Australia – Day 1: Melbourne

Tuesday – September 6th

I apologize in advance as this is not going to be as detailed and certainly not as accurate as some of my other vacation posts. Yesterday was a blur and I was super tired and jet lagged.

After landing in Melbourne at 6:30 in the morning and taking an hour and a half to get through immigration, I grabbed my bag at baggage claim and made my way out to the curb to grab the Skybus ($38 RT). It was a great way to get from  the airport to Southern Cross Station, which was a short walk from my hostel.

After getting off at Southern Cross Station and was literally outside in downtown Melbourne for less than 5 seconds before running into a guy wearing a NE Patriots hoodie! I was blown away. (Sidenote: Melbourne was chilly, def hoodie or light jacket weather). In any case, I made my way to the Melbourne Central YHA and after a bit of a mix up (I took a left on Flinders Ln instead of Flinders St), got there no problem.

I was too early to check in, so I put my suitcase and backpack in a locker (which I begrudgingly had to pay for) and made my way into town. I walked the South Bank Promenade along the Yarra River to Rentabike at Federation Square. They weren’t open yet so I explored Fed Sq and grabbed a bite to eat. (Despite serving me breakfast on the plane I was still very hungry).

img_4420One of my favorite pics of the day; a “bobbed” bike in front of graffiti down one of the laneways

After that and a bit of walking around, I made my way back to Rentabike and rented a bike for the whole day. I first made my way to the Arts Centre Melbourne and grabbed a ticket to tour the place the next day at 11am. After that I dipped a toe in the Queen Victoria Gardens before making my way to Eureka Tower.

I walked into the lobby and enquired about booking a ride to the top. Unlike the Empire State Building there was no line in the lobby. It seemed like you could basically go in, pay and hop on the elevator at any time. So, as per their suggestion, I planned on coming back the next day at around 5pm to see day turn to night from the tower.

After that, I tried to use my itinerary to get to my next destination. However, I kept getting lost, and I knew my room was ready so I headed back to the hostel to check in and regroup. I did a bit of mapping and then headed out for a second shot.

Before heading to my destination, I stopped by Culture Kings, a streetware store I came across while Googling/researching the sites I wanted visit while in Melbourne. Next, using my good planning, I made my way to my destination, the Melbourne City Holden dealership.

img_4426Melbourne skyline and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl

This was sort of a hollow victory because Holdens ended up being a pretty common site while in the city. However, it was more about the principle of finally finding it. After that I made my way back across town to the Queen Victoria Garden where I briefly stopped at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl before heading to my real destination, the Shrine of Remembrance.

img_4430Panoramic taken from the balcony of the Shrine of Remembrance looking down on the entrance and the Royal Botanic Gardens

The Shrine of Remembrance ended up being a lot more interesting than I though it would be. Rather than just being a memorial for fallen soldiers of various wars, it was a full on museum. I didn’t have the time to take in or fully appreciate all of the displays but I got a good taste of it.

img_4432Looking out on the city from the Shrine of Remembrance

After going throught the museum part of it, which felt like the set of an ominous 1970s sci-fi movie, I made my way up to the balcony which had great views of the park and of the city.

It was about 3pm and I needed to return the bike to the rental place before 5pm. So, I decided to do one more big thing on my list before heading back downtown. I rode through the bottom of the park and made my way east to the Melbourne Tesla showroom. (Sidenote: Melbourne reminds me of San Francisco).

To my surprise they had a blue Model X on display. The guy Nathan I spoke to told me that they had only gotten it a few weeks prior and unlike their Model S, the X was left hand drive. We chatted for a bit and bonded over our job before I had to go.

img_4436AAMI Park

On the way back I took a brief side stop to get a better look at the AAMI Park stadium. Or at least I think it’s a stadium. I don’t really know what it is/was but it looked cool.

img_4438Yarra river with some of the Melbourne skyline

I then made my way back to Fed Sq to return the bike. Cut to a montage of me going to Robot Bar but it wasn’t open yet so I went to Target to get a few things I’d forgotten to bring (towel (which I actually bought later at a souvenir shop), flip flops, soap, soap holder and shampoo). I then went back to Robot Bar only to find that they didn’t sell food.

Next I made my way to Curtain House, another bar on my “to visit” list. This was a nightmare too because I kept walking past it or going the wrong way. It wasn’t actually so bad but I was tired of walking and getting frustrated.

I eventually got there and grabbed a quesadilla and a beer at Mesa Verde before walking back to the hostel. I grabbed a shower, organized some stuff and was in bed by 8pm.

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1 Comment

Filed under Biking, Travel/Adventure

One response to “Australia – Day 1: Melbourne

  1. Well detailed and written. I always prefer reading blog reviews with personal experiences rather than travel websites

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