We arrived in Melbourne late on the night before New Years Eve.
I must note that Travis had installed some GPS software on his laptop so it was like being a control room in the passenger seat on the drive over. Not only that, we also had an FM transmitter connected to the laptop so that we could listen to our mp3’s through the car stereo, and a number of battery chargers hanging out of the car’s charger.
Anyway, we used the GPS software to navigate to Travis’ Aunt and Uncle’s house, whom we were staying with, which was surprisingly very easy to get to. Upon our arrival Travis’ Aunt fed us with some delicious rice and curry and his Uncle provided us with some great stories.
Day 1 (New Years Eve)
New Years Eve. We decided to explore the city so we took a train there and wondered around. We walked. South Bank. Crown Casino. Federation Square. Bourke Street. China Town. And walked. To the Melbourne Library. Art Gallery. All the usual spots. Feet were very tired, especially having gotten used to all the sitting in the car over the past five days. By late afternoon, we headed back to Travis’ Aunt and Uncle’s place as we were to go to a NYE party with Travis’ cousin Cindy and boyfriend. The party was at an apartment in the city and that night we counted down, watched the fireworks and had a few drinks – it was fun! Thanks to Cindy and Jake for taking us out :)
Day 2 (New Years Day)
The morning of day two was recovery from the night before. By midday, everyone had slowly woken up and it was decided that we would go on a drive to the Dandenongs. A big group of us, consisting of relatives and friends went on the drive. We stopped in Little India and had some food. We ate chicken biryani, prawn curry, dahl, chapatis and sampled a variety of sweets and Indian icecream, kulfi.
On Day 3 we met up with Travis’ cousin Priya and friends Jo & Dan (who were visiting from New Zealand) for a day at the zoo. Melbourne Zoo was like any other really, but it was funny taking photos with all the animals and eating unhealthy zoo food such as greasy chips. Whilst the rest of the crew went shopping, T and I decided we would brave the new Melbourne Southern Star, a giant observation Ferris wheel 120m high in Docklands. Apparently it was found to have structural problems and was shut down soon after we visited it!
That evening we drove to Clayton to meet with my Godmother and some of her visiting friends (who were also from Perth). We had ‘make your own Korean Barbeque’, which was the first time for me. It was delicious! After we went for coffee at a suburban shopping/cafe precinct which was buzzing with people. My navigational skills led us to taking an extremely convoluted route returning home that night – including spending an unnecessary $12 for going through the tollway.
Our last day in Melbourne was quite relaxed. We thought we would visit the sites which we had missed in the vicinity of the city. We were rather touristy and took the tourist bus with our first stop at the Royal Exhibition Building. Such a marvellous looking building! Next door was the Melbourne Museum which we spent a few hours wandering through. It had so many exhibits – wish we could have stayed for longer.
From the museum we walked along to Lygon Street scouting a place to eat. After much deliberation we ended up in the Greek Precinct eating lamb souvlakis – it was a great way to end the day!
That night, Travis’ uncle and aunt organised a dinner for all the extended family. There was so much delicious food, it was a pleasure for the eyes and the stomach. That evening the “younger” generation decided to hit the town for some Melbourne nightlife. We headed to Chapel Street and stopped first at the Electric Lady Lounge for some drinks. It was an extremely packed bar so I wasn’t able to appreciate it’s deco. But, from what I remember there was an interesting drawing of a semi nude female, taken in a very artistic manner, of course! ;) We decided to go for a bit of a boogie and found ourselves at Club 161, it was very modern and luxe.. with a huge staircase leading up to it. We danced ourselves until our feet were sore & voices were hoarse.
The following morning, Travis and I said our goodbyes to all the people that had made our trip to Melbourne so memorable, his aunts, uncles, grandma and lovely cousins.. and headed towards the Great Ocean Road.