After The Whitsundays I flew back home to Brisbane. Most of the crew had packed and left for Melbourne themselves with the relocation of the company. I quickly made plans that I too would head to Melbourne. In part, to meet up with those friends but also, to start exploring again. I would be flying home early November and now in mid-September there were things I knew I needed to see before time ran out.
A rough plan formed in my mind. Get to Melbourne, stay a few weeks in cheap accommodation and do the Great Ocean Road. Do small jobs if the opportunity arose and if I could keep enough spare change, I would then do a tour to the Red Centre before returning to Sydney for the flight home. It could be done, I was sure!
My last few days in Brisbane were spent wandering the city and trying to see as much of it as I could through tourist eyes rather than as a working resident. Before long I was on the flight to Melbourne. I touched down that afternoon with no plans of where to stay. Exciting! Picking up my Lonely Planet I called the top hit on the St Kilda (I wanted to be by the sea) and found a bed at Base Backpackers for that night.
Base was expensive, but good fun and it was easy enough to make a handful of new acquaintances. I spent a few days exploring St Kilda and Melbourne following the Lonely planet walking guides. Bee from The Whitsundays trip soon came to visit and we spent a stupidly drunken day and night exploring Melbourne. We later did The Great Ocean Road (which I’ll post next) before she flew on to New Zealand. I also met a great girl called Andrea from Liverpool at Base. We had to leave the hostel due to overbooking, but I quickly found another place nearby (The Coffee Palace) which was cheaper and whilst not as plush as Base, was certainly good fun for us. Andrea came with me to the hostel and we spent a good couple of weeks exploring and having fun (though I didn’t see so much of her after a couple of days when she made some new friends … 😉 ).
After several weeks, I think from memory about 5 in total, it was time to move on and I blew most of what was left on my credit card on a trip to Adelaide, Coober Pedy and the Red Centre which would mark the end of my time in the country.
People will often ask if you’re a Sydney or Melbourne person. Perhaps in some way circumstance dictates my answer, I’m quite an emotional person and act on my heart and that might be what sways my decision as I was in quite different places mentally. Sydney for me is the greatest city, but Melbourne was certainly worth visiting and perhaps with a bit more money I’d have enjoyed it even more!