Myself and Rachel booked on to a tour group through Peter Pan to see the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians. Our tour was held with Wild Life Tours and we had a guide with us the whole way through (although he was a bit on the scattered side!) We’d a great time and the sites that we were brought to were amazing!
We had a bit of a late start to the day because we may have slept in and just woke up when the bus was meant to be leaving but they held out for us… thank God! We headed off for the Great Ocean Road which brings you all along the coast. The beaches that we saw were beautiful, the wild life so cute (sleeping koala bears!!! agh!) and the jungle/ bush impressive. The bush walk was in Mait’s Rest Rainforest and I got to see some of the tallest trees!
To help myself navigate around the city I decided to use one of the hop on hop off bus services. The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle offers a $10 ticket that is valid for 2 days. It includes 13 stops with running commentary about the main sites of Melbourne. I did one stop on my own on Thursday but started the actual tour on Friday with Rachel and continued it on Saturday. We didn’t do all of the stops but got the main areas done.
Federation Sq: Fed Sq included the Melbourne Visitor Centre, Federation Sq main area, the Ian Potter Centre, Birrarung Marr and William Barrack Bridge, The Federation Bells, Flinders St Station, St Paul’s Cathedral and Hozier Lane. The Ian Potter Centre is full of Australian art pieces and is worth a visit. Hozier Lane (which is basically across the street) is a really interesting spot with graffiti everywhere!
So after 32 hrs and jumping in and out of 3 time zones I arrived in Australia in one piece. Just about haha! The flight from Dubai was long (and confusing – so much Chinese!) but with the help of a guy from India who spoke some Mandarin I was on my way! 1 tip for traveling to China though, don’t go to the beach the day you are traveling and get scalded by the sun or you will set off heat detectors in immigration and be put in to quarantine!
Once in ozzieland though everything went smoothly. I got the Skybus from the airport to Southerncross where I met Rachel. (It’s right outside arrivals and departs every 15mins to the city). We then got a train from Flinders to Balaclava. All very quick. After some food, we went to St. Kilda Beach for a look. It’s a gorgeous area with a harbour and cafes dotted around. From the harbour you can get a clear view of the Melbourne skyline, beautiful!
On Tuesday, myself, Rachel and her housemate Cammie went for a run around the block. I may have ran on ahead and gotten myself lost but managed to make my way back to Rachel’s in the end. I am proving to be useless with my sense of direction haha!
During the afternoon, myself and Aoife went down to Acland St for a look around the shops. Acland St is a hive of activity with loads of different restaurants, cafes, thrift shops and well just about everything! It’s all on one street and really easy to navigate around. On our way home, we went to the St. Kilda Botanical Gardens for walk around. The park was so peaceful! There was even a greenhouse with a little pond inside!
I joined a gym as well (Body World) which offer classes in the evening so I was able to go to a yoga one. I was delighted to hop back on the mat again! The gym itself seems great. The staff are really helpful and willing jump in and give advice when needed. There aren’t many cardio machines but a huge area for weight training.
On Wednesday, I went for a workout in the gym and then back to Acland St to pick up a sim card. It’s much easier to get around I’ve found with the help of google maps! Walking around, I stumbled across a quirky outdoor garden area that has been set up by the community. There are a couple of plots that are all decorated differently with decorations. Theres also an outdoor kitchen where people can cook their meals or have a bbq. It’s called Veg Out and can be accessed by the public.
In the evening, a group of us went in to the city to go to the Wednesday Night Street Market that is held every summer in Melbourne. There are so many different types of foods to choose from ranging from Asian to Middle Eastern to Sicilian and more! There are also live bands that play and craft stalls.
Today I took my first proper trip in to the city and picked up a map of different tourist spots. I managed to make my way through Federation Sq which was really interesting. I loved Hozier Lane and all of the street art. (I’ll add all of the places on the places visited tab.)
There’s a lot of culture set in Melbourne it seems and I’m excited to see what else there is. I also have a couple of tours and activities booked over the next 10 days so I’ll update as I go along! 🙂