This week’s review is a bit of a short one as I last posted only five days ago. Each week seems to be going quicker and quicker but then I remember we’ve only been here just over a month. That’s absolutely crazy as I feel so settled. Time is starting to slow down.
Last week I threw it back to 2005 and bought an Element skateboard. Now I cannot skate at all but, once we’re in the campervan, it’ll be perfect for nipping around town. Also, I really want to get those classic Instagram shots skating on empty Outback roads. Maybe I’ll learn some tricks as well.
This week’s highlights were a ride on the Melbourne Star for FREE as well as crazy sunsets.
The Docklands area of Melbourne is still undergoing regeneration and, this weekend, it was District Docklands’ turn to celebrate its opening. District Docklands is a food and shopping precinct set around the Melbourne Star, Melbourne’s answer to the London Eye.
We had heard that on Saturday morning, between 9am and 11am, there would be free rides on the Melbourne Star. We had been putting this off as it normally costs $27.50 each and we weren’t sure whether the views would be worth it. Being on a budget, we couldn’t pass on something that was free.
Before Saturday came, we had a quick look round on Friday evening which was meant to be a Food Truck Festival and live DJ’s. When we arrived, everyone was still setting up as though Saturday would be the main event. Workers were still painting the buildings. We decided that it would be best to just come back the next day.
The Saturday event was much better. It was quite busy at 9am with most people heading towards the Melbourne Star for their free ride. If you were one of the first 300 people in the queue for the opening of H&M you received a scratchcard with a unique discount. You could have won $500 too. I didn’t quite fancy that.
We stumbled upon about ten classic cars including Corvettes and Cadillacs. The cars were absolutely pristine.
The Melbourne Star is supposedly one of only four giant observation wheels in the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere. I would have thought that the popularity of the London Eye would have caught on in more places around the world.
Standing at 120 metres tall, we were promised uninterrupted 360 degree views for about 40km. The views were pretty good from the top with the best being towards Melbourne’s Central Business District. I’d say that the wheel is worth it once you first come to Melbourne so you can get a feel for the layout. However, it’s not necessary. I did enjoy the information provided over the speakers as it gave quite a bit of history on the area.
We rushed back to the apartment after the ride as Preston’s game against Bolton was being replayed on Foxtel Now so I had to watch it. The game finished 0-0 so it wasn’t worth missing more giveaways at District Docklands for that!
If you’ve ever spoken to someone who’s been to Melbourne you’ll know that the weather is said to comprise of ‘four seasons in a day’. The morning was clear and boiling hot when, quite suddenly, the clouds rolled in with monsoon-like rain. It rained so much there was flooding around Flinders Street Station. We sat on the balcony and took in the thunder and lightning. I’ve never heard thunder like it.
After a few hours, the clouds cleared again to reveal a beautiful sunset. We made sure that we got out for a walk down the Yarra River to take it all in.
On Sunday we got the train down to Brighton to check out the beach as well as the famous bathing boxes. The Victorian beach huts have been given paintjobs ranging from an Australian Flag to Space Invaders. The temperature was at least thirty degrees so we didn’t spend too long sunbathing. I’m still just as pasty as I left.
I got my first taste of Australian seawater although the presence of weird transparent squishy things put us off a bit. I thought they might have been jellyfish but it turns out they were just egg sacks from a sand snail.
There were very few amenities around the beach and it was quite busy with everyone trying to take the perfect selfie with the bathing boxes. We spent half an hour failing to find a place for lunch and so ended up on the train back. We’ll be going back again later in the day to take some photos of the boxes around sunset time. Hopefully there won’t be as many people!
We made the most of the $6 daily cap on travel at the weekends by seeing what Port Melbourne had to offer. Whilst this is where the ferry to Tasmania docks, the actual industrial port is much further away. Port Melbourne came to its prominence, as with most Australian cities, during the gold rush. It now has a holiday vibe to it with tall palm trees lining the beach along with the classic fish and chip shops.
We watched the sunset from Princes Pier, a place very popular with both fisherman and photographers it seems. There must have been fifteen photographers all with their tripods set up for the sunset. Yes, I was there too with my tripod and we both got chatting to a guy from Canada who happened to be a Fujifilm user too. The sunset itself was lovely with hues of pink and orange although the view wasn’t quite paradise. I think we’ll have to wait until we’re out the city for that.
We ended the week at Third Wave Café which turns into an American BBQ restaurant at night. I had seen a special November burger, the ‘Mac-bomb on Steroids’ which I just had to try. A huge brioche bun is filled with a 250g beef patty wrapped in bacon and stuffed with smoked mac and cheese. There’s also a 12 hour smoked and de-boned beef rib along with a bacon cup filled with liquid cheese and chips crowning the burger. All this for the equivalent of £15, not bad at all. Emma went for a simpler burger along with a side of smoked mac and cheese. The food was really good quality. I was getting envious of everyone else’s food too including the loaded brisket fries. If we get chance, we’ll be back and we might even have dessert.
I might be entering the world of YouTube shortly if all goes to plan so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Have you done anything interesting this week? Let me know in the comments.