January 25-28, 2014
Airfare: Return Ticket – $198
Airlines: Qantas – Jetstar
Accommodation: Arrow on Swanston
– Day 1 : Walking tours 1 & 4
– Day 2 : Australia day & Docklands
– Day 3 : Rod Laver Arena, Botanic Gardens and Shrine of Remembrance
– Day 4 : Walking tour 5
* Warning: Picture overload *
This is my first travel out of NSW state. Hahaha! We managed to book a promo flight to Melbourne during the long weekend of Australia day celebration. In short, we were in Melbourne celebrating Australia day. This was also my first Australia Day celebration! Hahaha.
We initially thought of joining a tour but we changed our mind. We decided to just chill and explore Melbourne city at its finest. Well, we did experienced the extreme weather on our stay there. I can’t remember all the details of our little adventure but will share what I can remember.
Day 1: Walking tours
The weather on our first day was a bit strange. I was expecting a cool breeze but never imagined it will be that cold. Haha! Imagine people wearing jumpers and bubble jackets while I was wearing a short and a t-shirt. Good thing I brought my cardigan so that somehow sustained me for the meantime. Luckily by midday, the warmth of the sun can be felt. We just have to stay under the sun because you can still feel the cool breeze if you’re under the shade.
We first went to the famous Flinders Street Station then cross the street to Federation Square. We went inside the information area and took advantage of the free maps and guides for the tourists.
We decided to do the walking tours 1 & 4! Let’s start with Walking Tour 1: A Walk in the Park. You can check the link to see the detailed map guide for this tour. I’m not so sure with the history and everything but it’s interesting to know small details and hidden gems within the city.
That’s the first half of the day’s itinerary. After doing that walk in the park, we were so hungry and can’t decide where to eat. We traversed the street where there were lots of restaurants. We were able to spot a restaurant where a lot of customers were being served. We have this idea that when a restaurant is full, that means it’s good and affordable. So we hurried inside this vietnamese restaurant named Mekong. Apparently, this was the best Vietnamese restaurant in the city. How did I know? Well, hearsay! hahaha.
After lunch time, we continued doing the walking tours and we did the 4th one that says Walking Tour 4: Arcades and Lanes.
Day 2: Australia Day & Docklands
It’s Australia Day and it’s my first time to celebrate it. So I told them that we go to the city and check out the parade. We waited there and watched but I had mixed feelings while seeing the participants. I was expecting a more “Aussie” related stuff. Haha! But I felt like I was watching a United Nation parade. No offence meant but I was just expecting a bit more.
After the parade, we went straight to lunch at one of the alleys in the city. We tried MAX restaurant and felt like we were in Europe for some reason. The food was great and the ambiance as well. It’s just perfect.
After lunch, we went to Queen Victoria Market to check out the sunday markets. There were lots of people and majority of what they’re selling are cheap. There were cheese, fruits and veggies that cost way cheaper compared to Sydney. We were thinking of buying fruits before going home but we were already tired on our last day so we trashed the idea. Haha! There were food stalls as well and saw a Filo Bbq stand named “Hoy Pinoy“. Since we’re already full, we didn’t tried one. Maybe next time though.
We then catch a tram going to the Docklands. It’s time to shop! We rode an art themed Tram then saw the bike hire going to the shops. I really wanted to try one but I don’t want to do it alone. There’s always a next time!
Day 3: Rod Laver Arena, Botanic Gardens and Shrine of Remembrance
We’re off to another walking tour again. We first went to the Rod Laver Arena then inside the Botanic Gardens. After the long walk, we headed to the Shrine of Remembrance where we thought we’re in Athens! Such a nice architecture. This is where the parade finished during the Australia Day. It’s a long walk form the City to the Shrine. I’m sure the participants were tired after the long parade.
It was 35 degrees that time so we agreed to have lunch in Dessert Story a Taiwanese restaurant where they serve ice cold desserts. We ordered cold taho and mango ice something. I forgot what the name but it’s a huge tower of ice with cream, sago and mango. So yummy! Our ice cold cravings were satisfied.
By the afternoon, we just strolled in the nearby malls because we can’t contain the heat outside. We went home to rest for a while and ate dinner at Medallion, on of the restaurants you can find in the Greek Precinct. After dinner, I told them that we should try drinking coffee at Degraves since it’s famous for that. So we headed to that alley and had coffee at Il Tempo cafe.
We all went home satisfied.
Day 4: Walking Tour 5
Since it’s our last day in Melbourne with a 44 degrees in temperature, we just did the Walking Tour 5: The Cosmopolitan. The walk consists of malls and shops within the city. We walk inside every mall we saw. Literally! hahaha! We can’t think of anything else to do so we settled to this one.
I didn’t even have any photo of this day except for our lunch in Hoptoun Tea Room in the Block Arcade. The photo is not that good though coz the it has poor lighting inside the room. It’s a bit crowded but the food is really nice especially the dessert. You’ll feel that you’re with English men having afternoon tea parties.
In summary, we enjoyed our stay in Melbourne CBD. We should’ve tried some tours but it can be done next time. I can say that Melbourne is truly famous for their fashion style and artistic sense. It has a lot of food precinct where your cravings can be satisfied at an instant. The negative thing was the weather is really bad. Sorry to say but it’s just extremes!
Well, I’d still want to visit Melbourne to see friends. Speaking of, I did see them and had a quick catch up while I was there. On the first night, I met up with PinoyAu friends, Judith and Jocelyn. On the second night, I met up why my former UST Professor, Sir Mike and his family. On the third day, I met up with a former colleague, Mitchy who joined us on that day’s walking tour. Thanks guys for making time to meet me! I appreciate it. ‘Til next time!