So my itinerary had a few hours free in Melbourne waiting for the ongoing flight to Singapore, and that was extended by a couple of hours more after getting moved to the Emirates flight, so I head in to the city (the person who checked me in at Wellington airport was correct, you can go out and come back in just using your passport and boarding pass – of course you need to clear immigration & customs on the way, which often takes NZ passport holders as little as 30 mins, but allow say an hour).
Luther met me at the main train station, which you can get to on the Skybus (AU$24 return, departs every 15 minutes during the day from outside the terminal). The bus takes about 20 mins (at non-rush-hour times).
We spent most of the day wandering around the riverfront and CBD, getting lunch, having a good look through the Melbourne ANZAC memorial (which certainly puts Wellington's War Memorial to shame), tramming up to the Royal Exhibition building (which was a nice old building, but had an event on so we couldn't go through it), and stopping by some other notable buildings in the area.
The light wasn’t cooperating for photos of this one, but it has an imposing frontage peaked by two spires (with a single larger spire at the other end – making it unclear which end is the front), all in very dark stone.
Certainly a place designed to help instill the fear of god into people.
Finally, we walked over to the MCG and spent a while trying and failing to find a geocache. Pity, I was keen to start a track record of doing a geocache in every country I visit – but will try again another time.
We were fast running out of time so we headed back toward the train station, going by an interesting thing – don’t know whether to call it an instrument or an artwork or what – a set of bells (of a variety of shapes and sizes), all of which are upturned and mounted on poles. At certain times of the day they play tunes – so basically, they are an arty distributed Carillion.
Forced march back to the train station – actually some way, we forget how big the Melbourne CBD is so left it a little late – and after making my goodbyes I zip back out to the airport. Feet well tired out :).
We shelled out the AU$17 to go up to the 88th floor observation deck of the lame-named Eureka Tower, currently Melbourne’s tallest building, which gave us great views over the whole Melbourne core.
It surprises me that the city doesn’t make more of it’s waterfront areas, I’m sure that’ll make for some very valuable real estate.