Blogs from CBD, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD February 2nd 2020

For some time, we have been planning a protracted trip to Australia and New Zealand. Jennie and I came to Oz in 2003, but were unable to see some things, with only two weeks to tour around (one week of our trip was spent on a dive boat trip to the Coral Sea). We have never been to New Zealand. Since Chuck and Lucie had never been to either one, and given the length of the journey, we decided to spend an unprecedented 5 weeks seeing both countries as best we could in that time. We made some choices with an eye on the length of the trip. First, although we had wanted to visit the Ningaloo Reef to see whale sharks and see the oldest living things on Earth, the stromatolites of Shark Bay, we ... read more
Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD October 29th 2019

When Cathy finally arrived at Melbourne - her train was an hour late - the weather was atrocious. It was cold, wet and very blowy - Antarctic winds are not unknown here, and we nearly got blown over trying to cross the street. What to do on a day like that? Get under cover and go shopping! Off we trotted after the storm had abated to the Queen Victoria Market, a massive affair with loads of fab fresh food and many interesting things... and, most importantly, all undercover. (Cj: the fruit and veg were very appet, the ‘handicrafts’ much less so). Later we headed down into the heart of the central business district (CBD) where there are some great examples of “old” buildings....we’re talking circa 1900 so not old at all... and some very quaint lanes ... read more
Fab fresh produce aT QVM
Art deco shopping arcade from about 1926
Plenty of graffiti in the brilliantly named AC/DC Lane

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD October 29th 2019

The weather finally turned on was glorious! Melbourne has the largest and longest tram network in the world. The network is comprehensive but slow. Nevertheless we used the good weather and the trams to explore the wider environs .. places like Fitzroy, North Melbourne and the like. You never know what you find and we found all sorts of quirky shops. E.g a great lighting store that had me thinking about my lounge lighting again... also a fine fabrics shop which enticed Cathy into buying ..... ooh err that luggage is looking a bit stuffed. In the evening we explored Chinatown. There are times in Melbourne when it feels like an Asian city. At least 50% of the guests in our hotel are Chinese and there are masses of tourists from China, Korea, Japan everywhere. ... read more
Botanic gardens on a very hot summer day...finally
Cathy enjoying the sun
Picturesque gardens but not like Japanese

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD October 27th 2019

Cathy & I are in Australia although we’ve not been together that much. Cathy came out on 1st October and has spent 4 weeks with daughter Nik and Granddaughter Solli doing all sorts of home improvement projects. I did my share too... but we’ll spare you the details.. I then went off to do a Railway Study tour, organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (where I’ve been a member for over 40 years...good grief). We did a week in Sydney when I commuted into the City but stayed at Nik’s, and then a week in Melbourne. There is no need to reherse the various seminars, visits to tram depots and construction sites etc., but we did do a few very worthwhile touristic things which I’ll summarise here and include a few photos. A ... read more
Inside the clock tour at Central Station
Fab steam loco on heritage railway
View from the cab en route to  Melbourne

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD May 17th 2018

Surprisingly chilled out place. Coffee culture and good food. Diverse.... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD May 6th 2018

Back on the train for our return trip to Melbourne, headed for our second house sit. This one would be a short term stay, looking after some animals while their humans went to a weekend birthday celebration. The train ride was more crowded than the one going up to Wandiligong, people who seemed to be commuters coming into the city for business. The train rides have all been comfortable. They even have a little food kiosk where you can buy meals and drinks for your trip. We caught another train at Southern Cross Station that would take us to our final destination at Taylors Lakes. We had met up with the homeowners the previous week while we were watching the sheep at Hoppers Crossing to discuss feeding routines and general house rules while we were at ... read more
Chocolate Heart Attack
Flinders Street Station

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD March 8th 2018

Melbourne is the second most popular city in Australia and Oceania and it is easy to see why. With the CBD (Central Business District) in the centre and the city spanning out it all directions Melbourne really does have everything. Before Europeans arrived in the area it had been occupied by three Aboriginal tribes: Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurong. The area was an important meeting place for them as it was a source of food and water. The first European settlement was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803 near Sorrento but the ground wasn’t suitable for farming so the settlement moved to Tasmania in February 1804. It was another 30 years before another settlement attempted to stay in that area. In May and June of 1835 John Batman claimed to have purchased 600,000 acres from ... read more
St Patrick's
Dolphin Fountain
The city

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD January 17th 2018

After another sleepless flight, we finally arrived in Melbourne on Friday morning. However, our backpacks missed the transfer and were still in Singapore. On the bright side, we didn't have to carry our backpacks to the hostel. Thanks to some nice people, we could go to the ACMI (TV/movie museum) with a clean, borrowed shirt, smelling like borrowed shampoo. Our backpacks were delivered at the hostel on Saturday late in the evening. It was an experience that gave a whole new meaning to backpacking for us and definitely made me value my belongings more. Melbourne is lovely. There's skyscrapers everywhere but it has beautiful churches too. It's actually this contrast that makes it so pretty. The night after we got our luggage back, we immediately used that opportunity to dress up fancy (alright I'll admit, fancy-ish ... read more
Flinders station
Lui bar (skybar)
View from our spot at the skybar

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD July 2nd 2017

One of my Mothers' day presents this year was High Tea at Melbourne's awesomely historic Windsor Hotel. Since 1883, the Windsor has served over two million afternoon teas. The hotel is located in Spring Street, across the road from Victoria's Parliament House and the Old Treasury Building. (Side note: if you ever get the opportunity, pop in to the Old Treasury Building. The displays tell the story about Melbourne's journey from the first white settlement, in 1836 through Victoria's gold rush of the 1850s and on to becoming reportedly the richest city in the world in the late 1800s. They best things about the Old Treasury Building? Firstly, it is totally free to visit, and secondly, being able to walk on floor made up of gold ingots (under perspex) with a ticker tape style display announcing ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD April 10th 2017

Last weekend, my daughter and I spent a wonderful 24 hours in Melbourne. It was all planned around Saturday afternoon’s Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Pixar concert at The Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall. The music served as a narrative to the abridged versions of Pixar’s many animations which were projected behind the MSO. Until we went in to The Arts Centre, Melbourne was experiencing an Autumn day right out of the box, fine, sunny and 27 degrees. When we left, 2 hours later, Melbourne had showed it’s meteorological split personality, torrential rain with a bit of flooding and about 14 degrees. We went back to our hotel to tidy ourselves up before a bit of a wander about the CBD. The Rendezvous Hotel in Flinders Street has a great location, beautiful historic foyer and really nice, modern ... read more

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