Melbourne is a nucleus of different cultures, steeped in rich Australian history, well two hundred years at least! The traditional Chinatown, the free tram that takes you round and round the city centre as many times as your want, what more do you want as a backpacker than some free activities, especially when your feet are aching.
Typical of us we visited the world famous MCG, that’s Melbourne Cricket Ground or ‘G’ for Ozzie short on the same day there was an AFL game. AFL yeah that is the crazy crazy animalistic, sledgehammer, manic sport where pretty much anything goes, oh and there are a couple of rules here and there!
Making our way through the AFL crowds, I think only 60,000 that day, we found ourselves at the nearby Rod Laver, Australian Open Tennis Courts and luck was in, when we managed to get onto an outside court to practice our backhand passes….
If you want to learn a lot about Australian history from a war perspective then visit the War Remembrance Shrine, situated near the botanical gardens. The shrine itself is nothing special to look at, but the treat is down in the crypt where there is this fascinating museum, free!
It tells the story of Australia’s role in various conflicts from Boer War, WW1,WW2, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Gulf Wars and on and on…not being the type of people that support any conflict of this sort we were both fascinated by the stories, artefacts and the manner in which it was all presented. Got to take my hat off the Aussies on this one, very impressively done, free and we rushed at spending just over 2 hours down there…..could easily have spent another couple of hours.