From NSW to Victoria
After our time was done in Sydney, we took a short flight to Melbourne (around $40 each, which was far from bad). We considered driving it, as the views are meant to be stunning, but unfortunately time was against us so we decided we’d rather have that time in Melbourne. Our accommodation was a fantastic AirBnb that a really decent guy owns (a guy called Brett – link here). We sat and got drunk with him and had a good chat; while he casually took the piss out of the Poms, and we casually took it & gave some back.
Seriously though, if you’re ever in Melbourne, look this place up. It was in St Kilda, which is an ‘up and coming’ part of Melbourne – reminded us a little of Bristol in places. Some bohemian, run down areas, and a little rough around the edges – but basically pretty harmless & quite diverse. We enjoyed some decent food here – one place worth of a special mention was a cafe called Hannah in St Kilda. Man the brunch I had there was awesome! Basically an Eggs benedict with Potato Rosti – so not gastronomic rocket science; but it was just so tasty, makes my mouth water just writing about it. The coffee here was fantastic too. We enjoyed quite a lot of coffee in Melbourne; it as after all one of the cities proclaimed success industries.
The city itself is impressive, and we explored it in a predictably superficial touristy way – as you do when you only have a few days. The street art on the laneways is really good (and again, another reminder of Bristol), I took quite a few photos which you can see in the galleries, and there’s one below. Naturally credit goes to the artists rather than the photographer – but I’ve no idea who the artists are! We took some time to explore the National Gallery of Victoria; which was interesting – some pretty weird, abstract or just plain freaky art in there. Naturally these displays change from time-to-time so it’s difficult to recommend – but we enjoyed it. Nice architecture outside too.
We had some fantastic food in Melbourne; such as at Naked for Satan / Naked in the sky; which was recommended by our friend Dan (Melbournian). Our waitress gave a perfect wine recommendation – and the 5 dishes we shared were seriously tasty. It’s worth a visit. You can see more detailed reviews of the places we ate & drank at on our Trip Advisor profile (link on the right of the page).
Our mate Ian 🙂
Towards the end of our trip, we met up with Ian… You may remember Ian from such posts as ‘Everest Base Camp Trek‘. A lovely guy we met in Nepal who lives in Melbourne. He was so kind, and took us out for a brief historic driving tour of Melbourne’s port & coastal area; and then a meal at a local Angling club, which he joined recently. This was definitely somewhere we would otherwise have not gone – you needed to have a member with you to get in. The view was spectacular, facing west on the beach, so we watched sunset with a glass of wine after dinner. We also had the pleasure of meeting Ian’s son & his wife / daughter. Charlie spoke about connection in her previous Australia post, and it being part of what we consider to be important while travelling. Meeting with Ian certainly gave us a good dose of this.
Great Ocean Road
Finally after our lovely meal, and a quick tour of where Ian lives – we went back to our AirBnb and rose early the next day to drive down the famous Great Ocean Road. Pretty much every Aussie we met told us to do this drive if we got a chance. So we hired a car for the day and headed to the twelve apostles. As coastal landmarks go, these were gorgeous. Pretty unusual, and in beautiful golden settings with bold blue ocean surrounding them. You can see them below.
We saw a few sites on the way back: some waterfalls, a couple of koalas, some dead trees (nicer than they sound); and we stopped at a couple of lighthouses to take a look – including Split Point lighthouse, which is the one filmed in the awesome kids TV show of my era, ‘Round the Twist’. The plan was to stick around late and catch a few milky way shots near the lighthouse; which I sort of managed – but the moon was out in force. I knew this would be the case but this was my only chance so I gave it a go. You can see one below, and again more in the galleries.
Certainly at the time, I was feeling fairly confident that Melbourne could be a place we consider moving to. Nice place, nice people, good weather, lots of variety & diversity, already have our lovely friend Ian there, decent job prospects etc. Of course, everywhere we’ve been since has pretty much planted the same seed – but I’ve got to say,
Melbourne is probably my favourite BIG city. It’s certainly less touristy than Sydney; almost as well organised, friendlier, and somehow more calm (probably due to fewer tourists). It also seemed to have some pretty decent suburbs, and offered a good mixture of beach life and nearby countryside.
As it says in the title…. Melbourne BABY!
*Mic drop* (probably not quite fitting lol)