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09 January, 2019

[TRAVEL] 7D6N Melbourne Itinerary: Gardens, Art Gallery, Docklands, Richmond & South Melbourne

Hello from the wild! Just kidding, I'm enjoying the end-of-winter here in Melbourne!

Can't believe this post would be my final post for Melbourne travelogue. ❤ Feel free to check out all the previous posts below:

Today's post is all about exploring beyond Melbourne CBD (around the outer city circle of the tram network) -- meaning you have to buy and reload a MyKi card for access to trams, buses etc.

AUD6 for the card + min. reload of AUD10
*Easily available in any 7-Eleven stores

1. Alexander Gardens & Queen Victoria Gardens

Morning walks in Melbourne just can't be better than this. It takes me a while to walk there from Flinders Street Railway Station, but I totally don't mind since the winter vibes are so lovely despite of the coldness that goes down the spine.

As I see plenty of joggers around, I'd wish I could join them if I have my sportswear with me. Nevertheless, it feels great to just slow down my pace, sit around and 'feel' the scenic atmosphere.

2. Shrine of Remembrance
Birdwood Ave, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia.
Visiting Hours: 10am - 5pm daily

Right opposite the Gardens, I come across this "holy ground" which draws my attention. Then I realise I am here at Melbourne's most iconic landmark -- The Shrine of Remembrance -- which is the National War Memorial of Victoria. This monument was built since 1934 to honour the service and sacrifice of Victorians who were killed in World War I.

You may enter the space and explore further but I skip that since it is just a 'touch-and-go' point to me (Sorry I am not a history geek). Nevertheless, it is a beautiful spot that is worth visiting! :)

 3. National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Australia
180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia
Visiting Hours: 10am - 5pm daily

I didn't know that there are so many art enthusiasts in town until I walk into NGV and find that the Victorian art gallery is so crowded! Probably because there are some art exhibitions (entrance fee applies) ongoing, while the remaining art exhibition halls are open for general public.

And it is Australia's oldest, largest and most visited art museum. If you are appreciative towards art, feel free to stay for a couple of hours and enjoy the feast for the eyes.

4. Federation Square & Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
Visiting Hours: 10am - 5pm daily

Located at the edge of Melbourne CBD, the iconic Fed Square is where people gather for special events in town, but we are of no luck to witness any during our trip there. Nevertheless, the atmosphere here is worth mentioning and I love to see how it transforms from day to night.

Fed Square in the evening is just so beautiful, isn't it?

I also manage to drop by ACMI, the Australia's national museum of film, video games, digital culture and art. There are plenty of interesting displays which I find more suitable for young adults to explore 🙂

5. South Melbourne (Casino, coffee, cakes)

Another area in Melbourne which we manage to fit into our itinerary is South Melbourne (commuting is necessary) where the casino, shopping havens and dessert / coffee hideouts are located at.

Crown Entertainment Complex, a pretty quiet casino as compared to our local Genting gambling hub. But if you want to be fascinated by lots of flashing lights and machines in one place, no harm paying a visit there for that experience 🙂

Chez Dré
Chez Dré
285-287 Coventry St,
South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia.
Contact: +61 3 9690 2688

Instagram: @ChezDreCafe
Business Hours: 7am - 4pm daily

My friend has recommended some good coffee in South Melbourne which is more commonly known for locals, and Chez Dré is his favourite. The moment I enter into this specialist of French-inspired sweet treats which is located along an alley (you can't spot it from the main road), I fall in love with its rustic vibes, probably because it is converted from a warehouse previously.

Just one word to describe my cup of Long Black here: Awesome. In fact, coffee in Melbourne does not disappoint (except for those from coffee chains). Only at AUD4.70 per cup, I get to laze and spend a quiet afternoon there without disturbance.
Grafitti wall art again! Seriously, Melbourne is such an artful city.

Thank you to whoever painted this, so I can take such a beautiful shot along the lane!

Bibelot - Pâtisserie, Gelateria, Coffee Bar & Chocolate Shop
285-287 Coventry St,
South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia

Business Hours:
Sun - Thurs: 10am - 6pm
Fri - Sat: 10am - 10pm

Artisan desserts are everywhere in South Melbourne too. Tucked around the same corner, Bibelot greets us with a wide range of handcrafted desserts on the bar (including gelato, bon bons, macarons and chocolates -- all made in-house).

Hazelnut-Praline Crunch @ AUD9,95

This is so heavenly good!! ❤ Described as "Hazelnut dacquoise, gianduja mousse, chocolate crémeux, praline crunch, chocolate chantilly, hazelnut and chocolate crumble", it is the complexity of textures that mute my senses. Delicious yet not overcloying! How I'd wish my stomach could have more space to fit other desserts as well.

6. Richmond (Cafe hopping)

Richmond, is another area we explore before we bid goodbye to Melbourne. It is best known for Victoria Street, or “Little Saigon”, with its bustling Asian grocery stores and eateries serving pho and bánh mì. So anything Vietnamese should taste good here, but unfortunately they are all closed by the time we arrive for late lunch (all cafes would be closed by 3pm ish).

Foxes Den
184 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121 Australia.

Business Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11am - 9pm
Sat - Sun: 11.30am - 8pm

Hence, we settle for Foxes Den, a chicken roaster specialist similar to Nando's (but wayyyyy healthier!). Their roasted chicken is pretty good -- well-portioned and lean yet juicy (for the chicken breast I choose).

Quarter Chicken with Small Salad @ AUD12.50

Little do I know, the 'small' salad isn't small at all. Among 6-8 selections of the day, I opt for the Japanese cold soba noodle salad with edamame. It is so flavourful with nuances of soy dressing. Simple yet delicious! 

Travelling Tips:
❤ Shoppers can head to Bridge Road factory outlets for clothing, or to Church Street for furniture and design stores (but they don't look appealing or excite me in any way).
❤ So if you wish to visit Richmond, just go for the food -- Top Paddock Cafe, Feast of Merit and Pho Hung Vuong 2 are highly recommended.

[[ BONUS : Vietnamese Food Recommendation ]]

If you don’t have the luxury of time to explore beyond Melbourne CBD, don’t worry, the central of Melbourne has equally good and popular Vietnamese food too.

132, Russell St,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.
Contact: +61 3 9639 5035

Instagram: @bagetau

Business Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10.30am - 6.30pm
Sat-Sun: 10.30am - 3.30pm
(Closed on public holidays)

Probably because of the fact that there are lots of Vietnamese Chinese residing in Melbourne, the Vietnamese food tastes beyond my expectations. Totally love this simple yet amazing meal I have in Ba'get (which reads as "baguette"), a fast food chain-style Vietnamese eatery which prides for its old-age Vietnamese recipe.

Grilled Pork Banh Mi (Vietnamese Baguette) @ AUD9.00

The aromatic baguette is so crisp that the crumbs will leave you in a mess 😛 But I totally don't mind since the banh mi is packed with porky flavours, mainly from the grilled marinated lemongrass pork, accompanied with pickled vegetables, fresh chilli and aromatic hoisin sauce.

Overall, it is a great option for grab-and-go or quick lunch. Highly recommended!

Goodbye, Melbourne!
With all the 6 detailed blog posts for my 7D6N Melbourne trip, that's all I have to share with you guys.
I definitely love this city, and look forward to visiting another part of Australia in the next winter / spring!

❤ ❤ 

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