Tuesday, April 26, 2011

G'day Melbourne.

So after months of waiting and anticipation, off we went to the other side of the world. We don't normally plan trips this far ahead of time but the hubs managed to score first class tickets using our frequent flyer miles so we had to set it all up way in advance. And yes, it was awesome.

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Just about 24 hours later, we arrived bleary eyed and confused about what day it was in Melbourne. In an effort to stay awake that first night (to fight the jet lag) we booked an afternoon/evening tour to see some of the wildlife just outside of the city. First stop was a farm where we got a chance to feed kangaroos and wombats. I wasn't sure what to expect but both are adorable and we had a great time.

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Just as the rain started we stopped at a Koala sanctuary. Did you know Koalas don't like the rain? Well they don't. So they weren't hamming it up for us but they were still adorable.
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See, look how miserable he looks.

Next was the top billing of the tour, seeing the little penguins storm the beach on their way home from fishing each evening. Its quite cute but I'm not sure if was the fact that I weren't allowed to take photographs (downgrade!) or it was drizzling or I was just too tired to appreciate it but it was a bit of a let down. The penguins are adorable for sure but it was just too much of a commercial circus for me. We did manage to stay awake until a decent hour so score on that. Back to the city we went.

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The following day we took the train to Camberwell for their Sunday flea market followed by a tram ride to St. Kilda for the afternoon. A great day to soak up some of the atmosphere of the area and browse. There were quite a few things I wouldn't have minded taking home with me but it was about now that I came to the realization that Melbourne (and I would later realize everywhere else we visited) was really expensive! Chalk that up to the weakness of the American dollar but I wasn't quite prepared for it. And I'm not talking about just at tourist spots or high end places - the prices on just about everything from 711 to subway fare surprised me.

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Our final full day in Melbourne was reserved for the lanes and the Queen Victoria Market but I somehow missed the fact that it was closed on Monday. Chalk that one up to reading the travel guide incorrectly but my fault. So off we went exploring the lanes. I had originally thought that was one place but in reality its tons of tiny little alleyways hidden all over the central city. Fun to explore and window shop. And even though we seemed to cross all over the city, Im sure we missed loads. I guess that is the nature of Melbourne.

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Melbourne was wonderful as was the entire trip to Australia. I can see why Australians are so proud of their country - its a wonderful multi faceted place. We were a little surprised just how little culture shock we experienced. I expected a place so far away from home would feel foreign but that is just not the case. We both felt right at home in this city as well as everywhere we went in Australia. Its just a very friendly and comfortable place to explore. The thing about Melbourne (and Australia in general) is that there are just too many things to do in our short time there so we barely got a taste.

Our time in Melbourne was up and off we flew to Queensland. Hamilton Island to be specific. More on that to come.

22 comments:

  1. christine {bijouandboheme}10:45 AM

    I loved your photos- Melbourne looks so colourful and gorgeous!

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  2. Janie @ Romantic Domestic11:58 AM

    Looks like a great trip. Love the hats~

    Janie
    Romantic Domestic

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  3. Jill Stigs4:23 PM

    How totally great are those pictures? Looks like a great place to see.

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  4. I'm so jealous! Australia's been on my list for a while. Thanks for the images and the Melbourne tour!

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  5. I'm a Melbourne girl and your photos really capture the place. Glad you enjoyed Melbourne - we love it. And yes our $ is so strong at the moment no wonder everything seemed expensive. But then again, it never was cheap. :)

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  6. Annnnd now I want to go to Australia. I need to see the Koalas (when it's sunny). What a lovely array of photos you've taken. One of these days, I'm going to stow away in your suitcase!

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  7. Beautiful! I love the graffiti/street art.

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  8. So glad you enjoyed my fair city :) You did some of my fav things to do in Melbs - the Cambie market, St Kilda and exploring the lanes in the city. I can guarantee you though that you missed about 80% of the lanes, unless you have a local with you it can be a bit deceiving ;) Melbourne rocks

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  9. My home city!! You got around to some really great places by the looks of it! Glad you had fun.

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  10. Megan {Honey We're Home}11:42 PM

    So exciting for you! Your photography is amazing but my favorite is that ferris wheel photo!

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  11. Gina @ A Sense of Design4:10 AM

    Koalas always look miserable!!!! They sleep about 22hrs a day so the rain was probably keeping them awake! They are still cute though.

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  12. Hey :) Love your blog, love that you visited Australia. Welcome, and hope you had a great time. I'm always a little envious when I read US blogs and see how cheaply you can pick things up at flea markets etc. It's just not the case here (or not often, at least) and yes, Australia is pretty expensive compared to America. It always was, even when the dollar was better for you guys. Still, I read your blogs and dream and plan with inspiration and determination. Cheers, Lis

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  13. jane davila5:15 PM

    That's totally crazy! I was in Melbourne (also for the first time) just when you were. I was there teaching at the Australasian Quilt Convention at the Royal Exhibition Center (amazing building) and stayed an extra couple of days to tour. I did the penguin, koala, kangaroo tour on Monday and then Victoria Market on Tuesday. I missed the Cambie market since I was working. Love your photos, you've captured it so well. Can't wait to go back someday!!

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  14. Shaneanddanette8:12 PM

    Glad you enjoyed your trip to Melbourne! Love your photos. Australia is a wonderful place.

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  15. I'm a Melbourne girl too and yes, it is expensive! I've just returned from living in London for 7 years so it came as a bit of a shock to me. Having said that, Melb has always has been a bit pricey. Glad you enjoyed it anyhow. Fab photos

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  16. You were so close to me, isn't a 18 hour flight tough, I remember I would fly to the US and back in four days... but I won't do that again!

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  17. It makes me so happy to see that you met a cute wombats. I loved them. And I enjoyed your pictures they bring back my own happy aussie memories.

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  18. I've always wanted to to to Australia but since the hubs has been before, it's lower on our list. Looks like Melbourne is a very cool city! Great photos, as always.

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  19. laura @ the shorehousechic2:21 PM

    You had me at koala. :-) Amazing pics as always. I really hope to get there some day!

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  20. wow - my home town! so glad that you had such a wonderful time, yes our dollar is strong at the moment which is lovely for purchases from amazon but not so much for visitors here.
    you have beautifully captured our city and I love what you have observed, it is a lovely place to live - this has helped me to remember that a little more!

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  21. Emily1:15 AM

    You capture such beautiful images. Glad you liked Melbourne! It's interesting to see which places overseas visitors decide to go to when they come here.

    Hehe. It makes me giggle that you came all the way from New York and visited the Camberwell markets. I live ten minutes away and find them a bit too lacklustre to wake up early for!

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  22. Thestoriesofa2z6:26 PM

    Gorgeous photography!

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