"Melbourne has everything you could possibly desire and more. So come find out why we currently rank second most liveable city in the world, and I’m sure you’ll even find a piece of your own home here too" -Tom Cooney Base Backpackers Stkilda, Melbourne
I’ve done a fair amount of travelling in my time, but it’s always an interesting feat moving back home at the end of yet another round world trip.
I arrived in Melbourne in the middle of summer, scorching sun with a sweet springtime breeze; the weather alone is something that makes Melbourne a special city, but already I could tell there was something else, something I hadn’t noticed about the place before…
It was the first time I have really taken any notice of the cities skyline. The comforting glow of afternoon sun reflecting off the highest windowed peaks of the skyscrapers, it gave me a glimmer of a memory from watching the sun do the same thing off the Himalayan giants when I was trekking in Nepal. The car carried on down roads I had almost forgotten till we drove back through my old stomping ground. St Kilda; tree lined streets jut like octopus arms in every which direction, sprawled with great restaurants, bars and clubs, a tourist Mecca. We hit beach road when I realised this mental imagery conjured another great trip of mine, driving down the Costa Del Sol to a place called Neuva Andalucia.
Could it be then, that if I’ve discovered a place in Melbourne that reminds me of beautiful Sandy Mediterranean shores of southern Spain, and a place that reminded me of the highest parts of earth in the world, that I could also find places in Melbourne that remind the rest of my trips??
Is it possible to go around the world in one city?
I have since been back in Melbourne for nearly 4 months now and I’ve been putting this question to the test, I actually ran into my first comparison after only a couple of days. Unpacking my bags, I realised I’d came back with about 10% of the clothes I’d left with, but I’d also come back with about 10% of the money I’d left with. Where do I get cheap clothes?? The Queen Vic Market, Melbourne’s hidden gem for the thriftily incline. It was still the end of summer; the sun was still beaming down on the city and walking through rows and rows of fresh produce while hawkers contested at every corner. I was instantly transported back to the Shuks of the Middle East, crammed market places where you can buy everything from wedding dresses to fresh paprika.
Recently i walked from Arthur’s Seat to Cape Schanck, on the way passing a limestone hot springs ($25 entry), sitting in the steamy pools watching vines drape loosely from the surrounding foliage my week in Semuc Champay, Guatemala was on repeat before my very eyes. Later the same day rounding the first bend of coast before making it to the lighthouse at Cape Schanck the rocky out crop of land leading into the azure lull of pristine ocean was nothing if not the mirror image of the Isle of Capri, Italy.
From the old school tennis courts out at Kooyong with their similarities to those at Wimbledon, to the goliath resemblance the MCG holds to its almost prehistoric cousin the Colosseum. Walking Burke Street Mall with its buskers and street performers flanking you at every corner it’s hard not to think you’ve just landed on La Rambla, Barcelona. Of course our casino can easily compare with those gracing gambling’s hometown Las Vegas. The Westgate Bridge of similar construction to the Sutong Bridge spanning the Yangste River in northern Shanghai, China. St Paul’s gothic cathedral in Melbourne’s centre had me sitting back atop the steps of Prague’s Church Castle. Melbourne’s botanic gardens can easily have you lost, imagining you will fall out of Central Park, NY on to the avenue at any minute and our sun blessed beaches in the summertime rival the best in the world, from Fiji, to Indonesia and Hawaii.
Have you also noticed that other than the hot springs, every thing I’ve mentioned is free?
There is veritable plethora of global destinations you can attack all in this one little city, maybe that was what I noticed this time around that I hadn’t noticed before, Melbourne has everything you could possibly desire and more. So come find out why we currently rank second most liveable city in the world, and I’m sure you’ll even find a piece of your own home here too.
Bar Duty Manager
Base Backpackers Stkilda, Melbourne