Tag Archives: Victoria

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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Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia

In the Eastern part of the state of Victoria Australia lies a man-made channel that connects the Gippsland Lakes to the Bass Strait that is an abundant hotspot for tourism, fishing, and watersport recreation. A small village of just over 4,000 residents, “Lakes Entrance”, formerly “Cunnighame” was first inhabited in 1870 and given its current name in 1915. The area is known for its panoramic views and its fishing. It is also very popular for caravan park camping as well as its “free” camping spots in its bordering Colquhoun State Forest. Lakes Entrance served as a “entrance” for us coming from Melbourne urban wanderings to begin our trek into nature and the coast for camping and fishing. We pulled over into the harbour where we were greeted by boaters, fishers, and lots of giant pelicans.

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Victoria’s “Rest Stop”

Frightful Rest Area Reminds me of the movie: Rest Stop
Melbourne, Victoria towards Lakes Entrance

This out in the middle of nowhere rest area gave me the creepy feeling that was all too common after watching the Horror flick “Rest Stop“. It was run-down, looked un-safe, had a needle disposal box, and lots of graffiti and warnings on the walls. Totally breathed “slasher”. Rating : – * out of 5 stars. Avoid. However, my mate, seemed to have fine time chatting up a RV’er passing through for a cup of Joe … different strokes for different folks.

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Willow Park Rest Area in Victoria, Australia

Willow Park Rest Area
* 2433-2511 Princes Hwy, Rosedale VIC 3847 * Victoria, Australia

Along the M1 in Victoria is the “Willow Park” Rest Area. Great spot to stop and rest when not in flooding season. Unfortunately during our lunch pitstop on April 18th, it was flooded, and mosquitos were “outta control!” Its just outside of Rosedale near the Latrobe River. Often you can find solitude here. Apparently (we didn’t know at the time) it is one of Australia’s few free campsites. Dog friendly. Has public toilets, water, shade trees, picnic tables, campfire pits, and space for caravans and tents. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. Reviewed by Leaf McGowan.

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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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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


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.

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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Lake Hume: Mitta Mitta River

Lake Hume: Mitta Mita River
* Victoria, Australia *

During our road trip across the Snowy Mountains on into Victoria to Albury, we came across a river or lake with lots of trees popping out of the water. My first impression was that the area was flooded but it was very much a part of the “Mitta Mitta River” and Lake Hume. A major tributary of the Murray River in Australia, the Mitta Mita provides over 40% of the Murray River flow. It’s headwaters come from one of Victoria’s highest mountains – Mount Bogong, winding over 100 kilometers before joining into the other rivers. Its flow its influenced by the Dartmouth and the Hume Dams. Where the Mitta Mitta meets the Murray, is the waters of Lake Hume, which is often flooded on an annual basis. This area is a great place for trout fishing especially Brown and Rainbow Trouts. Lake Hume is formed artificially by the Hume Weir east of Albury-Wodonga on the Murray River just downstream of junctioning with the Mitta Mitta River. The lake is great for fishing trout, carp, Golden Perch, Murray Cod, and redfin.

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Carryong, Victoria, Australia

* Victoria, Australia *

A relatively small town in Victoria, Australia located 75 miles easty of Albury is the town of “Carryong” along the upper reaches of the Murray River and the New South Wales border. With just over 1200 inhabitants, Carryong is along Alpine Way and the next pitstop for supplies between Thredbo and Albury when coming down out of the mountains. It’s industry is agriculture and forestry, beef and dairy farming, and has some service clubs, a hospital, and schools. It is also home to a College with over 460 students (close to half the population of the town). It is a gateway town to the skiing resorts of the Snowy Mountains scheme and a popular area as well for fishermen and watersports enthusiasts. Most popular it is known as the home of the “Man from Snowy River” who is buried here – Jack Riley 1841-1914.

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Victoria, Australia

* Australia *

One of the most popular region’s of Australia is the state of “Victoria” and most notable as such due to the city of “Melbourne”. It is the second largest state in all of Australia even though it is geographically the smallest of the mainland states. It is bordered by New South Wales to the North, South Australia to the West, Tasmania to the south. It was named after the monarch “Queen Victoria”. It was founded shortly after the colony of New South Wales in 1788 when Austalia was divided into the eastern half called “New South Wales” and the western half called “New Holland”. Its first European settlement was called “Victoria” in 1803 and consisted of 308 convicts, 51 marines, 17 free settlers, 12 civil officers, a missionary and his wife – all of whom were sent on the HMS Calcutta from England under command of Captain Daniel Woodriff in an attempt to beat the French to colonizing the area. Victoria’s 2nd settlement was Portland. The City of Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman. Gold was discovered in Victoria in 1851 first at Ballarat then Bendigo and later across Victoria setting a mad gold rush beating some of those popular in the States causing rapid colonial population growth and economic power booms. Victoria’s population incresed from 76,000 inhabitants to 540,000 in ten years attracting immigrants from all over the world including Ireland and China. 1854 saw a armed rebellion against the government in Ballarat protesting against mining taxes called the Eureka Stockade which was crushed by British troops. This led to the Imperial Government granting Victoria its own responsible government with the passage of the Colony of Victoria Act of 1855. The colony of Victoria sent troops and a warship to New Zealand to become part of the Maori Wars. By 1901 Victoria became a state in the Commonwealth of Australia and Melbourne became the financial center of Australia and New Zealand. From 1901-1927 Melbourne was the Capital of Australia until Canberra was developed. By 2006 Victoria had over 4,900,000 residents and by 2010 reached over 5,547,500. Melbourne has the world’s largest tram network and the International Airport is the major domestic and international gateway for the state. Its port in Melbourne is the largest for container and general cargo in all of Australia.

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Chronicles: 04/14/11: The Snowy Mountains to Albury

Travels Down Under:
The Men of the Snowy Mountains

Thursday, April 14, 2011
* Lake Jindabyne to Albury, New South Wales, Australia *

Awake in the Snowy Mountains, Sir Thomas Leaf and Sir Bluey Bee crawled out of their bunk beds at the Snowy Mountains Backpackers hostel in Lake Jindabyne ready to hike
Mount Kosciusko. They were warned though from their Czech friends that it would be a tough feat due to weather. The duo however still persisted and ventured out. That morning, Sir Thomas Leaf began to absorb his understanding of the complexities and simplicities of Australian Currency as he photographed examples of the coins and plastic bills that don’t tear … fascinated with its design. Sir Thomas Leaf cooked breakfast that morning, surprising Sir Bluey Bee and introducing him to his very first “Egg in the Nest”. Onwards the adventurers drove off to the Snowy Mountains, past the Distillery, past Bimblegumbie, fascinated with the Emu and Wombat crossing signs, and on into Kosciusko National Park and into Thredbo. Sir Thomas never thought he’d be in a ski resort of Australia! It was a small town and very busy bustling with people. Instead of climbing to the top of the Mountain, and due to scheduling to get to Albury in time to check into the hostel, they settled on “Merrits Nature Track”, a lower elevation hiking trail going through the sub-alpine Eucalyptus forest in the hills along the bobsledding tubes. Beautiful rivers, waterfalls, faerie glens, and moments of Sir Bluey’s silliness … on through the Birralee Bush Camp, underneath the Kosciusko Express chair lift … before they knew it were back to the car and on the road again towards Albury. They pit stopped along the way at Leather barrel Creek Camping and Picnic area where they indulged in a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich lunch with tea and a chance for last minute fishing in the Snowy Mountains. No catches unfortunately. Back on the road to Albury, through the Western Fall of the Main Range, and on into the state of Victoria. They drove through Carryong which had a kids playground in the center of the town with a pirate ship. Sir Leaf restricted himself from leaping out of the car to play and practice climbing the masts. Passing through a beautiful reservoir that was flooded out with trees popping above the center of Lake Hume or Mitta Mitta River called for a photo taking moment. Driving past adverts for soda pop and candy being so expensive (example: Sale of 3 Coca Colas for $8), yet proclaiming such a cheap price tag in their minds, perplexed Sir Thomas Leaf until Sir Bluey explained the sugar tax that Australia has. Totally made sense at that point when realizing sugar does impact the National Health care. Our somber explorers reached Albury and after driving around in circles for 20 minutes, finally found The Albury YHA which was disguised in a Caravan Park. They checked in and met some nice Australian ladies who were in town for a conference. Sir Thomas cooked up Pad Thai (best he could with limited Thai ingredients he could find on the road trip) for Sir Bluey Bee as they rested and caught up with the world. The duo was not impressed with this YHA even though the YHA usually has high standards on what can be called a YHA. Up to their mildew smelling room and off to sleep for a big day of adventure tomorrow on to Melbourne.

Remainder of the Story, Photos and videos below the cut:

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