13.08.2010 - 18.08.2010 14 °C
Our first evening in St. Kilda (the suburb we were staying in) was pretty chilled out, opting to find a local restuarant for dinner and finding a very nice chicken rissotto. The following day we took the tram into Melbourne city to check the place out. Now, we had been warned that the transport system was pretty mental, but this was just plain stupid. Three ticket types are available..and they really aren't what you'd think: 2 hour ticket (so, if you're very quick, then great), day saver (if you're really not so quick and very lazy) and then central (if you're even more lazy you can get the tram one street). No such thing as a simple single or return. Anyway, back to the city, instantly it could be seen and felt that it was completely different to Sydney. Less to see, more to feel. The city also seem far more spread out than the others. In fact, the main restaurant strip was at least a 20 minute walk out of the town centre. Although we did get a great dinner from a little Vietemnese place.
Our plan for Sunday was to check out the cult that is AFL. A sport which makes circular cricket pitches usual in the winter (well, I believe full stop) originating from a state that has more rain than Wales (maybe). Not knowing any of the rules, we found a pair who seemed to be walking rule books who filled us in on the basics..so long as we supported their team that is. Turns out the two teams were next to each other in the league table and this match pretty much decided who'd be in the finals so quite a lot rested on the outcome. Luckily for us, the team we adopted won.
Having little left in the Australia budget, we only had one day trip in Victoria, opting to go and check out the Great Ocean Road. Setting off bright and early, we hit all the famous spots on the 600km round trip and the road lived up to its name - the views were stunning. And as a bonus, we got to see wild koalas enroute.
Tuesday was a chores day with masses of clothes being taken to the laundry to be washed and dried before we made it to New Zealand. However that evening we did manage to take a stroll down St. Kilda Pier to check out the resident penguins. At dusk, or just after, they begin to return for the evening. Not long after we arrived there were loads of penguins - and they weren't shy either - squaking and waddling along the pier itself. Amazing.
Wednesday was our last day in Oz - how time flies. We had the magic idea to save on accommodation and head to their airport that night ready for our 4:30am check-in whilst trying to get some sleep. Little did we know they were doing building works through the night. What a crap night's sleep that was to be.