Welcome to Melbourne, Australia!
I love this shot of what quickly became one of my favorite places to visit – Melbourne, Australia! What a gorgeous city, sitting on the southern edge of the world! The picture below is a view from the world’s tallest building – southern hemisphere edition – more on that later…
In the picture above, you can see the Tasman Sea on the left, Tasmania is straight ahead, and the Indian Ocean is to the right…keep going south and you will soon find Antarctica. Melbourne IS at the bottom of the world!
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in Australia. As of June 2011, the greater geographical area had a population of 4.1 million. Inhabitants of Melbourne are called Melburnians or Melbournians.
This is the downtown area as seen from above – at the very bottom you can see the classic train station – and here is a view of the rest of the city and the environs beyond:
I had the chance to go to Melbourne, and I fell in love with it. It is a very sophisticated European-style city, which is different than most parts of Australia. Here’s an idea of what the street vibe is:
Melbourne was founded in 1835 (47 years after the European settlement of Australia) by settlers from Launceston in Van Diemen’s Land. It was named by Governor of New South Wales Sir Richard Bourke in 1837, in honour of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847.
Melbourne was ranked as the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Group’s Intelligence Unit in August 2011 and again in 2012. Look at this serene river scene and you can see why:
Flinders Street Train Station!
I woke up early one morning and walked past the Flinders Street Station, a gorgeous building that houses Melbourne’s active train system:
This is a classic and active train station, with a vibrant yellow exterior:
After a short walk, I was in the park by the river, where I was greeted by dozens of rowers hitting the river…
It’s a gorgeous walk, and if you turn to your right, you gaze upon this:
The Eureka tower is a modern masterpiece looking out over all of Southern Australia. It is a beautiful building rising 88 floors above Melbourne.
Filming 88 Stories Up With Sasha Grey!
The observation deck (Eureka Skydeck 88) occupies the entire 88th floor of the Eureka Tower and is the highest public vantage point in a building in the Southern Hemisphere at 285 m (935 ft). It opened to the public on 15 May 2007…we filmed up in the tower…here is a shot of the crew and our Host Sasha Grey…
Skydeck 88 features ‘The Edge’ – a glass cube which projects out from the building with visitors inside, suspended almost 984 ft above the ground. When you enter, the glass is opaque as the cube moves out over the edge of the building. Once fully extended over the edge, the glass becomes clear. Here is Sasha inside before the glass clears…
When the glass clears you can look straight down, or out at the view of the world…
I love views from this height, especially when you can get a 360 degree feel for the city and its surroundings….
Back on the ground, you walk over to Birrarung Marr, which is an inner-city park between the central business district in Melbourne and the Yarra River. It was opened in 2002.
The name means ‘river of mists’ and ‘river bank’ in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people, the original Indigenous inhabitants of the Melbourne area.
Melbourne’s Talking Bridge!
One of the unique aspects to the park is a “talking” bridge…as you walk across, you get a unique montage of audio, including aborigine sounds, chats and music…it gets louder as you walk across, as the sound scape is activated by your movement…it is beautiful and hypnotic…
Looking to your right, you see the soccer stadium and the railroad tracks that lead out of town…
To the right of the stadium is the Rod Laver Arena – a tennis stadium that is part of the Melbourne Park complex, the main venue for the Australian Open in tennis since 1988. The arena’s name officially changed in 2000 to honor Rod Laver, a three-time winner of the Australian Open and one of world’s greatest tennis players. YOu can get a better look at the complex from, where else, Eureka:
The train tracks go right into downtown Melbourne, and on this quiet Saturday morning it makes the town feel deserted…
I felt like I had the town to myself, and after walking across the “talking bridge”, I felt like I had entered a town that hadn’t opened yet…
We filmed in Melbourne for two days – and while we were there, my Host Sasha Grey appeared for a signing at a local store, where hundreds of fans lined up to meet her…
Sasha was great to work with, and it was fun to see her interact with her fans, who got autographs and posed for pictures…she was great with all of them…I am always impressed with talent who can exude a positive, friendly attitude with fans, talking to each one just enough to make them feel special, especially when there are hundreds waiting…
Sasha was a total professional, terrific to work with, and it made the entire shooting experience in Melbourne relaxed and fun…we only had two days in Melbourne but we got to see a lot of it in that time…and the Melbournians were gracious and friendly.
After the signing, we posed together – I take a lot of pictures, but it is always the best way to remember our team’s fun Melbourne adventure!
Crown Casino Finale!
After filming all day, we went to the Crown casino for dinner, and then walked through the casino, which was packed with people…and all we wanted was to find the exit.
So we traipsed through the casino, went past the same restaurant we had just exited, and finally found ourselves outside on the terrace overlooking the taxi stand…on the other side of huge cement “planters” – which we all, including Sasha, climbed over and dropped down to the ground – dropping down about ten feet below…and we all just laughed and laughed – then we walked over to the taxi stand, where a huge mass of people waited…and taxis stood idle.
Not knowing the procedure, I just walked up to one and we all got in, and we all left a huge group of people standing by the taxi stand…not quite sure what just happened, we all just laughed and called it a night, and the next morning we were off to Sydney…after two days of adventures in one of the most beautiful cities in the world…Melbourne!