Melbourne

June 17th, 2007

Helen and I travelled to Melbourne last weekend for a quick holiday weekend. A few highlights…

Firstly, I really enjoy the architecture in Melbourne. I never quite managed to get a photo of the RMIT campus near our hotel, but I was quite taken with this skyscraper:

Melbourne Skyscraper

First day we mainly spent going to see Melbourne Zoo. Overall I think I prefer Taronga: better location, better designed zoo, and better range of animals (especially Penguins!). But two exhibits really stood out. Firstly, there’s a relatively new section for apes which is very nicely designed. The paths are all rough formed, feeling a lot more like jungle paths. Plus they had a really nice looking gorilla.

Gorilla Melbourne Zoo

The other big new thing is the elephant exhibit. I’ve only seen the Taronga version without elephants installed, but I’d have to say that if I was an Elephant I’d want to be in Melbourne! A lot more room to move, better designed enclosure.

Elephant Melbourne Zoo

One final favourite is the Butterfly house. First, it’s great to just walk through a mist of butterflies. And also, it’s heated to 30 degrees during the day, nice and warm!

Butterflies Melbourne Zoo

Helen’s highlight, as always, is the platypus. Here she is with the platypus statue outside the enclosure.

Helen and Platypus

The rest of the first day we went to see Spiderman 3 at the Imax at the Melbourne Museum. I’ve been to see a couple of Imax films before, but both films designed for Imax. It was interesting to see a film that wasn’t really designed for it on the really really really big screen. The film itself: meh!

Saturday we had breakfast at the Queen Victoria Markets (also next to the hotel), and then wandered around shops for several hours. In the evening we went to see Miss Saigon, the main reason for the trip. Great show, which I’d only heard on CD before. Overall the acting and singing was good, not great (although a couple of individual performers were great). The staging was really creative, doing a lot with what is quite a cramped stage.

Sunday we went down to the National Gallery of Victoria, which neither of us have been to see in years.

Foyer National Gallery Victoria

I think the NGV has a very interesting modern art collection, as well as some very nice classical pieces. It’s certainly a collection that gives the National Gallery of Australia a run for its money. One of the works that I quite enjoyed from the modern section:

Art National Gallery Victoria

Then we dropped by Federation Square. Had a quick look through the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, but it was very disappointing (between exhibits at the moment). There was the new annex for the National Gallery of Victoria, but we just couldn’t be bothered by that point – sore feet, too much art…

Federation Square Melbourne

So we dropped by the shops a little more, and then went to see Pirates of the Carribean 3 (also a ‘meh’). Then back to the hotel, one more night of sleep and then back to Canberra.

Evil Skyscraper

I love Melbourne, it’s a beautiful city. It’s pretty much the only place other than Canberra I could ever see myself living for an extended period.