Because there was lots to see and do, we had a three day stay in Melbourne.
As you can see from the map, we started our tour in the southern part of Australia. Packing for this trip was a challenge because we needed heavy clothes, Fall was beginning, as well as warm weather clothes, Fiji was tropical.
Anyway, after breakfast we got on a bus for a city tour. The first place we stopped was Queen Victoria Markets.
This is a open air market where you could buy anything from food to souvenirs.
We only had about 20 minutes there, so we couldn’t see much of the place. If I had one complaint about the trip it would be that we did a lot of riding around to get to places and then had less than half an hour to see things and take them in.
The ANZAC Shrine
After leaving the market we loaded the bus and were off. We were on our way to the ANZAC Shrine. Several other places of interest were pointed out to us, but because there was no parking available we couldn’t get out for close up looks.
I must say that the shrine was a moving experience. ANZAC Day was just celebrated a few days before we got there so there was still high emotion throughout the country. I would compare ANZAC Day to our Memorial Day. In case you are not familiar with ANZAC, it stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Here is a view from the top of the stairs.
When the shrine was built, it was constructed in such a way that at right before noon a sunbeam would enter and travel across the plaque. At a precisely 12:00 the ray of light would stop on the word “love” before moving on. Today, with the use of lights and mirrors that moving light is recreated every half hour. Here is the plaque, and then the moving beam of light resting on the word “love”.
To ask for silence during this was not really needed because there wasn’t a sound in the room, and it was crowded. Later on in the tour we got to taste ANZAC biscuits which were made and given to soldiers in food rations. I even got a recipe and have already made them at home. Delicious!
From here we returned to the hotel. We had a few hours to kill on our own until we headed out to Phillip Island that evening for the penguin parade.
Every night on Phillip Island hundreds of penguins come out of the water and make their way to their homes. I did not want to miss seeing this, so even though it was an added excursion, not included in the basic trip, I signed us up for it. I am so glad I did.
The penguins come out at dusk so we left the hotel around 2:30 for the drive out and a dinner stop along the way. When we got there a guide met us and gave us a history of what happens. Here Kathy and I are holding a stuffed penguin.
When the penguins began their march, there were audible “oohs” and “ahhs”. Here are some pictures. These are stock photos taken from the web site. We were not allowed to take photos of the penguins as this might frighten and disrupt them. Would you believe that there were still some people sneaking pictures! This did not make the guides happy.
I was hoping to fit all of Melbourne into this post, but there was just too much. Next week I’ll finish here and move on to the Outback.