March 10, 2012

.To Do in Melbourne: Part 1.

Melbourne, oh Melbourne, how I love thee!! This was the city Dave and I started our tour de Aussie. We only were able to spend four days in Melbourne and it definitely was NOT enough! While we were in Melbourne we longed to be able to stay more days, but our schedule and reservations made it not possible.  

If you ever find ourself in this amazing city, here are few things you should add to your agenda:

1. Queen Victoria's Market.  
This is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere with 17 acres of stalls! You can find items ranging from fresh food to souvenirs to basically anything you could ever need.  This is also a great place to people watch with over 200,000 people passing through weekly. 
134 years young!

BONUS: It's on the FREE tourist shuttle route

2. Shrine of Remembrance
This is Victoria's memorial to the men and women who have served Australia in armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations throughout the nation's history. This is a wonderful, beautiful, and moving memorial. Dave and I spent a few hours walking around the memorial, taking in the views of the city, and watching the laying of the wreath. This is also a stop on the FREE tourist shuttle!

Unknown Tomb
view from the top
2p.m. laying of the wreath at the Unknown Tomb
3. Royal Botanic Gardens
The gardens are right across from the Shrine of Remembrance, making it a next great stop. The Royal Botanic Gardens are one of the best in Australia and in the world, I would have to agree. With the beautiful gardens and wide array of pants both native and non native you could spend hours wandering in the gardens. I suggest packing a light lunch, find shade under the perfect tree, and join the other picnickers. It's also a great place to read a book and people watch!!

View of entrance to Royal Botanic Gardens from Shrine of Remembrance

4. Run the Tan
What is the Tan? The Tan is a running track, 3.8km, that runs parallel to the Botanic Gardens. It got it's name due to the surface color of the stone it is made of. The track is famous amongst joggers, runners, and walkers alike. The quickest lap around the Tan is 10 min. and 8 seconds by AFL player Craig Mottram, during this lap he gave his team members a 2 min. head start and still beat them all!!

Dave running The Tan!

5. Queen Victoria Park
After the Royal Botanic Garden and running a little on The Tan, walk on over to Queen Victoria Park. This is another beautiful park filled with flowers, fountains, and a lovely statue of Queen Victoria. You can take a quick walk through, read a book, or find a bench to do a little people watching.