A Travellerspoint blog

East Coast Adventures

Melbourne – from the 12 pubs to the 12 apostles

sunny

Back in Melbourne on the 15th where I could finally leave my backpack down for longer than 2 days! Was great to see all the gang again and it wasn’t long before we got the christmas partying underway, donning our Santa hats (and beards in some cases!) and embarking on the 12 Pubs of Christmas on Saturday night, although being honest we joined at pub 6 or 7! Pubs 1-5 we spent lazily on the beach! I have Catriona Ryan to thank for my hangover the next day!

As all the Melbournians were still working, I spent time wandering though this lovely city I m’aonar during the week which was nice. Visited the National Gallery, Library of Victoria’s exhibits, the ACMI, Fed Square to name a few. When I had my personal tour guide we visited the Botanical Gardens, Shrine of Remembrance and St Kilda’s pier where at sunset you can see little penguins return to the shore for nesting. Bring a fleece! That’s the great thing about this city, there’s plenty to see and do! Victoria market was definitely worth a look and as it was the last one before Christmas it was particularly busy on Wednesday night with hundreds and hundreds of people out in the sunshine enjoying the live music and a few drinks. A great place to meet friends and that’s exactly what we did!
Christmas on the Road

Day 1: On Thursday Paudie and I took a trip down the Great Ocean Road, our first stop being Torquay, Australia’s surf capital and home of Rip Curl Pro World Tour event. There’s good beaches here, Bells beach probably the best known just outside the town. Was strange but beautiful to have such a popular tourist spot almost deserted to wander along. From here we made our way to Aireys Inlet and to Split Point Lighthouse which was used as a location in the childrens tv show Round the Twist (I can hear you sing it!) and then onwards to Lorne where we set up camp for 2 nights (Paudie did most of the setting up it has to be said – much appreciated Paudie!). Lorne is a pretty little coastal town where you can whip up a bbq overlooking the sea or eat in one of its little restaurants; I’d recommend the former especially on a nice evening. We chilled out on the beach on day 2 making the most of the good weather after visiting Erskine falls located just outside the town in the morning.
On day 3 (Christmas Eve) we hit the road again in the direction of Apollo Bay where we would be joined my Mary and Aoibheann for the weekend. We stopped along all the popular spots on this windy stretch of road, the Arch, London Bridge with the most impressive being the 12 Apostles. They were as fantastic as I expected, an icon of the Great Ocean Road and we couldn’t have asked for nicer weather to capture them in after a dreary start to the morning. From here we headed back to Apollo Bay and checked into the YHA. This is a really great hostel for anyone heading in that direction. Its purpose built and eco friendly but attracts all ages. It’s a really nice place to spend Christmas as it feels very homely. There was quite a few irish about for the weekend each having a collection of irish goodies obviously sent over from home. In my time in Melbourne the postman delivered a serious amount of chocolate and some tayto that I think will last the guys until Easter! We did put a serious dent in it over Christmas though so thanks Mum!

Day 4: Christmas morning made phonecalls home, everyone expecting us to be on the beach and not sheltering from the rain! We headed for the local church for christmas morning mass. I didn’t realise how much I would miss Tom’s rendition of Oh Holy Nigh but the choir did do a nice job and tried to get the congregation to join - Mary and I did but all the nudging the world wouldn’t get a note from Paudie, Oh well God loves a trier!). Afterwards we enjoyed Christmas drinks and scrabble as the other irish slaved away in the kitchen. The weather kinda scuppered our plans for a beach bbq so we had it on the balcony of the hostel. Our 30 minute prep really showed up the almost day prep of the others! I applaude their efforts in reproducing mammys christmas dinner but it was so much more relaxing to have a bbq and a change from the norm which was nice! The late afternoon was spent walking on the beach and the evening playing cards (anyone heard of 50m of slurry?) and enjoying a few beers. A really relaxing day.

Day 5: Stephens Day we started with an almost irish brekkie – spanish style chorizo sausages just arent dennys gold medal are they! They were the only pork sausages in the supermarket, they have every kind here from chicken to beef to kangaroo and scarily ones just labelled ‘meat’. We set off back towards melbourne stopping at the beautiful Sheoak Falls, Cape Patton (where we take a very scenic and steep route to an unspoilt beach), Whitehaven beach to see the famous sign, chill out on fairhaven beach for the afternoon before meeting Ann in Torquay for dinner. We leave the girls here and head back to Melbourne that evening, the great ocean road adventure over. It was fantastic and a lovely place to spend christmas away from home. One to remember!

Back in Melbourne and luckily for me Paudie is still on holiidays so he takes me to see the Old Melbourne Gaol where the infamous outlaw Ned Kelly was hanged. They reinact the trial using the public which is quite funny and worth a look. Get to catch up with Frank and Bec who are over for the holidays. It was great to see them after not seeing family for so long. I leave for Sydney on the 29th. I hated saying goodbye to such a wonderful place but I guess I’ll be back at some stage for a visit.

Posted by elisasdiary 15:40 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

East Coast Adventures

Melbourne – from the 12 pubs to the 12 apostles

sunny

Back in Melbourne on the 15th where I could finally leave my backpack down for longer than 2 days! Was great to see all the gang again and it wasn’t long before we got the christmas partying underway, donning our Santa hats (and beards in some cases!) and embarking on the 12 Pubs of Christmas on Saturday night, although being honest we joined at pub 6 or 7! Pubs 1-5 we spent lazily on the beach! I have Catriona Ryan to thank for my hangover the next day!

As all the Melbournians were still working, I spent time wandering though this lovely city I m’aonar during the week which was nice. Visited the National Gallery, Library of Victoria’s exhibits, the ACMI, Fed Square to name a few. When I had my personal tour guide we visited the Botanical Gardens, Shrine of Remembrance and St Kilda’s pier where at sunset you can see little penguins return to the shore for nesting. Bring a fleece! That’s the great thing about this city, there’s plenty to see and do! Victoria market was definitely worth a look and as it was the last one before Christmas it was particularly busy on Wednesday night with hundreds and hundreds of people out in the sunshine enjoying the live music and a few drinks. A great place to meet friends and that’s exactly what we did!
Christmas on the Road

Day 1: On Thursday Paudie and I took a trip down the Great Ocean Road, our first stop being Torquay, Australia’s surf capital and home of Rip Curl Pro World Tour event. There’s good beaches here, Bells beach probably the best known just outside the town. Was strange but beautiful to have such a popular tourist spot almost deserted to wander along. From here we made our way to Aireys Inlet and to Split Point Lighthouse which was used as a location in the childrens tv show Round the Twist (I can hear you sing it!) and then onwards to Lorne where we set up camp for 2 nights (Paudie did most of the setting up it has to be said – much appreciated Paudie!). Lorne is a pretty little coastal town where you can whip up a bbq overlooking the sea or eat in one of its little restaurants; I’d recommend the former especially on a nice evening. We chilled out on the beach on day 2 making the most of the good weather after visiting Erskine falls located just outside the town in the morning.
On day 3 (Christmas Eve) we hit the road again in the direction of Apollo Bay where we would be joined my Mary and Aoibheann for the weekend. We stopped along all the popular spots on this windy stretch of road, the Arch, London Bridge with the most impressive being the 12 Apostles. They were as fantastic as I expected, an icon of the Great Ocean Road and we couldn’t have asked for nicer weather to capture them in after a dreary start to the morning. From here we headed back to Apollo Bay and checked into the YHA. This is a really great hostel for anyone heading in that direction. Its purpose built and eco friendly but attracts all ages. It’s a really nice place to spend Christmas as it feels very homely. There was quite a few irish about for the weekend each having a collection of irish goodies obviously sent over from home. In my time in Melbourne the postman delivered a serious amount of chocolate and some tayto that I think will last the guys until Easter! We did put a serious dent in it over Christmas though so thanks Mum!

Day 4: Christmas morning made phonecalls home, everyone expecting us to be on the beach and not sheltering from the rain! We headed for the local church for christmas morning mass. I didn’t realise how much I would miss Tom’s rendition of Oh Holy Nigh but the choir did do a nice job and tried to get the congregation to join - Mary and I did but all the nudging the world wouldn’t get a note from Paudie, Oh well God loves a trier!). Afterwards we enjoyed Christmas drinks and scrabble as the other irish slaved away in the kitchen. The weather kinda scuppered our plans for a beach bbq so we had it on the balcony of the hostel. Our 30 minute prep really showed up the almost day prep of the others! I applaude their efforts in reproducing mammys christmas dinner but it was so much more relaxing to have a bbq and a change from the norm which was nice! The late afternoon was spent walking on the beach and the evening playing cards (anyone heard of 50m of slurry?) and enjoying a few beers. A really relaxing day.

Day 5: Stephens Day we started with an almost irish brekkie – spanish style chorizo sausages just arent dennys gold medal are they! They were the only pork sausages in the supermarket, they have every kind here from chicken to beef to kangaroo and scarily ones just labelled ‘meat’. We set off back towards melbourne stopping at the beautiful Sheoak Falls, Cape Patton (where we take a very scenic and steep route to an unspoilt beach), Whitehaven beach to see the famous sign, chill out on fairhaven beach for the afternoon before meeting Ann in Torquay for dinner. We leave the girls here and head back to Melbourne that evening, the great ocean road adventure over. It was fantastic and a lovely place to spend christmas away from home. One to remember!

Back in Melbourne and luckily for me Paudie is still on holiidays so he takes me to see the Old Melbourne Gaol where the infamous outlaw Ned Kelly was hanged. They reinact the trial using the public which is quite funny and worth a look. Get to catch up with Frank and Bec who are over for the holidays. It was great to see them after not seeing family for so long. I leave for Sydney on the 29th. I hated saying goodbye to such a wonderful place but I guess I’ll be back at some stage for a visit.

Posted by elisasdiary 15:37 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

East Coast Adventures

Follow the Rainbow to Fraser Island

sunny

Rainbow Beach
Our starting point for our trip to Fraser Island. Arrived the day before for our safety briefing and for a meet and greet with our group. There were 8 to a 4x4 and the 4 of us were paired with 3 German lads and their Taiwanese friend. We got along instantly mostly thanks to Fiona’s 20 questions the 1st morning! A short ferry ride and we were driving on the white sands of this all-sand island, created by years and years of drifting sands. It’s strange you would think nothing could grow on this type of surface but a lot of the island is covered by rainforest. We visit Lake Wabby on Day 1 which is surrounded on 3 sides by eucalyptus forest and a massive sandblow on the other side. It’s 13m deep at the centre but you would never think it just by looking at it. We dove straight in to cool off after the drive here – driving in the soft sand is slow and there’s a lot of it especially after high winds which greeted us at our campsite on the first night! Cue lots of tent pinning down for the night! We woke finding ourselves in a flattened tent and surrounded by a lot more flattened tents! Slept through 95km winds that night! Day 2 was a bit of a washout as one of the cars broke down (aka ran out of fuel) and the rest of us kept getting stuck in the soft sands that had gotten so much worse after the storms. We did manage to reach Eli Creek, the Maheno Shipwreck and Indian Head however, each of which were a treat!
Day 3 we headed to Lake Mackenzie which was absolutely beautiful with its crystal clear blue freshwater and white sands. I got to drive the track on the way out and it was great fun, the 4x4 bumping its way up and down sand hills, almost burnt out the clutch at one point (oops!) but our lead driver came to the rescue! We headed back to the ferry that afternoon after an amazing few days. I’d really recommend this place to everyone!
Went on a bushwalk from the hostel the next day which was cool. It was to a massive sandblow although smaller than that one on Fraser where the guide taught us how to throw a boomerang and to sandboard down a really steep sanddune! Great fun! Our time in Rainbow beach was well spent!

Posted by elisasdiary 15:36 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

East Coast Adventures

Byron Bay

sunny

From Surfers to Byron Bay where I managed to get lost one evening! Day trip to Nimbin (pun unintended!) a town that has been stuck in the 1970s since the famous Aquarius Festival was held. You only need to step out of your car and you’re being offered cookies, brownies and I’m not talking the Betty Crocker variety! All illegal of course but seems a blind eye is turned to the daily goings on! Tried my hand at bodyboarding here! Great fun! Definitely easier than surfing! Also did the Cape Byron walk (the most easterly point in Oz) which is definitely a must do. The views and scenery are stunning even from the moment you start out on the beach to when you start the descent from the lighthouse. Joined Annmarie (Monaghan) for drinks to toast our last night on the east coast as a group, a night that started out as a ‘quiet one’ and ending with sambuca shots at Cocomangas! Edel and I headed to the airport in Ballina the next morning to fly to Melbourne.

Posted by elisasdiary 15:34 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

East Coast Adventures

Byron Bay

sunny

From Surfers to Byron Bay where I managed to get lost one evening! Day trip to Nimbin (pun unintended!) a town that has been stuck in the 1970s since the famous Aquarius Festival was held. You only need to step out of your car and you’re being offered cookies, brownies and I’m not talking the Betty Crocker variety! All illegal of course but seems a blind eye is turned to the daily goings on! Tried my hand at bodyboarding here! Great fun! Definitely easier than surfing! Also did the Cape Byron walk (the most easterly point in Oz) which is definitely a must do. The views and scenery are stunning even from the moment you start out on the beach to when you start the descent from the lighthouse. Joined Annmarie (Monaghan) for drinks to toast our last night on the east coast as a group, a night that started out as a ‘quiet one’ and ending with sambuca shots at Cocomangas! Edel and I headed to the airport in Ballina the next morning to fly to Melbourne.

Posted by elisasdiary 15:33 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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