The Shrine of Remembrance is the National War Memorial of Victoria. This monument is dedicated to all those who have served in the armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations that Australia has been involved in.
It is an extremely aesthetic monument which also has a museum built inside of it. Though I did not get a chance to check out the museum, I did do some exploring outside of the building. My friends and I had planned on having a picnic that day, and posted up near the building because it was such a beautiful area.
All six of us brought food or beverages to share and we ended up having quite the feast…or carb-loading, I should say. There were constantly people coming in and out of the park; it was a wonder that I hadn’t known this was a such a cool place in Melbourne until today. After it began to get a bit dark, we decided to pack up our leftovers [which were plenty] and head down to Moomba Festival.
Moomba Festival is an event that takes place in Melbourne every year in March. It is Australia’s largest free community festival attracting over 1.3 million people each year and has has been loved by friends and families all over the country. I had a fabulous time attending this 65-year-old tradition.
Along the banks of the Yarra River, tons of carnival rides were set up, including all of my childhood favorites, like the Space Ship. Of course, there were also more low-key rides, such as the classic ferris wheel, which provided an amazing view of the nightlife! If you could close your eyes and picture all of the scents of a carnival swirling around you–cotton candy, funnel cakes, fries-you name it, Moomba Festival had it.
I had walked by the event earlier in the day and it was definitely more family-friendly at the time. However, when I came back that night around eight, it was bumping with all sorts of people. After being in awe over the seemingly extreme-sport rides that were set up overnight, we decided to walk over to the banks of the Yarra River and get our spots before it got too busy.
Here, there was a water ski show going on, which was actually pretty cool, as the skiers did flips and jumps and spins all over the river. The commentator also happened to have an American accent, which made it feel like I was back at home watching the Chain Skiers.
After the water ski show came the real show: Fireworks. The sparks of color went off over the city skyline and it was a wonder they were able to safely squeeze this light show into the bustling city. I was slightly jealous of the people on the ferris wheel, probably getting the best views of their lives. We tried to buy tickets for the ferris wheel and found them on sale for $1 online. However, a few days after purchasing these, we received an email saying, “Due to human error, the tickets were posted at the wrong price. We apologize and will be refunding your order.” So, someone’s getting fired. Even so, the fireworks were remarkable no matter where our seats were, so we had a great time regardless. After the show, we headed over to a rooftop cinema and began our long night stopping at a new place in Melbourne just about every hour.