Last week my dad was taking a business trip to Melbourne and I was lucky enough to get to tag along. It was only a two day trip, but I made sure to make the most of it! Since he was working all day, this was my first experience going to a city I had never been to before and exploring it all on my own. I have traveled alone before, but it was usually to meet up with friends once I arrived. The thought of wandering around alone seemed quite daunting to me for awhile, but after this trip I have a whole new perspective. Solo-travel allows you to do what you want, when you want. I could spend two hours at a cafe and not worry about keeping up with someone else’s schedule. I could lay on the beach and watch the sun set with nothing but my own thoughts. I did have to find my own way around, but getting lost in a new place allows you to see things you probably wouldn’t have if you were sticking to a map. Alright, enough about my new found love for solo-travel (for now), here’s how I made the most out of a 48 hour trip to Melbourne:
I started the day just walking around the city. I loved how Melbourne’s buildings were all so different; there would be old classic buildings next to skyscrapers in bright yellow, blue, and red colors! Everywhere I looked there were unique structures. I ended up in the Carlton Gardens which housed the Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition building. Then, I headed down Gertrude street which had lots of cute cafes. (Melbourne has become quite the hot spot for great coffee and hipster cafes). The Fitzroy gardens were beautiful and only a short walking distance away. There, I visited Cook’s Cottage and had a quite lunch while watching the ducks play in one of the garden’s many ponds; talk about serene.
After lunch I stumbled upon my favorite place in all of Melbourne: Hosier Lane. This little alleyway is covered in vibrant colored art from top to bottom. Local graffiti artists can come here and use the walls to express themselves and give tourists something to marvel at. *It also makes for some insane photos.* About an hour (and a thousand selfies) later, I wandered past the City Square, which holds St. Paul’s Cathedral and Findlers Street Station. I took a nice long coffee break and just enjoyed sitting alone and watching everyone that passed by. Its amazing how much more you are aware of your surroundings when traveling alone!
Once I reached the bottom of my cappuccino, it was time for St. Kilda. I took the City Circle Tram (which is free when traveling through the main parts of the city!) down to the coast. St. Kilda Beach was dreamy. I had a pleasant stroll down the pier and enjoyed the view of the city with glassy water and sailboats in the foreground. I spent the next few hours laying on the sand, reading my book, and watching the little waves roll onto the shore- this is my definition of happiness. My dad joined me for dinner on the boardwalk and once the sun had set, it was time to see some penguins! Every evening in the summer, the penguins return to the end of the pier and bring back food for their babies; how adorable is that?!
Post playing with penguins, we rushed back to the heart of the city to watch the fire show (well that’s what I’m calling it at least). Every night on the hour, the big pillars along the Yarra River shoot out large clouds of fire! If you have the chance to eat dinner at one of the restaurants down there, I’d highly recommend it. It was such a great way to end my first day in Melbourne.
Check back in later this week for part 2 of my Melbourne adventure. (Sorry I tend to ramble and couldn’t squeeze it all into one post)!
Little Brantley Abroad