Melbourne is the capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city’s centre is the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. Overall, there is an artistic and colonial feel to the city, much like most european capitals. So how would it feel visiting the big city in the middle of a road trip where you spent most of your time out in the wild? Well, we’re about to find out.
We were lucky enough to find a spot at a caravan park located not too far from the city centre. All the other parks are way out in the suburbs. A rainy day welcomed us, which we initially thought was a bit unfair, but accepted our destiny and after settling in we just took the time to rest, watch a movie and enjoy a hot drink.
They say in Melbourne you can have ‘four seasons in one day’, so it wasn’t a surprise the weather completely changed the following day. We spent the day at the city centre. It was Friday and the city was packed with businessmen and tourists, making the walk down the streets of the CBD pretty exciting and you feel like a local. We ended up at the famous Federation Square – a venue for arts, culture and public events on the edge of the Melbourne central business district – as two of the exhibits were tailored specifically for kids and young at heart adults. It was a Disney World exhibition accompanied by a Movies, Television, Gaming and Gadgets expo. Needless to say we were all very thrilled, moving from one screen to the next, watching scenes from our favourite movies and playing old-school Atari video games.
Next, we crossed one of the bridges over the Yarra river while the noise of racing cars was full-on in the background – the Grand Prix Formula 1 is kicking off this weekend not far from here. We then drove to St. Kilda beach to look at thirty odd kite surfers pulling all their tricks in the water as the wind picked up quite significantly. Later on, we had a lovely Friday evening dinner with friends who moved from Sydney to Melbourne a couple of years earlier. Our boys immediately connected with their two girls and our oldest insisted to stay for a sleepover. It had been a while since we left home, so clearly the kids are missing these interactions with friends. On the way back to our caravan park we discovered another aspect of city life – traffic jams on the main road that cuts through the city. The local drivers also seem to have more of a mediterranean temper when it comes to driving.
Disclaimer: This blog post is a travel memoir about a caravan trip we have done all around Australia a few years back. Clearly, in the current COVID reality, the borders between Australian states and territories are intermittently closed, meaning such a wonderful and amazing experience would not be possible unfortunately.