Handy Information for 2015 Conference Delegates
Written by Patricia Poppenbeek.
Your conference bag should include Melbourne in Winter: Official Visitor Guide and two little fold out self-guided walks: Arcades and Lanes, and Secret Gardens. The Visitor Guide lists many tourist attractions and has discount vouchers. The self-guided walks take you along some of Melbourne’s prettiest, funkiest arcades and lanes and gardens. For further information, see visitor services: http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/visitors/services/Pages/Visitorservices.aspx
And Melbourne and surrounds www.visitmelbourne.com
Guided walking tours:
Themes include unsolved crimes, subterranean tours, chocolate walks & literature, and vary in cost
Melbourne Museum http://museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/ has wonderful display of historical Melbourne, and Bunjilaka covers the history and culture of our Aboriginal people.
Koorie Heritage Trust offers a range of programs and services including the only public collection in Victoria dedicated solely to Koorie art and culture comprising artefacts, pictures and photographs as well as an Oral History Program and a Reference Library; cross cultural awareness training and tours; exhibitions; a Koorie Family History Service; and a retail shop.
- Melbourne Zoo. Butterfly House & fairy penguins are personal favourites. Go by tram (No. 55 from William Street, stopping directly outside Zoo) or train (from Flinders Street Station on the Upfield line every day, stopping at Melbourne Zoo’s own Royal Park Station). http://www.zoo.org.au/Melbourne
- Fairy penguins (St. Kilda Pier, St. Kilda. About 30 min. tram ride (No. 96 along Bourke St.) to beachside suburb. Go at at dusk. www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/melbourneplaygrounds-info.php?id=25574 Cheaper & easier than going to Port Phillip Island, though you will see more penguins at Port Phillip Island. See blog on day trips. www.visitphillipisland.com/listing/penguin-parade .
Art and Culture
Our thriving Arts precinct (by public transport or walking down St. Kilda Rd) is worth a visit. The National Art Gallery https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art www.accaonline.org.au , the Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square, and ACMI have quirky and interesting exhibitions, and the Arts Centre has operas, concerts and other musical events of all styles. http://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/, The Melbourne Recital Centre also has some great musical events. www.melbournerecital.com.au .
Melbourne has over 100 art galleries and interesting street art. Just Google Melbourne art galleries.
See live shows at beautiful restored Victorian theatres such as
The Regent Theatre
191-197 Collins Street, Melbourne www.marrinergroup.com.au/theatre-forum.php .
The Athenaeum 188 Collins St. www.athenaeumtheatre.com.au
Fitzroy Gardens www.fitzroygardens.com. Behind the Park Hyatt and can be entered from Landsdowne Street. Like Hyde Park, London, it’s mostly lovely old trees, particularly elms, grass and some flowerbeds. Has nice Victorian conservatory, the ‘fairy tree’, and Captain Cook’s cottage. Cook may or may not have lived here, but it’s a genuine 1755 English cottage and the kitchen garden is delightful.
Royal Botanic Gardens http: www.rbg.vic.gov.au . Birdwood Avenue. Approx. two kilometres from the city centre but easy to get to by No. 8 (Toorak) tram down St. Kilda Rd or by the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle (hop on hop off bus described below). Beautiful Victorian era gardens with lake full of black swans and other waterbirds. Nice café by lake for lunch or tea.
Some of the many nearby bookshops are:
- Paperback Bookshop 60 Bourke St
- Hill of Content 86 Bourke Street
- Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller 156 Collins St. (divine shop for that weird book you need for research) www.kaycraddock.com .
- Readers Feast (drool at Manolo Blahnik shoes as you go in) 162 Collins St
- The best bookshop for romance in Melbourne: Dymocks Lower Ground Floor, 234 Collins Street www.dymocks.com.au/stores/vic/dymocks-melbourne
- For SF, fantasy, graphic novels, comics & weird stuff: Minotaur Bookshop, 121 Elizabeth St. www.minotaur.com.au
- For good books $10 or less: the Book Grocer http://bookgrocer.libro.com.au/information/contact-us.do
- Good secondhand books: City Basement Books, 342 Flinders Street http://www.citybasementbooks.com.au/
For some reason Collins St. and near it has a multitude of fabulous chocolate shops:
- Haigh’s Chocolates are everywhere in Collins St, starting at no. 20. Prettiest location is in Block Arcade.
- Koko Black www.kokoblack.com/category/salon/melbourne . Elegant Collins St. shop at No. 52, but loveliest location is in Royal Arcade.
- Lindt 271 Collins St. www.lindt.com.au/swf/eng/cafe/store-locations/collins-street-vic/
- Ganache www.ganache.com.au 245 Collins Street
- Chokolait, Shop 8, Hub Arcade, 318 Lt Collins St. www.chokolait.com.au/ In my opinion the best hot chocolate in Melbourne.
- Hopetoun Tea Rooms. Very pretty & old world. Est. 1892, 282 Collins St. in Block Arcade. www.hopetountearooms.com.au
- T2 shops www.t2tea.com 269 Little Collins Street
- High end shops in Collins St (Hermes, Cosi, etc)
- Funky shops in Flinders Lane between about Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street
- DFO www.dfo.com.au/southwharf
- Melbourne Central
- Brunswick and Smith Streets in nearby Fitzroy are uber-cool. (tram 112 to Fitzroy)
- Bridge Road Richmond is presently somewhat depressed but still has interesting shops which include discount shops such as Alannah Hill clearance outlet 90a Bridge Road and the Richmond Hill Café and Larder 48-50 Bridge Road (tram 75 from Flinders St or 48 from Collins St)
1885 three-masted sailing ship www.pollywoodside.com.au Usually weekends only. Combo pass $30 for both Old Melbourne Gaol and Polly Woodside.
Old Melbourne Gaol www.oldmelbournegaol.com.au
‘the heart of crime, law and order in Melbourne since the 1840s’. They hanged notorious bushranger Ned Kelly here.
State Library of Victoria www.slv.vic.gov.au Australia’s oldest public library (est. 1846) and one of the first free public libraries in the world. Gorgeous space. Interesting exhibitions.
Queen Victoria Market www.qvm.com.au Est. 1878. The largest open air market in the southern hemisphere. Good for gourmet food & souvenirs.
Como House www.comohouse.com.au 1847 grand colonial mansion described as ‘a mix of Australian Regency and classic Italianate architecture’, with pleasant restored gardens Cnr Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave South Yarra. Annoyingly, the House is open only 2nd & 4th weekends of the month. 15-20 min. walk from South Yarra Station or via Tram No. 8, stop no. 34 (10 min walk)
Rippon Lea. 192 Hotham St. Elsternwick. www.ripponleaestate.com.au Gorgeous 1868 mansion used in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. The ‘last of Australia’s grand suburban estates’. 5 minute walk from Rippon Lea Station. Or Tram Route 67, Stop 42. Or 216 or 219 Bus from Queen Street in the City on corner of Queen and Collins Streets. (30 – 45 minutes) There is a stop directly outside Rippon Lea Estate. Ask the driver to set you down at the first stop after Glen Eira Road. Hours 10 – 5, 7 days p.w.