Around Melbourne | Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens

After living in Melbourne almost two and a half years, we finally went to the zoo! There were some particularly cheeky animals. I recommend going to the keeper talks to get good views and information. Every major exhibit has a message about conservation, such as recycling cell phones and buying products that don’t use unsustainable palm oil. A lot of renovation is going on, so we couldn’t see some things like the frog house, but I think the improvements will be really nice!

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Around Melbourne |The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

On one side of Federation Square in Melbourne sits a small museum featuring Australian art. It’s part of the National Gallery of Victoria. The temporary exhibitions change constantly and they always surprise and inspire. Everything from photography to furniture, audio/visual and interactive collections, including Indigenous art.
The best part? Free entry!

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Around Melbourne | Werribee Gorge

Now that the weather is getting nicer, we finally went for a hike. We went to Werribee Gorge (always looking for fun things to do on the west side!). The circuit walk is so good! There are definitely hard sections; parts of the trail are just piles of rocks, and there is a cable to hang on to in one part so you don’t fall in to the water. An old irrigation channel goes along part of the trail, and informational signs about plants and wildlife keep the hike interesting. It took us about 3.5 hours and we took our time.

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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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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!

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.

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.

Car Shows

I met up with a photography group to go check out some classic car shows this past Saturday. These were taken at the Souvlaki Hut Charity Car Show and Rockabilly Rats, Tatts N’ Pinups at the Waltzing Matilda hotel. There were a lot of American cars that were good to see. I was extremely happy to learn that rockabilly music is popular here and people know how to swing dance!

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