Being the home of Great Barrier Reef, the Great Ocean Road and the Great Dividing Range, Australia is without any doubt a must see destination. Even more, if you are an animal-friendly person and not timid by nature you will have an opportunity to see six of 10 deadliest snakes in the world given the fact that Australia is their home. Koalas, kangaroos, alligators, dolphins are next in line to be seen. On the other hand, Australia’s cultural heritage is an extraordinary knowledge treasure for everybody. Last, but not least, nature is breathtaking.
How I ended up in Melbourne?
I had a chance of meeting a certain Australian during a business seminar with whom I spent some quality time exchanging travel experiences around the world. For no familiar reason I never travelled in Australia and since we got very close I decided to visit him. I had 12 days to do my best sightseeing in Melbourne and this is my tips on what to visit.
This post-modernistic building is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere and is a venue of Museum Victoria. It has seven main galleries, a Children’s gallery and exhibit galleries on three levels. Temporary exhibits are displayed in The Touring Hall while past exhibits include mummies from Egypt and dinosaurs from China. There is also the IMAX theatre, Sidney Myer Amphitheatre, The Age Theatre and the Discovery Centre. One cannot manage to see everything in one day, I know I didn’t, but I certainly saw some of the main permanent exhibitions that I recommend. Those are the skeleton of dinosaurs especially the skeleton of Diprotodon in the Science and life gallery and then large skeleton of Pygmy Blue Whale. I also managed to see exhibitions in Evolution gallery and Mind and Body gallery. The most interesting for me was the Forest Gallery and the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
I discovered some amazing worlds in Melbourne Aquarium. This is a Southern Ocean and Antarctic Aquarium, so imagine what can be found in it! It is on the banks of Yarra River so you got two experiences at once. It has four levels and I spend most of the time at the two of them, Ground Floor where I saw sea dragons, giant crabs, sea jellies and coral atoll as well as king and gentoo penguins. The second favourite is Level B2 where is Ocean Theatre and Oceanarium. Do not miss to see grey nurse and whaler sharks also. The aquarium is also involved in the rehabilitation of turtles.
I have travelled a lot in my life and had a chance to visit most of the world know Zoos but the most exciting time I had in Melbourne Zoo. This Zoo have 320 animal species and seeing them is such an incredibly experience. Things not to miss in the Zoo are Butterfly House, Reptile House and Orangutan Sanctuary where you will find two families of orang-utans, one are Sumatran and the other is Sumatran-Bornenan family and a family of siamangs. Kangaroos, emus, wombats, koalas, echidnas are all in the Australian Outback and one should not miss this either.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
This was a great adventure! Open Range Zoo is located 32 km south-west of Melbourne on the Werribie River in the Werribie Park. We booked a safari bus tour and saw everything that this Zoo has to offer. The intriguing exhibition also was the simulation of African village.
National Gallery of Victoria
I am much of an art person and the NGV left me speechless. There are no words capable to describe the beauty of it; I would just point out that I returned there the day after.
Royal Exhibition Building
This is the first building in Australia to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and is one of the last remaining 19th century exhibition building. It is adjacent to the Melbourne Museum. The main building is known as the Great Hall and is used as exhibition venue and is hosting one of the well known events The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Regular tours are also offered so don’t miss it.
There are a lot more things to visit and see in Melbourne, but this my best of the best list. When you see these extraordinary places you will certainly return to this wonderful country.