For many years I had heard that Melbourne was an amazing city to visit, and it was the first place on my travel list after moving to New Zealand. This trip was a bit special since my dad was flying from Minnesota to Melbourne to meet up to watch the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Then he would fly back with me to Christchurch for a week to check out where I live.
Melbourne is by far my top city to visit and I would love to move there, in my opinion, this city is better than Sydney and should be on the top of anyone’s list when visiting Australia. The transit here might be the best public transit I have ever used.
At the time of writing this post, the conversion rate is 1 AUD = 0.76 USD.
Day 1 – Arrive & Checkin 03.13.2019
Since I had class this afternoon I took an evening flight from Christchurch to Melbourne (4 hours). Landing in Melbourne I took the bus (1 hour) to the Airbnb to get settled in with my dad arriving early in the morning at 05:00. I used SkyBus which if you buy in advance is AUD 15 (USD 11.50), they do offer free Wi-Fi on the bus, it works, but you don’t get much. You can check out the place I stayed in here, it was in a great location with amazing views but the place could have been significantly cleaner.
Day 2 – Explore the City 03.14.2019
My dad arrived early in the morning and we set out to get some breakfast and plan for the day. It’s a rough flight if you haven’t taken the across the pacific flight yet. You leave the Americas at night and then arrive early in the morning two days later, so to avoid jetlag you end up staying up for like 15 hours once you land.
The first stop was the CBD, we were able to check out the subway and train station. The goal was to put a plan in place on how to get to the race track which is at Albert Park. Inside one of the subway stations, I saw my first ever Bitcoin ATM!
After figuring out our transit situation we walked over to Eureka Skydeck Tower. This tower is 297 meters tall (975 feet) and is next to the Yarra River and overlooks the entire Melbourne Skyline. One neat aspect of this Skydeck is you can actually walkout side into a fenced in area, I went out for about two seconds, took a photo, panicked and ran back in, only to see a six year old kid enjoying the time of his life haha. I paid at the location so the price was AUD 26.50 (USD 20) you can save 1.50 if you buy your ticket online.
Day 3 – Practice Race & Queen Victoria Market 03.15.2019
Off to my fourth Grand Prix event (Montreal, Mexico City, & France). This has been by far the most organized Grand Prix I had been to. I was in the gate within minutes, transportation downtown was efficient, the line for food and shopping was all completed within 5 minutes and they had multiple races going on throughout the day to keep everyone entertained.
The track has an amazing view of the Melbourne Skyline too, but no need to continue about the race, I’ll move on to the famous Queens Victoria Market. This is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere covering seven hectares (17 acres). I was a bit surprised the store owners were not willing to bargain as much and the price was the price, but regardless this is the best place to go for souvenirs and I highly recommend it.
Day 4 – Qualifying & Brighton Beach 03.16.2019
Back to the race track at Albert park for qualifying and drinking, not much to report here. After qualifying, I wanted to take a beach day to check out the famous Brighton Beach bathing boxes. Which are lined up and painted in different colors. This beach is well maintained, the sand is golden and the water is crystal clear.
Day 5 – Grand Prix & Fly Out 03.17.2019
Race day and our final day in Melbourne, flying out late at night and arriving back in Christchurch in the early morning. This race was a bit different than other races because we paid to be apart of club 15. Which is a private standing section to watch the second to last turn before the finish line. You have a cashless bar so you can get faster access to drink and food.
After the race they let the fans walk onto the track so you can see all the drivers and their pitstop station. The Aussies definitely know how to host an event. If you’re curious Bottas won the race for Mercedes and the hometown man, Riccardo crashed early on.
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