Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, and our family recently went on a road trip (roughly a 12 hour drive from Sydney). Staying in the heart of the CBD, we had access to the best that Melbourne had to offer, including food, sights, and entertainment. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about Melbourne. If you love the city, I respect that, but to me it has lost a bit of its lustre. I haven’t been to Melbourne for years, and there are somethings that I remember loving about it. But this time, Melbourne seemed a lot like, well, Sydney. The main unique differences: trams and ArtVo.
The wall art in the laneways were amazing (especially when you find one without huge crowds of tourists):
The city is always a good place for some night photography:
PLACES TO SEE, AND HOW TO SEE IT
ArtVo was a great concept that needed just a bit of tweaking (you get to use your creativity and get yourself inside some wall art). It’s dark inside, and you can’t use flash. I had to shoot at ISO1600. The Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium was just average, and no more impressive than the aquarium here at home. Our favourite aquarium of all time is the one in Monterey, California. We went to St Kilda Beach on the tram, which is always fun (visitors can purchase a “Myki Explorer” ticket), but there seemed to be fewer cake stores than the last time we visited. This was how we remembered Ackland St from last time. And the cakes were not as nice.
One great thing about Melbourne is that, inside the entire CBD (the “Free Tram Zone”), you can hop on and off any tram without having to pay. This is a great way of encouraging people not to use their cars. We went to the final Winter Markets of the year at Queen Victoria Markets. There were not many stalls, but it was still packed, and the food was tasty.
DINING IN MELBOURNE
Eating in Melbourne is a bit hit and miss- so check out reviews on Tripadvisor or similar to see what other people think. Melbourne is not cheap when it comes to food, so it pays to do a bit of research to get the best value and taste for the money. There are many nooks and laneways where you can eat to your heart’s content. From Asian to modern Australian, anything that you might have a craving for. If you’re planning on staying in the city with a car, you’ll also need to factor in the cost for parking. And that’s gonna be more than $50 per day.
The drive home was tiring- mainly single lane highways, with some winding roads. But some of the scenery is pretty nice. There was some roadwork, but in general, not too much traffic, considering it was the school holidays. It didn’t help that we had a dead battery (luckily it was in the hotel car park).
For our trip, I took my DSLR with a zoom lens, but I found that I preferred my “baby” Canon EOS M5 + 22/2.0STM lens. It’s an amazingly light combination with great image quality, and draws much less attention in the city than a big camera with a big lens.
We look forward to our next adventure- in the meantime, keep shooting, and keep doing what you love.