The image you should have in your head when picturing Melbourne is this: A pristine, 18 hole, perfectly manicured golf course being overrun by kangaroos. Think thatâs just a metaphor? Nope. It totally happens. Just do an image search for Anglesea Golf Course Kangaroos. Why this is the perfect image of Melbourne is because it encompasses the spirit of the city. Sophisticated and luxurious, urbane and dignifiedâ¦ but a little goofy, still a bit wild and absolutely and undeniably Australian. Melbourne is possibly Australiaâs most civilized city, but to say itâs stuck up would be completely wrong. Here are just a couple of things you can do for fun while youâre in Melbourne - and you should absolutely be in Melbourne.
Letâs skip all the jokes about Australia being founded as a penal colony and get straight to the stories of some of her more famous criminals. The Old Melbourne Gaol is, well, a really old jail in Melbourne. No longer used to house inmates, now itâs an incarceration museum not unlike Alcatraz. You can visit it at night for a candlelit tour which I suggest you do not bring easily frightened children on. Learn about Ned Kelly, the famous outlaw bush ranger and one of Australiaâs national heroes. Youâll see the cells, the execution area where more than 160 criminals were hanged, and be damn glad you werenât a criminal back in the old days. Or, at least not one that got caught.
So, about those kangaroos: The Anglesea golf club is absolutely beautiful. Full disclosure: I am not a golfer, but I know beauty when I see it and the Anglesea has it in spades. And, while I am not a golfer, I love pristine outdoor spaces and wild animals and that is another thing that Anglesea also has. Reading about Anglesea makes it seem like simultaneously a golf course and a nature preserve. And it is. The Kangaroos are tagged and studied and roam wild all over the darn place. Iâm simultaneously intrigued and a little wary. While usually peaceful creatures âroos can be dangerous when provoked. Of course, if theyâre allowed to wander around the green and nosh on the vegetation they canât have caused any trouble. Aside from presenting a very unique putting hazard.
OK, almost as odd as Dubaiâs indoor skiing is Melbourneâs African savannah. Yup, Melbourne has a simulated African plains habitat in the form of an open air zoo where you can come face to face with LIONS. And rhinos. And gorillas. And monkeys, hippos, cheetahs, antelopes, zebrasâ¦ Look, if itâs a famous African animal you can let yourself get close enough to get killed by it if you so desire. For the love of all that is holy you can even feed a giraffe. Why am I still sitting in front of my keyboard? I am going to go load up on acacia leaves and head to the airport.
If nothing else I hope I Have shown you, with this tiny sampling of some of Melbourneâs attractions, that Australiaâs second most populous city has something for everyone and then some. Until next time!