I flew from Sydney to Melbourne on Sunday to attend the 2016 Melbourne F1 Grand Prix, in doing so I literally fulfilled a childhood dream.
After arriving at the circuit as the gates opened, I headed to the “Melbourne Walk” to watch the drivers arriving for the day. This is a great way to get really close to the drivers for photos and their autographs. I then met up with a friend who had also come down from Sydney for the day and we watched the support races from various areas close to the pits.
For the Formula One race itself we headed over to the back of the circuit and sat on one of the embankments with hundreds of other fans. The atmosphere around Albert Park was brilliant and had quiet a different vibe to the V8 Supercar events that I normally attend. The race itself was also excellent, with everyone making a lot of noise when Ferrari beat Mercedes into the first corner and whenever passing happened throughout the pack. I am also extremely relieved that Alonso was completely uninjured in his crash, it’s the worst crash I’ve seen at a motorsport event and how he simply walked away from the wreck shows the quality of the safety designs of the cars. Overall, despite the high cost for the general admission day ticket, the viewing mounds and off-track activities right around the circuit made it a great day out.
I have just got back from a very fast weekend holiday in Melbourne.
At 7.45am on Friday I caught the daylight XPT Train from Sydney to Melbourne. I really like trains so spending over 11 hours on a train is better and cheaper than flying. Upon arriving in Melbourne I headed to the airport to meet a friend flying in from NZ to join me for the weekend. Once we had checked into our accommodation (Space Hotel) we went for a midnight stroll around the CBD.
On Saturday we got up early and headed out to the MCG and walked around the former Olympic Stadiums. From there we caught a tram to St Kilda and Luna Park before spending the afternoon shopping. In the evening we investigated Southbank and Crown Casino. The casino complex is massive, by far the biggest casino I have been in, and also just as impressive in eating my $5 I put in a pokie machine in rapid time.
Having tired our legs out with so much walking on Saturday, we spent Sunday morning at Melbourne Museum. Their dinosaur exhibition is amazing (see video below). From there we went shopping at Spencer Street Mall – which has a very Dressmart feel to it. After this me and my friend parted ways, they flew back to NZ and I caught the overnight XPT train back to Sydney.
This was my third visit to Melbourne, it is one of my favourite cities, in fact I came very close to moving there a few years ago – but a better opportunity arose in Sydney. The city has so much shopping, trams, and culture. Everywhere you go and look there is something unique and different to see. I simply love it.
Photos (click on an image to bring up larger version):