In and Out of Melbourne

My round trip of Australia ended up back in Melbourne. This time I was flying in solo and wasn’t meeting anyone so I needed to sort out how to get from the airport to the Airbnb I had booked by myself. It actually turned out to be super easy! I took the airport transfer, SkyBus. You can buy your tickets right outside of the Arrivals door of the Melbourne airport and it leaves every 10-20 minutes. It cost $18 but since the airport is a ways out of town I thought it was worth it. I got off at the Southern Cross Station and decided to just grab an Uber to my Airbnb. If I had known how close it was I probably would’ve tried to figure out the bus but Uber was way easier especially with my heavy backpack and assorted other bags I’ve gained along the way.

Melbourne Flight

Beautiful day flying into Melbourne!

This was my first experience with Airbnb and it was pretty good. The host was home when I got there and super welcoming. It was in a really good spot and super close to public transit which I definetly took advantage this time while in town. What I didn’t like about it was I felt like I was in someone else’s space and didn’t want to bother them. While I was there and they were home I spent most of the time in my bedroom, I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded me being around, they’ve hosted lots of people, but I just didn’t want to get in their way. I would totally use Airbnb again but I think that I would probably try and get a whole place rather than just a bedroom. It is really nice to not be staying in a hotel though so I do like that aspect a lot.

If you’re interested in trying out Airbnb yourself sign up via this link and we both get a $30 credit when you stay somewhere your first time!

Amazing building that houses the Immigration Museum in Melbourne

Amazing building that houses the Immigration Museum in Melbourne

When I got to Melbourne I started doing some job interviews and I actually found an apartment to rent but once I got all that set up I started getting really anxious and homesick and wasn’t sure that I was making the right decision about settling down there. I missed my friends and family and I wasn’t sure how much longer I wanted to be away from everyone. I started looking at flights home but then I remembered that two of my best friends were in New Zealand, and that flight was a heck of a lot shorter than a flight all the way back to Canada. So Saturday afternoon I texted my friend and by 6:30 Saturday evening I was flying to New Zealand to meet him! I felt better right when he picked me up at the airport, sometimes you just need that connection of someone you’ve known for a long time to reassure you about yourself!

I would love to tell everyone travelling by themselves that sometimes you really have to evaluate how you’re feeling. It is hard to travel by yourself and anyone who tells you otherwise must be super mentally tough or the happiest person ever 365 days a year. There will be times when you feel lonely or missing the familiar comforts, but in the end it’s totally worth it. Doing this trip alone is probably both the hardest and also most rewarding thing I’ve done. I’ve learned how strong of a person I am and that I can do anything that I set my mind to, I’ve also learned that I do need some reassurance from the people I love and that I need to be conscious of when I’m feeling a bit down and spend some time taking care of myself!

So in the end it was a quick trip back to Melbourne, just three nights, and now I’m in Christchurch, New Zealand. Trying to figure out where I’m going to head to next and what I want to do. That’s one of the exciting things about this trip, I can realistically go wherever I want, whenever!

 

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Adelaide Exhibits

To wrap up my time in Adelaide I wanted to talk about the other activities I did. One fantastic thing about the city is that the museums and art gallery are free to visit!

One of the days that the weather wasn’t so nice I headed to the museum with a friend to wander around for a little while. It was nice to get out of the crazy wind and I also didn’t realize how huge the museum there was! There were tons of really cool exhibits and it was a great way to spend a morning. I got to learn quite a bit about the aboriginals of Australia and a multitude of other things. They had a lot of natural history exhibits that I really enjoyed, especially noting the difference between Australian natural history and North American.

It’s a little bit ridiculous but I swear I have been following the school holidays around Australia, it feels like everywhere I’ve gone the two week holidays have just been beginning. The museum was no different. We got there about 15 minutes after it opened in the morning and somewhere I think every child in Adelaide managed to get there before us. It wasn’t too bad but I just think it’s pretty funny how often this has happened since I’ve been in Australia.

The other place I decided to go to in Adelaide was the Art Gallery of Southern Australia. Again this was free which I thought was fantastic and great for a backpacker budget! I went there by myself and probably spent about two hours walking through. It was nice and quiet and there were lots of different and really interesting pieces. Definetly worth it to pop in if you have some time while visiting Adelaide.

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Bit of a scary exhibit!

Angelfire

Angelfire by Sue Kneebone

Art Gallery

After the Art Gallery I decided to wander around the Botanic Gardens. The area around the museum, art gallery and gardens is really gorgeous. Lots of really pretty old architecture and is right next door to the University of Southern Australia. The gardens were really nice to walk through and it was a beautiful sunny day. I think all of the cities that I’ve been in while in Australia have these large botanic gardens and I love it. It’s so nice in the middle of the city to have the huge green spaces, and although I have only been here during the winter so there hasn’t been a lot of flowers, they have all still been really pretty and a nice break from the busy city streets.

Adelaide Botanic DSC00667

I also spent a lot of time with the group of friends from Adelaide that I met and had a great time with. They were super welcoming and it was so nice to have people to get drinks with or ask about what some of the good local things to do or places to go were. When you’re only spending a couple weeks in a place at a time it can be hard to meet many people but that wasn’t a problem for me there. I think that a big part of that is putting myself out there to things I might not normally do or situations where maybe I’m a little bit uncomfortable, but you don’t often meet too many people sitting in your hostel room.

Finally I decided it was time to move on after being in Adelaide for about two and a half weeks and I headed back to Melbourne. Side note on that – I had been planning on renting a vehicle to make the drive and check out the Great Ocean Road (<– my post about the 12 Apostles) again but I ended up flying. The day before I wanted to leave I went to rent a car online and I saw that the price had gone up to $700 for a 4 day rental…holy crap. Realizing that it would be way out of my budget and a little bit ridiculously priced I thought I just booked a plane ticket. I’m glad that I already did the highlights of the GOR when I was in Melbourne with Matt but I might try and get back down there again to spend some more time, but at that point it was just not feasible to rent a car to drive myself.

Have you ever been to a city that you weren’t sure about but it ended up surprising you?

Wine Around Barossa Valley

Adelaide was the little city that came through for me. Like I said last time for the first few days I was a little bit hesitant about how long I’d end up staying there, it seemed pretty quiet and since I didn’t really have anything planned for while I was there, I thought I might end up a bit bored. Luckily for me, I ended up finding lots of fun stuff to do!

One of the main things I was looking forward to was a wine tour. Southern Australia is known for having great wine, and has a couple of different wine regions, the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. I decided to go with the company Groovy Grape Tours and do a tour of the Barossa Valley. This included 5 different wineries and a pizza lunch at the Saltram Winery. For $99 I thought that this was a pretty good deal and decided to head on the tour on a Saturday after I arrived.

Jacob's Creek

Trying out the shiraz at Jacob’s Creek

The tour started early, 7:30am, which I thought was a little bit unnecessary, seeing as our first stop was at “The World’s Largest Rocking Horse”…probably could have done without that and just gotten to the wine tasting honestly. Maybe that’s just the wino in me but I would have rather started a little bit later and just have gone to wineries instead.

Out of all the wineries I would say that Saltram was my favourite. The grounds and buildings were gorgeous and there was a lot of interesting history there, the winery is over 150 years old! Another thing that probably contributed to it being my favourite was the wine was really delicious and the pizza lunch was so so so good! All the wineries that we went to were good, but it’s hard to compete with the Okanagan where I’m from.

Saltram Wine

Cute little building on the Saltram Winery grounds

We got back from the tour at around 5:30 and all in all it was a great day. Even though I was by myself all the people on the tour were super friendly so I always had someone to chat with, which when you’re drinking wine is pretty crucial. Overall I was happy with the Groovy Grape company and they do have some other tours that I heard from other travellers were really good. My only criticism I would say was that the driver/tour guide wasn’t super informative, I would’ve liked to have had more information as we were driving through the different areas.