Monday, May 23, 2011

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Weekend Getaway!

Date: 13 May 2011

It is not often you hear someone say, "I'm going to Australia just for the weekend". However, it actually happened to me, not intentionally, but accidentally... I booked my flight ticket (in August 2010 for the lowest fare possible!!) without double checking and ended up with only 2 full days to spend in Melbourne. To make the best of it, I pre-booked full day tours for both days... which left out any opportunity for Melbourne city sight-seeing - how sad!

From LCCT, KLIA to Melbourne Airport, it took about 8 hours flight - which I can't sleep for most part of it!! - and the time difference is plus 2 hours from Malaysia.

Date: 14 May 2011

Upon arrival... 
Hi Mr Sean/Chin!

We were greated by Ms Candy who showed us to our maxi taxi. The driver was Mr Sean/Chin (didn't quite get his name) who was from Cancun, China. He was friendly and energetic. He dropped us of at Punthill - The Stanton at St Kilda Road, our beautiful apartment with a not so friendly receptionist. A very bad first impression... huh!

Punthill - Tha Stanton
We had no time for a quick nap as everyone was hungry for breakfast. The best thing about this Punthill is that it is located next to Subway. Seafood or tuna sandwich for everyone!

By 12.05, we walked to Bayview on the Park for our pick up to Federation Square where we will be boarding a coach for our Penguin Parade Day Tour.

At Federation Square pretending to be discussing... =p

Our destination is Phillip Island, an island famous for wild penguins, coming out from the sea to breed and socialize and whatever (not a very scientific explanation here, hihi). On the way there, we stopped by a kangaroo farm and a koala center.

Kangaroo feeding... 
Wombat feeding... 
Crossing the bridge to Phillip Island 
Koala Conservation Center 
Playing with a robotic koala 

By twilight, we reached Penguin Parade, had dinner (fish and chips) and after the buzzer for the first penguin to reach land, we were ushered by the waitress to go out and meet the cute fellas. Cameras were not allowed as the flash may cause blindness to the penguins. They ran in a group to i-don't-know-where to do I-don't-know-what... but they are definitely super duper cute!

By 11PM, we were safely back at the apartment.

Date: 15 May 2011

6.30AM - again we walked to Bayview on the Park for our pick up to Federation Square. Today, it's a day trip to the Great Ocean Road! I have always wanted to go there since I saw it somewhere in TV. I was super excited that I finally get to see the most beautiful coastline with my naked eyes! It was a very long journey... good to catch up on some sleep, not so good when nature calls.

We stopped for a while at Colac Town for some refreshments. The autumn scenery was gorgeous here.

Bought some Gaterades and a bag of expired crisps!! 
Malay Goreng instant noodles (??) 
Heading back to the bus...

At last, we made it to Port Campbell National Park with our first stop at the Twelve Apostles. No heli rides for us since we didn't have enough money (AUD75 per person)!! Just seeing the magnificent views from the cliffs was enough for me... superb!!!

Helicopter  ride for AUD75...
Superb view! 

Next was Lorch Ard Gorge, the point where a shipwreck occured in the 19th century which left only 2 survivors!

The bay area where the 2 survivors were swept to safety.

Finally, London Bridge... which true to the song, fell down in 1990.

It used to be attached to the cliff... dangerous coastal attack indeed...

For lunch, we stopped by a fish and chip (again!!) shop in Port Campbell. We were advised to eat modestly since our journey back will be along The Great Ocean Road. The view is lovely (too bad I spent most of my time asleep) and the road was very windy.

Port Campbell Foreshore - stopped for lunch. 
Along The Great Ocean Road... Awesome!

Before the sun sets, our final stop was at Lorne town.

The map of our journey...

We reached Melbourne around 6PM, shopped for some souvenirs and searched for dinner. "No Subways.. no fish and chips!" said most of my friends... One of them actually puked in the bus! We found a Halal Kebab Restaurant which cost RM25 per kebab (AUD8++)!!!

Melbourne at night...
Souvenir shopping! 
Hungry people! 

To get back to St Kilda, we tried taking the No.16 tram. Once we made it on the tram, I realised that we were going the opposite way (to Uni Melbourne). We met a Malaysian student on the tram who advised us to change trams. I really needed to pee, and this set back is not good for my bladder, haha!

Really have no idea what we're doing... 
Yup... wrong way... St. Kilda is in the other direction...

Being super alert this time, we got on a No.16 tram (the same one I suspect because the driver looked familiar) but with the correct direction. Julie Zac, the eagle eyed girl spotted our apartment with Sebel Building as the landmark. We got off at the right stop!!! It's toilet time!

Standing by the road side like a bunch of lost tourist for the next tram...

Date: 16 May 2011

6.30AM on the dot, Mr Sean/Chin was waiting for us in front of the apartment. Julie Zac, Hasben, Mus and I made it on time. The same cannot be said for the rest of my friends who were about 15 minutes late. The friendly Mr Sean/Chin turned into a grumpy mumbling man... I can't blame him for that.

At the terminal waiting for Air Asia X.

 The good news is... we did not miss our flight... thank god. In another 8 hours, we were back in Malaysia, eating Marybrown - chicken at last!!


Juli said...

short trip but worth the excitement and awe!

edlidza said...

best !!!

prolix said...

interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it.

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