This was the first day that I got to sleep in for the trip. And, by sleep in, I mean wake up at 7:30. Carlie had an early evening flight and we had plans to pack in as much of Melbourne as we could. Being a couple of people obsessed with the ocean, we decided to head first to the Melbourne Aquarium and then to the funky coastal town of St. Kilda.
The Melbourne Aquarium is a nice aquarium about the size of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps or the New England Aquarium in Boston. Most of the displays were found along this winding maze like path through 3 floors. They had a great display of giant cuttlefish and a nice touch tank filled with sea stars that I really enjoyed. Carlie and I both found the displays to be really great, but the information signs were often either lacking or rather obscure. You then find yourself in a massive room surrounded by a large fish and shark tank as sort of the grand finale of the aquarium. The other big exhibit the aquarium has is the Penguin exhibit. They have the only Antarctic penguin collection in Australia, filled with Emperor Penguins. Not that I am in to birds, but it was a nice display and having them behind glass took care of that awful penguin smell that the NE Aquarium suffers from their penguin exhibit. Overall, I think that it was definitely worth the time and the money to check out. See some highlighted photos below and a full collection on FB.
After the aquarium, we made our way, via tram, St. Kilda, a small coastal Melbourne suburb. It basically has one main street that parallels a coastal esplanade. It’s filled with little boutique shops, funky cafes, dessert shops. We ate lunch at this cool restaurant that was outfitted with classic Rock and Roll posters and album covers. We then took a walk along main street to gawk at all the delicious treats in the pastry shops. There were 3 or 4 different shops that just had windows filled with amazing desserts. There were so many shops and dessert options that we decided to walk along the entire esplanade and check out the St. Kilda pier to work up an appetite.
There is actually a colony of Fairy Penguins that live at the end of the St. Kilda pier. Normally, you have to get there at dusk or dawn to see them, but we were lucky enough to find one hidden amongst the rocks. We stood there for about 10 mins while Carlie tried to coax him/her out of her hole. While she didn’t get far, she did manage to get it to look at us long enough for a good picture.
We ended our Melbourne adventure with delcious desserts from this little shop. I had a chocolate mint fudge and Carlie had a Mars bar cake like pastry. Paired with capuaccino and tea, it was a lovely mid day meal, and a great way to end an awesome weekend…on Monday.