Another lovely day in Melbourne….well maybe. The weather was still not doing us a lot of favours whilst on our holiday. But we weren’t about to let that stop us.
This post will be about a few other places we visited here, the first being the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne.
A few people might think I’m giving a huge plug to Australia, and why not. I’ve grown up and lived in a lot of different places in Australia. Being Darwin N.T. born, we moved to Kalgoorlie in W.A. before moving to a couple of other Western Australian towns before making the trip across to Victoria and again living in various towns before calling Melbourne home. So I’ve seen a bit of this lucky country.
As my girlfriend Ghita lives overseas for now, when she does come for a holiday, and she’ll be back soon, we like to explore a bit so she can see Australia for herself and what she can expect when she moves here next year.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne is a 45 minute trip for those coming from the CBD. It’s a bit closer for us, it’s down my neck of the woods so getting there is easy.
The gardens feature a lot of native plants and trees native to Australia and over the years the Botanic Gardens have grown to show off more and more of Australian Flora in a beautiful setting. Now I’m not a huge nature buff but I can appreciate the beauty in nature and what it shows us. Due to getting there late in the afternoon and a low battery I wasn’t able to get a ton of photo’s. A lot of the Botanic Gardens is divided into zones or areas with different little scenes being played out. There is a few new areas, by the looks of it which will, when finished, look very nice. The gardens as you can see from the following maps is quite large. On this particular day we only had time to explore the “Australian Garden”
Entering through the Visitor Centre you walk down the steps outside to come face to face with the “Red Sand Garden” which looks like a giant Moonscape from Mars. Or should it be called a Marsscape??? Big, red and barren lol. We chose to walk around to the right, down past the “Rockpool Waterway” looking at several gardens along the way. The Diversity, Water Saving, Future, Home and Kids Gardens are all theme gardens which are designed to show how native plants and trees can be used to create beautiful gardens.
The “Arbour Garden” is one of those gardens that doesn’t look very old. The arbours are up and the plants are growing. I’d say, maybe in 12 months it’ll look spectacular . Walking around to the “Weird and Wonderful Garden” we were confronted with large slabs of Avoca stone jutting from the ground and strange looking “Queensland Bottle Tree’s”. It’s a unique looking garden and probably my favourite garden there.
If you’re a nature lover, I think you would enjoy exploring the gardens here. Plenty of walking tracks, Barbecue areas and even the chance to see some local fauna like the Rock Wallaby we almost walked past on our way out!
If you would like more information you can check the gardens out HERE
Venturing into the CBD again we wanted to see a few more things we missed the first time around and my Miss Ghita wanted to take a ride on a tram. Now….in Victoria the government has come up with this stupid MYKI card system that you need in order to catch a train, tram or bus, but in the CBD they have free trams to get you almost anywhere you need to go in the CBD(Central Business District). Go anywhere outside this zone and you have to pay, but as we were exploring the CBD we didn’t have to worry.
We had heard about several alleyways and areas where the council had allocated space for graffiti artists to display their talents. We had seen pictures and found the locations on the internet for the places but the few we managed to find had been destroyed by taggers. Mindless graffiti artists with no talent who just seem happy to paint some obscure name over someone else’s piece or property.
Off to the Queen Victoria Markets to pick up the last few souvenirs Ghita Wanted for home. If it’s souvenirs you want, then the Queen Vic is the place to look. You name it, I think it’s here lol. T-shirts, flag, boomerangs and even didgeridoos if you like!. With T-shirts from $5au each we had a few to buy for family and friends. Everyone was putting their hands up for a gift from the Land Downunder.
After the markets and some lunch we headed back to the car so we could get over and visit St Patrick’s Cathedral. St Patrick’s Cathedral is by far the largest cathedral in Melbourne and was finally completed in 1939 with the erection of it’s triple spires. While we were on our holiday we visited several churches, not for religious reasons, but to look at the amazing architecture. The Gothic design of the era is awesome and St Patrick’s is the best. The architecture inside is impressive, from the features to the stained glass windows to the monstrous organ.
It is interesting to note that some of the late Archbishops are buried within the confines of the cathedral. Two within the side chapels and three more buried in a crypt beneath the floor of the northern transept.
The cathedral was designed by William Wardell and William also had a hand in designing several of the brass items that can be seen inside and also the alter mosaics that can be seen in all of the chapels. The cathedral has been built using a lot of different materials such as Bluestone, Sandstone, Oak and Cedar with a majority of the materials being sourced in Australia.
St Patrick’s cathedral is certainly a dominant feature in Melbourne and not something you want to miss. You can visit the cathedral and walk the grounds surrounding the cathedral during regular hours(up to 5pm I think) and while you’re in the area why not visit Fitzroy Gardens right across the road. Fitzroy Gardens is the home of Captain Cook’s cottage. Originally built in Yorkshire, England in 1755 and was brought to Melbourne in 1934 where it was donated to the city of Melbourne and is now a popular tourist attraction. Fitzroy gardens also offers beautiful european trees, lakes and ponds. It would be a nice place for wedding photo’s, a relaxing walk or jog or a nice lazy picnic hehe.
Well….I think that pretty much wraps up this Melbourne holiday series…….for now. Ghita will be back here in October and we’ll be doing some more exploring. We’re already making plans hehe so we’ll probably have more tales to tell.
Ghita also has her own blog HERE which also covers a range of topics from travel, to life and even makeup. It is largely in Indonesian but thanks to Google it translates fairly well.
Check it out guys
Till next time….