A British friend of mine is coming to Melbourne, Australia, soon, for a conference, and she asked me for suggestions for things that she should see and do while she is here. I put this list of things together for her, plus some general advice on getting around – it’s not definitive, or even the most popular recommendations for Melbourne, but they’re my personal favourites.
I've been flying back and forth between Launceston and South East Queensland again, and, as before, what I see out of the window as I fly over Australia reveals humanity's vast effect on the landscape.
This flight takes me across an immense fertile plain in the middle of New South Wales and Victoria. Most of this 1500 kilometres of landscape is co-opted to serve humanity – it’s just one big machine for feeding and clothing humans.
I’m currently doing a short house sit in the suburbs of Melbourne on the way between Tasmania and Canberra.
I’m lucky to have crossed paths with the exhibition Van Gogh and the Seasons, the largest collection of Van Gogh artworks to ever travel to Australia, at the National Gallery of Victoria. It’s a great opportunity to see some of Vincent Van Gogh’s works with my own eyes.
We took a wrong turn at Yarra Junction in Victoria while we were trying to pick up the Lilydale to Warburton (Warbie) Rail Trail (a disused railway line that is now a multi-use walking track) for an afternoon walk.
As we drove around the country lanes looking for our destination we went past a free-range chook farm with hundreds of plump brown chooks running around the grassy paddocks and on the quiet, back-street road verges.
I recently had cause to drive to Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport, for an early drop-off. It’s a one-and-half-hour trip, so I was travelling through the suburbs at 6 am. Even then, the four lanes of the Monash Freeway are close-packed with cars travelling at the speed limit, so the freeway is operating at maximum capacity, maybe hundreds of cars per minute. This will go on for a couple of hours yet, and this is only one of several big feeder roads into the city. It’s hard to believe that all of these vehicles pouring in are going to find a park for the day, and even harder to believe that I’ll find one too, by the time that I get there!