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Hannah Simmons: Melbourne

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Got a lift from the ferry terminal to my hostel from Wendy and Tim from Cradle Mountain. Checked in and got free breakfast. Melbourne has some strange driving rules. If turning right involves crossing tram tracks, you must get into the left hand lane and wait until all lanes to the right of you are clear before you can turn. Very odd. Went down to the Information Centre to plan my time between now and Christmas. Booked myself a 3 day tour of the Great Ocean Road, a 3 day tour of Uluru, flights between Melbourne and Ayers Rock and Alice Springs and Sydney and a Ramsay Street tour! Hit the shops in the afternoon – not looking for anything in particular but this is THE place in Australia to shop. Saw the worst Christmas Tree ever, a sort of garish plastic thing. Its not even trying to look real.
Next day, I went to the Botanical gardens. Not that great. Came back along the edge of the Yarra river, past all their stadiums. They seem to have about 5 in the same area including the MCG and the tennis courts. Got the free city circle tram up to Victoria Market and had a look around, then back on the tram to the Olg Melbourne Gaol. This is where Ned Kelly was hung. Each of the cells had a different story relating to a prisoner. They still have the original hanging platform and trapdoor in place. Then went up to the Melbourne Museum. Didnt have time to look at every display but saw the Aborignal, rainforest and Australia including a short history of Melbourne. Part of this display included one of the actual kitchens used in Neighbours.
Started this morning by going up the Rialto Tower to the 55th floor observation deck. Got panoramic views over the whole of Melbourne. Could see down to the Harbour, all the arenas and the Grand Prix circuit. Also included in the price was the use of binoculars and a 20 minute video. Stupidly, I thought it would be about the towers. In fact it was a very cringe-worthy plug for elbourne and Victoria. Dont think anyone in the room actually liked or enjoyed it. Then went to the Immigration Musuem, charting the history of Station Pier and all the immigrants who came through it. Spent the afternoon in Fitzroy gardens. Apparently, its a very popular place to have your wedding photos taken. They even had a mock tudor village there as well as Captain Cooks old house.

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