Our Easter Holiday @ Melbourne City

Last week, my family came over to Melbourne during the Easter vacation period and we had a great time discovering different parts of the colourful city together. We opted for a slightly different itinerary this time around (its the second trip for my family), exploring neighbourhoods that were slightly off the beaten tourist track and enjoying what typical Melburnians would like. I suppose we had the benefit of my prolonged stay here as a student, plus our insatiable curiosity to try out unique experiences in different parts of the neighbourhood.

Here is the start of our 10 day holiday in Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road, South Australia's Limestone Coast, Adelaide City (and surrounds), and Kangaroo Island. First off is a trip around the city.  I hope you enjoy this journey as much as we did!

Our first stop was the Children's Garden located at the Royal Botanic Gardens, off the South of the Yarra River.   

This huge gourd was almost as long as Ethan's leg, and is probably still growing daily at an alarming rate.

A sand pit in the middle of the children's garden provided lots of muddy fun for the little ones.

More vegetables at the garden - this time tomatoes which are in season during Autumn.

We next stepped into the Botanic Gardens itself and trekked for quite a distance before we found this spot of paradise.

The order of the day?  A family picnic of course, with bananas, pita bread with hummus, chocolates and red Shiraz wine.  

Naturally, it was pure bliss, and we wouldn't help having 40 winks on the grass.

Along the banks of the Yarra River, Ethan spotted the same ferris wheel which he first took about 1.5 years ago.

After an afternoon's nap, we ventured out at night to the Crown Entertainment Complex for some nourishment, and settled on this restaurant called Automatic Cafe.

Fresh seafood was the order of the day at this outlet, although prices were a little steep by our standards.

Our dinner of risotto and a grilled fish was well received, washed down with sparkling wine and beer.  
After dinner, we strolled along the Southbanks area and took photographs along the way.

The next morning, we took a tram ride on number 96 all the way from Collins Street to the St Kilda region. It was fun to sit back and enjoy the scenery.

The weather was a little cloudy and chilly that day, but we found ways to entertain ourselves at the beach.

Like picking up seashells and pebbles, a favourite hobby of my 5 year old!

Morning tea at Acland Street was the next order of the day, and we settled on a cafe opened by Australians of Italian descent.

The beef pie and vegetable pastie (water bottle not included!) which we had was delicious and sustained us for the next few hours.

Luna Park was our next destination, although we didn't take any of the rides due to height restrictions for Ethan.

Says Ethan, "Someday when I grow up, I am going to ride the toughest, meanest roller coaster out there!"

Hopping on to the tram, we travelled all the way up North to Brunswick Street.  Unfortunately, due to the Easter holidays, most of the shops at this bohemian artistic enclave were closed.

Here's a shot of the artistically decorated benches in the neighbourhood.

A toy and children's clothing shop, full of temptations for our little one.

We next took a walk to a tram station and got to the North Richmond area, populated largely by Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai eateries and shops.  Here's Ethan and Tina peering at a moving live lobster, hours before its final demise as the night's dinner!

It was cool to see anime-themed street art along the side alleys.  In fact, street art is practically everywhere.

With time on our hands (yes we were pretty productive!), my family decided to pay my humble abode a visit. Well, at least it isn't quite a slum....yet.

The final stop for the day is dinner at Toki Restaurant, along Grattan Street close to Lygon Street. It served pretty authentic Japanese food (a family favourite), and went down well with wine. Cheers mate!

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