Great Ocean Road Self Drive!

Having visited the 12 Apostles for the first time back in Nov 2014 while I was travelling on a tour group (Wildlife Tours) to get myself from Melbourne to Adelaide, I told myself I had to be back and visit again on my own with my own 4 wheels. Low be hold, I got a chance to visit back again in July 2016 with then fiance, now husband.¬†ūüėā

And just last December, in between our days in Tasmania and Perth, the dad wanted to make a drive down Australia’s most scenic coastal drive. Despite this being probably the only coastal drive I have ever done, it will always remain the closest to my heart.

IMG_0549.JPGGeelong town

On route to GOR, there is a seaside town called Geelong, not too far off from Melbourne City. I loved the beach vibes that were going on in Geelong town that I highly recommend stopping by for half day if you aren’t in a rush to visit the 12 Apostles. Please refer to my previous post on Geelong to know what you can expect.

The best recommendation to visit the 12 Apostles would be on a self drive as it gives you the chance to pull over at any spot (safety first though!) for a quick snap. So many breathtaking views along the over 200km coastal drive, you will be literally spoilt for choices!

If you can afford to stay one night, I would recommend you to do so as it helps break up the drive and you also have a higher chance of seeing the same spot in different times of the day.

During 2016, I spent a night at amazing Seafarers Getaway (SGD 230/night), located in Apollo Bay. Was a steep price, but the views more than made up for it.

IMG_0651.JPGView from our balcony at the break of dawn

Last December, since I was travelling in group of 4, I stayed with the family in an airbnb in Apollo Bay for 2 nights (SGD 280/night). Was a good decision to stay for 2 nights as it meant we could do a really leisurely drive. On the first day, we set off from Melbourne past noon, stopped at Geelong for an hour or so, before driving straight to Lorne for dinner before we checked into our accommodation. It allowed us to set off past 11am the next day and have a leisurely picnic lunch by the waters before beginning our GOR adventure proper.

IMG_8385.JPGAsian dinner at Chopstix Noodle Bar, Lorne

IMG_9046The arch commemorates the building of GOR as a memorial to WW1 Victorians

Pitstop #1: Point Danger – really windy area, which has resulted in the trees in the area windswept that they grow in a certain direction

Pitstop #2: Point Addis – impressive ocean, beach and sandstone cliff views toward Bells Beach and Anglesea

Pitstop #3: Anglesea – breathtaking coastal views from elevated memorial lookout

IMG_8395

Pitstop #4: Aireys Inlet – drive or walk up to split point lighthouse, ocean views over eagle and table rocks

IMG_8387

Pitstop #5: Teddy’s Lookout – one of the best along GOR, my personal fav!

Pitstop #6: Mt Defiance – panaromic ocean views toward Artillery Rocks

Pitstop #7: Cape Patton Lookout Рspectacular views east towards Apollo Bay and Skenes Creek

IMG_1029

Pitstop #8: Marriners Lookout – fairly steep vantage point (about a 5 minute walk from carpark) but well worth the effort to get to

Pitstop #9: Cape Otway Lightstation – Australia’s oldest working lightstation, offers views of the rugged Otway coast (paid entry, AUD 19.50)

Pitstop #10: The Gables Lookout – magnificent views to Moonlight head, short walk to the lookout platform

This 10 pitstops are enroute the GOR as you are heading towards the 12 apostles. And now, on to the real deal.

IMG_8398

1. Gibson Steps – nice long walk down steps to the beach, you get a view of a few of the apostles from the beach level

IMG_8399.JPG

2. 12 Apostles Рa collection of limestone stacks that has resulted it in being the most          popular  coastline, the viewing platform is a 5 minute walk from the carpark

IMG_8401

3. Loch Ard Gorge – a photo friendly gorge that allows you to get a dip in the waters

IMG_1100.JPG

4. The Arch – another amazing photo point

IMG_8403

5. London Bridge Рa rock tragedy that resulted in part of the bridge collapsing into           the ocean

IMG_1113

6. The Grotto – part-blowhole, part-archway, part-cave, my personal fav!

IMG_1134.JPG

7. Bay of Martyrs –¬†¬†a glimpse of the spectacular views, which encompass lush cliff¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† faces, sprawling beaches, and sparkling waters

IMG_1144.JPG

8. Bay of Islands Рreserve providing picturesque views from its lookout areas of the          ocean, cliffs & rock stacks

From Bay of Islands, it takes about 3 hours to get yourself back to Melbourne City if you driving straight. So, do plan your visit as you are driving through the GOR. It’s quite usually the case where you underestimate the time taken to visit each stop.

IMG_0714.JPG

For lunch, there are a couple of restaurants in Port Campbell. Unfortunately, Karoa Restaurant, that I visited back in 2016 has been permanently closed. Such a pity as their food was so delicious!

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 5.17.54 PMOverview of our self drive route

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Advertisements

Perth, not quite the same.

Having visited Perth more than a decade ago, visiting my dad’s old friend was a perfect excuse for us to stop for a few days in the city, on our way back to Singapore from Tassy. I didn’t step into Perth with too much expectations to be honest, as I have been told it is very similar to Singapore, even in terms of the weather. Oh boy!

But, I have to say, I was blown away by the cafe scene in Perth. I still recall the numerous good eats over the 4 nights I spent in Perth. We put up at an airbnb in Bull Creek (SGD 170/night), not too far away from the city centre. Renting a car in Australia is always the best way to move around. Since there were 4 of us, we rented a Camry for AUD 200 for the time we were there. It allowed us to venture all the way down south to Sugarloaf Rock, 300km away!

We arrived late in the night at around 10pm in Perth via our Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne. On a sale, the fare costed each of us AUD 200.

FOOD

Day 1 brunch at Duotone

Despite having not a very extensive menu, Duotone¬†offered a couple of interesting fit bowls like spiced vege bowl and poke doke which piqued our interest to pop in for a meal. Definitely didn’t disappoint!

IMG_8331 2

IMG_8332 2Day 3 brunch at Port City Roasters

This cafe is one of the more popular ones in town so be prepared for some bustling action when you enter. More often than not, you got to end up waiting for a table. Ours was a slightly longer wait since it was a Sunday. Their breakfast spread is one with the usual suspects like eggs benedict and french toast but with a twist. Port City Roasters, as the name suggests, is home their very own in house roasted coffee. For coffee lovers, you’d enjoy Port City Roasters a little more for this reason.

We had another quick brunch on the morning of flight back to Singapore at Sayers Sisters. The waterfront at Freemantle is another spot lined with many eateries. We made a quick pitstop at Kailis’ Fish Market Cafe to have some good ol’ fish and chips before concluding our Australia adventure in Perth.

ROADTRIPS

IMG_1373Crawley Edge Boatshed aka Blue Boat House

Apart from the usual spots in Perth city to visit, 2 spots worth driving out to would be The Pinnacles and Sugarloaf Rock. The former is north of the city centre and the latter is South of it as mentioned earlier. However, we managed to squeeze in time to do both in our 3.5 days in Perth.

IMG_1446.JPGThreatening skies during our visit there

The Pinnacles are limestone formations within Nambung National Park and is the most popular day trips offered by tour companies when you are in Perth. It’s quite amazing to see the beauty of nature and to marvel at how these formations have evolved over decades due to the forces of natural elements. It is quite easy to drive through the desert admiring the formations as there is a path you can follow. As long as you stick to that, you and your car will be okay.

IMG_1450.JPG

Our drive took us slightly over 2 hours for the 190km. But instead of heading to the Pinnacles directly we drove past it, to Cervantes town, for a finger licking awesome lunch at Lobster Shack.

IMG_8336.JPGHalf grilled lobster with either chips and coleslaw or fried rice

Our meal for 4 costed us AUD 163 but the lobsters were so good, we couldn’t resist.

Another slightly longer road trip out of Perth City would be driving to Sugarloaf Rock through Busselton town. I had heard such good reviews from my friends who visited just couple of months back, that I had to force the family to join me in checking it out. But, a pity, the weather that day was not good at all. It was pouring cats and dogs when we pulled into Busselton. We stopped to have a bite at The Goose Beach Bar hoping the skies would clear but we were not in luck. Was a terrible weather to be at Sugarloaf Rock as the winds were beyond crazy.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4ea8.jpgMy could have been view of Sugarloaf Rock (Pic credit, Anitha)

Perth was definitely a relaxing leg of the trip, after a week in Tasmania and a couple of days in Melbourne. It definitely was very different from my younger memories of Perth that consisted largely of homestays and kangaroos. Like I have always said, you can never leave a city feeling the same, even if you have step foot in it before.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Tassy, you are your own beauty.

Last December, the sister’s graduation in Melbourne was a perfect chance for yet another family holiday. Having visited most parts of Australia across the 5 of us before, Tasmania seemed like a perfect bet to spend a week travelling. Return tickets for 6 of us with 80kg luggage on Jetstar costed us about AUD 100 per person, which was not bad at all, especially since we were travelling in December.

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 5.21.50 PM.png

This was our route for the trip. There is still so much of Tasmania to see that 1 week definitely wasn’t enough. But, I guess, we did the best we could. Tasmania is a country that you definitely need a car to get around. It gives you flexibility to stop and stare the beauty right out of your window as you are driving. For the 6 of us, we rented 2 cars via Bargain Car Rentals for slightly less than SGD 500.

Our flight landed us in Hobart at 8pm. And true to what people had warned us about Tassy, it felt like we landed ourselves in a ghost town. Nothing was open, hardly any human activity. Plus, it didn’t help that it was raining at that hour. I guess I am still very thankful we managed to get ourselves some hot food at a nearby lodge a stone throw away from the airport.

Our first agenda when day arrived was to visit Coles Bay, which was 170km from the airport. As such, we broke up the drive by spending the night at an airbnb in Spring Beach¬†(SGD 200/night) . It was a really basic cabin house which was good enough to spend the night in. When morning came we checked out, had a quick breakfast at Gateway Cafe and headed straight to Coles Bay – our first stop for the trip. But, before that some wine tasting and oysters at Devil’s Corner Cellar Door awaited.

IMG_8184.JPG

IMG_8179.JPG

Coles Bay is the main entrance point for visitors to stop by before heading to the Freycinet National Park. It was the same for us, except we decided to get lunch at Coles Bay town first. Highly recommend dining at Geographe Restaurant and Espresso Bar. We fuelled up with some amazing pizzas before driving to Wineglass Bay Lookout at Freycinet National Park.

IMG_8180.JPG

Starting from the Wineglass Bay Car Park, the wineglass bay lookout is about a 1 to 1.5hour return trek that offers a spectacular view of Great Oyster Bay. I would rate the trek as moderate difficulty, so as long as you have comfortable shoes you would be alright. The scenic trek takes you through giant granite boulders as pictured below.

IMG_0208.JPG

IMG_8174.JPG

IMG_8181.JPG

After working out a sweat, our next stop was Bicheno. But, before that, we stopped by to have some ice cream at this quirky little cafe, The Pondering Frog, en route. True to it’s name apart from serving ice cream, there are plenty of frog collectibles in the store. After a short drive, we reached Bicheno. Home to a blowhole marvel and amazing fish and chips!

IMG_0270.JPG

IMG_8194

IMG_8195Finger licking good seafood basket, AUD 31

We retired for the night at our¬†airbnb at St Helen’s¬†(SGD 360/night) which was a really spacious cottage with a huge living/kitchen area.

Day 2 in Tasmania begun with Bay of Fires! One of the highlights for the trip!

IMG_8168

IMG_0464

This slice of coastal heaven that is the Bay of Fires stretches over 50 kilometres from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north. This beautiful part of Tasmania’s east coast has been named by Lonely Planet as the hottest travel destination in the world, and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Australia.

Our next pitstop for the day was Pyengana Dairy Company. A heaven for cheese lovers! Plenty of cheese to sample and a little cafe nests within the acres of greenery.

IMG_8198.JPG

We did a quick pit stop at Scottsdale for lunch before our next highlight for the trip – Bridestowe Lavender Farm. We made it just in time to join the farm tour that took us through the process of hand-picking the lavender seeds to the various uses of lavender today. It was a pity that it wasn’t full into flower season yet as we arrived early in December. We were told that in about 1-2 weeks the fields would be so much prettier to wander through. So if you can, please time your visit to the farm well to catch it in it’s full glory. Entry to the farm is AUD 10 per person during flower season.

IMG_8201.JPG

IMG_0423Everything lavender at the gift store 

I still remember the smell of lavender lingering long after stepping out of the gift store. Aaaaahhh.

After the lavender farm, we drove right to our accommodation in Launceston. This time round we didn’t end up with an Airbnb but instead booking ourselves a nice apartment in the golf course – Country Club Villas (SGD 320/night).

IMG_8216.JPGDinner for the night at Stillwater 

The following day, we checked out of the Country Villas and headed to Cataract Gorge. A true beauty of nature within Launceston. There is a walking path that takes you through the entire stretch of the gorge.

IMG_0514.JPG

Another option is taking the chairlift to have a bird’s eye view of the gorge as well. One way rides cost AUD 12 per person.

IMG_0495

IMG_0544.JPG

IMG_8217.JPG

We spent the rest of the day exploring Launceston after lunch at Pierre’s. Highly recommend checking Pierre’s out for a meal if you are in town.

IMG_0559.JPGPoached prawn + spanner crab + white fish + potato hash brown + wilted spinach + preserved lemon + hollandaise

IMG_0567.JPGOld Umbrella Shop in Launceston

Day 3 was pretty chill as the next day we were headed to Cradle Mountain, which also meant a hike awaited us. Our home for the next 2 nights was an airbnb in Sheffield (SGD 390/night), about 50km from Cradle Mountain, which was nothing short of AMAZINGNESS. Hands down the best accommodation for the trip! Despite the accommodation being in the middle of nowhere, the place makes you never wanna leave.

We spent a lot of time indoors enjoying the quiet and having quality time over home cooked meals, which was a good breather after a hectic past few days. The next day we did the Dove Lake trek in Cradle Mountain.

32F85ED8-1DA7-4396-8F59-77E8B12FA172.JPGVictory faces having conquered the 6km trek in 10 degrees

There are plenty of shorter and longer routes within Cradle Mountain. Camping within the grounds is also an option, like most national parks in Australia. Within the Cradle Mountain, there is a Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary, that you can visit if you are looking to take a break from the outdoors.

The next morning, we checked out of the wonderful retreat and made our way down towards Hobart. Our final 2 nights in Tasmania before it was back to Melbourne for us.

On the drive down to Hobart, we stopped at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe. All sorts of food with raspberry was on the menu as well as homemade jams to sample before purchasing.

After 4 full days of touring the wilderness and nature around Tasmania, arriving in Hobart felt like reality had hit that the trip had ended.

IMG_0743.JPGLunch at Room for a Pony, Hobart

If you have time for only 2 things in Hobart it has got to be – Salamanca Markets as well as Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

IMG_0799.jpg

Do note, Salamanca Markets are open only on Saturdays from 8.30am to 3.00pm.¬†As for MONA, I’d suggest setting aside at least half a day to wonder through the different exhibitions on display. Adult tickets cost AUD 28 but it’s well worth it.

IMG_8224.JPGFinal dinner at a greek restaurant, Mezethes

B301EC58-B469-4E77-BB91-4DF29B180A02.JPG

Having visited many parts of Australia before – Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and Perth, Tasmania was something different. There was so much untouched wilderness to see and immerse in. It was literally beauty in every corner. The long drives were so therapeutic to unwind from the busyness of life. Take me back (soon)!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

On travelling with strangers.

My adventures in Melbourne and Adelaide saw me having a plethora of emotions while on road trips with people¬†that I had¬†never even met before. I hit it off really well with most of the people I jumped into cars with¬†and with some, it was just plain awkward. I’m referring to those last few hours of driving that gets spent fidgeting just a bit more or turning up the music so the silence in the car isn’t too deafening.

So, for new travellers, here’s my¬†2-cents.

1. People back out and cancel on you all the time. When some plans get cancelled, other plans take shape. So being open and flexible is the key. My plan to head to Werribee Gorge State Park in Melbourne fell through the night before while the Couchsurfing website was down for maintenance. Luckily, someone posted on a closed Facebook group (thanks to Miranda, I got added in) that they had empty seats in the car for a trip to do the 1000 steps instead. And the rest, of course, is history.

2. Although travel might be the common thread holding the 5 of you, it’s very very likely that you may end out of topics to talk about by the end of the day. To prepare for scenarios like this, make sure the stereo of your (otherwise falling apart) car works. Trust me, you’ll thank me when this actually happens.

3. Be spontaneous! I cannot stress this enough, because you are almost never gonna have a backpacker who plans adventures by the minute, let alone, by the hour. Everyone just jumps into the car and wants to have a ball of a time. It almost doesn’t even matter if destination A changes to F. Everyone is in it for good laughs. And, of course, free drinks are a bonus. ūüėČ

4. Have “the money talk”¬†at the start of the day. Finances are always a sticky business BUT setting the budget right before anything even begins is the crux. There is, unfortunately, no two ways about this. It helps ensure that everyone is in the same page, or in this case, car and avoids disputes on who is gonna burn a hole in their pocket at the end of the trip.

5. Let your stereotypes go. No two French people are gonna be the same, and no two Canadians are gonna be the same, so whatever your previous experiences are with certain nationalities, let them go. You either click with your travellers, or you don’t, and usually it has absolutely nothing to do with which part of the world they are from/have lived in.

These are my favourite 2 pictures from my most spontaneous road trip ever in Adelaide! We planned on heading to Coorong National Park, only to realise you had to have a 4WD, so we detoured to Barossa Valley for (free) wine tasting and ended the day catching sunset at Mt. Lofty Summit. Photo on the right is me having a good laugh over literally nothing with my favourite road trip buddies, Melissa (Canadian), Clare (British) and Rebecca (German).

So now, go forth and plan your own adventures! Till next time, travel safe!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

St. Kilda/Brighton lovin’.

Shall begin my year with photos taken from one of my favourite places in Melbourne. It was a good Monday spent enjoying fish and chips with a sea of blue before me.

 

 

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

 

1000 steps, Kokoda Memorial Walk.

For those of you not quite in shape or¬†familiar with Melbourne’s Kokoda Memorial Walk, I’m pretty sure I’ve already put you off by mentioning… 1000 steps! But, trust me, although I kinda died doing this, I’m so glad my other road trip plans got cancelled so that I could jump into the car with 4 other couch surfers to¬†conquer this uphill (no pun intended) hike! Really thankful¬†Declan organised this event, for I’m pretty sure, I wouldn’t have gone ahead for this hike on my own otherwise.

This popular spot in Dandenong Ranges is a tribute to Australian soldiers who fought and lost their lives in the real Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, in World War II. The exhaustion you feel when you reach the top is probably just a fraction of what those soldiers would have felt. Along the trail are plaques depicting, lives of some Australian soldiers, who died in the battle.

Happy faces BEFORE the climb!

¬† ¬†The beginning of….1000 steps

AFTERMATH!

 

Few things to note:

1. The incline is STEEP. So, have enough fluids with you! Unless, of course, you are sprinter/marathoner/etc.

2. Choose a good weather day. You don’t want to be stuck half way through the climb under scorching sun or wet weather. Also, weekend mornings are busy periods with runners, so late mornings or past mid-day would be advisable,¬†if you’re planning on doing this hike at your own pace.

3. Wear proper shoes! I cannot emphasise this enough. It’s not a slope. Unless, of course, you are avoiding the steps and going the reverse direction. The usual way is to climb up via the steps and come back down via (rolling) down the slope. It’s about 4km and takes slightly over an hour for a person with average fitness level.

4.¬†Sorry to disappoint you, but, there is absolutely no view from up there. There is no perfect Instagram worthy photo moment and such. It’s just the satisfaction of completing it that makes this hike memorable. So, don’t bother with heavy cameras while you’re climbing. It’s not going to be worth lugging at all, trust me.

5. Good news is, there aren’t 1000 steps, it’s just¬†under 800. Yay?!

6. Walking 100m past the top of the trail you’ll be greeted with a cute little signboard. (refer to below image)

After completing the hike and catching your breath, heading to Sky High Mount Dandenong would be your best bet. Undeniably, Sky High offers one of the best views of Melbourne’s skyline. So, ending off the day (hopefully you are here during sunset) will be pretty awesome.

But, before enjoying the view at Sky High, I’ll suggest stopping by Pie In The Sky at Olinda for some piping hot meat pies. I’m not a big fan of meat pies, but they definitely have got some good stuff going on in there. So, be sure to stop by for dine in or take aways.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Melbourne’s Collingwood/Fitzroy explored.

Royal Exhibition Building

Having stayed in Collingwood/Fitzroy area in Melbourne for a month, it’s safe to say, I’ve done quite a bit of exploration of what this hipster town can offer! I definitely would recommend this area to stay at, for those of you looking to explore the heart of Melbourne during your stay. Less than 5 minutes away by tram from Parliament station, getting into CBD is pretty convenient. Apart from it’s¬†close proximity to CBD, here’s a couple of reasons why you should consider Collingwood/Fitzroy area to stay at!

1. Heart of cafes and good food!

Apart from the hearty brunch places I shared in my previous post, there are so many good food places to check out in this area you will be spoilt for choices! Trippy Taco at Gertrude Street for possibly the best quesadillas in town! Along Smith Street, you have Huxtaburger for your burger fix, Pabu Grill & Sake for your Japanese cravings and Messina for undoubtedly the best gelato in town! The queue at Messina on Friday/Saturday nights can easily stretch way past the doors, so I think that speaks for itself how good the gelato is.

2. Brunswick Street!

This street deserves a special mention, not only for boasting Little Creatures Dining Hall, but also for being home to the many awesome eateries, coffee houses and quirky little shops to spend afternoons browsing in.

For those of you not familiar with Little Creatures, it is Australia’s homegrown craft beer. I got a chance to visit the brewery in Geelong, which is an hour away from CBD, so a dining hall right next to where I stay, is heaven on earth. If you’re interested in visiting Geelong for Little Creature’s brewery, please visit my previous post here.

There are coffee houses like Jasper Coffee and Atomica Caffe to get good coffee to kick start your day. Jasper Coffee also sells coffee beans if you are looking to brew coffee from the comfort of your home.

 

For chocolate lovers, San Churro will be your paradise! From churros to truffles to chocolate shakes, you name it, they have it!

3. Yoga & Healing!

 

Only when you are away from home do you begin to pay (some)attention to your soul and body. Well, at least for me, that remains quite true. I’m glad I stayed walking distance away from Yoga Studio & Healing Centre at Gertrude Street, so I couldn’t really come up with more excuses not to attend a class or two. I spent a Sunday morning winding down with a restorative workshop and it felt amazingly therapeutic. Restorative workshops run on a monthly basis for AUD 20.

For information on classes and schedules: http://www.gertrudestreetyoga.com.au/index.php

4. Adrenaline pumping pilates classes!

via

Situated perfectly amidst all the cafes and restaurants in Brunswick Street is KX Pilates! I found out about this place purely by chance while I was on the tram one afternoon. I googled them up and realised they had an introductory offer of 5 classes for AUD 50 (valid for 2 weeks). It was just a matter of time before I attended my first pilates class and got some muscles working! It’s definitely worth purchasing this offer if you are a newbie to pilates. I definitely would have continued on with regular classes if I was in Melbourne longer.

Also, there are many KX Pilates outlets all over Melbourne, so fret not, if you are not in/near Fitzroy.

For information on classes and schedules: http://www.kxpilates.com.au/

5. Festivals!

via

via

If you are as lucky as me, your neighbourhood can transform into a colourful street party! The Hispanic Latin American Street Festival/Johnston Street Festival happened over the weekend of 15th and 16th November 2014. This annual festival offers live entertainment with DJs spinning Latin rhythms, free dance classes of various dance styles and food, glorious food!

Have you been sold now, why Collingwood/Fitzroy area is perfect to stay and party at!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Lentil As Anything.

I got introduced to Lentil As Anything by Miranda, a friend I met on Couchsurfing. Tucked away in Abbotsford convent in Melbourne, this is another one of those things I managed to discover when I was there last month. I loved the quiet, self-sufficient community within the convent vicinity that makes, almost anyone, feel right at home.

  

 

 

 

 

 

It was a real pity I learnt about Lentil As Anything closer to the end of stay in Melbourne. Otherwise, I would have wished to volunteer my time at Lentil’s with Miranda and her team. The food, although vegetarian, is just amazing!

There is also another Lentil As Anything outlet at St Kilda. Perfect place to chill at for a meal or to share conversations with after a swim.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Wednesdays at Queen Victoria Night Market.

After a whirlwind of a¬†week long¬†adventures in Melbourne and in Adelaide, I’m (trying) to settle into the comfort of my 4 walls at home. Barely 8 hours since I’ve been awake and I’m turning into a restless monster. I’m glad to be off for another adventure in less than 30¬†hours. So for now, I’ll start doing up posts of my adventures in Australia to relive the moments again.

It’s Wednesday today and if you are in Melbourne, Queen Victoria Night Market is the place to be! Running every Wednesday until 25th March 2015 (excluding Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) from 5pm to 10pm, this market offers more than just food. From jewellery to collectors items to fabrics, QV market has it all – to offer something exciting to almost everyone.

Numerous food stalls to choose from.

 Amazing Sangarias with red/white wine for AUD 8.

photo 1Live music to soak into the atmosphere of the market.

 

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Phillip Island’s penguin party!

Just to backtrack to my previous post on my day trip to Wilsons Promontory, while driving back to city, my friends and I decided to stop by Phillip Island to¬†enjoy¬†the famous Penguin Parade. You’ll be surprised to know, Phillip Island is visited by 3.5 million people annually!

For those of you not familiar, Penguin Parade is basically a chance for you to experience the beauty of little penguins coming ashore in groups and returning to their homes during sunset. Phillip Island is home to one of the largest penguin colonies in Australia.

It was really an interesting experience to see these cute little things cluster together and scurry into their homes. General viewing adult tickets costs AUD 23.80. There is a Penguin Parade mobile app that provides you with the daily arrival time of penguins. How awesome!

 

Apart from the Penguin Parade, The Nobbies (seal rocks) is something worth heading to Phillip Island for as I’ve heard. The Nobbies offers spectacular coastal viewing from the boardwalk and lookout points. Also, doing a few laps round the¬†Grand Prix circuit¬†or¬†relaxing in coastal town of Cowes might be other reasons Phillip Island is worth heading to for. On the way towards¬†Phillip Island, just before the bridge, you can get yourself¬†good fish and chips¬†in San Remo.

I didn’t have much time to explore Phillip Island beyond the Penguin Parade, but I must say it was definitely worth the travel. Given more time, I’ll definitely explore Phillip Island to a larger extent as I’m sure it has more to offer me apart from cute little penguins. ūüėČ

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.