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Melbourne Trip #3

Posted at 20:34 on Mon, 29th March 2010 in travel.

A couple of weeks ago, my fiancée and I traveled to Melbourne to attend one of our good friends weddings Carlo & Renee (Congrat's guys!). Anyway, we spent a couple of nights in the city, and then a couple of nights up in the Dandenong Ranges. I learnt more about about Melbourne this time around then I did the previous two times, so I thought I'd share:

Melbourne City
After hearing this from two different people (@johnlderry and the guys at the Melbourne Itomic office), Melbourne has a very rich culture. However to experience it, you've got to go out of the CBD area (which I failed to do on my last two visits). A few of the cultural villages we managed to hit were:

  • Lygon St, Cartlon - heaps of Italian restaurants, with really decent food! We went to a place called Dimattinas and thoroughly enjoyed a gnocchi and lamb shanks. My only regret was trying to eat the whole meal - I was way too full afterwards!
  • Bridge Rd, Richmond - outlet shopping without all the annoying crowds. There were a few dodgy places, but a few good places to shop here too. If you take a tram up Chapel St, and get off at Bridge Rd, you want to go West up Bridge Rd. Just walk up one side until you come to the main intersection and then walk back down the other side on the way back.
  • Swan St, Richmond - some weird furniture precinct. We didn't stop here, but took marvel from the tram windows. It's basically heaps of smaller version Ikea shops, but ones that sell quality & unique stuff.
  • Chapel St Precinct - the North end is mainly all expensive boutique clothing stores, but towards the middle/south end, it gets more affordable. The Prahran Markets down this end - this was the biggest fresh food market I've seen. We had a really good valued breakfast at one of the cafe's there.
  • There are heaps more though (Victoria St for Vietnamese, and so on..).  I hope to 'do' them next time I go to Melbourne.

Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Vally

Firstly here is an approximate plot of our journey:

View Melbourne Road Trip March 2010 in a larger map

This trip started getting interesting as we hit Monbulk road in the hills, and travelled through the windy roads of the Sherbrooke Forest Park. The vegetation here is apparently 'sub tropical rainforrest' - its beautiful! And you get great views out to Melbourne. If views is what your after, you want to go to the 'Sky High' lookout near the town of Olinda, which is $5 entry per car, but definitely worth the trip. When we visited, there was bad weather, so we couldn't see so well unfortunately.Up in the same area is the award winning Pie Resturant 'Pie in the Sky' - be warned, there will be a queue for both the resturant and take away, but its well worth the wait!

We also took a quick dash to melbourne's wine country, Yarra Glen. It was sort of like the Swan Valley that we have here in Perth, as it's basically an hours drive out of the city, and then you get winery after winery. We only had time to visit one: Yerring Station, which had a really impressive wine tasting setup, store and cafe. Wish we could have seen a few more!

In Summary

This is only a fraction of what you can get up to in Melbourne, so I hope to return one day and do some more exploring and blogging. Enjoy!