Hey! Well this is my last Australia post. After the outback, I flew from Alice Springs to Melbourne, toured part of The Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsula. I’ll warn you, this blog is a delicious one, so don’t read on an empty stomach!
WordPress changed its format which I’m really hating right now, so if the formatting is off etc, I have no clue how this will post.
What a great city! This city is really a must visit. The locals pride themselves great shopping, art scene and on being serious foodies. There are many interesting day trips you can take, so you really can spend lots of time here.
They always have different festivals on, I went to the Noodle Night Market Festival. Locals told me I had to go as many of the top restaurants have stalls there, so you can try them for cheap. There were 56 stalls of any kind of Asian food or Asian fusion you could think of. It would be fun to go with a group of people and share to try many places. I tried 4, but I couldn’t eat it all.
You could also vote on tablets that had a big board that showed you the top 10 places.
Here’s a little sample. A pulled pork slider from Chin Chin, a noodle salad from Red Spice Road, Philippino bbq from Hoy Pinoy, and a pulled beef burger, the bun is made of ramen noodles from Everyone Love Ramen. All really good!
It’s quite easy to get around the city, there’s lots of different public transportation. It also felt really safe, always lots of people out and about. There is a free tram that goes around the city centre, it was conveniently outside my hostel. I stayed at the YHA hostel on Flinders, I highly recommend as it was very central to get around. Also the YHA hostels are a really good chain if you are looking to hostel it up, you can get private rooms if dorm sharing isn’t your thing. It sure in hell isn’t mine. I tried it earlier on in my Aussie travels and it didn’t take me long to jump ship, so it’s a cheaper option than a hotel.
THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD!
You can actually do The Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide or vice versa and stop in places along the way. However I did part of it as a one day tour from Melbourne. We covered 600km in about 12 hours to include stops. Very beautiful, I highly recommend.
So one of our stops, there were all these wild cockatoo’s. It was funny because that is something I’ve never seen in the wild, meanwhile locals find them to be pests and shoo them away like pigeons or seagulls.
The wind picked up and blew this one feather combover back over!
So we stopped in this place called Kent River. There was actually many wild koalas up in the trees, I didn’t expect to see koalas in the wild, but there are lots in this area.
At this Kent River stop you can buy bird seed to feed the wild birds. My god they just flock over the tourists and even land on their heads, I found it entertaining to watch. Made me think of my friends who hate birds, I don’t think they would be doing this….
We stopped at some place with a lighthouse. I’m getting really bad at remember exactly where I was, I’ve been travelling long, it all blends. Really at this point I’ll get into a vehicle or join a tour and sometimes forget where I’m going. But anyway, beautiful light house, and a wild wallaby showed up. This one is a different breed than what I have seen in Tasmania, but I didn’t eat this one.
The 12 Apostles and Lord and Gorge. Very beautiful and worth the stop. I know it’s something with sandstone and that there are really only 8 with only 7 visible, and to be back to the van in 50 minutes. Other than that the rest of the information my guide said went out the other ear. But it was sure beautiful, and I did make it back to the van on time.
Vineyards are big business on this side of the globe and my sister encouraged (aka bullied) me to take a tour. I thought why not, I like doing different things and I haven’t done anything like this yet. Well I’m glad I did, it really was a wonderful day. It was a day full of great coffee, cheese, wine, strawberries, chocolate, no hiking and several bowel movements. It was a day tour out of Melbourne, total time with return was about 10 hours. I’m not sure all where I went, but I know we had our lunch and chocolate stop down in a town called Flinders.
I signed up for the tour with the cafebus. Basically it was a 21 seat van with a coffee machine in it. Unlimited coffee! My guide Rob was quite excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed his excitement and commentary.
What I loved about all the places we stopped in at was that everything was at its highest quality and produced in that region. No additives, fillers, chemicals etc. Everything tasted amazing, makes you realize how much garbage is in our food when you eat the real of the real.
We went to a goat farm where she makes all her own products from the goats milk, so we sampled cheeses, all very good.
We visited a few vineyards and did wine tastings . My favourite by far was called Merricks General Store. I’ve never liked red wines, and I actually really liked some of their reds, not to mention their whites were amazing. Never thought I would say that about wine. So I asked if they sold their wine outside of the country, she said they don’t even sell their wine outside of their store. So I don’t think I’ll find it in Canada anytime soon.
We had lunch at a little cafe in Flinders at a shop that makes their own chocolate. It was really interesting to see this family business and how passionate they are on the art and technique of world class chocolate making. I’ve never had it so good. So we sampled a few chocolates and had lunch, all amazing. They use no sugar or any kind of filler in the chocolate, even the fruit fillings are very pure jammed fruits. Nothing like I’ve ever had before.
We also visited a strawberry farm. I didn’t care for the strawberry wines. They reminded me a bit of that cheap cooler you get in Canada called Growers. The ciders were okay. But the actual strawberries that you can pick and the ice cream were very nice.
We also took some scenic stops along the way. Very beautiful area. These sheds are interesting, they are along the beach for people to store their beach stuff, but no one is allowed to live in them or live along the beach. But some of these sell for $250,000 Australian, which is not too far off from the Canadian dollar. Just a storage shed. Save your money, buy a van and use the rest of the money on wine.
I’ve since left Australia and have landed in the gorgeous country of New Zealand. I really enjoyed Australia and would definitely come back to explore other parts of it. I found it easy to get around, and people were friendly and welcoming to me. They are very much like Americans however they don’t care for that comparison I found, but they really are!
When I was at the Melbourne airport I found this bear who wandered a bit far from the tundra. His coat is looking a little rough, maybe I should take him back to Churchill MB the next time I go…until next time!