Melbourne is not only a fantastic city located in one of the most amazing countries in the world. It is also the starting point to stunning wild and remote destinations. We arrive in Melbourne – the dynamic Australian town – often ranked as the most liveable city on earth.
Melbourne is charming and so is the Ovolo hotel, where we enjoyed spending the next two nights. We get our first impressions of Melbourne by walking around the street art at Hosier Lane, Rutledge Lane and the South Melbourne market. Later we visit Some Space, which is a pop-up at the same location as the market, focused on design and creative stuff. Then we head to Gertrude Street in Fitzroy and have some drinks at Wilde.Next day morning we kick off the road trip towards the Great Ocean Road. The starting point is Bells Beach. We have lunch at Lorne, a charming seaside town on Louttit. We continue driving along the Great Ocean Road and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the famous Twelve Apostles. We didn’t have any hotel booked for that night so we ended up staying at Hostel Ocean House Backpackers. Yes, it is a hostel with shared room and a shared bathroom. In the same evening, we have a few drinks at the Port Campbell Hotel pub right at the main street. We interact with locals. Most of them are surfers or are off to WA to work for several weeks on mining companies.
December 31st: Last day of the year. Quick brekky at 12 Rocks Beach Bar Cafe in Port Campbell before we were back on the road heading to Bay of Islands National Park. According to the locals we met the night before at the Pub, the most scenic part of the Great Ocean Road trip is between Bells Beach and Bay of Islands National Park. They were absolutely right. It’s gorgeous! Soon after we drove back to Melbourne airport where we took our flight to Tassie.
All details about our trip to Tasmania are in the next post…On Jan 4th we fly back to Melbourne from Hobart to spend our last days in Aussieland. We drive directly to Philipps Island, which is just a 90 min drive from Melbourne. The main purpose of our trip to this cute island is to see the wild Penguin Parade but in the case you are in the mood you can also visit the Koala Conservation Centre and the Chocolate Factory, where I didn’t want to go as it looked not too interesting to me.
On Philipps Island each night at sunset Penguins return ashore after a day’s fishing and we are there witnessing this magical procession. There are many ways to watch the penguins. Since we are seeking a more personalised and intimate wildlife experience, we book the Ultimate Penguin Tour at Philipps Island. Designed for groups of up to 10, this tour takes visitors to a stunning, secluded beach to view the little penguins. I truly recommend the Ultimate Tour in order to experience the wilderness at its best.
St Kilda is lovely. Hanging in this charming hood, shopping at Acland Street and walking along the ocean are the best way to explore this part of Melbourne. We enjoy an awesome sunset with food & drinks at Republica St Kilda. Wonderful memories. Melbourne is also very much about the food. In our last day we have brekky at Il Fornaio Bakery and then we say goodbye to Australia from the rollercoaster at the vintage Luna Park Melbourne.
With it’s beautiful architecture and style, Melbourne is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, but also a getaway to remote locations. The Great Ocean Road is a highlight. It’s a scenic drive along the coast with breathtaking views to the ocean. It’s amazing how close you can drive to the sea and all the lovely towns you find along the road. I don’t recommend anyone to do this drive in just one day. Slow down and appreciate it all has to offer. It’s one of the most beautiful drives on earth.
We travelled to Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road from December 29th to December 31st, 2013 and then we return to Melbourne and visit Philipps Island from January 4th to January 6th, 2014. Stayed at Ovolo hotel, Hostel Ocean House Backpackers, Oak Tree Lodge and Middle Park Hotel. Had our meals at The European, Republica St Kilda and Il Fornaio Bakery. Flew from Melbourne to Singapore with Singapore Airlines.
In the bag: Long sleeves, Sweater; Long pants; Light clothes and Swim wear for the day.