Adventure, baby!

Victoria

31st Birthday in Melbourne: Day 1

For my birthday this year, Alec took me to Melbourne. We were blessed with lovely weather. A full three days of sunshine, wheee! We stayed at The Olsen, a fabulous new hotel in South Yarra, decorated with the artwork of John Olsen.

I love this – I did take one home with me!

Stylish room with artwork by Olsen.

Morning light – hitting the shops.

We had a lazy Saturday morning before wandering down Chapel St to grab some brunch and shop. Fun for me, perhaps less fun for Alec.

Feed me!

Coffeeeeee!

It was then off to the Melbourne Museum to see Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition

Who knew Melbourne would be so sunny!

The exhibition was great. It contained a lot of artefacts that had been recovered from the wreck as well as telling many personal stories of people who survived and perished. It also had sobering facts about the sheer number of people who died.

“I’m the king of the world!”

Snack time at Koko Black.

Nom nom.

One more coffee for the road.

Heating from the inside out. Brr Melbourne is cold.

Tasty pudding.

Mousse martini. Looks amazing. Made me feel ill afterwards.

Walking through Melbourne in the fading light.
Tram!

Hip hop dancers in Federation Square.

Dinner – a local Thai joint.

Yay, we’re in Melbourne!

Easter 2009 – Great Ocean Road, Day 4

Last day! We drove to Port Fairy for breakfast to start the day. Port Fairy is a cute little historic town with an unsavory whaling past. Nowadays it’s a tourist stop on the Great Ocean Road. The town has some gorgeous old buildings and lovely cafes. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and took a stroll around the waterfront – around an island area that used to be home to an Aboriginal tribe.

We cut cross country to get back to the airport, stopping along the way at Tower Hill, an area that was formed by a volcano. We went on several bush walks along the crater rim and saw wild animals like emus and more koalas.



Sadly it was then time to head back to make our plane at Avalon. We had one last stop in Geelong to watch the sunset, then it was back home to rainy Sydney …

Easter 2009 – Great Ocean Road, Day 3

After breakfast we head off to Cape Otway Lightstation for scones and tea, plus a stunning view of the coast.

We then head on up the coast to Port Campbell National Park, where the Twelve Apostles are.

Along the way we stopped at the majestic Gibson Steps and then at the Twelve Apostles look out. The Twelve Aposltes were very beautiful, but after seeing so many photos they weren’t as impressive as the rest of the rock formations I knew nothing about.

I really loved Loch Ard Gorge (below), named after a clipper ship that ran aground nearby in 1878. We also stopped by the London Arch (formerly London Bridge until it collapsed while people were on it).


We drove out of the park until we reached our destination for the evening, Warrnambool. Nothing much to report here – it’s a great place to stop during whale season, but that’s about it. The whales have their babies right off shore, so it would be great to pass by again at the right time.

Easter 2009 – Great Ocean Road, Day 2

Today we planned a day of nature. We drove the long way to Otway Fly, a walk through the national park that includes a boardwalk through the trees. There were lots of people there unfortunately, which ruined the ambiance somewhat, but it was still a majestic walk through the treetops, looking at some amazingly tall trees and huge ferns.

Our next stop was Triplet Falls, a bush walk that wound past three waterfalls.
We had hoped to visit another waterfall after this, and drove there quickly as the sun was starting to sink in the sky. We figured we had about 30 mins until the sun set, so dashed through the bush trying to find the waterfall before the sun completely set and we were left in the dark in the bush. It was a little like being in a movie where the main characters do something completely stupid, like run into the bush at sunset with no phones, torches or supplies and then get eaten by rodents of unusual size … after about 15 minutes of running through the bush and still not finding the waterfall, we admitted defeat and quickly returned to the car – just in time to get back to the road before dark completely fell.
Dinner was at one of Apollo Bay’s most highly recommended venues, Buff’s Bistro, an Italian / contemporary Australian little place that was booked out solid the whole time we were there. The food was delish, the staff friendly and the wine they served was local and matched well to the meals. Yum!

Easter 2009 – Great Ocean Road, Day 1

For our first Easter weekend for just the two of us, we decided to drive the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. We flew down to Avalon Airport after work on Thursday night and spent Good Friday checking out Geelong (what’s with the weird peg people?) and then driving along the coast.

We had a quick stop at Torquay, then drove on to Bells Beach, where the Rip Curl Surf Pro was being held. We stopped off for a while and watched the grommet competition that was being run at the time. Next stop was Anglesea for lunch and a play on the beach, followed by a stop off at Airley Inlet lighthouse, which was used in the TV series “Round The Twist”.

It was then a windy drive to out evening accommodation in Apollo Bay. The road hugs the coast line so the whole drive is amazingly picturesque. Somewhere along one of the endless stretches of road we saw a few people had pulled their cars over and we standing around pointing their cameras into the bush. Being the stickybeak I am and always after a good photo, I pulled over also, and found that they were photographing koalas in the wild – right by the side of the road!

The koalas were sooo cute. Sleepy, grumpy little people. and they were really close to is – so close I could have reached our and given one a little pat if I didn’t think it might have gouged my eyes out for waking it from its eucalyptus-induced coma.

We spent tonight and the following night at a cute little BnB called Captain’s On The Bay – highly recommend.

Oh hai! Don’t disturb my nomming!

Melbourne Long Weekend – Day 3

We booked into our hotel – the Grand Hotel managed by Sofitel on Spencer/Flinders Sts. It’s perfectly located, near the Google office and right near the shops, water and trams. It’s a really lovely old school hotel, beautifully refurbished with modern amenities. We had a problem with our hot water, but they were extremely helpful so no complaints here!

Alec takes a look from the balcony.


Our awesome room.

Out and about. The giant purse is awesome.

The heritage-listed Shot Tower in the middle of the shopping centre.


Alec takes a break in Fitzroy Gardens.


The museum complex.


Hot Rod show at the museum complex.

Cars with amazing paint jobs.


On a tram!

All aboard!

At the Melbourne Aquarium.

I couldn’t get this guy in focus, but he was super cute.

View of Melbourne from the aquarium.

Alec checks out a strange exhibit.

I don’t remember what this was …

Jellyfish … ewwww.


Blubbery!

Japanese spider crab. Freaky!

Giant happy ray.


The fish viewing room. Cool!

We met Alice and Jamie for dinner at the 100 Mile Cafe. It serves only food that has been sourced within 100 miles.

This bread was yuuuum.





Alec’s entree. No idea what is under that green stuff.

Alice’s seafood spring rolls.

My entree – I don’t remember what it was called, but it was full of vege stuff and had an amazing dressing.

My vege plate.

Alec’s beef.

Jamie’s vege dish.

“I’m not a tree hugger!”


Walking back to the hotel we saw all kinds of cool sculptures lit up around the city.


Melbourne Long Weekend – Day 2

A cruisy day in Ferntree Gully.

The adorable house in the bush where we stayed.

The Davies’ old dog, Chicka – a half-cattle dog, half-dalmation mix.

We did the 1000 step walk in the Dandenongs, which was a beautiful walk down hill (ow my thighs!) through the bush – we saw a wallaby! – followed by about 760 steps back up. Not 1000 steps. Go figure.

The track going up the stairs is also called the Kokoda trail in memory. Along the track are several memorial markers with info about Kokoda. Really interesting stuff and a great idea.

It certainly felt like a long way!


Melbourne Long Weekend – Day 1

Alec and I flew down on Friday night for a long weekend in old Melbourne-town.

We stayed with some friends of his and their kids in Ferntree Gully, in the Dandenong Ranges.

Alec gets attacked by munchkins.

Lookout – that’s Melbourne waaaay in the distance.


Pretty sculpture in the park.


We stopped at Pie In The Sky for lunch.


Spinach, feta and wild rice pie.


Alec’s beef pastie.

Sassafrass lolly shop.


On Phillip Island.

Nobbies.



Watching sunset and waiting for the penguins to show up at Port Phillip Bay.

Penguins! We couldn’t take photos so this is from the wonderful internet. The penguins were awesome – so cute and making the funniest sounds. It was amazing to see them in the wild.

Brief Melbourne Flirtation

I had to fly down to spend a day in Melbourne for work. Apart from the unexpected chill factor, it was a very groovy city that I popped into.

You can’t get hot chocolates like this in Sydney!

Tired and hungry at a funky cafe.

Cool sign in the cafe.

My breakfast. Heavy on the eggs.

Olah’s half-a-pig brekkie. Holy crap!