The Australia Chronicles : Melbourne

On Melbourne summer mornings the green trams go rolling in stately progress down tunnels thick with leaves: the bright air carries along the avenue their patient chime, the chattering of their wheels” – Helen Garner

My first sight of Melbourne was from the plane as we were flying in to land and I knew it was love at first sight.

After leaving London at 10:35pm on the 25th of May and arriving, Via China, at 8:40am on the 27th of May 2016 (A total of 25 hours and 11215 miles) I think any sight that was not the inside of a plane was very welcomed but my initial thoughts on seeing Melbourne from the sky were very true and after visiting it again a year and a half later with my mum, it will always be one of my favourite cities in the world.

We stayed just on the edge of the city in a suburb called St Kilda formally known for prostitutes and druggies, it is now THE place for backpackers to stay, due to its transport links to the city and plenty of hip bars. We stayed in a hostel on Fitzroy street called The Ritz for backpackers, at first we were a bit overwhelmed and wary of the hostel and its inhabitants. We were both brand new to the whole backpacking thing and I was very anxious about everything. But looking back now it was definitely one of the better hostels we have stayed it even if the bar downstairs was very loud on the weekends. The fact that there was a tram stop right out was a huge bonus for getting around the city.

We were there for a week and definitely managed to cram a lot in.

On the first night thanks to a tip from my friend Angsty (a friend from the UK who lived in St Kilda for a while, You will here about him again because I ended up living with him in Christchurch, NZ.)

We went for a walk along St Kilda pier and saw the Penguins that live there. We arrived at dusk and found a spot on the deck away from other people, the air was filled with anticipation and the hidden Penguins calling to each other. Then suddenly one penguin takes the first brave step out from between the rocks right next to where we are standing. It is eventually joined by many more scattered amongst the rocks.

St Kilda is full of independent coffee shops, bar and resturants, it has a great little market on the esplanade on a Sunday, trees filled with bright coloured parrots and of course it has the historical amusement park with the creepy face on the entrance, Luna Park.

We spent one day wondering around the massive Queen Victoria Markets, a must see for anyone who likes shopping whether it’s for clothes, souvenirs or food. We invested in some warmer clothes because Melbourne is bloody freezing in June! We ate one of the best chocolate filled donuts I have ever had and sampled some warm sugar coated macadamias from a lovely stall holder who talked to us about Britain’s Got Talent.

Melbourne Zoo was another great day out. We got lost getting the tram there but that was all part of the adventure and it meant we got to see parts of the city we would never normally see. The orangutan a were my favourite animal there mainly because we could get so close, just a piece of glass separated us from three of these beautiful and playful creatures.

Another great thing to see/do is go for a walk around the botanical gardens then go up the Shrine Of Remembrance. As well as being a place to reflect on the sacrifices of our fallen soldiers it has a fantastic view over the city.

Melbourne is famous for its street art. Hosier Lane is the most famous place to see street art but I was also amazed by how you can just be walking through the city, look down an unassuming alley way in the business district and be faced with an incredible piece of art work. Below is a very small sample of my favourites.

Being the first city I landed in after embarking on this adventure, Melbourne will always have a special place in my heart, the fact that it is also just an awesome place to visit helps too.

After spending a week in Melbourne we then headed to Sydney….