Sunday, December 21, 2014



      We are enjoying a December summer in Australia. It's a beautiful country with clean air and friendly people that go out of their way to help you. Currently, we are in Melbourne, staying at an apartment that we rented through Airbnb which is every bit as nice as the website described. We are on the 23rd floor with an expansive view of the downtown skyline and surrounding area. A perfect balcony for my morning coffee and cookies.
     We also have a virtual tour guide—my nephew, Bill Peterson, who lived in Melbourne for eight years and only recently moved on to Adelaide. (See his recommendations below.)  Ron and I walked to South Yarra to take a look at his old stomping grounds and former apartment on Fitzgerald Street. This post includes photos of the lovely Victorian homes in his old neighborhood. We also stopped by the Prahran Market that he frequented—Melbourne is known for these wonderful food markets and this is one of the best. With its huge range of fresh food and baked goods, I would love to have it nearby for my shopping needs. Bill's notes follow:

Welcome to Marvelous Melbourne!  You're near where I used to live.  Here are some ideas:

1. Saint Kilda, 1/2 day, an old Victorian seaside settlement originally, though of course it's on Port Phillip Bay and not the sea!  There's a nice pier and some good walks along the beach as well as plenty of cafes on Fitzroy and Acland Streets.  Also a really cool old amusement park from the Victorian era called Luna Park. On Sunday there's an outdoor crafts market along the Esplanade.

2. Chapel Street.1/2day. An iconic Melbourne shopping street, though it's mostly fashion really and may not be of interest to everyone.  I used to live just off this street. 

3. Carlton, Lygon Street, 1/2 day.  The old Italian neighborhood and near the University of Melbourne.  A shopping/eating/walking street.

4. Melbourne's CBD, especially the famous laneways, iconically Melbourne.  You may want to sign up for a Laneways tour or else explore them on your own. They're one of the things that makes Melbourne Melbourne. There's plenty of shopping in the CBD, notably on Bourke Street.

5. The beautiful Yarra River, especially in the city centre.  Walk on both sides, cross the bridges, go to the Casino if only to walk in and out.  If you walk down to the convention centre there's a cool old sailing shop you can check out.

6. Federation Square, one of the most user-friendly city squares in the world.  The branch of the National Museum of Victoria that specializes in Australian and Aboriginal art is there in Fed Square.  Don't miss it!

7. The National Gallery of Victoria.  A beautiful building, even if you don't spend much time looking at the collection.  It's near where you are.  It's free, though if there's a special exhibition you want to see.

8. Chinatown.  It's the oldest Chinatown in a Western city and fairly big.  Combine it with a trip to the CBD.  Lots of shops and restaurants.  If you're interested in the history of Chinese immigration, there's a good museum.

9. My mom and I took the haunted tour of Melbourne.  I think the one we took started at a magic shop.  It was a PM tour and kinda fun.

10. The Melbourne Goal.  Fun for the whole family.  Don't miss it!  If you want to be creeped out take the evening (haunted) tour.

11.  For more ghoulish activity, you may be interested in the (daytime) Melbourne General Cemetery tour.  My mom and I loved it.  It was the social history of Melbourne in the late 19th and early 20th century through the tombstones!  Not for everyone in the family though.

12.  Super kid friendly: The Collingwood Children's Zoo.  A superb little petting zoo on a lovely spot on the banks of the River Yarra.  Truly one of my favorite spots in Melbourne. 

13. Take the ferry down the Yarra and across to WIlliiamston, the original colonial settlement.  A lovely little town, beautifully preserved.  1/2 day.

14. If you don't do the above, take the ferry upriver from Fed Square or across the river at the arts centre.  It's about 2 hours.  A sweet river with lovely views.

That's it for the highlights.  This is making me miss Melbourne. 







1 comment:

  1. If I wasn't so happy in my new home in Adelaide, I'd be weeping tears of nostalgia. Melbourne is truly one of the world's great cities. Glad you had some fun on my old stomping ground!