3 words: GREAT OCEAN ROAD.
Jaw dropping beautiful drive with the ocean (what’s the difference between an ocean and the sea, and how can you tell the difference?) and the mountains and forest-y nature on the other. Thank you, college flatmate for visiting Melbourne and renting a car and then driving it.
Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back to Day 1.
I arrive in Melbourne, I flew into Avalon Airport and then took the SkyBus to the CBD and then the tram to my hotel in St Kilda beach. I got to the hotel around 2pm, just in time for check in, but very hungry.
I walked immediately to the beach and the Esplanade, in search for food.
Found pretty good food, albeit a bit pricey.
After lunch, I wandered to Luna Park, only to find it closed.
I continued wandering until I reached Aclan street with lots of shops, restaurants and cake shops. And of course, I bought a cake, which was very yummy.
There’s just little random art installations on the street of my hotel.
Later on, I met my friend for dinner in the city.
GREAT OCEAN ROAD!
It’s just absolutely stunning. There are day tours that I suppose you can go on from Melbourne CBD, but I think renting a car is a pretty good option. You have control over your time, you can stop whenever you want and just take it all in.
Here are some notable stops we did (I honestly don’t know what the other places were called, because when we see a parking at the side of the road and a stairs leading down to the beach, we just go):
- Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch
- Lorne Pier
- Gibson Steps
- Twelve Apostles
- Loch Ard Gorge
It’s however a pretty drive. We left CBD around 7:30am and came back almost around 8pm.
I have been wanting to go to the Alice in Wonderland exhibit at ACMI X ever since it started (catch it before it ends on Oct 7). Anyone who knows me, knows that I have an obsession with Alice, and this exhibit delivered.
The Mad Hatter Tea Party is such fun.
I also got to go around the Screen Worlds, the free permanent exhibit at ACMI.
I also visited NGV and looked at the free permanent exhibits, because I shelled out on Alice, I can’t shell out anymore for their visiting MoMa exhibit.
I wandered around CBD, and I also visited the State Library, which aside from being a very impressive library, also has some exhibits about books and Victoria, including Ned Kelly’s armor.
Then I headed back to St Kilda and waited for the penguin colony to swim back at sunset.
The penguins swim back slowly, one or two at a time, and then as it gets later, more and more penguins appeared. And they even walk on the boardwalk right next to you, and you can hear everyone’s collective coos. They are fairy penguins, so they have a blueish coat and they are so tiny and oh so cute.
Unfortunately, my phone takes really bad photos and videos at night. So I highly, highly recommend, you go for a visit and see them penguins in person.Watch Instagram Story
When in Melbourne, they say that you must try the coffee. So I had brunch at Higher Ground.
I also explored some lane ways, including the touristy Hosier Lane. I wasn’t impressed by Hosier Lane though, the graffiti look messy and gritty and pretty crowded with tourists.
I walked to Queen Victoria Market and explored some of the random shops.
And I took the free City Circle Tram, which apparently even includes commentary about each of the stops. It’s great for tourists and it’s so charming.
Afterwards, I headed to Abbotsford Convent, which had a Melbourne Fringe furniture exhibit.
Then called it an early day, because I had an early flight back to Adelaide the next day.
I flew back home. Until next time, Melbourne.