Yarra River
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Melbourne Australia Might Be the Best City On Earth
When people find out you are an avid traveler they will often ask, "what is your favorite place?" or "what is the best place you have ever been?". This is a tough question for those that travel from continent to continent and it is also quite subjective. I usually have to break my favorite places into three categories: Mountains, Beaches, and Cities, as I have a high appreciation for all three! Recently a new travel experience topped one of my lists as Melbourne, Australia became one of my favorite cities. I feel the need to validate my claim by comparing my experiences in Melbourne to those in my other top cities like Buenos Aires, Paris, Barcelona, and Fukuoka. Melbourne is simply fabulous in every measure. Its culture is hip and progressive. Its an environmentally conscious city, bike friendly, has exemplary mass transit, a vibrant art scene, great music, sports, and is a foodie's paradise! If that is not enough, the architecture and coastline are also spectacular. I felt like I was visiting a city that had arisen as a model for sustainability. We left there thinking that this was a place that you could move to and live! The city is beautiful. One caveat. Australia and specifically Melbourne can be extremely expensive, but it is worth every penny!
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Moonlight Kayak Tour
In the early days of settlement the Yarra River was a vital trade link, but today the banks of the Yarra are experiencing a different type of boom. Setting off from the Docklands, home to Etihad Stadium and the eagerly anticipated Melbourne Star Ferris wheel, get a feel for the kayaks smooth ride and gaze at the luxury yachts tied up to dock. Weaving under the towering Bolte Bridge and onto the narrower sections of the Yarra River, if you time it right you’ll see the fireballs erupting along the Crown Casino promenade. The friendly guides will share plenty of stories and point out many of the cities favourite spots, including a bar floating in the middle of the Yarra called Ponyfish Island, and some of the best restaurants in the SouthBank area. The tour finishes just past the iconic Flinders Street Station on the rowing shed banks near Federation Square. Catering to all experience levels, the smooth waters of the Yarra are the perfect learning grounds for first-time paddlers. Included in the tour is a fish & chip dinner, but you’ll have to take the tour to find out where the vaunted experience is!
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