Williamstown, Melbourne Cup and Eureka Tower
05.11.2013 - 05.11.2013
One of the bonus' of living in Melbourne is that it gets an additional public holiday all courtesy of the Melbourne Cup, otherwise known as "the race that stops the nation". The rest of Victoria and the country still has to work but if you're in this great city then you re free to enjoy the day
The race wasn't until the afternoon so we decided to make the most of a gorgeous sunny day by taking a trip on the river to Williamstown. We'd been talking about doing this since we had arrived but other plans or the weather had got in the way.
The first ferry would leave at 10.30 so we took the short walk in good time to make sure we got a seat outside...However what we hadn't accounted for was the fact that most of the ferries would have been hired out for the races and were currently moored at Flemington! There was only one ferry operating and that one didn't go until 11.30am. This wasn't a problem though as it meant we could tick off another thing on our check list before leaving Melbourne by having a drink at the PonyFish, which is a bar that wraps around the leg of one of the bridges that spans Yarra River.
We had a prime position to watch all the brightly coloured races goers posing on the bridge for photos before catching the train to the races. We got swept up in the atmosphere, having a cheeky morning drink too!
We also had a clear view of where the ferry was going from so we could time perfectly when to go over to secure a seat on the deck. As we waited for the boat to fill up we took in some of the life on the river...
And on the boat too...this guy has style! And I LOVE this kids backpack!
It would take about an hour to go down the river to Williamstown and it was great to see the city from the water...
It was interesting to see how the use of the river changes from the glitz of yachts to huge cargo ships.
We had a great view back over the city as we approached Williamstown.
Williamstown is a quaint place and we weren't the only ones making the most of the sunny day off. Steeped in Maritime history this was one of the first places that was settled in the area and was originally intended to be the site of the city over Melbourne, but I understand access to fresh water was the reason this changed. Even the visitors centre is shaped like a boat.
It was too nice a day to stay inside so we just relaxed and had a great lunch as we watched the world and their dogs go by (including a gorgeous Burmese Mountain Dog puppy).
We wanted to watch the Melbourne Cup Race on the big screens in Federation Square, so we decided to jump on the train back into the city. It would be quicker and cheaper than the ferry.
We joined the crowds and found a spot just in time to see the cup paraded round the racecourse and all the jockeys and horses were introduced
We had placed a small bet on the favourite Fiorente and you could sense the anticipation building in the crowd as the horses took their places. Everyone's focus was on the screen and the cheers started to increase as they approached the finish line.
Needing a break from the sun we headed for a celebratory drink in the shade before trying to check off another iconic Melbourne attraction by visiting the Skydeck of the Eureka Tower. This big building had been our neighbour as it is just the road over from our apartment although a LOT taller.
The Eureka tower is 300m tall and the Skydeck is on the 88th floor, which is the highest public viewing area in the Southern Hemisphere. The top 10 levels have glass that are plated with 24 carat gold! There are 3,680 stairs but we took the lift which can get to the 88th floor in 40 seconds.
It was a great way to spend a day off