The Block Arcade, Melbourne CBD

The main entrance to the Block Arcade is in Collins St in the city. Collins Street itself is rich in impressive architecture and frames the Block Arcade perfectly. The Block Arcade is like stepping back in time. The elegance and attention to detail is spell bounding and I’m not just talking about the chocolates. From the floor to the ceiling, it could only be described as a work of art. It is a credit that it has been maintained in such pristine condition.

You cannot walk through the Block Arcade without expecting to see people in period dress walking towards you.  The arcade could only be described as immaculate. This is the perfect place to have a cup of coffee or more appropriately tea and scones.  The first section was built in 1891 and the final construction completed in 1893. It was designed by the architect David C Askew for a financier at the time by the name of Benjamin Fink.  The name Block Arcade is reputed to come from “doing the block”or in other words showing yourself off around Melbourne’s best shopping streets.

The arcade was completely revamped giving it modern amenities without spoiling the original look.  A tour is a must.



Open on Everyday


Why I hate the Warrnambool CBD parking meters.

Often people state that hate is a bit strong a word to use but my dislike of these new meters is definitely well beyond just a disliking. I find them so bad that I visit the CBD far less and prefer to shop at the centres. I have asked around and no-one I have spoken to has heard of needing to put your car registration into a parking meter before.
I am quite literate with electronics but this meter through me so much the first time I actually got back in my car and drove off. The second time I was attempting it two elderly ladies stopped to ask if I had figured it out. I stated “not yet” to which they replied “we parked several blocks away because we couldn’t use it” and that “they would look at shopping somewhere else”.
I don’t know what the idea was behind these meters but sitting out the front of a business where I was waiting for someone I witnessed a parade of frustrated people attempting to use the meters. Most had to walk back to their car to get the rego. How does this benefit the Council? Do they save a few free minutes of parking because now when you pull up you can’t use any left over minutes?
With the millions of dollars spent rejuvenating the CBD I would have thought the Council would be doing everything to get people back. This is not the way. If you are visiting – write your rego number down and allow enough time to fathom the parking meters. Best of luck.


Pakington Street (Pako), Geelong

Pakington Street in Geelong runs parallel to the Western Beach on the other side of the Geelong to Melbourne Highway.  It is a long street that runs all the way to the Barwon River.  It starts out industrial, graduating into a long stretch of trendy cafes and shopping.  This is a fascinating street to shop and dine which is only minutes from the CBD.

The middle section of Pakington Street (known affectionately as Pako) was the centre for Greek and Italian immigration in the 50s and 60s and had a major influence on the shops and cafes.  Fortunately this influence is still represented in the bakeries, cafes and smallgood outlets.  If you are looking for continental goods this is the best place to go.

Towards the far end of Pakington Street approaching the Barwon River we get to the section they named the Paris End of Pako.  This section is a collection of trendy restaurants, cafes and outlets.  This is a very good area for great burgers, takeaway foods, cosy cafes and upmarket dining.

Pakington Street is a very busy shopping hub so you might manage to get parking in the street but more likely you will do better parking in the carparks at the back of the shops.  The great thing about Pako is that all parking is free.