Art Galleries, Australia, City Life, Travel

A Girls Weekend in Melbourne

What a fascinating, vibrant city to revisit after so many years of not doing so.  

The purpose of this trip was to extend the 60th birthday celebrations of myself and my 3 weeks younger cousin.  Even writing this I find it hard to believe I am now not only 60 it’s now got a plus attached to it.  The younger cousin and sister was celebrating the fact she has a few more years to go and got the title of carer.  She excelled in the role.

How did we celebrate?

We SHOPPED, we DINED out, we EXPLORED.

Which meant we spent too much, ate too much, walked too much and enjoyed all of the overindulgences.  One of my most loved purchases was a “Hug Bell”, created by Shoko Mafune. To view a photograph of it, see my Insta page.

It wasn’t only her fun creative ceramics that caught my eye, she had a lovely smile which drew me towards her stall.  She let her creations speak for themselves and spoke only when I required more information on her wares.  Somehow she had created a sense of peace and quietness around her stall in a busy market space where many others were anxious for us to purchase their wares.

Places I enjoyed shopping the most were a mixture of chain stores, individual shops to markets.  The most enjoyable and must do is The Rose Street Artists Market.  Had it not been Easter I am sure we would have been able to enjoy more markets and more artwork from locals.  We all enjoyed wandering around the eclectic Fitzroy area, by far the more interesting areas we explored.  Check out Time Out – Things to do in the Fitzroy area.

Shopping wasn’t the only focus as we spent many an hour admiring the various architecture and sipping refreshments while chatting and people watching.  The city has an incredibly dynamic mix of people as well as buildings, though from what we saw it they were mainly new.  Having only a few days we certainly did not achieve all we set out to do.  It happens, and it just means we may have to go back for a return visit.

Really have you heard anyone say they disliked visiting this city and have only visited once?

I have not.

My love for this city started when I was a starry-eyed teenager.  I made my first trip over to the big city of Melbourne in the seventies to visit a long time penpal.  Australia did feel like it was worlds away from New Zealand back in the seventies.  It was such an enjoyable trip that I returned not long after returning home to Whakatane.  Within days I had a job and weeks later I was all settled into a flat and established a busy social and working life.

Some of my best and harsh life lessons were learnt in that city.

It seemed to me to be much harder to travel, and gaining the money to go was a struggle for most 18-year-olds.  Though what was more conducive to smoother travelling back in 1977, was the passport-free travel.  Under the Trans-Tasman Agreement, Kiwis and Aussies could live and work in either country with relatively few restrictions.

Until, things changed on April 24, 1981, when the Australian Minister for Immigration, Ian Macphee​ announced that all people entering Australia would be required to carry a passport from July 1, 1981.

Which produced chaos over here with quite a few holidaying Australians stuck here with no passports.

It wasn’t until 1986 that the idea of returning the favour was officially mooted in New Zealand and in 1987 it became official.  Australians needed a passport to visit Aotearoa.

Now, of course, we have more border control due to the changing world we live in.

Here are a few photographs while out exploring.

Blue lights over harbour Melbourne

Melbourne by night was awe-inspiring and very colourful.

Melbourne by night

Sandridge Bridge

Autumn colour and a view looking back towards Sandridge Bridge.

Church Street Bridge

Enjoying the last of the daylight and view of  Church Street bridge.

Easter walkers heading to church

Easter weekend meant there were church services and even a parade and a booming voice from a zealous Christian spouting all brim and fire sweeping statements.

Melbourne architecture

The ART, the LINES, the SHAPES, the COLOUR, the VASTNESS OF SPACE.

Now that is my religion.

Melbourne art gallery

Though don’t expect any revealing “OMG” photographs of my companions.  The reason being is I discovered there’s a photograph of me sleeping/dribbling on the flight back.  As you can imagine it’s not a flattering one.  One of my darling cousins is keeping that treasure as it’s now her insurance and peace of mind that I won’t be tempted to reveal any “funny, entertaining captures of our girls weekend in Melbourne”.

PSX_20190419_210848

Life is full of twists, turns and people with a wicked sense of humour. 

Don’t you think so?

A Girls Weekend in Melbourne

81 thoughts on “A Girls Weekend in Melbourne”

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Melbourne, Suzanne! What a beautiful city – if I ever get the chance to travel to Australia, I’ll make sure it’s on my list! 😄

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  2. What a great way to celebrate a birthday and a girls trip! I love Melbourne and am so glad my sister lives there now so I get to visit her more often. It’s such a diverse city and your photos show just how creative and beautiful place it is. happiest of birthdays to you and it sounds like you all had such a good time – walking, eating and shopping!!

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  3. I loved the pictures of Melbourne. I had no idea that you used to be able to travel freely between AustralIa and New Zealand without a passport.

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    1. Yes, well the lack of passports was quite a few years ago and I suppose it seems such a strange thing to happen especially in the world we live in now. Thanks for commenting Anne.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Christie, much appreciated. Hopefully the post might spark more interest from people like yourself to visit New Zealand, Australia or both at some stage.

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  4. Hello Suzanne, I really like Melbourne. I first visited (from Perth, Western Australia) in the early 80s, and spent a fair bit of time there. The last time I was there was 10 years ago – how time flies! I’m hoping to get over there again next year, so your post came at a good time – a reminder to me how great it is there! Thank you! Visiting from MLSTL and pinned. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Carol, and a trip to Perth from Thailand isn’t a big one. Quite a few expats live in Perth. It is a beautiful part of Australia, especially along the northern and southern coastlines.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Suzanne, we can always do with a Girls Weekend can’t we? I love Melbourne and we are overdue for a visit. So much to see and do in the City and within an hour or two’s drive. Glad you both had a great time and I’m keen to see what a ‘Hug Bell’ is. Thanks for linking up and sharing at #MLSTL. x

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    1. Thanks Sue, and the “Hug Bell” is brilliant. Photo of it is on the artists webpage or you can see it on my Instagram. There is much to see in Melbourne and unlikely to do all in just one visit.

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  6. Happy birthday! I think I must be one of the only people in the world who doesn’t love Melbourne – maybe because I’m not a foodie or a shopper? I’ve only been once and have never felt the need to return. It might be different if I went with some girlfriends because I’d be more inclined to shop and stroll than I am when I’m with my husband.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

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    1. Would be a very uninteresting world Leanne if we all loved the same things or places. Believe me it is completely different when with other women than our other half. Though Les is very patient and waits for me to wander around a shop I was still very aware of him waiting for me. Though I rarely did go shopping while travelling as spending money on “luxury” items couldn’t be done.

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  7. Happy Birthday Suzanne, may the festival of 60 continue all year. Melbourne is such a lovely city and it looks like you had a grand old time exploring. Your images are gorgeous too 🙂 #MLSTL and Pinned.

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  8. How nice to have a girls getaway in Melbourne! I love Melbourne too and have been lucky enough to have been there several times recently and I’m going again in June! Just a two night stay but I’m going on a mother/daughter trip to see the two part Harry Potter production at the Princess Theatre. It’s for our birthdays as we both have birthdays during May. I’m so looking forward to it! Happy belated birthday to you! 🙂

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  9. Happy belated birthday, Suzanne! I like how you celebrated your birthday. Melbourne has been on my ‘to visit’ list and your post moved it up. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. #MLSTL

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  10. Happy belated 60th birthday, Suz!! It sure looks like you had a wonderful weekend away with the girls! I love your “religion” and your photos, especially the night scenes! So crisp. I never manage to do this. I hope to return to Melbourne with Mark one day. Australia has been calling me for some reason…

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    1. Cheers Liesbet, I am sure you and Mark will get down this way when the time is right. You will both feel quite at home in parts of Australia which looks very much like California.

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    1. Pleased to hear you had a fun girls weekend in Gisborne. Now that’s a fun descriptive word for a city “delicious”, love it! Yes, the return “home” is now something I look foward too when I go wandering.

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  11. I’m not finding it as hard as I thought I would to adjust to being 60. Sadly, I won’t be going to Melbourne for a celebratory weekend, because it looks wonderful. Mine will be much closer to home in Somerset.

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  12. I really enjoyed reading about your Melbourne visit, Suzanne! Being a reasonably long term resident of this fair city, it is always interesting to know how visitors experience the sights and sounds. Last week we showed a young woman from Norway around our town. You often don’t appreciate what you have until you see it through the eyes of someone from elsewhere. Now I can’t wait to go to Norway!
    And your photos really are magnificent!,

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. Yes, it is interesting to see how visitors see where we live and they do tend to see things differently. Maybe we take “things” for granted due to having it on our doorstep. Oh that would’ve been fun showing someone from a totally different culture around Melbourne. It is a fun arty city that has a great energy to it. No doubt I will be back for another visit sometime in the future. Next time it would be fun to have a bloggers meet up 🙂

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          1. This is a great idea! Australia or New Zealand? Maybe here one year and in your lovely country the next! This would provide an excellent excuse/reason to visit New Zealand! I could stay in Rachel’s Airbnb. ☺️

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  13. Ah, you are still a youngster. 60 is the new 40 isn’t it? Just reaching middle age (though personally the thought of living until 120 is far too scary), and what a lovely place to celebrate your birthday in. I have only visited Melbourne once, but really liked what I saw.

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    1. Agreed Jude I am only a youngster if I compare myself to someone of 90 🙂 If good health comes with ageing then yes it would be fun getting older! I love being older for many reasons and two of those is not giving a tuppence to many of lifes annoyances and pushing out my boundaries on a regular basis.

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  14. Looks like you had a great time. Melbourne is one of my favourite places and you’re right, who doesn’t like it?
    Thanks for the link to Shoko Mafune’s website. Her work is beautiful.

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  15. Your enthusiasm shines through in your writing! I’m delighted you had a great trip, and birthday celebration. Happy belated birthday 🎁

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  16. Sounds like you all had an awesome time and what better exciting city to celebrate in. Someone once told me when you get to sixty everything starts to ache and believe me they weren’t wrong. Found out though just keep moving. A rolling stone gathers no moss!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Happy belated birthday Suzanne! 🎈🎉What a fun way to celebrate and your photographs are beautiful 🙂💜

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Was a great trip.. we were very lucky to have such good weather so we enjoy exploring. Your photos are great Suzanne . I will have to swap some pots for some shots 😀

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