This online poetry collection of works by local Melbourne spoken word artists and poets is a great way to get a feel for the city and its people. Each poem is inspired by a different place (a statue, a building, a street corner) and the poems have been organised into a series of poetry walks, which you can download as MP3 files. Explore Melbourne through its poets and you'll discover what a creative and inspiring city this is.
One of Australia's best rural restaurants is Athelstane House in the historic maritime village of Queenscliff. The dining experience we had was superb, with amazing food backed up by a very good list of local and regional wines (as well as imports from France etc) and very very good service. Dining can be done in the restaurant or on the balcony or in front of the fire. Athelstane House also provides high class accommodation as well as a very good food store. Athelstane House is the winner of many dining and good food awards. We were impressed.
Melbourne has retained a lot of its history, and no better way of seeing that is to stroll along the many arcades (almost all have now been restored) in the centre of the city and also take off down the small laneways and alleys branching off the main city streets and arcades.
The city's network of arcades is Australia's most extensive, with Block Arcade between Collins and Elizabeth streets, built in 1891, its crowning glory. Royal Arcade (between Bourke Street Mall and Little Collins Street), is Melbourne's oldest, built in 1869, and features Gaunt's clock and the two folklore giants of the ancient Britons, Gog and Magog, who strike the hour.
The various lanes and alleys in the city centre all hold their own interest and most have a specific history. The group of back alleys famous (or infamous) for having all Melbourne's brothels in the 1880s or the lanes either side of the Chinatown strip are a rich source of authentic Asian eateries. Hardware Lane, one of the first laneways to be restored in the 1980s, now has a fine collection of outdoor cafes and bars. The local interest in these lanes and alleys has recently seen one named in honour of one of our best known rock bands... AC/DC
Melbourne city centre
go to Flinders Street station and start from there or use the City Circle tram to get around
What is it? It's a cross between a fun house, museum and a shop.
This place in Melbourne is full of collectables, fossils, old antiques, old scientific curios, natural history items (taxidermy anyone?) and even has a perfume library. Amazing, crazy, eclectic, eccentric ... that's Wunderkammer!
Montsalvat is an eclectic collection of European-style buildings set in bushland in Eltham (a suburb of Melbourne).
Built in the '30s by Justus Jorgensen, it was a retreat for artists and sculptors. These days it's a nice place to visit on a quiet Sunday afternoon to view the various art exhibitions and sculptures (or in my case a celebration of a wedding in the Great Hall).
Melbourne is a very liveable and visitable city with great cafes, shopping and history. On a recent visit, I found one of the best things I did was take a pod tour of Melbourne's Laneways.
I used a free podcast from Talk'N Tours which was great but there are others available.
I got to see street art, quirky shops and a good bit of the central city sights as I wound my way along the back streets and through alleyways I otherwise wouldn't have.
Station: Starts at Flinders St Station
In Melbourne you will find soapboxes being put to use on Sunday afternoons at the Speakers’ Forum on the forecourt outside the State library.
Over the years, speakers (including Prime Ministers) have gathered on the banks of the Yarra river to discuss politics (brave!). In 1995, the tradition was relocated to the forecourt. If you have something you think needs to be heard, the stage is yours between 2.30pm and 5.30pm every Sunday. The audience gets to heckle and boo for free.
the State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston St City
Visting Melbourne's Chinatown - the oldest area of continuous Chinese settlement in the western world is a great way to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon. Lots to see (as the history of the area dates back to the 1840s and 1850s), plenty of places to have a bite and while there, visit the Chinese Museum.
along Little Bourke Street City
plus the alleys which link the area to Bourke St and Lonsdale St
Museum of Chinese Australian History
22 Cohen Place Melbourne
Victoria 3000 Australia
Phone: 9662 2888
As in olden days, you can sit outside in the park and read and listen to the orators in the forecourt or inside, where the reading room takes you back to early last century. Quaint and quiet and a great place to while away a few hours. I recommend the tour to discover the history and facilities offered by the institution.
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne,
corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets;
Block Arcade is an old shopping arcade tucked away in the inner part of Melbourne. It has been refurbished and all its 19th century fittings restored. It originally was a place to shop but these days also has the obligatory cluster of cafes (lots of them!)
Melbourne city centre, between Collins St and Little Collins St (a short walk from Flinders St station);
A magnificent 19th century Romanesque mansion that has been restored and is open to the public. Its grounds and gardens are amongst the finest in Melbourne. Originally owned by a series of families over the years, it is now a National Trust property. Open most days of the year with special 'free entry' days now and then (like for Mums on Mothers Day).
192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick 3185 (a short walk from Glenhuntly railway station);
Car parking outside in Hotham Street;
tel: 9523 6095;
The Astor, built in the 30s, is one of the last original 'art deco' buildings left in Melbourne. And it’s in great condition with amazing interior and exterior decorations and great armchairs to sit in and watch the movies. A grand old arthouse cinema. Go watch a movie there in 70mm grandeur!
Cnr Chapel St and Dandenong Rd, St Kilda;
Nearest station is Winsdor, and the theatre is walking distance from there;
tel: 9510 1414;
Churchill Island lies just off Phillip Island connected by a small road and bridge. It is the site of one of the earliest farmhouses in the area with beautiful, peaceful surroundings. The farmhouse has been decorated in its original style and is still a working farm. Lots of walks with helpful information sheets and very helpful rangers. It also has an information centre with a good cafe. Just enjoy the peace before you plunge back into Melbourne.
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