Travel Diaries with Mizo Amin: A Journey in Melbourne - Victoria, Australia
My name is Mizo Amin. I’m originally from Egypt, and I’m a professional basketball player who grew up in Qatar. I play for the Qatar National Basketball Team and Al-Rayyan SC Basketball Team.
I want to share my travel experience from when I visited Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is the capital of the beautiful Australian state of Victoria. It also is the second-most populous city in Australia and Oceania, with an urban agglomeration of 9,993 km2 (3,858 sq mi) comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities.
The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip Bay and spreads into the Hinterland towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley.
I was lucky to have travelled around the world and visit most countries at a young age. One of the places I travelled to and enjoyed so much is Melbourne. I enjoyed staying there because of its friendly people and the extraordinary sightseeing.
I went to Australia on a work trip with my team to play the final round of the world cup qualifier against the Australian team, but I have really enjoyed the city. Almost as much as I have enjoyed my trip to Tokyo, Japan. So, I would totally recommend visiting Melbourne in Spring.
Once I landed at the airport, I instantly understood that I was on a different continent that I have never been to.
The city is super-advanced with excellent roads and train stations. The weather was chilly but pleasant. It made me anticipate my weekend when I would explore the city on my day off.
However, I focused on the game as best as possible and promised to reward myself with a grand tour after the game.
Although we did our best, our team lost to Australia because the Australians were very tough to beat. After all, they are considered one of the greatest and strongest teams internationally.
In the end, it was still a beautiful experience. I would love to visit such a beautiful and safe place for a vacation with my family. So, I would love to come back to explore the city even further.
Earlier That Day ...
The Federation Square opened in 2002 to commemorate 100 years of federation. It divided Melbourne people and put them against each other. Some citizens loved it and others hated it.
Either way, it has become an integral part of the city and a great place for tourists to start their sightseeing.
Located opposite Flinders Street Station, a major public transport hub, the building’s ultra-modern design of open and closed spaces contrasts with the surrounding Victorian architecture.
With more than 2,000 events annually, you can find entertainment in the central outdoor performance space and intimate indoor venues.
Federation Square also houses the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, dedicated to Australian art, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). More commonly called “Fed Square,” it is also one of Australia’s largest free Wi-Fi sites.
2.Royal Botanic Gardens
In the heart of green parkland extending south of the Yarra River is the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is among the finest of their kind in the world.
Established in 1846, the gardens encompass two locations: Melbourne and Cranbourne. The Melbourne Gardens cover 38 hectares with more than 8,500 species of plants including rare specimens.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is designed to encourage the next generation of gardeners, and the Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a popular tour that looks into the rich heritage of indigenous Australians.
Visiting the gardens is one of the best free things to do in Melbourne. In summer, the theatre is a highlight of the gardens, and a moonlight cinema is set up under the stars.
This is also a popular spot for a picnic by the lake or a traditional high tea at The Terrace cafe.
Melbourne’s center is threaded with cobbled laneways. The place has become a mecca for coffee shops, cafes, and unique shopping boutiques.
On my day off, I made sure to take my coffee at the “Industry Bean cafe”. After that, I took walks around Victoria street and enjoy the nice weather.
After visiting Victoria Street, I took an Uber to the amazing Melbourne Zoo, Australia’s oldest zoo.
Although the 22-hectare Melbourne Zoo dates back to 1862, the 320-plus species of animals have the best modern facilities in state-of-the-art enclosures. The Elephants’ award-winning Trail is an insight into the lives of the resident Asian elephants in a traditional village-garden setting.
Another highlight is the Orang-utan Sanctuary, where the animals live in their treetop home.
With many wild encounters, including “roar and snore,” twilight music concerts, and behind-the-scenes tours of some enclosures. Melbourne Zoo offers animal lovers a fun-packed experience.
Overall, I was thrilled to see all kinds of species and was very happy.
The food was superb, but the prices were a bit expensive.
The country uses the Australian dollar (ASD). I was impressed with the mindset of the people, there was no racism, and everyone was equal.
You can see great places and see different people from different continents who achieve permanent citizenship after living in Australia for four years. I was lucky to meet Sudanese people who were very nice.
I have met many people, and one of the cab drivers shares his experience living in the gulf region. The memorable moment that I had from the entire trip was the step over I did against the Australian game.
On the next day, I was all over the news and was mentioned by FIBA. I thought I was not recognized in Australia, but many people knew me and asked to take pictures. Children and teens also asked for my autographs.
It was very nice and memorable for me as a person.
I also want to share that if I am going to move to a country, it would be Australia. Not Canada nor the USA; it will be Australia because I believe that it has a great future for immigrants who want to start over.