A Travellerspoint blog

New Years in Melbourne

Herbs, graffiti and fire


Welcome to 2012! We had an amazing New Years eve which involved mostly being in town. Originally we had no idea what was going on although we were pretty sure that something would be, as there always is in Melbourne and so we intrepid explorers set off in the morning to discover what the craic was in the centre. We had heard rumours of parties on the suburban beaches and so wanted to be able to move around from the city in case this did happen. However after arriving at Flinders Street station it became apparent from the goings on in federation square that this was going to be the place to be for the coming of the New Year.

And so as we had half a day still to go before events started we decided to tick another sight off our list the Royal Botanic Gardens. The lush gardens were just a short walk from Flinders Street station, although the sun was blasting down on us. We got to the gardens to find that we had missed the guided tours but asking at the information desk they were really helpful and suggested the best places to go if we were short on time. We resorted to our child selves and ran around the park after playing in the children’s interactive area and bamboo forest. It really was a tranquil place with wildlife, both animal and plant, in a huge variety. There was even an amazing little herb garden where we spent ages tasting all the different herbs and just basking in the glorious smell of the place.


After the colour of the gardens we headed back to the relative grey of the CBD only to stumble upon another burst of colour, this time in a much more urban form. On Hosier Lane, a side street just off Flinders Street, there is one of the most spectacular collections of graffiti art either of us have ever seen. It was like a mini maze and was literally everywhere; covering the walls, floors and even the bins. It is well worth a look and apparently an ever changing landscape as the old is covered by the new and we plan to head back there to check it out in a couple of months.


It was approaching the evening by now and the crowds were swelling and so we made our way down to the banks of the Yarra in Alexandra gardens. We weren’t all that late in getting there and yet we struggled to find a place to park our bums as for hundreds of metres up and down the banks was a mass of people. Luckily we’re only small so we managed to find a spot right up against the river for viewing and waited. There were events going on elsewhere that we got glimpses of but we wanted to hold onto our prime real estate and so didn’t shift until the moment arrived. The countdown commenced and as the clock struck Melbourne exploded around us. There were fireworks on every building in the city centre, so many in fact that one of the radio transmitters caught fire! Getting home was a bit of a mission as the crowds were so big that the queues to get on the trains were gigantic and as a result we were waiting close to an hour for trains that were leaving the station every five minutes – nuts!


Can’t believe it’s here already, time to start writing those resolution lists (and then forgetting them) and dieting (well that’s for Alex). Hope you all have a great year!

Rex’s Rules of the Road

  • Bizarrely for such a big event and the gregarious city that Melbourne is we struggled to find much to do on New Year’s Eve. If in doubt head to the city centre, there’s always something to do there.
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens are a really beautiful place and you could quite easily spend the day there or just pop in for a quick walk, there is a free guided tour but with our luck we missed it!
  • They don’t mess around when it comes to the countdown celebrations in Melbourne although make sure you get there early if you want a comfortable seat.
  • The trains are free on major events like this so make good use of them, although be wary of timing as everyone else will be making good use of them too!

Posted by rexontheroad 10:45 Archived in Australia

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