As usual I’m the ‘cheong hei’ (long-winded) type when it comes to writing travelogue. Read at your own risk! Hehe
This is my first ever backpacking trip down under to Victoria, Australia for 8 days & 8 nights (8th to 16th September) with my sister. And this is our 2nd trip together (minus parents/friends). Our 1st trip together was 7 years ago to South Korea. This is also my first time going to “negara orang putih”. LOL
We didn’t plan to visit Melbourne until 2 months plus ago. Sure there were small talks before this. Mostly I shoot down the idea because of the exchange rate (AUD1 = RM2.9). But in the end I agreed because I’m going to visit and fulfill another one of my childhood dreams. Wohooo! If you want to know more, be sure to follow my Australia travelogue.
Our AirAsia flight didn’t come cheap even though it was booked during the sales period. We made up our mind pretty late and by then all the cheap fares were gone. Anyhow it’s still cheap compared to flying the regular airline. Hehe
Many memories were etched in this journey. Many first and one or two unpleasant ones. And some misses. Funnily when we came back both of us have the same feeling. We couldn’t feel Australia. LOL. Usually I would feel very excited, happy and over the moon for few days after coming back from a trip. But not this time. Really had no idea why. Anyway don’t let this small thing get to you (and myself). I really did had a great time there. 🙂 And I wish I have the moolah to go visit again soon. Haha
To visit Australia, you need a visa. You can choose either to get a visa or an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority). We get the latter one as it’s fairly simple to apply. All you need to do is apply ETA online and pay AUD20 (per person) for service charge. That’s it. You don’t need to bring any paperwork with you.
Seeing that our flight to Melbourne is 8 hours long, we purchased the ‘extra legroom’ seat (only RM50/seat/trip) and meals on board.
Legroom on board AirAsia D7 flight to Melbourne, Australia.
Taken with TZ-7.
We decided to fly at night so that we will arrive in the morning and have more time exploring. This is not kiasuism. This is plainly good time management. 🙂
Sunrise greeting us at 5am (Malaysia time – MYT) or 7am (Eastern standard time – EST) in the plane. My sis was still sleeping. Tried waking her for the sunrise but no use. She still want to zzzzzz.
Getting pass custom took about 1 hour long. Anyway we were out of the airport at 10am EST (2 hours after touching down). Make sure you declare what you bring to Australia. Don’t lie eh. They will search your bag.
There are 2 ways to get to the city from Melbourne Airport, Tullamarine; by taxi (~AUD40/trip) or SkyBus (AUD16/trip or AUD26 return). We choose the most convenient and budget way which is taking the bus.
Bought our SkyBus return tickets at the airport information counter.
You can also buy your SkyBus ticket at the ticket booths (as seen here) outside Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
There is a bus every 10 minutes so you don’t have to worry about not having enough seats or long waiting time. Though some tourist prefer to stand in the bus even though it’s full.
Inside SkyBus. They have special place for your luggage & bags.
25 minutes later we reached Southern Cross Station. We then board a mini-bus (a free transfer service by SkyBus) that will drop us at our hostel, Victoria Hall. Will write about Victoria Hall in later post.
We snoozed for 2 1/2 hours before getting up in late afternoon. Our first destination is the Melbourne Tourist Centre @ Federation Square. We wanted to take the City Circle Tram but we missed one just by few seconds. Since the weather is cool and perfect, we decided to just walk from one end of the the CBD to the other end.
Had our late ‘light’ lunch at The Bean Room @ QV along Russell Street. Late as in 3pm plus. Haha
Walking along the street is just the thing you need to do in Melbourne city centre. It’s so pretty.
Scots’ Church @ Russell Street.
Louis Vuitton @ Collins Street. I only have eyes for its architecture and not what’s inside the building. 😛
Street names and sign @ Melbourne downtown.
About 30 minutes later, we were nearing Federation Square.
On the right is the Forum Theater and middle is the Federation Square.
Federation Square which houses many cultural artsy stuff such as art galleries, cinemas, museums, etc.
Hosier Lane (beside Movida) is a small laneway with graffiti art.
This is actually the side lane of some restaurants & Forum Theater. But it’s so cool eh.
Melbourne Tourist Centre.
We’re here because we are brochure scavengers! Hahaha
We lugged quite a bit back to our hostel.
Melbourne Bike Share (just in front of Melbourne Tourist Centre). Unfortunately my sister couldn’t ride a bicycle, if not I would have rented this.
St. Paul’s Cathedral (opposite Federation Square).
After resting quite a bit at Fed Square…
… we went on a little walk along Swanston Street. The temperature falls as the evening greets us. Brrrrr… so cold.
Takeaway Krispy Kreme for tomorrow’s breakfast. Haha
Pedestrian waiting at the traffic light. It’s 5.30pm.
We stopped by at Half-Tix hoping to find some cheap tickets for musical/theater ahh but nothing for us. Maybe we are too cheapskate. Haha
Saw this very cool building just beside Town Hall. Look carefully at the wood structure. I believe the wood windows can be turned/twisted. If anyone of you know the name of this building kindly enlighten me.
For dinner we had McDonald’s takeaway. McChicken @ AUD4.75, Caesar Wrap @ AUD5.95.
Then we walked back to Flinders Street.
Flinders Street Station is a main attraction situated at the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street. It’s the central railway and subway station hub. There’s even a tram station on the left. It’s one of the busiest places in Melbourne CBD.
I’m in love with Flinders Street Station. What a charm!
The famous clocks.
Bought 2 daily full fare zone 1 tickets @ AUD6.80/ticket for our coming trips.
Then off we went to Federation Square again (which is just opposite Flinders Street Station) for our open-air dinner. Sat at the stairs of the square, ate our burger and wrap while enjoying the evening busy-ness of the streets. We had to fend off the cold wind and seagulls!!!
Ohh those seagulls aren’t just any ordinary seagulls. They sneak behind you, stand near you and even fly (say 30-40cm) above you… trying to eat your food. LOL
In the end we had to say good bye to them because we were shivering like crazy. I even had to say no to Tim Burton: The Exhibition because I couldn’t stand queening for the tickets. It was that cold.
We missed the City Circle Tram (free tourist tram) again and had to wait for 30 minutes! LOL. We couldn’t really walk back as we’re so tired, cold and were lugging quite a lot of brochures. That served us right eh?
Stay tuned for day 2.