As I use this blog to document my travels, and act as an online journal, I thought it would be fun to share the travel diary I kept back in 2013 when I visited Australia. I recently discovered it in a big bag of travel paraphernalia I’ve kept, so had to have a read. It made me chuckle. I sometimes cringe at what I write, especially the entries where I was definitely slightly intoxicated! But it also reminded me of little details, anecdotes, names, places and events that I had previously forgotten or had become blurry in my mind.
So here it is… Part 1 of my unedited handwritten (now typed!) thoughts on Australia. Please don’t judge me!
After a mammoth journey that seemed to last forever, we’ve finally arrived in Melbourne! The journey from London to Abu Dhabi took 6 and a bit hours. The journey from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne was 13 hours! The time difference has thrown me. I haven’t got a clue what time or day it is! I bought a neck pillow at Heathrow, which was a good purchase. I actually slept for about 5 hours on the plane.
Our hostel/hotel in Melbourne is nice. Modern & clean. Got a 2 person room and the bathroom is dead opposite so I might risk dashing out in my towel! Going to go off and explore now!
So we had a wander. We saw Chinatown and some designer shops. We ended up in Nandos! My friend wasn’t happy about this but I tried to explain that Nandos in Oz is different! You don’t get refillable drinks and the salad’s different!
After being awake since 3am, wefell asleep as our alarm went off at 9. We finally woke up at about 11! We spent the day wandering around and seeing the sights. I LOVE Melbourne! It’s such a chilled out, relaxed but busy city. We walked down to Federation Square, saw some street performer, who was actually quite funny. We walked over to the Southbank and saw the sights. Really nice! I had lemon chicken and noodles for lunch from some food court we found. After that, we went to Eureka Sky Deck – AMAZING vies of the city! I definitely recommend it. Then we strolled over to the Botanical gardens and war memorial shrine, which was beautiful. There’s a hole in the ceiling, so that on Remembrance Day each year, the light reflects on the plaque on the floor. Took loads of photos! I’ve been a proper tourist!
Cool things I’ve discovered:
- McDonalds sell macaroons
- Alf from Home & Away is the Joan Collins equivalent in the Australian Snickers adverts
Had a fab day today! We went on a tour to Philip Island to the penguin parade. Philip Island is absolutely beautiful. It’s a conservation area, so it’s all natural and rugged.
As usual, I was totally unprepared for the weather! It was cold and rainy today, and I had no coat or umbrella.
Simon (our guide) picked us up at 9:30am and took us on a tour of Melbourne whilst we picked the others up. We drove down to St Kilda to pick up some people and it looks amazing. I wish we had more time to explore.
Our first stop was an animal park where we fed kangaroos and alpacas and saw all the Australian animals. I loved the albino kangaroo! I purchased a poncho just in case it rained! Next we arrived at a chocolate factory, so obviously I bought a few bars to try!
We finally stopped to see the scenery along the coast. It was so beautiful, but so cold! It was really windy and at one point I thought I was going to go blind from sand blowing in my eyes, so I retreated back onto the bus. When we arrived at The Nobbies (hahaha), the first thing I did was buy a fleece so I could tolerate the weather! If I hadn’t have bought it, I really wouldn’t have enjoyed the day. We wrapped ourselves up and tied our hoodies tightly so we could brave the weather and walk along the boardwalk to Nobbies Blowhole. As you can imagine, the name amused me greatly! We looked like Kenny from South Park!
After the Nobbies, we went on a nature drive to see wallabies and geese as drove down to the Penguin Parade. I took loads of photos of the scenery, but we weren’t allowed to take pics of the actual Penguin Parade as the flash can damage their eyes, although loads of Japanese tourists ignored this.
The penguins rolled back onto the beach after sunset, after being carried in by the waves. They waddled in groups over the beach onto the grass to nest either in the ready made boxes or in nests they have made themselves. They are so tiny! They’re called Fairy Penguins. They come home after dark so hawks and eagles don’t eat them.
Today has been a very sad day, but also one of the best days of my life.
Disaster struck first thing this morning when my GHD’s stopped working. I was absolutely gutted. A sad, sad day.
On the plus side, I have fulfilled a lifelong dream! I only went on the Neighbours tour!!! OMG it was amazing!! I visited actual Ramsay Street, aka Pin Oak Court. It’s a lot smaller than I imagined. Then we visited the studio where its filmed and saw the garage, Grease Monkey’s etc. They use a fire exit as the outside of the school and the studio itself as the front of the hospital. Amazing! But….. We met Sonya! An actual real life Neighbours actor! Her real name’s Eva something. She so nice. She answered questions, had photos with us and we got her autograph. We also saw Callum being driven around to a location on set. This has been the highlight of my holiday so far!
After the Neighbours tour, we went to The Costume Exhibition at the ACMI. It was really good. It had loads of different costumes from films such as Spiderman, Braveheart, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Pirates of the Caribbean, Batman… They even had Marilyn Monroe’s dress from The 7 Year Itch. The thing that struck me the most was how skinny the actresses must be to fit in them. They were tiny! Especially Audrey Hepburn’s! My particular favourites were the Elizabeth I costumes and a peacock dress from An Old Friend.
I was brave this evening and tried Tzatziki! We went to a Greek restaurant called Stalacites and had mixed meat giros. Yummy! I’m now in bed with a macaroon, having just packed ready for our flight up to Cairns tomorrow. I’ve really enjoyed Melbourne and would love to live here. It’s definitely become one of my favourite places.