We spent 2 weeks in Melbourne and loved it! There was such a lovely atmosphere to the city. It was busy yet relaxed. The trams however were very confusing. We bought Myki cards (similar to Oyster cards)then realised it was a waste of money. We turned into typical backpackers and refused to pay a ny more so just kept an eye out for ticket collectors. I was on edge every journey but we managed not to get caught...just.
We were lucky enough to be in Melbourne when the Melbourne Cup was on. I think I would have been disowned by Dad and Steven if I didn't go. The event is so big over here its a public holiday! We had a champagne breakfast and planned to go with soe Scots who were staying at our hostel. Luckily they knew when the races started, we weren't going to go til the afternoon and then they told us it started at 10am. However, once they started drinking in the morning they weren't leaving the pub! So me and Lou caught the tram into town and went to the train station. We were worried that we had missed the first race but it seems not many people get there for it. The station was soo busy! This is when we found out that our myki cards were useless as all the money had gone after 2 or 3 journeys. A man was in the queue behind Lou and basically pushed her through on his ticket with him, it happened so quick I don't think Lou knew what was going on. I went across all innocently to a guard and told him mine wasn't working and luckily he was nice and just let me in. We then saw the huge queue for the train and we managed to mingle our way in near the front, we were so subtle about it I was impressed. Once we were on the train we had to wait as they literally filled every space. We were rammed in, it was so full. The train also had to make a couple of stops en-route which meant more people tried to squeeze in, it was horrible. The weather was a bit hit and miss all day as it would be raining one minute and stop the next and the sun would be out and burning. It was lucky too as it seemed to stop when each race was about to start and then come back when the race had finished. We got off to a winning start which made the day even better. We had a few wins throughout the day so we were happy. It was so busy though and some how we managed to lose each other for about an hour! I had all of Lou's things in my bag too so she was stranded. It was ridiculous how busy it was and we weren't together for the big race. I ended up watching it with an Australian couple who let me shelter under their umbrella when he heavens opened. THe atmosphere for this race was amazing!! It was strange though because no one really seemed to care about any other race all day, they were literally just there for that one. The course was huge too, there were so many different areas. Much bigger than anywhere at home. It was a really good day, but very long and tiring so it was off home to bed at the end of it all, no after party for us.
We took a trip along the Grat Ocean Road whilst in Melbourne. The first stop was at Bells Beach which is where lots of surfig competitions are held and the waves looked crazy. After this we made a stop for tea and biscuits which was a nice surprise. We also saw our first Koala here just sat in a tree. Lunch was the next stop, it was just a baguette each but was nice enough. We also found a cheap orange juice so carried round a huge bottle with us all day! We got our dose of vitamin C that day. We were very pleased when we got back on the bus and were offered seconds, I was straight in the cool box digging around for the 2 of us.
We made a few stops along the way to spot wild koalas. At one place there was one really low in the tree so we could get really close to it. One girl from our group almost got too close though. She moved in next to it for a photo and then it started a big long wee! It missed her by an inch. It was hilarious. We also faced a fear and fed some wild birds. They're scary when they flap around in your face! It was fine when you onnly had one on your arm but when there were 2 it was a bit much. We tried to get a photo of us both with the birds but typically each time one of our birds would fly away and we never both had one at the same time. It also didn't help that the woman we asked to take a photo was usless. She just zoomed in on the bird and cut us out of the photo! We als o took a little walk around the rainforest, this made us feel like we were back in New Zealand though. The weather was a little New Zealand esqe too as it kept trying to rain all day.
We saw all the famous sights, the 12 Apostles, London Bridge, Loch and Gorge and Island Arch. To be honest they all looked the same though. We decided to make the photos more interesting by jumping (again). We soon got knackered from this though as we started to perform a run and jump. I only hope no one was watching us. On the way back we stopped for tea, KFC time! At that was then end of a very long, but good day out. Oh and on the way back we saw a kangaroo sat in the middle of the road! That was good to see a wild one.
Another trip that we did was to Phillip Island, to see the penguins. We started off by stopping at a wildlife park where the main attraction was the kangaroos. We bought some food and got to fed them (and a baby scary emu if brave enough, I wasn't). It was s o cute feeding the small ones but then when Louise was taking a photo of me we didn't notice the huge one bounding over behind her. It came for me when it saw I had food and grabbed the food tray in my hand. I couldn't get it to let go, it had its claw digging into my wrist too. It was quite scary at first and ypically we spent quite a few minutes squeeling and giggling. We managed to escape it but then it hunted us down againand came back for more. It was strange because it felt scary with how huge it was but it moved so slowly!We also saw a kangaroo with a joey in its pouch, it had its legs sticking out. We became friends with Ashleigh (from Ireland) and she thought it had 6 legs at first, bless her. We also saw an albino wallaby which looked like a large rat. So ugly.
We then headed to a beach for about an hour and again the waves were huge. Louise found this out when she got soaked posing for a photo in the sea. None of us noticed the wave coming in and it was too let when we did. She was lucky though, it happened to some girls early adn there bags and jumpers got soacked from where they left them on the beach.
When we arrived at Phillip Island we went to knobbies point and had tea and biscuits again. We beat our tally from lat time tough as we managed 5 each this time! Pigs. No one else had a look in really. We went for a little walk around the coast line and got a see a penguin! He was making his way to his burrow and we must have watched him doing not a lot for 15 min. We all took a stupid amount of photos, it was so cute. As part of our trip we had a pizza dinner included. The pizza isn't amazing over here though as the base is really doughy. Didn't stop us though, still managed more slices than anyone else, a might impressive 6 for me. When we got to the penguin parade we got ourselves some front row seats and waited for it to get dark. It was so amazing when they all started coming out of the sea! It was so cute and funny, especially when they changed their mind and would run back or if one got stranded on its own left behind by the group. There were so many groups you almost didn't know hwere to watch. We also went and watched them walk up the hill towards their burrows. We got more than we were expecting though s we saw a few steamy clinches as they were reunited with the females. It was quite a steamy little affair. We also had to stop at the top to let them cross the footpath. It was such a great day, a higlight of Australia
Whilest in MElbourne we also took a few visits to St Kilda which asn't far from us. It was never quite warm enough to atually go to the beach though. It reminded us of the sea sde at home there, it was a little tacky. This might also bew because it was raining the first time we went there! They had amazing cake shop though.