It is amazing what you can cram into 4 days in Melbourne. So, for a quick trip over the ditch here is what to do and/or avoid in this lovely Australian city.
Day 1 – don’t get the early flight over which means a wake-up call around 4am and on the plane by 6.30 am. We did. Ok, so you get into Melbourne nice and early; however unless you are a veteran shopper like me and my friend Lian – you’ll be fading fast by around 3pm. We proudly walked about 13.74 kms that first day. Visited COS fashion store and bought a couple of dresses/tops between us. We also went to our favourite shoe shop Zomp but nothing managed to fit the tired achy feet. We checked into the Sheraton and rested briefly before getting changed for a night session watching tennis at Margaret Court Arena.
Day 2 – decided to start the morning with a brisk early walk down to the River to have breakfast. This was a bad, bad move. So many people sleeping on the street and the stench from the night before was disgusting. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
Melbourne isn’t a clean city – cigarette butts everywhere, and having to watch where you walked as the aftermath of too much liquor was evident, really put you off. After the morning breakfast of raisin toast and a vanilla milkshake, there was a quick visit to the new Melbourne Emporium, as we wanted to see if it was any better than all the other shopping stomping grounds around. Topshop is located there but most other stores were the same as elsewhere. I went to the G-star store and bought a jump-suit, pair of jeans and a tee shirt. There are a couple of G-star stores around, and I found that it paid to visit them all as they had different stock and sale items. This was a necessary visit as unfortunately when I went to wear my new jeans (bought in NZ) – I couldn’t do them up. Surely I hadn’t eaten that much food in 24 hours. They were clearly a size too small! We walked to and from the tennis for the day session – an easy 15 minute stroll from the hotel. We proudly walked 13.95 kms which was impressive given that we spent the afternoon sitting down at the Rod Laver Arena watching tennis for most of it.
Handy Tip : always book a restaurant in advance. We tried in vain to get into about 5 restaurants in the area on Saturday night, and all were booked out. Ended up finding a nice tapas bar close to the hotel that didn’t take bookings. Yum Yum.
Day 3 – First stop to the gym followed by a short walk around the local park. Decided to get the free bus to Chadstone, we had night tickets for the tennis so a free day. There were a few different shops but nothing to make us want to go back. We did visit the Gucci store and Chanel but left empty-handed. The international labels all under the one roof in easy walking distance was a plus. On buying something from The Gap (we noticed they had price tags which included NZ prices) – watch this space. Walked 9.98 kms, we were slowing down.
Day 4 – Managed to purchase some nice homewares from exhibit, Muji and Myers. A nice linen duvet, blanket and lamp. It wasn’t easy cramming everything into the suitcase for the journey home. On the way to the tennis I went via the Jean Paul Gautier exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria near Flinders Street Station. His love of corsetry and avant-garde was everywhere. Then a quick couple of hours watching tennis at Margaret Court and it was off to get that last flight home.
Handy Tip : Don’t book the last flight home. It is always late leaving and arriving at 12.30 am which means home by 2am isn’t easy on a work day.