Australia

So let’s start at the beginning and talk about my first stop after New Zealand, a one week stay in Melbourne. I’ve booked myself into one of the many hostels and really enjoyed the time there, even though Australia in February and a dorm without air conditioning is a pretty… heated experience.

Activities during those days included a visit at the aquarium (penguins are awesome), the purchase of a SIM card (first time I had LTE on my phone) and the nerve wrecking experience of buying drinks (AUS$18 for the cheapest six pack, that’s like €12.50, seriously OZ?). One of the less cost-intensive things to do was a stop at the parliament where they offer free tours. Stories about politics and a pretty building to look at.

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As a therapy for my vertigo I’ve already started going on tall buildings in Auckland (Sky Tower, viewing platform 182 meters). The next step was Melbourne’s sky deck, offering the Southern hemisphere’s highest viewing platform at 285 meters. Pretty spectacular, eh? Well, to be honest I didn’t notice the difference in height and basically you just pay for an elevator ride. Still, a nice view of the CBD.

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Sunny Australia is always good for some casual exploration of the city’s shops, beaches, street art and nightlife.

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Apparently this is Australia’s oldest building. Cook’s cottage was actually built in North Yorkshire before Australia’s discovery and later shipped and rebuilt down there, brick by brick. For some reason.

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The highlight of my stay in Melbourne however, was a day trip on the famous Great Ocean Road. Beautiful scenery, nice beaches, Koalas and the Twelve Apostles, that famous rock formation – with 7 of the 12 rocks still standing. If ever you do such a day trip, bring your swimming trunks and a large towel (comes in handy for a nap on the bus as well).

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On that 14(?) hours trip I got to know Laurence from the Philippines – one of the great people I hope to see again in the future. He sent me those next two pictures.

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And of course, signs like this everywhere. Didn’t spot a snake, spider or shark and actually survived the whole trip. Success!

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By the way, I’ve sneaked some shots from my iPhone in here (best travel buddy!) – did anyone notice?