4th – 10th June Melbourne

Hi again

I am so glad we decided to come and visit Melbourne it is a great city – there is so much to do. Once again we were really lucky and friends decided to put us up. (hi Nigel and Sarah – cheers Ricky) We were staying in Glenferrie, about 15 mins form the centre of town on a train so an ideal location. Unfortunetly the sun did not follow us form Cairns and it was pretty cold in Melbourne but it was dry so all was good.

On the 4th we woke up early as Nigel and Sarah are selling there house so we had to be out by 10am for perspective buyers. We jumped on a train into the city centre and first stop once again was the tourist board in Federation Square – the people were the best so far and knew an answer toall the questions we had. We had found out that there was a footie game on so walked down the MCG – a huge stadium seating approx 110 thousand people. The tickets were so cheap too comparedto footie games back home. We asked the ticket man which team was who and who we should support – obviously knowing nothing about the game. There was much banter form the Aussie’s around us telling us to support Eagles one side and Tigers the others. When you enter the stadium both teams fans sit together (unlike british footie) It is a much more family game and there is no swearing in the chants or fights.

The game itself is in 4 sections(about 30 mins a quarter) and is played on an oval pitch with an oval ball. It’s a mixture of footie and rugby games and took us a few mins to figure out the rules. It was a very tight game but the West Coast Eagles won by 2 points to the Richmond Tigers. It was great fun.

While we were in town we also booked tickets for the opening night of White – a mixture of 19th, 20th and 21st century white ballets performed by the Australian Ballet at the Melbourne Arts Centre. So I was well excited about that.

In the evening of the 4th we went to South Bank with Sarah and Nigel. (the trendy part of Melbourne) We went into the Crown complex a huge posh hotel with shops, restaurants etc. We went into an Italian and sat outside for dinner. We were right by these huge balck tubes that shot flames out of them every O’Clock. It was a spectatular sight and warmed you up when they shot into the sky.

5th – We headed to Victoria Sunday Market – a huge market full of tack, food, and some decent things too. After a few hours there we then drove through Albert Park which is where the Melbourne Grand Prix track is.

6th – We headed into the city again. I went and visited Bloch, a dance shop and spent a good hour in there looking at tall the dance outfits etc. We then headed to Federation Square and visited the Ian Potter Gallery. Not really by cup of tea but worth a walk around. We also booked our Ramsey Street Tour and our Great Ocean Road Trip.

7th – “Neighbours… Everybody needs good Neighbours” Yes we had the cheeset of mornings and jumped on a trip to Ramsey Street, to visit the home of Harold Bishop, The Kennedys, Lou Carpenter and Toadie and Stuart’s batchelor house. The bus was equipped with DVD player to play those classic neighbour episodes and trashy ex neighbours come pop stars videos. We also stopped outside Erinsborough High School and drove past the TV studios where all the magic happens. We also learnt some interesting facts like Erinsborough is an anagram of Neighbours! 😮 and the actors work for 10 months and then get 2months off to travel to do Panto in England, where they get paid double the amount for working 5 weeks in panto then they do for 10 months in Australia.!!

It was a cheesy trip but it had to be done as everyone has watched Neighbours at some point in there lives. We got 2 free tacky postcards for free as well and free sweets on the journey all for about £10.

In the afternoon we jumped on a tram to the RoyalExhibition Building – it’s a grand old building with a huge fountain in front of it – ideal for a photo stop. We then headed to the Crown Circus – an arcade as we had 2 free vouchers for rides. We ended up spending 2 dollars each (less than a £1 and went on a simulator, played ice hockey and a basketball game about 5 times – bargain. We collected approx 30 tickets and swapped them for a sticky toy which slid down a window!!! We let lose our inner child and had a blast. In the evening we went for a curry as we hadn’t had one in ages. Nigel and Sarah treated u which was lovely of them – the curry was well needed too.

8th – we headed travelling along the Great Ocean Road. I would definately reccomend this trip the scenery is breath taking. We travelled with eco – platapus day tours and even though the 12 Apostles (rocks) are miles away and you spent a long time in the bus you get off every 2 hours for a 30min break – but the Apostles were worth the wait.

Our first stop was Belles Beach – which is where the final scene of Point Break the film is filmed. The beach is the main surf point and we were both pretty impressed Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze had filmed there. We continued on and made a few photo stops along the road before stopping at Kennet River to see some wild koalas. We managed to spot about 7 or 8 and gotsme great photos yet again. We then headed to a place for our free BBQ and then had 40 mins at Loch Ard Gorge. You could walk right into the gorge and all around the edge – it was spectatular, but the best was still to come. The 12 Apostles were WOW!! we were at the look out point forsunset and it was breathtaking. I was so glad we had decided to visit as we were not sure oif the trip would be worth it but it definately was. We arrived back to Melbourne about 9pm but the trip was worth every penny.

9th – we had a lazy day and then headed to Nando’s for dinner (even better than Putney’s branch) and then into the city for a starbucks hot chocolate before we went to the ballet. Once again the show was fabulous and no one even wobbled. Thw hite tutus and cast of 25-30 dancers looked spectatular on stage.

10th – we headed to St Kilda and Lunar theme park (like Southsea common but a bit better) Tonught were on the overnight bus to Canberra for 2 nights then back to Sydney before we fly to Bangkok.

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