It’s supposed to be London 2018 but let me jump the post since I’m currently in Melbourne and I’m taking advantage from the fact that I feel like writing today. This trip is very much planned last minute and I’m so happy that it happened. I’m only here with my parents because everyone just got back from London about 2 weeks ago. I got to highlight that my sister is just like me, she would not have said No to any holiday plan but she did not join this time because of her boys. London post will explain why I said this haha.
Back to Melbourne, my parents and I took the 9.30am MH129 flight yesterday and we arrived safely at around 8.30pm local time (Melbourne is 3 hours ahead of Malaysia). We are staying at Adina Hotel Apartment on Queen Street and it really isn’t bad at all. I actually took 4 hours googling about where to stay and my parents gave the final say as I couldn’t decide between staying at Southbank or right in CBD. I think it was the right decision as Adina is close by to all the main shopping streets being Bourke Street, Collins Street (designers boutiques) and Emporium Shopping Mall (I’ve been told by a good friend that it’s the biggest mall in Melbourne). I booked the One Bedroom Penthouse and here is a video of the penthouse for anyone’s future reference.
We got to our accommodation just before 10pm and straight away refreshed ourselves and prayed before calling the day off to prepare for the early start of a long day next day. I booked for the Great Ocean tour operated by the trusted and renowned Gray Line for my mum and I (papa being papa only enjoys alone coffee time anywhere we go) and the pick up time was at 7.30am today. There are various tour options to choose from and I opted for the one with earliest expected return time at the city by 7.30pm.
The coach was of course not surprisingly very punctual and we hopped on to the bus at 7.25am. Please note that you should check the pick up spots that they do and come early if you have to walk to the pick up spots. They have one designated pick up spot on every street and it is usually one particular hotel. My mum and I had it convenient as Adina was the pick up location for Queen Street. So we were driven to the main stop for Gray Line to change to another bus being the big Double Decker bus and we began our journey with our driver Russell at 8am sharp. Russell was such a great tour guide overall, chatty and informative enough that we learnt important facts about Melbourne from him.
There were many pit stops that were made along the Great Ocean Road and the views were breathtaking and spectacular at every possible angle that I turned to. I will let photos do the justice for me and narrate more from there.
Our first pit stop was at a small town and there was a Sunday market with many small stalls selling crafts, clothes and food. My mum and I tried the butter and maple syrup ‘Dutch Poffertjes’ which were like pancakes but little pancakes and they were delicious!
Second pit stop was at this photo op spot! Absolutely stunning view with the calming sounds of waves.
Third pit stop was at the famous Apollo Bay. We arrived here at 11.50am and we were given an hour to have lunch as well as roam around. There was a good number of restaurants around the area and we decided to have seafood basket for 1 at George’s and it was great. Apollo Bay also had little shops selling souvenirs and craft works.
4th pit stop was the highlight of the trip and it was the 12 Apostles. These apostles are actually limestones and there are currently only 9 apostles although people do argue about the correct count of the apostles. I counted myself and there were indeed 9 apostles. Needless for me to say, the view was fantastic and I could stay there all day admiring God’s beautiful creations.
5th pit stop which was not far from 12 Apostles was the Loch Ard Gorge at Port Campbell National Park. We spent around 40 minutes roaming around the area and took some really pretty photos.
The final pit stop was at Port Campbell foreshore where we were told to have our toilet and coffee break as it would be a straight 2.5 hours journey back to the city with no more stop. Port Campbell foreshore caught us mesmerized again by its calmness and beauty.
After about 30 minutes at Port Campbell, our coach departed from here and headed back to the city. While the journey to Great Ocean Road used the coastal road to let us experience the views, the journey back to Melbourne CBD got us the opportunity to experience the greenish sight of Victoria with farms and cows throughout the journey. The coach driver Russell also played us a movie on board (Note: forgot to mention that there’s free Wi-Fi on the coach). We arrived back at Melbourne CBD at the scheduled 7.30pm and Papa was already waiting with shawarma dinner hehe.
All in all, it was a splendid Sunday! I’m heading to bed shortly and before I do so, I wish to recommend to everyone about Gray Line. They really offer a good service and we have not a single complaint about their service. We paid 88 AUD per person and it was definitely value for money. Thank you Gray Line and Russell!
I’ll come back with another post tomorrow hopefully. Good night for now!