I finally made it to Melbourne!

It’s funny how 24 hours can seem so much longer. I convinced myself in Sydney airport that I would be on a flight and in Melbourne by the evening… so having to cancel that, stay in Sydney for another night and get a 12 hour train the next day made Melbourne seem forever away. But if anything, it made seeing the city even greater.

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By the time I got off the train, found the hotel, showered and hit the city it was already dark. The picture above is from the following day and the first full day in the city. Below are the first two shots I took in Melbourne and my first views. We headed to the bright lights across the river in the hope of finding a nice atmosphere and a place to have a much needed beer. We didn’t actually stop anywhere in the shot below, we ended up crossing back over the water and to Flinders St, a popular street with a lot going on after sunset.

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Exploring in the dark.
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Snapping some art along the way.

The following day…

 

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What I love about Melbourne and noticed fairly quickly is the little narrow streets filled with cool cafes, bars and restaurants. It really does give off this European vibe that I have heard about frequently during my interactions down the east coast. It makes the city unique and different among the larger cities Australia has to explore.

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You can see already the street art that brightens up the concrete walls that would be pretty intimidating otherwise through these narrow passageways. Street art is very common in Melbourne, and due to the amount of pictures I took of the art dotted around the city I have added this to a street art post similar to the one I have from the Blue Mountains. That will be published very soon.

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It was fun to walk the streets, take in the architecture and get a little lost in what is a much bigger city than Brisbane which is where I’m currently based. I mean it took a while to get my bearings in Brisbane so for Australia’s second largest city I would need a lot more than a couple of days to find my way around. But getting lost is all part of the fun.

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After seeing images of the skyline from friends on Instagram I decided that I would head back onto the same walk I did last night in the darkness. I wanted to see Melbourne in all it’s glory on what was a perfect day to do so.

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The Yarra River runs right through the city and is fairly lively making it a great place to head if you aren’t familiar with Melbs. From here you get some great photo opportunities and a very pleasant walk, with plenty of places to stop for a drink or a bite to eat.

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Sadly however our time in Melbourne was short because of flight cancellations. Have I mentioned that yet? What, ten times already?! Okay okay, sorry about that. But that explains the fairly short post and limited photos. So with this in mind we got on a tram down to St. Kilda, a suburb on the coast just south of the city centre.

St. Kilda

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Now this was somewhere I hadn’t heard about before heading to Melbourne. But it was close enough to get the tram, roughly 30 minutes or so from the city centre. Now what is cool about Melbourne is that they offer a free tram service within the very centre of the CBD, however the tram network extends beyond that. Similar to Sydney’s Opal and Brisbane’s Go cards, Melbourne uses a myki card to get around. This can be bought and topped up at convenience stores.

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Upon leaving the station we headed straight for the beach and pier. From the pier you could get great shots of the skyline and despite not hearing much about Melbourne’s coastline, it was very pleasant. It cannot rival Sydney for beach life, but I didn’t even know the beach was this close and therefore a pleasant surprise.

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‘No trespassing’ the sign reads. But trespassing to where?!

Heading back to dry land we took a look around the neighbourhood. We were first greeted by the famous (and creepy if you ask me) clown face/thing at the entrance to Luna Park. Did you know that there were in fact five Luna Parks in Australia, but only two are still in operation? I didn’t until now. I didn’t know there was one here! Sydney has the other, close to the Harbour Bridge.

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It seemed to be closed, however the roller-coaster was still going around the track with two people standing up the whole time way. These were either workers disregarding health and safety measures during test runs or people that broke into the park. Either way, pretty ballsy.

The suburb seems to have a bunch of nice bars and restaurants to choose from, and I will definitely head back here to enjoy some of them next time.

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Christmas is coming!

And back into the city. We spent the rest of the afternoon just looking around however we didn’t venture far. We went to see a band on the evening and look around the streets and this building below in particular stood out. Pretty cool looking.

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So although brief, I had a great time in Melbourne. It would have been longer and more in depth however I just didn’t have time due to unforeseen circumstances. However I have some street art to upload as well as a trip down the Great Ocean Road, so this isn’t the last of it. More to come!

I also plan to work in Melbourne when my current contract runs out in March, which will see me through to September and when my working holiday visa expires. So this wasn’t a goodbye, just a see you soon…


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

My Melbourne flight got cancelled because of the storms…

It was looking all promising after finally arriving in Sydney. I met my friend from England near Central Station, it was great to see him again after saying goodbye in September of last year. The short delay I had flying from the Gold Coast to Sydney because of the dust storms on the first day was inconvenient, but now this seems like nothing.

The storms haven’t just delayed our flight to Melbourne, but cancelled it.

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So far I have had a great trip. Sydney and the Blue Mountains, then back to Sydney in a five star hotel for the night before flying to Melbourne for four days. This is my first visit to Melbourne however the weather has kind of ruined our plans. We are going to have to improvise.

The worst part about this is that it’s just a bit of rain! No strong winds, no lightning that I can see, just a downpour. I trust the people making the decisions know better than I do, and I have to go along with the decision to cancel altogether. It isn’t all flights though, just a few which is even more frustrating.

I am not going to mention the airline that cancelled and screwed us over (I will tell you about that in a moment, and I am sure some of you Aussies will happily take a guess as to which airline it was) as I don’t want this to be a review blog. This is the same reason I didn’t go into great detail about the stay I had in the Pullman in my most recent post. But what we were instructed to do after our flight was cancelled was to call the customer service helpline provided in the email and go from there.

That we did.

I was told over the phone that we could either be transferred onto a flight in two days time or cancel and get a refund. We didn’t want to have to pay for a hotel for another two nights and miss this much of Melbourne, so we cancelled and got a refund in the hope of finding another flight or an alternative. After that we went to the airlines service desk to see how we would go about getting our bags back.

Upon arriving at the desk we were then told that if we didn’t cancel over the phone we could have been transferred onto a flight in two days time and got accommodation included! This was not mentioned during the call and because the refund was already in the process of being provided, we couldn’t change our decision. So here we were, no flights available the following day and no free accommodation for the night.

Faaaantastic.

Our options if we want to get to Melbourne are either wait for a flight in two days, or get the train down. A train taking 12 hours. We got the train back into Sydney in the rain and booked a hostel for the night whilst we thought about it. Yep, I know I said we wouldn’t book a hostel on this trip but it was the most convenient for us. Seeing my friend have to stay in a hostel for the first time certainly made the night more entertaining that it would have been. That and the food we bought in Sydney’s China Town certainly brightened up our very wet evening.

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But you know what, we really didn’t complain as much as we could have. In fact as we were leaving the airport, we hardly mentioned it again. We got on with it and didn’t waste a breath on what we couldn’t change. I think this is important in times like these, to understand that if it cannot be prevented, remain optimistic. A negative attitude really won’t change anything apart from make us even more miserable and if the worst thing we are going through is a cancelled flight, then life really is good.

In hard times, remember that life could be much harder.

I will speak to you all soon with an update on our next move!

 


 

Featured Photo by W on Unsplash

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

We found a cool hidden street in the Blue Mountains!

I visited the Blue Mountains again with my friend whilst in Sydney. For $2.50 on a Sunday it is a must, and my friend notified me of a street he really wanted to see in this small town via some online research. I had no idea about it, but I am glad we went on the search for it here in Katoomba.

It is smack bang in the middle of town, however being a fairly sleepy town nothing makes it stand out without keeping your eyes peeled. Beverly Place is the street and more information can be found by clicking here.

The street isn’t a particularly long one, but it is crammed with art of all styles and messages. Some of the art is more hidden than others, so it is important to check every wall of each building to not miss anything during the walk. Here is a gallery of the art, click on any image to enlarge.

What do you think of the art? It was a hidden treasure in the city and I am glad I discovered it on my second visit. Have a favourite? Let me know!


Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

I’m taking a holiday from the holiday

Hey everyone, this was my view a couple days back at Gold Coast airport, about to make my way to Sydney for a few days and then Melbourne. I am meeting a good friend from the UK, as well as hoping to catch up with a few people I have met on my travels that are based in Sydney. It feels like a holiday away from my second year of travelling, however because I’m working full time I need time away every now and then.


I’m currently in Sydney, having spent a night in the CBD and one night at the Blue Mountains. I will update you in seperate posts as I’ve taken quite a few photos! I’ve never been one to publish a long post choc-full of everything, you know that. Breaking it up will help me to provide regular updates whilst I’m on the move a lot. It’s just easier for me.

Sorry for the gap since my last post, it’s been a very busy week and I haven’t had to much to post about. But now I have, and I’ll post again very soon 🙂

Sam

Debate: Cheese or chocolate?

Regarding my recent post on free things to do and experience, I remind myself of a lovely hostel I stayed at in Hervey Bay that kindly served free wine and cheese…

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…TeLePoRtInG bAcK tO AuGuSt…

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What kind of sick individual would not take part in this?

Sadly, the reality was everyone took part and I only had one glass and a couple of slices of cheese. But I’m in a hostel so I can’t complain, it was a nice gesture and a good ice breaker with the other backpackers.

I’m starting to appreciate these little things the more I visit hostels, and the more my bank balance plummets.

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…BaCk To NoVeMbEr...

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I had a bunch of ‘what would you rather?’ debates with a colleague today, you know the ones in which you have to sacrifice one thing or another for the rest of your life. They are never easy. 

So I wonder, would you be able to give up in favour of the other:

Cheese, or chocolate?

With ever increasing dietary options I guess vegans can answer this too.

For me, this is a true dilemma. As a kid it would have been chocolate hands down, and I still have a huge sweet tooth. However as I am heading dangerously close to my 30’s, the first thing I look for at a party is the cheese board. And I worry that my older self will hate me if I don’t choose cheese. It could be a wise investment. 

Could I really live without pizza? Or sacrifice chocolate milkshake on a hot summers day? This makes me uncomfortable to think about.

I think I may have to sacrifice cheese, even if my future self hates me for it.

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My favourite free thing to do in Brisbane (so far)

I posted recently about people that expect free things and get angry when they don’t receive them. I really don’t like that. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the most of free opportunities when we encounter them. We most definitely should.

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This is the free City Hopper ferry on the Brisbane River. I love the name (of the river, not the ferry), I felt so stupid asking before I knew.

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This was a great decision that my friend made (a fellow backpacker that I met as she checked into my hostel room that day) when I told her about the free trip. ‘Let’s do it. Why not?’, she declared as I was describing it to her. We walked to the ferry terminal and got on as people were boarding the moment we found where it was. We weren’t sure of where this would take us, but didn’t really care either. Off we went and we took plenty of photos along the way. The transition from day to night was beautiful.

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We discovered that this particular ferry took you to a number of spots around the river in the CBD, making its way south to the South Bank and then turning around and heading north. The overall ride is roughly an hour and a half and worth it. A free ferry ride with these views? Yes please. It is particularly awesome for those that can use this as a commute to and from work, saving precious pennies every day.

On a boat for this long can make you hungry, and another spur off the moment decision (by my friend again) brought us to this great little Asian diner. Our request for ‘not too spicy’ was either forgotten or we just can’t handle spice like those around us. Regardless, it was great, and a great end to a great evening.

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Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

Watching the sunset

Today I feel great. I was up at 6am for work and finished at 3pm, meaning I have the whole evening to myself. I get to watch the sunset on this great city.

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It is rare for me to work a morning shift since becoming employed here and I don’t mind because evening shifts allow me precious alone time to blog and do my own thing beforehand. Working late also helps me to save money. Well, not save, just not spend it all. I honestly don’t know how people save money.

I have always said that the UK looks so much prettier underneath a blue sky. It adds colour, but it is also due to the fact that sunshine is much more rare back home. When it comes out it looks glorious. Sunshine here is almost a guarantee, if people come here and get cloud it is just bad luck. I always felt bad for passengers docking in Sydney on the cruises that entered the harbour everyday if it was cloudy, especially if they are British. A British family going on holiday in the sun and not getting it is a national tragedy. Sunburn is still a guarantee though…

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How is the weather where you are today? The sun has set here, and I am sure it is on its way to most of you.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

My kind of bike ride

I saw this group preparing for a seemingly epic bike ride on a bridge over the Brisbane River. I love the sunset in the background and the way they lined up provided a great photo opportunity.


Ride safely this weekend, whatever that ‘riding’ may be.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend.

Sam

Travel Diaries: Taking a dip in the Champagne Pools and spotting whales (Fraser Island trip)

This was the last leg of my two days on the island. With stunning views down the boardwalk to the Champagne Pools and up to a well known whale watching spot, this is a must do on Fraser Island.

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The Champagne Pools are popular for the ocean waves crashing over volcanic rock. It almost creates a natural hot tub as it bubbles over occasionally, just enough to make it an enjoyable and safe experience.

After staying down here for 45 minutes or so, we headed to higher ground. Coincidentally I met a group that I had spoken to much further up the east coast right here. Australia is such a small country in that regard. I have travelled 15 hours south and still bump into the same people.

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We could see the occasional whale coming up for air. Sadly however I wasn’t able to grab a shot in the very short time they did this. Still worth taking pictures from this viewpoint though!

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This guy was crazy… Who would sit this close to the edge?! Geez.

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I did this tour with Dingo’s, information can be found on their site by clicking here. The image above was just a cooler bus to snap and a different company.

I hope you enjoyed the posts related to this trip, it was a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

I will see you in the comments!


Part One: Arriving on the largest sand island in the world/ Lake Wabby

Part Two: Lake Mckenzie

Part Three: 75 Mile Beach

Part Four: The Shipwreck of SS. Maheno

 

 

Travel Diaries: 75 Mile Beach (Fraser Island trip)

This beach is 75 miles long. It is a registered highway with speed limits.

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During my tour (I was on a guided coach tour, although it is possible to take your own off road vehicles onto the island) we stopped off at a handful of places that you can see in my recent and upcoming posts that I will link to the bottom off each post. However the road itself is worth the drive, with constantly changing landscapes on one side and whales swimming near shore on the other.

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Our driver, ‘Waz Man’ according to his name badge, was a funny guy.

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During the drive we stopped at a small on-beach airfield. This was part of the package, it seems like the tour have made an agreement with the flight company to offer a flight for a cost of $80. It isn’t a bad deal, but I opted not to. Four people got off the bus and flew, circling the beach and then overtaking the coach and landing about twenty minutes later. We met the plane, they got back on the bus and on we went.

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The colour of the sands and rock vary here too, there is a lovely footpath we stopped at to take a closer look.

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Look at the traffic!

The view below gives away what my next post will be.

Can you see what it is? See you again soon…

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Part One: The Largest Sand Island in the World

Part Two: Lake Mckenzie