I’ve just spent a week in Melbourne. I’d travelled over to attend a conference which lasted for 3 days but it’s a long ay to come and it’s unlikely I’ll get a chance to come back over to Australia again so I’m making the most of the trip by adding some holiday. The weather has been mixed while I’ve been here.
The first day was a scorcher – even the locals were telling me that it was hot. Since then it’s been a mix of sun and cloudy days with a smattering of rain showers, but nothing to stop me getting around seeing and doing the things I’d planned. I’ve had a most excellent week. Lots and lots to write up! But for a starter, here’s my overall impressions.
- It feels very familiar and British with some differences but overall I’ve felt very much at home
- Very lively and energetic
- Easy to get around
- Plenty to see and do
- Excellent Visitor’s Centre in the jazzy modern Federation Square
- Very friendly and helpful and, like the city, relaxed and laid back.
- A lot of ex pats working in cafes, restaurants and the like
- The traffic in the city is horrendous. There seemed to be permanent traffic jams on all the main roads.
- Good tram system which is very convenient for travelling around
- Free tourist tram that circumnavigates the city centre
- Most of the main attractions are in, or close to, the Central Business District, so it’s generally feasible to walk between them
- motorists are not slow to use their horns
- To say there’s lots of choice is a gross understatement. There are cafes and restaurants just about everywhere and every type of cuisine imaginable
- Some really outstanding food
- Not too expensive – although my American friends don’t agree with me. I guess it’s all relative and I’d say it was certainly cheaper to eat out than in the UK
- A good selection of museums and galleries. I’d say the number, range and quality of the collections is similar to the major Regional cities in the UK – like Manchester and Liverpool.
- Lots of street art
- LOTS of sports facilities – several stadia, loads of cricket pitches and playing fields.
- Melbourne is a relatively young city but architectural styles span 200 years or so with many Victorian houses and buildings, Art Deco buildings and modern tower blocks and skyscrapers
- Lots of very distinctive Victorian era buildings – quite different to those built during the same period in the UK
- Post WW1 buildings, including houses, are quite similar in style to those in the UK
- Lots of high rise buildings in the Central Business District, but I felt their design was generally utilitarian and generally band.