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Day 1 in Melbourne, Australia: Exploring the Arcades & St Kilda

Updated on February 5, 2013

The Majestic Flinders Street Station

Located at a busy intersection in Melbourne.
Located at a busy intersection in Melbourne.

Visiting Melbourne in Late Autumn

My previous visit to Perth, Australia was during summer. This time, I visited Melbourne in late May which is the end of the autumn season and we remained in this city till early June. It was a nice change from the hot and humid weather of Singapore!

After landing at the Melbourne Tullmarine Airport, we took the Skybus for a quick 20 minutes ride to the city centre. We checked in to the Hotel Formule 1 Melbourne. Without stopping to rest, we headed to our first stop which was the arcades located nearby. In fact, one of the entrances to Royal Arcade is just opposite the hotel.

Interesting Shops in the Arcades

A shop selling Russian Dolls.
A shop selling Russian Dolls.

Block Arcade and Royal Arcade

There are many arcades within the city centre. However, we only had the opportunity to visit the Block Arcade and Royal Arcade. As it was a Sunday morning, the area was packed with people having brunch at the various cafes. Within the arcades, you will find unique shops such as the one in my picture which sells Russian Dolls. You can also get a tarot card reading or satisfy your desire for delicious chocolates at Haigh's or Koko Black. Dafel is another interesting shop which specializes in teddy bears! Just nearby is the Bourke Street Mall and GPO where you can continue your shopping.

For us, we headed to Flinders Street Station to purchase the Sunday Saver ticket which will allow us to travel within both Zone 1 and 2 for the whole day for less than AUD4 per person.

The Arts Centre

Exploring Melbourne's Art Precinct

After purchasing the ticket, we then headed to the Arts Centre. As it was a Sunday, there was a market going on with stalls selling homemade goods like bags and even curry powder. To me, it wasn't a must visit but if you are in the area, do drop by. Just next to the Arts Centre is the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Here you will find the international art collection. There is another NGV location which houses Australia art. Entry to the permanent exhibitions is free and you can take your time to explore the 3 levels of the gallery. Another point to note is the water wall design of the museum. Touch it to experience the unique design!

St Kilda Pier at Dusk

Shopping at Chapel Street and Waiting for Penguins at St Kilda

Using our Sunday Saver Pass, we took the tram and headed to Chapel Street which is also a shopping precinct. Instead of huge malls here, you will find rows of individual shops selling a variety of clothes. There are also various cafes here. As we were hungry, we stopped by Jam Factory to eat. Within this small shopping centre you will also find a cinema and Urban by Target.

Next up, we took the tram again to head to St Kilda. As it was close to sunset, we headed straight for the St Kilda pier. We walked all the way to the end, pass the cafe. Here, there was already a small group of people. All of us were waiting in the cold for one reason. The area is known for its small colony of fairy penguins. After a long and cold wait of about an hour, finally we spotted a penguin! It was as exciting as when we saw wild dolphins swim up to us in Bunbury!! Finally, after spotting the penguin, we then called it a day as we had to wake up early the next day for our highly anticipated Great Ocean Road tour.

Map of Melbourne

Bourke Street Mall:
Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

get directions

Flinders Street Station:
Flinders St Station, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

get directions

Arts Centre:
Arts Centre, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

get directions

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV):
National Gallery of Victoria, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

get directions

Chapel Street:
Chapel St, VIC, Australia

get directions

St Kilda:
St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia

get directions

Entrance to Luna Park at St Kilda

Unfortunately, Luna Park was closed the day we visited.
Unfortunately, Luna Park was closed the day we visited.


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