Monday, 12 November 2012

My last day in Melbourne. So what do I think about the 'world's most liveable city'? Fair dinkum, it's a great place.

Federation Square?  The architecture seems to divide opinion. I thought it was a bit of a mess, to be honest. Anyway, the Visitor Centre next door can set you right on where to go in the city - for free. First off, take the circular tourist tram to get your bearings, suggested a friendly lady at the centre. So I did just that. Afterwards, I headed along the river bank and dozed under a tree, as the joggers worked themselves into a lather all around me. It was too flippin' hot to do anything else.

But I reckon the best bits of Melbourne are up into the hills, and on the coast. Head along the Mornington Peninsula, full of signs saying: 'slow down, koala crossing' - which, of course, could be a wind-up, but I think the fluffy marsups do hang around in these parts - for a nice day out. Flinders is good for grub; the pretty beach huts at Brighton probably cost a hell of a lot more than those in the UK, but are just as cute. The weather was horr-en-dous the day we drove wherever we fancied, but it is still, technically, spring so what do I expect?

Head north of Melbourne into the Yarra Valley if you want to taste some fashionably fab wines for nought, at the estates dotting the area. On the way, take in Stevenson Waterfall, where the surrounding trees bear the hallmarks of the terrible bushfires a few years' ago.

And what about the Great Ocean Road? Spare yourself the long drive to the Apostles at the end: Lorne & Mogg's Creek, sort of half-way along, will give you the drift. Airey's Inlet is a beaut: pretty cafe, blinding-white lighthouse and an Apostle-like rock jutting out of the water as if to say 'hi'.

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