G’day Melbourne…..

G’day Melbourne…..

Our flight from Christchurch to Melbourne departed at 6:30 am, the journey time is around 4 hours. It was with Air New Zealand. On landing in Melbourne (temperature was 13 degrees Celsius), we took the star bus into the city centre. As of writing this blog there are a few options:
1) book a hotel that offers a courtesy bus, advantage: free (well okay, not free as you
are indirectly paying for it) and it takes you straight to your destination
2) Sky Bus which at the time of writing is AUS$17.00, takes everybody to CBD so you have to make your own way from there.
3) check the information boards for any bus deals.
4) taxi, around AUS$40.
5) walk, a bit far especially after landing….but it may help your jet lag!

We chose number 3. There was an advert for Star Bus which said scan your phone here and receive US$2.00 per person discount……well every cent does count! The ticket was AUS$15.00 per person. Because the bus was full it took a while to get to our final destination. The plus side was that because people had booked hotels all over the city, we got a free sightseeing trip!

Nov 16, 2012 10:36 AM

The hostel we booked is
Melbourne Metro YHA
78 Howard Street
North Melbourne 3051
New Zealand
T: +61 3 9329 8599
E: melbmetro@yha.com.au
Reception: 24 hours
Nov 16, 2012 12:38 PM
Nov 16, 2012 12:37 PM

Kitchen
Nov 16, 2012 12:37 PM

Common area
Nov 16, 2012 12:37 PM

a huge hostel it sleeps 360 people!! This hostel has less atmosphere than many of the hostels we have stayed at previously on this trip…..it is not a place where you can walk into a common room and start chatting with total strangers. We really have been spoilt with the small, cosy and family feel hostels in New Zealand. Hopefully once we are out of the city things can on get better!

Our room comprises of a double bed and two bunk beds. I don’t like the place, luckily we are only here for two nights. I am very much a people person and love meeting like minded people from other countries, so this place is not for me.

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After checking in, we wandered around North / Central Melbourne and then tried to find a vegan restaurant as we were very hungry, the address is 240 Victoria Street, we later found out it was in a different suburb! We then walked through a beautiful Park called Carlton Gardens and past the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building. The museum had many students around it, we asked one what was going on, she said they were taking exams. We walked out the park and down Gertrude Street which is in the suburb of Fitzroy, Melbourne’s first suburb, it had a reputation for vice and squalor. Today, it is a rather gentrified version of its old self, a mix of housing commission towers, fancy restaurants, cafes and boutique shops. this was on the way to:

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Nov 16, 2012 1:06 PM
Nov 16, 2012 1:34 PM

Las Vegan
22 Smith Street,
Collingwood
Melbourne
Australia
T: +61 3 9415 9001

Nov 16, 2012 1:51 PM
Nov 16, 2012 1:59 PM
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Sangeet ordered ‘Lentil patty and salad’ with fries, I ordered ‘fish the dish’, both excellent dishes and the prices were very reasonable. Whilst eating I managed to update the blog with pictures as the wifi here has excellent speeds.

After lunch we had a wander around the city, not as vibrant or clean as I was expecting. To be honest I will be happy as soon as we get out of the city. Most cities are the same, same fast food joints (here, Burger King is called Hungry Jacks). Stressed out people who are in a hurry, the only difference is the architecture. It is fascinating that people all over the world move to the city, many in search of a better life, though most people just look fed up. It was nice to see happier more relaxed people in the park. We saw some interesting architecture, including the RMIT (University) building.

As Hertz is open on Sunday, we decided to pick up the rental car on Sunday instead of Monday (for some reason when we first booked online it would not let us book for Sunday) so walked to Hertz and asked to change, they said they had no cars for Saturday or Sunday. We tried a few other places as a Sunday pick up is much better for us, we will have the car for the Gurdwara on Sunday and then can set off straight from there for the Great Ocean Road. Budget and Avis were quoting crazy prices for an Adelaide drop off. We decided to stick with a Monday pick up and walked towards the hostel to book our room for Sunday night before it got booked up. As we walked we found a Thrifty a bit out of the way, we decided to give them a go. The price they quoted was very good, cheaper than Hertz even with the extra day. The staff there were very helpful and told us online bookings were 10 to 15% cheaper so we popped next door to Gloria Jeans coffee shop to use the wifi:

Gloria Jeans Coffee
382 Elizabeth Street
Nov 16, 2012 5:53 PM
Nov 16, 2012 5:18 PM

The booking was cheaper online but was quoting a $100 drop off charge for dropping off the car in Adelaide, not payable if you book in the office. We checked Hertz online which now offered a Sunday pick up even cheaper than Thrifty! We cancelled the previous booking and went for that option. Good to get that sorted!

We sat on a bench in the corner of Elizabeth Street and Victoria Street, opposite Queen Victoria Market and people watched for a while. It was fun to do, especially as it was a busy spot and you could see the locals rushing around as they finished work, more relaxed people chatting on corners, trams rushing past and travellers like us stopping to look around the busy area.

Nov 16, 2012 1:05 PM
Nov 16, 2012 6:02 PM
Nov 16, 2012 6:02 PM
Nov 16, 2012 6:33 PM

Afterwards we went to another vegan restaurant:

The White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
185 Victoria Street
West Melbourne 3003
Australia
T: +61 3 9326 6040
Nov 16, 2012 6:39 PM
Nov 16, 2012 6:41 PM

Despite the name they are a vegan restaurant and do fake meats. Sangeet and I shared a soya chicken in black bean sauce dish, I did not enjoy the food as the fake meats let it down though Sangeet enjoyed it. The texture and and taste was very different. I have been spoilt with the fake meats I have had previously!

As it had been a long day we strolled back to the hostel for an early night.

Melbourne and Victoria quick facts:
Population 5,444,000
Area 227,500 sq km
Coastline 2000km

Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, is the states urban hub and nations artistic centre. Here culture junkies and culinary perfectionists feast on art, music, theatre, cinema and cuisine for every budget.

Hostels…..

In some hostels we have noticed university students, they work and stay at the hostel whilst attending university. They would work around the hostel for 2 hours day and in return their accommodation is paid for. Also most do not like the student accommodation/life, for example drinking, messy accommodation.

In New Zealand some of the hostels are kept very clean, you could even say better then some hotels. In the morning the students would clean the showers and in some cases the rooms. Some hostels have a fantastic atmosphere where you would meet fellow like minded travellers.

Saying that you do get the opposite as well, where some hostels are just awful in this case you just stay the night and move on.

It also helps joining a hostel organisation, we are members of YHA, you get certain benefits the main one being £2/3 off a nights accommodation, does not sound like much but soon adds up!

YHA:
http://www.yha.org.uk/

Hostel international:
http://www.hihostels.com/

BBH:
http://www.bbh.co.nz

Nomads hostels
http://nomadsworld.com/

Long goodbye…..

Long goodbye…..

This morning we said goodbye to Manjot and Kulyjot as they rushed off to school.

Puaji, paji and phenji were home, it was nice that we got to catch up with paji and phenji. Puaji and Phenji made lunch which we all ate together. After lunch paji went to work.

Indian goodbyes last some time, in our case about 45 minutes. It was sad to say bye, we have enjoyed staying here so much, feels so relaxed and like home. It was fantastic to see everybody again. When we left Puaji and Phenji packed a lot of fruit and various soft drinks. There are some Indian traditions I question, this one I do not. It is such an amazing tradition….somebody stays at your house, you feed them, accommodate them, when it is time for them to leave you pack so much food they are unable to carry it and send them on their way!!

We arranged to pick up Nolan around 2 pm but got to the hostel at about 2:45pm where Nolan was waiting in his chilled out way. We then went to get the car tyre seen to. The garage was so good, they said that the paperwork needed was too much so they just repaired the puncture for free!

We set off to Wellington taking highway 5 to Taupo then 1 to Wellington, on the way we stopped at Huka Falls, powerful and very amazing falls.

Oct 30, 2012 4:47 PM

Oct 30, 2012 4:55 PM


We then stopped at lake Taupo, this lake is huge. The views were stunning with snow capped mountains behind the lake.

Oct 31, 2012 7:33 PM
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The drive to wellington is around 5 to 6 hours, with taking breaks it took about 7 hours. Towards the end of the journey, we were driving in the dark so played 21 questions to keep ourselves occupied and awake which was very entertaining and made us chuckle.

We stopped for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Bull, called Hungry Bull, that served fish and chips, burgers, bacon and sausage fry up as well as Chinese food! They also sold lollipops, various ice lollies and pastries, as soon as we entered, the restaurant looked dodgy…….the food was amazing! Just goes to show don’t judge a book by its cover!

30 Oct 2012 20:15
Oct 30, 2012 8:55 PM
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Once we arrived in Wellington we went to the YHA but as we arrived there at 11:20pm they would not check us in. Tthey said as we had not booked in advance they could not check us in, if we got there by 11pm they would have checked us in….suppose rules are rules. They suggested we try Nomads which had rooms. We got a double room with ensuite. The room was very clean and had a television (in a hostel room!?!?)

Nomads
118 Wakefield Street
Wellington 6011
New Zealand
T: +64 4 978 7800
E: info@nomadscapital.com
Skype: nomadscapital

Oct 31, 2012 10:00 AM
Oct 31, 2012 9:29 AM
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