Category Archives: Melbourne

Emirates Business Class Lounge in Melbourne, Australia

Emirates Lounge Melbourne Review

Review of the Emirates Business Lounge, Melbourne Airport

In 2016 Emirates Airlines opened a new Emirates Business Lounge in Melbourne Airport, located not too far from the old one in Terminal 2. With growing numbers of passengers due to more A380 services departing Melbourne, this larger new lounge can comfortably seat up to 241 people.

The Emirates Lounge at Melbourne International Airport is located upstairs at terminal 2. Upon entry to the lounge you are greeted by a very helpful staff member who fills you in on any information you need to know regarding your flight. As you then walk through the lounge, the first thing  you notice is the wonderful expansive views across the airport. This is a nice change from the Qantas International Business Lounge which is lacking any sort of view.

There is a main dining area which has both food and drinks. The selection of the food here was extensive and the quality was first-rate in this Emirates Lounge. As we were here for the EK405 flight which left at 18:45, dinner was being served and included lamb cutlets, fresh salmon, chicken schnitzels, roast potatoes, penne pasta as well as curries with rice.

As well as hot foods there was also a selection of salads, dips, cheeses, fruits and a couple of cake choices available for dessert.

With two bars available, one in the main dining area and another off to one side of the lounge – the choices of drinks are very good. Champagne, wines, beers and most spirits are available in both bars as well coffee machines, soft drinks and juices.

Unlike the old lounge there is no business centre in this Emirates Lounge.  There are some computers out in the open of the lounge but without the privacy that the old one had.

We rate this lounge very highly and can’t wait to hopefully take some more Emirates flights in the future to compare it with different Emirates Lounges around the world.

You can read our trip report from our EK405 Melbourne to Singapore flight or our other previous Emirates  Business Class  flights here.

For more information on Emirates Lounges go to www.emirates.com

Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol – Crime & Justice Experience

The Old Melbourne Gaol is situated on Russell Street, in Melbourne’s CBD and is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Here you can learn a bit of history about some of Australia’s most infamous criminals who were held within these walls, many executed by hanging. The most famous of all these criminals was Ned Kelly and the gaol focuses a lot about the life and times of Australia’s legendary bushranger.

We took our boys (aged 8 & 10) during the school holidays and were expecting to just walk around the Gaol for about an hour but we were pleasantly surprised by just how much there is to see. We did in fact spend quite a few hours taking in all that the Gaol has to offer.

The main cellblock was built in the 1800’s and inside the actual cells are different prisoner stories told by storyboards, death masks, written letters and other various memorabilia. The hanging gallows still remain as well as a whipping triangle used to lash prisoners. The kids can also try on replica Ned Kelly armour here. Since 1972 the cell block has been run as a museum by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). For an additional $5 per person on top of your general entry ticket, you can take an escorted tour by one of the guides to help understand a bit more about the Old Melbourne Gaol’s grim past.

Your general entry ticket for the Old Melbourne Gaol also includes the Watch House Experience which is run regularly during school holidays. The tours are held every half hour or so and groups are limited to 60 people. Here the group all get a taste of being arrested and locked up in the neighbouring police station that was still in operation up until 1994. It can be quite confronting, especially for younger kids. Our 8-year-old did get a little intimidated, so probably wouldn’t recommend it for kids under that age. The Watch House Experience takes about 30 minutes and don’t forget to get your mugshots taken at the end!

You also have the opportunity to participate in the Ned Kelly Courtroom Drama which is a scripted re-enactment of the Ned Kelly Trial set in 1880. This is actually quite fun as well as informative. It runs for about 45 minutes and is limited to groups of 75 people. Here they require 10 volunteers from the group to play the scripted roles, 5 main roles and 5 smaller ones. Our 10-year-old was very excited to play one of the smaller witness roles and I must say he did very well! The rest of the group becomes the public gallery for the trial and are separated into two groups – the Kelly supporters and the Kelly haters. At the end of the trial you can form your own opinion on whether you think Ned Kelly was guilty or innocent.

The Old Melbourne Gaol is the site of 133 hanging executions and is listed as one of the most haunted spots in Australia. For any paranormal enthusiasts out there, be sure to try the night tours that are available – you might be lucky enough to see a ghost or two. We will definitely be waiting for the kids to get a bit older before trying that one with them!

For more information go to www.oldmelbournegaol.com.au

National Sports Museum at the MCG

National Sports Museum

National Sports Museum located at the MCG, Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia so there is no better place to find the National Sports Museum than the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Just a short walk from the city centre, the entrance to the national Sports Museum is located at Gate 3 of the MCG. If you love your sports or are like us and have kids that are sports nuts, then this is a great way to spend a day out in Melbourne.

We took our two boys (aged 8 & 10) here over the school holidays so they could learn a bit more about Australia’s rich sporting history. The National Sports Museum showcases more than 2500 objects relating to Australia’s greatest sporting moments. The sporting memorabilia here is extensive and some of the sports on display include Cricket, AFL, Rugby, Thoroughbred Racing, Basketball, Boxing, Netball, Soccer, Cycling, Athletics, Tennis and Golf. There is also a good section which explains the history and the redevelopment of the MCG. 

One of the biggest and most interesting displays is of the Olympics Games and its history. It was pretty amazing to see the different types of memorabilia including medals, relay torches and uniforms from Olympics past to present.

The Cricket and AFL displays were favourites for our boys, both included 3D Holograms – Shane Warne for cricket and James Hird for AFL who give a little insight to what it’s like to play their sports. The boys were definitely fascinated by these!

Downstairs is an interactive game zone called Game On which our kids absolutely loved. Here they can test their skills and ability at different sports including AFL (kicking and hand-ball), cycling, soccer, cricket, archery and netball.

The National Sports Museum is also home to the MCC (Melbourne Cricket Club) Museum, Sporting Australia Hall of Fame, Australian Cricket Hall of Fame and Australian Football Hall of Fame.

When purchasing tickets there is the option to take an MCG Tour (at extra cost). Tours run for about 75 minutes and will take you inside the inner sanctum of the MCG and onto its hallowed turf. These tours run frequently between 10.00am until 3.00pm on non-event days.

The National Sports Museum is open daily from 10.00am until 5.00pm (last admission is 4.00pm) with varied access on event days for the MCG.

We really enjoyed our day here at the National Sports Museum and you can find out more information or pre-book tickets from their website at www.nsm.org.au.

City View Room at the Hilton South Wharf Hotel in Melbourne, Australia

Hilton South Wharf Review

Hotel Review of the Hilton South Wharf – City View Room

After previously reviewing the two bedroom suite at Hilton South Wharf Hotel (read review here) we thought we would take the opportunity of a kid-free weekend to stay in Melbourne at the Hilton South Wharf again and enjoy one of its standard City View rooms.

As we touched on in our last review, the location of the Hilton South Wharf is excellent – next door to the South Wharf DFO which is great for shopping as well as the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre. In our opinion this location gives the Hilton South Wharf the best views of Melbourne down along the Yarra River. For this reason we would always recommend booking a city view room when staying here.

The standard rooms here are a good size with a nice big comfy bed. The bathroom is well set out and comes complete with separate shower and bath. Like at all Hilton Hotels, the Peter Thomas Roth bathroom amenities now come in smaller sizes than they previously did. We love the very effective blockout blinds at the Hilton South Wharf, it makes for a good sleep in. If you need to be up early, make sure to set an alarm.

If it is in your budget we would also recommend getting a room on the executive level floors. The extra cost is definitely worth it. The executive lounge at the Hilton South Wharf is a really large size with both inside and outdoor seating. We rate this lounge very highly compared to some other Hilton lounges. As well as all day snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, the lounge offers breakfast, afternoon tea and evening pre-dinner canapés with alcoholic beverages. The evening drinks are available from 6.00pm-8.00pm on weekdays and from 5.00pm-7.00pm on weekends. The drinks are self pour sparking, wine and beer but you can order spirits from staff if that is preferred. Each night there is a selection of two hot canapés along with a good variety of cold canapés. Also since our last stay, the wi-fi here has improved and they have updated the computers which was nice to see.

During this stay we also tried out Dock37 Restaurant and Bar for a bite to eat. All we can say is try the burger here, it is amazing!

If you are a Hilton HHonors Diamond member, don’t expect too much from the Hilton South Wharf. We have been staying here for a few years now while being Diamond members and never get an upgrade or even a welcome note from management.  At check-in we were told that we have been “upgraded” to the exact same room that we booked, just with executive access. Also if you book for more than one night, you will only get the free bottled water on the first night and no other nights – unlike most other Asia/Pacific Hilton hotels. This may be something that the Hilton South Wharf management might want to look into.

We do however love that we get access to the executive lounge as it is well worth it. We also love that we always get to enjoy the buffet breakfast at Dock37 as it has quite a good selection and we always find the staff lovely and helpful.

Another feature of the Hilton South Wharf that we enjoy is the Lobby area. Every time we come here there is something different being showcased in the lobby. As we stayed here during the Melbourne Cup Spring Racing carnival, this time the lobby consisted of a racing theme with photos, paintings and horse sculptures.

You can view our walkthrough of a Hilton South Wharf City View Room on Youtube here.

For more information about the Hilton South Wharf go to www.hiltonmelbourne.com.au