By GSA's Alan and Pam
This article was originally published in March 2015 as a two-part feature on GoMakeSomeMemories.com.au
For caravan park accommodation close to Melbourne CBD, we chose BIG4 Ashley Gardens Holiday Park at Braybrook as it was also close to Melbourne Showgrounds for daily attendance at the 2015 Melbourne Caravan Camping & Touring Supershow. GSA supporting park Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park at Coburg should also be considered.
If you are visiting Melbourne, there are many must see and do activities close to the city. We visited the following attractions over two days and looked at city transport options too.
Melbourne Cricket Ground Tours (MCG Tours)
We took a tram to the MCG for our tour. From Flinders St, take tram numbers 48 or 75. Get off the tram at the Hilton Hotel, which is at the corner of Wellington Pde and Clarendon St.Walk through Yarra Park to the MCG Tours departure point at Gate 3.
Alternatively from Flinders St, take tram number 70, get off the tram at Rod Laver Arena and walk over the footbridge.
Our tram driver was helpful in telling us which stop to get off at and also giving directions as to which walk we needed to take.
It was a pleasant walk to Gate 3 on the concourse level of the Olympic Stand between light towers 1 and 2 where the tours start from. The tour takes about 75 minutes.
Areas visited included:
The Ponsford Stand
City Terrace - with views of Melbourne's skyline
MCC Members Reserve
Players' change rooms (subject to availability)
Cricket viewing room (subject to availability)
Cricket Victoria Bill Lawry Centre
Media facilities (subject to availability)
A walk on the arena (subject to availability)
On game days, tours may not be available or some areas are prohibited. The day we visited we were unable to access the players change rooms as a game was on that evening.
We did, however, get to stand on the edge of the “hallowed turf”.
It was interesting was to see first-hand staff rolling out the boundary ropes and their meticulous placing.
The tour was led by an MCC member and volunteer. He was very knowledgeable of the history of players, information about the MCG and many of its features and displays.
After the tour, we took some time to look at statues of Betty Cuthbert and Jim Stynes that are near Gate 3. The closest rail stations are Jolimont or Richmond. Walk through Yarra Park to the MCG Tours departure point at Gate 3 of the Olympic Stand.
More information at www.mcg.org.au
We strolled into Fitzroy Gardens. What an amazing place this is to wander around. We spent about an hour looking around and admiring all the work that is done in the gardens and the conservatory.
Take a look through Captain Cook’s cottage and the Conservatory as well.
It would have been nice to stay longer and have a coffee with lunch but time prohibited this. We walked back into the city but if you prefer you can catch any tram from here.
More information at www.fitzroygardens.com
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
We spent the afternoon at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium located on the corner of Flinders Street and King Street, Melbourne. It’s easy to find or travel to via tram or train. Railway stations are within walking distance if you are out of town.
The all new Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium has 12 areas to discover and is one of the top-of-the-list things to do in Melbourne.
Your visit will take you from the coast to the ocean depths through 12 themed zones which include one of the world’s largest Saltwater Crocodiles.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium allows visitors to get up close to 10,000 creatures including Australia's largest collection of Sub-Antarctic penguins, the world's largest collection of Sea Horses and the only Elephant Sharks in captivity as well as many other species.
This is a great place for families or school groups with an interactive display to touch a starfish and the other creatures living in our rock pools.
Sea Life also conducts fun talks and animal feeds, special events and a Dive Adventure Trail.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium has a café. There are lifts and ramps for prams and wheelchairs. All floors and exhibits are wheelchair friendly.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is open daily 9.30am to 6pm every day of the year. Last entry is strictly 5 pm. Allow about 2 hours to discover all that Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium has to offer.
More information at www.melbourneaquarium.com.au
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
When we went to ride the Melbourne Star we were staying out of the city so we drove into Docklands where we parked for $10 all day parking close to Melbourne Star.
The nearby free City Circle tram and other trams also run right into Harbour Town and the city.
We were met by a friendly staff member who rode the star with us and explained even more than the very informative onboard commentary. The 'flight' takes some 30 mins and it was just lovely even though our day was overcast.
Each of the Melbourne Star's 21 cabins gives an air conditioned experience. There is room for up to 20, comfortably in each cabin. You can walk about to take in the 360-degree view as the Star glides gently through its arc or if you prefer you can sit and still enjoy the view.
You can take the day or night experience or try both with a combined ticket. A visit to Melbourne Star is a great way to spend a day with family and friends or celebrate a special occasion. You can arrange a private function in one of the cabins to celebrate something special.
Melbourne Star is the Southern Hemisphere's only giant observation wheel and the first, more complex, solid steel wheel design to be built in the world to this size.
Melbourne Star includes a range of new features and technologies that enable the Star to deliver a unique experience.
Guests will enjoy uninterrupted 360-degree views of up to 40 kilometres encompassing the Docklands precinct, Melbourne's CBD, Port Phillip Bay and as far as Mount Macedon, Arthur's Seat and the Dandenong Ranges on a clear day.
The Melbourne Star operates daily from 10am to 10pm with the last ‘flight’ departure at 9.30pm. The Star is also wheelchair friendly as some cabins have special tie down points.
More information at www.melbournestar.com
We enjoyed a relaxing lunch in one of the many Docklands restaurants and strolled around looking at the many statues in the area including Dame Edna, The King Graham Kennedy and John Farnham to name a few.
Other transport options include the Water Taxi, City Sightseeing Tours in the big red double decker bus, Horse & Cart tours or by conventional tram.
The city is also the home of Federation Square and the historic Flinders Street Station. Don't forget the "must have" photo with Chloe at the famous Young & Jacksons Hotel opposite.
Eureka Skydeck 88
We travelled via the free City Circle tram to Flinders St, we then took the walk across the Yarra River to Eureka Skydeck 88, Riverside Quay Southbank, Melbourne.
Your first experience is the lift ride to the 88th floor in about 40 seconds. This is the fastest lift in the Southern Hemisphere and travels at more than 9 metres per second. Once you walk out of the lift the view is breathtaking from the floor to ceiling windows.
On a clear day you can see for kilometres but the day we visited it was overcast and hazy but still amazing. A staff member said that sometimes it can get fogged in so we were lucky.
We also took the "Edge Experience" and survived!
The Edge is a glass cube in which you stand. It slides out 3 metres from the top of the building, 300 metres high. It has a glass floor. This experience is quite something the glass cube slides out with the glass “opaque”.
Once in position, projecting over the ground 300 metres below, the glass clears quickly to reveal your position. It's a stunning experience. The view all around and under you is just amazing. No cameras allowed, however, a souvenir photo is all part of the experience.
Skydeck 88 is the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere. Eureka is 984.3ft or 300 metres in height. The top of the Tower can flex up to 600 mm in high winds. Two 300,000 litre water tanks on level 90 & 91 prevent any excess swaying.
There are 3680 stairs, 92 storeys and 52,000 sq metres of windows. The glass on Eureka's top levels is 24 carat gold plated.
More information at www.eurekaskydeck.com.au
Acknowledgement: This Information Article is provided through the support of generous sponsor Caravan Industry Association of Victoria (CIA Vic.). This support covers story research costs.
It is because of sponsors like CIA Vic. that an extensive library of free Information Articles is available to help users Go Make Some Memories.
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