10:00 Tour the MCG
To understand how the people work, you have to understand their obsessions, namely sport – many Victorians have been brainwashed at the MCG. We made our way through the hallowed halls, studying the history of the ‘cult’, memorising those who had given themselves to the cause: Aussie Rules and international cricket. I even got to analyse the usually forbidden training area – slightly stinky changing rooms and a walk on the hallowed green turf.
The damage: $20
The details: www.mcg.org.au
11:00 Shop like a local
I now knew the basics, but to be fully accepted, I had to dress as they do. Melbourne is known as Australia’s fashion capital. Everything is available – if you know where to look. Prahran’s Chapel St is at the top end of the market, with the latest designer creations. But to truly fit in, you have to create your own masterpiece. Bridge Road in Richmond is lined with cheaper, but still cool, clothes stores, where you can easily pick up something stylish. I was in.
The damage: Depends on your credit card limit.
The details: Prahran and Richmond are south of the CBD, but are just a short tram ride away.
12:00 Blend into the Victoria Markets
There’s no better way to get a taste of the local culture. The humungous Queen Vic Markets have everything from boomerangs and bongs to bratwurst and bath mats. Looking for something to smuggle home? This is the place. Even if you don’t fancy an Aussie flag, the delicious snacks in the food halls are worth the journey.
The damage: Up to you.
The details: Tues-Sun, between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale Sts.
13:00 Everybody needs good Neighbours
No trip to Melbourne is complete without a visit to the most famous street in Australia – Ramsay Street. All those dreams you used to have can finally come true… Gasp at how small the street is in real life. Weep at the spot where Bouncer died. Peer into Harold’s windows (actually, don’t or the real residents will be mightily annoyed). I even sang along with Jason Donovan’s “Too Many Broken Hearts” on the way back to the city. I think the pressure is beginning to get to me.
The damage: $50
The details: www.neighbourstour.com.au
15:00 Get yer thrills at Luna Park
St Kilda’s iconic amusement park beckons you inside with an insane, grinning clown. Enter its innards for all the fun of the fair – rollercoasters, candy floss, trying not to laugh at over-excited small children who fall over for no reason. During the winter months it’s open till six, but during the summer, the fun never ends – well, it does really, ‘cos the park closes at 11pm. Wandering among the happy crowds, I almost forgot what I was doing. The fools! They have no idea. I’m a man on the edge. So I’m off to the famous Esplanade pub for
a couple of schooners. The Espy is another St Kilda ‘must’.
The damage: $40
The details: www.lunapark.com.au
February 15th, 2010