Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Melbourne 2016 [Day 1/2] - Queen Victoria Market, Airbnb, Top Paddock, Graffiti Lane, Eureka Skydeck

Finally back on travelogues because times like this I miss traveling so here is my recent trip to Melbourne, also my first time to Australia. Bought my air ticket at a relatively good rate, S$770 from Qantas sale which includes 3 ways - Singapore to Melbourne, to Sydney and back to Sg. From 30th Dec to 12th Jan 2016, it's summer time.

Above is the view that see from my Airbnb apartment, will go to that later. We arrived rather early in Melbourne, probably like 7am. We bought our express SkyBus tickets at AUD38 each for return, which operates between Tullamarine and South Cross station only. There are other options to get to city but we opt for the SkyBus because it is the most convenient way to get to Southern Cross where our Airbnb apartment is.

Since we couldn't check in out apartment till 3pm that day, we left our luggages at the assorted lockers in Southern Cross Station. It comes in different sizes but with 2 weeks of staying in Australia, we definitely need the large size which cost AUD14 for a day. More info here. You would have probably know that a holiday in Australia ain't cheap but it's definitely worth the experience. With that, we are ready to start our day at Queen Victoria Market.

Queen Victoria Market
Corner Elizabeth Street and Victoria Street, Melbourne 3000

By Tram: Take the free City Circle tram. Get off at the corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth Streets and walk north to the Market. Catch any tram heading north along Elizabeth or William Streets.

This is the best place to get quality meat and vegetables if you are cooking a meal at home. Queen Victoria Market has been the heart and soul of Melbourne and you can shop for everything from Australian fruit and vegetables, gourmet foods, to cosmetics, clothing and souvenirs.

After which, we took a tram to Top Paddock for brunch which is located slightly further. We changed a couple of trams and get lost actually but thanks to google map, we arrived in the end. I did a separate review here, read on to find out how did we rate the famous ricotta hotcake from one of Melbourne's top cafe.

After which, we took a train back to Southern Cross Station for check in. Honestly, we were lost half of the in the Melbourne, partly because there weren't much signage. Anyway, we met our host Lina downstairs to get our keys and check-in was overall smooth and efficient. Love this cosy Airbnb apartment where it is located at the highest floor of 45 storey, and it cost about S$130 a night which was pretty affordable. More info here.

Location was awesome, just right across Southern Cross where most eateries and supermarkets were. The tram stop is just downstairs across the road too, no complaint about this stay. Not forgetting the stunning view.

Next destination on the itinerary was to head to State Library of Victoria, Melbourne's landmark and cultural icon. The magnificent building is probably Melbourne's most beautiful heritage interiors.

State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Opening Hours: Mon to Thur: 10am-9pm, Fri to Sun: 10am-6pm

Melbourne Central Train Station and shopping centre is located directly opposite the Library’s entrance, this is also where Coop's Shot Tower is. Situated inside Melbourne Central, it is surely one of the most instagrammed buildings in Melbourne. It is also one of the most significant buildings in Australia’s industrial history.

Located in Melbourne's CBD, this is H&M's largest store in the world. It is as big as the one in New York!

We were too exhausted from the early flight and decided to head back to our apartment to rest and countdown since it's the New Year's Eve. Fireworks right beside our bed! Anyway, packed dinner back from Southern Cross and this marks the end of Day 1 in Melbourne. Oh, did I mentioned that the weather was crazily hot and humid?


[Day 2] Took a tram and alighted a few stops after at Bourke Street. The plan was to head to Brunetti for brunch but we happened to chanced upon Union Lane so we feed our camera first. Located opposite of Meyer Melbourne, this alley belongs to one of the city’s best known street art sites. Every square inch of wall is covered by graffiti. 

A quick brunch fix at Brunetti, an italian cafe originated from Australia, serving coffee, cakes as well as sandwiches. Singapore actually has one at Tanglin Mall but we wanted to try the famous Dolce Amore cake from Australia itself. It is basically a strawberry mousseline with strawberry coulis and coconut sponge.

Passed by one of Adriano Zumbo store in the stylish Emporium Melbourne, featuring a collection of colorful macarons as well as tarts and pastries. And of course we walked away with a box of macarons lol.

Zumbo @ Emporium Melbourne
Level One, 287 Lonsdale Street 
Melbourne VIC
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday: 10am - 7.00pm
Thursday & Friday: 10am - 9pm

In the evening, the plan was to catch sunset at the peak of Melbourne - Eureka Skydeck. We took the tram to Flinders Station and from there we walked to South Melbourne which took about 20mins or so.

At AUD19.50 per adult for observation entry, actually we didn't take much photographs because there were reflections everywhere. And as you can see, we didn't succeed in taking a skyline with sunset.

The Eureka Tower stand at a staggering 297 metres above the streets of Melbourne and the highest building in Southern Melbourne. The skydeck is located on the 88th floor and it was really cold when we stand outdoors. And as for Edge experience, you can get your tickets at additional AUD12 each. The next photo you see is basically the Edge experience, looking down to Melbourne in a glass cube, glass walls and floor.

Walked back to Flinders Station where our tram stop is. Flinders Street railway station is indeed beautiful and it is also a cultural icon of Melbourne with it's prominent dome and is the city's most recognisable landmarks.

Love the english looking buildings and houses in every corner of Melbourne, so beautiful.

The plan was to walk to Centre Place for dinner from Flinders Station but since it's the New Year, all the stalls were closed :( On normal days, Centre place is a busy laneway where it is home to several cafes, bars and restaurants.

When talking about Graffiti walls in Melbourne, most people would have known Hosier Lane where it is one of Melbourne's best street art location. Hosier lane is a much celebrated landmark mainly due to its sophisticated Urban art. This is one of the reason why I love Melbourne, such beautiful sight.

After which we took the tram back to Little Bourke Street where Chinatown is situated. Chinatown Melbourne is the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world and it offers plenty of Chinese eateries as well as some Japanese/Koreans. And upon arriving, guess what we saw - Bumblebee and his luxurious car. Of course this guy here is getting tipped for photo-taking from many tourists.

It was a chilly night that day so we randomly stopped by a Chinese restaurant for some hotpot. Most of the restaurant staff speaks English and Chinese fluently so communication wasn't a problem at all.

We had a dinner set for two which cost about AUD38.80, consists of a pork belly steam pot, one pan-fried tofu, one stir-fried mixed vegetables as well as two bowl of rice and two drinks. Nuff said, day 2 ends here and I think my first Melbourne post is getting too long. So long, stay tuned.

Continue to >>> Melbourne Day 3, Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles


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