Melbourne, Victoria – Australia’s Greatest City?

Melbourne Tram, 2012
The Iconic Tram’s of Melbourne, Australia

Scared of flying? Today, I had another reminder that fear of flying is no joke. Circling over Melbourne, the Tiger Airways flight attendant in the jump seat opposite me showed all the classic signs.  Her hands tightly pulling her body into the seat. A light sweat on her brow. Her face, full of fear. The plane continued its descent. Down. Down. Down. Steadily holding my camera, I turned sideways to capture a photo of Phillipa, commencing the personal documentation of  the most epic journey of my life, which started today.

Turn – that – fucking – thing – off …. right – now“.

With clenched teeth, Phillipa’s usual bubbly voice was more, ahhh, calmly satanic, than normal. The plane fell further. We would be landing soon. I was surrounded. Two women, one a passenger, the other a professional flight attendant, who were both scared stiff.

So, I decided the best thing to do was to slowly put the camera down, and shut-up.


Elizabeth Street Abandoned Building, Melbourne
Abandoned building on Elizabeth Street, in the center of Melbourne

Out the window, the perfect Australian sunlight was glistening over the city of Melbourne. Known as Australia’s “capital of culture”, I have never seen such a perfect aerial view of Melbourne. As an excited photographer, it pained me to indeed turn my fucking camera off.  Racing across the skyscrapers of the downtown area, the rare Victorian Winter sunlight would today, go to waste.

Within minutes, the wheels hit the tarmac. A mirror image of absolute female elation replaced the scared lady sandwich I found myself in-between only moments ago.  The instant after landing on solid ground, both women had returned to “normal”. Moments later, they were smiling and gas-bagging like a couple of school-girls, as if nothing had ever been a problem.


coat lady melbourne
Coat lady, Melbourne.
Hosier Lane, Melbourne
Throw in a couple of hipsters and a fixie, and my work here would have been done.
The streets of Melbourne, Australia
The mean streets of Melbourne, Australia
Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. The winter light here is incredible.
Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. The winter light here is incredible.
Hosier Lane graffiti
This is exactly what I looked like today.

To cut a long story short, taxi-ing back to the terminal I had a chat with the flight attendant, and yes, she really was scared of flying. She had been a hostie for more than ten years. So, what do I do, when every single flight I take, my drugged and boozed up partner is practically having kittens for the entire duration of the journey?

Today, I booked another flight. For both of us.

As for me? Yes, today I landed in Melbourne, capital city of Victoria, Australia.

The epic journey has commenced But, after flying 3000 miles, I still haven’t left the country. I did let you all know that Perth is the most isolated city on Earth.

I’ll be here in Melbourne until next Monday, at which point,  I will fly off to another country. When I land, I’ll be exploring the first country outside of Australia from end-to-end over a several week period. I can’t wait to show you the spectacular sights.

In the meantime, I have begun to explore the amazing city of Melbourne, and will bring you some posts about Australia’s second largest city.

Oh – if anyone has any advice about fear of flying before I jump on another plane next week, I’m all ears.

And, so is poor Phillipa.

It’s great to finally be on the road (or in the air, as the case may be).



Melbourne Blimp
Big Blimpin’, Melbourne.
BTW, I would love to send you the next dispatch, posted from some-where random around this planet (and you'll soon find out why YOMADIC email followers are my favourite followers):

14 thoughts on “Melbourne, Victoria – Australia’s Greatest City?

    1. Hi Tracey – yep, I read Justin’s article, he’s got it bad ;) It goes to show though, with the hostie, just how many people are scared of flying!

  1. Ohhh, those photos make me a little homesick for Melbourne! I must say, I have a little growing yearning to see Melbourne skyline through an airplane window again!!

    White wine would be my recommendation for fear of flying, my old housemate who used to have to fly a lot for work, but hated flying, would swear by it! Ha! (Not really the best, but whatever gets you through!!)

    1. White wine? Will have to let Phillipa know, thanks Tash. Your home is Melbourne! Such a great city, loving it already.

  2. Hi Nate,

    I love, love, love Melbourne. Great to see your pics of the place as you captured things that really stood out for me too. Interesting with all that colour around that you opted for black and white.

    No tips for your girlfriend sorry as I’m fine with flying but some kind of wine usually help to make me a bit drowsy when required

    Enjoy your trip,


  3. Ah — Marvelous Melbourne! Just love the place. I’m fond of Sydney since we have so many friends there, but I would always pick Melbourne as #1.

    We did miss the access to Old World culture though, so we left Victoria 20 months ago, travelled and worked in various European countries for 18 of those months, and then settled in the South of France.

    Your black and white approach is quite gritty and agreeable and it’s quite a contrast to the usual colourful pics of the red or yellow trams, the gaudy grafitti, and the layered stone or brick colours all throughout the city.

    Looks like the global downturn is hitting Melbourne since we left. That closed up store facade was rather sobering.

    Enjoy the fabbo coffee and the wonderful food and make sure to crawl through the laneways in the CBD.

    Enjoy your adventure and good luck to the fear-of-flight girlfriend. I just take Dramamine and it knocks me out so I can s-l-e-e-p through everything!


  4. I’ve heard alcohol takes the edge off. Love your B&W photos of Melbourne. I was in Australia in June, but just made it to the Northern Territory.

    1. Hi Laurel. Thanks for the compliments on the photos. I’ve never been to the NT, and I’m Australian! You’re very fortunate, I’ll have to get there on day…

  5. You really captured Melbourne well with these shots. After four and a half years of living there we decided it wasn’t for us in the long run but most everyone we know loves it. It certainly is a livable city. The city centre is getting a bit crowded though and traffic is horrendous.

    1. Thanks Andrea, I really try to capture the spirit of each city I visit. As for Melbourne, Well, it is a great city no doubt – but I’m not sure that I could live here either. It’s too cold for me! But, as you are now in Norway, I don’t think that’s as much an issue for you ;) Not sure about your husband though, if he is a Perth boy like me, I bet the cold get’s to him!

  6. Haha I can’t believe the flight attendant was scared of flying. You’d think after doing it for so long she’d be able to keep her cool a bit better. I’m also loving the black and white photo’s, Melbourne is a great city-it actually reminds me a bit of Christchurch, my hometown, and I can’t wait to visit it again.

    1. I know…I found it weird as well! I’ve never been to Christchurch, but, I just landed in NZ and will be there in a week or two, I’ll be sure to take some photos and write-up a story of your home town, Stacey!

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