We started our first day in Australia by having a good breakfast in a café near our hotel. It was great to sit in the sun and enjoy the Australian summer. It was very hot in the morning.
Later we took a free tourist tram to go to the port. There is a big wheel and a lot of small shops.
After we arrived at the city centre located on the banks of the Yarra river. We walked around the modern downtown full of skyscrapers and also visited Chinatown.
It was Christmas time and for the first time I spent it wearing a T-shirt and shorts. It was really cool :))
We went up to the top of the Eureka Tower (297,3 metres) to enjoy the panoramic views of the city.
I was thrilled to see Rod Laver Arena where the Grand Slam is held every year because I used to follow the Australian Open.
In the afternoon we went to Fitzroy, a neighbourhood in vogue with a lot of fancy cafés and pubs to have a drink. We had a beer and some chips in “Little creatures”. Water is served here for free. The place is charming and originally decorated.
Then suddenly the weather changed from scorching heat to rain and chilly afternoon. We didn’t have a jacket nor umbrella with us and turned back to the hotel as we could. Later we found out that Melbourne is the city of four seasons in one day. I love discovering this kind of curious things through travelling.
We had a little rest at the hotel. I made a big effort not to fall asleep as I was jet-lagged. To finish the day we went for a walk around the city centre to see Melbourne at night.
Destination: Melbourne – St Kilda – Phillip Island
Next day after having breakfast and a morning walk around the city we picked up our car in “Avis”. We were nicely surprised as instead of getting a basic car like Corsa that we had booked, we were upgraded and given this 4×4 :))
At first we found driving on the left a bit strange. To use a blinker, we were touching the right lever that actually was a windscreen wiper. We also got confused several times and when there were no cars around, we drove on the right side of the road by force of habit. It takes time to get used.
We drove to St Kilda, a beachside neighbourhood, 6 kilometres away from Melbourne. In the background you can see the city.
There were a lot of wind surfers here.
There is nothing particularly special about St Kilda beach, but we were hugely surprised when we ran across this penguin on the beach. Although we were going to see them on Phillip Island later that day, we got excited about seeing one here. They are so small and cute.
We had a nice lunch outdoors enjoying the sunny weather and good food.
Here in Acland Street there are a lot of bakeries and cafés that sell all kind of sweets and cakes. We had this one with hazelnuts for dessert.
Afterwards we drove to the hotel Ibis near Dandenong to leave our luggage and head for Phillip Island. It is famous for hosting a motorcycle racing and also being home to a large colony of 33-centimetre tall penguins.
Here we saw a penguin parade. Every night these nice creatures return to the shore after spending a day at the sea. They head for their dens to have a rest. It’s such a beautiful natural spectacle. However, we found it a bit exploited as there were lots of tourists, a huge souvenir shop and a big café. At first the place was so packed that we couldn’t even have a seat nor good vision of the beach. Later it got better and we could see the penguins closer. Here we also saw for the first time a kangaroo jumping along the beach, which is quite unusual. That feeling of seeing a kangaroo for the first time in our lives was unique and unforgettable.
After the penguin parade we drove to the hotel feeling extremely happy about seeing the penguins in their natural habitat and our first kangaroo. The Australian wildlife is a mind-blowing experience.
In the next post I’ll tell you about the incredibly beautiful Ocean Road!! Stay tuned!! 🙂