After a long flight from Bangkok we arrived in Melbourne seriously jet-lagged. On getting to our hostel early doors we were told we couldnt check in til 2pm, not happy! We wondered around Melbourne for a few hours (both nearly fell asleep in the park) until we could get back to the hostel and get some long overdue sleep. We woke up in the evening just in time to get some dinner before going back to bed.
The next day started with a walk around Federation Square, Victoria Gardens, Royal Botanical Gardens, and a visit to the Shrine of Rememberance. All very picturesque as you'll see from the photos. One thing I would like to point out here is that the River Yarra has Jellyfish in it! I seem to be the only one amazed by this.
Thursday (8th March) started with the obligatory Neighbours Tour. A tour past Erinsborough High before a stop off at the set to meet none other than Dr Karl! He actually came across a little sleazy, bizzarly saying "does that feel good?" after our pic was taken! After chatting to him a while we went to Ramsey Street to see the actual houses, all very weird because there are normal people living there and there's a 24 hour security guard. After the tour we got back to Melbourne and went for a guided tour of the Rod Laver Stadium, home of the Australian Tennis Open. Dinner afterwards was at Draculas, a themed restaurant with all the staff dressed up and acting the part and a comedy show in between courses. Did the usual picking out members of the audience, according to their nationality - we waved and had the spotlight on us for the UK visitors. There was also a German there called Jurgen - how sterotypical is that?! Very funny and well worth it. A very busy day!
The next day we were up early for a day trip to Phillip Island. It started off with a stop at a Winery for a spot of wine tasting, before moving on to Maru Koala and Fauna Park to meet Australian animals - Kangaroos, Kualas, Dingoes, Tasmanian Devils. Next was Woolamai Beach with some seriously big waves (although apparently they weren't big in Australian terms). A quick stop at the Knobbies (knobbly rocks) before going to the Penguin Parade! Basically at the end of a days fishing the little penguins (worlds smallest penguins apparently) waddle back across the beach to their burrows under the cover of darkness. Only its not quite like that because there are two concrete stands and massive floodlights lighting the way whilst people gawp and say "ahhh". They dont seem to mind too much though, and it was an enjoyable day.
The next day involved a long (7 hours) coach trip to Canberra, Australias capital city. Although we have learnt that Australians dont think thats far, we've heard people say "Oh I live near Sydney, only 3 hours drive". Weird. And people do say "G'Day", im still waiting for someone to say "Flaming Galar" or "Flaming Mongrel" though.