Once again, I was keen to find a hike within the urban area of Melbourne rather than something further afield. As it turns out, this week’s adventure from Abbotsford Convent, along the Andrews Reserve Trail and the Main Yarra Trail hardly constitutes a hike (at only 3.5km return and flat most of the way). But it was a nice walk so I think it still deserves a post of its own.
Eighteen months ago I was in Venice for the 2015 biennale and two years before that, in 2013, my partner and I were there on our first ever holiday together. Well, it’s biennale time again and I’m feeling a certain amount of nostalgia.
If you’re staying in Melbourne and you can only choose one side trip, I would suggest you pay a visit to the Great Ocean Road. The celebrated route starts in Torquay, about an hour and a half south-west of Melbourne, and extends 243 km (150 miles) along the coastline to Allansford. The road and its surroundings are heritage listed and when you drive along it it’s not hard to see why. Victoria’s coastline is wild and this is the best way to experience it.
The Cathedral Ranges are only a couple of hours north-east of Melbourne yet somehow I only heard about them for the first time this year. If you want panoramic views of a quintessential country Victorian landscape then the Cathedral Ranges are for you. There are eucalypt forests for miles around. Standing on top of a mountain we felt like we were the only people in the world and suddenly the exhausting trek up all seemed worth it.
On the fourth day of our trip to Shanghai we travelled out to Zhujiajiao, one of the eight ancient water towns in the region. Zhujiajiao is one of the closest of the water towns, situated an hour by bus from the city centre. Despite its relative closeness to China’s biggest city, Zhujiajiao makes you feel as though you’ve been transported to an entirely different time and place.