Archive: Melbourne

Melbourne City

Melbourne City- First day in the city

We visited Melbourne city Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th August. We got a daily train ticket from Seaford train station (near where we were staying). This cost us $9.90 each (£6) and allows us to use it all day on trams, trains and buses. The journey from Seaford into the city was about 50 minutes. We got off at Flinders street, which is a busy shopping street.

Leah, Paul and Ruth on the big Screen-Flinders St

Leah, Paul and Ruth on the big Screen-Flinders St

I had heard that Melbourne had a look of English cities. It felt very like England when we came out of the train station and it was windy and raining. In Brisbane we got away with just needing our jacket in the evening, but here in Melbourne we needed our rain jackets, scarves and clothes (which we borrowed from Rachel). The buildings also reminded me of England, with their old Cathedrals. St. Paul’s Cathedral is just across from Flinders station. We took a look around there first The church is beautiful with lot’s of decoration in the windows.

We then took the tram to Parliament, where we were given a free tour of Parliament.

Parliament

Parliament

We were feeling a little cold, so we went to a café opposite Parliament to have hot chocolates and cake. We are going to need to buy some more jumpers ready for New Zealand, as it’s going to be cool there also. We only bought summer clothes with us, as we knew we wouldn’t need jumpers for at least 6 months.

We looked around St. Patrick’s Cathedral next. (Found opposite Parliament).

St. Patricks Cathedral

St. Patricks Cathedral

We also visited China Town-It doesn’t feel so special after having visited China itself. It was just a small China town.

Next we got tram No. 30 from Central station to the Docklands, and we walked along the waterfront. There were loads of shops and restaurants along the waterfront. It had a lovely relaxing atmosphere here.

There is a free tram that you can get around the city, called the circle tram. It takes you round in a loop. This is the old traditional trams. We took this tram around the city.

Free Circle Tram

Free Circle TramWe got a tram to Lygon street. This is known as the Italian Quarter of the city. This is where you will find all the Italian restaurants and bars. We got talking to a man in a restaurant who was from Sicily and hadn’t been home for over 20 years.

Day 2 in the City

This morning we visited Victoria Market in the city. This is open every day apart from Mondays. We looked around at the souvenirs and I also bought some Cinnamon Almonds.

We went to Visit St. Francis Church.

Then we walked over to South Bank where the Casino is. South bank is a really nice walk way along the river, with restaurants and bars. We looked around the Casino. The Casino was massive, much bigger than any one that I’d seen before. Also in the casino there was a theatre, cinema, bars and restaurants.

We really enjoyed our time in the city. It had an English feel to the city, with old cathedrals and buildings.

We also went into the city one more time with Beth (Rachel and Jared’s daughter), on Saturday 21st August. She loved coming into the city with us. We took her around the botanical gardens, docklands and went for dinner together.

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Ruth and Paul

Great Ocean Road-Queensland

I have got behind with my blogs, so I thought it was a good idea to share teh writing with my sister Leah. This next blog was written by her. I will add my bit to the end.

Thursday 19th August Ruth, Paul and myself took to the road to see the Great Ocean Road. Before leaving on my trip around the world I had never heard of it, but while I was up in the Daintree north of Cairns I met a lady from Melbourne who told me about it. That’s the beauty of meeting new people from around the world, you get to hear about new places to discover. I’m so glad I heard about the Ocean Rd, it was amazing. We hired a car for the trip as there is no other way of getting there and we wanted to stop lots along the way.

We probably could have spent a few days along the Great Ocean Rd exploring the area, as there are lots of walks and areas to see inland from the ocean, but we decided to do as much of it in one day. Our main aim was to make it to the 12 Apostles as this is one of the main sites along the way.

Ocean Road is recognised as one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road follows the stunning coastline of Victoria’s south-west. Stretching 243 kilometres from Torquay, just south of Geelong, to Allansford, just east of Warrnambool, the road winds along cliff tops, up to breathtaking headlands, down onto the edge of beaches, across river estuaries and through lush rainforests offering panoramic views of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean at every turn.

Building the Great Ocean Road

The road was built after World War I by returned servicemen and stands as a memorial to those who served in the 1914 – 1918 war. What an amazing memorial to those who served their country. Not only does it make Victoria’s Southwest coastline accessible, but the views you get to see along the way are breath taking.

We started out just after 6am so we could get to the beginning by sunrise. We have been staying in Seaford which is on the other side of the bay. So we had to make our way up to the city and around the bay before we could even start our trip.

The first stop on our journey was Geelong. This isn’t technically part of the Great Ocean Road, but a nice place all the same, so we stopped on the seafront before heading to Torquey.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for our road trip. Although it is winter here in Australia at the moment, until I came down to Melbourne I hadn’t been too cold. Both Cairns and Brisbane have quite mild winters with day time temperatures getting into their 20’s. It could be seen as a very good British summer. However Melbourne isn’t quite the same and I’m told that they are having the wettest/coldest winter in 10 years! Typical! But the sun was shining and was even warm enough for Ruth to take off her jacket and just have her t-shirt on. And as it is winter we didn’t have to deal with the crowds of other tourist that you might get at other times of the year.

This first stop on the road is Torquay, this is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. We stopped here briefly to take a few photos before heading on our way. We didn’t really have any plan about where we were going to stop or when, we just took it as it came. As long as we made it to the 12 Apostles before sun set I was happy :) As I was driving, which I didn’t mind doing, I kept asking if there was anything I was missing out on behind or to the side of us. I had to keep reminding myself to keep my eyes on the Road and not on the scenery. It was so beautiful, it was hard to sometimes. But the road is by no means straight, so I had to focus.

Scenic Lookouts

The Great Ocean Road offers some of Victoria’s most stunning views of the Southern Ocean from lighthouses, lookouts and viewing platforms. Discover the famous Twelve Apostles, rugged cliffs, picture-perfect sandy beaches, islands and ancient forests from some of the best places to stop and savour the panoramic vistas.

Below is listed some of the lookouts and sites to see along the road. We didn’t stop at all of them and once we got to the 12 Apostles we turned back along the inland rd as the sun had gone down.

Torquay to Lorne

  • Bells Beach
    Ocean and beach views from lookout platforms at Bells Beach Surfing Reserve. Access from Torquay via Bells Boulevard, or the Great Ocean Road.
  • Addis
    Impressive ocean, beach and sandstone cliff views toward Bells Beach and Anglesea. Point Addis Road, off the Great Ocean Road, between Torquay and Anglesea.
  • Anglesea
    Breathtaking coastal views from elevated memorial lookout. Just up from the Great Ocean Road, via Harvey Street.
  • Aireys Inlet
    Drive or walk up to Split Point lighthouse. Ocean views over Eagle and Table rocks. There is another lookout at the end of Boundary Road, off the Great Ocean Road.
  • Cinema Point
    Spectacular views back towards Eastern View, Fairhaven and Aireys Inlet from one of the road’s highest vantage points. There is a signposted turnout on the Great Ocean Road about 8 kilometres west of Aireys Inlet.
  • Lorne
    Teddy’s Lookout is one of the best along the road. It provides stunning vistas from its platform high above the coast where the St George River empties into a small cove. Off the Great Ocean Road, at the end of George Street, it is a short walk through the bush from the car park.

Lorne to Moonlight Head

  • Mt Defiance
    Panoramic ocean views toward Artillery Rocks. Turn out just off the Great Ocean Road, between Lorne and Wye River.
  • Cape Patton Lookout
    Spectacular views east towards Apollo Bay and Skenes Creek. Off the Great Ocean Road, east of Apollo Bay
  • Marriners
    Marriners lookout is a five-minute fairly steep walk from the car park, but it’s well worth the effort for its panoramic views of Apollo Bay and far out to sea. Drive a few minutes north from Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road, there’s a turn-off to Marriners Lookout Road.
  • Cape Otway Lightstation
    Built in 1848, the lighthouse stands 91 metres above the ocean. Built to guide ships safely through the narrow Bass Straight entrance, the tower now offers spectacular views of the rugged Otway coast. Located 20 minutes west of Apollo Bay. Entry fee applies.
  • The Gable
    The Gable lookout has magnificent views to the Moonlight Head. It is a short walk to the lookout platform, which seems to hang off the top of the cliff 70 metres above the waves. Turn off onto Moonlight Head Road after Wattle Hill.

Moonlight Head to Port Fairy

  • Twelve Apostles
    Parks Victoria has created boardwalks, tracks, and viewing areas to ensure you get the best views of these spectacular rock stacks. Off the Great Ocean Road east of Port Campbell, there are also staircases to the beach at nearby Gibson Steps and Loch Ard Gorge.
  • Bay of Martyrs car park
    At the outskirts of Peterborough, just off the Great Ocean Road, is this ideal place to see the stunning rock stacks of the Bay of Islands. They are particularly beautiful at sunset when the islands and Massacre Point are backlit by the sun.
  • Bay of Islands car park
    Just west of Peterborough, off the Great Ocean Road, the Bay of Islands car park provides excellent views of this remarkable group of islands.
Twelve Apostles
Outside Apollo Bay the road winds through the centre of the Great Otway National Park with its beautiful untouched rainforests, before returning to hug the coast for the entire length of the Port Campbell National Park. This is the most famous section of the Great Ocean Road featuring an amazing collection of rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles which have been carved out of the headland by the fierce waves of the southern ocean.
It was beginning to get late and we still had a short way to go before we would reach the 12 Apostles, so we decided we couldn’t make any more stops so we would make it before the sun set. As we were driving along the sun was beaming through the clouds and being the fanatical amateur photographer that I am I couldn’t resist stopping to take a photo, but I knew we weren’t far so thought it would be OK. I guessed we would make the 12 apostles by sun set and maybe this would turn out to be even more beautiful than seeing it in the middle of the day. But as you can see from the photo to the left there is no colourful skies that you usually get with a beautiful sunset. After I stopped to take a photo of the sunset and the closer we got to the coast the winds began to pick up and then the rain started to come down thick and hard. When we stooped at the 12 apostles lookout the rain was coming down so hard and the wind blowing so fast we were almost being blown over trying to take photos. But we had driven too far to not see this beautiful site.
So what had started out as a beautiful day ended up in a storm with strong winds. But it was an amazing day, I’m so glad I got to drive along the Great Ocean Road!
 
This really was a great drive. We loved every bit of it. It was just so nice to have the car and be able to stop when we wanted. A lot of people reccomended this drive to us and now we can see why.
We will write more about our time in Melbourne soon
Ruth and Paul

Melbourne

We were in Melbourne from Wednesday 11th August-Tuesday 24th August 2010

Paul, Leah and myself were met at Melbourne airport by Jared Haymes on Wednesday night. I have only met Jared briefly before, but I have known his wife Rachel for most of my life. She used to go to the same ward as we did for church when I was little and our families have been good friends ever since. The journey from the airport to Rachel and Jared’s house was about 1 hour. We arrived about 11pm at night. Rachel was in bed, but woke up when we arrived. It was really good seeing Rachel again. The last time I saw Rachel was in 2006 when Rachel was over visiting her family in England along with her husband and 2 children. She now has 3 children and another on the way.

Thursday 12th August 2010

Jared took a couple of days off work, so that he could drive us around and take us to a few places. Today we went on a drive with Jared, Rachel and their 2 children Hannah and Laura. We drove along the coast and went up to Arthur’s seat. Here you can get a good view over the coast. We stopped up here for a while to go walking. The views were beautiful and the tree’s were gorgeous. We got chips along the coast between us. We haven’t had chips in a long time so that was a nice treatJ They are very different to British chips though, not as greasy and more crunchy.

Yum Hot Chips

Yum Hot Chips

We went to Jared’s Dad’s on the way back to meet him and his wife Faith. Paul was fixing a few problems on Ron’s (Jareds Dads) computer. Paul always seems to find broken things, no matter where we go. They had a Japanese student staying with them so I was chatting to him a little. They have different students staying with them. I thought this was a great idea. They loved meeting people from all over the world and it helped them to learn a little about the different cultures.

Friday 13th August 2010

Today we all went out as a family. There was Jared, Rachel, Laura, Hannah, Leah, Paul and myself. (Beth there other daughter was at school). First of all Jared asked us did we want to see Ramsey Street where neighbours is filmed. I don’t even watch neighbours but still I was excited to see Ramsey Street. So we drove over to see the street. It is actually called Pinoak court in Vermont. Regular people live on the street. It is only used for the outside filming and they have studios for the rest. When we got to the street there was a big tour bus showing people around Ramsey Street. We just tried listening in on what they were saying. We got some pictures on the street, maybe you will be able to tell me whose house I’m standing outside?

Ramsey Street

Ramsey Street

We then drove on to Grants Picnic grounds, where there were loads of Cockatoos, Kookaburras, Roselle’s and many others. We put crackers in our hands to see if the birds would come over to us. I was a little nervous at first but relaxed. They were landing on our hands and we even managed to get a kookaburra to land on us. I was impressed with how brave Hannah was (she is 2 years old). She loves animals and insects. She was trying to give the cockatoos a kiss and hug goodbye.

Paul with a Cockatoo

Paul with a Cockatoo

We then drove up to One Tree Hill. This is up high on a hill, surrounded by tree’s. We could hear Kookaburras everywhere. There were loads of Eucalyptus trees. I picked up a few leafs. I’m going to make book marks out of them.

Ruth and Leah

Ruth and Leah

We then drove on to Mt Dandenong, which is where you can view the whole city from above. We just took a quick look and got a picture together. Jared and Rachel were sat waiting in the car, as they charge $5 for taking your car in, so we just walked up.

Mt. Dandenong with Laura and Hannah

Mt. Dandenong with Laura and Hannah

Next we went to Kalorama Park, to stop for lunch. There was a beautiful view from here, looking over a lake. We were also able to see lot’s of Kookaburras from here, After lunch we went to William Picketts Sanctuary, where you can see loads of Aboriginal Art and sculptures. We followed a 30 minute walk path that took us around.

William Picketts Sanctuary

William Picketts Sanctuary

Saturday 14th August 2010

Today we went to Philip Island with the whole family. Philip island is reached by a bridge so there is no need to get a boat over. The island is about 30 Km in length. We went to Kitty Miller bay. This was a small bay surrounded by rocks.

Rachel, Jared, Beth, Laura and Hannah

Rachel, Jared, Beth, Laura and Hannah

We drove on to the nobbies, where we were able to see penguins along the side of the rocks. It is really beautiful here, surrounded by cliffs.

Penguins at the Nobbies-Philip Island

Penguins at the Nobbies-Philip IslandRuth and Paul-nobbies-Philip Island

I’m trying hard to catch up with all our blogs-it’s hard when you get behind on it!
Speak soon,
Ruth and Paul

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