The main reason that we came to Melbourne was to go look at the tennis center. So, after sleeping in, we made our way to Subway for some breakfast/lunch, and then walked our way over. It was about a 20 minute walk – if we were to come back for the Australian Open, we would definitely stay in the same hotel. Once we arrived, we walked around the arena.
When we got to the outer courts, there were people playing. As we approached, we noticed that there were line judges working the courts. It turns out that the finals for an AMT Platinum tournament were going on. The AMT is a series of semi-pro tournaments that give out prize money. The platinum tournaments have the biggest payouts ($10k). We watched the end of the men’s singles final and then most of the women’s singles final.
After tennis, we hopped on the free Melbourne tour bus. The bus had a 90 minute circuit around the area, and was packed pretty full. I suspect that the locals used it as free transportation (particularly since one of the stops was at the university). I did not find it as interesting as the tour bus in Sydney (did not even take any pictures), but the price was right.
Day 20 and 21
Days 20 and 21 were both travel days. We took a 90ish minute flight to Sydney and checked into a hotel near the airport. It was pouring down rain, and not much interesting near the hotel, so we spent the afternoon hanging out in the room and reading. The next day we were off, saying goodbye to Australia. We upgraded to business class for the flight to Fiji – although the upgrade this direction was 2x the cost of the other direction. After about a 4 hour flight, we landed in Fiji and grabbed a cab to the hotel. Once things were squared away, we snagged some prawns and chips for dinner, and then rented a movie in our room.