Buddha’s Day & Multicultural Festival | Melbourne

This past weekend, at Federation Square, the annual Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival took place. It celebrates Buddha’s birthday and promotes cultural awareness and inclusiveness. There were many interactive opportunities, including a tea ceremony and an art installation. It was really cool to see people learning about a culture they weren’t familiar with, and participating with open minds. The food was also very, very good!

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buddha festival at federation square

Alms giving ceremony

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Bodhi Tree art installation

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Tea ceremony

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Bathing the Buddha

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Melbourne | Parliament of Victoria

Another touristy post!
Living in Melbourne, I have always wanted to tour Parliament. I never got the chance until recently. We only did the short tour (15 minutes), which was extremely rushed, but still really interesting. I would recommend taking one of the longer tours, because there is so much information! I got the impression that the guides prefer leading the longer tours, too.
Here are some quick photos I got of the building and details.

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Animal Portraits | Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

A cool thing about a lot of wildlife sanctuaries in Australia is that you can feed the animals. They will come right up to you, even grab your hands, and it makes for fun photo opportunities. I took these at the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas.

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Fun fact: This is one of the few places in Australia where you can hold a koala!

Immigration Museum in Melbourne

Australia has a very interesting and dynamic history of immigration. The Immigration Museum is full of surprising facts and amazing stories! They have an exhibition that chronicles the life of Mahatma Gandhi, and a British immigrants exhibition that closes this Sunday. I think the ‘Identity: yours, mine, ours’ exhibition should be seen by everyone. It is a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about diversity and acceptance.

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Melbourne | Queen Victoria Summer Night Market

We have lived in this city almost 2 years, and we still do the tourist things. Everyone thinks we’re tourists anyway because of our ‘accents.’ I love the Queen Victoria Night Market because you have tons of local shops and food all in one place. Clothes, art, books, souvenirs; they have everything, in all different price ranges. You can get drinks, dinner, and dessert (see sangria, nachos, and Nutella loukemades below). There is also entertainment, like live music and street performers. Most weeks even have a theme; this one had flamenco and salsa music.

Today is the second to last summer night market! I already can’t wait for the winter one.

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The band is Malcura. They were awesome.

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Bonus pictures courtesy of my husband: a performer chose me as an ‘assistant’ and I had to basically pull the sword out of his throat. It was so weird and I was thoroughly embarrassed. I cannot control my face in most situations, so here you can really see me freaked out. Haha!

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Mount Macedon

We took a day trip to Mount Macedon recently. It was beautiful and everything was so well-kept. There are a lot of small walks to drive to that offer incredible scenery! The Top of the Range tea room is very cute and gives you the chance to enjoy a glass of wine with a view. We will definitely be back again!

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Memorial Cross

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Major Mitchell Lookout

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View at Camels Hump

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Sanatorium Lake

NGV Triennial in Melbourne | Flowers and Skulls

Two of the most visually striking displays at the NGV Triennial are Yayoi Kusama’s Flower Obsession and Ron Mueck’s Mass. One involves an explosion of bright red flowers, and the other is a room full of giant human skulls.

When you walk in to Flower Obsession, you are given a flower sticker to place anywhere you want in a recreated living space. The flowers have now taken over, illustrating a hallucination the artist had as a child.

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“They killed all those giants! How sad!” -my husband, who sometimes thinks he’s 12.
One hundred individual skulls sit in the historical collection galleries of the NGV. It is so strange and cool.

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More photos of the NGV Triennial to come!

A First Birthday Party | Melbourne Documentary Family Photography

My first documentary family session of 2018 was a birthday party! Sharee turned one year old, and her family threw her an intimate party in the backyard. The weather was perfect, and she loved her cake (made by her mum!). Her big sister had fun with bubbles and the trampoline. Next year they’ll be running around together!
So grateful this beautiful family let me share in their day!

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Melbourne Latin Summer Festival

This past weekend we checked out the Melbourne Latin Summer Festival. It was a small festival set up in the Royal Botanical Gardens. We saw a lot of amazing salsa dancing and ate some great food. One band that I really liked was the Huanchaco Band (last 2 pictures). They made some beautiful music!

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And now I want to learn how to salsa.

Day in the Life – The Stewart Family

What are the best souvenirs for grandparents who come visit from the other side of the world?
Photos!
These grandparents decided a short day in the life session was the perfect way to document their time spent with their family. We went to the park, made pizzas, and spent quality time at home.

Here is a tiny sample of their four hour day in the life session in Hawthorn East.

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National Gallery of Victoria

I went to the NGV last week to see the Festival of Photography, and then I just walked around admiring everything. My favourites were the William Eggleston and Ross Coulter exhibits. The former is a window to the past, while the latter is a kind of modern take on performance art.

Photography is so diverse and amazing.

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Tasmania – Wineries & Richmond

My next post about Tasmania features Richmond and nearby wineries: Coal Valley Vineyard, Frogmore Creek, and Pooley Vineyards. Richmond is a really neat historical town with a lot to see! Including the oldest Roman Catholic church in Australia and the Richmond Bridge.

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This is the third post about our Tasmania adventure. The others show Cradle Mountain and Bicheno.