The famous ‘Pink Lake’ in Melbourne

I met a German girl in my hostel room not too long ago. She wasn’t here for very long, and for this reason was eager to see as much as she could in the city. She asked if I would join her on a bike ride using the Melbourne Bike Share service in the city and for just $3, you can ride for 24 hours. A pretty good deal, the only thing is you have to park the bike within 45 minutes and use another one. I guess this guarantees bikes at every station, and as there were plenty in and around the city it wasn’t an issue.

But back to the beginning, I said yes to joining and off we went.


Now this lake wasn’t too far from the CBD, roughly 7km and would take about 30 minutes to ride there. Much less in a car. It took us around 25 minutes from the bike station we used on the south side of the river and was pretty flat the whole way.


Now to get here from the route we took meant going through an industrial part of the city. And for that I assumed that maybe the pink was the result of some kind of toxic chemical reaction from waste and things. But that isn’t the case.

After giving it a quick Google this ABC News article provides some info on this odd phenomenon, and funnily enough mentions that many people will also probably believe it is from a toxic spill.

Apparently the main cause is salt. When salt levels are higher than usual it changes colour, but a few other factors need to be in place.

The webpage states:

‘Although the lake already has lots of salt — it is a salt lake after all — it only turns pink when salt levels are higher than usual.

There are also a few other ingredients needed to turn the lake pink: high temperatures, lots of sunlight and a lack of rainfall.

It’s in these conditions that algae growing in the lake’s salt crust produce a red pigment, called beta carotene, as part of their photosynthesis process.

The result: a spectacular deep-pink lake.’

And it really is pink! It was funny to go through such an industrial area to find this tourist haven in the middle, busy with people taking selfies and updating their Instagram story. I was one of them of course as some of you that follow me there will have already seen. But I don’t blame anyone for doing so, as this is a surreal sight you would struggle to find anywhere else in the world. Australia is lucky however, it has a few of these dotted around the country.

No filters were used in these pictures, it really was as pink as it looks. I was worried that I may be left disappointed with a slightly pink scene that was overly edited when I looked at other peoples pictures… but I was pleasantly surprised.

We didn’t spend too long here as we needed to find a bike station, and got there with about two minutes to spare. It wasn’t much more of a charge for going over the time, but we tried to sick with the $3 deal and gave us more urgency to ride around and not stay in one place for too long.

Another interesting route we took was the F1 track that was recently used in the Melbourne Grand Prix. Although cars (not many though) were using it and it is accessible to the public, the fences and seating areas were still there. It was pretty cool to ride it and it was fun to imagine what it would be like for a car to take these tight bends at such high speeds.


I really enjoyed this day, what was just going to be a day off work turned into a very productive day indeed. And more exercise than I have done in a long time, talk about killing two birds with one stone. This was one of the first ‘touristy’ things I did in the city, and I am glad I got to share it with you.

What do you think of the Pink Lake? Have you seen it or another one somewhere before? Let me know in the comments!


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Melbourne blogpost #3 Getting life back on track

I have been away from this for a long time. For me it has been a long time anyway, after blogging every day for so long 11 days or so seems like much longer. It has been a mix of moving, starting work and getting into the swing of things, meeting friends that I have in the city and simply exploring. But enough of the excuses already, I am back with a few posts to give you for the week ahead.


This is my view from work. The 35th floor and from here the south of Melbourne and the ocean are clearly visible. You see the tallest tower dead ahead? That is the Eureka Tower and has a sky deck at the top. For $20 you can take the elevator up which I don’t think is a bad deal and I may have to do it soon. I haven’t even checked out the surrounding suburbs yet apart from St Kilda as I am currently living and working in the CBD. I managed to get a transfer so got straight back into work pretty quickly, but I have been spending the past week or so stretching my legs and getting out there.

I feel it is so much harder getting back into the groove the longer you leave it. But this post, although fairly short, is my slip road back onto the highway and heading for that fast lane again. I don’t like leaving my blog untouched although I have, it is always on my mind. A bit like not going to the gym for a while after having such a consistent and frequent schedule. I would imagine. It just doesn’t feel right and you know that it is having an effect on progress.

So hello again everyone, it is nice to be back. I have a few posts lined up (with draft title’s and photographs but nothing more as of yet), and I will have them typed up and posted in the next couple weeks. There are quite a few so I should easily stick to my plan of three or four posts a week for the foreseeable future.

It’s nice to be back and to see your beautiful faces again.




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

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Back to being jobless

It’s a weird feeling when you become jobless. Not that I didn’t see this coming, it was inevitable on the 417 Working Holiday Visa. But still, not having an income on the other side of the world is pretty daunting and leaves us backpackers pretty vulnerable if we’re not careful.

I took this shot today in the Botanic Gardens, I was convinced a storm was about to hit however nothing materialised. It is my third day into unemployment however I am not pursuing any more work in Brisbane. I arrive into Melbourne on the 16th, and feel very fortunate that I work in a great company that has contacted properties in Melbourne to possibly take me on as an employee. So far I have been in contact with two potential employers and feel a lot more relaxed about not having a job before I fly.

It isn’t always this straight forward. But hospitality (hotels in particular) has proven a great industry for transferring or simply finding work around the world. Since I have been in the industry I have worked in six hotels in three countries and each and every one of these hotels uses the same operating system. A system called Opera. So even if I am not familiar with a hotel or city, the fact that I don’t need as much training to jump straight into a shift has proven invaluable, and I will see if this helps me find employment in Melbourne.

This will also be the case for many backpackers, or people looking to start a new life abroad. Looking for work? Stick to what you know! Even if it is just short term to keep you going. Ironically I told myself that when I arrived in Australia I wouldn’t work another hotel shift again. But then I remembered I was terrible at saving and needed to find work immediately in Sydney to keep me stable. And within a few days I was straight back into the only industry I know. But if it wasn’t for my time in Sydney I wouldn’t have found work in Brisbane so fast. And because of both of these jobs I have had contact with teams in Melbourne. So despite wanting to venture outside of hotels once I arrived down under, I am so glad I stayed in the industry. It has been incredible fun so far.

Six months is all we get to work with one company, unless someone is willing to sponsor us. I won’t be able to get sponsored, however I am looking forward to going home after two years away. I will of course keep you updated with my job situation and could potentially be working right in the CBD, meaning I get to experience the heart of Melbourne and have great public transport to visit it’s great suburbs. I have heard they are great from fellow bloggers and I will for sure be looking for recommendations closer to the time.

Oh, and I heard back from Sydney Police today regarding needing me as a witness for a trial, they are still unsure if I need to go as of yet. So I may be posting from Sydney later this month for a day or two, but this could also not happen.

But now that I have heard from employers in Melbourne, I feel a lot more relaxed not working. If I can hit the ground running that will be ideal, and I am sure my blog will benefit too. The less time looking for work the better and the sooner I can prioritise one thing…




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 and Travel Diary

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Drum and space

Skyline in Brisbane, QLD taken from Eat Street food market.



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

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Happy blogging,


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.


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.

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

The following day…



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

‘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.


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.


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.


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

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Happy blogging,


Surviving a 12 hour train ride from Sydney to Melbourne

So, our flight was cancelled. There were no re-bookable flights today to Melbourne, so the train it was. Even if this is a twelve hour journey, we still get there much sooner than we would have if we booked the next available flight. I mean, if it is an experience I can blog about it’s well worth it, right?

So with that, here is my next travel update.

From the creator of “My Flight was Cancelled Because of the Rain”, here is:


I had way more fun creating that than I care to admit. But please, sit back, relax and allow me to describe how much fun I could have been having in Melbourne in these twelve hours if my flight wasn’t cancelled. Here is a little insight into my journey.


Now to be fair, we booked a first class cabin. Our seats didn’t recline like they would have done in economy, but we had so much more legroom and this was an absolute necessity on such a long journey. I am not sure how many, if any, in economy were also doing Sydney to Melbourne (there were plenty of stops in between) but to those that did, I salute you. There was room to move about throughout the cabins, but unlike a flight of such a duration, no on-board entertainment.


There was also no WiFi during the trip, so having enough data to see you through is a must. That or a good music selection. Or a need to sleep. Any of these will keep you sane.


I did like the little rooms we had and the corridors leading through the carriages. It reminded me of any movie I have ever seen featuring a long train journey. On a night time, travellers are allowed to close the curtains, but only on night journeys. Bunk beds can also be pulled out from above the seats, but again strictly for overnight commutes.


Having the door open or closed didn’t really affect the legroom as I could pretty much stretch my legs regardless. Closing the door added a little more privacy, but because you can’t close the curtains it didn’t make too much difference.


Half way through the journey we got peckish. What I really liked about the train is that anyone could wander down to the food carriage and purchase food and beverages. It had to have such a carriage on board of course with those in the same boat as us not having time to jump off and grab a snack at any of the stations. This was a few carriages down thankfully… any closer and I would have probably paid this man a visit a lot more often. Boredom and eating go hand in hand.


I call this stop ‘Dwayne’s World’.


We were told that this plug socket was only for shavers, however lots of people used laptops and phones and staff members walked by without saying anything, so we used them. It is crazy to think a train journey of this length wouldn’t have plug sockets for phones and laptops!


Now I mentioned no on-board entertainment earlier, that was the case until the driver got very angry with a certain passenger for smoking in the toilets, setting off the smoke alarm and shutting down the air con in some of the carriages. He talked to the passengers over the speaker system, unaware of who the culprit was and saying ‘whoever you are, you are an incredibly stupid and selfish individual and if anyone knows who it is, please give him or her a big thank you from me.

What a legend.

After this great speech (probably hour ten or so) I noticed a few rooms were vacant. I made the most of the space whilst my friend slept and enjoyed a room to myself.


The countryside reminded me of being back home. The lush green fields outside the window was like taking the train from Newcastle to London back in September 2017 for my flight over here. It was nice to be reminded of home.


And eventually after almost a whole day on the tracks and a million stops, we could see Melbourne on the horizon. And what a good feeling it was to see this great city! It sure looks huge, and despite only having a couple of days to enjoy it, I am sure we won’t run out of things to do.

Melbourne updates coming soon…




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Happy blogging,


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.


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.


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.


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

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Happy blogging,


I got club lounge access!

During this trip to Sydney and Melbourne I did not stay in one hostel despite that being my norm all the way down Australia’s east coast. My friend hates them. I agreed we wouldn’t stay in one and that was that. I do however work in hotels, and therefore get great discounts in many hotels around Asia Pacific. In fact, each hotel we stayed at during this time was within my hotel chain and despite not being as cheap as it would have been in a hostel, it really wasn’t far off.

Most of the time.

After taking the train up to the Blue Mountains for the bargain price of $2.50 on a Sunday, we made our way back to the city and booked the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park. This is just five minutes from Museum Station and a great location in the CBD. Here is a view from our room, overlooking Hyde Park and the skyline. To the right of the second image the Sydney Tower Eye can be seen, the tallest structure in Sydney and the Southern Hemisphere’s second tallest observation tower.


We bagged a room on the club level floor, when looking for hotels with my discount this one came up and for the rate it was, it was 100% worth it. It came to $185 per night, so between two of us in an executive twin bed room with executive lounge access, it was a great deal. It isn’t often I stay in hotels, especially five star, so being able to enjoy the service instead of providing it in my job was great.


I am a backpacker and therefore to justify spending money on a hotel of this standard leading up to Christmas, I really needed to make the most of the lounge.

So that I did.


It wasn’t huge, but it didn’t need to be as there were only a handful of people there when we arrived. In fact after a few drinks we all got chatting, we met some nice people and shared stories. The gentleman serving us both nights was pleasant, ensuring we had another drink once we finished ours and reminded us to make the most of the food and drink just before he closed up. Trust me, we did.


Soft drinks and snacks were available 24/7 of course, and breakfast was included each morning. The benefit club lounge breakfast has over the standard breakfast in hotels is that despite being more limited, it isn’t as hectic with everyone fighting over the buffet. From here it is a much more relaxed environment with some of the best views Sydney has to offer.

Could you tell I was in my element?


Sadly I won’t be experiencing another five star hotel any time soon. Back to hostels and saving as much as possible, but it was sure worth booking. Everything in moderation including moderation, and this kind of experience is what we live for, right? This was a great stay and a good end to our trip to Sydney. Thankfully the rain held off, we were warned of some big storms heading our way. Nothing yet, we will just have to wait and see…


Have you stayed in club lounge before? What has your favourite hotel experience been to date? Let me know and as always, see you in the comments!



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

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Happy blogging,


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…


…TeLePoRtInG bAcK tO AuGuSt…


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.


…BaCk To NoVeMbEr...


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.


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.