LezGoMelbourne

A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne


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Planning Your Melbourne Vacation: A 5-Day Itinerary Part 1

If, for any reason, your visit to Melbourne is only limited to a certain number of days, then this itinerary just might be for you. It is also suitable to a modest budget where you can experience a little bit of this and a bit of that, so you don’t miss out on anything. The itinerary only involves one or two excursions out of the city, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out more and explore what’s out there. Again, you choose your own adventure.

You don’t have to worry much about getting here to there as Melbourne has a great and extensive network of buses, trams, and trains. But you do have to be aware of the schedules of these modes of transport so you can get where you need to be on time.

Hopefully with this, planning your Melbourne vacation or your visit to Australia becomes a less daunting task. You can easily amend this itinerary to make it more fun and interesting for the family, especially for the kids. You can even add more things and places to visit on this list if you have a faster pace than others. And if you like to eat out a lot, then, I may just have a few suggestions for you to try.

Also, there are certain activities here that you might want to change since there are festivals or events that happen in Melbourne on certain seasons such as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Melbourne Comedy Festival, the Australian Open, and so on.

DAY 1
City Tour
Assuming that you have just arrived in the city and dropped your bags at the hotel, one of the first places you need to familiarise with is Flinders St. Station. It is one of the city’s most famous and familiar landmarks. From here, you can easily navigate the city streets and weave in and out of Melbourne CBD through the network of trams that runs right through it.

The trip begins here at Flinders St. Station where it is flanked by Young and Jackson’s Hotel on the left, St. Paul’s Cathedral up ahead, and right across is Federation Square where there is a Tourist or Visitor Centre, if you have exited to St. Kilda Road/Swanston St that is.

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Flinders St. Station really is a charming structure.

MORNING
Flinders St. Station
Federation Square
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia are both found here. The former celebrates the arts through films and digital media while the latter holds a collection of Australian art.
St. Paul’s Cathedral

Catch the free City Circle Tram or the Tourist Bus Shuttle and you can go to your next destination in the city. Or you can simply board the train or tram and you can be on your way.

The Parliament of Victoria
9:30am/10:30am/11:30am/1:30pm/2:30pm/3:45pm
There are public tours offered at the Parliament on non-sitting days. Kindly check out the calendar at their website to know if and when this is available.

Coffee Break?
Pellegrinni’s
66 Bourke St.
Near Parliament Station
Mon-Sat 8am-11.30pm
Sun 11am-8pm

Lunch?
Parallel to Bourke St. is Flinders Lane where a number of restaurants such as Chin Chin, Cumulus Inc., Coda Bar & Grill, Papa Goose, and Cecconis, among so many others, can be found. You can get a sneak peek at Melbourne Street Art/ Graffiti Art at Hosier Lane too.

Or you can go right ahead to Chinatown at Little Bourke St. where there’s also a lot of good eats.

Bourke St.
Walk it off and give yourself some retail therapy by visiting Bourke St. Aside from malls or department stores, here, you can visit Union Lane for another a look at Melbourne Street Art/ Graffiti Art and the Royal Arcade where you can meet Gog and Magog.

AFTERNOON
If you want to continue shopping, you can head out to Docklands where Harbour Town Shopping Centre is. But if you want to entertain the kids, then maybe a short stop to Wonderland, a small amusement park, would do the trick.

Royal Botanic Gardens
But if you want a change of scenery, head on out to the gardens by catching a tram and getting off at stop 20. If you go to their website, there is a free Autumn Discovery Walk available, except for certain dates.
Open 7:30am until sunset
Free Admission

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An inside look at the Shrine of Remembrance

Shrine of Remembrance
Nearby, you can also visit the Shrine of Remembrance that commemorates the courage, dedication, and the lives of all the brave men and women who served the country.
Open 10:00am – 5pm
Free Admission

EVENING
Southgate
If you still have the energy to walk around, a stroll along the river with a backdrop of the city lights is both scenic and romantic.

Crown Casino can also be found here, not because you want to gamble, but just because there is a light show inside every 15 minutes and a Fire display outside from 9pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends. But hey, I don’t blame you if you want to try your luck. And if that doesn’t work out, you can always just go and eat.

Guided Tours:
If you want to experience a guided tour of the city, you can do anything from walking tours, bicycle tours, hidden laneways tours, beer tours, food tours, and even a silent disco walking tour. These ranges from an hour to three or more, depending on your selection and can cost anywhere between $20 – $100.

And then there are those who offer “free” walking tours but operate on a tips-only basis, so basically, you still have to show your appreciation through cash. I did, however, find a tour operator, Meltours, who claims to offer a completely free orientation tour of the city. I haven’t tried it for myself so it’s completely up to your own discretion.

Resources:
City Circle Tram
Melbourne Visitor Shuttle
Open House
Thatsmelbourne
VisitMelbourne

For more ideas on your self-guided tour, Thatsmelbourne.com.au has these:
A Walk in the Park
Secret Gardens
On the Waterfront
Arcades and Lanes

Click on this link for Part 1 of this itinerary

Click on this link for the Part 2 of this itinerary

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Planning Your Melbourne Vacation: Making an Itinerary

Time flies so fast. It’s May already and the temperature just keeps on dropping. I almost didn’t notice it until I saw how many weeks of blogging I’ve missed.

The thing is, I’ve had a couple of friends and family who came for a visit. So yes, I was out most of the time and drained the rest of the evening. That’s how many of us do it, right? Vacation for us means a lot of sightseeing, walking, picture taking, and so on. By the end of our vacation, we need another one. Lols. It’s funny how true that is.

So, days before, I have been researching. What is there to see or do in Melbourne? I asked this question multiple times. I haven’t had much chance to explore Melbourne very much so I had to do a lot of reading.

April is not as eventful compared to January, February or March where droves of people would go and see the Australian Open and Australian Grand Prix, celebrate Australia Day and Moomba, or watch the city light up for White Night. Still, April has its own merits and there are a handful of things you can still do and see in Melbourne. Even with the temperature dropping, even with the cloudy skies and bursts of rain, there are many ways for you to experience Melbourne.

So, if you are looking into customising your own trip, here are tips that I would like to share with you when it comes to planning your vacation.

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1. Interests
It’s best to cater your guests’ interests so they can have a memorable time during their stay. Some people explore the city, others want to experience the outdoors. Some enjoy knowing about a city’s history while others want to know it through food.

2. Budget
You can explore Melbourne in any way you want. You can do a walking tour, go on a bike ride, cruise around town in a top down convertible car, or even drive to the valley in a limo. It’s your choice how you do it, but there’s a price tag.

But, you can easily keep track by allocating a certain attraction or activity for each day. This way, you can stick to a daily budget and not go overboard.

3. Weather
It can definitely get hot in the summer, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a spell of rain the following days. The same is true when it’s spring or autumn. So, you have to prepare a range of activities that you can do indoors when the weather is too wet and cold outside.

4. Zone it
If you are to visit a certain attraction, it would do well to build an itinerary around that particular route or area. This way, you can easily reach different spots on your itinerary without tiring yourself. A good example of this would be a day going around the city on the City Circle Tram or the Free Tourist Bus Shuttle.

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Melbourne is littered with wonderful parks and gardens. Isn’t that grand?

5. Themes
I use themes in my itinerary to describe the type of activity that would be involved for that day, i.e. Parks and Recreation Thursday or Sunday Church St. Shopping. This makes it easier to compile and remember all our destinations and options.

6. It’s All in the Details
List everything that you can about the places you will be visiting; addresses, fees, train and tram routes, and even operating hours. These are all essential. You don’t want to waste your time and energy visiting an attraction that is closed for that day. Trust me, it happens.

7. Plan B
There should always be a Plan B and even a Plan C. Even with the most meticulous planning, it can be quite hard to stick to a schedule, especially when you are enjoying yourself. Having other options saves you time from worrying and deciding where to go next.

8. Group Size
Size does matter, especially when you are planning activities, making reservations, and juggling schedules. It might not occur to some, but the demands of a small group are different from a big one. Something as simple as a taxi ride can be tricky when you’re a group of five when the taxi only carries 4 and restaurant reservations might be tricky for more than 8 people at short notice.

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It’s not enough to watch just one show or two or three.

9. Booking and buying tickets
There are perks when you prepare a schedule ahead of time. For one, some offer discounts for online bookings compared to walk-ins. Second, you can easily guarantee a seat to a show or event without wasting time waiting in line.

10. Souvenir Shopping
I know you would have gone to a lot of places where you would have purchased a souvenir or two. But being Filipinos, souvenir shopping means we have to have some good stuff to bring home with us for family and friends.

Yes, it’s a tradition that you either hate or love. But I love it because it means shopping! So, aside from your personal purchases in stores and boutiques, remember to dedicate a day or at least half a day for your souvenir shopping. Remember, the markets and malls close early in Melbourne and wouldn’t stay open past 5pm on weekdays or 7pm at the latest.

However, there are still places for you to do your shopping. Grocery or supermarkets stay open until late, some as long as midnight so you can grab candies and chocolates here. Big name stores such as Big W, Target, and Kmart are also open for longer hours. Time, however, varies for each store so you many want to check them out before going.

Well, that’s about it. On my next few posts, I’ll be sharing with you an itinerary and a glimpse of the places we’ve visited the past few days. Until then, take care.

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Australian Open 2013

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The Rod Laver Arena is full of excited tennis fans

Melbourne is buzzing with activity the past few days. The streets are flooded with the colours green and yellow. The televisions sets at home are fixed on Ch. 7. What else can it be? It’s Australian Open 2013!

It’s my first Australian Open in Melbourne. I must say, every day is a temptation. You want to get in on the action. You want to dash to Rod Laver Arena or Hisense Arena. You want to be there on the grounds with everyone and root for your favourite player.

I am a Serena Willams and Venus Wiliams fan. I am so damn proud of them. They changed the game of tennis.

Unfortunately, Venus was out of the running for this year’s trophy. And, they didn’t make it to the semi-finals too for the Women’s Doubles category. They were bested by the duo Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

I’m glad I didn’t watch that game or else I would have had my heart broken twice. Yes, I am that emotionally invested with these sisters. In fact, I am so freaking weird and superstitious at times that I believe I jinx them when I watch them play. How do I watch a game then? I turn away from the television set when either one of them losses a point to their opponent. I let my partner do the watching for me. I believe she’s imbued with good luck. And when it’s all good, I resume watching. I am dead serious.

Today, Serena Williams will be competing against Sloane Stephens. It’ll be a great match to watch since I l support both of them. But then again, my ticket is for the 5pm session so I won’t be seeing them live in action. I know, I know. I’m a bad fan. But hey, I am grateful to be watching Australian Open with a free ticket. Yeah, someone else paid. And no, I am not sponsored or affiliated with any names or brands mentioned on this blog or blog post.

So, for now, I can only but give a few reminders to other arena-watching-newbies like me.

AUSOPEN TIP #1
There really is no way of knowing who you’ll be watching days before you buy your ticket. But, if you plan to buy your ticket the night before, then you can easily view the updated tournament schedule the following day.

AUSOPEN TIP #2
Entrance to the venue can be limited by arena and by time, especially during the qualifying rounds. Your Hisense Arena ticket won’t get you in Rod Laver Arena. And, your day session ticket won’t permit you to watch beyond that time. Once again, make sure where and when your favourite player’s tournament going to be held.

AUSOPEN TIP #3
So, what’s a girl to do? Buy a ground pass! You can catch a glimpse of your favourite player practicing on one of the open courts. There’s a designated court and time when they’ll be warming up. It’s usually an hour or two before their scheduled match. Just seeing them up close for once is a dream of a lifetime. At least that holds true for me.

AUSOPEN TIP #4
It’s really better to prepare early on for events such as this. Check the weather, slather on the sunscreen, get your shades, and hold the coffee. You don’t want to be going to the loo every now and then.
And oh, don’t forget your jacket. Australian summer is a bit finicky. At times, it’s 16C in the morning, heats up to 24C to 36C or more during the rest of the day, and then cools down again to 20C and below.

AUSOPEN TIP #5
Explore the grounds and be aware of the people around you. They give you more clues than you can imagine. The lines tell you where the good eats are at, where the toilets are, where the freebies are, and of course, where the same people are cheering for your favourite player.

AUSOPEN TIP #6
Dress to your fancy. It’s the time to let some of your finest summer wardrobe see the light of day or night for that matter. Or if you prefer, let loose and wear a more festive attire. You’re sure to see avid fans out there like you and me.

AUSOPEN TIP #7
Check what you can’t bring in with you. As much as we love to capture as much photos as we can, tripods aren’t allowed and so are camera lenses with more than 200mm.

I’ll be adding more to this list, if ever you need more tips. For now, let’s enjoy the Australian Open 2013!

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.