Adventures in Melbourne

Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Second time here in Melbourne and since we covered the fun places before (i.e Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island - you may read about my last trip here), we just thought that this would be a good place to just chill and visit some relatives we have there. 

1. St Kilda's 

What I was most looking forward to was staying away from the CBD area (because if there's anything we've learned from our first time here, staying in the CBD is an absolute no-go). 

We rented an Airbnb apartment at St Kilda's, and we loved it. I loved the scenery and the low-rise buildings. There were also lots of dessert cafes and Coles was conveniently located within walking distance from our place. It was also situated near the beach. We didn't had time to walk there but I would often see groups of people in their swimwear walking comfortably along the pavements with sand in their hair and sun kissed skin. Ah yes and speaking of which, we definitely underestimated the weather - it was scorching hot because apparently, summer came late last year. Bummer. 

Trams would also pass through the place from town, which makes transportation easy for those without their own transport. Of course, we had rented a car from the airport for, you know, convenience sake. 

2. Grampians National Park

Driving to Grampians National Park on the second day was probably the only road trip we had. It was a three hour one-way journey but of course, we stopped a couple of times to stretch our legs in between. 

When we eventually arrived at our destination (thankfully because it felt like forever), we took a guide map and decided to drive up to one of the lookouts. To be quite frank, I wasn't very impressed. 

We were greeted by lots, lots and lots of flies. It was irritating! The view was stunning but I felt like it wasn't worth the trip. I guess the experience would be more fulfilling if we opted to go on a tour instead. But, it was still alright. 

3. Old Melbourne Gaol 

Our visit to the Old Melbourne Gaol was definitely an enriching experience. I'm not the kind of person who reads those descriptions you see next to an artifact at museums or whatnot but I still enjoy visiting historical places. 

We (or I) manage to get the tickets for a steal (since I am considered a students *ehems*). The salesperson said that we should opt to attend the tour at the City Light House where we attended by a sergeant and got treated like prisoners. It was pretty demoralizing I must say! But she did (yes, she) manage to get in some humour in between her lashing. So, it was still pretty fun! 

If you're like me who thought that this place was meant for prisoners of war *cue bimbo slang*, then you're highly mistaken. And apparently, there were plenty of well-known prisoners here - which of course, I didn't know about. 

But enough said. My dad was of course most intrigued, considering that most of his working adult life involves dealing with inmates. He was so happy when he told me about the comparisons of the prison layout and what he used to do. 

If you're ever in Melbourne's CBD, I'd highly recommend that you pay this place a visit. It won't take much of your time and you'd definitely learn a lot. 

4. Luna Park 

My friends were most excited to hear about this place. 

Basically, admission was free and I spent $50 AUD for unlimited rides. Thankfully, there was a 1-for-1 so I split the cost with my dad. But to think about it, the place mainly consisted of carnival games and typical uncle-ringo kind of rides. It was fun but come to think of it, I would have rather gone to USS (just saying). But it was a good experience considering that I've never been to carnivals. 

One interesting encounter was when I was on the viking ride, seated alone on the second last row in front of a group of tourists. I didn't know they were tourists until one of them said, "Harap harap benda ni slow ah, kalau tak aku pegang rambut dia". Translation: I hope this ride goes slow, otherwise I'd hold on to her hair. Her - as in me and, my hair because it was in a top knot. Almost throughout the ride, they were talking about me sitting alone and wanting to grasp on my hair because it was going too fast. 

When the ride started to slow down, I turned and asked them, "Are you guys Singaporeans?" because judging by their behavior, I'd assume that they were. "We're Malaysians," one of the answered. Woah, shocker. No seriously, it was a shocker. After that I responded, "Oh, patutlah I dengar you berbual macam boleh faham gitu." Translation: Oh, no wonder it seemed like I could understand what you were saying. I looked to the front and couldn't help but grin to myself. I couldn't see it, but I bet their reaction was priceless. 

Ok so anyways, back to Luna Park. I guess this place would be a good one-time visit thing. I mean, $50 is a bit much in my opinion. But I guess if you come with good company, then I'm sure it'd be great. 

5. SunnyRidge Strawberry Farm

Throughout my days here, I must say that this was the most anticipated part of my trip.

By this time of the week, we were already with my aunt and uncle. It was a pretty long drive to the farm but every inch of my body was just filled with excitement. We were greeted with a basket of strawberries at the entrance and obviously being typical Singaporeans, we took as much as our hands could carry. 

It was a fairly hot day, but I didn't mind the heat. We took our containers and went to the farm which was almost the size of a soccer field. I had the time of my life picking out strawberries of all variations. They were so sweet - nothing compared to the ones we have here. It felt like every positive vibe flowing through body. I was indeed, happier than a rich kid on Christmas. And when we were finally done, we hung out at the shed where we indulged in some waffles, ice cream and scones. It was truly the most amazing experience.

6. Australian Rainbow Trout Farm 

One doesn't really have to be a genius to know that typically, fishing would be one last things I would ever do. But hey, we were catching trout and salmon that day, so it got me pumped! 

My uncle was a lifesaver that day because my parents and I know nuts about fishing, let alone operating a fishing pole. Though I must say that catching your own food feels very much rewarding. My aunt was kind enough to whip up some sambal tumis and sambal kicap (go google lah, I also don't know how to explain in English) that pairs up well with the fish we caught. 

I remembered the anticipation of waiting for the fishes to finish barbecuing. I've always been a big salmon lover and well, I've never tried trout before. Presently, I'm unable to recall how trout tastes like. But this was definitely the most memorable lunch I had. 

That pretty much sums up the highlights of my trip and I must say that I enjoyed every single moment of it. I remembered being very much rejuvenated when I returned to work (despite being on AM shift the night after I landed). I don't think I'd see myself visiting Melbourne anytime soon because after all, I have enough memories here to last a lifetime. 

Cheers xx 

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