A campervan is a good thing outside cities. And it better stays away from the city. Driving in one, especially one the size of Melbourne, is never very pleasant, especially not in a campervan. Plus, you’d never get than van into an underground parking lot (maybe into one, yes, but not out). We didn’t even try to get into Melbourne with the camper and left it in a town a 40-minute train ride away, took the train, and arrived comfortably at the city’s central station.
It was a Thursday and the city was bustling with people. Melbourne is very lively with a welcoming feeling to it. Since it was almost noon, we headed straight to Queen Victoria Market. Markets are always great and that one is extraordinary. There’s a section for clothes, shoes, and all kind of more or less useful stuff. Then there are the fruits and vegetables, organic produce and dry fruits, a meat and fish section, and the beautiful gourmet-hall, as I call it, which reminded me of markets in France or Spain. So many specialties and delicious things to eat – the perfect place for lunch!
Central Melbourne is quite big but still walkable. Walking is obviously the best way to discover the city, its small alleys, and tons of small and big restaurants, takeaways, and coffee shops – you’ll never be hungry in Melbourne!
Melbourne’s famous graffiti lanes are not to miss, either. The graffiti are great (most of them at least) and the artists are constantly adding new ones and covering the older graffiti. It’s also fun to watch the tourists pose in front of the walls (and to pose for photos yourself – you’re a tourist after all!).
On a very windy but sunny Sunday afternoon we drove out to pretty Williamstown from where you have great views of Melbourne’s skyline. Lots of people enjoyed the warm spring sun eating ice-cream and strolling through the park; others preferred to stay in their car and watch the sea sheltered from the wind.
Williamstown harbor is where the anti-whaling organization Sea Shepherd is based and every weekend, except for the summer months, you can visit their ship. That’s how we got to visit the Steve Irwin, their oldest ship. It was a special and exciting feeling to be on that ship we had heard so much about and had seen on TV many times. The tour was interesting and it almost made me want to sign up as a volunteer until Hossam reminded me that I get seasick. Sea Shepherd’s methods may be controversial, but they’re fighting for a good cause.
Brighton Beach: Million Dollar Huts
I’m not sure why, but people seem to like beach huts. I do too, of course. They’re cute, they’re colorful, and they’re on the beach, so what’s not to like about them?!
Brighton beach, south of St. Kilda, boasts a long row of beautiful (and, as we heard, crazy expensive) beach huts. The beach was empty when we went there. It was a mostly grey and stormy day but the huts looked gorgeous nevertheless.
There’s so much more to do in Melbourne but eventually we had to leave because we had to return the campervan in Adelaide. And before that, we wanted to drive the Great Ocean Road. Not to miss when you’re in the area!