Lives in Melbourne, Australia
Since Jan 2009
35-49 year old male
I travel to discover, learn and experience new things. This might be a new food I have never tasted or some style of music I have never heard. Primarily I enjoy visiting world heritage sites and ancient cultures. I am attracted to isolated places such as Easter Island or Svalbard and under explored countries such as Burma. Sites of historic importance also feature highly, for example Hiroshima and Auschwitz. I am a prolific photographer and videographer with a many travel videos posted online. Recently I have started exploring travel which cannot be captured by camera. Sounds still play a bit part but, smell, taste and touch can never be uploaded to a computer - you have to go there to experience it fully.
City Tours, Cultural Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Walking Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Government Buildings, Historic Sites
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings
Food Tours, Flea & Street Markets
History Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Military Museums, Historic Sites
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Art Museums, Science Museums, Speciality Museums, Children's Museums
Churches & Cathedrals
A comprehensive introduction to the city and excellent value for money. Walks last 3 hours and include a short lunch and toilet stop. Tours are free but donations are appreciated. They depart daily at 10.30am & 2.30pm from the statue in front of the State Library. Just look for the guide in a green t-shirt. You cover a large portion of the city centre, passing many notable attractions along the way. The informative commentary explains how the city was established and charts it's development from the gold rush boom to the present day.
The vintage 'hop on hop off' tram is an ideal way of getting around central Melbourne. No ticket is needed on this convenient link between many of the cities major attractions. A taped commentary announces nearby sights as you approach each stop. The route circles the main city centre grid with an extension to Waterfront City in Docklands.
Federation Square is Melbourne's main public open space. The central plaza is surrounded by a striking architectural ensemble that houses museums, galleries and restaurants. Regular festivals and cultural events draw large crowds, who gather around the main stage and large TV screen. The Visitor Centre provides a wealth of tourist information to help you make the most of your stay.
The immaculately maintained Botanical Gardens occupy an area of 38 hectares just south of the Yarra River. Plant beds are grouped into examples of flora representing every climatic condition found around Australia and beyond. They are spread across rolling lawns which gently slope towards an ornamental lake. It is a peaceful inner-city oasis, open from 7.30am to dusk the year round.
St Kilda is Melbourne's most popular and accessible seaside suburb. During the Summer months you will be sharing the foreshore with joggers and roller bladers. Palm trees add a tropical feel to the esplanade which has attracted pleasure seekers for years. Luna Park opened in 1912 and features one of the world's oldest roller coasters. St Kilda Pier extends out into Port Phillip Bay, with a restaurant at the end, and a rocky breakwater, home to a colony of fairy penguins.
A grand Victorian building in a commanding location at the 'top end' of the city. It houses two stately chambers, the legislative council and legislative assembly. Free tours are available as are the public galleries when parliament is sitting. There is airport style security and bags need to be checked into a locker before each tour.
Free tours of Melbourne's Town Hall are available weekdays from 11-2pm. The main auditorium seats upto 2000 people and regularly hosts concerts, exhibitions and fashion shows. Tours take you behind the scenes of this 19th century building, to finely carved council chambers and the Mayor's office. You can also stand on the balcony where the Beatles & Abba waved to adoring crowds below.
Australia's largest open air market has been serving speciality foods and goods since 1878. Wandering the stalls you appreciate Melbourne's rich cultural diversity with delicacies from the four corners of the globe to tempt your palette. Emerging local artists are also well represented with a host of unique craft stalls.
Modelled on a Greek temple, the Shrine of Remembrance is aligned with the main axis through the city centre. It is a twenty minute walk south of the Yarra River and marks the focal point of Melbourne's Anzac Day commemorations every April 25th. An eternal flame burns in the forecourt beside a cenotaph. The visitor centre at the base of the building leads to an impressive museum that charts Australia's role in the two world wars and more recent conflicts.
The narrow laneways of the city have become a showcase for some of the world's finest street art. A thriving local art scene, plus visiting international artists have helped raise Melbourne's profile to a level equal to that of New York or Berlin. Creativity reaches it's peak in Hosier Lane, with every inch of space covered in riot of colour. It can be found off Flinders Lane just opposite Federation Square.
The La Trobe reading room in the State Library is one of Melbourne's architectural treasures. The cavernous octagonal room is six storeys high, capped by what was once the world's largest dome. Circling the dome is a free exhibition that displays the history of the State of Victoria. The most prized exhibit is the iron armour worn by Australia's most notorious criminal, the bush ranger Ned Kelly.
The National Gallery of Victoria has two branches, one either side of the Yarra River. The Ian Potter Centre is dedicated exclusively to Australian art and features work from the early settlers though to more contemporary works. It includes an outstanding collection of Aboriginal art in the Indigenous gallery on level 3.
ACMI is a dynamic centre celebrating all aspects of the moving image. Its multiple venues are spread over 4 floors in Federation Square. Two cinema screens form the centrepiece to the complex, hosting film festivals and talks throughout the year. Mediatheque allows the general public to view hours of footage from the museum's archives in private viewing booths. Screen Worlds is a permanent exhibition with plenty of interactive displays to keep visitors entertained for hours. Workshops in many aspects of film production are also available by prior booking.
The small St Michael's Uniting Church on Collins Street resembles a theatre more than a church. The seats are arranged in a semi-circle around the main altar, while at the rear stands a magnificent organ. The space comes to life every Thursday lunchtime with a free organ recital, allowing you to fully appreciate the wonderful acoustics of this sacred space. Function rooms attached to the church host a series of free workshops each month. Subjects include poetry, philosophy and French conversation classes.
For the best free view of the city, head to the 'loo with a view' on the 35th floor of the Sofitel. The floor to ceiling windows in the toilets provide a magnificent view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra River and the distant Dandenong Ranges on the horizon. You may have to splash out on a drink in the atrium bar if you aren't actually staying at the hotel.