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Melbourne first visit in 22 years, what are the highlights?

Melbourne first visit in 22 years, what are the highlights?

Feb 25th, 2010, 10:05 PM
  #1  
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Melbourne first visit in 22 years, what are the highlights?

We live in Sydney, and are going down to Melbourne for the first time in 22 years! We are staying in Eildon Rd, St. Kilda, staying Weds - Sunday. The last time my husband was there was about 26 years ago, and he said he hated it. I've been there briefly on business, but that's it. My friends say they love it and that there are little lane ways, streets, shops and loads to do. I need some suggestions of places to visit, things to do and see. We are 57 + 61 and like discovering different enclaves, restaurants, I like shopping and galleries, markets. Thanks in advance!
tinydancer is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 12:46 AM
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OK. Flinders Lane, Hardware Lane, Degraves St. all musts, but just keep walking around the CBD and you will find them.
Eateries: Cumulus at 45 and Coda at 141 Flinders Lane, MoVida on Hosier Lane, The European on Spring Street, Donovans (best duck in the world) Stokehouse and Circa the Prince at St. Kilda to name just a few.
Southgate, the Casino, Fed. Square, Docklands all probably new since your last visit. Chadstone Shopping Centre, High Street Armadale, Chapel St. Prahran for great shopping.
The NGV on St.Kilda Road and at Fed. Square are the best in Australia. Brunettis in Carlton for coffee and KoKo Black on Collins St. for hot chocolate.
DownUnder is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 03:36 AM
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Thank you DownUnder! I'll let you know how it went.
tinydancer is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 07:03 AM
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See www.thatsmelbourne.com.au which will give you lots of options and help .

You are staying in the middle of St.Kilda in Eildon Rd. So try the recently renovated Circa The Prince for breakfast or a drink . The Melbourne Wine Room at the George Hotel . Tolarno Hotel at Mirkas for dinner . Sunday Esplanade Market if you like craft . Cicciolina in Acland St to eat . Laus Kitchen in Acland for great chinese .The Espy hotel public bar for beer with "all sorts".

The light rail line from Fitzroy St will take you to South Melbourne station and the market which is on Sat and Sunday .Not a long walk along Clarendon St from the market into Crown Casino and Southbank .On Sundays there is a nice artisans market near / under Princes Bridge .


Or catch the tram along Fitzroy St which travels St Kilda Rd to the NGV International Gallery and walk from there to the NGV Australian Gallery at Fed Square .

A few leads for you. Hope you enjoy it this time round .
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Feb 27th, 2010, 04:52 PM
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Thank you too JohnFitz. Much appreciated.
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Mar 9th, 2010, 06:56 PM
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We're back! Boy oh boy! What a weekend.

After 22 years of not going to Melbourne because my husband hated the weather there. Guess what? Yup. The biggest storm to hit Melbourne in recent memory.(Sigh.....)

However, all in all, we loved it! Our hotel, The Quest Bayside in St. Kilda, was great. The location could not be better as it is a very quiet, beautiful and leafy green area which is a stone's throw from everything you'd want to see and do in St. Kilda. It was spanking clean, quiet, very well run and comfortable. We had a view of the city in a one bedroom flat with a balcony overlooking the pool. So that was perfect and we'll go back there again, hopefully about once a year(!!!!!!!)

We ate at Lau's Family Kitchen, right around the corner, which we enjoyed, but it is a high priced Chinese-modern restaurant with a modern Australian look, service, and wine list. I'd recommend it, but you'd have to know these things first. If you skip the wine, share a main and two entres, then it's not expensive. They have 2 nightly sittings at 6 and 8 and a booking is probably a good idea as they do book out.

We had a number of breakfasts, but our favorite was at the Felix St. Kilda, which did great poached eggs, looks gorgeous, and was just the favorite.

At the Sea Bass cafe by the water, I had some of the best oysters I'd ever eaten. Ever! Not likely to get that lucky again I'm afraid. (And I didn't either)

So, here we go.

Loved St. Kilda. Location, beach, wharf, Luna Park, buildings, cafes and restaurants, cake shops . Monarch bakery was the outright winner bakery for us. Walking out on the wharf at sunset and then waiting to see the fairy penguins come home is sheer delight, not to forget the great views over the marina back towards the city. Sitting in a cafe beside the beach is pure heaven and made us sad that at both Bondi and Manly there is such a scant variety of places to sit right beside the beach like that.

Very easy access to trams to the city and a 15 minute ride.

We walked all around so many of the places you recommended, the little lanes, cafes and shops, and so enjoy Melbourne now, that we know we have to make it a regular getaway and recommend it to our friends for all these reasons. The city center, beautiful architecture everywhere, Docklands, Southgate, and especially the fabulous Crown Casino which knocked our socks off simply for the beauty of the design and the maintenance which makes it all still look so new ($30M per year in upkeep). Sadly, after we'd had a good look around and were exiting to go home, we saw 3 men on their hands and knees trying to wipe up something very red. Some silly woman had just dropped a bottle of bright red nail polish which crashed onto this white marble floor and created a gigantic red blotch. I nearly had nightmares about this as it looked very permanent and at one of the main entrances. (I couldn't even enjoy the vision of 3 men on their hands and knees scrubbing the floor.) A big ugly blotch on something which was nearly perfect.

So, to continue, on Saturday we went into town and started at Docklands with it's stunning location, buildings, cafes, and art. It's just fabulous and a don't miss when visiting Melbourne, and knowing a storm was expected, and then seeing the dark clouds coming in, we decided it's best to catch a tram back to the city center where we'd have places to duck into should we get caught out.

And then we go out of the tram at the top of Swanston St., started walking down, and that's when all hell broke loose. We made it down to a Telstra shop when deafening thunder cracked right overhead, and the hailstones began to fall. The streets were full of screaming hail and very high wind, blocking out all other sound, and bucketing down rain. People were screaming and running here and there in bare feet (me included) and looking like drowned rats. Frightened horses attached to buggies with nowhere to run. I suspected a tornado was going to hit, and dragged my husband inside the shop in raw fear. Although I have heard it called a 'cyclone' (which is a swirling mass of low pressure) , it was never quite a tornado, but I think it was as close as it could ever get without being one. After two hours of this, there were still piles of hailstone about the streets. Buildings everywhere were covered in broken leaves. We saw broken tree branches inside buildings, and rivers of water flowing right through shops and out into the street. I think the damage must be colossal. But it was so overwhelming, that it simply became laughable once the pressure to survive was gone.

Eventually, we made our way through rivers and lakes, having to go both up and down streets when one street was blocked. And because there were no trams running back home, we thought the best place for us to be was the casino where we could pass the time until things settled down and there was transport.

We thought we'd duck into a film and then have dinner to pass the time. But the cinemas were all shut due to rain damage, and even the sound system in the casino was shorted out and it sounded like a loud fireworks show all around us. So we did what all sensible travelers should do when their plans go astray:


Time for a few margaritas!

We had a drink or two, then talked our way into the Waterfront restaurant for a nice steak dinner without a reservation. They said they were booked out but we could sit at the counter. I looked at it and said that I thought it was much too high for me to sit at and cut into a big steak, but thank you anyway. And, as we turned around to go, they surprisingly found us a lovely table for two! What a great restaurant!

But the very best news of the night was that as we were leaving the casino, we walked past the ruined marble floor with the giant red nail polish accent, to see it bright white and sparkling with not a trace of red. Thank goodness! I could now sleep soundly!

All's well that ends well.

Thank you all for your help. In spite of the storm, and the polish, we really do love Melbourne. Wonderful city! Awful weather!
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Mar 9th, 2010, 07:01 PM
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PS: we never made it to the museum, because much time was spent with some friends from Perth who we went down to meet. But now that we plan on going down more often, the pressure to see it all in one trip was off.
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Mar 9th, 2010, 07:28 PM
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Well I like a lateral thinker and especially one who makes the best out of disaster. Well done to you tinydancer.

Absolutely the worst storm since about 1972 , which is the last time that rivers ran down city streets that used to be waterways in the mid 19th century .And you were in its epicentre as well .

So , if you liked Melbourne under those conditions imagine if it remained fine during your entire visit .Next time I hope .
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Mar 10th, 2010, 01:27 AM
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I know. If the storm hadn't happened, I'd probably be lobbying to move there already!
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