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Day 30 to 33- New Year New Country!

Australia- First stop = Melbourne.

1st Jan- 4th Jan

And just like that the New Zealand part of our journey was over. We both thoroughly enjoyed our NZ experience and meeting up with so many familiar faces was a gentle introduction into our trip and has kept any homesick feelings at bay for now. Again we would like to thank all the friends and family that have taken care of us and helped us explore this wonderful country.

One of those generous individuals, Shane, did his last good deed and gave us a lift to the airport. With Iz feeling a little fragile from the night before this was greatly appreciated! We were unsure if we would get any food on our fairly short 4.5 hour flight so we grabbed a quick Maccies before heading to our gate. The fact we were then eligible for some lemon chicken came as an extra treat! On our approach into Australia the pilot pointed out the fires that you could see burning over the whole country. Being in the middle seats we couldn't see for ourselves but it did make us a little sad, while also selfishly hoping it wouldn't limit too much of what we wanted to do here.

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Melbourne is our initial Aussie stop and first impressions were very good; getting through security and finding our hostel with ease. Iz kind of jinxed this by saying that all seemed far too pain-free for us. I stated that a some kind of hiccup wouldn't be far away. And sure enough when we got to our hostel room this premonition came true.

While the reception and bar areas seemed ideal the room wasn't really as expected. Now we are not hostel snobs, far from it, but there certain things we have come to expect from even a basic hostel. Yet at this one a number of these were missing:

  • There were no lockers to put your bags in; instead there were only small ones but even most of these were hanging off the hinges
  • No charge points by the beds is a real pain
  • The rooms were messy which largely seems to be as at least two people are staying in the room long term
  • A number of the toilets and showers were broken
  • The kitchen was tiny and fairly dirty

Feeling a little disheartened we secured our bags best we could and went in search of something to cook for dinner. We selected a pie and chips as we were informed the was an oven. Although upon our return we realised this was a microwave oven... Resulting in rather soggy and undercooked food just adding to our misery. We know and accept there will be tests like this while traveling so decided to put on a brave face and head to the bar. Shortly after sitting down we got chatting to a guy from Virginia and played a bit of pool before heading to bed to complete one of our four nights in this hostel.

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We got up early to head down for the promised free pancakes the hostel offered, hoping this would help us re-evaluate this place. Yet as we were informed the batter had run out meaning no pancakes it probably just made it worse. Getting on with it we starting researching what we wanted to do in our 3 weeks here. During this process one of the hostel staff came over and gave us a hand, which was appreciated and meant we managed to book all of our transport for Australia and a 5 day trip to Fraser Island. Our schedule is tight but we should manage to fit all we want in, courtesy of a few overnight buses. But you know we save on hostels!

Feeling happier now we had a defined plan we shot out to St Kilda for some lovely fish and chips, a relax on the small beach and a wander up the pier while watching the wind surfers. It was a beautiful little spot and good for people watching. We met up with Mark (a uni friend who now lives here) for a drink and some food before you know some more drinks. It was good fun catching up and reliving some of our experiences so far.

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Next morning we finally got some pancakes and had a bit of a trip admin morning; finalising our travel plans for Australia and tracking our NZ spend (we are already over budget but that is to be expected considering it was the first place and we knew it would be one of the more expensive places!). Once up to date we went for a bit of a walk around Melbourne and it's vast, beautiful and peaceful botanical gardens... well if you could ignore the constant annoyance from the flies that seem to be everywhere here! Learning from our mistake yesterday we cooked chilli for dinner before grabbing an $14 bottle of wine and shooting some pool.

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We now had to decide to head to Sydney a day earlier, despite already having paid for the night at this hostel. This meant at 10.00pm this evening we would be on a 12 hour bus up the east coast to Sydney... well if it is running. Rumours of high winds today made everyone fearful of a quicker spread of the bush fires! Trying to put that our our minds for now we doubled up on pancakes and headed to Queens Street Market. We spent around 4 hours here just smooching around; testing the famous coffee, the odd beer and picking up a few light gifts for people back home. Our Melbourne stay, like the locals, had been pretty relaxed and gave us time to just enjoy being away. Our last activity in Melbourne was a 2 hour walk around the city viewing all of the street art. Like all art we loved some and disliked others; baby Yoda and Elton being a personal favourite! It was a fun way to see a bit more of Melbourne and its boroughs.

Loaded up with our bags again we headed to the coach station and said goodbye to Melbourne ready for our next stop!

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Posted by Bears on Tour 17:18 Archived in Australia

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