First up – Melbourne!
Luke showed up the next Sunday, and that’s when the real tourism began. To ensure Luke was not a victim of jetlag, once he arrived in Melbourne at 3 pm, it was straight out exploring the city to delay sleep as much as possible. We headed to Melbourne’s annual Night Noodle Market for some food and drinks to keep Luke going. Surprisingly – to us at least – there were few noodles to be found. Although we did enjoy our BBQ Pork Buns and did manage to find some Yakisoba. We then finished up the evening by meeting up with one of Elizabeth’s colleagues at a bar under a bridge. As we were told numerous times, Melbourne is a city you have to explore to truly discover.
Heading down towards the riverfront, we took a route through Chinatown, picking up gelato along the way. Exploring the many alleyways that Melbourne is famous for, we also walked through Hosier Lane which is known for its graffiti-covered buildings and art installations.
Our last full day in the Melbourne area was a scenic drive along the Great Ocean Road.
The day started off relatively early as we were picked up by our tour bus at 7:45 am. We stopped off for coffee at a beach an hour into the trip and then kept on heading along the road until we came across the Memorial Arch, a tribute to the WWI veterans who built the Great Ocean Road. There were a number of stops at beaches along the way, but we also stopped at some other places that you may not expect along the Great Ocean Road.
We drove through the seaside towns of Anglesea and Lorne before stopping to walk through an area full of wildlife such as cockatoos, lorikeets, and koalas. As to be expected, the birds were all over the group looking for a snack, and the koalas were minding their own business, asleep in the trees. We only managed to see one.
Our final stops were to see rock formations at the Loch Ard Gorge as well as the iconic 12 Apostles sea stacks. These limestone stacks are created by wave action eroding the limestone cliffs, creating caves which then become arches, which eventually collapse leaving these large sea stacks. Unfortunately, due to the same wave action and erosion that created them, some of the "Apostles" have collapsed, with only 8 still standing.
Afterwards, we hopped back on the bus and headed to Melbourne. We enjoyed some Korean Fried Chicken and beers near our hotel and then packed our bags for our flight to Cairns (Daintree Rainforest and Port Douglas) the next morning. Stay tuned for our adventures in the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef!