Archive for April, 2016

April 24, 2016

Visit to St Kilda

A few days ago I decided to go the seaside so I caught a tram to St Kilda. Within about half an hour, we’d arrived at St Kilda Road. I disembarked from the tram and walked for about ten minutes towards the beach.

Along the way I passed a selection of quirky cafe’s, restaurants, bars and shops. Soon there was a glimmer of pale blue on the horizon: I was almost there!

I crossed the road and found myself near St Kilda Pier which jutted out into the ocean dotted with boats, ships and yachts from a golden sand beach.

I spotted fishermen wetting their lines, black swans, seagulls and in the distance, Luna Park complete with wooden rollercoaster.

I walked along the pier and saw an old fashioned kiosk in white and yellow at the end selling food and drinks. Its large windows peered at the sea and views of Melbourne from a seaside perspective.

I read the information signs about the pier’s history. Then I walked along a pathway with rocks at the edges.

Here at sunset you might be able to spot a fairy penguin or a water rat! Then I walked back along the pier, crossed the road and took the tram home. 20160423_134556

April 23, 2016

Exploring the Gardens

Yesterday I caught a tram in the Free Tram Zone (yes they actually let you ride for free in a certain area) to Federation Square and looked at the shops. Then I bought pizza for lunch, gourmet chocolates and a nutella donut for lunch along with a newspaper and headed over a bridge across the river to Alexandra Gardens.

I got a lovely view of Melbourne from the bridge. On the riverbank on the other side I sat beside a tree on some grass in the sunshine and watched the elegant black swans go about their business which included walking up to me to check if I had any food.

Unfortunately by this time I had eaten my lunch but human food is probably not too good for swans anyway. Some swans had tags around their necks and legs. After finishing reading my newspaper and watching the Yarra River go by I headed to Queen Victoria Gardens.

Sure enough there was a towering statue of the monarch in the middle of a rose garden filled with red, pink, white and yellow heavily scented blooms. I wandered near a domed structure and spied a water nymph statue in a pool of water.

I wandered past Maple trees shedding their star shaped leaves coloured yellow and orange. They crunched under my feet as I walked by.

Soon I was in Kings Domain and I spotted the Shrine of Remembrance commemorating Australians who served in World War One. I saw a TV presenter and a cameraman on the path filming probably as Anzac Day is on Monday.

I walked up the path to the shrine, past large bushy green trees, past a huge statue of a group of men and the eternal flame and around the building. I saw statues of huge angels.

I entered the shrine and looked around the perimeter. There were books in glass cases and flags around hanging from the ceiling including the Australian flag. From the roof a circle of sunlight streamed down through a skylight.

Then I ascended stairs to a balcony at the top of the shrine. From here I saw sweeping views of Melbourne and even a glimpse of blue with a ship-perhaps St Kilda?

I took my photographs of the city, descended the steps and took a tram home.

April 22, 2016

The Penguin Parade

Yesterday I hopped on a pre-booked tour bus to a place called Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary. There I walked around and visited a selection of Australian animals including native birds including a corella, dingoes, koalas, a wombat, wallabies, an emu, kangaroos and quolls. We then had a delicious lunch which was included in our tour price. I had chicken sausages, potato salad, salad and bread. It was filling and delicious.20160421_113111





Then we headed to a koala conservation place and looked at koalas in gum trees.20160421_160307

After that we drove to Churchill Island on the Mornington Peninsula and parked at a farm there. There we walked through a historic homestead and cottages, beautiful gardens including a kitchen garden, a stable and a blacksmith’s workshop.

We watched a sheep get sheared and a Border Collie called Billy round up sheep. I saw a peacock, turkey, pigs, a cart horse, guinea pigs, a rabbit and a friendly sulphur crested cockatoo called George who said “Hello George” and cocked his head from side to side.

Back onto the bus and onto the most anticipated event of the day-the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island! We walked around and took photos of the beautiful island before being brought to the entrance to the penguin viewing area. We showed our penguin viewing tickets and walked over the threshold.

I had a dinner of chicken schnitzel with chips, salad and gravy with a Pepsi and a gingerbread biscuit. Then as the sky darkened and penguin time drew near, I walked along the boardwalk past the penguin burrows and took a seat facing the sea.

Soon enough groups of little fairy penguins emerged out of the sea and waddled onto the shore and to their burrows in front of an enthralled audience. It was absolutely magical.

April 20, 2016

Day out in the Dandenong

Today I hopped on a pre-booked tour bus and was whisked away along with a busload of other tourists-a couple domestic and the others overseas-across the lush green fields and farmland adorned with trees flecked with red and yellow, to the Dandenong Ranges.20160420_085321

We passed sheep, cows, horses, shetland ponies and birds. The bus stopped at a cafe’ which was in the rainforest. It was cool here so we all wore cardigans or jumpers. We had been given plastic tokens for a Devonshire Tea morning tea.

We entered the cafe’ and were ushered to a table filled with baskets of soft fluffy scones and silver-coloured bowls of jam and cream.

We sat down at the tables, ate our scones and drank our tea and coffee by pouring silver coloured tea and coffee pots into white porcelain dainty cups on saucers. It felt very elegant to have a Devonshire Tea, chat with others and look out of the big glass window into the rainforest beyond which at one time had white sulphur crested cockatoos perched on branches.

After my Devonshire Tea, I wandered down a nearby rainforest path with tree ferns with large overhanging fronds guiding the way. Information signs popped up on the sides of the walk.

After that I entered a bird feeding enclosure, was given a plate of food and fed the cockatoos. Immediately they flocked to land on my arms and shoulders-be sure to wear a strong fabric like leather or denim as their talons are sharp!

Then we got back on the bus but were soon dropped off at the Puffing Billy iconic steam train. The conductor marched up and down with his fancy uniform and bell. All were aboard and we were off! I hung my legs over the side of the carriage and watched the countryside meander by.20160420_105623

After about half an hour at the next stop I disembarked the train, got back on the bus and we were off to the wineries! We dropped some other tourists off at a wildlife sanctuary.

After a bit of driving past purple mountains, lush green farmland, clumps of trees and some houses, we were in the Yarra Valley! Vineyards stretched out before us. We stopped off at three wineries and did three wine tastings. We were told about the wineries and the wines we were drinking. We had lunch at a winery. I was still quite full of scones so had an entree of a ciabatta and two dips. After a day of adventure we headed back to Melbourne city to relax and reflect on the day we had.