I am 30 years old, I was born in New South Wales. At no time in my life have I ever gone further south in Australia than Perisher Blue. That was when I went on a Snow trip in Year 6 (1998). I had set foot in Queensland, ACT and the Northern Territory, I went to Darwin to get a flight to Timor Leste, I visit my Dad regularly in Cairns and I visited my brother in Brisbane during April 2005.
But never in my life had I ever been to Melbourne, yet alone the state of Victoria. I just never had an interest in visiting Melbourne at all. Nothing was drawing me to Melbourne.
Both of my parents and my brothers had been to Melbourne before I did, but I ended up becoming the most travelled in my family reaching 42 nations before I turned 30 in November 2015.
I even had 2 cousins of mine that have lived in Melbourne. One of them is Georgina and she has been there since 2005 and my cousin Chas lived there for over a year.
What made me go to Melbourne on the 2nd of March 2016?
I had always wanted to attend a recording of this quiz show, but I found it lame that it was filmed in Melbourne instead of Sydney.
I had previously attended recordings of TV shows in Sydney. I was in the Audience for Australian Idol in 2003 and 2004, I went to see Rove Live in Sydney in June 2006, my photo appeared on Quizmania in 2006/2007, I was in the audience for Gladiators when it was revived in 2008 and I had made various bonehead appearances on Sunrise since 2006.
At the end of February I got an email from RocKwiz saying that I had been successful for tickets and that I would be attending the recording of RocKwiz on the 3rd March 2016
To travel between Sydney and Melbourne you have a few options
Pros: You get there quicker, it can cost about $60 each way
Cons: The bus ticket from Melbourne Airport to the city is a total rip off at $17
2: Take a 12 hour bus ride
Pros: It’s not so noisy to sleep on a bus, you are traveling overland
Coons: Its about $120 each way, there isn’t any food served on board
3: Take a 11 hour train ride
Pros: $45 each way, there is restaurant car, the trains always leave in the evening
Cons: You can’t really sleep on a train because of the noise, it’s a long journey
So to be the cheap skate that I am. I took the train. I left Sydney at 8.30pm on Wednesday 2nd March 2016.
The train stopped off at Campbelltown, Goulburn, Yass, Wagga Wagga, Albury, and Broadmeadows before arriving in Melbourne Southern Cross Station at 7am in the morning.
When the train moved on from Albury I was amused that I was finally crossing into Victoria for the first time in my life. I still got to visit, WA, SA and TAS. But it was a mile stone as I hadn’t crossed a land border in Australia since February 2010
I got out of Southern Cross station around 7am. That station is always buzzing as it’s so much interesting that Sydney Central Station. It has its own Woolworths and it’s in walking distance to Etihad Stadium.
I spent a whole hour in Starbucks on Swanson Street just so I could charge up my laptop and phone.
Around 9am I walked down to federation Square to look at the biggest eyesore in the whole of Melbourne. It’s where everyone wants to meet. So if someone says I’ll meet you at Fed Square you just can’t miss it as it’s across the road from Flinders Street Station.
The governor of Victoria lives here. If the Yellow flag is flying then it means she is home. The Government house is only open to the public on Australia day.
The Shrine of Remembrance in King’s Domain is one of the most outstanding War Memorials in Australia I have ever seen. They started building the War Memorial straight after World War I and it was unveiled in 1934.
The Shire of Remembrance has a large than life museum that details all of Australians involvement in war starting from the Boer War in South Africa right up until Afghanistan. There are so many artefacts from both World Wars, Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Vietnam War, Gulf War, UN Peacekeeping mission as well as Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
I really enjoyed seeing a short film about the Battle of Torbruk. My Great Uncle Michael (MICK) Begley was an NZ engineer who went to war in Egypt and Libya. As I watched the short presentation I was reminded that us British forces were under allot of pressure as the Fascist Italians and Nazi tried to push us all out of Libya and back into Egypt.
I had to tell the tour guide the story about my Great Uncle Mick that he got shot in the lung in North Africa while shooting at the Italians. He survived, caught TB in Africa but came home to New Zealand a drunk and broken man who died young in his 40’s
I also had to tell the guide the story about how my Mum first came to Australia and she saw all the Vietnam Veterans who had come home and how screwed up their minds were as the government gave them lack of recognition and even a lack of mental health support. Allot of them committed suicide by throwing themselves onto train tracks and this would cause PTSD in many train drivers who came home from Vietnam as well.
If you go to the top of the Shrine of Remembrance you will have great views of Melbourne city. You can even look into the Governor’s house from the top
I was going to stay at Oslo Hostel in St.Kilda so I could be closer to the Espy Hotel. But location doesn’t really matter it all depends on what people think in reviews. I read too many shitty reviews for Oslo Hostel and I was more than happy to spend $34 a night to stay at an up market hostel in the heart of Melbourne CBD.
To get around Melbourne you need to have a MYKI card. It worlds the same damn way as Sydney’s Opal or London Oyster. Just put cash on this plastic card and away you go.
I just took the 90 something tram down to St.Kilda Beach as I was in walking distance of the Espy Hotel.
I went to the Filming of Rock Kwiz but I didn't get to be a contestant because I don't know JACK SHIT about British Alternative music.
I can't say what happened on Rockwiz but I will say its going to be on air in May 2016.
Springvale Botanical Cemetery is one of the largest Cemetery in Victoria. Within the cemetery ground is a memorial to those Victorians who were brave enough to receive The Victoria Cross. They even mentioned Bruce Kingsbury V.C whom I had the pleasure of visiting his grave at Bomana in April 2015
SPRINGVALE WAR CEMETERY
In the front row of the war graves lies the resting places of 3 Dutchmen and 1 Dutchwoman.
Teunis De Kleine 5030 Marine 3rd class RNN Died: Sep. 22, 1945
Lt. Col HURWITZ, SALOMON KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army ) Died:26th May 1946 (was interned in a Japanese POW campp
Sailor Mrs CAMILLA ANALIA MARTRON R.N.N (Royal Netherlands Navy) Died: 2nd June 1945
Schipper KOSTER HERMAN LAMBERTUS R.N.N Died 14th January 1945
AUSTRALIAN R.A.A.F WAR GRAVES
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY GRAVES
BRITISH ARMY/NAVY AND AIR FORCE GRAVES
There are female figures on the ceiling. They represent: Justice’, ‘Peace’, ‘Mercy’, ‘Architecture’, ‘Fame’, ‘Victory’, ‘Wisdom’, ‘History’ and ‘Plenty’.
I went back to Southern Cross Station and got on the train back to SYDNEY. I had a bit of a flirt with the curvy lady working the dining hall. It was so hard falling asleep on 2 seat that by the time I got home my body was in agony.
I will return to Melbourne sometime in the future.