Australia travel diary: Melbourne

Melbourne was the very first stop on our east coast Australia road trip. We stayed there for three nights but this is by no means an extensive guide to Melbourne as we were so jet lagged that we didn’t end up seeing as much of this cosmopolitan city as we would have liked to…but that’s a great excuse to go back!

Chelsea beach huts
We stayed in Chelsea and we spent the first day exploring Chelsea Beach which is beautiful with clear blue water, soft sand and cute beach huts. We stopped along the way for coffees and swimming and it was a perfect chilled afternoon.

Moonlit Sanctuary

The Moonlit Sanctuary

We headed to the Moonlit Sanctuary for our fix of Australian animals. Here you can feed wallabies and kangaroos as they wander around the park and you can see more Aussie animals like Tasmanian devils, cuddly koalas and wombats. There are also lots of birds including the laughing kookaburra.

Southbank drinks

Drinks on the Southbank

We headed for drinks on the Southbank one afternoon and the views across to the city were incredible – especially because the sky was clear and blue. We shared a jug of sangria at Teatro, a Mediterranean restaurant where it was happy hour.

Chandon winery

Yarra Valley wineries

We headed for the Yarra Valley in search of wine! Our first stop was Chandon, the Australia branch of Moet and Chandon. Wine tasting here costs $12 and you get to try six wines – one of which was a fizzy red which I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting before. You can also tour the cellars and learn a little more about how wine is made. The scenery here was absolutely incredible, the perfect setting for sipping wine. We then visited Yering where you could taste five wines for free.

Melbourne at night

St Kilda

St Kilda is the coolest area in Melbourne and we headed there at dusk to watch the penguins. A little penguin colony has lived in St Kilda since the 1970s and the penguins go out to sea during the day and make their way back to the rocks by the pier after sunset. It’s amazing to see these cuties swimming back to shore and clambering over the rocks.

Where to eat in Melbourne

Since we were staying in the suburbs, on the first night we visited Mordialloc Cellar Door in the suburb of Mordialloc. You’ve heard of BYOB? Well this place is bring your own food! There are plenty of takeaways surrounding the bar, including Dominos, noodles and shark and chips, so once you’ve got your food, get your wine and take a seat outside. There are SO MANY wines to choose from and some beers if you prefer.

Places to stay in Melbourne

We stayed with family in the borough of Chelsea while we were in Melbourne but there are a few city centre hotels that I’d have had my eye on if we had had to find other accommodation. The Alto Hotel on Bourke is stylish yet quirky with free wi-fi and it’s within a 20 minute walk of most of Melbourne’s main attractions. We also loved St Kilda which is arty and cool – in fact it reminded me a little of Shoreditch – and there are plenty of apartments to rent in the area including this Apartment on Broadway near to the beach and Luna Park.

For those on a budget, you can’t go wrong with a hostel and Melbourne Central YHA is on Flinders Street. The hostel has private and double rooms as well as dorm beds – perfect for every kind of traveller.

Chelsea Beach

Top Melbourne tips

– If you’re staying in the suburbs, take the Skybus from the airport. You can get a return ticket which works out a lot cheaper than a taxi.

– A Myki card is similar to an Oyster and you can get one from any train station. They work on both trains and trams – just tap on and tap off to get the correct fare.

– There is a city loop tram which is free and connects you to all the best bits of the city – a bit like a free hop on hop off tour!

We loved Melbourne and we were only sad that we didn’t get to spend more time there. Hopefully we’ll get to visit again soon.

[Where to stay in collaboration with Expedia]

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