Tuesday, December 14, 2010


When I first moved to Australia nearly 6 years ago, the first area I lived in was Williamstown in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Caroline had a job in Werribee when we first got here so we spent a year in the west before moving to the south eastern suburbs, and settling in Elsternwick where we live now.

Well today I was able to revisit my old haunt as I took a trip to the west. It has been suggested that the best views of the city are from Williamstown but that is usually in the evening. On a 26C day, there is usually a bit of a haze over the city, but if you walk to the end of Gem Pier, you still get a pretty good view.

Melbourne CBD from Gem Pier

There is a great eating strip at Nelson Place, and on every third Sunday of the month, this area gets packed as a farmers market takes over the area. There used to be a great cafe called La Dolce Vita which has unfortunately closed, though it's place has been taken by a great looking Greek style cafe. I went for a coffee and cake in a place called Schwabs Galley. The coffee was passable but not excellent, but the place was friendly, clean and had a good menu, mainly Foccaccia's and savouries.

Nelson Place Restaurant Precinct

Driving around brought back some memories. Williamstown beach was very busy. One thing I don't remember is the number of speed humps there are on the roads. But there are loads of parks and wetlands about, and these were looking much greener than I've ever seen them.

Walking back along Gem Pier, the Commonwealth Reserve looking quite green!

Williamstown is a great place for walks along the front. I remember I used to walk to Hobson's Bay Chess Club from my house, cutting under the West Gate Bridge. And Williamstown is of historic interest to Melbourne being one of the first settlements in the region. For instance, at the end of Gem Pier on Nelson
Parade you have the Customs House, which is now a hotel. And for nature lovers, there are Pelican's, Black Swans and the usual mob of gulls!

All in all, Williamstown is a great place for a short trip for the day, and from the city you can even get a ferry to Williamstown, saving any bother with traffic on the West Gate Bridge!

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