This is the state capital of Victoria and we were staying here for a week. It is the second week in September. Australia is the other side of the world from England and it was only the beginning of spring.
This city is 37̊ south of the Equator, so the temperature is several degrees colder than Port Douglas which is 16̊ and Uluru which is 25̊ south of the Equator (The line running around the middle of the globe).
The Yarra River runs through the centre of the city and trams run all around the Central Business Area. Restaurants could be found along the river offering many different types of food, cakes and ice creams.
There were also many beautiful parks and gardens. Captain Cook has a cottage in Fitzroy Gardens. The flowers, water features and trees were amazing.
Just like spring in England there was a field of daffodils, trees were showing the first signs of buds.
My favourite water feature was the Dolphin Fountain. I then found a stone etched with my name, until I looked again.
At the sanctuary we saw various bird in cages and wandering among the open spaces.
Then we saw our first live Koala Bears which are marsupials really (not a bear at all). They can sleep in the trees like this for up to 18 hours a day
The wallabies were the next animals we saw and some even had joeys in their pouches.
The Kangaroos were not the colour I expected. My friend Nick got really close to two.
The coach continued onto Phillip Island along the Gippsland Highway.
We walked 400 metres or so down a boardwalk to the viewing platform. Once the sun started to set the penguins would leave the sea and make their way across the beach to their burrows in the hillside.
Flash lights on cameras would scare the birds so we could not take photos, but an experience we would not have missed.
Melbourne has a range of small hills about 35 km west called The Dandenongs. Today we are taking another coach trip which will tour the area. We will stop for coffee on the way where many Cockatiels could be seen and the driver made us Gum Tea. Very tasty. I also found my first wattle plant which was nearly out of season.
The next stop was Belgrave for a ride on The Puffing Billy train up to Menzies Creek.
The train climbed through the trees and we could see the engine from our carriage when it was going round a bend. We left the train at Menzies creek and returned to our coach.
Looking out from our 26th floor apartment we can see so much on the water of The Yarra River. On the south wharf was a three-masted, iron-hulled barque. We discovered that it was a Belfast built ship named Polly Woodside, that has been restored and is now in the hands of the Australian National Trust.
On our last day we decided to visit her as it was one of the days when she was open. You enter through an interesting information gallery which gives you lots of facts about this lovely ship.
She was built in 1885 and travelled the world as a cargo ship carrying coal and wheat. It is estimated she could have travelled round the world about 17 times in her working life.
In the picture you can see a heavy pulley necessary with all the ropes on this ship.
I found the galley which is a kitchen on a ship. There was another area with Bunks for the sailors to sleep when on a long journey. The Captain had his own cabin with a bath.
Below deck I found the areas to keep all the cargo.