Thursday 31 December 2015


One of Melbourne's favourite tourist attractions, the Conservatory opened on the 13th of March 1930, and has a history of over 70 years of providing spectacular floral displays. The Building copies the Spanish mission architectural style, measuring 30 x 15 metres and originally costing 4,000 pounds. The Conservatory is a vital part of the City's commitment to excellence in horticulture.

There are five separate displays each year. It is used by tourists, schools, families and anyone who wants to capture a moment of floral beauty.
Display 1 - Hydrangea / Fuchsia: November - February
Display 2 - Tuberous Begonia / Gloxinia: February - April
Display 3 - Tropical / Poinsettia: April - July
Display 4 - Cineraria / Cyclamen: July - September
Display 5 - Schizanthus / Calceolaria: September - November

Also in the conservatory are two memorials. One dedicated to Mary Gilbert, the first migrant woman settler in the Port Phillip settlement that was to become Melbourne. A statue by Ailsa O'Connor adds to the tribute. However, for me even more poignant is a simple plaque that commemorates Wilma Saunders, Conservatory Attendant and Fitzroy Gardens Tour Guide between 1999 and 2009...

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Wednesday 30 December 2015


The Yarra River or historically, the Yarra Yarra River, (Aboriginal: Birrarung, and Wongete) is a perennial river in east-central Victoria, Australia. The lower stretches of the river are where the city of Melbourne was established in 1835 and today Greater Melbourne dominates and influences the landscape of its lower reaches.

From its source in the Yarra Ranges, it flows 242 kilometres west through the Yarra Valley which opens out into plains as it winds its way through Greater Melbourne before emptying into Hobsons Bay in northernmost Port Phillip. The river was a major food source and meeting place for indigenous Australians from prehistoric times. Shortly after the arrival of European settlers land clearing forced the remaining Wurundjeri to neighbouring territories and away from the river. Originally called Birrarung by the Wurundjeri, the current name was mistranslated from another Wurundjeri term in the Boonwurrung language; Yarro-yarro, meaning "ever-flowing".

The river was utilised primarily for agriculture by early European settlers. The landscape of the river has changed dramatically since 1835. The course has been progressively disrupted and the river widened in places. The first of many Crossings of the Yarra River to facilitate transport was built in Princes Bridge. Beginning with the Victorian gold rush it was extensively mined, creating the Pound Bend Tunnel in Warrandyte, and the Big and Little Peninsula Tunnels above Warburton. Widening and dams, like the Upper Yarra Reservoir have helped protect Melbourne from major flooding. The catchment's upper reaches are also affected by logging.

Industrialisation ultimately led to the destruction of the marshlands at the confluence of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers in the area around Coode Island in West Melbourne. Today, the mouth and including Swanson and Appleton Docks are used for container shipping by the Port of Melbourne which is the busiest on the continent. The city reach which is inaccessible to larger watercraft, has seen increased use for both transport and recreational boating (including kayaking, canoeing, rowing and swimming). In recent years, however, recreational use of the river is threatened by high levels of pollution in its lower stretches. The upper reaches remain relatively healthy. The annual Moomba festival celebrates the Yarra River's increasing cultural significance to Melbourne.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Tuesday 29 December 2015


Cooks' Cottage (also known as Captain Cook's Cottage) is located in the Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia. The cottage was constructed in 1755 in the English village of Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, by the parents of Captain James Cook, James and Grace Cook. It is a point of conjecture among historians whether James Cook, the famous navigator, ever lived in the house, but almost certainly he visited his parents at the house.

In 1933 the owner of the cottage decided to sell it with a condition of sale that the building remain in England. She was persuaded to change "England" to "the Empire", and accepted an Australian bid of £800, by Russell Grimwade, as opposed to the highest local offer of £300. The cottage was deconstructed brick by brick and packed into 253 cases and 40 barrels for shipping on board the Port Dunedin from Hull. Cuttings from ivy that adorned the house were also taken and planted when the house was re-erected in Melbourne.

Grimwade, a notable businessman and philanthropist, donated the house to the people of Victoria for the centenary anniversary of the settlement of Melbourne in October 1934. The cottage immediately became a popular tourist attraction. In 1978 further restoration work was carried out on the cottage. An English cottage garden has been established around the house, further adding to its period reconstruction. Very few of the items in the house are from the Cook family, but all are representative furnishings of the period.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday 28 December 2015


We are lucky in Melbourne to have an abundance of fresh produce available year-round. Large greengroceries and fruiterers shops exist in all shopping centres and healthy competition means the prices stay relatively low.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme.

Sunday 27 December 2015


As Australia nowadays relies more and more on imports for its manufactured goods, there are several industrial areas in the city that are becoming redundant. Once full of busy factories, numerous workers and much traffic, now these areas are curiously deserted. An occasional functioning factory remains, but it too has its days numbered... I suppose this land will soon be rezoned and housing estates, apartment buildings and shops will mushroom into existence.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Saturday 26 December 2015


Christmas evening, walking around the neighbourhood and capturing some twilight silhouettes.

This post is part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme,
and also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Friday 25 December 2015


The Mornington Peninsula is a peninsula located south-east of Melbourne, Australia. It is surrounded by Port Phillip to the west, Western Port to the east and Bass Strait to the south, and is connected to the mainland in the north. Geographically, the peninsula begins its protrusion from the mainland in the area between Pearcedale and Frankston. The area was originally home to the Mayone-bulluk and Boonwurrung-Balluk clans and formed part of the Boonwurrung nation's territory prior to European settlement.

Much of the peninsula has been cleared for agriculture and settlements. However, small areas of the native ecology remain in the peninsula's south and west, some of which is protected by the Mornington Peninsula National Park. In 2002, around 180,000 people lived on the peninsula and in nearby areas, most in the small towns on its western shorelines which are sometimes regarded as outlying suburbs of greater Melbourne; there is a seasonal population of around 270,000.

The peninsula is primarily a local tourist region, with popular natural attractions such as the variety of beaches both sheltered and open-sea and many scenic sights and views. Other popular attractions include the various wineries, mazes and the diverse array of water sports made available by the diversity of beaches and calm waters of Port Phillip and Western Port. Most visitors to the peninsula are residents of Melbourne who camp, rent villas and share houses or stay in private beach houses. It is known simply as "The Peninsula" to locals and Melburnians alike, giving rise to the expression "going down the peninsula".

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Wednesday 23 December 2015


Melbourne is becoming an increasingly popular port of call for some of the world's most prestigious cruise liners. A record 57 cruise ships visited the pier in 2008/2009 cruise season and combined with increased patronage on the Spirit of Tasmania sailings, ensures an active precinct at Beacon Cove. Station Pier has two terminal buildings that provide for Spirt of Tasmania ferry services, and for visiting cruise ships, Navy or tall ships. The increasing interest of Melbourne as a cruise ship destination is likely to result in larger ships visiting Station Pier.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 22 December 2015


Melbourne Laneways are known worldwide for a rich art culture, one-off boutiques, unique galleries, tiny caf├ęs and hidden bars. Here is Degraves St in the City, very early one morning. The smell of freshly ground, roasted coffee being made was irresistible...

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Monday 21 December 2015


A baker's dozen from a walk in the City. It's getting awfully close to Christmas now and there is a festive air in the City and as always lots of interesting people!

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.