Melbourne 3 Day Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1The Jazz Corner Hotel
Lunch at Queen Victoria Market
State Library
Royal Exhibition Building
Day 2Harbourside
Hosier Lane
Olympic Park
Royal Botanic Gardens
Shrine of Remembrance
Dinner at Queen Victoria Market
Day 3(Neighbours Set Tour)
Polly Woodside
Port Melbourne

Attractions

1Queen Victoria Market
2State Library
3Royal Exhibition Building
4Harbourside
5Hosier Lane
6Olympic Park
7Royal Botanic Gardens
8Shrine of Remembrance
9Polly Woodside
10Port Melbourne

Melbourne Day 1

Entering Australia is a special challenge for the short sighted. The first instruction, on entering the E-gate, is to remove your glasses. The second is written on a screen 20 metres away. I can’t even see there’s an instruction let alone read what it says. Despite my unbeaten run of failing to use an E-gate without assistance, we make it through the airport and arrive in Melbourne by 9 am.

The Jazz Corner Hotel

We head to our hotel, The Jazz Corner Hotel, hoping we can leave our bags there, but they are able to check us in which is an unexpected bonus. So we go back to bed for a few hours.

Melbourne from the hotel balcony Jazz Corner Hotel
View from The Jazz Corner Hotel balcony

Our home for the next 3 nights is a one bed flat on the 25th floor of a funky boutique hotel with a jazz theme throughout. It has all mod cons including a kitchenette (I’m disproportionately excited when I discover the washing machine). But the best bit is the balcony with spectacular views across Melbourne and the River Yarra. I forgot to take a photo of our accommodation, so here’s one I borrowed from the hotel’s website.

Room at The Jazz Corner Hotel

Once we am feeling vaguely human again, we set off to explore Melbourne. It’s a lovely day and a lovely city. My great great grandfather Paul Monte settled in Melbourne (more of that later) and I can see why he fell for the place.

Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Market

We start in Queen Victoria Market (apparently the largest market in the Southern Hemisphere). It’s huge and you can buy practically anything, but we make a beeline for the very comprehensive food court and have fish and chips for brunch.

Melbourne from Queen Victoria Market
Melbourne from Queen Victoria Market

Once refuelled, the sightseeing can begin in earnest. The Yarra River bisects Melbourne. We spend the afternoon exploring north of the river; there’s some grand old Victorian buildings, some cool modern buildings and a sprinkling of nice parks.

State Library

We start with a visit the enormous State Library, which is surrounded by book themed sculptures.

Melbourne State Library sculpture
State Library sculpture

Inside, the six storey octagonal dome structure reminds me more of a a cathedral of books than a library.

State Library Interior
State Library Interior

Royal Exhibition Building

On to Carlton Gardens, home of the Royal Exhibition Building. This grand Victorian building was originally built for an exhibition in 1880.

Royal Exhibition Building
Royal Exhibition Building

Today, there is a craft fair taking place, so we are able to go inside and admire the beautifully frescoed interior.

Royal Exhibition Building interior

It’s been a long day so we catch the tram back to the hotel. I sit on the balcony with a beer and some rather strange chicken and aioli crisps, watching the sun set over the harbour and wondering how my view compares with that of my G G Grandad Paul a century ago.

Sunset from The Jazz Corner Hotel balcony
Sunset from The Jazz Corner Hotel balcony

Melbourne Day 2

I wake to find the clocks went back in the night – a day after our arrival in Australia and a week after they went forward in the UK. In the past two weeks compared to the UK, we have been at minus 8 and 7, plus 13, 12, 10 and 9. By the time I get my head round this, we’ll be in Adelaide and plus 8.5 hours.

Melbourne Skyline
Melbourne morning Skyline

Once I have finished worrying about the time, and set off the fire alarm making some toast, we commence part two of our Melbourne sightseeing extravaganza.

Harbourside

We start where we finished yesterday and walk in a huge zigzagging circle along the river to reach Hosier Lane. The harbourside is a pleasant area to take a stroll with parks, sculptures and terrific views on the city.

Melbourne harbourside
Melbourne harbourside
Ophelia

My favourite is Sandridge Bridge. This steel bridge contains ten structures, each depicting different groups of settlers; from the Aboriginal Period, through convicts and the Gold Rush to assisted migration and refugees.

Melbourne harbourside - Sandridge Bridge
Melbourne harbourside – Sandridge Bridge
Sandridge Bridge

Hosier Lane

We reach the little laneway of Hosier Lane. This narrow street is famous for its abundance of street art.

Street Art Hosier Lane
Street Art Hosier Lane

Not only do we get to admire the art already there, but are able to watch artists at work on a new piece.

Street artists at work
Street artists at work

Olympic Park

We walk over the freaky William Barak Bridge which talks and sings to you as you cross to the Olympic Park.

William Barak Bridge
William Barak Bridge

The Park is home to various sports venues including the MCG (cricket ground)and the Rod Laver Arena (tennis centre).

Rod Laver Arena
Rod Laver Arena

Royal Botanic Gardens

Newt, we head for the Royal Botanic Gardens. There is 5 km trail around the edge of the gardens, here, a radio station are handing out chocolate bilbies (imagine a genetic mutation of half rabbit half wallaby).

Chocolate bilby
Chocolate bilby

The Gardens themselves are beautiful. We wander around for a while admiring the different gardens, then stop for a chocolate picnic by the lake.

Royal Botanic Gardens topiary
Royal Botanic Gardens topiary
Royal Botanic Gardens lake
Royal Botanic Gardens lake

Shrine of Remembrance

Next we go to the Shrine of Remembrance; a huge shrine originally built to honour the dead of WW1.

Shrine of Remembrance

A forecourt with eternal flame was built later to commemorate those who died in WW2

Shrine of Remembrance poppy
Shrine of Remembrance poppy

The area underneath houses the Galleries of Remembrance, a moving and informative museum detailing the role of Australians in conflicts around the world.

Father and Son sculpture

We return via Victoria Market for dinner. We need to refuel, we’ve covered a lot of miles today and only eaten a chocolate marsupial.

Melbourne Day 3

Welcome to Erinsborough
Welcome to Erinsborough

Neighbours Set Tour

Today, I am indulging two of my passions. First, I have been watching Neighbours for 30 years so a visit to Melbourne would not be complete without a Ramsey Street tour. Reviews are mixed so I have high hopes and low expectations. The package includes a meet and greet with a star of the show. I am intrigued to see who they have coaxed out of bed on a bank holiday morning.

Ramsay Street sign
Ramsay Street sign

After a shaky start (the bus driver reversing into a street sign) it’s actually a really good tour. The clientele are exclusively British (the Aussies don’t watch Neighbours) and super excited. The driver/guide spends the 18 mile drive to the suburbs engaging in Neighbours themed banter.

Fitzgerald Motors
Fitzgerald Motors

We start at the studio. Because there’s no filming taking place, we are allowed onto the set, which is a bonus, and I get to take loads of cheesy photos.

Grease Monkeys
Grease Monkeys

Then on to Ramsey St, which isn’t actually called Ramsey St. But the guide has a makeshift street sign for more cheesy photo ops. The star we meet, Ben Nicholas, played the character Stingray. He seems really nice and is happy to chat and pose for photos. All in all, a great morning.

Outside No 28 with Stingray
Outside No 28 with Stingray

Note: Since our trip to Australia, Neighbours has been cancelled, although it is currently still possible to visit the set. So I have left this in my blog because it was one of the highlights of the trip.

Polly Woodside

The afternoon is dedicated to genealogy. We start at the Polly Woodside, a 19th century tall ship similar to those my G G grandad sailed on.

Polly Woodside
Polly Woodside

You can board the ship to see what conditions were like and there is also an interesting little museum.

Polly Woodside
Polly Woodside

Port Melbourne

Then we walk to the bayside suburb of Port Melbourne, to Bay Street where my G G grandad lived. My family believed he had died at sea shortly before my great grandma was born, but recent research has shown that he actually jumped ship in Melbourne, married bigamously and settled in Port Melbourne leaving wife No 1 destitute in the UK. I take plenty of pictures of his homes (front and back). The old man is worried that I will get arrested for stalking or casing the joint.

Bay Street Port Melbourne
Bay Street Port Melbourne

We plan to return to the city by train but that involves purchasing a $6 card on which to put the $6 fare. We are too mean to pay, so walk instead. By the time we reach the hotel, we have walked 19 km and are tired and hungry. We head out intending to eat our body weight in Chinese, but I order a Kung Po chicken so hot it burns my lips – a novel form of portion control.

Port Melbourne prom
Port Melbourne prom

Note: I added Port Melbourne to my itinerary for personal reasons, but would still recommend a trip as we enjoyed our visit to this pleasant suburb, with an abundance of shops and restaurants as well as a prom adjacent to the beach.

Port Melbourne beach
Port Melbourne beach

Date of trip: March 2018

Updated: September 2022

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