I don’t even know where to start with Melbourne, by far the best place I’ve visited so far! After feeling underwhelmed by Sydney, I’ve put this down to not having much time to explore what the city really had to offer, I couldn’t wait to get to Melbourne. Everyone told
me it’d be my favourite stop and they were so right!!
The beautiful city oozes culture, I felt right at home! The Lanes reminded me of Brighton with a multitude of boutique shops and cafes. Heaven!
The only downside was that I only got to spend three days there. Such is the joy of trying to experience the whole of the East Coast within a month!
A valuable lesson was also learnt on this trip; whenever possible try not to arrive stupidly late to a hostel. It means creeping around in the dark, peering into the beds of sleepy souls trying to find the free beds. Not advised!
However, it wasn’t until the next day that we realised it didn’t mind what time we arrived, at least two people would be asleep in the dorm at any time. 11am, 2pm, 6pm… they’d be asleep. I imagine it’s what it would be like to share with a group of koalas.
Great Ocean Road
So I’d been looking forward to visiting the Great Ocean Road from the second I even thought about coming to Australia. I couldn’t wait to grab my camera and capture some iconic scenes.
I’d always planned to do the trip over a couple of days, but due to only having three days, the day trip was on the cards . Even after a late flight and a pretty sleepless night the 7am pickup couldn’t put downer on the day. From the second we met our excitable tour guide Paul, part time tour guide part time snake catcher, we knew there wouldn’t be a dull moment.
I would recommend the day trip to anyone who was short of time in Melbourne. There is a lot of driving, about 243km and photo stops range from ten minutes to an hour, but it was a great way to see the main landmarks in a short time.
Please note: The following photos were taken on my phone. Photos from my SLR will be added once I return to the UK.
The next day it was time for another day trip, no rest for the wicked. I’d already checked the weather forecast so wrapped up in jeans and a leather jacket I braved the remarkably British elements. Whoever said I wouldn’t need my leather jacket in Australia lied.
Although I’m not a fan of the rain, the stars of the Phillip Island tour are pretty used to getting wet, as it’s home to the worlds smallest penguins and large colony of seals.
Our first stop was at a Kangaroo and Koala sanctuary. Having cuddled a koala in Australia Zoo I wasn’t majorly bothered with the sleepy guys, the kangaroos however were a lot more lively than the ones I’d seen before. So armed with a $2 pot of food, in I bravely marched.
Well these guys are hungry so and so’s! I’m so surprised they’re not round balls rolling around. Have to admit however greedy they were, they were very cute. I made a few friends that day.
The highlight of the trip is obviously seeing the worlds smallest penguins waddle from the sea, up the beach and to their little burrows. Our tour guide Ben was hopeful there’d be a good turnout. The previous night they’d seen 400, the night before they’d seen 800! We were in for an army, or so they thought…
After sitting in the rain for a good hour, we’d seen approximately 24 penguins waddle past. Not exactly the 400 we’d been expecting but seeing one wild penguin would have made my day!
Unfortunately there are no photos of the penguins on their journey, cameras and phones are strictly prohibited and the rangers run a tight ship. Good job since one rogue flash can blind a penguin and no one wants that on their conscience.
Friday was not only the last day in Melbourne, but the last day I’d be travelling with Ellie and Jess (sad face). Because of this we were determined to make the most of our day together.
It has to be said we hammered the city that day! Up bright and early to visit the famous Victoria Market, if you’re ever after a Crocodile Dundee hat this market is the place to go! There were LOADS.
After our Only Fools and Crocs shopping trip in true British fashion it was time for a good cup of tea, something that has proven quite difficult to find out here. We’d heard that Central Place was the capital for coffee shops so thought this was as good as any. The tiny lane lined with coffee shops was like something from a film. Truly could have sat there all day long, great place for people watching.
Next it was time to get cultural, the Shrine of Remembrance was built as a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War I. A beautiful building boasting magnificent statues and beautiful views of the city.
We were lucky to be shown a simulation of the Remembrance Day service where sunlight passes across the memorial within the Shrine and pauses on the word LOVE at precisely 11am. Impossible to watch without a lump in your throat.
St Kilda can only be described as Melbourne’s answer to Camden, but honestly the only reason I wanted to visit was to have my picture taken at the entrance to Lunar Park. I’ve been told its really famous, not sure why though!
To celebrate our last night together and my birthday a few days later we abandoned our nightly bowl of pasta and headed down to Chinatown, firstly stopping at Sky Deck to marvell at the beauty of the city. Somehow ending up in Melbourne’s famous rooftop bar. An amazing end to an amazing few days.
Melbourne, I will be back. You haven’t seen the last of me yet!