Blogs from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne February 27th 2019

After a 33 hour trip (total time, including a 15 hour leg from Los Angeles to Melbourne) from Fredericton. NB, Canada , I finally arrived in Melbourne. Was not a good start to my trip since my luggage did not make one of the legs. (It came today). I left Canada at the end of a typical Feb winter storm, landing in Melbourne in the middle of a late summer heat wave. Was 30 the first day, going to 36 and 37 this week. I never plan any activity the first day as I need to acclimatize and situate myself. I did walk around and saw a few sights. My hotel was near Chinatown so had to see what that was all about. Pretty much as it sounds! I managed to eat an authentic Chinese meal ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne February 20th 2019

Having spent his birthday - 19 February - last year with the grandkids in Copenhagen, this year Kevin wanted to spend it with his Melbourne grandkids. Two of our darling daughters - Kerrii and Nicola - live in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick East, and, luckily for us Nic has a spare bedroom with ensuite in the apartment she recently bought when she was transferred from Sydney to Melbourne with her job. So we flew into Avalon Airport early Sunday morning, picked up a hire car and drove to Nic's place to spend a few days in Marvellous Melbourne. Before long the three of us were off to meet Kerrii, Seb, Grace and Rupert at Fairfield Park Boathouse and Tea Rooms for a family lunch. There is also an Amphitheatre there as well as the lake ... read more
Fairfield Park Boathouse
Lunch has arrived
Michelle & Nic about to tuck in!

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Docklands November 11th 2018

Well, we made it! What a flight. We left Sacramento at 3:30 pm and flew to LAX. We then had a 6 hour layover. But by the time we got a bite to eat, walked from terminal 7 to the international terminal and found the Quantas check-in, we had used up 2 hours. We sat around reading and listening to music until it was time to board. Since we were leaving at 11:30 pm we didn't think we would get any food. But they must have been on Aussie time because they served us a full dinner 1:00 am California time. After that I decided it was time to sleep. I managed to get some pretty good sleep for about 6 hours. Stacy read and watched 2 movies. The flight lasted 16 hours. When we landed ... read more
The cricket and Soccer stadium
Art by the river

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Footscray November 11th 2018

After bit of a rocky day yesterday it was nice to be back at Flemington, especially as the crowds were well down on the previous two days. There was plenty of room to wander around and no waiting to place bets or get food and refreshments. We spent a lot of the day out the back of the stands,checking out the fashion village, stables and entertainment areas. Flemington is just an absolutely fantastic facility - its hard to think there would be a race course anywhere in the world that would compare. The new members stand looks a bit like a luxury ocean liner, we didn't have access but from the glimpses we got it was absolutely spectacular. The stabling area is quite a walk over to the other side of the birdcage from where we ... read more
The Park
Statue of a Champion

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » City Centre November 11th 2018

No tour responsibilities today! So it was a leisurely stroll to the Southgate entertainment precinct on the banks of the Yarra river for a very nice and relaxing breakfast at Soho Cafe. From there we had a wander around the CBD, we stumbled on the former Commercial Bank of Australia building where back in the gold rush prospectors brought their golden treasure to be weighed and paid out. The concierge in the building gave us a brief but very informative run down on the checkered history of the building, including how the panels below the tellers were hollow and if there was any trouble the tellers (who were all armed) were instructed to shoot through the panels - not the iron bars where a bullet could ricochet anywhere. There were panels riddled with bullet holes closeted ... read more
Pre Game Drink
Shit Game-worse team

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » City Centre November 11th 2018

Today was our last day in Melbourne, we were due at airport at 4pm for 6pm flight so we had most of the day to potter around. We slept in a bit before having a good look around Federal Square and heading for our traditional breakfast (in this case brunch) by the river. Following that we enjoyed a very relaxing and pleasant walk through Alexandra Gardens, a lovely gardens and park right in the heart of Melbourne - a bit like a mini Hyde Park London. There were lovely peaceful walkways, some really cool sculptures and nice garden, water features. I lovely way to unwind and spend a couple of hours and reflect on a pretty full on week! Issues with the small group of dickheads on tour aside we have had an amazing time! The ... read more
Bronze sculptures
Armistus Day
LD Frog

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Footscray November 6th 2018

Unfortunately it dawned a very wet and miserable day, even more unfortunately there was the promise of storms and even more wild weather over the coming hours! We were lucky to get on course while there was just mild drizzle, but not long after the heavens opened and it absolutely bucketed down. The first two races were run in atrocious conditios and there was even talk in the stands that the meeting might need to be called off. The lawns and open areas weren't nearly as packed as usual with a few brave and hardy soles hudling under umbrellas to keep the worst of the weather away. The VRC (Victorian Racing Club) had made contact with the met service who advised the time the front was expected to blow through and they put the start times ... read more
Bleak Outlook

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » City Centre November 5th 2018

Today most of the tour group went lawn bowling, which would have been great fun, however because it was our first time in Melbourne we decided not to bowl but to explore the city a bit. This also meant we were able to watch the Melbourne Cup Parade which was very spectacular indeed. The parade started at 12 noon and we took up our position near the hotel around 11am. By the time the parade started crowds were 10 deep along the route so definitely a good move being early! We were right where the parade started and there was plenty to entertain us as the participants arrived, the crowd built and the parade came together. There were stilt walkers,clowns, marching girls, highland dancers, skaters dressed as jockeys plenty of colour and variety to keep people ... read more
Melbourne Cup
Might and Power takes centre stage
Champion Kiwi Jockey

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » City Centre November 4th 2018

Today we headed out into the country (around 40 minutes) to Cranbourne race track and the thoroughbred racing stables of former Kiwi trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young - Busuttin Racing. It was a unique opportunity to have a look around the stables, get some 'inside knowledge' and have a word to the 'stars' of the show. There's a huge training complex at the race course and Busuttin Racing are one of four trainers currently based there. Trent and Natalie have 70 horses in their care and their training operation is considered a small one. The leading Australian trainers have up to 700 horses in their stables. We had full access to the stables and got to walk around pat the horses, have a chat with them and generally soak up the atmosphere. Trent gave us ... read more
Sully - she's a little cracker!
Excuse me Mrs...
Tapanui a Southland connection?

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Footscray November 3rd 2018

Today was the first of our big race meetings at Flemington Race Course (the home of the Melbourne Cup)! Derby Day is regarded here as one of (if not the) best race days in the world - unlike Australians to exaggerate! To be fair it is a great day for the purist with every one of the nine races being group (elite) races and four of them being Group 1 (elite of the elite) races. After a hearty (but not good for the heart) breakfast at the hotel we all met for the bus ride out to Flemington, around 15 mins from the CBD. The race course is in the suburb of Footscray, On the way out we passed Victoria University (same name as Wellington's university back home) and much more impressively a suburban cricket ground ... read more
Secret Blaze
Parade Ring Arch
Finish Line

Tot: 0.081s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 9; qc: 74; dbt: 0.0212s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb