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Friday, November 28, 2014

Discover Melbourne & Tasmania in 8 Days [Part II]



Read Part 1 here

Day 5

Location
Launceston

Activities
Cataract Gorge
First Basin Chairlift  $15 per person
Souvenirs hunting
Sunset at Tamar River
Launceston City Ghost Tour  $20 per person

Tips
- We only found 2 souvenir shops here. It is advisable to buy souvenirs in Hobart (at Salamanca Market specifically for variation of souvenirs at a cheaper price). Take note that the market only opens on Saturday from 8.30 am to 3 pm.

Accommodation
Riverside Hotel Launceston 
$120 ($24 per person)

Cataract Gorge

View from Launceston's Basin Chairlift, the longest single chairlift span in the world. Open everyday but the closing time varies depending on the season.

If this was in summer, we will go further than this.

This stunning piece of natural wilderness have everything. You can experience the chairlift, suspension bridge, clear stream river and share your bread with the ducks.

Photo shoot with nature.
 Launceston City

The view of Launceston City from Arbour Park. On our way back to the city.

Beautiful architecture of the town.

Seaport Boulevard

Totally recommended. Wait until you see the food..


Tadaaaa.. undeniably Tasmania has the best seafood ever. You can find it anywhere and the taste keeps getting better.

Tamar River 

While waiting for our ghost tour to start, we dropped by at Tamar River.

Verdict

Today is our last day in Tasmania. Launceston is Australia's third oldest city and the second largest city in Tasmania after Hobart. It's major attraction is the Cataract Gorge, approximately 1.5 km from the city center. The place was awesome (as can be seen in the pictures) and we had the most delicious scones at Basin Cafe. In the afternoon, we maximized the day by walking around the town, bought some souvenirs and had a delicious seafood dinner while watching the Tasmanian sunset. At night, we joined the Ghost Tour without the ghost, but we had fun visiting every haunted building in the town and embrace the stories behind it. 



Bonus picture from Meck's previous trip: If you have extra days to spare, you can continue your journey to Cradle Mountain. About 2 - 3 hours road trip from Launceston.
Day 6

Journey 
Launceston - Melbourne

Activities
Walking around Melbourne City
Hosier Lane
Eureka Skydeck
$14 per person


Tips
As for the Eureka Skydeck, we highly recommend for you to arrive just before sunset so that you can enjoy both the day and night views. P/S: you need to queue to buy the tickets so make sure you plan your time wisely. Bring your student ID to get discount!
- You can join Free Walking Tours of Melbourne. The 3 hours guided tour available every day at 10.30 am and 2.30 pm. Though it's free, at the end of the tour, the guide would usually ask whether you enjoyed his tour and you may pay him with whatever amount you feel he deserves. 


Transportation
Taxi from Melbourne Airport
$18 per person

Accommodation
Ibis Budget Melbourne CBD (Family room - click to view the room)
$119 ($23.80 per person)

Tips 
- Ibis budget hotel is located in the heart of the city where everything is within walking distance (you can save money taking the tram). It's cheap and strategic BUT the room is very small but clean and comfortable enough for tired tourists like us.

The famous Hosier Lane. Regardless whether you're street art fan or not, this is a must visit attraction in Melbourne.

Hosier Lane is constantly changing Urban Art Gallery. You can go back to the lane 2-3 months later and many pieces will be different.

You can blend in with the characters too.

The historical Flinders Station in the background. Based on a classic urban myth, the plan of Flinders Railway Station was mistakenly switched with another Railway Station in Mumbai (or Bombay back then), the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus which was designed by the same company. If you look closely at both designs, you can see why the rumours still persist.

Sunset at Southbank Promenade. This promenade is packed with cafes, shops and restaurants, with a sprinkling of hotels, major offices, public art and apartments.

One of the enjoyable walks in Melbourne. This path stretches along the south side of the Yarra River from the popular Southgate shopping and dining complex to the Crown Casino. You can walk to Direct Factory Outlet (DFO), South Wharf from there.

The view of the world's most liveable city from Eureka Skydeck.

Verdict

We were back in Melbourne! We went for free and easy walk around the city and enjoyed every second of it. 


Day 7

Journey
Melbourne City - Mount Baw Baw

Activities
Tobogganing
Skiing
Build a snowman
$5 per person park fee
$15 toboggan rental ($4.30 per person for 2 toboggans)
$50 ski rental ($7.15 per person)
$35 per person for snow clothing rental


Tips
- SKI AND CLOTHING: Snow clothing hire is located on the mountain. The prices can be found hereFor the ski, we picked a boot size that fit all of us so that everybody can try skiing for only one price (this is how we save money for our children's education).
- FOOD AND DRINKS: There's a cafe (as seen in that picture of us enjoying the hot chocolate), you may ask the staff to refill your bottle with tap water.

Transportations
1-hour train from Flinders Station to Moe Station
$48 return per person

1-hour  4-wheel drive from Moe station to Mount Baw Baw
$33 return per person

Tips
- We paid cheaper price because there were 7 of us for this ski trip. You have to book the 4-wheel drive early and need to pay $100 deposit. Other option include renting a car but not advisable for inexperience driver.

Accommodation 
Ibis Budget Melbourne CBD 
$119 ($23.80 per person)


Our first time skiing and this was a perfect area for beginners without an instructor. We literally owned this area and we can ski without bumping with the pro skiers. 

The taste of the hot chocolate even better in this cold weather.

Verdict

Unfortunately, unlike Mount Buller, there was no ski chair lift, only ski lift which was a bit disappointing (which mean that you have to put on your ski gear to go on top of the mountain and ski downhill by yourself). One of us (read: Meck) went up with the ski lift and it didn't end well (it was a tragically funny incident). There was also toboggan park which was full with little kids except for us. Haha. We spent almost 7 hours on the mountain building a snowman, tobogganing and skiing. Surprisingly the temperature was not as cold as we expected. We all end up removing the ski jacket that we had expensively rented and we ended up playing in the snow with our ordinary clothes.


Day 8

Location
Melbourne City

Activities
Victoria Market
Brighton Beach
St Kilda

Tips
- You can sight penguins behind the St Kilda jetty, usually after sunset.

Transportations
Tram and Train
$6 per person (Weekend price. 1 day unlimited ride)

Taxi to Melbourne airport
$17 per person

Tips
It would be cheaper to take taxi for groupies. For solo traveller, skybus also available for $18 one way or $30 return.

Beautiful trees at Brighton. On our way to the Brighton Beach, about 15-20 minutes walk from the train station.

Finally arrived. You can spot Melbourne City on the background.

The cost of the beach boxes are up to $260,000 each. No kidding! But only eligible buyer can own it.

Sadly, we were not eligible.
Verdict

On our last day in Melbourne, we decided to do all the touristy stuffs. We went to Victoria Market (no photos as we were all busy bargaining), the Brighton Beach (too much photos to choose from) and St Kilda (too dark to take photos and we were not allowed to use flash to take the photos of the penguin).

Other touristy stuffs to do if you have extra days to spare:
  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • Royal Botanical Garden
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Melbourne Museum
  • Ferry to Williamstown from Southbank
  • Puffing Billy
  • Dandenong Ranges
  • Trip to Mornington and Phillip Island
  • Shopping? Direct Factory Outlet, South Wharf and Harbour Town, Docklands
Overall
  • COST: Australia is not a cheap destination. Luckily there were 5 of us to share the costs.
  • SHOPS: Closing time for most shops is 5pm (9pm on Thursday and Friday). Supermarkets open until midnight.
  • TRANSPORTATION: Melbourne has efficient public transport which makes travelling around the city less stressful. But not in Tasmania, it is advisable for you to rent a car. Don't miss out Melbourne's Free City Circle Tram Free Tourist Shuttle Bus and Melbourne Visitor Shuttle ($5 per day).
  • ROAD TRIP: Australia road trips were really enjoyable and relaxing with very reliable road signs. 
  • SEAFOOD: As repeatedly mentioned, Tasmania has the best fish and chips and fresh oysters (equally you can get fresh oysters specifically the mouth-watering Coffins Bay Oysters at the South Melbourne Market).
  • HALAL FOOD: Last but not least, our favourite Halal Food in Melbourne - Dolan Uyghur (the Lamb Skewers and Lamb Crisps are to die for), Laksa Bar (must try their Softshell Crab Curry Laksa) and Tiba's Lebanese Restaurant (their Lamb Shawarma serve and dips are really good!).
Written by  Meck
Photographed by  IkinLisaMeckShazlina &  Yaya

12 comments:

  1. Chairlift tu sgt mgayatkan!tp pmndangan cunnn...oh rrindu plak melb tgk entry ni...hehe

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    Replies
    1. Tak tinggi sgt tu hehe dtg la melbourne lagi :)

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  2. you have fantastic photos. Looking at your photos made me want to book a flight to Melbourne straight away. Seriously.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Muhamad, you should! Book your tix now. We booked ours a year before the actual trip. Hehe. Enjoy your holiday!

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  3. Contoh yg boleh diikuti... Great sharing.

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  4. hotel ibis melbourne cbd sediakan free parking tak?

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  5. Hi bro bro!!! Im studying ur itenary for my family next holiday trip... Insha Allah will b flying on the first week of May 2015😀

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    Replies
    1. woohoooo Alissa. Have a nice aussie trip with your clan. Feel free to buzz us for any futher enquiries ok. You know where to reach your bro. hehe

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  6. Love reading your blog...eventhough reading several times.

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  7. Where did you sleep when you went to all these places? And how did you have directions to all the different places you were going? Thanks :)

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