Long revered as being the worlds most liveable city (whatever that really means) I was looking forward to Melbourne. I’d rented an apartment with stunning city views and placed us just far enough from the hustle and bustle not to hear it, but close enough that we could walk or hop on the free city tram.
I must say, Melbourne wasn’t what I expected. Yes, there was the coffee shops, graffiti scrawled walls and fish and chip shops. But I just felt the city lacked any real identity, which is probably a huge attraction for many.
The city itself is modern, chic and walking around the arcades gives a glimpse into student life and $30 breakfasts. Supposedly the best coffee in the world is to be found in Melbourne, something I found out after having left the city so am unable to comment on.
We walked a lot in Melbourne, there is a free zone for the tram which you can hop on and off with ease and that allows you to really get your teeth into the city.
The main starting point for the city is Federation square, a cobbled piece of the city where the only activity is that of relaxing, chatting and not doing much.
A couple of places worth noting is the NGV, a perverted and somewhat pointless array of so called art, housed in a concrete wanna-be-Tate-modern building. The kids laughed at the drawings of penises, but I just felt it was little more than an outlet for some perverted individual keen to show the world his lurid and vulgar wanderlust.
Conveniently next door is the ACMI which is the Australian Centre for Moving Images, a small but wonderful little media museum that on weekends has tonnes of activities for families, such as making stop motion movies and watching some Australian classic TV.
Beyond the city centre we walked as far as docklands from Flinders st. and out as far as the hospital which is where our apartment was.
Melbourne to me lacked the friendly feel which every other place we’d been (and would go) had. I was talking to a couple of locals in the pool and they said it is due to Melbourne having undergone a population boom, and this was easy to see. At one point in the city my daughter said, ‘it feels like we’re in China’ and I looked around, and realised that it really did. Only in Vancouver have I ever seen as many Chinese people outside of China. Naturally, we embraced that and had a gorgeous Chinese meal for dinner.
Read the full trip…
We then drove through the Australian Outback to Coober Pedy, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs got robbed in Tenant Creek and the finished up at the top end in Darwin. The full journey can be read here: The Outback