Getting Away: Melbourne, Day 2

Despite our hedonistic behaviour the night before, we were up nice and early to make the most out of the day ahead. We caught the tram to Chapel Street, one of the leading shopping streets in Melbourne. We stopped in for a lovely breakfast at Globe Cafe and then strolled the streets. One of the things that we found most surprising was that most boutique shops in Melbourne don’t open until 10a.m. – luckily by the time we had finished breakfast, we didn’t have too long to wait! We focused (OK, I focused) mostly on shopping in stores that aren’t easily accessible for us here in NZ – TopShop, American Apparel… Target!

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After meandering our way down the majority of the street, we caught the tram the rest of the way to the city. We had one of our must-dos to tick off the list today – visiting St. Peter’s Trattoria. Recommended to me by my chiropractor, she said it was so delicious that her last trip there she went twice in four days! The address showed that it was tucked in a little side street, so after a little stroll down into the visitors’ centre (under Fed Square), we were off winding our way through the CBD. Even when we found the lane in which it was located, we were still a little confused until we saw the little neon sign over the door. It was so worth the visit – the food was absolutely amazing (Papa M’s wagyu beef lasagne and my barramundi) and it’s so quiet and cosy, a real change from the hustle and bustle of the city outside.

Once done we decided to go in search of the free tourist bus. We’d been recommended this as a good way to get around town for free. Unfortunately, I think a lot of locals also feel the same way – it was packed!! We did get to see other parts of Melbourne (and add more to our list to see for next time) by taking the long route to the Eureka Tower. We had been lucky enough to be offered free tickets so we definitely wanted to tick this off the list this time. The Eureka Tower is an apartment building that also houses the Eureka Skydeck 88 – a viewing platform level 88 stories in the sky, proclaimed to be the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere.

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After going up the lift at nine metres per second (a bit of a strain on the senses), we arrived on the observation deck floor. After a brief nosey round, we discovered that we needed to book in for The Edge as the wait was twenty minutes from registering interest. We were given a little pager and continued to explore the view, including heading out through the air locked doors onto the open air deck (enclosed in netting in case anybody was thinking of leaping to their deaths). Our buzzer went for The Edge experience and we headed over to the entry.

The Edge is an experience where you enter into a frosted glass box. This box is then eased out on tracks until it is three metres outside the building, at which point the panels become clear. You definitely get a different perspective on how high you are when you can see through the floor! It was quite funny, we shared the experience with a family that had two little girls – all five of us adults were nervously standing on the metal framing and the two girls were dancing away on the glass panels without a care in the world. Bless their little cotton socks!

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Once back inside the building, we headed back down to earth. Another stroll, this time along the other side of the Yarra River back to Flinders Street Station and then a tram ride back to Prahran – I was really starting to feel like I had the knack of this whole tram catching thing! We decided to head to St Kilda for dinner, not entirely sure whether we would get there again. We were a little bit disappointed to see that the infamous mouth entrance of Luna Park was being renovated but we dined at a great restaurant, Sugar Reef. We went for their Shared Starter board which was fantastic and I’d totally recommend that to anyone else eating there.

Strolling up Fitzroy St was a bit of an experience – it was our first exposure to the slimy underbelly of Melbourne, but it’s almost comforting to know that everywhere has one. I had the misfortune of stepping on a uneven paving stone and came crashing down on my knee – it’s not an M family holiday without me injuring myself in some form! We hobbled our way (well I did) onto the tram and headed home, ready to face another day!

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