Anyway, I’m now ready to share some notes from my travels to the land down under this September 😀
Our first stop – Melbourne! I should point out, entry into Oz was not great. We couldn’t get out of the airport for nearly two hours owing to the queues at immigration and subsequently at baggage check as they are finicky about what people carry into the country.
The first thing we did in Melbourne was take a ride in the free city tram, city circle route 35. It’s a great way to take in the city if its your first time there.
A second great way to explore the place that I would recommend is to do a walking tour. While there are several available we took a free one called ‘I am free’ walking tours. The tour is informative with helpful guides. The best part is you pay whatever you think the tour was worth. You just need to show up a few mins before the tour start time as per their website at the starting point – it’s the state library generally. This tour was the best part in Melbourne imo with interesting anecdotes and thought provoking history.Also worth mentioning two incredible meals we enjoyed so much in the city (for vegetarian folk) – a lunch at this restaurant called CharlieLovett by the river and dinner at Vegie Bar in Fitzroy. Just plain brilliant! Melbourne sure has the old world charm but nothing beats Europe when it comes to that. Well sure, the Degraves Street was nice and cozy with its alleyways, Hosier Lane hosted its share of Street Art, the South Bank was lovely with rows of cafes and restaurants and the State Library was beautiful but it didn’t move me the way cities in Europe did. I’m perhaps biased towards Europe.
The weather though when we visited was cool and crisp, a great respite from Singapore weather which is mostly hot and humid. But when it rained in Melbourne, it transformed into wet and cold and that’s the part I didn’t really enjoy. It also messed-up with our views on the Great Ocean Road, our Hot Air Balloon ride was cancelled and we didn’t see the point of visiting Yarra Valley in weather like that – which was a big downer! As people say – you can experience all four seasons in Melbourne in a single day.
The Great Ocean Road trip was okay overall, I guess it would have been stunning if the sun was out. The Twelve Apostles were breathtaking nevertheless. The first sight when I saw the rocks jutting out from the water and the endless expanse of the ocean was spectacular. I can only imagine how incredible a sunset there would have been.Our Airbnb stay was superb and we spent some great times enjoying drinks in the cold on the large spacious balcony. The stay was in this area called Preston away from the city center. We rented a car to make it easier to travel back and forth which made even better sense as we had planned to drive up to The Apostles and the Valley. I would suggest though to stay closer to the city and take public transport as much as possible as parking is a nightmare sometimes and needless to say, quite pricey. Melbourne was alright, next up Sydney!
I hope some of you managed to pick-up a tip or two for your own visit to Melbourne. #HappyTravels peeps! 🙂
Here is the map covering our itinerary. Also includes vegetarian friendly options we liked.