Melbourne is a culturally vibrant city. Some might even say it’s the cultural capital of Australia. There are lots of really nice, fancy looking restaurants, and plenty of interesting looking architecture.
But when you’re travelling with two kids, not much trumps a fun fair, and Melbourne can deliver on this front too.
Luna Park, St Kilda
Luna Park in St Kilda is over one hundred years old, but I suspect they’ve upgraded a few of the rides more recently.
You can enter Luna Park for free, but that wouldn’t be much fun because they won’t let you go on any of the rides unless you pay. So then you have a dilemma. Pay $10 for single ride tickets and set a strict limit on how much fun can be had. Or spend $40 and get unlimited rides for the kids, all day.
I couldn’t face a whole day shelling out fresh $10 notes for individual rides, and I was hoping we could get value for money from an unlimited ticket, which the kids unsurprisingly agreed with.
The dodgems is about my limit for adrenaline, so if the kids wanted to go fast then they would need to find some self-sufficiency.
Or rope their mum in.
Luna Park had just the right sort of rides for our two kids, at ages six and nine. It might be too tame if you have older kids or are adrenaline junkies. I also liked the rather old fashioned surroundings, which kept me entertained while the kids queued.
We were clearly feeling benevolent during our time in Melbourne, because having exhausted our appetite for getting dizzy, we decided to treat the kids again with some time at the zoo.
Subconsciously, I may have been softening them up for a week sitting in a campervan, but more on that next time.
Melbourne Zoo had more than enough to keep us entertained for the day, and we didn’t manage to cover half of it.
Lexi was very fond of the giraffes.
I preferred the elephants. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to see their cousins in the wild very shortly.
We managed to accomplish multiple loops of Melbourne city centre, not to mention our trips to Luna Park and the Zoo, all via the miracle of Melbourne’s tram system.
Firstly, the trams are free within the city centre. Absolutely free. What a brilliant and generous idea.
If you want to travel outside the city you need to buy a ticket, but there’s something novel about jumping onto a clean, quiet tram, and bypassing all of the city’s traffic.
Really every large city should have a tram system. It’s much more civilised than going underground every time you want to move about, and you still get to see everything going on, rather than being buried in a tunnel.
The only downside I could see, and this may be an issue, is that because of the predominance of tram lines, Melbourne has developed a very odd system for controlling car turnings. If you want to turn right in your car, rather than sitting in the middle of the road waiting for a gap, you need to pull off to the left and wait there. Otherwise you’d be squashed by a tram. They seem to have got the hang of this in Melbourne, but I suspect it would cause multiple pile-ups if you suddenly launched this concept anywhere else.
We’re off to Cairns, but not by taking the sensible option of hopping on a plane for 3 hours. Oh no, that would be too easy and miss out all the good bits in between. Instead, I’ve found a bargain and got ourselves a campervan relocation deal. Let’s see how that works out.
Free trams in the city centre, brilliant!