After breakfast we checked out and took an Airport Shuttle to airport to catch the flight to Melbourne, our next destination (AUD 16.00). Arrived at Melbourne at around 12.40 pm. Took a Skybus to Southern Cross and switched to Airport Transfer to our hotel(AUD 39 , round trip). Ivan was at the hotel to meet us. Immediately he took us to Queen’s Victoria Market for our lunch.
Took free city tram to Yarra Riverside. We visited the Casino at Crown Entertainment Complex before going to Ivan’s apartment at Mainpoint Apartment, Moray Street , South Melbourne.
Then Billy Neoh, another high school friend whatsApped me that he was at the hotel waiting for me. So we quickly took the tram back to the hotel to meet him. We had a good chat at the Ibis Kitchen, Ibis Hotel, Therry Street.
Then we took the tram to Swanston Road to find out the pick-up point for the trip to Great Ocean Road. Had dinner at QV Centre. Met my student, Gan Min Yee who is studying at University of Melbourne. He was doing part-time job at the restaurant.
For day 5, we planned to explore Melbourne city by walking and the free tram service.
So after breakfast, we took the tram to Chinatown and had lunch at Tina’s Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant famous for rice vermicelli, recommended by my student.
Then we went to Casino, but didn’t try our luck as we didn’t want to waste time on this. Then we walked to DFO, a factory outlet housed in a shopping complex in Melbourne. However, we didn’t buy anything as our currency is so low that anything seems to be expensive. Then we walked again along the Jim Stynes Bridge across the Yarra River to Dockland.
We then took the tram to Dockland Promenade Pier just to take a few pictures, then proceeded to Waterfront City. Didn’t know it was the last tram stop until the driver asked us to get down! We didn’t stay long as there’s not much to see there.
Went back again to Flinders Street at CBD. We visited the St Francis Cathedral and the Flinders Train Station. Relaxed at the Yarra Riverside, enjoying a glass of local beer. Then we went back to Swanston Road to have our dinner at Hungry Jack before going back to hotel.
After a simple self-prepared breakfast, we took a tram to Melbourne Central Station and walked to QV Centre at Lonsdale Street, the pick-up point for tourists going to Great Ocean Road organized by Grand City Tours. At 8.30 am, we departed for Great Ocean Road, with one toilet stop at Geelong. Lunch was at Apollo Bay before proceeding to the Twelve Apostles, the most famous tourist attraction of The Great Ocean Road.
The magnificent Great Ocean Road offers some the most spectacular coastal view of Australia, with limestone cliffs stretching up to 40 km long. Over here, there are many scenic spots waiting for photographers to snap pictures. Besides the coastal view, this road also winds through the abundant grazing land in Australia as well as the thick forest.
Back to Melbourne at around 7.45 pm. We had pho, a Vietnamese noodles at Mekong Restaurant, Chinatown. This restaurant is famous as it was visited by American President, Bill Clinton before, as displayed by the owner outside the restaurant. Of course it was fully packed with patrons.
After breakfast, we walked to Queen Victoria Market. However it was closed on Wednesday. So we just walked around the city just to kill time. Our itinerary today was supposed to visit Phillip Island to watch the penguins returning to the island at around 8.00 pm. The tour bus only departs at 12.50 pm.
At around 12.00 pm, we were already at QV Mall waiting for the tour bus. Soon we were on our way to Phillip Island. On the way, we stopped at Maru Koala & Animal Park to get some close contact with the koala bears and kangaroos. We also visited the chocolate factory to see how chocolates are produced.
Checked-out after breakfast. We put our luggage at the hotel as our flight was at 6.45 pm. It was too early to go the airport. So we walked to Queen Victoria Market as it was closed on Monday and Wednesday, open from 6.00 am to 2.00 pm. So we didn’t get to explore the market the day before. We walked around the market which is quite big. Bought some fruits and nuts and a toy for Kim. Actually the price of fruits here can vary very much from 1 store to another. You need to hunt around to get the best bargain!
At 3.15 pm, we took a Skybus to Airport to catch our flight back to Singapore ending our 8D 7N tour. It was an amazing experience to tour on our own instead of joining organized tour.