Melbourne is made for walking – especially when the weather is nice. This Australian city’s riverside location and abundance of gardens combined with the well-thought-out network of walk- and cycle-ways means that it is both easy to get around and a delight to explore.
I was there for business recently and stayed in a hotel in Southbank near the arts precinct. This was a perfect location for everything I needed to do and a lovely 20 minute walk along the river front to and from the Conference Centre. It was also an easy walk across the Flinders Bridge to go to evening functions and to really appreciate how the buildings are lit up at night.
Still being on New Zealand time I woke at 4.00am each morning, which meant that I had lots of time to go for a decent exploration walk as well. It was fantastic to see how many people were up early enjoying the mornings in the city: there were rowers on the river, and joggers, walkers and cyclists on all the paths. There were even balloonists in the air. I could see the sun come up over the river and walk through a network of gardens with fabulous views of the city.
I stayed an extra night so that I could explore Melbourne more over the weekend. I covered vast amounts of ground and this was all super-easy on foot. I started with a walk around the Botanic Gardens and enjoyed a coffee at the just-opening café with heaps of other early morning enthusiasts. Heading back towards the city, I took in an exhibition “A Golden Age of China” at the National Gallery of Victoria. There is now a free tram zone in the Melbourne CBD but it didn’t take me long to walk the few blocks up past the Old Treasury Building and Parliament and into Chinatown. I had a leisurely Yum Cha lunch and glass of wine at Chine on Paramount before heading to the nearby Her Majesty’s Theatre for a matinee performance of “Strictly Ballroom” (just as good as when I saw it at the movies years ago). I meandered back to my hotel just as others were coming out for the evening but I was happy to have an early night looking forward to the Walking Tour of Laneways and Arcades I had booked for the morning (see next post for more detail).
For short tours and day tours in Australia see:
Short Breaks and Urban Adventures under Intrepid Travel’s trip themes
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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