Dates: 7 June, 14-19 June 2016
It was too cold and chilly for the one who is never a big fan of cold weather. It was winter in Melbourne so it’s about 7 to 14 degrees It feels colder when you are in the open area facing the ocean because the chilly winds were unbearable.
Wool Jacket, Winter Jacket, Scarves, Thick Leggings, Boots, Gloves, Thermal wear, and Dresses (and heatpack if you are really scared of the cold). Do not forget an Umbrella because there was a downpour a couple of times.
Take the free trams and City Circle 35 when travelling around the CBD area of Melbourne. I hardly paid a cent and it’s pretty convenient too. There are signs informing you whether you are in the free tram zone area or actually leaving it. You can hop onto any tram and as long as you get off the stop within the free tram zone, you are not expected to pay. There is hardly anyone checking on this as you board the tram though so they seemingly function based on trust.
Rent a car to get around and since we were travelling to a couple of places, it was more cost effective for us to get a car and we rented one from Thrifty for about AUD$400 for 6 days with excess of $500.
We stayed in a mix of AirBnB lodgings as well as budget hotels in Melbourne. The AirBnB lodgings were accessible since we had a car. One thing I have learnt is that even though the AirBnB host advertises that the lodging can house 7 people, some of the beds are small or are sofa beds and may not be able to sleep that many but thankfully some of the guys are easygoing and do not mind sleeping on the couch. All the hosts were friendly, the homes were lovely, location was great so we had a good stay and experience and I really loved AirBnB.
View of Southbank from our AirBnB lodging
Living Room of a boutique Tolarno Hotel
Got myself a prepaid Telstra phone data card which cost AUD$2 and AUD$2 per day for 3G data. Do not miscalculate the number of days as the minimum value for Top up is AUD$10. They are sold in major supermarkets and the main Telstra store is located in Melbourne Central Shopping Centre.
Catching up with friends I have not met in ages over a good cup of coffee and good brunch in Grains.
Wandering around the State library of Victoria. They have guided walking tours at 2.30pm and there are tour guides to take interested participants around to share the history and trivial facts of the great Melbourne. Would have loved to join but was short on time
Exploring Federation Square
Discovering Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Flinders Street Station where I got lost figuring out for 15 minutes where to hop on the City Circle. I finally found that it is just next to the station.
Heading down the alleys to hunt for sweet desserts and coffee for tea
Could not miss Duke’s Coffee Roasters which came highly recommended
Caught up with another friend based in Melbourne having great food in Campiri House and then explore Queen Victoria Winter Night Market. Loved the atmosphere in QVNM.
We stumbled upon this quaint brunch place in Torquay before the start of our GOR trip
Aireys Inlet and it marks the beginning of GOR
Who walks when you can drive right up to board the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento LOL
Life’s a beach box if you can afford it – the bathing box in Mornington can go for sales for thousands of dollars
Mclelland Gallery & Sculpture Park for the contemporary art lover
We went to the Chocolate Factory on Phillip Island but it was so not worth the AUD$17 entrance passes. This place can be completed in 10 minutes.
We caught the super adorable penguins on Phillip Island. They are probably the size of my palm and it was dark and freezing when we caught them in action. As the sky gets dark, these penguins come to shore and it’s amazing how they all appear in a blink of an eye as they are washed up shore. Apparently, the ocean is like their supermarket where they search/shop for food in the day and return to their burrows in Phillip Island. Penguin Parade is adorable to watch and tickets are about AUD$25. I wish I could video the experience but it’s not allowed as apparently it will disturb the natural order of things and it was too dark.
Since sun sets at 5.30pm during Winter and all shops were closed by 5.00pm, the bored tourists can find life in Crown Casino LOL.
The vast Yarra Valley where there are tons of land, cows and sheeps. Thus there are many vineyards where wine is produced and sold.
Caught my favorite Alpaca being camera ready😀
Awesome Gelato too tasty to pass in Lygon Street – the little Italy of Melbourne
So many cafes to visit in Melbourne, so many places to stuff our faces but this is the most aesthetic drink I came across – Fairy Floss Chocolate found at Hash Specialty.
Melbourne – a fantastic travel destination to get my dose of nature, quality food, impressive art as well as amazing people even though your weather is unpredictable