Day 17 -17th April

This morning we are catching up on bits, cleaning up as we leave Melbourne tomorrow morning, visiting some friends along the way.

This afternoon we are going in to see the Old Melbourne Goal, apparently we can be arrested in a modern day police station by a Charge Sergeant, get locked up in the cells and experience an environment unchanged since the police and inmates left, Chris can do that one, I always thought he was a shady character or go maybe he can go on trial in an historic magistrate’s court. The watch house was built in 1908 and operated as the central “lock up” for the Melbourne Police until 1994, drunks, murderers and those charged with minor offences were all housed there together to await their day in court.

Old-Melbourne-Goal

The Old Melbourne Goal; this was great and highly recommended. Jail in the 1840’s was certainly a lot harsher than it is now, no comforts of home and no TV. Just a small cell with a small window would have been very harsh conditions. People were put in jail for what would be very minor crimes, if crimes at all in present day, some were just children.

Prisoner

The goal was built in the 1840’s and is one of Victoria’s oldest buildings. 136 people including Ned Kelly were hanged here. We will be able to gaze upon Ned Kelly’s death mask, sounds creepy. Ned Kelly was the son of an Irish convict and when he was captured and imprisoned his mother was serving a sentence in the women’s’ wing, now that’s keeping it in the family.

Old-Melbourne-Goal-2 Ned-Kelly

We were arrested at the Police watch house and lined up with the other criminals, must be Chris’s influence I was once such a good girl. Women were on one side men on the other. We had to spread out hands to show we weren’t hiding any drugs, lift our tongues to the roof of our mouths again to show we weren’t concealing any drugs ( if it was real we would of been stripped search, glad they leave that out of the enactment) then split into smaller groups and put into cells. I must of being charged with being drunk (see what he has driven me too) as I was thrown into a wet cell with a few other drunken women. Wet cells because they can hose it out, they turned off the lights and it was pitch black. When Chris was led away to another cell, I told him I would wait for him, I think he was charged with just being disorderly, that would be right. We were let out and led to a small exercise yard to stretch our legs, we also had our mug shot taken before being set free, warned not to be seen in there again.

Chris-in-Goal KateMug

After the Goal we had tea and wandered down to Flinders’ St Station to take some photos. Being Saturday night the streets were packed, a lot of strange looking people too. We then went up to the Eureka Skydeck; have to say it was rather disappointing. They have made it very difficult to take photos, not only are you shooting through glass and the normal reflections you get by doing so, they have scrolling neon signs on the walls behind you and on the floor, and other lights all creating a lot of reflections on the glass and just about making it impossible to get some decent photos. You can go onto on a Terrace which is outside but surround by chicken wire, we could not get any shots that didn’t have wire in them. Looking down onto the city there isn’t really any points of interest, just general lights that are coming from buildings. I think it’s something everyone has to do but we certainly wouldn’t do it again.

SkydeckView

Worn out we came home on the train, finishing our time in Melbourne.

Day 16 -16th April

Today we went to the Victoria Markets, which is an experience not to be missed. There are lots of fruit and veggies stalls, a big meat area with all kinds of meats and fish, a deli area, stalls of every description selling a big variety of wares. Of course you get s lot of stalls selling similar items all fighting for your hand earned cash. A tag may say one price but before you know if they have dropped a reasonable amount off. As soon as you stop or even glance at an item the shopkeeper is in your face telling you what the sign obviously says or you pick up an item and before you know it they are helping you by showing you every item in the store, rather pesky, instead of just letting your browse. This did improve once it became busier we did buy a couple of things.

After we had lunch we went down to the Crown Casino, wow what a huge place, we were walking around looking at everything trying to work out how the games were played. Heaps and heaps of pokies, that kept on going and going and going all the way in. People where just sitting there like zombies pushing the buttons. Every now and then we would hear the sound of coins being dropped from the winnings, but most where losers. There were black jack tables, roulette tables as well as electronic versions and other games being played which I can’t remember the names of. Each of these tables has different amounts of bidding minimum limits. We watched as one group just about put chips on every square on one roulette table of course they did win but I don’t know how much they lost from the squares that didn’t win. There were a lot of people there that looked they could not afford to be. We did feed the pokies for a bit of fun on the 2 cents ones, at least we got to use their loos which were the cleanest in town.

We then came home on the tram and bus, before doing the washing, making bread and doing the groceries.

Day 15 – 15th April

Well we came home exhausted with achy feet but hopefully with a handful of good photos. We went to the Melbourne Zoo today, as far as zoo’s go it’s a pretty good Zoo, and the cost is reasonable, $24.40 for adults, we had a 10% discount card so cost us $22 for a full day out, parking cost us $4. There is a good variety of animals including the new baby Elephant, Mali.

We did line up to see Mali at one stage but it was packed, the queue was very long, we decided this was taking time off seeing other animals so got out of the line. They did have another afternoon showing that finished at 3pm, we wanted to see the adult Elephants so went to the Elephants exhibit, there were very few people around and Mali was still out, so we got to see her in the end, very cute and of course she took all our attention. She had a big ball she obviously loved as she kept playing with it while staying pretty close to mum.

Mali

Of course it is always a challenge to take pictures of animals through wires, especially the big cats which are my favourite. There were 4 male lions and at one stage they all started roaring, wow big roars wouldn’t want to come across that on a dark night.

Lion

The White Checked Gibbon were very cute, the white one kept coming right up to the glass, I bet he was thinking look at those animals in the cage, they look funny. Everyone, especially the kids thought they were very cute and thought it was lovely when it was licking its fingers until they saw where the fingers had been and what they were licking off, yucky.

Gibbon

We didn’t get to all the animals, we did redo a couple, we just ran out of time there is so much to see. We raced out and had lunch at the car, and only had very quick breaks just to rest our weary feet.

Baboon Bear Lima

There is still a few things we want to do in Melbourne and we don’t want to kill ourselves doing them so have booked in for another night.

Day 14 – 14th April

Today we went into the city on the number 112 tram, it’s a short drive to the tram stop, we found a park on the side of the road that allowed all day parking. Tram ticket cost $6.80 per adult, or $3.40 concession which gives you all day tram travel. It does take a long time to do the 9km stopping at every stop which is a lot. Once in the city there is a City Circle Tram that is free as well as a Tourist Shuttle, both doing slightly different routes.

We walked around the city area and hit all the camera shops we found, (of course), went up Bourke Street mall, not a scratch on Brisbane’s Queen St mall. Went on the City Circle Tram and walked around the Southbank area. Melbourne makes Brisbane look like a country town, and me being a country girl felt like I was walking around with my mouth open gawking at everything. Some amazing old building’s it’s just a pity they didn’t tidy them up a bit, with flaking paint, and generally dirty looking. We did find Melbourne rather grotty from what we are used to especially the toilets.

We had an afternoon cuppa at a Mc Cafe, there where all these tiny little birds flying and sitting around everywhere even going in behind the counter, we thought they were rather cute until we had trouble finding a seat and table that didn’t have bird droppings on it, so maybe not so cute and more of a problem.

We had planned to go back in tonight but we were worn out from the big smoke, so early night tonight as we have a big day planned tomorrow at the Melbourne Zoo.

Day 13 – 13th April

That would be about right; we woke to blue skies this morning. We left Mansfield and headed towards Healesville, it was a very pretty drive and we could see where the fires had been over 12 months ago, with lots of new growth. We had planned to go to the Healesville Sanctuary but changed our mind and decided to head to Melbourne, by this time the sky had become overcast again and it had cooled down.

We are booked into the Melbourne Big 4 Holiday Park in Coburg. It is 9km from the city and has a bus stop out the front and trams a short drive away that will take you into the city. The cost is $37 a night, we are on a large powered site, which is a good size but not overly large. It is a quite a nice park. There are 2 amenities block, the one near us it one big building with a very impressive camp kitchen in the middle, 4 unisex toilets at one end and 4 unisex individual shower cubicles at the other, the other amenities block is more like what you would expect.

They seem to have a thing in Victoria where they don’t trust you to put the exhaust fan on yourself. With the toilet and showers near us the exhaust fan comes on the moment you turn the light on, which you have to do as there are no windows. There is a vent in the middle of the floor which only purpose is to provide ventilation, problem is the moment the exhaust fan goes on it sucks cold air up the floor vent, I figured out very quickly to put my shoe over the hole to stop the draught, you can’t go to the loo without the light on as it’s pitch black, it’s like a little adventure to go to the loo, have to make sure you take your jumper.

20100413Map