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Published: April 19th 2016
After working horrendous hours earlier in the year, Steve's boss insisted he take a couple of lieu days owing and ASAP, so we grabbed a cheap fare over the Tasman (first time on Qantas since the 2008 incident) to have a long weekend in Melbourne. As a couple, we haven't been to Melbourne before and as neither of us could remember much of it from our previous individual trips so long ago, it was like visiting for the first time.
The Qantas flight was great - actually very impressive with a full meal and movies to watch for the same price as Air New Zealand (wtf?). We grabbed the last airport bus into the CBD and then a taxi to our hotel - The Mercure Melbourne on Therry Street. It was located right across from the Q & V markets and a couple of blocks from the main shopping area. The tram, which is free to travel on around the city centre stopped just up the street on the corner. The hotel itself was very cheap but was perfectly adequate - a typical no frills Mercure. It was clean, big enough for two and no more and it had a
little kitchenette (which we didn't need to use) plus as a bonus, a view of a construction crane literally right outside our window.
As we travelled with only a carryon only, we knew we couldn't shop till we dropped and to be honest, neither of us could be bothered. The first day we went walking and found the MCG and the Melbourne Tennis Centre which was pretty cool for Steve. He even managed to find a souvenir tennis ball. We then wandered around the streets of Melbourne taking in all the old buildings and then headed along the Southbank area which was very pretty. That night we had probably the BEST EVER meal at a tiny little restaurant called Rice Paper Scissors. It served little oriental style tapas which were oh so yummy! Very happy to find this place on Trip Advisor!
The next day we wandered around the Q & V market but found it to be absolutely crap apart from the foodie section. Not sure what anyone sees in the market itself? We took in some more of the city, then headed into the Fitzroy Gardens for a look at Captain Cooks cottage (which was transported
from England and reconstructed in the park). Basically, with time to kill, we did a walking tour recommended by the Tourist Authority around some of the surrounding streets taking in all the old colonial houses which was quite interesting. Later in the day, we grabbed a train and went out to the suburbs to meet up with our friends, Kerrie and Tony who used to live here at the Mount. Spent a wonderful evening with them and stayed overnight in their newly renovated home.
On our final day we were taken out into the Yarra Valley to visit some wineries. The scenery was beautiful and I decided that if we were ever to come to Victoria again, the first thing we would do would be to rent a car and come straight out here. We had a lovely lunch with wine at some flash winery before heading back into the CBD and our hotel for our last night.
Part of the reason for choosing Qantas was that they code share with Emirates and Emirates fly the A380 on the MEL-AKL route 😊 OMG, what an amazing plane!!!! Love, love, loved it. The highlight of our trip! We can
give or take Melbourne and will only revisit if we give the CBC a miss. There is still a lot to see in the surrounding area and we will be back one day to explore.
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