St Francis’ church
We spent a day enjoying the sights of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city. We wandered along the streets of the CBD and tried out a cafe in Federation Square – a social hub bustling with life and a mix of attractions which includes the visitors centre.
Now if I can only find some money...
Old buildings such as the Flinders St station dot the city.
Trams are a feature of Melbourne’s transport system and it’s a unique mode of transport experience.
There are hundreds of Trams operating up to 20km from the city centre. Cars are obliged to yield to Trams. The ‘hook turn’ road rule in Melbourne is notorious in Oz, but this helps Trams through their routes without cars getting in the way.
Tram and railway lines were built in the 19th century linking the city to the outer suburbs. Nowadays these termina are actually inner suburbs, all part of the necessary urban sprawl of a major cosmopolite.
There are other attractions around Melbourne worth checking out. South of Melbourne is the Mornington Peninsula which has great coastal scenery, historic country retreats and smaller hotels. One afternoon we decided to drive to Mornington Peninsula. This Italy-like boot-shaped peninsula is about an hour’s drive from Melbourne. So leaving the skyscrapers behind us, we go on a clockwise drive along the busy coastal road past a string of seaside suburbs that extend all the way around port phillip bay. This 50km drive from Melbourne to mornington is non-stop suburbia, a manifestation of urban sprawl. On the bay side road, we take in some of the wonderful views of port phillip bay, local shops, pretty gardens, art and antique shops. We stopped in Mornington for a meal. We then got on the foreshore road, passing holiday houses on the waterfront promenades and pretty little beaches along the sandy bay. From Mornington we drive past Mount Martha, Safety Beach, Dromana, McRae, Rosebud and Tootgarook.
Further down the road we saw a sign to the ‘peninsula hotsprings’ in the back beach village of Rye. We followed directions and eventually came to a busy health centre based on thermal spa and relaxation pools. I wasn’t expecting to find anything as hot as the Mainit hotsprings, but even Asin hotsprings would be scalding hot compared to the water temps in this place, a mildly feverish 36-42 degrees Celsius, and they call this a hot spring? Where i come from, this would be ice-age temperature. Prices range from $25-$90 per person for various baths, with packages costing up to $470/person for 5.5 hours. We got out of there as fast as we could before we froze (either from the temps or stick-up), actually to catch the ferry, but you know what i mean. The pricing in Mainit is a steal!