I had such a nice time being back in Melbourne, and even though we only went for the usual week I was able to do so much while I was there. If there is one place that I’ll always be excited to keep going back to, it’s Melbourne. I just feel that it’s such an amazing city, there’s so much to do and it always seems to have a really positive and upbeat vibe.
We arrived on Tuesday at around midday or there abouts, which didn’t seem very late considering I’d been up since 5am and due to the time difference it should have actually been two hours later – around 2pm. As exhausted and tired as we felt, we couldn’t waste a single day of the week that we had there, so we went up to Spencer St outlet shopping centre to have a look around. This was a really good thing to do on the day that we had the least amount of energy, since it was only a two minute walk from our hotel and allowed us to have some time just looking around at shops and what not.
Wednesday was the hottest day that we were there, at 30 degrees. One thing I always notice about Melbourne is how the temperatures soar one day and drop the next; you never know whether it’s going to be hot, cold, humid or blustery. There’s this running joke that people living in Melbourne have that on a typical tram ride you’re bound to see someone with an umbrella and raincoat, and someone else wearing jandals and shorts. If you’ve never been to Melbourne you probably won’t fully get this joke, but you’ll quickly see what I mean if you go there one day!
We couldn’t let the hot weather pass us by, so we set off on our day trip to Brighton Beach, not far from St Kilda and only about 20 – 30 minutes from the city itself. Even so, we had to get two trains to get there – barely making the first one in time. The doors actually shut as Mum was rushing in and someone had to help us prise them open because her bag was stuck half in, half out. It would have been funny if we hadn’t been so lucky; it could have been her arm stuck in the doors instead which would have been very painful.
We got to Brighton around mid afternoon, and it was only a short walk from the train station to the actual beach. With that said, I was surprised at how far along the beach you had to walk to get to the infamous colourful beach boxes that lined the sandy banks. The beach has a slight curve to it, so when you first arrive it can be difficult to even see the beach boxes until you keep walking around. Nevertheless, the beach boxes looked exactly how they look in the pictures, and it also helped that it was such a nice day and such nice weather as well. After our time at the beach we went for a walk through the suburb (saw some really nice houses on the way – I’m guessing Brighton isn’t the cheapest place to live in Melbourne), and ended up at a nice café in the shops nearby.
On Thursday Mum had to go to her work conference – let’s not forget that’s the reason why we were in Melbourne in the first place – which meant I had the whole day to myself to explore. We were staying pretty close to the city, so much so that our hotel was actually in the free tram zone, so we were able so save a lot of money on transport. I got on the tram to the main shops like Zara, H&M and of course all the many huge shopping centres they have.
I spent the day wandering around, going in and out of shops like I had all the time in the world. I did, however, make sure I picked up some more of the amazing Parsley Seed face wash from Aesop, as I happened to have just run out at home. I also picked up a nice card from Kikki K and then navigated through the tiled arcade to Haigh’s Chocolates so that I could bring back something nice for my Dad as well as J. On the way back, I stopped via Lindt at the Spencer St outlet centre and picked up a few bags/boxes of chocolates as something extra for these people again.
On Friday the weather was miserable; it was cold, grey, raining and blustery. We thought it would be a nice day, however, to be inside at a photography exhibition. With that in mind we got a tram out of the city so an area called Fitzroy, to go to an exhibition at a photography ‘centre’ that we thought was going to be good and worth seeing while we were there. It turned out not to be a ‘centre’ as such, but more like a single, rather small room with a few pictures on the wall…that was it. It said online that you would spend roughly an hour and a half at this centre, but you could actually see all the photos within a mere ten minutes before you’ve seen everything there is to see.
We were a little disappointed at this, especially after we had gotten the tram out of the city and waited 17 stops until we got to Fitzroy. Even so, we got back on a tram, but instead of going all the way back to the city we decided to make the most of being out that way and got off at the museum. It was just as I remembered from when we went years ago, only there wasn’t an exhibition on that interested us this time so we got back on the tram and this time just went back to the hotel.
It was this day that I was feeling a bit achey, sore and tired, plus it didn’t help that I was really quite cold after moving around to different locations for most of the day. The next morning I woke up really early, like 6.30am, feeling really hot and clammy and just overall not very pleasant.
Luckily I wasn’t feeling too bad for the rest of Saturday, which is just as well as it was our last full day in Melbourne. It was another warm day so we brought lunch and then ate it on the grass by the river. Then we went for a walk down Flinders St to the iconic Hosier Lane to see the graffiti and what had changed since we were last there. We spent the rest of the day in this general area, and sat down in Federation Square along with many other people; the steps were pretty packed. We went inside the National Gallery of Victoria (just basically a fancy looking art gallery), and went to an exhibition before having coffee downstairs in the café. To complete a lovely last day, we navigated our way back to Degraves St and had dinner at a burger place that we hadn’t been to before (last time we were there we had an expensive but delicious pizza).
On Sunday we had to get up early to pack since we had to be at the airport by 10am. Unfortunately I woke up feeling very sick this day – at my worst – and found it most unpleasant to go through the motions of travelling, flying, Customs etc. to get back home. There was lots of walking through airports, waiting around and carrying heavy bags, which if you’ve ever been sick while doing so, you’ll understand how it can seem 10x worse and you don’t exactly have much patience when you’re feeling like absolute sh*t with an assortment of sicknesses.
I actually started crying in Auckland airport when we got back, because we ended up having to wait to get an airport bus to the bag collecting area since the plane couldn’t land any closer to where we needed to be. Normally this would be a bit annoying but not really a big deal, but honestly I was just so over the whole thing, plus at this point I also had a really sore throat and could barely talk on top of a cough, cold and temperature. It was a few hours later that we got home, after you factor in going through Customs again and getting a taxi back.
Although I was sick for the next week and a half after getting back, I was so pleased to be home; it’s the only place I want to be when I’m really sick and feeling crappy. I got to see J the weekend after when I was feeling better and gave him his presents from Melbourne, which he really liked.
Overall I had a really good trip to Melbourne – just as I always do – and I can’t wait to have an excuse to go back!
Lucy Rebecca x