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Melbourne, Australia: Brighton Beach, St Kilda and Fitzroy area

The next day, I had to check out as I was changing hostel so that I could see one of my friends, who I travelled with in New Zealand. Once I had a shower and ate some toast, I took the free tram with my backpack on my back to Flinders Street. I could check in as it was too early so I placed in the luggage room before meeting the other two German girls at the State Library.img_20161128_122140

First, we looked around the library, where the main room looked like a scene from Harry Potter with a circle wooden centre piece, rows of table in a star shape and tall old-fashioned bookshelves against the four walls. There were also several different exhibitions inside including old drawings, information about the state of Victoria, books and the aboriginal culture.

After we travelled down to Flinders Station, we caught a bus to the outskirts of the city: Brighton Beach. I wanted to visit here because of the fact I’m from Brighton but in a completely different country. We walked along the promenade, gazing at the ocean with the wind blowing in our hair to the colourful beach hut. They were kind of similar to my hometown apart from we have much more of them spread out and some of them haven’t been painted in years. Along with all the other tourists around, we took some snaps but particularly the hut with the Australian flag.img_20161127_140830

A short walk away, we got the bus to St Kilda, an alternative place in Melbourne. On the main street, there were many cafes and restaurants, souvenir places and quirky shops. By this time, we were feeling hungry so we snucked into one of the eateries. I had my heart set on some fish and chips as we had been down the beach so I order a fish platter which included battered squid, a succulent fish piece, seafood stick and chip. It was so tasty plus it was a huge potion so I was stuffed after eating all of it.

We wandered towards the beach, where we looked around Luna Park. It’s similar to the one in Sydney but a little bigger and better ride. On the promenade, there was a market with lots of gift and painting stall. The girls and I got thin feathers in our hair to hippy ourselves up.img_20161127_162356

We strode along the pier, where little penguins were hiding within the rock. It’s amazing. How can wild penguin live in Australia?

After, we took the tram back to our hostel. As I was going through the door, I bumped into my friend from my New Zealand trip. That was easy. In the evening, we caught up at the bar at the hostel before retreating to our beds to sleep.

The following day, I got up, packed and had breakfast before checking out and loading my bag in the luggage room. My friend wanted to do the walking tour, which I had already done, so I met my two German friends, again, outside the State Library.img_20161128_122106

In the morning, we wandered around the Fitzroy area, grabbing a coffee and searching for some street area. There were loads of art painted around on different walls using bright colours. The art varied from piece to piece but they all looked cool. Melbourne is definitely a artistic, quirky place, which I loved as it reminded me of my hometown.

On the way back to my friend’s hostel, we popped into Coles to buy some ingredients to make lunch, where we had creamy tomato and vegetable pasta dish with garlic bread. It was actually so tasty.img_20161128_121921

After lunch, we walked around the shopping area, window shopping. The H&M shop in the centre was a unique place that looked like an art gallery with white walls, modern and a balcony around the edge. Once we had enough of shopping, we chilled at a hostel with a coffee, chatting on the Balcony. I’m so glad I met these girls on my tour; they are so lovely and easy-going.

Later on, I travelled back to my hostel to charge my phone and have a bite to eat. My flight wasn’t until 1.30am but I wanted to make sure I was there early enough. I had agreed to meet one of the German girls as she was leaving for Sydney by bus at 10pm and we had to go to the same station.

Lugging my backpack on my back, I walked to the tram station to meet my friend before parting ways. It’s been lovely hanging out with these two girlies!img_20161127_141711

Then caught the tram to Southern Cross station. We just relaxed and talked before saying goodbye. I took the Skybus to the Melbourne International airport, which took about 30 minutes.

I can’t quite believe I was leaving Australia. I have been living here for a year, interacting with the culture, working, travelling, making a life, home and friends. I don’t know when I will be back but it has been incredible and a part of my heart will always be here.

Melbourne, Australia: City tour, Botantical gardens and a night out

img_20161126_125451The following day, I had a bit of a lie in then met one of the German girls for complimentary breakfast consisting of toast and tea. The queue for food was long and people were just being slow as well as selfish. A person with common sense would think ‘there’s space in the toaster, let’s put in some bread for the next person’ but no, which is why the line was so slow. Anyway, once we had eaten, we grabbed out stuff and met the other German girl in the foyer.img_20161126_132256

Gassing all the way, we walked to the State Library to do the city free walking tour. There were guys there in green t-shirts so it was easy to find them. At 10.30am, a massive group gathered where we were split into two groups with a guide each.

We walked around the city with the tour guide commentating and providing information about different people and significant dates for the city of Melbourne. img_20161126_125203We wandered the ole Melbourne gaol, Carlton Square, State Parliament, Princess Theatre, Chinatown, Bourke Street mall, Block Arcade, Centre Place, Street Art, Federation Square, Flinders St Station, Yarra River and Royal Exhibition Centre. Halfway, we took a break to buy some sushi before carrying on. The guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and made the tour interesting. We ended the tour with a panoramic view of the city.img_20161126_130016

In the afternoon, one of the German girls and I ambled to the War Memorial and around the Botanical Garden, By the time we finished, we were feeling hungry and headed towards the Noodle Market but unfortunately it hadn’t opened yet. Instead, we look for a place to eat which was proper food but not too expensive. In the end, we found a restaurant in Chinatown, where we ordered two dishes: vegetable and tofu on crispy noodles and soy sauce noodles, and then shared. They were delicious. After, we headed back to the hostel for a bit of a rest.img_20161126_142752

In the evening, we decided to dress up a bit and have a night on the town. We started in the hostel bar as the drinks were cheap then went to ABC (Asian Beer Café), which the receptionist recommended. img_20161126_130257It seemed a bit random as it was inside a mall but it was actually quite good. The drink weren’t too bad and the music was good. We met some people including a guy from Colombia.

We stayed out until the early hours of the morning before heading back.

The Grampians and The Great Ocean road, Australia

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The following day, I woke up early to be picked up for my 2 day tour from Adelaide to Melbourne. On the bus there were mostly young traveller from Germany, Italy and England. The first part of the day was just driving through South Australia over the boarder to Victoria, where we stopped for lunch. I bought a subway and chocolate scone.DCIM118GOPRO

`Back on the road, we carried on to the Grampians National Park and headed to Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, giving us information about the area and a brief history of aboriginals. We drove through the hilly, windy roads to the Jaws of Death. We hiked to view stunning sights of the surrounding area with different rock formations. The bus then hit the cark park where we climbing down numerous stairs to McKenzie waterfalls. It was slightly crowded but I could still see the wonders of the fall. Next we went to the amazing Reeds Lookout to see for miles of the lake and the Grampians.DCIM118GOPRO

As it started to become dawn, we journeyed to Halls Gaps and parked up by the cricket ground. There were so many kangeroos jumping and laying on the ground waiting to have photos taken. It was such an incredible sightseeing wild kangeroos. I managed to get several selfies with the roos.DCIM118GOPRO

On the way back to our hostel, we collected some pizzas to have for dinner. In the kitchen area, we spread out the pizza along a long table and tucked into them. There were three veggo options: margarita, vegetable and feta and olives. They were so delicious and just what I needed to eat.img_20161124_184105

In the evening, we chilled with a glass of wine, playing cards before having an early night, sharing a dorm with the rest of the group.

With alarms going off from 5am, it was hard not to feel awake. Once I had a shower and packed, I grabbed some breakfast ranging from croissant, toast, cheese to cereal and yoghurt. We pretty much on schedule, leaving Halls Pass at 6.30am to travel along the famous Great Ocean Road.DCIM118GOPRO

After a couple of hours drive, we reached our first stop of the Bay of Islands. The yellow layered rock formations were incredible. The weather was the best at this stage with clouds in the sky and my hair blowing across my face.

Next point we went to was London Bridge which is a rock formation looking like a bridge, funnily, apart from losing an arch.

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Actually, it’s a bit of a funny story. Several years ago, the general public could actually stand on London Bridge, where three friends visited this DCIM118GOPROarea. As two on them were on the rock, one of the arches fell into the water, and got stuck stranded. They called out to the third person, who was sleeping in the car, and eventually she came to the rescue finding the police and rescue teams to help them. Now, we can just view the bridge.

Driving a little further along the road, we got the Loch Arc Gorge, where we could walk down 72 steps to the sandy beach overlooking the limestone cliffs. We hiked around the area to two other places. This road just gets better and better with the sights.DCIM118GOPRO

The highlight of the day was the Twelve Apostle, which was full of tourist but the tall stones jutted out of the ocean sporadically looked amazing even if the weather still hadn’t brightened up. It’s strange that there are called ‘Twelve’ because there are only seven and even when it was named there were only nine. Weird. We stopped off on Apollo Bay where we could see the Twelve Apostles in the distance from the golden beach.

We were taken through the rainforest to our lunch spot, where we ate a picnic quickly as it was so cold.DCIM118GOPRO

Once we had grouped back on the bus, we took a trip to Kennett River in search of Koalas. As we were walking along the path with lanky trees either side, birds clustered together wanting food from tourist, landing people head and shoulders. I was slight scared of them but as we returned, I had no choice as the green birds landed on my head with me giving a small screech and scrunch up eyes in terror. In the trees, we managed to see four cute koalas but unfortunately they were way to high to be photographed.DCIM118GOPRO

We travelled back to the start of the Great Ocean road to take a photpo of the official sign and The Memorial Arch. Just a little further, we ended the road at the lighthouse where the TV show ‘Round the Twist’ was filmed.

After that, we drove for a couple hours to our final destination into cosmopolitan Melbourne, where we got dropped off at our hostel. During the tour, I became friends with two German girls: one of them was staying at the same hostel as me.DCIM118GOPRO

By the time evening came around, I was feeling exhausted with all the hopping off and on the bus so I collapsed into my bed at a decent hour. I was so looking forward to some sleep.

Adelaide, Austraila: chocolate tour, art gallery and botanical gardens

Panicking to a recent received email, I jutted out of my bed. I basically got an email to say that my flight from Ayers Rock to Adelaide had been cancelled and that I could switch to a flight from Sydney to Adelaide that evening. How was I going to get to Sydney in time? I didn’t want to pay for another flight. I tried to ring but no answer so I thought when I get to the airport it would get sorted. I missed a call from the airline, who told me to ring them back urgently. Once I did, it was concluded that I was going to get a later flight at midday then fly to Sydney then to Adelaide, six hours after the initial flight time.  At least I would get there today.img_20161123_100921

I now had a morning to kill before getting the shuttle to the airport. I really didn’t do anything. When I checked in at the airline desk, they told me the reason for the change of flight and gave me a $15 voucher for the restaurant to get lunch as kind of compensation.

Through security, I purchased a salad sandwich, a chocolate muffin and a soy latte then waited for my flight to be called. It was a standard sort of flight where the time flew by and soon enough I had landed in Sydney. On board, however, I did have some delicious snacks of cheese biscuits, savoury bites, a muffin and a chocolate.img_20161123_103214

I changed terminal to the Quantas area then checked in for this flight, where I could board an earlier flight, departing in 45 minutes. Luckily, it didn’t take too long going through security so in no time I was sitting on my seat, waiting for the plane to take off. On the flight, I ended up chatting to the girl next to me who was a university student from Adelaide. As well as eating our complimentary dinner of salmon salad and red wine. Again, like a blink of an eye, we were on solid ground at Adelaide airport.img_20161123_121719

Once I had collected my bag from the conveyor belt, I tried to find the airport shuttle but I was unsuccessful so I took the public bus instead. It was cheaper and only a five minute walk to my hostel. As the receptionist wanted to take a 3% surcharge for my card, I walked about 10 minutes to find a cash point before returning and paying him. By the time I was all sorted, it was about 10pm and I was exhausted so I just went to bed early ready for a full day the next day.

I only had one full day in Adelaide as my tour was only leaving the following day, so I wanted to make the most of the day and get up early. I had heard that there wasn’t too much to do in this city.

As soon as I was ready, I left the hostel to explore my surroundings. I had done a little bit of research so I first I wandered through Central market, where they were selling fruit, vegetable, clothes, jewellery and some souvenirs. img_20161123_121956Next I went to the Haigh’s chocolate factory. When I walked inside, the smell of chocolate filled my nose. I tried to do a tour straight away but unfortunately it was full up so I booked a place for an afternoon tour. From here, I walk through Himeji garden towards the other side of town but stopped halfway for a soy latte as I had already walked about 3km.

I carried on walking up the main street until I hit the National Wine Centre of Australia. I had just missed the only tour for the day so instead I did a self-guided tour. I could smell different grapes and find out about how different kinds of wine are made. I thought I would be able to do sometasting but part of the building was closed due to a private function. Right next to the centre was the botanic gardens, where I leisurely strolled around, admiring the flowers, lily pads, fountains and scenery in general.img_20161123_131143

By now it was lunchtime and my stomach started to grumble. What did I feel like? Sushi, of course. It’s never hard to find a cheap, good sushi counter in Australia. I took a rest in a nearby park to eat.

After I dawdled along North Terrace, where all the touristy spots and museums are: old and current parliament house,  Government House, National War Memorial, State library, South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia. I decided to look around the art gallery which featured old and new Australian paintings, temporary gallery about a modern perspective about the World Wars, Japanese art and some contemporary art. I love just moseying around a new museum, inspecting, comparing and admiring the art work. Sometimes I get lost in thought, considering at every detail, thinking about their inspiration and the materials they have used to create their work.

When I had finished, I window-shopped along the main shopping street filled with chain stores, souvenirs and Christmas decorations.img_20161123_104411

Then I strolled back to the chocolate factory, ready for my tour. A large group of us gathered in a room, where a lady gave a brief history of the company, where the chocolate bean comes from and some delicious tasting. She gave us more information about the making of the chocolate through timelines on the wall then showed us around the area. People were in the factory making, marking and packaging the chocolate.  At the end, we were given a dark chocolate, honeycomb piece before we were able to look around the shop to purchase some products. However, as I’m a traveller with limited space and continuing onto hot countries, it would have been a great idea to buy some of the chocolate.

I headed back to my hostel via Coles to get some dinner. In the hostel I just had some food, sorted a couple of things out and skyped my mum. I ended up going to bed early as I was feeling tired and I was going to be picked up pretty early the next day.

I like the city of Adelaide and wished I had a few more day there to explore the surroundings. It bigger enough to have everything a city provides but smaller enough to not be overcrowded.

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