Melbourne – voted the most livable city in the world, and no wonder with its rich culture, food and sporting events.We were delighted to be able to spend a few days there then out to Ballarat for some R & R at a private farm stay and to check out a few sights of a much smaller city
Following a quick flight we popped our bags in at the Crown Casino located on the banks of the Yarra River, grabbed our camera bags and went of to explore the city
Melbourne celebrates street art like no other, with Hosier lane just one of many lane ways dedicated to this challenging, colorful and vibrate art form that makes the imagination run wild
Once we had finished checking out the street art it was time to have a wander through some of Melbourne’s arcades, here you will find quirky little shops that are great for revisiting your childhood, grabbing a gift or two for family or simply indulging in a little morning tea, we did a little of each !
Melbourne is full of new and old in terms of architecture. One place that was a must do on our list was a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral. As we walked in through the front doors, we couldn’t help but stand and marvel at the sheer majestic columns and stone masonry, stunning woodwork plus intricate stain glass windows that adorned each side of the church.
No trip to Melbourne would be complete without visiting the 580 meter long Princes Pier that was constructed between 1912 – 1915. While it is no longer a working pier the pylons that grace the waters make it a popular place to photograph the sunset and sit down for a champagne and a chat
After sunset and dinner we still felt energetic enough to grab our cameras and tripods and spend the next hour out and about to capture a city that comes alive at night, especially the reflections of the city along the Yarra River frontage and the iconic Flinders St Station.
We also managed to find ourselves up the top of the tallest building in Melbourne “Eureka Skydeck 88″ and the view was certainly spectacular
Leaving the busy pace of Melbourne city behind we headed out to the countryside for a little R&R at a private farm nestled in the valley near Buninyong just south of Ballarat. Here we were able to relax and explore the countryside and wander around the old buildings of a much smaller but no less impressive city rich in Australian History at a more leisurely pace
Ballarat is just over an hours drive west north west from Melbourne nestled within the lower western plains of the Great Dividing Range. It was founded in 1837 and plays a large part in Victoria’s history , including the Gold Rush that changed the small sheep farming community into a thriving city, it was also the place where Australia’s one and only armed rebellion “Eureka Stockade” took place.
Lake Wendouree is one of a few lakes located around Ballarat and is home to a large number of birds, especially in Spring when the cygnets are out with their parents feasting on the fresh grass seeds . You can walk , cycle or drive around the entire lake. This place is also gorgeous at sunset especially around many of the cute and colorful boat sheds
Spring oh how we love Spring ! Ballarat and surrounds were full of brightly colored flowers along with grass so green and lush providing a stunning contrast to the timber and rust seen on some of the old farm houses that we had found
To top of our farm stay and Ballarat wanderings we were honored to witness another stunning show from Mother Nature at Mt Mercer as we sat with our cameras on tripods sipping a champagne or 2 !
There are so many wonderful places to see all around Ballarat and Melbourne but we just couldn’t fit them all in so its a given that we will most likely go back. So with a spring in our step and feeling rejuvenated we headed back to Melbourne to fly home to our family’s and loved ones.