Whenever one goes home after an extended period of time away, there is a sense of excitement that is different to that of other holiday destinations. The greatest part of returning home for me, other than seeing relatives and friends, is the sense of familiarity and the comfort that goes along with it.
Re-exploring your old stomping ground and recognising familiar scents and sounds is a catalyst to reconnecting with your home and realising that it is indeed good to be back.
Melbourne is a city of greenery, art, sensational coffee, culture and charisma. Public gardens surround the city with the Yarra River flowing through its interior. Art lines the streets, covers walls, fills galleries and even appears on roof tops. For a capital city it balances the natural state and the developing state rather well. It allows travellers and locals to feel a sense of balance and peace. Hence my strong love for this dynamic city.
Melbourne is very proud of its graffiti.
Look to the skies!
Melbourne Art Center.
Every aspect of the building is a canvas.
Time to hit the streets and explore inner Melbourne
Once you have had your art fix, it's time to hit the pavement and discover the inner cultural boroughs of the Melbourne Central Business District. Plenty of phenomenal coffee and people watching to be had.
Earning a living.
The best coffee I have ever had in all my travels.
Lane way food and beverage bliss.
Watching the world walk by.
A perfect location to escape the rain or the heat.
Flinders street Station, a true Melbournian landmark.
Convenient and funky mode of transport.
After hitting the pavement and asphalt all day, a touch of green and nature is never too far away.
Picnic in the city.
White faced heron in the CBD
Looking back to the city center.
Find a quiet place and re-connect.
Green trees, blue skies and water. Always a winning combination.
Getting out of the city and into something more rural is a great way to transition before hitting the Australian bush. Having relatives and friends in Mt Gambier and Clunes (see
), which are both rural towns, allowed me to appreciate the tranquilities of rural life. They may not be as fast paced, exciting or convenient as capital cities, but they have an "easy goes it" atmosphere that I have always felt drawn to. Going down the street and knowing the vast majority of the people living there is an aspect of society that I would love to see return to the big cities. A lot could be learned from the country folk that's for sure.
The Blue Lake in Mt Gambier.
Wide open spaces.
Grass cutter and dinner.
Preymantis house guest
Iconic Australian scene
Ready to fly.
A long walk on a long pier.
Very very old river Red Gum.
Although Melbourne and the surrounding rural towns and cities are enough to keep you busy for quite some time, I prefer the great outdoors. Having studied the ecology of Australia I love being able to get out into the bush, smelling the trees and flowers, observing familiar birds and just appreciating the natural diversity that Australia is so fortunate to still have. Whenever I am out there, a flood of childhood memories take me back with every smell and sound. Its an individual personal emotional journey that never gets tiresome.
Recovering after a bushfire
Never any shortage of great sunsets.
Brolga's with chick.
Corellas in flight.
Beauty even in small packages.
Yellow Breasted Robin
Black shouldered Kite.
Warmth on the wind.
Echidna in hiding.
Male Eastern Grey Kangaroo.
My mental interpretation of the bush becomes a reality.
Never too many trees.
Emu with lunch.
With limited time left and sensational weather, I took the plunge and decided on an event that was not my norm. It was the chance of going to a lavender farm festival that paid off with a wonderful day of lavender fields, warm people, delicious food and the affirmation of going outside your comfort zone does pay dividends.
Local hornet busy at work.
Getting ready for the festivities.
Busy as bees.
Lean in and take a deep breathe.
Local produce being prepared.
Although my time in Australia was short, it was definitely sweet. Returning home was an experience that I loved immensely and eagerly await an excuse to head back again. Given the flight time is considerably long, it may act as a deterrent for many people, but the rewards awaiting them at the end of the journey are well worth it. Consider it the pot of gold at the end of a very long rainbow.