Australia

National Gallery of Victoria, Australia

The National Gallery of Victoria has a selection of wonderfully curated exhibitions. On the banks of the Yarra River, make your way past the mesmerizing water feature to some of the permanent fixtures or traveling features.

My friends and I had time to kill on our last day in Melbourne so we slipped inside and wandered the halls of Eastern artworks, Medieval iconography, and ancient Egyptian artefacts. The exhibitions were extensive and I was impressed to see such a diverse representation of history in the permanent exhitions of this space.

It was a wonderful way to spend our time in Melbourne and it was free to enter as well. The gallery cafe offers delicate teas and the tiniest of sweet treats. I definitely recommend scheduling afternoon tea after your visit to the gallery.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

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Federation Square, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Federation Square is a great meeting place central to all things Melbourne. Directly opposite Flinders Street Station, you can access trams, trains and Yarra river cruises all within a stone’s throw. It’s a cultural hub, right on Swanston Street making it close to Degraves boutique café shopping strip, as well as theatres and churches. Federation Square also has features of its own, with bars and restaurants, even a film and sound museum for the family.

It’s hard to avoid Federation Square when I Melbourne. You’ll find its a central hub to meet and explore.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

The Block Arcade, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

The Block Arcade is a beautiful testament to historical architecture and Victoria’s efforts to preserve traditional buildings. It has boutique stores and a quaint café scene. The arcade is a great place to explore when arcade hopping through Melbourne. Look for details, in the tiles on the floor and the window facades. Look for the spiral staircases and the nutcrackers. It’s a perfect photo opportunity for vintage aesthetics and the perfect place to get lost in.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Brunetti’s, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Brunetti’s is an Italian dessert paradise. There’s a store located in Lygon Street and in Bourke Street. If you find it, this shop could tide you over through breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea.

If anything, go see the desserts in the display windows; they are decadent. They are to die for. Small and shareable treats, there’s something for everyone’s palette. Fruity, savoury and butty rich and chocolatey, light custard; whatever you want, they have it. And they make it with full-bodied Italian flair. Do yourself a favour and spend the afternoon here over a coffee. What a scrumptious delight!

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Cafe Notturno, Lygon Street, Melbourne, Australia  

This café was a great find. We went wandering down Lygon street to experience the Italian sector and came across this gem. We shared a supreme pizza, chicken and mushroom risotto and caesar salad. The food was hearty, flavoursome and good value for money. Not much ambience wise, but it seems very accommodating to families with kids and big groups. My only disappointment was that the caesar was advertised to be served with anchovies but didn’t come with any. Aside from that I was delighted with my Italian meal.

.Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Scenic World, Katoomba, Sydney 

Scenic World, Katoomba is a classic tourist activity in the Blue Mountains. I recommend it to visitors because it showcases Australia’s natural and social histories, amongst a beautiful ecological park. The funicular railway is very fun; so steep and not for the faint of heart! The cable ways give you stunning views of the valley and the walkway at the bottom of the forest provides information on the local history and geography of the area.

This activity is, however, rather pricey and the queues can be quite disheartening. The whole experience is very well set up, but you need to figure out your motivation is for being there. If you want to experience natural beauty, then take a walking track from Echo Point. There are other, less expensive and time draining ways to experience the Blue Mountains. I support local businesses, however this feels like are tourist trap. 
.Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Ibis Styles, Kingsgate Hotel, Melbourne 

The Ibis Styles, Kingsgate is a standard accommodation that fills your needs without luxury trimmings. My main issues were that the water in the shower fluctuated between lukewarm and hot during my stay there. (I understand they’re undergoing renovations at the moment as well?) I also had issues with the breakfast service in that my family was accidently double billed,  and thankfully this was painlessly rectified soon after, thanks to the concierge for their understanding. Regardless of these concerns, it was clean, easy to get to from Southern Cross, close to trams along Bourke Street (and perfect for the NYE fireworks which, incidentally, we were there for). Honestly, stock standard accommodation. 

.Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.