Melbourne Itinerary Day 1: Free Walking Tour; Free Melbourne Visitor Shuttle; and Free City Tram
Free walking tour 2.30pm-5.30pm
If you enjoyed the free walking tour in Sydney, you can try out another free walking tour in Melbourne. Gather at the statue of Sir Redmond Barry in front of the State Library of Victoria. You will get to visit Federation Square, Melbourne’s Laneways, Street Art, Flinders St Station, Yarra River, Eureaka Tower, Chinatown, Princess Theatre, Melbourne’s Arcades, Bourke St Shopping Mall, Old Melbourne Gaol, State Library of Victoria, Royal Exhibition Centre.
You can tour Melbourne City via Melbourne Visitor Shuttle which operates daily every 30 minutes from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The trip takes approximately 90 minutes and includes an informative on-board commentary. Best thing is, it is FREE! Just hop off and hop on at various stops. It’s fun!
Another alternative is to take the Free City Tram (No. 35)
It travels the perimeter of the CBD, taking in many of Melbourne’s landmarks every day of the year except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Services run approximately every 12 minutes 10am – 9pm Th-Sat, and 10am – 6pm Sun-W.
We took the free City Tram to Harbour Town, for factory outlet shopping. Shopping is OK and we had some great finds such as shorts for AUD5. I bought 2 pairs of flats for AUD10 each.
For dinner, you can choose to take the free City Tram to somewhere near Crown Casino and grab dinner at Crown Casino food court or any fancy restaurants there. I had kebab at the foodcourt which is about AUD13. Generous portion, good to share.
If you will rather explore Melbourne on your own instead of getting the free tours, you can drive out to Chadstone which is a huge mall, or Doncaster, another big shopping mall, or Church Street where there are little boutiques and international brands. Since we didn’t have a car, we had lunch at Rare Steakhouse, and hopped onto the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle to Lygon Street to explore.
Shop 6/61 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
I ordered Coffin Bay South Australia Oysters for AUD3.50/piece. It was very juicy and yummy.
We also ordered Sizzling Garlic prawns AUD16.50 – fresh prawns, pan-fried in lots of garlic butter and served with crunchy ciabatta bread. The prawns were crunchy and super delicious. We dipped the bread into the garlic butter and it was so,so, so good that we asked for more bread.
We ordered Mayura Full-Blood Wagyu Porterhouse (Marble score 4-6), 300g for AUD55. Mayura’s range-fed full-blood wagyu are fed solely on grass, which is not your typical Wagyu. Apparently, this is a prestigious award winning beef.
Tip: Go on Mon – Thurs lunch for their set menu at AUD38.50 per pax or 5.30 – 6.30pm from Mon – Sat for set dinner.
Since we didn’t really plan for this day because we were supposed to be on our way to Phillip Island and the trip was cancelled, we wandered around and saw the Melbourne Visitor shuttle and hopped onto it. We alighted at Lygon Street, which is Little Italy to grab ice cream because we heard that the best gelato can be found here! Lygon Street is Melbourne’s heartland of Italian culture, food and lifestyle. We found Casa Del Gelato. The shop is very unassuming, in fact, there’s no decoration to speak of. There are 3-4 tables placed outside the store. We ordered Single Cup AUD5 and we chose 3 flavours – Caramel, Chocolate and Ricotta Cheese. The cheese flavor is the best! It is so so so good. Forget about the chocolate, it is nothing special. The caramel tastes so bland after having tried the Ricotta Cheese.
Then we moved on to shop at Brunswick area. There are many stores selling local designers stuff, vintage stuff and many other quaint stores. Nice! We were so tired from shopping and decided to head back to Lygon Street for dinner at Tiamo.
303 Lygon Street, Carlton 3053
We had Tortellini Tartufo – Ricotta filled tortellini with cream, mushroom and truffle. It was quite tasteless, the ricotta in tortellini serves no purpose, perhaps just to fill up the tortellini. They were very generous with the sauce though. We also ordered Schiaffatelle – traditional Italian homemade pasta, almost like gnocchi but without potato, tossed in Napoli sauce & basil. The schiaffatelle is definitely better than gnocchi in terms of texture. It is also more chewy. I prefer this dish to the Tortellini dish. However, both pasta dishes are not as awesome as expected, since this is one of the more popular Italian restaurants in Little Italy.
We also had Tiramisu. So-so only. The special thing about this Tiramisu is that the chocolate sauce is mixed with condensed milk which makes it very addictive!
If you crave for somewhere to chill out, cross the road for Brunetti. The Brunetti at Lygon Street is the flagship store.
To be continued…
Words and Photos by Chiobu.