Winter Trip to Australia for Two


Jan 6th, 2014, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Thanks for the update. That area around de greaves st is great for strolling. In de greaves lane there is a stationery shop I like, it's called Il Papiro and has lovely bookmarks if you are looking for inexpensive gifts to take home.

Looking forward to the next installment.
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Jan 6th, 2014, 12:03 PM
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On January 2nd we went to the Queen Victoria Market for breakfast. DH found his beloved pancakes, so he was happy.

We still had our rental car so we drove out to Philip Island to see the Koalas. There was quite a bit of traffic going out to the island, but we finally made it to the Koala Conservation park. The boardwalks take you up to the level of the koalas - almost - so spotting the little guys is easy. We got some very nice pictures here.

We had lunch across the street from the conservation park at a brewery and we both enjoyed our food. DH had a steak pie & I had fish n chips. My ginger beer had actual ginger residue in the bottom of the bottle.

We drove out to see the site where the penguins come in at night, but didn't stay because we had seen penguins at Narooma.

Then we decided to save a little money and returned our rental car to the airport. This made for a long day and we didn't get back to our room until about 8pm.
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Jan 6th, 2014, 09:13 PM
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January 3rd has us doing the Great Ocean Road. We booked the Grayline tour. It was a great day out. Many companies have busses that do a day-trip down the GOR. We chose Grayline mainly because we felt that their busses could accommodate DH's long legs. We sat on the bottom deck of the bus in the first seats on the passenger side of the bus (not behind the bus driver).

These seats worked out well. DH could stretch out his legs and we could put our backpack, etc in the area in front of our seats.

The tour was a long one and we vowed that some day we would come back and spend some real time - several days - in some of the towns along the Road.

The views were great, we got some lovely pics, but wished we could have spent a week driving the road, not just a day.

January 4th was a "free day." I like to build these into our schedule to give us some flexibility in case we find something really great to do, or we need a rest. In this case, we had found a sports store that carried Formula 1 shirts, sportswear, etc. Our son-in-law is a big F1 fan, so we not only went to Albert Park and took pictures of the finishline for the Melbourne F1 race, we wanted to pop into this particular store to get him a Melbourne F1 gift. We called ahead to make sure the store was open (they were) and so we took the free City Circle tram and did some shopping.

Then DH & I split up. He wanted to go to the Melbourne Museum and I wanted to go back to the hotel and rest (I have been sick the whole trip, so sometimes I just need a rest).

On January 5th we flew to Hobart, Tasmania. So far, we LOVE Hobart. And I saw another doctor today to begin another round of antibiotics. Now I have an ear infection.
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Jan 6th, 2014, 09:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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If you are still in Hobart, halfapair, Garagistes is excellent for dinner. They take bookings now.

MONA is also worth seeing, more for the ferry trip and the architecture than the art, but there's always something I enjoy amidst the owner's favourite themes of sex and death.
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Jan 13th, 2014, 03:28 PM
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My last installment covers Tasmania - Hobart in particular. We flew JetStar to Hobart and stayed at the Fountainside Hotel:

We found this hotel to be an excellent value. Our room rate was $150/night. The room was clean & comfortable. The items in the mini-bar were priced at "Store Rates" so we didn't hesitate to drink the water & juice provided.

We discovered the wonderful world of Daci & Daci at 11 Murray Street. Everything is excellent. They served my husband's favorite hot chocolate of the trip (he doesn't drink coffee). They don't have a web page, but they do have a Facebook page.

We had a rental car so we were pretty mobile. We drove to Port Arthur and took a tour of the convict camp there.

We also did Louisa's Walk & a private night tour of the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.

These two activities were the highlight of our trip. Louisa's Walk was informative, touching and imaginatively done.

The Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary private night tour was expensive, but worth every cent. DH got to feed the Tasmanian Devils. I got to feed Kangaroos, pet them and give them a scratch. We both got to hold a baby wombat - Max. He was so adorable!

My inner Veruca Salt wanted to scream for a baby wombat. I want one and I want it now!!! Also, a kangaroo.

Other good dinners were had at Rockwall, Smolt & the Astor Grill.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 02:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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hi halfapair,

thanks for the further instalments of your TR - very interesting. They have definitely given me more ideas for another trip to OZ - Melbourne, the GOR, and Tasmania are all on my list, as well as going back to Northern Queensland.

not sure when, as there are a few other places we want to go first, but it's certainly on the back burner.
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