It’s a long stretch over the flat dry plains to Melbourne, very windy today as we stop at a service station the heat of the wind is like a hairdryer, it dries our skin out immediately, feels like stepping too close to the flames of a fire. Our camping site is on the northern suburbs of the city, it’s just too hot to do much or consider entering the city as it is still 42 degrees. Sink into the the cool waters of the pool instead.
The Docklands around the Etihad Stadium
In the morning we leave the camper behind and walk the half an hour to the tram stop, to catch the No. 11, which takes us through the Melbourne suburbs and drops us off on Collins Street in the Central Business District. Jump on the tourist tram which constantly circles the city centre to see the sites, sit behind the driver to get a better view as we head down the main street first to the Docklands and Eithid Football Stadium, both new developments on Victoria Harbour waterfront.
Finders Street Station
Jump back on the tram and head for Flinders Street Station and the shopping area of Elizabeth Street. After wandering around in the Christmas crowds looking in the festive shop windows we get the feeling that we don’t need to shop, it’s somehow too hot for Christmas, we left the snow behind us back in Munich. Decide to find the Cafe L’Incontro on the corner of Little Collins Street and settle down to people watch.
Refreshed I head towards Flinders Street Station checking out the Christmas Square and it’s Elves on the way. Federation Square is opposite the main rail station, it’s a modern art centre with cinemas and a number of bars and cafes backing onto the Yarra River. It’s an interesting place with lots to check out, the undercover Atrium market has an art and craft market going on so we head in there for a look round all the while checking out the dominant architecture around us.
In the evening the weather breaks and the rain comes down in a downpour, no more sight seeing today….
Brighton Bathing Huts
In the morning we decide to drive the camper van through the centre of Melbourne just for fun, crossing over the Yarra River Bridge next to Federation Square and heading in the direction of trendy St. Kilda. We spend the morning driving south around the bay of Melbourne stopping at various beaches along the way. Brighton beach has a row of brightly coloured bathing huts looking out onto the bay, from here we can look back at the diminishing Melbourne skyline across Port Phillip. We have lunch in Frankston and walk out onto the pier, then journey further south to Mornington and walk to the end of the fishing pier. As we are heading for Phillip Island for this evening we take one last look back to the Melbourne skyline before heading across land to Stony Point Ferry overlooking French Island. We circle French Island sitting in the middle of the bay before crossing the bridge to Phillip Island.
An evening walking along the beach, before crossing back over to San Remo for fish and chips at the Fishermen’s Cooperative before taking a look around at the shark fishing boats moored up in the bay.
Check out the visitors website : Federation Square arts centre on the river front next to Flinders Street Station, lots of cafes and bars, cinema and art centre.
Where : Melbourne, state capital of Victoria, Australia.
Travelling : 257 km from the Halls Gap over C 222 over the hills to Ararat and the A8 to Ballarat, M8 to Melbourne, M80 to the Airport and M2 to North Melbourne.
Camping or Campervan: Melbourne BIG 4 Holiday Park, a quiet park with a lot of visitors, on the outskirts of Melbourne, in Coburg North, twenty minute walk to the tram stop West Preston. The tram takes you through the student area of Northcote with lots of pubs and cafes into the Central Business District (CBD) stopping on the main shopping street Collins Street, in half an hour.
Don’t tell anyone:
Next up: The Koalas of Phillip Island
pjbourne is a full time architect, urban masterplanner and sustainability designer. In his free time he’s outside with a camera, running, wandering or mountain biking through the Alps where he lives or indoors in front of the iMac planning another long road trip in a campervan to the other side of the world.
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