Monday, November 10, 2014

What's to see in Melbourne, Australia and its neighborhoods?

Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia
Flying into Melbourne, I didn't know what to expect. I had no idea that Melbourne has been consistently named the world’s most liveable city, for the fourth year in a row this year. Also this year, it was named the world’s friendliest city.

But no doubt, Melbourne is definitely deserving of its accolades. It's a fantastic city to visit, which I discovered as I explored its historic downtown, and its equally historic neighborhoods. As a heritage advocate, I realized that Melbourne is an outstanding showcase of adaptive reuse, how heritage buildings are part and parcel of development.

Melbourne General Post Office in Melbourne, Australia
Here is the Melbourne General Post Office. A believe it or not, it's now a branch of H&M! It was designed in 1859, completed in 1887, damaged by fire in 2001, and redeveloped by adaptive reuse in 2004.

Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Australia
Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Australia
The Royal Exhibition Building & Carlston Gardens in Melbourne, Australia is a World Heritage Site. They were designed for the great international exhibitions of 1880 and 1888 in Melbourne. Too bad I was a few weeks away from spring. It would have been nice to see the gardens in full bloom.

Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia
Being the capital of Victoria, the Parliament House is located in Melbourne.

This is the St. Paul's Cathedral at the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets in downtown Melbourne. I love those old trams! And believe it or not, the rides on the City Circle Tram are free of charge!

St. Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia
The High Altar of St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral is made of Devonshire marble, alabaster & Venetian glass mosaics. Above the central cross are scenes of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion.

Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia
Federation Square used to have buildings that were considered eyesores, which were demolished to create public open spaces and mixed-use development.

Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia
Just across the cathedral and square is Flinders Street Station, completed in 1910. In the late 1920s, it was said to be the busiest passenger station in the world. There was talk in the 1960s to demolish the station and replace it with a new one. But Victorians fought for the preservation of this cultural icon.

Here's the beautiful riverfront of Melbourne's Yarra River!

Melbourne Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia
And here's Melbourne Town Hall, the seat of government of the City of Melbourne. But it also functions as a venue for plays, exhibitions, and school concerts, among others.

Royal Arcade in Melbourne, Australia
Royal Arcade is a heritage shopping arcade in the city's central business district.

Desserts at Brunetti in Melbourne, Australia
How about desserts? Melbourne is know for its desserts, especially in the Italian Restaurant District and St. Kilda. Cakes, pastries & other sweet treats are abundant at Brunetti on Lygon Street (Italian Restaurant District), a Melbourne institution.

Brunswick Street in Mebourne, Australia
Brunswick Street in Mebourne, Australia
Now the suburbs are equally historic. Brunswick is a suburb of Melbourne, known for its indie galleries and shops. It's one of the oldest suburbs and has a large number of places of heritage significance, including individual buildings and urban conservation precincts.

Brunswick Street in Mebourne, Australia
Brunswick Street in Mebourne, Australia
Here are more buildings in Brunswick. The whole street is heritage! And they have really nice shops too.

Fire Services Museum of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia
The Fire Services Museum of Victoria showcases fire-fighting memorabilia. The building was the original headquarters of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade on the corner of Gisborne St & Victoria Parade.

Balmoral House in East Melbourne, Australia
Balmoral House is one of the many old houses on Victoria Parade in East Melbourne. I love the wrought iron details! And there were more!

Luna Park in St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia
And this is Luna Park in St Kilda, another popular neighborhood. It was designed and built in 1912. The Great Scenic Railway was the principal feature of the park. It is the only roller coaster from this period still in operation and the only example of brakeman-operated carriages.

Historic Williamstown in Melbourne, Australia
Historic Williamstown in Melbourne, Australia
Nelson Place was the commercial center of Williamstown, established in 1837 as the first port of Melbourne. Its historic buildings are now restaurants, hotels & galleries.

Fish & chips from historic Williamstown in Melbourne, Australia
Make sure you try the fish & chips, scallops & calamari in Williamstown! Here are deep-fried fish bites, crumbed scallops and calamari rings served with chips at Williamstown Mussels.

Historic Williamstown in Melbourne, Australia
Yachts docked at Williamston. There's a great view of the Melbourne skyline from Commonwealth Reserve.

I want to go back to Melbourne!
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