When I went there: January 2014
I visited Melbourne after being in Fiji on my year of travelling. I was there with my friend from back home who had travelled out to visit me for 2 months. We left Fiji needing a breather from the heat but visited Melbourne in the middle of a heat wave at 44 degrees.
We stayed in Discovery hostel in the city centre in a 6 bed female dorm. This was the smallest dorm ever and the girls already staying there had made it like their bedroom. We could barely get to our bunks for all the bags and clothes across the floor. Our bunks were so close together our belongings were piled up between the beds. The city centre reminded me a lot of London with all the cafes and little alleys. I also felt a vibe of San Francisco with the trams. We made friends with a Dutch girl while in Sydney and met up again in Melbourne and joined her on a tour of Philip Island. I was very excited about this trip as on Philip Island you get to see penguins up close, by the time we got there it was dark and the visibility was very dark. The seating was like the seating at a football stadium but looking down onto a beach instead of a pitch. I was disappointed it was so cold and dark and that we only had an half an hour of day light. We also visited a wildlife park where we saw emus and kangaroos then we went onto see the Knobbies a scenic area that looked a lot like being back in Scotland.
We moved onto St Kilda from the city centre and stayed in St Kilda beach house. It was very similar to Bondi in Sydney but nicer. The beach was long with lots of cafes and restaurants and has its own pier. Further up was Luna Land, a funfair. We made lots of friends in St Kilda and the nightlife was excellent for backpackers.
We went on a two day trip from St Kilda along the Great Ocean Road. This was one of my favourite things I did in Australia and I definitely recommend doing it. We were picked up early Saturday morning and had a large amount of driving to do. Ride tours unlike other tours drove towards the end of the road first and worked it’s way back to avoid large tour groups. We stopped for tea and biscuits half way, then stopped at a cheese factory. We got freebie cheese samples which was wonderful then went on our way for lunch. We got some food from a bakery then ate at Tower Hill, a dormant volcano beside the great ocean road. We saw wild koalas and emus. After lunch we hit the great ocean road. The road is so famous for its scenic lime stone rock formations in the ocean. There are many different ones to see such as the grotto, bay of Islands and London bridge. We visited a small beach with nice views of the bay of Islands but was completely invaded by flies. I came to the conclusion I shall never live permanently in Australia because the flies are so annoying. We stayed that night in a hostel in Port Campbell and had a BBQ. I was loving the steak, sausages, pasta salad and rice. We had all bought some alcohol to sit and drink at the Great Ocean Roads most famous attraction the 12 Apostles. We got there for sunset and it was a beautiful view. There was a chance to see penguins coming up the beach but it got far to dark. The next morning we woke early to visit more along the great ocean road. We stopped at another beach with a cave and some pretty lookout points. Then it was back to the 12 apostles to see them during the day. The 12 apostles were my favourite, I don’t know if it’s because they’re the most famous but they looked spectacular. Before lunch we made our way into the mountains to do a rain forest walk. The rain forest was incredible, huge tall trees and was so quiet. We stopped for lunch at a small town on a beach front and had the smallest sandwich known to man. After that we started to make our way back to Melbourne driving side by side along the ocean. We stopped to see wild kangaroos and other viewpoints. One of our last stops was to see the lighthouse from TV show ’round the twist’ which I watched as a kid. We made a quick stop to see koalas on the main road. Our tour guide pointed out a baby koala on one of the trees, we all watched him and he decided he was going to try and jump to another tree but kept backing down. Eventually he went for it and made it, we all clapped and cheered.
After our tour we headed back to celebrate Australia Day on St Kilda beach with some beers and snacks. It was a great weekend and really was one of my favoutire things.
Verdict: I loved Melbourne, I made friends that became like a family and experienced great things. I feel Sydney is the place to visit for tourists but Melbourne is a place you would settle down and call home Go Back? Yes.