3 Days in Melbourne: Day 3

Three days in Melbourne can go by in a flash — there’s so much to see and do! You can read about our adventures on Day 1 and Day 2 in other posts, but for our final day, read on.

We started our morning with another delicious breakfast at Queen Victoria Market. From there, we headed south using the free City Centre Tram; then we hopped off and walked down St. Kilda Road …

… over the Yarra River.

Our plan for the day ahead featured only two attractions — one museum and one garden — but both were so large that they easily filled many hours.

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

This is the Grand Dame of Melbourne’s museums, the oldest and most popular art museum in all of Australia. The NGV has earned this status for good reason; it boasts an impressive collection of Asian and European art, plus smatterings from elsewhere in the world (including the Americas, Oceania, and Australia, though most of the museum’s Australian holdings are a few blocks north at the Ian Potter Centre).

We were lucky that our visit coincided with the NGV’s Alexander McQueen “Mind, Mythos, Muse” exhibition. Say what you like about McQueen himself, but there’s no denying that he was a genius as a designer.

Note that the NGV is huge — we spent a full three hours exploring the galleries and gave most of them far less than their due. But if you’re only in the city for three days, needs must.

My only complaint about the NGV is that it’s in the middle of a food desert. If you want to eat outside of the museum (which we did), it may require a bunch of unrewarding wandering.

Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are giant — spread out across 94 acres, they seem to go on forever. We walked and walked and walked some more, admiring everything from elaborately tall trees to prickly cacti to unusual outbuildings.

If you go, I would recommend that you make sure to visit the Ornamental Lake …

… and Fern Gully, both of which are beautiful.

I would give Guilfoyle’s Volcano a miss; we thought the idea of seeing a volcano sounded romantic, but it turns out not to be all that interesting. One more place of note is the temporary MPavillion — I’m not sure it’s worth going out of your way for it, but the colors of this unusual architectural structure are striking.

After a rest at our hotel, we headed out to dinner at La Cabra, which serves excellent and inexpensive Mexican food. We went to bed happy and full, but also knowing that we were going to miss all of the amazing art and culture of Melbourne!

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