Our Roadtrip to Melbourne
Days 265-270 (April 19-24):
After recovering from a hangover that set us back a couple of hours, we made it to the airport, got the rental car, and began the long drive down to Melbourne. We arrived to the city late in the evening, so we decided to spend our time planning our attack for the next couple of days.
Our first full day in Melbourne, we decided to take the car and drive further down the Great Ocean Road to a bunch of rock formations on the coast known as the Twelve Apostles. We started at the visitor center and then walked down to the coast where they have platforms for better viewing the giant limestone stacks along the coast. After snapping a few pics, we headed down the Gibson Steps and out onto the beach. We climbed along some of the rocks on the coast andn took some time to enjoy the scenery. Even though it was a tad chilly, Katie and I made sure to dip our toes in the ocean before heading back up the cliff. From there we proceeded to hike along the water as part of one of the “Great Walks” of Australia. Our original goal was to hike as far as Princetown and back for a 20 km roundtrip loop. However, after we stopped for lunch around the halfway point, we were tired and a little unsure about the weather and decided to turn back, cutting our hike in half. We returned to the city of Melbourne and decided to treat ourselves to a night out on the town. We ended up on Lygon Street, known as “Little Italy”, per the recommendation of our friend Andrew. We found a little place that offered us two free glasses of wine with our meal and sat down. Katie and Justin and Adam and I both ordered the trio to split. It ended up being an enormous platter loaded with high-card goodies such as pesto gnocchi, fettucine alfredo, and lasagna. We stuffed ourselves to the bursting point and went to sleep it off at the hotel.
The next morning we were once again headed out of the city. This time, however, we were headed for the Yarra Valley, one of Australia’s most famous wine regions. We were doing our own wine tour of the area. Katie and I quickly discovered that the number of wineries in this area was almost overwhelming, so we strategically went through dozens of them to find out which tastings were free and which places allowed us to pack and bring a picnic lunch. We decided on ten wineries, and decided to try and make it to as many as we could. We spent the afternoon driving around the region, admiring the vineyards, and sampling some delicious Aussie wines. We had a picnic in the car at on e of the wineries, as the weather wasn’t the greatest and we were getting encroached up by large, angry-looking geese. We also tried some local cheeses, chocolates, and whiskey along our way. It was a fantastic time.
The following day, we decided we had better actually make some time to see the sights of the city of Melbourne, itself. I had heard the city was known for their amazing street art and I devised a walking tour to see some of it. One thing I learned while travelling this year is that while I may not have the budget to afford cool, unique tours in every city we go to, there is nothing that stops me from looking through all these tours’ websites and going to some of the same destinations. So that’s what we did. We toured the city looking for street art, wandering through Chinatown, and munching on goodies at the large central market. We thought that Melbourne had a terrific vibe to it. It was much more hip, and young than Sydney was, in our opinion and we found everyone to be very friendly. We were told that while there we should go watch an Aussie Rules Football match, but unfortunately, none of their teams were playing in town during our visit. It is on the list for next time though.
We checked out early next morning and drove back to Sydney. We got one more night to stay with Bar and Dean before we started our next adventure in New Zealand.