My usual stomping ground is Asia, maybe having lived there I feel an infinity with its culture and beauty so when I visited Melbourne recently, I felt I had landed in a foreign place! The cold wet weather was a change and a challenge from the warm humidity I am used to. But on the first day exploring the city I came across an unexpected Korean Festival; the first of its kind in Melbourne. Men, women and children dressed in Korean national clothing – beautiful bright colours to brighten up a dreary day – the perfect light for photographing people.
Melbourne is well known for its thriving art scene. Galleries and museums line the obvious and not so obvious footpaths. Contemporary work, indigenous art and Australian impressionism fill art spaces, while the cafe cluttered lane-ways show off impressive graffiti artists who bring life to the bland brick walls. And one of the best aspects – it’s all within half an hour’s walking distance.
The main hub of Melbourne is situated around Flinders Street Station, iconic for its Edwardian architecture. Built in September 1854 it has been carefully preserved and today people still rely on the old analogue clocks for train times. At anytime, day or night people can be seen congregating around its bustling entrance.
Melbourne’s Trams – zigzagging across the city area are a fantastic way to get around. The City Circle tram is complimentary and you can hop on and off whilst listening to the running commentary about each attraction available at its many stops. There are two of these lovely old trams each heading in the opposite direction.
The colourful beach huts of Brighton Beach remind me of my childhood spent at Bexhill-on-Sea, England – little houses lined up on the beach, full of buckets and spades, the promise of summer and hidden treats.
And just along from Brighton Beach you’ll find St Kilda’s Pier. Here you can see Melbourne City’s skyline – quite something at night, reflecting in the waters of Port Phillip. Does Asia still win me over? Yes, but I have to say Melbourne has personality and it’s certainly worth another visit.