Monday, 7 April 2014

Melbourne Part III - Day Two

Click here for Day One.

For the second day we decided to try the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle. We picked up the pamphlet while we were at the Information Centre and after looking at the route we decided to give it a try. For AUD$5 per person and free for kids under 10, riding on the bus gives you an overview of Melbourne. The whole journey takes 90 minutes from start to finish and you can hop on and off as you like. One other reason why we decided to take the bus to travel around and sightseer was it was so much easier to do so when you have a stroller with you. Getting on and off trams with a stroller is a bit of a hassle! The bus is every half hour from each stop and you can find out what time it comes as each stop says what time is their first and last few buses. Here are all the stops for the buses (stops highlighted in green was where we stopped):

Stop 1 Arts precinct
Step off here for plays, pictures and performances.
  • Arts Centre Melbourne
  • NGV International
  • Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
  • Malthouse Theatre
  • Melbourne Recital Centre
  • Southbank Theatre
Stop 2 Federation Square
Step off here for visitor services, culture and art.
  • Melbourne Visitor Centre
  • Federation Square
  • Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
  • Birrarung Marr and William Barrack Bridge
  • Federation Bells
  • Flinders Street Station
  • St Paul's Cathedral
  • Hosier Lane
Stop 3 Sports precinct
Step off here for stadiums, legends and gardens.
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
  • National Sports Museum (in the MCG)
  • Melbourne, Olympic and AAMI parks
  • Fitzroy Gardens, Cooks' Cottage, Fairies Tree, Model Tudor Village and historic Conservatory.  
* Note that this stop is not in service on MCG event days.
Stop 4 Chinatown precinct
Step off here for shopping, theatre and a Chinese dragon.
  • Her Majesty's, Princess, Regent, Athenaeum and Comedy theatres
  • Chinatown
  • Collins Street, Greek precinct
  • State Library of Victoria, Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne's GPO, Melbourne Central, QV Melbourne
Stop 5 Melbourne Museum and Carlton Gardens
Step off here for culture, cinema and city gaol.
  • Melbourne Museum
  • IMAX Theatre
  • Royal Exhibition Building
  • Carlton Gardens
  • Old Melbourne Gaol and City Watch House
Stop 6 Lygon Street precinct
Step off here for La Dolce Vita and La Mama.
  • Lygon Street lifestyle
  • La Mama and Carlton Courthouse theatres
  • Piazza Italia
  • Museo Italiano Cultural Centre
Stop 7 University of Melbourne
Step off here for museums, music and modern art.
  • University of Melbourne
  • Ian Potter Museum of Art
  • Grainger Museum
Stop 8 Queen Victoria Market
Step off here for the market, museum and mint.
  • Queen Victoria Market
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Flemington Racecourse
  • Arts House and Errol Street
  • Hellenic Museum 
Stop 9 Harbour Town, Docklands
Step off here for shopping, skating and sailing.
  • Harbour Town
  • Medibank Icehouse
  • NewQuay
  • Tourism Lounge
Stop 10 Etihad Stadium and Victoria Harbour
Step off here for arts, parks and sporting events.
  • Victoria Harbour
  • Yarra's Edge
  • Etihad Stadium
  • Docklands Park
  • Fox Classic Car Museum
Stop 11 William Street - we got on HERE
Step off here for culture, courts and coastal wonders.
  • Immigration Museum
  • Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre
  • Legal precinct
  • ANZ Banking Museum
  • Enterprise Wharf
  • Melbourne Aquarium
Stop 12 Southbank and Yarra River
Step off here for the skydeck, shops and ships.
  • Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
  • South Wharf Promenade
  • Crown Entertainment Complex
  • Southgate
  • Eureka Skydeck 88
  • Polly Woodside
Stop 13 The Shrine and Royal Botanic Gardens
Step off here for music, a memorial and meandering gardens.
  • Shrine of Remembrance
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
  • Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden
  • Sidney Myer Music Bowl
  • Government House
  • La Trobe's Cottage

As you can see, it stops at all the major attractions. The bus has a recorded commentator which explains and tells you all the history. Even the bus driver would share with us his stories as we went along the ride. 

We were lucky as there was one stop just down the road from the hotel. So we waited at the bus stop and prior to getting on the bus we purchased our tickets from the ticket machine. Note that they ONLY take coins, so make sure you have enough. Otherwise you can purchase the tickets at the Info Counter at Federation Square. 

Our first stop was the Botanical Gardens. We stopped here to have some breakfast, then had a stroll around the garden. The garden itself was HUGE! We only had a short walk around then headed back to the Shrine of Remembrance.

A stroll around the Botanical Gardens
Shrine of Remembrance

Us waiting for our bus
The bus stop for the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle

Then we headed off to the Museum.

Tickets prices are AUD$10 for adults.

We stopped at the cafe to have an early lunch of Fish & Chips and sandwiches then headed into the museum exhibitions. We checked out the aboriginal exhibitions then walked around to see all the (stuffed) animals and the dinosaur bones.
Melbourne Museum
Heritage Museum ( we didn't go in)

Aboriginal Exhibition

Their collection of stuffed animals


Their dinosaur bones 
Someone pretending to be a dinosaur

Unfortunately, Nazrin was having tummy troubles at the museum so he didn't really enjoy himself until he passed motion. I was dreading it as he hasn't been for 2 days now, so I knew it was going to be a BOMB. Luckily, the kids toilets were so clean that I didn't get too stressed out changing him at all. This I found true for all toilets in Melbourne! I was dreading changing him without access to water to hose him bumbum but I was prepared with lots and lots of wipes so it was all OK! Phew hehe

Then after the museum, we got off at Harbour Town which is one of their outlet stores. DISSAPPOINTING is how I would describe this place. Not much choice of shops, I mean lots of the brands were unheard off (or maybe I am not familiar to the Aussie brands?) but even shops like Cotton On weren't cheap when compared to here. Unless the items are on sale, you're better off buying it here in Malaysia. DFO would be so much better to shop I think, but we didn't have time to go and shopping is not the main agenda. It sucks that all shops are closed to early too!! So we managed to get some Royal Daulton plates for our mummies, then I got some clothes for the kids at Cotton On. Even Forever New didn't have anything that I fancied : (
So we headed back to the city via cabs as the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle's last bus was the one that we arrived in. We went straight to this Indonesian Restaurant (where we had dinner the night before) to get some dinner. Their ayam bakar was yummy but my fave was their ayam balado. Even their fried rice was so yummy that Nazrin ate loads! I am drooling as I type this remembering their food. The prices are averaged at around AUD$10- AUD$15 per dish but this price is typical of most food in Melbourne.

380 Little Bourke St
Melbourne 3000
(03 - 9600 2534)

While waiting for our take aways, I decided to find a grocery store to get some essentials so that we could cook breakfast the next day. I thought I was one around the corner but I ended up walking to Melbourne Central to find Coles. Picked up bread, eggs, onions, some vegies for breakfast and so that we could cook our fried rice for the next day. On the way back to Kimi at Block M it started pouring, so we took the cab back to the hotel. We showered and ate dinner and that was the day of Day Two.

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