Hi guys! This is the summary of my not so recent trip to the Land Down Under. Our company held overseas trip every 2 years for employees who have atleast 2 years in service. And luckily, I am one of them! (2yrs and 2months) This travel has been one of many firsts for me; first trip outside asia, first time to travel on an all expense paid and first time to experience winter. This is not my normal itinerary post which includes budget expenses. As I’ve said, this was an all expense-paid trip by my employer. But even so, I still spent a few hundred bucks from my own pocket, and these tips might help you as well.
- Melbourne is not your usual budget city. In stores and cafes, a bottled water costs $3, a burger sandwich costs $12.00-$15.00. But if you have time, try to buy most of your needs in the supermarket just to cut down expenses.
- Melbourne offers free tram ride around CBD. Refer to this link for more details.
- If your looking for cheap souvenirs, Queen Victoria Market is the best place. They offer half the price compared to other souvenir shops. But be informed that the establishment is not always open. Refer to this link for the schedule.
Regarding the budget on accommodation, attractions, transportation etc, I couldn’t advise anything as we traveled on a coach bus and the travel agent arranged everything from hotels, tours, transfers and meals. We only arranged our DIY trips early in the morning before the scheduled group tour.
These are some of the few places I recommend which are all worth the long drive/travel (some are just around CBD)
1. Great Ocean Road
A 2-hour drive South of Melbourne, this is a 400km road from the town of Torquay to Nelson on the South Australian border
2. Apollo Bay
The small path which leads to the relaxing beach of the Apollo Bay which can be found along the stretch of the Great Ocean Road.
3. 12 Apostles
These are magnificent rock stacks that rise up majestically from the Southern Ocean on Victoria’s dramatic coastline. They are created by constant erosion of the limestone cliffs of the mainland beginning 10–20 million years ago, the stormy Southern Ocean and blasting winds gradually eroded the softer limestone, forming caves in the cliffs which eventually became arches and when they collapsed rock stacks up to 45 metres high were left isolated from the shore. It is located 275 kilometres west of Melbourne, approximately a four-hour drive along the Great Ocean Road. Worth the long travel 🙂
4. Loch Ard Gorge
Breathtaking view of the beach is definitely worth the travel.
5. Warrook Farm
Great for visitors of all ages, everyone will delight in hands on farm experience and demonstration. You can bottle feed baby calves, learn how to milk a cow, learn the art of whip cracking, see the working dog round up sheep and watch sheep shearing in the 1887 shearing shed. You can also feed kangaroos and view Australian and other wildlife in the Warrook Fauna Park. It is located halfway between Melbourne and Phillip Island. Warrook also offers traditional Australian farm meals and halal meals.
6. Maru Koala and Animal Park
Just 20mins drive from Warrook, this is definitely the highlight of my Australian trip as you can see up close (and even feed) Australia’s famous animals.
And you can even take selfies with them 😀
7. A Maze’n Things
A unique theme park located on Phillip Island and is great for family activity. You will be surprised by the variety and richness of the experiences offered here. They have lots of rooms with different things to try and see. We had fun wandering through all of the optical illusions and interactive displays. We also enjoyed the gravity room and the maze at the end! (I don’t have pictures though 😦 )
8. Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
This is a place for all things chocolate with amazing attractions, interactive machines and fascinating facts.
Here, you can actually make your own chocolate. You just need to press buttons in the interactive machines and voila! It will be finished in a couple of seconds! They also have games in which you’ll be able to win a plastic ball and can be exchanged for a real chocolate at the end of the tour. Amazing, right?
A photo of me and my colleagues trying out the unlimited chocolates for free. Who wouldn’t love chocolates?! 😀
9. Penguin Parade
Here you can see flocks of penguin coming out of the ocean and marching their way back to their homes. Too bad, taking pictures is prohibited during their parade and they always march their way early in the evening so it is quite difficult to spot them coming out of the beach.
10. Puffing Billy
It is Australia’s premier preserved steam railway which was operated in the 1900s. It is a steam railway where you can experience to dangle your legs out of the carriages as you enjoy magnificent views of the Dandenong Ranges.
How cool is that? 😀
11. Yarra Valley
Home of some of the fine wineries in Melbourne. You will definitely find peace and be relaxed in this fascinating view.
The harvest season was over when we went here.
You can actually learn how to distinguish different kinds of wine and taste them as they offer some kind of seminar here. You can also buy wines here.
12. Brighton Beach
Relaxing Beach vibe and Instagram-worthy spots 🙂
You will see these colorful bathing boxes located along Brighton Beach. Just almost an hour travel from Melbourne, you can take the tram and bus to get here.
13. Shrine of Remembrance
Located in St. Kilda Road, the Shrine of Remembranceis the biggest war memorial in Australia which was built to honor all the Australians who served in World War 1.
Places near CBD:
14. Queen Victoria Market
It is recommended to go here if you want to get the cheap price for souvenirs. They also have a wide varieties to choose from. If you’re lucky, you can even bargain from the locals for cheaper price.
We took advantage of the almost empty (but normally crowded) market, a chance for photo op 🙂
15. St. Paul’s Cathedral
Located across Flinders Street station.
16. Flinders Street Station
One of the famous train station in Melbourne. It is the first railway station in an Australian city, busiest station on Melbourne’s metropolitan network and the busiest railway station in Australia
17. National Gallery Victoria
Art Museum in Melbourne. It was founded in 1861 and it is Australia’s oldest, largest and most visited art museum.
18. Southbank Promenade
A photo of me at the bridge overlooking the glorious river and city views, there are also multitude of cafés, shops and fine restaurants, as well as outdoor art sculptures and street performers.
19. Fitzroy Garden
The usual relaxing park.
20. Eureka Tower
Melbourne’s sightseeing at its finest. The skydeck stands at almost 300 meters above the ground, where you can enjoy the most spectacular floor-to-ceiling, 360-degree view in Australia (the highest in the Southern Hemisphere)
You can read my post per day blog for more detailed itinerary:
Day 1 – Exploring Melbourne | Day 1
Day 5 – Brighton Beach | Melbourne Day 5
I also made a travel video for this trip cos pictures don’t do justice on how beautiful Melbourne is. 🙂 Watch in HD
There you have it! Thank you for reading! Hope this will help you on your future trips to the Land Down Under. Travel safe guys! ❤