Just a quick stop-over in Melbourne for 3 days on my way to Perth...but I will return again next month!
I flew up from Christchurch by myself as my flight was at a ridiculously early time due to restrictions placed on the round-the-world aka cheap seats ticket. No problem though - although I wasn't able to check-in to the apartment in South Yarra (a posh part!) I was able to go and use the steam room, swimming pool and shower, so that did me okay...
Met up with Lezanne and Heath before lunch and we did outside dining! Then was treated to the knowledge of locals and driven through town being pointed out places of interest before stopping in Williamstown. This seaside suburb had a great marina, and loads of boats including HMS Castlemain, which Heath's Pop served on. Zan had a quick look in on the pretence that it was her Pop! (she did find his name on the list of those having served). Having had lunch, we indulged in massive, 2-flavoured ice-creams sitting on the grass.
St Kilda holds a Sunday Market, so believing we were really lucky to have coincided with it, we slowly mastered use of the tram, but were not overly impressed by that which we were greated by so headed towards the beach. Seeing a large gathering ahead we discovered to our delight that we were just in time to see the finals to the ladies volley competition which had been running for the last 3 days. And that was fun! It was a Nivea run thing so we even got a bag of freebees and suncream, which was very necessary as the day started overcast but completely cleared to a scorcher. Continued on exploring St Kilda Pier with views of the city.
Next day we intended to be cultured and take the free tourist tram around the city centre. Having difficulties finding where it was and where to embark we looked around Federation Square and the Design Museum (in-between exhibitions so nothing to see!) and then disembarked at Docklands. Again, we were fortunate that the Volvo Open 70's was based in the Docklands just now, a break from their round-the-world race. Some incredible Volvo 60's were on display (60 foot as opposed to 70 foot) but the 70's were out racing. The 70's have enough sails to cover 3 tennis courts and go about 14% faster - wicked vessels! From there we got on the tram going in the wrong direction and ended up giving up on the idea of a boat cruise because moods had frayed and the rain threatening. Did take a long walk home through the Botanical Gardens, seeing the MCC (Melbourne Cricket Club), all the other stadiums and open music hall as well as 3 weddings.