Well I said I was going to give you more so this is my next installment of things to see and do in Melbourne, Victoria. Melbourne is known for its vibrancy, food, festivals and sport, with travelers from far and wide visiting each and every year. There is so much to see and do and there never seems to be time to do it all. I suppose that is why I go there a couple of times each year, so I can continue to explore everything Melbourne has to offer.
With so many cafes and eateries right on our doorstep what could be better than having a great breakfast to get your day going followed by a walk in one of the many parks and gardens dotted around the city and suburbs. There are so many beautiful parks and gardens in Melbourne but one of my favourites has to be Albert Park.
Albert Park is probably best known for being a great circuit for the Formula One Grand Prix which happens around March each year. When there are no big, loud and noisy cars zooming around the lake it is a great place to walk off that big breakfast. You can walk from the city to the park (it’s about 3kms from the city centre) if your very energetic or you can jump on a tram which will take you within a couple of blocks so you can then enjoy a more relaxing and peaceful walk around the lake. Albert Lake shimmers with the reflection of the city and its high-rises, it comes alive with the sounds of walkers, runners, rowers and bike riders all around you. Ducks and sail boats glide across the river as you slowly meander around the circumference of the lake.
The walking track is a 5km circuit passing sports centres, cafes, playgrounds and bbqs. So you can go for a quick walk or make a day of it by having a bbq or picnic, having lunch and watching the world and all its inhabitants go by (people watching is one of my favourite sports!).
Albert Park also has an Aboriginal heritage dating back many years with the flora and fauna of the area providing the Aboriginal people food, shelter and ceremonial sites.
Another great area for walking is the Domain Parklands, home to more of my favourite places for a good walk, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Shrine of Remembrance, Government House and Kings Domain. The area is bordered by St Kilda Road and the Yarra River and is a great location for walking and cycling as well as picnicking.
Walking through the gardens and parklands always calms and relaxes me. It’s fun, its exercise and there is plenty of history to be learnt. Take your time, walk through the different areas, check out the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the art works and many statues, Government House and you must not miss the Shrine of Remembrance. A moving reminder of our past and the efforts our war heroes made so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today.
The Sidney Myer Music Bowl is always fun to explore. You can get right up on the stage and you can wonder around looking at the artwork scattered throughout the grounds. There are many statues and monuments to explore and many pathways to take. Make sure you get a map so you don’t miss a thing.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, which was established in 1846 is the perfect spot for anyone who loves plants. There is a herbarium, tropical glasshouse, forest walk, a lake and so much more. You can spend hours wondering the gardens, sitting under trees, reading about different plant species and again just watching the world go by.
And before you leave the Domain grounds you must visit the Shrine of Remembrance. This moving monument was created (built between 1928-1934) so Victorians (and all Australians) could remember the loss which was felt by all after the First World War. It is and has been a place to grieve and a place to remember, a place to learn and a place to give thanks.
Again, take your time, wonder through the Shrine itself as well as the surrounding gardens and forecourt. Take time to reflect and to feel, to give thanks to all those who have fought to keep us safe and give us our freedom.
Well here’s hoping you are not all parks and gardened out as I have one more for you. Fitzroy Gardens. Wayne and I stumbled across this one when we were wondering around the MCG (all the AFL sports fans out there will know this iconic place!). Again this is a great park to wonder through and maybe even enjoy a spot of lunch on the lawns. You will see workers stopping to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and greenery during the work week and families enjoying picnics on the weekends.
Make sure you check out the lovely Conservatory and also explore Cooks Cottage for a bit of a history lesson if you like. There are beautiful elm trees and fountains. Wonder around, enjoy the walk and breathe in the fresh air. That is what it is all about!
So get out there, enjoy the outdoors, the exercise and all the beauty Melbourne has to offer. And after all that exercise I’m sure you will be ready for a drink and a good feed at one of the many watering holes and eateries Melbourne has to offer.
Eat Drink Walk and Be Happy!
For more information on any of the parks and gardens mentioned refer to the websites below: