Friday, September 24, 2010

A Bourke Street Stroll

I walked across the footbridge at Southern Cross Station towards Docklands and the stadium. The old building is very long and extends from Bourke Street down to Collins Street, and then another in line extends from Collins to Flinders Street. I believe they were Victorian Railways workshops and of course they are long because trains needed to fit entirely inside. The two similar annexes are new. I would have liked to see them dominated by the size of the old shed, rather than the reverse that has happened. At least the old sheds were saved.

I think I am looking at the corner of Bourke Street and Wurundjeri Way. I have no idea what On the Beach is about. Looks strange. Could it be the name of a bar?

There you go V. You won't have to stay with us on your next visit if you don't want to. Perfectly good high rise YMCA for backpackers. I don't see any clothes hanging out the windows to dry though, nor blonde Swedish lads or cleavage exposing Brit lasses hanging around.

Docklands has been called souless, empty and barren. I wonder why? Photos taken early afternoon. Technically this is on the way to Docklands past the Docklands stadium.

Generally modern buildings don't grab me, but this little beauty does. It glitters beautifully in the sunlight. You can see the VR shed from earlier to the right.

I wish I had taken more effort with this photo. Next time I am there and they are there, I will do better. The closest boat is the Victoria Star, its original name being Lady McKell and it plied the waters of Sydney Harbour between 1970 and 1993. She sat abandoned for some time in Rozelle Bay until rescued and refurbished in 1998. She is a thrice winner of Sydney's ferry races (I tried hard to find a link to Sydney ferry races, but none were good).

Better, the ferry further back kept her original name, Lady Cutler. She is even older than Victoria Star, launched in 1968 and sailed in Sydney Harbour ferry service until 1991. Her refurbishment took some time and she was almost lost in wild seas when sailing Bass Strait on her way to Melbourne from the Portland shipyards. In 2008 she was recommissioned by Lady (Joan) Cutler, widow of long term NSW Governor Sir Roden Cutler. See the ferry here.


  1. Good information on the ferries. That's one of my favourite things about Sydney - the ferries. When I'm up there I often make a day of it - ferry to Manly and back, then ferry to Watson's Bay (lunch at Doyle's) the bus to Bondi, and bus through Woollahra.

    Couldn't find any info on "On the Beach" either. Have a good Friday.
    Melbourne Daily Photo

  2. Andrew, love the pictures of the railway sheds, cutting their way like an old knife through all those modern high rises.

    What are those Sydney ferries refurbished into? Restaurants, party ships?

  3. Andrew, isn't docklands eeriely quiet.Even for the middle of a weekday. It is a pity they have created such stark environment for people.

    On the Beach - the only thing I can think of is that old movie of the same name, during which Frank Sinatra slagged off Melbourne and female journos. What that would have to do with that building is beyond me.

  4. 'On The Beach' is a novel by Neville Shute, about The End Of The World.
    Filmed in Frankston (I know, I know) in the 1960's when Ava gardner was Sinatra's squeeze, and she, possibly weary from the lengthy trip across the pacific, foolishly said "Melbourne Australia is certainly an ideal place to film the end of the world"

    Frank said "all journalists are the same as hookers anyhow" when having a problem in Melbourne about 1974

    Melbourne seems to tire famous foreign people into indiscretion.
    Joe Cocker, The WHO, and others have come to grief here as well.

    Lovely photos Andrew, take it easy with the walking.

  5. OK, I spelled the author name wrong - it is Nevil Shute and do pls click the link and read the synopsis of the story.
    The film should be playing nightly and permanently in Melbourne.
    The director was the cult star Stanley Kramer for a start.
    Nuclear war (1964) has occurred in the Northern Hemisphere and not yet wafted the radiation to Melb so we all had a year yet to live!! I wouldn't have spent it in Frankston!

  6. I'm jealous of your strolling ya madman!

  7. Love the photos :)

  8. Agree BFG. You cannot go to Sydney and not take the Manly Ferry. We do it every time. We did Watsons Bay last visit and I would like to go back. The 389 bus? What a magical trip.

    Peter, one is used for cruises and I think one is a party boat.

    LiD, yes I recall that. I am still puzzled about the sign.

    Ann, Keith Dunstan debunked the myth of Ava saying that. You are right about Frank though. Union protest with Hawkee at the fore. Yes Cocker. Was that Federal or Qld State? Photos were taken pre op.

    I have read the book, years ago.

    Fen, they were taken pre op. I am in a bad way now.

    Thanks Jayne. Love yours too. It is the hits that you need to look at and not the comments to know your number of readers.

  9. Anonymous10:27 pm

    But I like the hostel at Highriser!!! V.

  10. 380 bus Andrew (along Old South Head Road) or 327 (along New South Head Road).

    I too assume 'On The Beach' is a reference to the Neville Shute book and 1959 film.

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  12. Correction: 324 along New South Head Road.

  13. I have caught up with all your posts - and funny thing was where we all stayed in Melbourne was close to where you have taken these photos - we were at the Short Stay apartments on Whiteman st 20 floors up and the view was something else - will have to post some of the shots.

  14. Love all your photos too. Quite some contrasts you expose. The Docklands do look quite soulless. And I love the way you have captured the contrasts with those railway sheds. You must be feeling good about your recuperation if you are off up and out for such a stroll.

  15. Pleased to hear that Vik.

    Victor, I wonder if the bus trip to La Perouse is interesting.

    Ah MC, owned by the same company that manages our building.

    To be fair KN, it is a wide walkway to get from the station to the sports arena, but the shops, cafes etc were empty. The photos were taken before my op.

  16. Anonymous2:39 pm

    Yes the bus trip out to La Perouse is worth it Andrew. Do it on a pleasant day and stop for a lunch of fish and chips followed by an icecream as you wander around.