Melbourne: A day in the life of a Tourist…

Melbourne: A day in the life of a Tourist…

During our penultimate weekend in Melbourne we set off on a mission to see as many of the city’s sights as we could. We had been living and working in Melbourne for almost two months but were acutely aware that there was still so much to see and do. Our life as a local was great but we were getting to the point where daily life had left us blind to a lot of the things that we would have lapped up if we had simply been here as tourists. It was time for us to take a step back and start to appreciate, once again, where we were.

Our day in the life of a tourist started with a look at the best of the city’s street art followed by a whole host of other sites and sounds…

Now, if you have ever been to Melbourne, or indeed anywhere else in Australia then you will know that the majority of streets, towns and landmarks are all named after streets, towns and landmarks in Mother England. Australia grew from numerous colonies set up by the British, who evidently didn’t have much imagination at the time, so we weren’t entirely surprised when we came across ‘St Pauls Cathedral’ on the corner of Flinders and Swanston St.

Whilst not quite as grand as its London namesake, St Pauls Cathedral is nevertheless a fantastic looking  building, with beautifully ornate carvings and a stunning back drop of a typically Australian, deep blue sky!

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One other building that caught our eye since arriving in Melbourne was the Eureka Tower, a 975 ft skyscraper located across the river on the Southbank. Opened in 2006 it used to be the World’s tallest residential building (it’s now the fourth) and was named after the Eureka Stockade – a bloody battle between gold diggers and police during the 1854 Victorian gold rush. The top of the tower is fitted with 24 carat gold-plated glass windows – a glistening representation of the gold rush which helped Melbourne become the second biggest settlement in the country.

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The Eureka tower is home to one of Melbourne’s top tourist attractions – the ‘SkyDeck’. This observation deck covers the entire 88th floor of the tower and is the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. As part of our quest to become tourists for the day, we just had to get up there and see what all the fuss was about! The views were amazing – being 935ft in the air really does enable you to see the whole of Melbourne stretched out in front of you!

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Part of the Skydeck is an attraction called ‘The Edge’ – this is a glass cube that comes out of the side of the building, suspending you almost 300 metres above the streets below. The bottom is also made of glass so you can see straight down past your feet.  We had heard so much hype about The Edge that we just had to check this out too!

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We loved the Skydeck and would definitely recommend spending the $17.50 it costs to go up there, but The Edge was slightly disappointing – the view really wasn’t any better than the one you get from the observation deck itself, so we didn’t think it was worth the extra $12 to experience.

Once we had brought ourselves back down to earth we decided to take the free City Circle Tram around the CBD. The tram is essentially an ‘audio tour’ service and takes a rectangular route past Melbourne’s most famous buildings, whilst the internal speakers project a running commentary about their history. This is a fun and unique way for tourists to learn more about Melbourne’s humble beginnings and we probably would have gone around the city loop twice if we’d had the time!

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At this point in the day, our adventures were far from over, but unless you are really keen to read the longest blog post EVER, we’ll stop now and continue our “day in the life of a tourist” next time. Check back soon to hear all about our tour of the Laneways, bar hopping and our time on the banks of the Yarra watching the sky go up in flames!…

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