#BlogAlong in March is all about travel. Our love for travel and of course your love for travel too.
Being an Army kid, as cliched as it sounds, travelling is in my blood. It’s what keeps life exciting, right? And every time I get extremely nostalgic about returning to India, Arjun always reminds me that I am a fauji bacha. ‘Ours is not to question why, ours is but to travel, and keep life on the fly‘
Excuse my extremely bad rhyme, but you know what I mean eh!
Having been in Melbourne for close to 2 years now, we have been lucky enough to have friends and family visit every few months. And thanks to their awesome company, we undertake super fun trips across Australia and around. With the folks, we visited Tasmania, Sydney, and New Zealand, with the friends we road-tripped across Sydney and Gold Coast, and on our own, covered Barossa, and Cairns. Just left to touch the waters around Western Australia and Northern Territory. One day, soon enough.
The other good thing is that everyone who comes and visits us in Melbourne is quite clueless about what to do or see here. It’s a good thing because everyone knows their must-dos in Sydney because that’s where the global landmarks are. But Melbourne is a hidden gem; ain’t the Worlds Most Livable City for nothing. And the hidden delights it offers keeps the visitors so happy. Melbourne truly has character. (I’m on a cliche-choo-choo train!)
Arjun and I have devised our own cheat sheet to get our visitors the Melbourne experience if they or us, haha, are short on time. It might not be everyone’s Top favourites in Melbourne, but we both love these sights and experiences in this gorgeous city. So here’s my list of the Top Five Things to Do In Melbourne for the first-time visitor, the Melbournian, the tourist, the traveller; for you all. Even if some of you have done these, you know how much fun they are, right? And if you haven’t, then what’s stopping you? There is a long weekend coming up!
Brunch at Degraves St, and a stroll through Block Arcade
Any list of mine HAS to begin with food, don’t you think so. Melbourne CBD has the most interesting lane way network; intricate, cosy, arty, and always fragrant with the smell of coffee. When you are in Melbourne, you have to start your day with brunch at Degraves st, just select any one of the many bustling cafes there, order your food and coffee/wine (depending on the time of the day), and enjoy the meal while jostling elbows with other diners, and knocking knees with your table mates.
Once your meal is over, make your way through the lanes to Block Arcade, one of Melbournes oldest shopping precincts. Constructed between 1891-1893, this arcade is a must-see when you are in the CBD area, and a picture on the elegant mosaic tiles is a must-do. Plus there is always a photo-op with Grogg and Mogg, the supposedly-terrifying but actually-adorable guards at the clock in the arcade.
Penguins at the St Kilda beach and drinks on Acland Street
Fairy penguins.. sunset at the beach, and drinks on the bustling Acland. Perfect evening plans; guests or no guests. Melbourne has one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever experienced, and the icing on the cake is that when you visit the St Kilda beach, walk all the way to the end of the pier, and catch Melbourne’s very own penguin parade. The St Kilda and Brighton beach areas are home to one of the largest colonies of fair penguin, and St Kilda itself has close to 500 of these cute little birds. Reach as the sun is setting down, and catch the penguin heads bobbing up and down in the water. And then seeing some of them run into their colony. After the sun completely sets, some of the designated models come out and pose obligingly for the adoring crowds, and everyone goes back home happy. sighh.. Post that drinks and dinner at Acland St, choose from any one of the cafes and you are guaranteed a good night out. Our personal favourite is La Roche, where the pizzas never disappoint.
Shrine of Remembrance and a nap at the Royal Botanic Gardens
A must visit for history buffs and military families, the Shrine is set in the middle of the gorgeous Royal Botanic Gardens. Climbing to the top gives you a lovely rooftop view of the cityscape, and the St Kilda road winding down into the CBD and merging into Swanston street. There is a brilliant musuem in the basement of the Shrine, that if you decide to visit, needs anywhere from an hour or two to get your military history lesson of Australias involvement in the many wars. It’s wonderful to see the Australian governments homage to their soldiers. And the surroundings of the gardens is spectacular.
Sunset at Eureka Skydeck and the gambling tables at Crown Casino
The dazzling tower that is Eureka; situated in the busy Southbank area, the skydeck in the Eureka Towers is probably one of the must-dos on every tourists handbook. The 14th tallest residential building in the world, Eureka towers also gives you dazzling views of Melbournes brilliant skyline. And if you make it slightly before sunset, you can then catch a glimpse of the city lights turning on, and also catch the setting sun lighting up the sky all around in a spectacular display of pinks, and burnt oranges.
You can even post a letter or card to someone special from one of the highest post boxes which is located in the Skydeck.
Once done with the views, make your way to Crown Casino where gamblers, and revelers abound. And also some of the most luxurious shopping that Melbourne offers to people with seriously thick wallets.
Graffiti at Hosier Lane and Dinner at Gazi
A visit to Melbourne is incomplete if you have not visited Hosier Lane, the graffiti art piece in CBD. Graffiti is found all over Melbourne, some of it legal, most of it not. But Hosier Lane is the one place which has been dedicated to the graffiti artists of Melbourne, budding and beyond. Ever changing, you are guaranteed a different photo-op every time you visit.
And in the vicinity of Hoiser Lane is George Calombaris’s restaurant Gazi specialising in Greek food. You know George, right? Come on, I thought we were all huge fans of Masterchef Australia. Arjun and I visited this place for our anniversary and have been dragging everyone who visits us here. If for nothing else, but the Haloumi and the Souvas. I am actually drooling as I am typing this, they are THAT good. So a visit to Gazi should be a must-do on every Masterchef Australia fan’s list. And you never know, one of these nights, he might be in there, cooking up a storm.
I am yet to catch him there. If you do, do me a favour and holler please :)
So this was my Top Five Must Dos in Melbourne, which skim the surface of what Melbourne is all about. There is so much more to this city that this blog post cannot do justice to. I am planning to share a lot more posts about life in this brilliant city and what makes it so livable.
Do let me know if there is something in particular that you would be interested in reading about.
This post is a part of the 3Girls and a #BlogAlong monthly link-up, hosted by Pooja from A Bit of This and a Lot of That, Upasna from Life On My Plate, and yours truly. This month’s theme is Travel! Come join in on all the fun!
To #BlogAlong with us, here’s what you have to do:
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The link-up will remain open from the first Sunday of the month, until the next Sunday.
Link up soon!