*A thousand apologies for the delay of the final part of my Melbourne story. University exams really suck the life and time out of you*
I could not believe it when I had come to my final day in Melbourne. Like all holidays, it had gone too quickly. On my agenda for my final twenty four hours in the lovely city was the Sealife Aquarium. Some might say I could see an aquarium anywhere, but I love sea life, and the aquarium was right across from where I was staying, so how could I not have a look?
It was a very dreary day that morning- it seemed we were finally seeing that renowned Melbourne weather. It was the first day I awoke to the sound of rain pelting against the room’s large glass window. But I was actually sort of glad to see the rainy weather. I’m a lover of rain, and seeing the wet weather actually made Melbourne feel somewhat more Melbourney. So we put on our coats and braved into the rain and across the bridge.
The Sealife Aquarium looks small from the outside, or it least it did from our window. But it was very Tardis-like in how big it seemed on the inside. It was divided up into numerous sections, each featuring a different type of sea life. The first section featured a large, open top tank filled with rays and sharks, as well as some small fish. The rays and sharks were actually very cute and very friendly. There was space where you could crawl underneath the tank to get a better look, which was probably for kids, but I attempted to crawl in there anyway. I was successful, though with some difficulty. The next section was about crabs and crustaceans. For me, the highlights were the coconut crabs that looked like a low level enemy from a science fiction game.
After the crabs was a section for reef fish- my favorite type of fish. It was like a scene from Finding Nemo- pufferfish, clown fish, angel fish and much more. This section was by far the most attractive since coral and reef fish display a myriad of colours.
The next area was the shark tank. And no, it had nothing to do with entrepreneurs. This tank had a tunnel running through it which let you be surrounded by the sharks, as well as the many rays and fish that lived in harmony with them. I’ve always liked rays because of their little smiley faces.
The following part of the aquarium moved away from ocean life to focus on inland freshwater animals. Of course, the main feature was their resident crocodile. I have seen crocodiles both in captivity and in the wild, but I have never seen a crocodile as big as the one there. It was so large and so still that I didn’t think it was real at first. But a twitch of its tail and slight movement of its eyes made me realise it was in fact alive. It was more reminiscent of a dinosaur or a Godzilla monster than a crocodile. The rest of the section seemed much less exciting compared to the crocodile, but there were some cute frogs and lizards, and a rather derpy but lovable big freshwater fish.
There were some more small sea life exhibits featuring corals, seahorses and squids, but my favourite exhibit featured at the end- penguins. Penguins are one of my favourite animals because there is something incredibly adorable about them. So it was great to watch them waddle around and just be generally cute. The small penguins were the cutest, as they tended to walk around in one route continuously, and they were the most inquisitive, It was also fascinating to to see how fast they were in water compared to their slow, cute little waddle on land.
That marked the end of our aquarium trip. Since the weather had cleared up while we were inside, we decided to make the most of our last day in this wonderful city with one last tram trip. Though first I had to stop at Batman park to get a photo of the sign. After all, it was BATMAN park. Our first stop on the tram trip then was the gardens in which the Royal Exhibition building stood. It was a grand building that looks like it was plucked straight out of Europe. It was easy to imagine Ezio clambering over such a building. Not to mention it was situated at the end of a beautiful tree lined path in the verdant green botanic gardens. Its a shame that its intricate fountain turned off just as we arrived, While we couldn’t go inside the building, I was content with admiring its exterior. Our exploration probably would have continued, but my mum and I were both tired and hungry, and tensions were rising. We decided it was best to go back to the hotel, get some lunch and spend the last hours of our trip in air-conditioned comfort. And it was indeed a comfortable afternoon and evening. As the sun set on our final day, we watched those dancing flames one last time and reflected on what a wonderful time we had.
Little can be said for our last morning, asides from that we packed our bags with heavy hearts. For both mum and I, this had been our first real travel experience. And in our short week, we had been captivated by the feeling travelling gave us. At least the weather had turned even worse again, so leaving was at least a little easier. And so we flew home in somewhat turbulent skies, with fond memories of our first travel adventure.
Also for anyone interested, I have provided a link the Melbourne SeaLife website: