have a bit of excitement when we ordered UberEats but the guy didn’t turn up. We then complained a couple of times and finally got our food about 2 hours later.. we devoured that pizza like it was our last meal on earth haha.

And so.. here are the last lot of photos from Day Nine in Melbourne (p.s, there are A LOT!!):

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I told you there were a lot of photos so if you made it to this point, then congrats!! Well, that is my Melbourne trip. I had a really good time with my sister & great-niece, because of them I ended up doing a couple of things I probably wouldn’t have considered doing – like the play and comedy club. I have been to plays on my own before and last time I was in London I did see two of my favourite comedians alone but I don’t think I would have even thought to go to a comedy club.

I honestly don’t know what I am going to post now that I’ve completed my Melbourne series – luckily I have a couple of trips coming up in the next month so I will hopefully have something more to share with you. I’ve really enjoyed doing this recap. It’s kind of amazing to think that way back on my first trip to Melbourne in 2000, I actually didn’t like the city at all. Flash forward 18 years, it is my favourite Aussie city and only 2nd to London for my favourite city to visit.

I’m already looking forward to my next visit, whenever that may be.

Day nine

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