Archive | August 2013

Weekly photo challenge: Focus



The theme for this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge is Focus. We are encouraged to take a photo that demonstrates the concept of focus. I chose to use a photo I took at Geelong earlier this year. These little statues are miniature but I got down to their level and focused on them, ensuring the background was out of focus.

August 30 is Melbourne’s birthday


On August 30 is Melbourne’s birthday and this year the city is 178 years young.

If you’re in Melbourne and want to check out some of the events here is the link to the official website You can also learn some of Melbourne’s rich history.

Happy Birthday Melbourne.


Melbourne. The world’s most livable city….again

Yesterday Melbourne was crowned the World’s Most Livable City for the third year in a row. In fact four Australian cities made the top 10. Congratulations should also go to Canada which had three cities in the top 10.

The top 10 most livable cities are:

Melbourne, Australia
Vienna, Austria
Vancouver, Canada
Toronto, Canada
Calgary, Canada
Adelaide, Australia
Sydney, Australia
Helsinki, Finland
Perth, Australia
Auckland, New Zealand

One hundred and forty cities are ranked based on five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

As you will know if you follow my blog, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months walking around my beautiful home town, exploring many different parts. It’s such an easy city to get around. Infrastructure is great within the city; plenty of buses, trams and trains to assist.

Melbourne at night

Dolphin Fountain – Fitzroy Gardens


When I was researching this fountain I read that it was very controversial when it was installed in 1982 in the gardens. Apparently the site was deemed unsuitable. I can’t see why. To me it’s a wonder piece of art. There are many different animals lying on the rocks and in the water of the fountain. It’s the kind of art where the more you look, the more animals you see in the nooks and crannies and the water or, more obviously, just lying on the rocks.









Moreton Bay Figs in the Fitzroy Gardens


These magnificent old trees have such interesting trunks. The trunks on the trees in this photo were lying parallel to the ground. Although these trees are native to New South Wales and Queensland they grow really well in Victoria. I’ve also seen them on Norfolk Island. They are amazing.



St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne


The foundation stone for this simply stunning cathedral was laid in 1870, just 35 years after Melbourne was settled. It is located in East Melbourne, an area that is not the most familiar to me. The best way for me to get to know an area is to walk around so I set out to discover more about that side of the city. St Pat’s was the first place on my list of buildings to photograph.

The interior is simply awe-inspiring. It really makes me wonder how they could build such churches given the lack of technology. Compared with today when we have the technology but don’t even try to replicate the architectural detail of these old buildings.








The Great Petition Sculpture in Melbourne


This Women’s Suffrage Memorial was created by two artists to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great Petition which in the end, successfully gave women the right to vote. The premier of Victoria said he would introduce a bill into Parliament if it could be proven all women, not just the suffragettes, wanted the right to vote. During the six weeks that followed, the women’s movement got 30,000 signatures. The signed pages were stitched together to form a ‘monster petition’ that was 260m long. In 1908, after many bills were debated in Parliament, women were given the right to vote. The sculpture symbolises the petition and looks like a giant scroll. It sits in a park on the eastern side of Melbourne. I haven’t spent a lot of time in that part of the city and hadn’t noticed it before.


Regeneration of Marysville



The starkness of the photo above was seen all around Marysville and dozens of towns in country Victoria. Some parts of the town have recovered much quicker but this area was more affected by the fires. It is taking a lot longer to recover. The undergrowth now blocks a lot of what I could see in previous years.

A burned out log beside the road.

Steavensons Falls, Marysville


This area was devastated by the 2009 Black Saturday fires. For months afterwards it was closed off because all man-made features were destroyed, including the road up to the Falls. It is slowly coming back to life and there are new facilities and walking paths. This is always my favourite part of a visit to Marysville. We were really lucky that there was so much water from the melting snow from the nearby snow fields.





Marysville Lolly Shop


After most of Marysville was destroyed by the Black Saturday bushfires many businesses began the long process of rebuilding. The Marysville Lolly Shop began trading as soon as possible, which was many months later, from a portable shipping container. It was very cosy when there were other customers but the owner, Julia, made sure there was still a great range of chocolates, lollies and jams/sauces.

I make sure I visit every time I go to Marysville. This is the first time I’ve been to the new shop. It’s a very spacious shop with a huge range of lollies on one side and gourmet items on the other side. There’s also a good range of souvenirs. I have been looking for home-made Boysenberry jam for a while now and had asked friends to keep an eye out for me if they were at Farmer’s Markets. When I was at the Lolly Shop last week I spotted some on the shelf. I had some for breakfast the next morning and it is delicious. I was so glad I was able to buy it from there.

Marysville Patisserie


Last week was the first chance I’ve had to go to the Marysville Patisserie since it reopened just under two years ago, after their original premises were burned down in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The patisserie is a well-known business outside of Marysville, with many people going up there to try the handmade fudges and other delicious treats on the menu. I hadn’t had a chance to visit Marysville before the fires so didn’t see the old business but I was really impressed with the menu and quality of the food. Mum and I had the BLT and Dad had a Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie. The BLTs were the biggest I’ve ever attempted to eat. I say attempted because I wasn’t able to finish it. It was served with beautiful, seasoned chips made from Yellow Kipfler potatoes. With our cups of tea, small round shortbreads were served. These were so nice I bought a bag of them.


Their website is

Marysville Patisserie on Urbanspoon

One photo, two ways (part 2)


Here are two more photos I took at Steavenson’s Falls at Marysville. I have to say I was really inspired by this challenge. When I read about it I went through my photos but couldn’t find any I could use. I went out and looked for opportunities and found so many.


You can see many other outstanding entries for this challenge here

Hotel Intercontinental (Menzies at Rialto)



This beautiful building is the only one in Melbourne to stretch from one street to the next, from Collins St to Flinders Lane. It is actually two buildings joined together with a glass atrium. It also shows how steep the land is in that area. The Flinders Lane side of the building is two storeys lower than the Collins St side.

The Wool Exchange was located in one of the buildings and another wool-based business in the other one. Nowadays they are a hotel and there is a great museum depicting the history of the buildings. When the Grollo family wanted to build the Rialto Towers next door, they were told they had to faithfully renovate the hotel. They have made the buildings into a beautiful hotel.

The Flinders Lane entrance. You can see the glass atrium on the right side of the photo.



Brunetti is an institution in the café scene in Melbourne. Started in 1985 in Carlton, over the last few years they have undertaken a huge expansion. They have moved to a much bigger premises in Carlton, have opened in Myer Melbourne and even a shopping centre in Dubai. We went to the open-air café in the City Square, just outside the Westin Hotel.

It was nice to be able to sit under the outdoor heaters on the chilly Melbourne day after our walking tour. I had a hot chocolate and some of their famous Tiramisu. Mum had some Apple Strudel. Unfortunately it wasn’t heated or served with a dollop of cream.

Brunetti on Urbanspoon

Weekly photo challenge…One shot, two ways


Steavenson’s Falls, Marysville. This is a small waterfall beside the carpark. Normally there’s no water coming down from the mountain at this point but as we near the end of the snow season, there is a lot of water.


Cathedral Room – ANZ bank building


The Cathedral Room is in the ‘Gothic Bank’ building in Collins St (more photos to follow of the exterior). The building used to be the Stock Exchange and this room was the trading floor. It’s a beautiful room, with lots of marble and ornate detailing in the walls. They don’t make rooms or buildings this beautiful anymore. The stained-glass window is only one of the beautiful features in this room.





The old Dracula theatre restaurant


Before Dracula’s theatre restaurant moved to it’s current location in Carlton, it used to be in this laneway. This sculpture still hangs over the door. It’s a really interesting sculpture. I didn’t know Dracula’s used to be anywhere but Carlton.

State Library of Victoria


The State Library was opened in 1854 as one of the first free libraries in the world. Sir Redmond Barry “conceived of it as ‘the people’s university’ – a place where the world’s knowledge and information would be freely available to all citizens of the growing colony of Victoria, regardless of their social status or financial resources.” (quoted from when most libraries were only open to the rich and educated. It is his statue that is on the steps of the library. He was an interesting man. The Reading Room is named after him and he was the judge who sentenced Ned Kelly to be hanged.





An early painting of Melbourne.





The Dome is celebrating it’s 100th birthday this year. For many years it was covered with copper sheets due to them not being able to stop water leaks. In 2003 they removed the sheeting and with technology they stopped the leaks and restored the dome to it’s natural beauty. Walking into the domed room after it was reopened was amazing. It was such a depressingly dark room and as part of the renovations it had been given a lick of paint.

Ladye Chapel at St. Francis’ Church


You may have noticed that I love many styles of architecture, from centuries-old to modern. When I was a little kid all I wanted was to be an architect. I kept that dream until nearly the end of high school when I found I didn’t really enjoy the subjects I needed to be able to get into architecture at Uni. However I still love architecture and getting out and seeing buildings.

This church is in the middle of Melbourne on the corner of Lonsdale and Elizabeth Sts. The foundation stone was laid in 1841 when Melbourne was only about six years old. It was Victoria’s first Catholic Church and first cathedral until the nave at St. Patrick’s Cathedral was consecrated. St. Mary Mackillop (Australia’s first Saint) was baptised and made her Holy Communion in this church.

These photos were taken in the Ladye Chapel which faces onto Elizabeth St. When we visited the church on our walking tour the guide told us to walk around to the side chapel but wouldn’t tell us much more. I was blown away when I saw the stunning stained-glass windows and the grandeur of the wall and ceiling decoration.



One of Melbourne’s oldest buildings


This beautiful, symmetrical, Georgian-inspired house was built between 1849 and 1852 which pre-dates the Gold Rush. The house, at 300 Queens Street, was used as the Treasury Building at one stage. It’s a shame it’s not open to the public. I would love to be able to go inside and see what it’s like in there.