Melbourne & the Great Ocean Road

Ask any backpacker what the best city in Australia is and I guarantee that most of them will say Melbourne without even needing to think about it.Before I’d even step foot in Australia, I had people saying it’s such a ‘me’ place and that I would absolutely fall in love with it and they were right and I have and I don’t ever want to leave 😦

Melbourne is cosmopolitan, it’s social, it’s city life without the rat race. It’s pretty much a giant, rainbow coloured canvas with quirky bars and vegan restaurants and eclectic people. The tram system makes getting around a million times easier (and cheaper because who actually tops up their Myki?). There’s free festivals and day seshes and club nights every weekend, and what’s even better is that they actually cater to my music taste, which I haven’t found anywhere else on my travels so far.

It’s all of these things that gives Melbourne a personality like no other city in Australia. Unlike Sydney, where every day merges into one because you’re in that hectic, repetitive Monday to Friday routine and one minute you’re waking up and going to work then in a couple of breaths your back in bed trying to sleep to the sound of someone snoring before getting back up the next day to do it all over again, everything here is slower and people are less pretentious.

My favourite place in Melbourne is St. Kilda, where the city turns into a little beach town and the skyscrapers turn into little Bohemian shops selling crystals and incense and homemade jewellery. Where a very expensive Luna Park makes me feel like I’m back in Southsea and a strip of bars and restaurants make me feel like I’m back in East London or Brighton. Luckily for me, I’ve spent a lot of time staying at Georgie’s flat in the heart of St. Kilda, so I’ve had a bit of a break from hostels. (And that means I can have a coffee in bed again and walk around naked and not have to share a stove with twenty people at once yayyy).

Recommended cheap hostels in Melbourne would the The Ritz (in St. Kilda), Brunswick hotel (Brunswick) and Nomads (CBD). Slightly more expensive- YHA (CBD), Flinders backpackers (CBD) and Space (CBD).

This would probably turn into a bloody novel if I wrote about every night out, day festival, drum circle and street party we’ve been to since we got here, and to be fair, I don’t think I want to share half of my messy drunkness on here, but the night scene in Melbourne is similar to London. There’s something for everyone’s taste and there’s HAPPY HOUR EVERYWHERE.

On my first day here I went to Moonlight cinema, which only costs fifteen dollars for a ticket!! They set up a big screen outside on the bottom of this hill and everyone shows up with blankets and popcorn and sleeping bags to make cotch little dens on the grass. We watched Disaster artist, which meant being able to cream over James Franco in giant, blown up form. Spending a January night snuggled up outside in the heat with a box of goon and heaps of bats and fireflies flying above, was lush.

I wasn’t having too much luck on the job front when I first got here. Most of the jobs I was getting interviews for were commission-only and to honest my days working in hospitality are over now; seven years of taking orders and polishing glasses is too many). But now I’m really happy working as a fundraiser for an animal charity yayyy!

Not only am I happy that I can finally do something which involves helping to save animals (something I’ve wanted to do since I lived in Bulgaria and used to spend my pocket money feeding the strays), but I get to do it with such a fun group of people. Everyone bounces off each other so well and I get to help save animals and get paid for it at the same time. And I get to snuggle new dogs every day which is probably the biggest highlight.

By far the highlight of my Melbourne adventure so far, has been doing the Great Ocean Road.

About four cars full headed out on a Saturday afternoon and made our way down to the start of the Great Ocean road, stopping at a beach on the way down. The drive didn’t take too long- it was windy and snake-like and the views were postcard- worthy.

It’s weird how whenever you come out of the city and go along the coastlines, you feel like you’re seeing ‘real’ Australia (it’s easy to forget where you are when you’re confined to a city).

We stopped off in a place called Lorne for some food and to camp. Lorne is a tiny, isolated little village right on the seafront. It’s the kind of place you could come to on holiday for a few days, but I don’t know how people live there permanently as it’s so far out. The beach in Lorne is by far one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been on; the sea water there worked a dream for our hangovers the next day.

Obviously we were those annoying people that showed up at the campsite when it had already gone dark and put up our tents. We were the really loud ones turning the music up so we could just shout over it even louder. To be fair it was quite tame at the beginning, then all of a sudden everyone seemed to go West at the same time and it was all a hilarious mess from there onwards. The highlight for me being out the city, was the ridiculous amount of stars we could see, now that we were away from any light pollution. I literally tilted my head back to look at the sky for so long that it began to ache. I reckon if we had been in an area which wasn’t hunched over with trees, we probably could have seen the Milky Way.

Feeling slightly rough the next day didn’t stop us from carrying the journey on up to the Twelve Apostles. The drive was long, but once again we stopped off at lots of pretty view points on the way there to get some photos. The twelve apostles looked amazing as they do online, but it was so hard to take them in because the way they stand out against the sky when it’s sunny makes everything look like a David Attenborough documentary.

Me and Jen have decided to try a new bar/ restaurant every weekend, so I’m going to compose a little list and will write a piece in a few weeks’ time to recommend places for anyone planning to come to Melbs in the near future.

Once again it’s got to the point where I’m taking things for granted because I’ve settled here so comfortably that it feels like home now and not a holiday and I just know it’s going to be over way too quickly. But life is pretty much perfect at the moment and what’s even better is that Me and Georgie have now booked our flights home and are detouring to Hawaii and LA on the way back, so we get one more cheeky holiday on top of all the other holidays Yeyeyyee

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