Weekend in Melbourne

 | 2 min

I went to Melbourne for a shopping trip this weekend. My sister overflowed her suitcase, but I only got a few pairs of shoes and a few tops. Shopping isn’t really my thing. Next time I go to Melbourne, I’ll spend a bit more time sightseeing. Still, it was the first holiday/break I’ve had in several years, so it was good.

A few random thoughts and highlights:

  • Melbourne is a lot like Auckland only three times bigger and with an exponentially improved public transport system.* The Australian bush is very different to New Zealand bush, but equally beautiful. It’s a bit scary to think how prevalent bushfires are though – people living in the countryside have to be very careful.
  • If you ever get a chance to take a Gray Line bus tour with a tour guide called Daryl – take it! He’s missed his calling as a stand-up comedian.
  • There are some gorgeous little villages (like Sassafras and Olinda) in the Blue Dandenong mountains that would be a great place to spend a lazy Sunday.
  • The Yarra river is really not very exciting.
  • Melbourne has awesome food but terrible coffee – at least everywhere we we went it was awful. In fact, even the hot chocolates weren’t very good.
  • Melbourne streets are really wide – up to two lanes of trams, 4 lanes of cars and 2 lanes of parking. They were allegedly designed that wide to allow a bullock team to turn around without unhitching from the wagon.* Melbourne is a planned city, with the CBD being divided into equal sized square blocks, 4 blocks high and 8 wide, and with smaller lanes, arcades and alleyways within the large blocks.
  • Shops don’t open very early in Melbourne – 10am during the week and midday on Sunday.
  • Air New Zealand’s A320s are much nicer than their 767s.
  • 4 days is more than enough time to go shopping.