Regardless of how many times you come into this vibrant city, there is always somewhere different to visit. The CBD and its surrounds are a constant source of ever changing displays, exhibitions and events.
My latest foray saw me rise early for the Dawn Service at the Shrine and the ensuing ANZAC Parade after which I had my much awaited cappuccino outside the Arts Centre and planned the rest of my day. I headed on up to the Melbourne Museum to decide which of the many attractions, I'd visit next. I was tempted to visit The Melbourne Story, a 1200 piece exhibition that depicts the changing face of Melbourne over the decades. I was fascinated, but decided to hold that one over for another day.
I chose the special exhibition, Afghanistan Hidden Treasures from the National Museum of Kabul. As I didn't know a lot about this country and its culture, I was unsure of what to expect once I arrived inside. I need not have been concerned for it was one of the best collection of antiquities I have seen. From the exquisite gold and turquoise jewellery to the folding golden travel crown, it was superb. The displays were arranged in four separate sections in chronological order. Some of the pieces were thousands of years old and told the story of Afghanistan's rich cultural history.
These 230 priceless treasures were thought to be lost and only the forward thinking of a handful of men who had the presence of mind to hide the priceless items in crates under the museum to protect them from destruction during the Russian invasion and later, their own civil war, saved them.
It was some time before I emerged from the museum and walked down to Federation Square to visit one of ACMI's Melbourne Winter Masterpieces, from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the enthralling Hollywood Costumes. This was an absolutely fabulous display of costumes from famous, classic movies, their origins, their textures and their final purposes. The extensive range clothed characters from such classics as Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Superman, Spiderman, Indiana Jones, James Bond 007, Sherlock Holmes, Cabaret, Pirates of the Caribbean and many, many more.
I could have spent hours there, but it became a little crowded when the next admission group entered (an hour after my group) and I'd been so engrossed, I'd neglected to have lunch. So I said a fond farewell to Scarlett O'Hara, Dorothy and Toto and headed out into Federation Square for a bite to eat.
While I dined on pizza (yes, me who is counting calories!) I became engrossed in the AFL ANZAC Day match on the big screen and the more intense the game became, the faster I ate.
Federation Square- one guy is already in his chair waiting for the Footy to start
Having thoroughly enjoyed my day out and about in the city, I then met up with my daughter and went off to the Melbourne Storm v NZ Warriors Rugby League match at AAMI Park stadium. It was a balmy night and the spectators were in great spirits. I cheered with the crowd, laughed at the stuntman's antics and clapped with the cheerleaders who were kept fairly busy during the match. It was a fitting end to a very long and adventurous day.
None of these attractions was overly expensive and some were free, so it's quite a practical day out in the city and surrounds. While I walked between events, I did have the option of the free City Circle Tram or a normal Yarra Tram at a minimal cost. At the moment both exhibitions are still running and you can catch either code of football on any weekend, so hop on the train or tram and head for the city. You'll probably discover many more items of interest than you expected to.
Afghanistan Hidden Treasures at Melbourne Museum 11 Nicholson St, Carlton
Ph: 13 11 02 www.museumvictoria.com.au
Open daily 10am-5pm (not Good Friday or Christmas day)
Cost: A= $24; Conc=$16; Ch= $14 (3-16yrs)
Audio Guide = $7
Cost includes entry to the Museum itself.
Museum only entry Adults $14. Conc & Children are free
Hollywood Costumes at ACMI at Federation Square
Ph: 8663 2200 firstname.lastname@example.org,au www.acmi.net.au
Open: 10am-5pm daily with 9pm close on Thursdays
Costs: A $19: Conc= $ 15.50: Ch=$10 (4-15yrs: Family=$51.50)
AAMI Park Melbourne- Rugby League
Melbourne & Olympic Parks
Enquiries: Ph 9286 1600
Gate opening times vary with each game.
Cost: Gen.Admission A=$ 24: Conc $ 15: Ch $5 (5-15yrs) Family =$50
Great article, great city. Our favourite city outside our home town, Perth.
You have captured the atmosphere we remember, having walked the streets of Melbourne many times (stopping for coffee at every opportunity).
Makes me want to jump on a plane and visit again.