Author: Carolyn Tran
Perfect for travellers who are looking to be just outside all the action. The Ashley is clean, affordable and well positioned, with fantastic staff who are extremely accommodating.
Clean and affordable, large television, kitchen (dining) is available with the option of breakfast in bed, comfortable, close to the city and shopping centres, close to trains.
The last point is an important one – the proximity to the train station. I wanted to be close to the city as well as close to the train station (KiwiRail). The Ashley was ideal for that reason.
There are two buildings essentially: one is a double storey building; one is a triple storey building. Unfortunately, there are no lifts to transport luggage up and down. The stairwell is quite narrow; extreme care must be taken in order to ascend or descend (especially with luggage). However, the staff is always willing and able to help in this respect.
Whilst smoking is not permitted, there were people who did so at the first room we were allocated to. The staff went above and beyond to rectify the situation, and in the end, moved us to an alternative room.
Melbourne begins the 2013 Grand Prix with a fantastic start. More information on the official website
For many years, I promised myself that I would attend the Grand Prix. Having watched it countless times on TV, I wondered what it may be like in person. This year, I wanted to attend several days worth but there has been too much Uni work to deal with. I was lucky enough to have a few spare hours yesterday (Thursday) so I guess you can say I finally gave in. Motor sports was never really a big thing to me as I prefer aviation and airshows. However, yesterday's visit changed my view towards motor sports. It is an exhilarating experience!
Overall, the track is fantastic. Those who know the lake and its small and windy roads will appreciate how well it has been set out for the Grand Prix. Basically, you have two options: to watch it from (what I would call) the 'outer ring' or the 'inner ring'. How you get from one to the other is via an overpass (mini bridge). Try and cross the bridge when the cars are racing. You can feel the vibrations from the speed of the cars as you walk accross. I saw many people stop on the bridge for a few minutes just for the thrill. See below:
Don't miss out on the Roulettes! This Australian aerobatic team usually performs at airshows so if you couldn't make it there, come along and check out their performance. They are flying quite low and 15 minutes was enough to get plenty of photographs! If you're photographing them, aim for a 200mm lens at a bare minimum, otherwise 300mm is ideal.
I highly recommend you check out the Nitro Circus which is in the middle of Albert Park Lake. It's a fantastic show that seemed to thrill the audience more than the car racing did. Here are some photos to explain why.
Recommended viewing areas
Athough photography is not prohibited, it is difficult to get a good photo as the fences get in the way most of the time. If you're patient enough and have time to walk around a bit, try and find a gap. There are usually track cars that are parked here for emergency situations, but if you have a telephoto lens and a fast camera, you may be lucky enough to get a photo through this small gap.
I was generally impressed with what Melbourne has done with the Grand Prix. I know I visited on a weekday so it's merely the beginning of the show but I can certain say that more entertainment is needed. There were times where people would walk around trying to figure out what to do with themselves. This kind of event needs continuous and superfluous entertainment.