I spent most of June in Melbourne for my new job. Fortunately there was time for some sightseeing too. I'd travelled through Melbourne airport on a number of occasions before but hadn't actually seen much of Melbourne itself.
As Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia, naturally I had to attend some sports events.
The National Sports Museum is part of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I had enough time before the football game at the MCG to have a look in the museum. It has a large number of significant sports memorabilia which I was amazed to see in such a small area. The Australian Cricket Hall of Fame is also held here.
The Fremantle Dockers had travelled from Western Australia to play the Richmond Tigers at the MCG. If you don't recognise those names, you probably aren't familiar with Australian Rules Football. The Australian Football League originated in Victoria so there are many suburbs of Melbourne with their own AFL clubs. For example, Richmond, Carlton, Essendon, Footscray and Collingwood.
The Fremantle vs Richmond game was a good one since the Dockers managed a win. By a fluke my ticket was at the right end of the ground amongst the Dockers supporters which made it easier. The MCG can hold almost 100,000 people so it seemed relatively empty with a crowd of about 25,000.
Etihad Stadium was next on my sports agenda to watch the Wallabies vs France rugby game. Etihad Stadium is much newer than the MCG and has a well designed layout so all spectators have a good view of the whole ground. There were a surprising number of French supporters. The game itself was quite boring, only a 6-0 scoreline and no tries. Still, it was good to visit the ground.
We visited a rooftop bar to have a view across the city after the rugby and soak up some Saturday night atmosphere.
Melbourne is also famous for its art. I went to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the "Italian Masterpieces" exhibition. Many pieces on display hadn't been seen outside of Europe before.
I had a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens. These are well-kept gardens have some relatively fresh air and peace in the middle of the city.
I had a look at the South Wharf, past the Crown Casino. There were plenty of factory outlet shops but I restrained myself and didn't buy too much :-)
More photos of Melbourne are available in the photo gallery.
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