In January of this year, my tennis-loving boyfriend and I headed to Melbourne to check out a few games at the Australian Open. I found myself loving the city more and more with each day of exploring. I had my lomography cameras along for the ride!
Whenever anyone asks me where I’m from I always tell them “An hour north of Sydney”. I have grown up going down to the city on the train but never lived in the city, too big and busy from what I’m used to. But still, it is the closest place to where I live that most people would be able to immediately recognise. Melbourne has always been the rival city and until recently, I didn’t have much interest in visiting it. That was until I went to Melbourne a few years ago with friends and really enjoyed myself, but we stayed outside of the city so I didn’t get to experience all that much of it. This time when we went, we stayed right in the downtown area and did everything we could in the few short days we were there.
The State Library of Victoria was free entry and had a great photography exhibition on when we were there but there is also a permanent display ongoing in the round building of Melbourne’s history and they even have the full set of Ned Kelly’s armour! There are a number of other museums and galleries to check out including ACMI Moving Image Gallery at Federation Square, Ian Potter Centre, The National Gallery of Victoria International, and Melbourne Museum.
The City Circle tram is a great way to see a bunch of the city without having to walk too far! We got on near Flinders Street Station and did the whole loop, which takes around an hour. We also went on a free (for tips) walking tour, which was very informative starting at Federation Square, then going across the Yarra River and learning more about history, from the aboriginal conflicts from the first settlers up until recent times. The Block Arcade, was another highlight with gorgeous stores and architecture. Hosier Lane was also a major highlight- you can read more about it here. We walked past Town Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Old Melbourne Gaol, and finished up at the Royal Exhibition building. All in all, a great start at seeing what Melbourne has to offer and its rich history.
The main reason we were there of course was for the Australian Open. We had tickets to the quarter finals which weren’t too expensive and sat in the centre court in Rod Laver Arena and watched some amazing games from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Luckily, we were sitting in the shade during the daytime match as it was a sweltering 36-degree day!
All in all, now I have a lot more love for the rival city and would even like to live there one day! But Sydney will always have the 2000 Olympics and the New Year’s Eve fireworks from the bridge!