After our usual morning of peanut butter on toast and a cup of coffee we headed on out towards the Botanical Garden for the day. On our way we passed the lovely State Library which is Australia’s oldest public library.
We also passed St Paul’s Cathedral which we popped inside to see the beautiful architecture. Both are a must for anyone visiting Melbourne. The State Library is free to visit and use so if you’re stuck for wifi or fancy a good book to get stuck into them you know where to go.
After having a quick sit down in the Cathedral we carried on over the bridge towards St Kilda Road and towards the Botanical Gardens. We passed through Alexandra Gardens and walked next to the Yarra river on our way.
As we are currently in Australias winter the gardens weren’t very busy which was perfect for us to wander around and take it all in in our own time. We came across these tiny birds called Bell miners which made the loudest bell noises. You are guaranteed to hear them before you see them! The garden is full of them to our amusement and found out the birds name by a guy who was trying to photograph them. I think his pictures probably came out a lot better than my own with the lens he had!
A few photos later of Lizzie in nature and we decided to stop off for lunch. The gardens have the loveliest cafe where you can sit outside, which we would suggest but wear warm clothes in winter. I treated myself to a delicious mocha and we both tucked in to our beef bánh mìs which were full of flavour and filled us up. Also it was Lizzie’s first bánh mì and I only just avoided having a little extra bird poop in my water.
After a relaxing lunch we wandered on towards the Shrine of Remembrance which is situated in the grounds. The building is very impressive with a tomb like appearance. You can go down into the crypts where you can see all of the different flags for each section of their armed forces and names of the people who lost their lives to different wars. The crypt follows on into an impressive military museum which explores Australia’s involvement in past and current wars. There is also a section on influential individuals who have found peaceful alternatives to war and looks at how the world has progressed and the number of wars between countries has lessened.
From the crypts you can climb the stairs, past a poem by Rudyard Kipling, and onto the rooftop for a view of the Gardens and into the centre of Melbourne. There was also a lovely kookaburra bird sitting on the wall which made for a fun photo.
As the day started drawing to an end we wandered towards Melbourne’s Southbank area to compare with Londons Southbank. Sorry Melbourne but London wins this one. The area is still very lovely, and I’m sure I’m biased having lived in London, but there’s something missing from the Southbank feel for me.
Southbank joins on to the Dockland area where we found this lovely guy.
Through the Docklands and the centre of Melbourne and back to our hostel. As we were a bit warn out we decided to save our night out for tomorrow night.
For anyone visiting or thinking of visiting Melbourne we would definitely suggest the Botanical Gardens, it is a small piece of paradise where you will even see some Rainbow Lorikeets.