Category Archives: Melbourne

Melbourne Road Side Art

Melbourne Road Side Art
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

One of the memorable facets to Melbourne I remember from my travels is the fantastic and sometimes bizarre roadside art one can find on the highways in and out of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Many of the roads and freeways around this Metropolis compete for attention by the implementation of large-scale artworks and architectural interventions that make roadtrips that much more appealing. Some of these are listed on the Visit Victoria website. These tie in somewhat with the notable Australia’s Big Things art sculptures found throughout the country. Great aspect to Victoria and Melbourne in my view … definitely worth a drive-through outdoor art gallery peek! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Lentil as Anything (Melbourne, Australia)


Lentil as Anything restaurant
, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. April 15, 2011.

Lentil as Anything
* www.lentilasanything.com/ * Abbotsford Convent * 9 am – 9 pm except mondays noon – 9 pm * (03) 9419 6444 * 1 St. Heliers Street,
Abbotsford, Victoria 3067 *

A most excellent dining experience after a day of sightseeing around the Melbourne area. The band of three of us headed off to one of a series of three “Pay as you Feel” vegetarian restaurants located in Melbourne, Australia. Now having only experienced this “Abbotsford” location located within an old nunnery, I’m inspired to go back to Australia to experience the rest that exist in St. Kilda and Footscray as well. The Abbotsford Convent is within a historical site that will seat upwards of 150 patrons. The concept of the restaurants are based on “trust” to “pay what you can” or “pay as you feel” what the food and dining experience was worth, a concept which impressed me so much I paid more than I would normally for such a meal. They also invite their patrons and fans to donate (which can be done on the web site) towards a philosophy that places human dignity above profit. When dining, all donations for the meal are made into an anonymous box which they feel preserves dignity while promoting trust and feelings of social inclusion. Many activities and artistic expression, fellowship, and communing take place at the “Lentil as Anything” restaurants including live music, world music, films, and art exhibits. All food is sourced from local organic farmers and producers that is prepared on site by volunteers and staff often served all you can eat buffet style. Food is vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options/selections. They also offer catering services. They pride in being community based and driven. They are a unique not for profit community organisation. A most excellent organization and dining experience. A must not miss in Melbourne. Rating: 5+ stars out of 5. Visited 4/17/11, 4/18/11.

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Werribee Rose Gardens, Mansion, and Estate

Werribee Park – Mansion and Rose Gardens
* Official web site * K Road (Gate 2) * Werribee * Victoria, Australia * 3030 * Telephone: 13 1963 * Email: bookingswerribee@parks.vic.gov.au *

Disatisfied with our beach trip, we wandered over to Werribee Park – and while caught an hour or so of wandering around in the beautiful rose gardens, did not get to cover the mansion and other parts of the park. Highly recommend showing up early for this place not towards the end of the day. This is a site where one can get a grasp of Australia’s pastoral empire by walking amongst Victorian era Italianate-style architecture surrounded by exquisite formal gardens including a spectacular rose garden and open space park lands. The site is a hidden haven for picnickers, garden enthusiasts, botanists, and history buffs. The park consists of a historical mansion in Werribee just outside of Melbourne. It hosts the mansion, the Victorian State Rose Gardens, formal gardens, the Werribee Park National Equestrian Center, the Open Range Zoo, and a comtemporary sculpture walk along the Werribee River. The Mansion is home to a hotel and conference center. Owned and operated by the Victorian government since 1973, the park has become a popular tourist spot since the late 70’s. It was first built in 1874 by Andrew and Thomas Chirnside with an Italian architectural style influencing a large farm. After Thomas committed suicide in the 1890’s, the property was passed on to George who built the Manor. From 1923 until 1973 it operated as a Catholic seminary as “Corpus Christi College”. By 1996 it became a popular backdrop for the English television series “The Genie From Down Under” as well as for an American film called “The Pirate Movie” and the 1976 film “The Devil’s Playground”. The Rose Gardens are grouped into 4 sections – opening first in 1986 in the shape of a Tudor rose with 5 petals with over 252 different roses from around the world. Admission to the gardens are free. The orchard was establised in the 1870’s and renown for its peaches, apples, quinces, pears, grapes, plums, walnuts, and olives. Rating 3 stars out of 5 – visited 4/17/2011.

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Campbells Cove Beach

Campbell Cove Nude Beach
* Campbells Cove * Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * GPS: S:37 56 29.04″ – E:144 44 24.45″ *

One of Melbourne’s closest nude beaches, Campbell Cove is a quick drive from downtown Melbourne. However, it has mixed reviews. It is considered to be one of the worst beaches in the area many online reviews write. I couldn’t agree more. It is a small rocky strip of coastline with murky muddy waters and unsavory types hanging out in the parking lot. While we semi-peacefully got some sun, another beach-goer’s dog wouldn’t stop shaking its water all over us. Not recommended. Though if you’re set on a place to strip close to Melbourne, you get to it from Werribee by turning on to Duncans Road which turns into Aviation road. RIght onto Cunningham Road and left into Campbell’s Cove Beach Road. Go past the fishermen’s huts to the end of the road. Rating: 1 star out of 5. Reviewed by Leaf McGowan.

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Down to Earth Cafe (Melbourne)


Down to Earth Cafe
* 308 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North * Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * 3068 * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Down-to-Earth-Coffee-and-Tea-House/ *

A pleasant little outdoor/indoor cafe in a Melbourne neighbourhood serving snacks, desserts, and light meals with tea and coffee. Pleasant service and nice surroundings, this cafe aims to please. They also whip up a great chai latte. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. Review by Leaf McGowan.

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Fritz Gellato

Fritz Gelato
* www.fritzgelato.com * 11A Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * 3182 * Phone (03) 8598 9090 * StKilda@fritzgelato.com *

Nestled into a small hole-in-the-wall counter between busy shoppes along the St. Kilda beachfront, lies “Fritz Gelato” – an amazing low-fat, healthy organic gelato booth that also offers coffee and donuts. They also strive to have innovative and exciting new flavors often. Their vision is to supply Australia with organic coffee, donuts, and gelato with their chain, and expecting to have over 50 stores by 2020. This little Gelato booth was founded by Swiss born Andrea Fritz who came from a picturesque area that was fused with German and Italian cultures. By age 25, Andrea formulated his own gelato opening his first doors to the shores of the lake in his hometown. His gelato became a brand name in the area. However, after devestation from the war, his family migrated to Australia by 1952 and they opened their first store in South Melbourne. Same as in his home town, they became known for the first and finest gelato found in Australia. Gelato came from China over 3,000 years ago where the emperors indulged in mixing frozen fruit with wine and honey flavored snow. The Chinese taught Arab traders this concoction which evolved into the first sorbetto which was passed on to the Venetians and Romans. By the 4th c. B.C. there is record of Alexander the Great and the Roman Emperor Nero sending for this delicacy. The earlieset records of milk-based gelato came from China around 618-907 of the Common Era. They heated cow and goat milk wit grounded rice which was fermented, then had flour added to it for thickness, and honey to sweeten it. It became most popular in the historic record with Catherine de Medici of Florence creating her own style of Gelato. It became a delicacy for the upper class. It is this history that inspired Fritz to continue with his experimenting of formulas to create traditional recipes. He takes pride to become part of the gelato evolution. I must say, he’s on the right track, as his was some of the best gelato I’ve had – and at affordable prices for great volumes. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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The Local

The Local
* http://thelocal.com.au/MEL/ * The Local Taphouse * 184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda * Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * Tel. 9537 2633 *

Nestled in the heart of St. Kilda lies a friendly pub with dark wooden floors and walls, dark green lamps, couches, tables, and a sociable cosy relaxed atmosphere. It is here that the beer and ale seeker can find local brews, an enormous selection of beers on tap, and an assortment to die for. Upstairs is a courtyard with wooden decks and tables, a fire pit, and large umbrellas over the tables. Perfect for any weather, rain / shine / cold / or hot. Bar upstairs and downstairs, not only does the ambiance of a hidden away local joint shout out at its patrons, and a good spot for drinks, but the food is pretty fabulous as well. Popular for their beer sample paddles, this pub can quench any thirst. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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St. Kilda

St Kilda
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

St. Kilda is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia with a population over 16,000. It was established in 1839 with its own Local government area as “City of Port Phillip”, and an inner city suburb just 3.7 miles outside of the Melbourne Center. The area was named after a schooner Lady of St. Kilda which was moored at this beach for most of 1841 by Charles La Trobe and the ship’s master James Ross Lawrence. During the Victorian era, this suburb was most popular amongst Melbourne’s elite which led to the construction of numerous palatial mansions in the hood along the hills and waterfront. It became similar in function through time as New York City’s Coney Island did to NYC with a very similar parallel, even involving popular amusement parks. Postwar it became Melbourne’s Red Light Distric with low-cost rooming houses. Then it became the area of Melbourne known for its bohemian inhabitants, artisans, musicians, punks, LGBT, techno scene, and subcultures. St. Kilda is the focal point of “Luna Park”, the Esplanade Hotel, Acland Street, and Fitzroy Street, as well as St. Kilda Beach with its theaters, festivals, and events.

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Pie Face

Pie Face *
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * www.pieface.com.au *

A great little hole-in-the-wall chain counter/restaurant with fast service dishing out pies for Australians since 2003. First founded in Sydney, “Pie face” greets its hungry customers with a happy face on the pie crust face filled like a pot pie with yummy delicious veggies and/or meats. It was founded by Betty Fong and Wayne Homschek. Originally fashion designers, they first served pies to their audience to get everyone in the mood for their fashion show, and got such great applause for their pies, decided to open a business. The pies are custom made for their customers, and all hand made and baked. Delicious! I’ve enjoyed these fabulous little fast tasty pies in Melbourne, Brisbane, and obviously is also available in Sydney. Rating : 4.5 stars out of 5. Review by Leaf McGowan.

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Streat Coffee Stand

Streat Coffee Stand

Streat Coffee Stand * Melbourne City Center/Central Station
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * http://streat.com.au/ *

An innovative design and a wonderful organization to spend your coffee money on. STREAT = “Street Youth” + “Street Food” + “Street Culture”. It is a coffee shop/cafe/cart found throughout Melbourne Australia that takes portions of its sales to help tackle youth homelessness and disadvantage. They not only campaign for the cause, but put sales to the financial needs, and employment for the young people affected by such hardships. They tackle the issues with social support by means of industry training and employment opportunities in their street cafes, offering delicious and cost-effective meals centered around street culture. They believe in lifelong learning, tackling problems with imagination and passion, having healthy meals and drinks, birthing new ideas, connecting individuals and communities together, while striving for sustainability in all of their activities. And …. they serve a mean cup o’ joe or chai. Rating : 4 stars out of 5. Review by Tom Baurley.

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Melbourne Central Station

Melbourne City Center/Central Station
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

http://www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au/stop/view/19842.

In the heart of Melbourne is the underground railway station known as “Melbourne Central”. It is one of Melbourne’s five stations (three of which are underground) on the City Loop that encircles the central business district. Located under La Trobe Street, between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets, on the CBD’s northern edge and is named after the shopping centre it is located underneath. While seemingly the most popular station, it is not the city’s main station, as that role is filled by the “Flinders Street Station”. However Melbourne City Central Station is the second busiest railway station in Melbourne with over 47,000 passengers a day. The station was built using cover and cut construction in 1973 with completion accomplised in 1978. Because of its art, central location, and design, it was opened as a Museum in January 1981. By 1995 the Museum was relocated behind the Royal Exhibition building in the Carlton Gardens. The station was then renamed in 1997 after the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre.

Rating : 5 stars out of 5. Review by Tom Baurley.

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Welcome to Melbourne sign; countryside,
Highway scene, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. April 15, 2011.

Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

Victoria’s most populated city, and Australia’s 2nd largest city, is “Melbourne” with approximately over four million inhabitants called “Melburnians”. The heart of Melbourne is the “CBD” or the “Central Business District” a.k.a. “The City Centre” which is the lifespring of the metropolitan heart. Nestled in a natural bay called “Port Phillip” at the Yarra River’s estuary, the city is not only a port location, but a place popular for its ocean view. This area was first settled 20,000 years ago by hunter-gatherers known as the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, and Wathaurong. Many Australian Aborigines saw this area as an important meeting place to establish the Kulin nation alliance as well as a source for food and water. The first white settlers came to the area in 1803 on Sullivan Bay which was later abandoned by the European settlers as they didn’t discover the wealth of resources the area had. It was re-settled again in 1835 by Van Diemen settlers notably under John Batman, thus establishing the first official habitation of Melbourne area with a purchase of over 600,000 acres of land. This settlement arranged the “Batman’s Treaty” with the Aborigine to settle this area. New South Wales annulled this treaty giving them control of the area. By 1836, its Governor Richard Bourke declared it the administrative capital for New South Wales commissioning the first plan for the city. Melbourne was named after Bourke in 1837 honoring “William Lamb- the 2nd Viscount Melbourne”. The Post Office was opened up later that year. The city was given its status by Queen Victoria in 1847 and became the capital of Victoria in 1851. It soon after became one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities after the Victorian gold rush. This brought in an influx of various migrants including German, Chinese, and Irish settlers; saw the development of slums and projects; temporary tent cities; and eventually the formation of Chinatown in 1851. After the Eureka Rebellion, various nationalities siezed the area turning it into a extremely cultural area. By 1901 it became the temporary seat of the government of Australia’s first federation. It had its first federal parliament later that year operating up until 1927 until the center was moved to Canberra. After World War II, Melbourne expanded substantially due to post war immigration from Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The city experimented with controversial public housing projects in the inner city to deal with its growth leading to demolition of neighborhoods and an increase in high rise towers. More financial and mining booms around 1970 established many major companies to set their headquarters in the city adding more boom to the commerce for Melbourne to be a major financial district. Melbourne saw a economic downturn from 1898-1992 which led to a collapse of local institutions, but by 1992 plans were in motion to develop public works to promote the city as a tourist location, hosting events, sports, and the arts. This plan worked as early as 1997 with great growth and today, Melbourne is most popular for its tourism, arts, entertainment, education, sport, and commerce industries. It is the home place for Australian Film and is where the world’s first feature film was produced. It is the base location for Australian television, Australian rules football, dance styles, contemporary and traditional Australian music, and is the “mixing pot” of Australia. Melbourne is also popular for its festivals including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Melbourne is also home to the University of Melbourne, Monash University, La Trobe University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, and Australian Catholic University. Melbourne also has the largest tram network in the world with over 178 million passenger trips a year and over 300 routes for its buses. Melbourne has four airports. The city is also well known for its bicycle sharing system that was established in 2010.

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