Melbourne Day 2 – Travelling Alone

Good morning. Took a sunrise view from my hotel room.

It’s my first day to self-roam at Melbourne, not too bad an experience.

I had some small bite at a cafe called Hunger Game located at Southern Cross Station since I’ve missed my Puffing Billy tour. (The tour agency was nice enough to slot me into the Thursday tour group)

Hot chocolate with Passionfruit tart.

Hunger Game Cafe
Southern Cross Railway Station
Docklands Victoria 3008
Australia

Melbourne’s History Water Clock. Installed since 1883. Original location at Flinders Street Station. Shifted 5 times. Finally fixed here.

And I started walking my own tour from here.

 While navigating around myself, I enjoyed looking at the historical buildings, the fresh air and the chilling weather.

Walked a longggggg distance to Flinders Station. Beautiful building!

I didn’t want to take the City Circle tram as I wanted to check out the shops along the streets.

Took a selfie using my selfie stick so as to capture the tower clock! I didn’t feel shy about taking selfie even though there were passerby looking at me, and at the selfie stick. Seemed to me selfie stick wasn’t common and popular with the Caucasians?

Thanks to the sponsorship from selfiesticksg.com. If you are looking for one too, they are now having a buy 3 get 1 free promo, SGD14 each, inclusive of tripod stand and phone bracket.

By the time I was done with Flinders St Station, that was like half the CBD perimeter walk, I decided to take the free tram.

The free tram wasn’t crowded on a weekday.

While on the tram, I got to see horse-carriage! Wish I had a chance to sit on it!

The City Circle tram travelled around the CBD perimeter, free for all, and I got to passby some magnificent buildings like the Parliament and Winsor Hotel which used to be a favorite for quite a few celebrities.

Winsor Hotel, still looking grand from its architure structure.

When the tram reached the Parliament place, I realised there were quite a few historical buildings worth checking out, and so I alighted and started my walk again.

The Old Treasury Building is widely regarded as one of the finest 19th century buildings in Australia.

The Old Treasury building was designed by nineteen-year-old architect JJ Clark and built between 1858 and 1862.

Parliament House in Melbourne, located at Spring Street in East Melbourne at the edge of the Melbourne city centre, has been the seat of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia, since 1855 (except for the years 1901 to 1927, when it was the seat of the Federal Parliament of Australia).

Spring Street reminded me of our City Hall and Raffles Place where our historical buildings are in Singapore.

I didn’t realize this building until I noticed groups of students were touring there.

Stanford Fountain (1867-1870)

Took a snap of the withered tree.

Kept walking and saw a gothic-looking church from far, and decided to walk towards its direction.

And turned out it’s St Patrick’s Cathedral. Quite a well-known cathedral in Melbourne.

Made me think of Europe! Ah, I miss Europe!

I’m not a Cathlolic but I found peace when I stepped into the church. May peace be with you.

Took a last shot of the church architecture before I left.

Took the same route from where I came from, it was drizzling, luckily I brought my umbrella.

Caught the free tram  along Flinders Street and passby St Paul’s Cathedral, another magnificent-looking building.

I alighted at Collins/Elizabeth Street to dropby The Block Arcade, and guessed what I saw along the way?

It’s Daiso!! It was quite a big store, very much more spacious than SG’s, but there was not more than 10 customers including myself! LOL! My first time to see a not-crowded Daiso store.

It’s so empty than I could even pull out my selfie stick and take a selfie!

I didn’t buy anything from Melbourne Daiso, too expensive for me, they had more or less the same things as SG, perhaps a little more variety.

Daiso
QV Melbourne
221 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne 3000
Level 3, Near Fitness First

More Daiso outlets can be found here.

Block Arcade is a heritage shopping arcade in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria. Melbourne’s Golden Mile heritage walk runs through the arcade.

I actually wondered is it buildings with the name, arcade, will have those Victorian architecture style? Our SG The Arcade at Raffles Place have similar style, especially the lamps on the wall and the railings.

Selfie-time! Hehe!

Anyway inside Block Arcade lies a popular tea room, Hopetoun Tearooms.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms is my greatest find in this building! It’s one of the highly popular cafe in Melbourne.

It was long queue when I reached, I didn’t want to waste the time, so I decided to leave and bring hubby here during the second last day to try the cakes before returning home.

Pardon the blur photo here. Will upload a clearer photo in my Day 6 blogpost! But here’s one more shot on the cakes!!

So tempting right?

Hopetoun Tearooms
282 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

I left the Block Arcade, continued walking towards one of my shortlisted cafe, Workshop along Elizabeth Street.

It wasn’t easy to find Workshop cafe. I actually missed it and overshot walking. The entrance wasn’t infront of the building but it’s at the side and gota turn in to really see the door. It’s a hidden gem.

What attracted me to this cafe was to see its graffiti. To my disappointment, there wasn’t any graffiti except a wall at the rooftop area. I guessed the cafe had repainted recently. Only the staircase up to the cafe had what I called vandalism.

I was very disappointed with the miserable menu. I ended up eating greens. Oh well, a healthy meal once in awhile won’t kill me.

I believe the cafe has been reformed into a bar for chillax.

This was the only graffiti I saw.

The Australians were pretty enjoying the cold weather, the “free aircon” by having beer on a rainy afternoon! I was very cold and as usual, ordered hot choc.

Gosh, this was by far the largest glass of hot chocolate I ever had. And it’s very thick and “solid” (in Singlish)!

Smoked Salmon salad. The greens look dull to me, only one kind of leaf?? But hey, the salad tasted fresh and tasty, especially the spiciness from the fresh onion rings!

I’m not a fan of salad, so when I say it’s nice, it is really nice!

Ok lah, though the menu was disappointing, the food compensated for it.

Workshop Bar Cafe
Level 1, 413 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Went for some shopping at Bourke Street before heading to another cafe for dinner, alone.

Commercial Bakery, the place where I had my most expensive dinner, but worth it lah, since it’s only once here.

It’s quite a spacious cafe and restaurant. When I reached at about 7.45am, the cafe section was already closed, while the dining area was opened. It was raining heavily outside, and so I took a long dinner enjoying my food while waiting for the rain to stop (though it didn’t stop).

I had Pan Roasted Barramundi fillet, the most tastiest fillet I’ve tried.

Service was excellent here. I was served with complimentary water and bread. The bread, so soft!

The only regret I had was I didn’t have the chance to go back for their breakfast.

Sad.

Commerical Bakery & Gills Diner
360 Little Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

And I returned to my hotel walking all the way from Lt Collins St to Southern Cross station at Spencer St.

It was a very cold evening to end my day.

 

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Melbourne Day 1 – Getting Around

Flew to Melbourne lately. It was an impromptu trip. Hubby was assigned to work in Melbourne for a week, I just tagged along to save on accommodation and a few meals which were claimed to his company (sssh~)! While he’s at work, I toured around myself, and I had fun traveling alone!

Before flying off, I had a few concerns,

Checking in my breastmilk
Pumping on plane and in public
Freezing my breastmilk
Phototaking (Selfie)

I must be lucky that everything turned on pretty smooth! Shall blog about me pumping in Melbourne in a separate blogpost. I’m just going to emphasize on taking selfie!

Thanks to sponsorship from selfiesticksg.com. My selfie stick came just in time for me to explore its convenience in Melbourne!

Okay so I book the same flight as hubby to Melbourne.

While crossing the airport custom, my handcarry bag was scanned to contain suspicious item, which turned out to be my selfie stick! Oopsie! But no issue, I was still allowed to pass with my selfie stick, just that it caused a delay in the queue.

Just before landing at Tullamarine airport, my camera was spoilt! Ho sey la! I could only survive my trip using my phone (Samsaung S4) camera. Luckily I brought along a spare battery! You’ll be surprised how terrific the phone camera is! Of course, the surrounding lighting play apart in the photography.

Sunrise shot taken before landing. The fluffy clouds below me looked like a pot of steam with volcano lava boiling inside.

There’s nothing much at Tullamarine airport. The most important counter was the mobile service provider counter. LOL! Being a social media platform user, I would want to have access to the internet all the time, especially when travelling overseas! And of course to stay in touch with hubby since we would be apart most of the times, just to make sure I would not be lost elsewhere~

And so we bought the AUD$2/day SIM card. The minimum number of days to buy was 5 days, which we bought, but surprisingly, the usage was extended to the 8-9th day! *Happy max*

Anyway, there was free wifi at the airport and was very easy to login, unlike SG, still need to register. Tsk!

There were free phone booths to call for shuttle service from a few hotels. Ours was complimentary.

There’s also an information counter at the airport, just outside the arrival hall. That’s where I booked my day tours to Philip Island, Great Ocean Road, and Puffing Billy train ride. The staff was very helpful and assisted to plan my itinerary for the day tours.

To get to the city (Southern Cross Railway Station) will need to take the Sky Bus, which cost AUD$30/pax for a round trip. Tickets can be bought from the airport information counter, the departure terminal at the airport, or Southern Cross Railway Station. The ride takes 30 mins, with no stops during the journey.

Once alighting at Southern Cross, follow this Hungry Jacks signage to exit the station, before getting into the main street.

Staircase at Southern Cross Railway Station. I’m quite impressed with the staircase, it’s like one of the perfect shot for Instagram.

From Southern Cross, it’s pretty easy to walk into the bustling street like Bourke Street where the malls are.

We didn’t bought their Myki-card (instead of MRT, their is Yarra Tram on the road). Haha, we (even when I was alone) walked throughout the whole trip!

The good thing is, there’s a City Circle tram, free for everyone including tourists! Interval for the City Circle tram was very short, maybe like 5 minutes only! Each station is very near another station, so no worries if you overshot, it’s a short distance to walk back ya. But this free tram can be very crowded on a working day evening where everyone knocks off from work.

The free tram covers most of the tourist attraction places in Melbourne City. For places outside city, good to rent a car and self-drive, or join a day tour where pick-up locations are in the city.

As I stayed outside the city and had to get to Southern Cross whenever I headed to the city, I chose a pick-up location at Vibe Savoy Hotel which is less than a 5-minute walk from Southern Cross.

It was almost end of Winter in Melbourne. I thought deciduous trees looked very pretty.

And so Hubby and I just navigate using the maps gotten at the airport. We thought of checking out the GPO where the H&M hype was. It’s at Bourke Street and we found it very easily.

And then we realized Bourke Street was the most happening street, where most shopping could be done here.

The public purse.

I was carrying my trusty backpack bought from Taobao. You’ll be surprised what I put inside. Will share it in a separate blogpost.

I didn’t know what’s special about it, hubby just told me take a photo with it. It’s prolly some art piece at Bourke Street. Anyway, there were lotsa graffiti (arts?) in Melbourne streets.

And here we were, taking photo using my sponsored selfie stick! Thanks to selfiesticksg.com! If not for the selfie stick, there’s no way I could take a photo with hubby together with the graffiti as backdrop!

This photo isn’t about arts. I was just trying to take an artistic photo of this alley. LOL!

We were late for lunch and decided to head for my first cafe-to-try, Brunetti.

It was about 3pm on a Sunday, and the cafe was fully packed. Needed awhile to grab two seats, and another short while to queue for the food.

Brunetti served alot of cakes! I had a hard time deciding what to order!

We had pizza, cakes and macarons.

We didn’t feel very full, but it’s late lunch and we still had to go for dinner later on. So we (or rather it’s me, hubby would usually follow what I wanted to eat) just made do with these.

We went to the Royal Arcade.

The Royal Arcade is a significant Victorian era building and is a part of the Victorian Heritage Register.

Look what we found!

The Little Royal Macarons!

Hubby told me these macarons had been tried by the Running Man! So it must be good!

Before we left, another selfie!

Sky turned dark at 6pm and it’s our first day at Melbourne. Hubby didn’t want to stay out too late, especially he had to get up for work the next day. So we left the city.

Back at the hotel room,

I applied body lotion vigorously. The weather’s cold and dry in Melbourne.  I could feel my skin was getting dry and might crack anytime.

Dirty Works body lotion helped!