We arrived in Melbourne under sunny azure skies, a delightful antidote to the Tasmanian chill.
Truly an idyllic scene under the Yarra pedestrian bridge as the Friday afternoon sun slowly began to set.
This is a city on a much larger scale than Sydney or Brisbane. The centre seems to have been totally redeveloped since the turn of the century, with a range of — ahem — challenging architecture.
We wondered about tumbling property prices (geddit?).
Fed Square is the Marmite (or rather Vegemite) of this trend. Love it or… well, decide for yourselves.
Traditional areas remain, like the much-loved Queen Vic market. (Does anyone call it that? They do now.)
These fine old terraced houses lie around the original university campus.
Chinatown dates from the 1854 gold rush, when ambitious Chinese came to seek their fortune. It led to riots and, ultimately, the notorious White Australia policy.
But the only building we’d ever heard of was the mighty Melbourne Cricket Ground, for some reason known here as the Imm Say Jay. Unless we’re very much mistaken, that’s Dennis Lillee putting the fear of God into England batsmen.
The weather changed dramatically on our second day. Rain cascaded down, the temperature dropped and the wind got up, with surprising results. It proved to be an omen.
We took a trip out to the Great Ocean Road to see the Twelve Apostles, limestone stacks millions of years old. Actually there were only ever nine of them, and one collapsed a decade ago. So here are most of them…
… and these are the others.
We finally encountered roos in the wild, if you can call a golf course wild. Yes, that one is wearing a blue tag.
Koalas too, up a gum tree as ever.
Nearby were crimson rosellas…
… and king parrots, perched on our van hoping for sustenance.
This one photobombed our intimate koala portrait.
Tere duly fed them birdseed. Note the crutches, bought in Hobart where her “good” knee seized up.
Sad to say, it got worse. Here we now sit in a Melbourne hospital where she has just undergone an arthroscopy. Our trip ends here, and we’ll be home when the medics say it’s safe for her to travel. It was fun while it lasted! G’day to you all.