Gallery » ASIA/SOUTH PACIFIC » Round the World 2019 - Melbourne
We spent seven nights in Melbourne (Sunday, 22 September – Saturday, 28 September). Our base for this year’s trip was our apartment in The Treasury on Collins building. It’s a lovely property in the heart of the Central Business District. This property is in an historic building which originally was the Bank of Australasia. Construction of the first two floors was finished in 1875 with the final three floors being added in 1930. The building façade remains intact with the interior being renovated with a restaurant on the ground level as well as check-in for Treasury on Collins; a lovely mezzanine used by Treasury for social events; and apartments in both the main building and a secondary building. The restaurant in the lobby features the original intact bank teller windows.
We took a studio apartment at The Treasury and it turned out to be perfect! By booking direct, we enjoyed some great perks including complimentary breakfast (both a hot & cold buffet), access to the Lounge on the Mezzanine for complimentary coffee, tea, juice, soda and snacks throughout the day; a complimentary “wine down” from 4:00-6:00P with light snacks; and complimentary wifi. Also we had a washer/dryer in the apartment so we were able to do some laundry in the evenings.
We were in town for the week prior to the Australian Football League final event (i.e., like being in the USA for Super Bowl week/weekend). So, the place was buzzing with activity and lots of visitors, especially football fans, or as Aussie’s say “Footy” fans. The game was played between the Richmond Tigers and the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Before enjoying the football (“footy”) weekend frenzy, we spent our time exploring Melbourne. What is wonderful about staying in the CBD is that travel on trams within the area is free. So, we could travel throughout the area without getting worn out. We spent some time shopping – obviously for food & liquor but also window shopping in the megamalls in the area. However, we spent most of our time enjoying the many historic buildings and/or churches in the area. As noted above, the weather was cool – sometimes cold – so we took refuge inside buildings to warm up as we were exploring.
We did visit the Treasury Museum this trip (not to be confused with our apartment building, The Treasury on Collins). It was fascinating as we learned about the gold mining industry in Victoria. The Old Treasury Building was erected in 1878 to store gold from the mining fields. It was definitely a fortress with the lower level being the place where the gold was stored. We learned that a nugget, the “Welcome Stranger” nugget, was found only 3cm beneath the surface by a Cornish miner. After smelting, it yielded 71kg of solid gold! And, yes, the replica of the nugget was huge. We also learned that Victoria (the province in which Melbourne is located), grew significantly as the gold rush began. In 1851, the province had a population of 97,000 people; by 1861 it had grown to 540,000 people. In fact, over half the population of Australia was living in Victoria in 1861. Also, between 1859 and 1869, Australia exported 30 million ounces of gold – more than one third of the world’s total!
With regard to Aussie football, we attended the parade along with thousands of other fans. It was amazing to see the convoy of players as part of the parade. The players were sitting in folding chairs in the back of pick-up trucks waving to fans and sometimes being accompanied by their children. Not going to see many NFL players in the USA doing that! It was really, really cold at the parade despite the huge crowd. So, we didn’t go to the actual playing field – the Melbourne Cricket Grounds - for the additional festivities. On game day, we stayed glued to the TV as we learned more about Aussie footy. It turned out that the Tigers dominated the game and won the trophy. We were rooting for that team because it is located in the suburbs of Melbourne and is considered to be the “home team." Needless to say, there were lots of street celebrations that evening. We went out briefly to witness the frenzy but quickly returned as it was again very cold.
So, all and all, we enjoyed another wonderful week in Melbourne – a lovely city with a friendly, helpful population. Click on the first album below to follow our trip.