We were not in Melbourne recently — I am just really behind. Since we left Australia we have visited India, Vietnam, the Middle East and Europe. Whoops. Be on the lookout for more posts to come, but for now here is a recap of our time in December when we went to Melbourne!
The whole point of going to Melbourne was to rest up before heading to India. That was a mistake…we love Melbourne and couldn’t just sit around all day and rest! Melbourne is a really cool city and one that we could see ourselves living in if it was a little closer to our side of the globe.
Melbourne (and the Great Ocean Road)
Things We Liked
Street art, culture, availability of things we need, Queen Victoria Market, good ramen, food, walkable, English, good coffee, and pretty places!
We liked Melbourne more than Sydney…it had more culture and personality to it. It was a bit rough around the edges, but in the best way possible.
Things We Disliked
Expensive city and bugs (on our Great Ocean Road journey some of the stops were not as enjoyable as they looked because of so many flies). Everything else was alright to us 🙂
1. The Twelve Apostles and The Great Ocean Road
We rented a car (since we are experts at driving on the left now) to drive the Great Ocean Road. It reminded us a lot of Highway 1 in California and we enjoyed stopping frequently along the way to take pictures. We even got to see some wild koalas! The highlight was the Twelve Apostles. When we first arrived there it had just started to pour. It was so gray and did not show any signs of letting up in the next hour or so before the sun was supposed to set. We were pretty disappointed, but took some pictures anyway. We moved on to see some other beautiful stops just a few minutes more up the road. As we were checking out the other spots the rain stopped and the sun peaked through enough to enjoy sunset at the Twelve Apostles. It was gorgeous and was one of those, “I can’t believe we are actually here” moments!
2. Movie Night
We went to the movies to see La La Land and the whole night was one of our favorites. We love going to the movies and this whole trip we kept saying we should go and never did until New Zealand when we finally made it to the movies and realizing how much we really loved it. The movie was fantastic (although we were almost scared off because it was a musical) and we would highly recommend it! We got ramen afterwards at one of the most well known ramen shops (ramen two nights in a row — we might have a problem). It was so simple, but this night made us super happy and we have decided to go see a movie once a month in the future (at home too)!
Melbourne is widely known as one of the world’s great cities for street art (and some grafitti). We spent a whole day wondering around the city in search of street art — there are pieces everywhere and a couple of famous alleyways covered in street art. There was also an exhibition going on called the Art of Banksy while we were in Melbourne. For those unfamiliar with Banksy, the famous and anonymous street artist, he is a big deal in the world of street art. He is known for pieces with political and social commentary and most famously for his art featured on public surfaces all over the world. The exhibition featured some of his prints, and the story on his life and art. The exhibition is NOT authorized by Banksy (and may have made him a bit mad), but it was cool to see some of his work in person.
On Traveling in English Speaking Countries
It has been really awesome to visit countries that speak English as their primary language. Traveling to places where English is spoken has never excited me. When I travel across the world I have always wanted to feel like I was transported to somewhere very different. I was wrong. Traveling in places where they speak your language allows you to fully immerse yourself in a culture better since there is more overlap of culture and we can directly communicate, ask questions, and understand everything around us.
I still think I prefer to travel places that the cultural differences, language barrier, and food are very different from my own, but countries that speak English now really excite me. I have a whole new perspective and I am excited to visit other English speaking countries in the future. It has been a great month in places we can fully understand everything and everyone. Not only has it been a nice break from struggling with language barriers all the time, but we also felt that we were able to connect with people more.
All of the cities in Australia we visited had the best Asian food, probably based on proximity to Asia and large Asian populations in these cities. Even after spending so long in Asia, I think that we may never be tired of Asian food. We had ramen two nights in a row (we might have a problem) and I ate the best bahn mi sandwich I have ever had (as I write this we have already been to Vietnam and eaten our fair share of them — the one at the shop outside of Melbourne is still better). I can get behind any city with this much delicious food!
Total Number of Nights: 5
Languages: English (!)
Currency: $1 USD = $1.33 Australian Dollar (AUD)
Number of Miles Traveled: 2,138 (including our flight from Christchurch)
Number of Miles Walked: 39 miles (average of 7.7 miles per day)
Steps Taken: 82,895 steps (average of about 16,579 per day)
Transportation Used: Rental car, taxi, Uber X
Type of Accommodations: Hotel (1)
Number of Beds: 1