Melbourne, You Are Special


Melbourne To Be Wild

Melbourne. Melbourne. Melbourne. What a city. Our first experience with Melbourne was the Carlton Brewery. When we entered the Brewery we were greeted by our lovely tour guide. She gave us a tour of the brewing and bottling factory. We smelt the wort and the hops which were very strong. After that we tested some of the beers including a 2 day old beer. My favorite was also the tour guides favorite, Wild Yak Pacific Ale. I already know when I get to the states I’m going to be craving that beer. The guide brought out costumes of beers for us all to try one which definitely helped us forget about our jet lag.

After a full night of sleep in an actual bed, FINALLY, we headed out for a very full day in the city of Melbourne. We had three company tours to very interesting and progressive companies. The first company tour was KPMG. This was probably my favorite out of the three. KPMG does work with taxes for their clients and technology. There are 2 locations in Australia and they are focusing currently on automation, blockchain, and data analytics. The tour guides were so kind and upbeat, they did a quick draw exercise with two of the members of our class to show us machine landing. The tour guide, Amanda Good “Goodie”, also showed up a system they made for a client called Arwin. This system looks after water systems and is hooked up with Alexa. After they gave us their presentation we headed upstairs to look at the Agile offices. I really enjoyed the stuff KPMG is currently doing and how they have their offices set up.

Next we went to IBM which was nice in a different way. Instead of really going into depth with what IBM is doing in a technical sense the guides kind of opened the floor for us to ask anything. The guides were all mostly fresh interns or fresh off of their internship so we were able to ask questions that pertain closer to us as students getting jobs in the future. Their offices were set up in the same kind of agile work environment as KPMG which I really enjoyed seeing. The biggest lesson we came out of IBM with is be confident in asking the “dumb” questions because sometimes you need that to learn what you need to know.

The last business tour was to the US Consulate. The US Consulate was very high security we couldn’t bring in any electronics. But when we got in we were greeted with Tim Tams (Tim Tams are to Australia as Potato Chips are to the US), cookies, juice, tea and coffee. Two guides gave us presentations, the first talked to us about what the consulate can do for us while we are here in Australia and gave us a contact card in case we needed it and the second focused on what the US Consulate does for Australian and American relationships. The US Consulate serves as a cultural bridge for countries to the US. In the 1960’s the Consulate took Jazz icons such as Miles Davis to the Soviet Union behind the iron curtain to share the music of the ages from America. The Consulate in Australia funds arts festivals and charity movements. There’s not a lot of culture bridging that needs to happen between Australia and American but the US Consulate definitely facilitates that. After our long day of visits we explore the city for a bite to eat and went back to rest up for the exciting days in Melbourne ahead.


Next on Friday we visited the Victoria Roasting Warehouse for lunch and to learn about the process of roasting beans. The guide, who I believe was the general manager roasted coffee beans right in front of us while explaining the whole process. Then after he was done roasting a batch, which smelled incredible, he took us around the back of the shop to brew coffee in two ways. One with a machine and the other with a pour over. I tried the coffee, even though I don’t like coffee very much, and it tasted very fresh.

After the tour we were split in to groups by Professor Ormsbee and his wife and sent on a scavenger hunt through the city. Our team name, which I came up with, was Melbourne to Be Wild. I’m pretty proud of it. My team did a really good job finding all the locations, the university library, a restaurant called Cookie, Etihad Stadium, the bridge over Yarra River with a sculptures named Travelers, and the Melbourne Goal. We finished about 5:50 which was perfect because we were expecting the final clue from the Ormsbees at around 6. It didn’t take us long to figure out the clue and we got to the restaurant in time to hand in our riddle paper. Our team got first place, including best team name. I really enjoyed the scavenger hunt, even though it rained a little.


On Saturday we went on our tours. We had the choose of Phillips Island or Great Ocean Road. I chose Phillips Island. Our tour guide was the nicest person ever (but I am pretty sure all Australians are). We started the tour out with about an hour and a half drive to a Wildlife Sanctuary. I was so excited! Our time in the sanctuary was short, but it was an experience of a lifetime. I got to see a real live koala. Well a real live sleeping koala. I also saw wallabies *so tiny*, peacocks, llamas, a Tasmanian devil, dingoes and kangaroos. The kangaroos weren’t the large ones like the red and grey kangaroos they were just tiny ones. There was a few albino kangaroos and around a dozen other ones.

On Saturday we went on our tours. We had the choose of Phillips Island or Great Ocean Road. I chose Phillips Island. Our tour guide was the nicest person ever (but I am pretty sure all Australians are). We started the tour out with about an hour and a half drive to a Wildlife Sanctuary. I was so excited! Our time in the sanctuary was short, but it was an experience of a lifetime. I got to see a real live koala. Well a real live sleeping koala. I also saw wallabies *so tiny*, peacocks, llamas, a Tasmanian devil, dingoes and kangaroos. The kangaroos weren’t the large ones like the red and grey kangaroos they were just tiny ones. There was a few albino kangaroos and around a dozen other ones.

For $2 AUD I bought a container of food to...wait for it.... feed the kangaroos! Yeah, I got to feed a kangaroo. So already with the first part of the tour, my day was made. Next stop was a quick one to the Phillip Island Chocolate factory. It was a nice stop. They had an interesting chocolate sculpture of the little penguins. The stop before the Penguin Parade was at an information center that had walkways along the coast. It was breathtaking to say the least, no words can describe the beauty of the ocean.

Finally we made it to the Penguin Parade. We arrived around 4 and got a bite to eat and explored the gift shops before we headed over to the bleachers to watch for the penguins around 5:20. We saw about 20-30 penguins over the span of an hour coming out of the ocean. They were so tiny!! As we walked back we enjoyed the coos of the penguin calls and were able to see about a dozen penguins close up for the entirety of our walk back to the bus. This tour was not only a highlight of Melbourne, but also a highlight of my life and I would recommend to anyone!


Sunday was our last day in Melbourne and a few of us decided to go to the Sea Life Aquarium. I love sea animals so I was excited. Before we headed to the Aquarium we stopped for breakfast at an all day breakfast place and were able to sit outside on a little side street. Once we got to the Aquarium we were able to use our student cards for a $10 discount. Then in we went!

The aquarium was set up in a way that you can just walk through. As we were walking through there were tunnels that made you feel like you were in the tank with the little sharks and HUGE stingrays. We also say clown fish, sea horses and starfish. Most of the walk through were the different types of fish. The last few stations were a little different. There was a massive salt water crocodile, turtles and penguins! King Penguins, and Emperor Penguins. There was a little section where you could watch the jump into the water from an underwater view. The Aquarium was definitely a ten out of ten for me.

The rest of the day we walked around the city a little bit. We went to the Italian district and had lunch at a hipster café, Heart-attack and Devine, which I think embodied the spirit of Melbourne. It was also delicious.On the way out of the Italian district we stopped at an amazing Gelato place for a cone. Then we headed to walk through a bit of China Town and went in to a few shopping centers. We took two Uber’s today and saw that once again Australians are so nice. I also noticed quite the cultural difference, as when one of the Uber drivers asked us where we were from we replied “The States.” He said, “That’s why all three of you sat in the back, Australians will usually sit up front.” I found this so interesting and very different than at home. It really proved my initial reaction of Australians being laid back and kind. After our shopping trip went to dinner as a group on a rooftop restaurant and then headed back to the hotel to prepare for the venture tomorrow to Queensland.

Melbourne is such an interesting city. I’m glad this city was our first Australian experience. It’ll be interesting to see if the cultural impressions I got from Melbourne match those of Cairns and Sydney. These impressions are that the style of Australia feels very 90’s esque, or at least Melbourne is that way. The clothing styles are grungy, jean, floral and even the music I hear while walking around the city is older music. Every restaurant I have been to has served some sort of chipotle mayo. Aussie’s must love their spicy mayonnaise; no worries. I am excited to see which of my cultural impressions apply to all three cities we are visiting, or which are special to Melbourne. But for now, thank you Melbourne. This has been everything I’ve dreamed so far and I can’t wait for Australia to impress me further. As this city told me at a cross walk on the last day, Melbourne, You Are Special.

#Melbourne #KPMG #IBM #DiBellaCoffee #PhillipIsland #MelbourneSeaLifeAquarium

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