Blogs from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Oceania - page 2


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

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » City Centre November 2nd 2018

Very early start today-up at 2am. Final check in time was 4am at Wellington Airport and I hate being late. We were lucky to get a lift to the airport with my cousin Leslie and her brother Gary who were also heading to Melbourne for the Cup. They were on the same wave length in terms of timing and as a result we arrived just after 3am. Top marks for enthusiasm all round but unfortunately the airport was closed at that time of the morning - who would have thought! The doors didn't open until 3.30am so we had to hang around outside for a while. No worries on a typically balmy Wellington morning. Once we were inside it was still after 4am before machines were turned on and we could check in. Bit of a ... read more
Stuck in Auckland
Public Art
Great Location

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Cheltenham November 1st 2018

Exciting! Tomorrow we head off on our 9 day Melbourne Cup adventure-it's been on our bucket list for ages so great to finally be (almost) underway. Pretty full on tour. Itinerary: Super early start tomorrow - leave home for airport at 3am - EK! 6am flight from Wellington to Melbourne. We decided to go as part of official tour, we're first timers and there are apparently a few potential pitfalls around being able to actually watch the races when there are 100,000 people on course! That's a pretty big number! Plus we get behind the scenes look at leading stables, 2 other (in addition to Melbourne Cup) top races days and a country meeting thrown in. We know tour host Des Coppins from the Wellington Racing Cub so all good there. Bonus for us with Wellington ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » St Kilda October 18th 2018

First time here and I knew nothing about Melbourne ....luck would have it that my Home exchange host had given me her apartment on St Kilda Road with views of the Shrine of Remembrance and the Botanic Gardens. That was a winner ! Great public transport with trams and buses and light trains going everywhere and it was Seniors Week so when I took a train I didn’t have to pay ! But it was walking distance to Flinders Street Station where the rich and famous have apparently always said “ meet me under the clocks” which is where I met Teresa , an old friend from MerryWidows days in London and we set out to wander the lanes and fashionable streets of the CBD. I was surprised to see so many green spaces- the parks ... read more
Federation Place - Shapes
Shrine of Remembrance

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne August 27th 2018

This blog should be done by now as we were due back in Melbourne at 9.50pm on Sunday night. Unfortunately, following our unexpected diversion to Singapore, we didn’t touch down in Melbourne until just before 4.00am this morning. Poor Kerry had to drag herself out of bed to come to pick us up because we didn’t have any house keys on us. When Kerry picked us up to take us to the airport three weeks ago we all agreed that we didn’t need to carry house keys half way around the world and back because Kerry would pick us up on our return and let us in. Ha, ha, if we had known how things would pan out we would have taken a set of house keys with us and then we could have taken a ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Essendon August 20th 2018

We spend our last morning here on the beach soaking up the sun and taking the occasional dip, knowing that by this time tomorrow we'll be back to cold reality. We make the long journey home via Fiji. Not long after we land in Melbourne the crew announces that there's a sick passenger on board, and that an officer from the quarantine service will need to board the plane to assess her. We are all asked to remain seated. We are also told to make sure that none of our bags are blocking the aisles, presumably so that the quarantine officer can make a hasty retreat without tripping over if they think that the passenger might have Ebola. We begin to wonder what will happen if the quarantine officer decides that the sick passenger is a ... read more

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