Our second stay during our Australia holiday was Melbourne, the second most populous city in Australia and home to the world’s largest tram system. We were quite excited as we drove into the city, with all its tall skyscrapers and interesting architecture.
Our first stop was St. Kilda for a look at the world’s smallest penguin. We’ve tried several places several times during our various travels to see penguins in the wild, and every single one of our attempts has been failure. (We did see penguins when we went swimming with the dolphins in Akaroa, though we weren’t looking for them at that time.) The Fairy Penguins (what we call Little Blue Penguins here in New Zealand) make their homes among the rocks of the St. Kilda Breakwater and nowhere else in the Melbourne Harbour. Unfortunately for us, the breakwater was closed for construction, and so we again failed to catch sight of a penguin.
If you get to Melbourne, try to drive during times other than rush hour. It took us 45 minutes to get from St. Kilda, through the city, and out of the other side to Andrew’s cousin’s house, whereas the train we took into the city the next day took about fifteen minutes, even with all its stops.
During that second day, we walked all over the downtown area, just wandering around to see what was there. We then took a free tram out to Docklands to see the factory outlet mall. We didn’t see anything we wanted, so we jumped onto another free tram and rode back to the Flinders Street Train Station. We then walked under the station and across the pedestrian bridge to the Eureka Sky Tower.
The view from the top of the tower is amazing. We both like high places, and Eureka Sky Tower did not disappoint, despite its pricey AU$18.50 entry fee. It was a pleasantly clear day, and we could see far and wide. It’s nice to see green growing things on the tops of so many buildings and sky scrapers. Even the casino had a huge garden on its roof.
When we got our feet back on solid ground, we found some food for a snack (or small, late lunch). Andrew ate a wrap made with special Belgian bread around salami, gherkins, and cheese, and I had a Belgian Waffle, Canadienne style. Yummy.
Our next and final stop in Melbourne was the Visitor Centre at Federation Square. This place has strangely shaped buildings that really catch the eye. There is an outdoor piano and fire pit and much more, all for the entertainment of people in the area.
We enjoyed our few hours in Melbourne, and catching up with Andrew’s cousin Gareth, with whom we stayed, was the best way to end each day.
Our next stop is Kangaroo Island…