Melbourne – Tram Ride & St Kilda (30 Sept 2019)

City Circle Tram Ride

I was told that we will be taking the tram ride and it’s free as long as we took the right route and tram. Taking the tram ride allowed me to tour Melbourne the lazy way.

With a quick Google search, free tram ride includes ALL trams within the boundaries of Spring Street, Flinders Street and La Trobe Street. Additionally, routes along Victoria Street, William Street, Elizabeth Street and Docklands area.

So technically very pocket-friendly. As long as you plan your route, you can travel around Melbourne without having to worry about the transport fee.

Daiso at Flinders Street

Alighted at Flinders Street and went into a supermarket which I can’t remember if it’s Coles or Woolworths. We were stocking up some food for our road trip towards Sydney. These are for just in case we got hungry before we arrive at our next destination.

We did pass by Daiso when we were exploring Flinders Street and decided to check it out. And to stock up a packet of heat pack because I left it back at home. Ended up getting a Mickey Mouse sunshade as well for our car. Although Dear specifically said no more Mickey Mouse items, she said yes to the sunshade.

St Kilda

After our shopping at Flinders Street, we head back to our accommodation to unload our stuff. Dear said to bring the heat packs that we just bought and wear more to keep warm for the next destination on the itinerary. I didn’t understand why and she wouldn’t tell me. All she said was a surprise.

After we repack our bags and rest a little while, we head out for the tram ride again. Our next destination for the day was St Kilda. Once we arrived, we walked by the beach and managed to see the beautiful sunset.

Dear leads us towards the jetty area, it got windy and very cold. Despite us wearing layers, we were in fact shivering! Had to open the heat pack that we brought along with us in order to help keep us warm. We even witness seagulls trying to fly against the wind and some even had difficulty landing due to the strong wind.

Once we arrived at the jetty, I overheard someone saying they saw a penguin in between the rocks. That’s the moment when I realised Dear had planned this surprise for me to see wild penguins. Heard from the volunteer that these little cuties aren’t afraid of humans, they are used to visitors. Do note that we aren’t allowed to take pictures with flash or touch them.

We didn’t stay long as it’s quite crowded at the jetty, so we left after admiring and taking some photos of the cute penguins. Entered a cafe and ordered a cup of coffee to keep us warm before we take the tram ride and head back for dinner.

Yi Bu Dao Wei Tasty Spicy Hot Pot

Address: 212 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

We alighted a few stops before our accommodation as we saw another Daiso along the way. Decided to pop by before it closes for the day. Daiso is one of our favourite places to shop, so it’s like a must-visit for us even when we’re overseas.

After Daiso, we decided to get dinner but weren’t sure what to have. We happened to walk past Tasty Spicy Hot Pot and decided to give it a try. Also because it was empty and I’m hungry. An empty restaurant means I get my food fast. It might be kind of weird for others to think that why are we in a caucasian country having Asian food when we can have it back at home.

Sometimes, trying out Asian food abroad can be quite an opener I would say. It’s either yummy or not very nice.

Dear ordered the spicy chicken hot pot to share. It came with rice to go along with the dish.

It’s spicy definitely, but I’m amazed at the taste. It’s very much different from home and quite authentic Chinese cuisine in my opinion. And it does warm us up during the cold night in Melbourne.

Also ordered a plate of dumpling and it’s amazingly good! Both dishes didn’t disappoint us. Highly recommended if you’re looking for Chinese cuisine when you’re in Melbourne.

We strolled back after dinner and enjoy Melbourne as much as we can. It’s our last night in Melbourne before we head off on a road trip towards Sydney.

Melbourne – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (29 Sept 2019)

Queen Victoria Market

Address: Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Headed to Queen Victoria Market for grocery shopping in the morning. Dear planned to get some ingredients to cook us a meal since we have a kitchen that we can use at the apartment.

Upon entering the building, it is like Singapore’s version of a wet market but with air conditioning. There is a wide variety of seafood and meats. We were spoilt for choices. We decided to continue exploring the market while we think of what to cook for dinner. As we walked further, we arrived in the pastry section. Lots of bread and pastries as well as some shops selling cheese. The vegetables and fruits are in the outdoor section. And Dear bought a bag of tiny avocados at AUD$2. Each avocado is around my palm size. Quite cute I would say compared to the ones we usually bought back at home.

Queen Victoria Market is a large place. Bigger than I expected as there is another section where they sell clothes, accessories and souvenirs etc.

Did a tag for Twix at AUD$15. Price is inclusive of engraving. There’s an additional AUD$5 if you would like to add another phone number to the tag. Always wanted to get her one but it is expensive in Singapore. Finally got one, although it isn’t cheap, the price was reasonable.

Cafe Victoria

Decided to dine at one of the cafe nearby for brunch. After seeing a few different cafe menus, I chose Cafe Victoria. Mainly because it’s wallet-friendly and it’s not crowded.

Ordered a cup of latte for me and Dear tried their flat white. We were asked if we would like it in a cup or mug. We weren’t sure what that meant and we asked what’s the difference. Apparently, it’s the size of the drink. Cup is small size while the mug is the bigger size. We both ordered our coffee the cup size because we weren’t sure if we’re able to finish if we were to get the mug size.

It’s our first cup of coffee in Australia. According to my research, Melbourne is filled with cafe and they do have really nice coffee if you know where to go. Quite amazed at the taste. It’s rich and roast-y, amazingly refreshed.

Food-wise, I ordered a big breakfast as the description made it sound so yummy. To my surprise, it really was a big breakfast. I gave all my bacon to Dear as I’m not a fan of it. Don’t really enjoy if my food is too salty and bacon happened to fall under that category.

Dear ordered her all-time favourite, egg Benedict. She seemed to enjoy it and according to her, the portion was just right.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

One of the highlight of the trip, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter and after knowing that they will be playing in Melbourne during our trip, I told Dear that I want to go. We bought the tickets a little late, we ended up sitting separately. Although it was a restricted view, we managed to get the first few front rows and at a cheaper price!

We watched both part 1 and 2 on the same day at Princess Theatre which I got to know it’s walking distance from where we stayed. So we literally walked home after part 1, cooked and had dinner before walking back in the evening for part 2.

So I have been waiting to get my hands on the Ravenclaw house scarf to complete my collection. And was hoping that the price would be reasonable and not ridiculously expensive. During the break for Part 1, we headed to the merchandise store immediately. Thankfully, the scarf was within the budget that I’ve set. And yes, finally I am able to complete my house scarf collection.

I will be writing up a review on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in another post do keep a lookout.

Melbourne – Arrival (28 Sept 2019)

Singapore to Australia, Melbourne

Have been looking forward to this trip when we bought our flight tickets last year. It’s my first trip to Australia and the first English speaking country that I visited. Stepping into Singapore Changi Airport means that our trip has finally begun.

It was a 7-hour direct flight and all I could remember was I slept most of the time. Only stood up once to move my legs was when I needed to use the toilet.

Thankful that the flight towards Melbourne was a peaceful journey and the seat next to me was empty. Which means we get more space to put our stuff during mealtime.

Arrival at Melbourne

We arrived at Melbourne’s airport at around 8 pm, their local time. The time in Australia is around 3 hours faster than Singapore’s which means it was around 5 pm back home when we arrived.

Upon arrival, we were pleased to know that our passport can be used at their electronic machine for immigration clearance which they called it the e-passport. It was a fast and hassle-free experience and I’m pretty impressed. It was like a good start for my trip to Australia. The only downside upon arrival was the long wait for our luggage.

So, Fluffy Bunny was the one who planned all our itinerary and the one who did research for most of the routes such as how to get there. I am basically of no help at all other than researching on places of interest that I would want to go or that both of us might be interested in.

We took the Skybus from the airport towards Southern Cross Station. As my Australia’s sim card takes about 24hour to fully activate before I could use, I tried the wifi provided on the Skybus. It didn’t manage to connect and even when it was connected, the data speed was slow in my opinion.

We bought two sim cards, Telstra and Optus. As we will be on a road trip, getting two different company’s sim cards will be a better option in case one doesn’t have any connection. And thankfully we did, as Telstra takes longer time to be activated and we didn’t know till we register it online.

Tips: When traveling in pairs or groups, it’s always good to purchase different company’s sim cards. When one doesn’t seem to connect well, you may tether the data to one another in order to stay connected to the internet.

It took us quite a long while to figure out how to purchase their myki card through the machine. We couldn’t find someone to ask and their customer service counter was already closed. So we had to press each option to see what it meant before we manage to purchase a card each.

Their myki card can be used only in Melbourne and for all type of transportation within that city. So remember to tap before and after boarding to pay for your transport fare.

business apartment in the CBD

We will be staying at an apartment in the CBD area for two nights. Upon entering the building, we were greeted by a very nice cute interesting buttons in the lift. It took me a while to realise that pressing the button once is enough. Pressing it again twice in a row will reset everything and the lift wouldn’t move to the level you wanted.

You may check out this place where we booked through Agoda here.

When we arrived in Melbourne, it was around 8 degrees. A pretty cold night and the only downside staying in this apartment is that the heater provided is very small. It doesn’t warm up the entire apartment, let alone around the bed area. We had to wear our jackets to wrap ourselves up to stay warm. Other than that, it’s a nice cosy place to stay at, as long as not during the winter.

Dinner from 7-Eleven

I have been hearing from friends who had been to Australia, that the shops close as early as 5 pm. Thus, it can be difficult to find dinner if we don’t have an early meal. Unless you get some ingredients at the supermarket and cook a meal yourself. Provided you stay in an apartment that has a kitchen for you to use.

Since we landed late and after checking into our apartment, it was already past 9 pm. There were bars and pubs around our apartment that was still opened, but what we needed was a proper dinner. Unable to find a restaurant that’s open at that timing, we visited 7-Eleven instead.

Got ourselves instant noodles and a packet of microwavable spaghetti. It wasn’t a proper meal, but at least we get to fill up our tummy and rest for the night. Also bought a Krispy Kreme doughnut as my dessert for the day. It wasn’t cheap, but I just had the craving for something sweet that night.

Travelling can be tiring and we were exhausted after a long flight. Finally, we get to rest before we start exploring and see what Melbourne has to offer.