This short trip to Victoria state, and veer left to South Australia to visit my sister-in-law who lives in Mount Gambier, was good and very relaxing. I wish it was longer so I could see more of Melbourne and also Great Ocean Road. But, never mind, it means there is a reason we should go back there again! 🙂 This time our flight out to Melbourne was in reasonable hour and it was so smooth, thank you Qantas! We arrived in Tullamarine airport at 3pm local time, it took 3.5 hours from Perth to Melbourne. After waiting for almost half an hour for our rental car (Budget, you are bad!) we drove out of Melbourne to Ballarat. Ballarat is about an hour drive north west of Melbourne. We had 70th birthday party to attend that evening, and it was held out in the paddock, and it was so freezing cold.
The next day after visiting a close relatives, we were off to Mount Gambier in South Australia. It took us almost 3 hours or so from Ballarat to the Mount. We stayed at my sister-in-law’s house for two night before headed to Warrnambool in Victoria. Mount Gambier is just 17 km from the Victoria border and about 450 km south east of Adelaide. The city is known for its volcanic and limestone features and most notably its Blue Lake.
We only stayed a night at Warrnambool then headed to Melbourne. Warrnambool originates from the local indigenous Australians means land between two rivers or two swamps. It has an oceanic temperate climate where summers are cooler than in Melbourne and winters are slightly warmer.
Basically we only had 2.5 days in Melbourne. We stayed around Carlton area at the Rydges Hotel which is pretty handy. Trams, restaurants, mini-market, and shops are within walking distance, not to mention Victoria market just about 10 minutes walking from the Rydges. We mostly walked or jumped into the tram wherever we went around Melbourne. I love love love Melbourne. It’s just so full of characters and colors. The last time I went to Melbourne was a very long time ago, pre-children! Melbourne reminds me a bit of NYC. Its old character buildings mixed with modern touch of skyscrapers, the alleys and lanes, the markets, the trams, the arts, the yellow cabs, I like them all! Oh, and not to mention the people! Melburnians are more friendly and warmer than Sydneysiders (sorry!) We couldn’t believe that almost every where we went people are so helpful and chatty 🙂
Now let me bore you with lots of pictures during our time there…:)
Last night in Melbourne, my children and their father went to see an AFL game at Etihad stadium while I was having a night out with my girlfriend. Our night started out with having dinner first at the Vietnamese restaurant called Mekong. This little restaurant is so famous that it is always full, we had to share our little laminated table with a couple of strangers. But who cares, the pho was so delicious anyway!
Little we knew that evening there was ‘market night’ at China Town where people selling food at this little alley. All kind of food you could find that night, from satay, pad thai, paella, curries, and many more. Sadly our tummy were full, so we just bought kue lupis for dessert later…
After strolling around the market we continued to walk along the parliament building and decided to have coffee at one of the elegant cute looking cafe. But we ain’t dare to eat our lupis there, as we only ordered two cups of coffee and well, the surrounding looked a bit posh…tee-hee 🙂 So then we decided to go back to the Parliament building and sat on the stairs, over looking the lights and people milling around, then we demolished our lupis!
Til later, Melbourne…
watch AFL game at MCG stadium
jump on/off the trams
go to royal botanic gardens
lygon st, little italy – melbourne famous cafe and restaurant culture’s was born
fair foodstore, richmond
bourke st mall
queen victoria market