Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne.

The place that I got to enjoy the SUN, SEA, SAND & SNOW together!

It was an impromptu trip as I got it cause I won the challenge of finding a winter place in June with confirmed snow and the plane tickets that cost less than RM1000 per pax for the return trip.

Needless to say, the trip was awesome!

Just look at how happy I was

It was a 8 days and 7 nights trip. As usual we took Air Asia from KLIA2.

For Malaysians, visa is a must. Apply the ETA @ https://www.eta.homeaffairs.gov.au/ETAS3/etas.

The cost is only $20 and the steps are easy. We will be informed via SMS or email on the application status. Paper documents is not required as it is directly link to the passport.
It”s a multiple entry visa with 1 year validity. Strictly not to be used for working.

At the airport immigration, e-gates are available for Malaysians. Its quite simple and the queue was also bearable.
After the e-gates, while waiting for the customs, you can see their officers randomly approaching tourist for queries. Even we were asked for our itinerary, hotel location and all those sort of questions.

From the google-research that I did, SkyBus was the most efficient airport transfer. The return trip cost is about $38 per pax.
Their drop off / pick up point is right in front of your hotel. Just call them a day before your return trip to reserve your slot.

p/s: The CAB service is a big NO! NO! Its super expensive! Tried that and immediately regretted it.

We stayed at Hotel Mercure @ Lt Bourke St.
The location of this hotel is just perfect.It was at the mid-section of Chinatown and Lt Bourke St.
All of the city attractions can be accessed by walking. The tram station was right in front of the hotel entrance and I didn’t even use it once. We walked all the way.
Lt Bourke St is a street mall. Hence, there are endless shops and eateries for you. There is also this huge H&M store just round the corner. If you are a fan, like me.

See, that’s the hotel entrance and the tram station

First day there, we visited all the attractions in the city – Flinders Station, Victoria Library, Yarra River, Chinatown, Federation Square and many more.

Look who I found in the library:

There are lots of day tours provider at Chinatown. They provide tours with a variety of budget for you to choose.

We selected the small group tour that cost est $100 per pax for each trip. Our selected tours were:

1. Phillip Island
2. Great Ocean Road
3. Yarra Valley Winery Tour
4. Mt Bhuller

Day 2 : Philip Island.

The tour started at about 8 am and the first stop was Meru Park for us to see the koalas and kangaroos. We spend quite long time here feeding the kangaroos as the koala was sleeping.

Koalas are sleepy heads.

while kangaroos are so adorable. My personal preference.

Especially when there is food around. They get so friendly.

So fluffy and cute. So many of them.

And this baby kangaroo… oh!

For the second stop you get to choose between the Chocolate Factory and Cape Woolamai.
We choose Cape Woolamai and it didn’t disappoint us.

Imagine huge waves, cloudy day and strong wind. Bad combination? But it was so good for the pictures.

My-I believe I could fly moment happen here, right at this moment…

The whole view was just out of this world.

 

Then we moved on to the actual highlight of the day – the Penguin Show.
We watch penguins coming back to their home after having a long day at the sea.

The penguins were so tiny and cute and there were so many of them .

We are not allowed to take pictures once the show start.
This are the last few that we took.
Look at how patiently all of us were waiting in a cold winter night for the penguins to come back home.

There was something about siting there and catching the glimpse of the penguins swimming back to the shore and walking towards their burrow. It was like an achievement in each penguin’s arrival.  Everyone was so excited.

Just a tip -A binocular will come in-handy.

As the guide said, walk back towards the main entrance half way thru the show and you will be able to see the penguins everywhere.

We did that. The guide was right. There were so many of them.

Ever saw penguins crossing the pathway and causing the traffic to stand still? Like some VVIP?

Nope?

We did.

The whole crowd came to a stand still when 4 of the penguins decided to cross the pathway to their burrow.

What a sight it was.

What a day it was.

Day 3: The Great Ocean Road.

A must visit when you are in Melbourne but definitely not for anyone with a weak-stomach. 2 of our tour friend got sick and couldn’t handle the journey despite eating medicines.

We made a lot of stops to ease the road effect.

Starting with this.

Literally everyone stops and take a picture here.

While everyone busy to book the spot, we escaped to the beach behind. Its just a narrow pathway and a beautiful beach.

The highlight of the Great Ocean Road is the 12 Apostles.

Standing at the cliff, counting the 12 Apostles and hearing the sound of the waves crashing while enjoying the sea breeze with ocean smell.

My GOD!

It was breath-takingly beautiful.

Forgive my camera as it was so affected by the sun.

I am not a good photographer, I guess.

But still, the view was just WOW!

It is just one of those place which you will remember forever.

Walk as far as the path will take you. You wont regret it.

 

About less then 5 minutes drive from here, there’s Loch Ard Gorge.
There’s a ship-wreck story behind this place.

The spot itself was spectacular.

Well look at this. The calm before the wave.

Just cross the narrow path between the rock and the huge waves particularly to stand on this stone. Oh, and just so that you know the waves were so huge that it crashed up to the stone.

I have been saying we. Well let me introduce my partner in crime for this trip.

And the last stop of the day was London Bridge.

And that’s the end of another fantastic day.

Day 4: The most happening of all.

We woke up at 4 am just to catch the Mt Bhuller bus at 5.20 am. Quickly had our strongest coffee and the grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Thereafter we waited patiently at the Federation Square.

For Mt Bhuller, there’s only one pick up location daily. And the bus leaves exactly @ 5.20 am.

But something was wrong, we were the only one waiting. There was no-one else. Since it was early in the morning there were not many passer-by also. So we tried calling the tour agent. There was No answer- expected considering the time.

By 5.30 am, nor was there any bus or other waiting passengers.
So we walked to the other side (not opposite Flinders St) and found so many people and the bus booth.

Well, fyi this is the only dedicated stop for the tour bus.

And due the wrong waiting location,

We MISSED our bus. Well this was the first experience and it was so huge at that time. I was so disappointed. If only I knew that I would missed a plane the following year. I wouldn’t have felt so miserable then.

Disappointingly, we walk back to our hotel and continued sleeping for the rest of the morning despite the coffee and disappointment.

We went back to the agent and started complaining about why didnt you wait, called or answered the call. Luckily they apologized and rearranged our trip.

So with the whole day available, we went to Victoria Market and took our street art tour.

The street art was good. It definitely saved the day.

We also finally managed to catch up with some Malaysian meals. Food also help to save the day.

Day 5: Yarra Valley Winery Tour

To be honest I am not a fan of wine. I have never understood the complexity of wine tasting and pairing.

All I know is that, this is white wine

and this is red

I selected the tour because of the winery view. It was worth the trip. Considering its the winter season.

I did get one at the end cause the pizzas at this place were amazing. I trusted that the wine – Moscato would be the same.

The stop at Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory is a must.

Their orange flavored ice cream is a must-try.

Paired it with their FOC chocolates

Dont forget to buy back some. Its worth every dollar spent! You wont regret it.

Day 6 : Mt Bhuller. Finally!

The plus point of missing the bus earlier was that it was actually snowing on the day we went. It was -2 degrees Celsius. Everything was covered by snow.

This was the day I drank the most hot chocolates with marshmallow drink just to keep myself warm.

It was a winter wonderland.

The failed attempt to build the snow man.

A day of snow and hot chocolates. I loved it!

Day 7: Brighton Beach.

The colorful bath house in Melbourne. A popular Instagram spot for everyone.

We also stop by Eureka 88 – Skydeck as we got the free tickets from the day tour purchase.

Here, you get to see the city of Melbourne from the 88th Floor.

We took the 9 am flight back to KLIA2 next morning and that was the end of the whole trip.

Never had a dull moment in Melbourne. With so many places covered there so many places left to be seen.

Hoping to continue the story soon.

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