I had a great start today in Melbourne, leaving the hotel with what I thought was a great plan for the day. It turns out I was a rather efficient tourist though and those plans for the day were all done before lunch. So the afternoon proved to be a little bit of improvising.
Melbourne Cricket Ground Tour
The first stop today was a little tour to visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sports Museum. The opening time is listed as 10 am so there was no rush to get moving this morning. I got moving around 9 am choosing to walk from the hotel to the MCG a nice 30-minute walk on an overcast morning.
The first tour of the morning gets started at 10.15, so ensured that I was at the meeting point for this one. It was a great in depth tour showing some aspects of the Melbourne Cricket Ground the public may not normally get to see. From the very edge of the field up to the commentary box and through the dressing rooms. Even right up towards the higher points around the ground.
Currently, the field is going through the change between the cricket season and the AFL season. The centre cricket pitch has been removed in preparation to put in a grass area. Even though it does time some time and effort, we are told it is not out of the question to change this back and forth. Of course, just when it is needed to suit a particular circumstance.
There was some other area’s included on the tour as well. Some of the areas such as the member’s area and media area. It is very much an interesting and informative tour.
Australian Sports Museum
Following the tour of the MCG, I had some time to visit the Australian Spots Museum, which includes the Melbourne Cricket Club’s Gallery. The visit to the museum here is similar to the MCG tour and is included in the See Melbourne Card I have. I likely would have skipped the museum otherwise, since sport is not a big interest for me.
In saying that, there turned out to be a couple of exhibits that caught my attention, but not for long. There is holograms of Shane Warne and also an AFL player talking about different aspects of their sports. You also are given an audio commentary device to use as you work through the museum. In the end, I did not spend a lot of time here, maybe 30-40 minutes in total.
After leaving the MCG, I headed towards Fitzroy Gardens, which is reasonably close. There are some spots that I wanted to visit in the gardens, including Cooks Cottage, the Fairy Tree and a Model Tudor Village.
Cooks cottage is another attraction that in included with the See Melbourne Card, although admission is very reasonable anyway. It was rather interesting to see the small space in which they lived in comparison to houses today. The cottage was home to Captain Cook’s parents and nine children. Compared to some homes today, you would be hard pressed even calling it a two bedroom house. The second image below is of the study in Cooks Cottage. To get this photo my back is pressed against the wall behind me, the room is that small.
The Fairies Tree
The Fairies Tree is the creation of Ola Cohn. Carved into the stump of one of the original Red Gum trees from Fitzroy Gardens which is well over 300 years old. It is a very popular attraction for children in the park.
Model Tudor Village
The Model Tudor Village is one of three such villages created by Mr Edgar Wilson of Norwood England. It was part of a hobby he had as a 77-year-old pensioner. The village was officially opened in May of 1948.
Walking And Exploring
Although I had covered everything I wanted to do today, it was barely lunch time. I set out for a walk through the city passing my the Old Parliament House, which is now the City Museum. It turns out it was only afterwards that I found this out and would have visited had I known at the time. Maybe it was the hunger that encouraged me to keep going and find some lunch and set a plan for the afternoon.
City Circle Tourist Tram
I decided to start out on the City Circle Tourist Tram and see what caught my attention. In the end, this turned out to be the Queen Victoria Markets, which I had heard plenty about. But alas my timing was not perfect, as many of the stalls had started to pack up for the day. I still got a little look around, but there was little that interested me.
The last stop I end up making today was quite close to the hotel at the Immigration Museum. I think I might have had some high hopes for this visit which did not get realised.
I did arrive not much before closing time, with only about half an hour to look around. But as it turned out I needed less than half of this time to see everything. There is a lot of space in the museum, but not a whole lot of content or displays. Additionally, photography was not allowed in the majority of the museum either.
Full Day Ahead
Today turned out to be a little less photography than I had anticipated. While I got some good photos at the MCG and Fitzroy Gardens, there were few photos for the rest of the day.
In some ways, this leaves me wondering what to do tomorrow, as I had planned to visit the Immigration Museum. However, as I found that would be no great loss. I am sure there will be something come up, and the afternoon I have a tour booked. The tour leaves the city and visits an area known as the Dandenong Ranges, which I am looking forward to.