Ah, Melbourne! Upon landing at Tullamarine Airport, I instantly felt better here than I ever did in Sydney. I've heard people say to me that the architecture is much more interesting, but never put much thought into it until I was cruising through the city on a shuttle bus towards my new hostel. With spirals, spears, wavy things and even a building designed as an optical illusion,
Melbourne is definitely an attractive city. There are a lot of things to do in terms of art galleries, museums and gardens. The public transport is quite good, including a free tour bus and tram going around the Central Business District all day. I stayed at an awesome hostel in St. Kilda called Habitat HQ, and while slightly more on the pricey side, the atmosphere and facilities were well worth the extra couple of bucks a night. Possibly one of my favourite parts about the Habitat hostel would be be the free herb garden they had growing on the patio. I cannot tell you what a treat it is to be able to add a little extra fresh flavour to your food!
What did I do during my time in Melbourne? Well, to be honest, not a whole lot for the amount of time I spent there. There were times when I just felt like taking it easy. My cousin and I took the free tour bus around the CBD and went to the National Gallery of Victoria. Time was spent at the not-so-nice St. Kilda beach where I was able to see one and a half penguins at the pier (one was half hidden by rocks). The Queen Victoria Market is the largest outdoor market in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring cheap fruits and vegetables, souvenirs, clothes and toys etc. It was disappointing that no one was open to haggling! I also spent some time at the lovely Royal Botanical Gardens, where I got in a nice little yoga session amongst the trees and flowers, sneakily sampled some spices in the herb garden and climbed a few trees. My kind of fun!
Initially, I only spent a week in Melbourne/St. Kilda but I made some great friends there and am looking forward to going back and crossing off a few more things on my 'To Do in Melbourne' list.