A long weekend spent at the Formula 1, Sightseeing and shopping in Melbourne.
From the V8 Supercars Race at Albert Park
This trip had been in the pipeline for sometime, I love Formula 1 racing, I get up late and watch it pretty much every race weekend, and my big goal is to travel the world for a season taking in all the races.
The Australian Grand Prix is traditionally the first of the year, and its always exciting to see the new cars, the new drivers, and to see if the winter testing is going to transfer over to actual race results for the teams.
The racing was great, I went to Melbourne from New Zealand with a work mate, and another friend, and this time instead of staying in a hotel we rented a 3 bedroom apartment on Melbourne’s Southbank area, just across the road from the Crown Casino, and only a few blocks from the race track, which is a street circuit around Melbourne’s Albert Park.
A view to Albert Park from the Eureka Skydeck
We arrived in Melbourne on the Wednesday before the race, so had decided that we would spend the afternoon of Wednesday shopping, and relaxing with a beer or two, so did a spot of shopping, then found a German Bar where many beers were had and a nice dinner was consumed also.
Thursday was a free day and waking with no real plans, a quick look on trip adviser found the tour of the MCG or Melbourne Cricket ground.
We decided on that as an option for the morning, and went off on the tram to explore arguably Australia’s most well known sporting ground. The tour was fantastic, we learnt about the history of the ground, some famous stories from different games, and got to look through various stands, and even the players changing rooms, then underneath the ground is a museum, with lots of different sporting memories, as well as a large interactive area where you can have a go. I have been to Melbourne many times (used to live there) and never done this, it is a really good option if you are into sports.
That night we had made a reservation at Dinner by Heston Blumenthol, based in the Crown Casino, the restaurant was amazing, and we had a really nice meal, a few too many red wines, but thoroughly enjoyed the meal, if you can afford it, it is a must see and I am sure you’ll not be disappointed.
The Desert at Dinner, so nice.
We spent a little time on both Wednesday and Thursday Shopping, we checked out the SouthBank DFO (factory outlet shops) and a few good deals were snapped up, then on the Monday myself and my workmate, went into the city and spent the morning in the central CBD checking out the great shopping Melbourne has to offer.
The rest of our time was spent at the racetrack, on Friday we decided to get General Admission passes, they were $45 Australian Dollars, and they have plenty of places where you can see the track without needing a grandstand seat, threes so many activities for the adults and children, and there was a lot of school kids on excursions to the race track, which i was jealous about, we never had anything cool like that when I was at school.
There was a lot to do and see for the adults as well, with DJs and bands playing, lots of food vendors, merchandise tents, and also live car displays.
The McLaren Line Up, a Formula 1 car, and the Senna.
On Saturday and Sunday, we had booked into the Pit Entry Suite, which was located above the Pits, right on the main straight and just after the last turn, it was a great location, and had awesome views, as well as including food and beverages for both days, we had a great time, enjoyed the racing, and met some cool people to talk too and even ended up at a bar on the Sunday Night with, as it was St Patrick’s Day, so had to go to an Irish bar.
As previously mentioned we spent the morning shopping around the city, but on the way back I took my workmate up to the Eureka Skydeck, 88 stories above the city, and took some amazing pictures from up there of Albert Park, and from there over to the MCG.
All in all for a quick getaway from New Zealand, Melbourne is a great location, its only 4 hours away, there is so much to see and do in the city, whether you are into shopping, arts, live music, sporting events, or the food scene it really is a great place to spend some time. And if you are from further afield, it is a great spot to start your Australian Adventure
I look forward to my next visit back there. Until next time, Safe Travels.
A view across from the Eureka Skydeck over the arts centre and out to towards the MCG