Saturday dawns a glorious morning and with the Women's Singles
Final not till 7.30pm, Ed and I decide to
hire some bikes and explore Melbourne on wheels. We head down to
Southgate near Federation Square and spot signs for "Rentabike".
From our hotel, The Mercure on Swanston, this is only a 10 minute
With an 'easy to follow' map, yes even for females, outlining
points of interest along the way we pick a route and head off. The
biking is flat with bike tracks literally the whole way. We bike
past our favourite place at the moment, Rod Laver Arena and head
straight to the Royal Botanic Gardens.
This is a real gem, so close to the city with different gardens
and water features providing picnic, resting and educational spots
to savour on a stunning summers day. It's lovely to see so many
families, young people and the elderly all enjoying this spot.
From there we head to the Kings Domain which is home to the war
This is a poignant stop, important for Australians and New
Zealanders and aptly adjacent to ANZAC Avenue.
We press on making our way to St Kilda Beach, via Albert Park
This is a significant water feature and it's hard to believe it
is so close to the CBD. It's stunning. It's home to many birds
including protected swans who are tagged. This is a sporting
smorgasbord, dotted around the water is a golf course, cricket
club, hockey grounds, the Australian F1 Grand Prix pit lane and
track, the Aquatic Centre, and another tennis centre. There
are also a couple of function centres and we see wedding guests
gathering on the outdoor balcony, overlooking the water.
We are very close to St Kilda thankfully because I'm starving.
Not to be disappointed The Esplanade is buzzing and offers every
food imaginable, we settle on kebabs, eating them on the
The wind has picked up out here and the kite-surfers are having
a field day.
We bike the whole way along the beach on the bike park, it is
great fun and a lovely way to explore this part of Melbourne.
At the end of the beach by the Port of Melbourne, we meet up
with the 109 tramline and this takes us all the way back to
Southgate, past people's back yards, joining up with the river
again. Southbank is basking with people out enjoying the sun having
drinks and coffees at the multitude of cafes and bars.
We drop the bikes off, wander back to the hotel for a shower and
with our cheeks glowing from a days biking, we're sitting in prime
seats watching the Aussie Open Women's Singles Final, where we meet
Mum and Cea who have had a lovely day watching the junior and
The score doesn't reflect the strong performance from Dominika
Cibulkova over the hilariously funny Li Na. Li Na played incredible
tennis and not to disappoint the quiet tennis player had us all in
fits of laughter as she thanked her husband, now the most famous
man in China, telling him he was great at mixing the drinks and
stringing the rackets, in fact he was a good guy. Then she quickly
added lucky you found me. I can't help thinking tennis will soar in
popularity in China after her win, what a fantastic ambassador and
role model to young Chinese women and girls.