Monday, 20 July 2015

Melbourne: More Big City Adventures with Kids {part two}

Welcome to {Part Two} of our Melbourne Adventures! 

Check out Part One here (I chat about the perfect hotel for a family stay in the CBD, we hit up the Melbourne Museum, stroll downtown Fitzroy and sip tea in Carlton!)

Ok, lovelies, let's kick off with the second part of our recent stay in the Melbourne CBD.... sorry about the big gap between posts!

After two busy days, our next big adventure was to the Sealife Melbourne Aquarium! I hadn't even thought about going there, but my lovely husband read some very positive reviews online and said it looked like it was worth the $$$ to go. So, we did - and what a treat it was! It was definitely a bit of a splurge (it was about $60 for me and three kids) but we felt it was worth it for a special holiday adventure that provided a very full day of fun and learning and aquatic awe... as much for me as the kids, haha ;)

First of all, however, we had to catch the tram there!!! The kids were sooooo excited to ride a tram - they are such a gorgeous Melbourne icon, it was a must-do. It was going to be a challenge with three little kids and a massive pram, but I was determined to not be deterred. I was pleased to find out that not only is the city circle tram free, but as of January this year, all trams within the Melbourne CBD are now free too!!! Isn't that fantastic. It's crazy expensive to buy tram tickets as tourists because you have to buy a $10ish travel card first to load your ticket on to (so, it was going to cost us almost $50 to take one 5 minute return tram ride out of the city!!! Uh, no thanks.). So free CBD trams is good news, huh! :) Make the most of them, I say!

We went to catch one right outside our hotel. It was quite the mission - picture us standing right in the middle of six busy lanes of city traffic, no platform, just on the road with three little kids, a huge pram and only a little metal railing to hold on to while we waited - oh, and about 60cm gap between the rail and the incoming tram- eeep!! It did feel rather like a death-defying venture, haha. I was nervous about how the kids would go, but the kids realised the seriousness of the situation and did wonderfully, clinging to the rail tightly while we waited 10 minutes or so for the tram. Lily had Eli in a headlock the whole time, haha - she is so protective! ;)

There are two or three super high and steep steps up to the tram, so I had mentally planned my strategy to get us all on safely. Step One: Send the two big kids onto the tram first to be safely seated, Step Two: Turn backwards and haul the pram in reverse, (with Miles strapped in) up over the steps, using all my muscles to pull it up! Well, I was all prepared for my attack, but I am pleased to say that over our trip we caught the tram six times and every.single.time, without me asking anyone, a kind Melburnite soul would swoop in and grab the other end of the pram and help me lift it on or off. Every time!! Without being asked!! Way to go, Melbourne city folk, thanks for being so helpful! :)

So excited (and a little nervous) to be riding the tram!! No seatbelts feels so daring, haha ;) This is the 100 year old city circle tram that loops around the city, it also plays a little audio tour so we learnt all about the gorgeous buildings we passed too... bonus!

Special treat!! The tram had to stop for 10 minutes and we were the only passengers.
The very friendly tram drivers asked the kids if they wanted to come up and ring the
tram bell (actually a big silver button on the floor which they could enthusiastically
stomp on). Needless to say - they loved doing that! A cool little bonus activity :)

Right back at ya, gorgeous boy xx
Oh, Eli!! Just popping up at the aquarium, lol.
We found Nemo/s ;)

Enchanting jellyfish
This was a fantastic interactive activity. The kids 'designed' various sea creatures on paper using markers. A nifty little machine would scan the images and then project them on a 'sea wall'... their custom designed fishies swam about on the wall, to the kids absolute delight... we had to stay quite a while as they drew more and more designs :)
Miles catching the fishies!
The big shark tank!! Does that shark look hungry to you?

The large penguin exhibit was my absolute fave. Brace yourselves for an onslaught
of photos of these animated little creatures. I'm in love and maybe a little obsessed!
'You talkin' to me??'

Oh their tummies!!!! So cute. Want to rub the penguin tummmmyyyyyyyyyyyy!!

Well, somebody has to clean the glass from the inside!
High Five!

Every outing is finished with a big run down the hotel hallway to our room!

On our last day in the city, we met up with the super lovely Jackie of My Little Bookcase,
and her adorable son Ike. She suggested we cruise around the Docklands area, which I was very happy to do as I had never been to that area. Always nice to have a guide, too! We strolled around to this funky little urban playground, where the kids had such a blast. The playground was right behind an equally funky little cafe and library. What a treat to do some cosy reading together in the midst of our urban adventure. Also a good way to get some downtime on a busy day (or if it's raining which Melbourne is rather wont to do, let's be honest). And a library stop was of course fitting for my sweet literacy loving friend! :)

Making music with their feet
Ahoy, I spy Eli!
Screaming with joy and looking cute while doing so. Ike fits into my crazy crew so well, lol!

Later that day, I met up with another sweet friend of mine, Laura, and together we cruised around the quirky, fascinating little urban lane ways that Melbourne is so renowned for, filled with cafes and lovely shops. Lily and Eli had a little holiday money ($5 each) which of course was burning a hole in their pockets. They spotted a cool lollie shop and begged to go in. What unfolded next characterised their individual personalities so well. Eli went straight in, spotted a pack of giant chocolate freckles on the shelf for $4.95, grabbed and purchased them.... done and done, and was very pleased with himself and his big buy! Lily on the other hand, spent 15 minutes slowly surveying every item in the shop, calculating prices, and when she found the loose 'pick and mix' lollies, carefully selected a small portion, making sure she would still have change left 'because then I can still buy something else, so I get more things!'. Haha, they are definitely their own little people!!

The best bit? They were so excited to buy their own lollies with their own money which they could eat all by themselves.... however, later that night, we went to have dinner at the home of some dear friends. In the car, I heard the kids whispering/plotting together, they then announced that they would like to 'put all their lollies in a little bowl at our friends house, and share them around with everyone for the dessert.' And so that is what we did. Ah, love these little generous hearts! :)

Proud as punch with their lollie purchase :)

We so urban, haha!! Of course, we had to wander down the famous Hosier Lane, and take some portraits amidst its colourful and intricate street art. We were not alone, there was quite a crowd wandering around doing the same thing! A really fun place though with lots of atmosphere.
How beautiful is this? The scale is incredible too, the whole side of a building.
Eli chose this doorway and this pose for this portrait. Ha! What a dude :)

My little funky chicken x
My sweet girl. She is really transforming (including her teeth, heehee!). Love watching her grow, but oh, it's bittersweet xx
He may look somewhat like a little wharfie but he is definitely the cutest one I have ever seen!! 

The long tram ride home. Miles had tripped and very lightly grazed his knee. Barely noticeable but he kept his jean leg pulled up for the whole tram ride home, in order for his injury to garner maximum attention. I think he actually fell asleep like this, lol!!

After all those days of urban fun, once Mark's training was done we finished up our trip with a quick journey out to the Mornington Peninsula, where my sister lives. It is so pretty out there, a wonderful mix of beach and vineyards, so definitely worth the drive out there. The kids had a lovely play with their cousins on the sand!
Throwing rocks into the sea was the preferred activity of the day.

Cousins who skim rocks together....
Little bear, creeping along...
Every time he threw a rock, he would gleefully fist pump and shout 'A-haa!!!!'. Over and over. Pretty pleased with himself ;)

My trio work together to pull in a buoy that had washed ashore. An exciting discovery!
How do I even caption this??? Just another day at the office for my beloved, lol!!!! 
At my sister's house, I came outside to see Lily and Eli sitting on the grass, whittling away with sticks. It turned out that my sister's dog wasn't too interested in the sticks they kept throwing for him, so they were whittling them into 'better sticks', haha. Not sure how that went down!

Oh, Melbourne, thank you for showing us a fine old time! We will back soon - to retread old adventures and try lots of new ones too!



  1. So lovely. What stunning pictures. I think I want to take a mini holiday with my kids in my own city now. They've only ever done day trips and there's always so much to see and do that a weekend in the city would be great!

    1. awww that is the highest praise for a post like this, inspiring you to rediscover your own city! a 'staycation' sounds awesome, I'd love to do that in canberra too, always more to discover when you have more than just a daytrip! thanks xx

  2. Oh my, I already loved Melbourne but you make it look and sound incredible. And I could just look at photos of your kids all happy. I particularly love the ones in Hosier Lane. Love the shots you captured of Ike too. Was so wonderful to meet you.

    1. thanks so much Jackie, meeting you was an absolute highlight! Ike was the cutest little tourguide too! xx

  3. Loved reading this! Your photos are gorgeous!

  4. What a lovely post! That aquarium looks amazing. We will have to take the kids down there one day. They would also LOVE the tram rides!


i love to hear your thoughts, thanks for leaving your comments! xx