Kororoit Creek bird haven even in the rain

On Tuesday we did a walk with Probus from Altona to Williamstown (about 10km). It rained the whole time, but proved to be a fascinating part of Melbourne – on the eastern edge of the Western District basalt plains.

The birdlife on Kororoit Creek was impressive, with black swans and striking red necked avocets.

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While pied cormorants perched on rocks along Port Phillip Bay.

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Dead short-tailed shearwaters had ditched from exhaustion after their long migratory flight from the northern hemisphere.

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The area had been a disused racecourse and rifle range which had been largely rehabilitated and developed as a wetland walk.

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We tried sheltering from the icy wind behind trees.

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Our picnic lunch under a fishing club’s verandah gave shelter from the rain, but we were sodden and chilled.

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We retreated to a cafe for hot chocolate, dripping water on the floor, to celebrate the conclusion of the journey, prior to taking the two-hour trip home on train and then bus. A wet exploit – next time I’ll wear waterproof shoes!

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Under One Moon – Even in Brilliant Sunshine

This afternoon we visited Richmond Housing Estate for the Under One Moon Festival celebrating Melbourne’s cultural diversity. In the grounds of the Estate was a stage surrounded by tents with stalls and displays. We were treated to performances of Beijing Opera, Japanese umbrella dancing, African dancers and various Timor Leste performers, including some men in magnificent feather headdresses. There was also a dragon dance, with frisky dragons running among the crowd afterwards. Small shelters were built by the Papuans and those from Timor Leste. Those present were invited to make lanterns for the parade to be held in the evening. I made an attempt and was told that the result was acceptable, thanks to some help from teenagers who seemed to have the hang of it.

Although we had to leave before the evening parade, it was a good day. Thanks to my fellow Mandarin student, Maria, a resident at the Estate, for the invitation. Photos: David StreetImageImageImageImageImage

It’s show time in Melbourne

Today my daughter-in-law, Rosalie, and I took her daughters to the Royal Melbourne Show, for an exciting day out. Seeing the show through the eyes of an eight and six year-old is an experience. The floating bubble ride was chosen by the younger, Lily, while Iris chose the bungee jump. We all went on the Ferris wheel, giving us an overview of the show ground activities. It also provided a distant view of the golden-topped Eureka Tower that I ascended yesterday.

As expected, the baby animals were a hit. I was pleased that the girls went for cartoon character showbags rather than junk food.

We left as the sun set and the traffic thinned out a bit. A good day.

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Shuttle off to Melbourne city then deck the sky

Inspired by Leanne Cole Photographer’s blog, we decided to head to Melbourne today for a day visit. It is also homework for me as I am an apprentice guide for Melbourne’s free City Ambassador Program. I need to know what my home city has to offer from a visitor’s perspective.

We began with the Shuttle Bus which takes visitors around the inner Melbourne attractions and until October 1 is free (it’s only $5 thereafter, so still a good deal).

We hopped off at Stop 9, Harbourtown as this is a new precinct that we haven’t seen before. We were so impressed by the vibe that we stayed for nasi lemak at a cafe called Chilli Paddy, just under the shadow of the soon-to-be-reopened Ferris wheel.

Then back on the Shuttle for the rest of the circuit, alighting at the National Gallery of Victoria, where a market was in full swing. from there we walked through Southbank to Eureka Tower, which has the Skydeck, the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere.

We felt proud of our home city and conscious of how much it has to offer visitors. It is easy to take home for granted!

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