Melbourne (Victoria) + Noosa (Queensland)
Over Christmas I went back to Australia to visit my family in Melbourne. This time around I put my tour guide hat on, showing my girlfriend all the sights that you don’t see when you’re backpacking.
If you make the trip, I’d recommend at least two weeks down under as the flight itself is normally over 24hours from anywhere in Europe.
Australia is huge, almost the same size as America but with a population of around 25 million so we tend to stick to the coast. In comparison, central Australia is very baron and you will not find many large towns or cities.
Our first road trip was to Portsea, luckily enough I had a car I could borrow which definitely saved us on travel costs.
Portsea is along the south-east edge of Port Philip Bay, driving down the motorway to Mornington and then driving along the coast all the way to Portsea back beach.
The back beach is great fun and gives you the chance to see some decent waves and go for a swim. The journey from Melbourne takes anywhere between 1.5-2 hours depending on which way you travel.
While in that area we booked the Peninsula Hot Springs which is a great way to relax as you wander from hot spring to hot spring.
A ticket to enter the hot springs will set you back AUD$25-45 per person depending on what time of day you go.
The next trip was over to the 12 Apostles, a natural wonder 275km west of Melbourne. Due to the harsh erosion of the constant waves, a few have dropped to the sea floor. We drove straight to Port Campbell as during peak summer time the traffic can be really bad going through Lorne first.
Our first stop was Loch Ard Gorge which had been recommended by a friend and it was a great shout. You could venture down on to the sands and soak up the costal atmosphere.
After a few pit stops to view the wonders of this part of the world we worked our way back to Lorne where we spent the night in the Cumberland Lorne Resort which has amazing views over looking the beach.
That night we dined in a beautiful Greek restaurant called IPSOS , definitely recommend.
The next day we made our way back to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road.
For our final Victorian adventure we did a night trip to spend some time with the famous Phillip Island Penguins that make their way from the ocean to their homes on the sea front.
The penguins don’t come out of the water until the sun has set so I’d definitely recommend a wind breaker or some warm clothes. We arrived a couple of hours early to grab a good seat right by the shoreline.
Adult ticket: AUD$26.20
During our time in Melbourne we were running around quite a bit catching up with friends and family.
Combi Elwood for a decent breakfast for the health conscious.
It was time to relax on the beach, so we headed up to a small beachside town of Noosa in Queensland that I’ve been going to since a child, although it has changed a bit over the years it still has the relaxed vibe that has come to summarise Queensland.
Besides the beach we spent a couple of hours walking along the coastal Noosa National Park where we also spotted some Dolphins.
One morning we drove around to Eumundi Markets which is a great open air market showcasing all the local food, clothing and artists around. A great place to pick up a nice handmade candle or painting to remind you of your trip.
I'd definitely recommend going early as the crowds start to roll in around 10am and it can be difficult to find a parking spot.
Noosa is so close to some major theme parks like Dream World, Movie World and Sea World all of which I have been to over the years.
This time around we drove down to the Big Kart Track for some Go Karting which is always fun!
We went at Christmas time so airfares were quite expensive but usually a return trip should cost around £700 from London.
If you have any questions let me know, I could definitely point you in the direction of some cool brunch places through to bars and restaurants.
Until next time,