Australia, New South Wales, Victoria

Renners Down Under: Week 3, Full Power Family Time

11th March 2018

Week 2 in Australia ended with an epic sunset at the end of the Great Ocean Road. Week 3 started with a McDonald’s hash brown for breakfast and the beginning of a 2,000 km trip from Warrnambool to Brisbane to see the family.

First step, drive back to Melbourne. We got back to the city mid afternoon and after returning our hire car we set out to explore.

Melbourne is one of the cities I really want to live in, the first question people ask is

‘Will you live in Melbourne or Sydney?’

Honestly, I still don’t know. And with a lot of ground to cover while my dad is over we didn’t have more than a few hours to explore.

On your marks, set, go!

With not much time and wanting to see as much as possible we got a move on. Luckily the trams in the CBD (central business district) are free!

First stop was Flinders Street train station, Australia’s oldest railway station. Before Federation Square muscled in, it was the most popular meeting place in the city. Apparently this neck of the woods there is a saying ‘meet me under the clocks’, and the big clock is the spot people would meet. Obviously!

The best place to get a picture is on the corner opposite the main entrance, outside the Young and Jacksons pub.

Federation Square is across the road which is buzzing with people sitting on the steps having a coffee and catching up with friends, it’s easy to see why it’s become the designated meeting spot.

Other ‘must do’ things in Melbourne are to explore the lanes. The city is on a grid system so it’s easy to immerse yourself in the boutiques, coffee shops and street art in the lanes. The most famous is Hosier Lane which is covered in graffiti. If you go back twice in a week it’s unlikely you’ll see the same art, it’ll probably have been painted over with something new.

If you like tapas, MoVida restaurant is a popular spot and is tucked away among the spray paint on Hosier Lane.

We called in at Lord of the Fries for vegan and gluten free chicken nuggets and chips with dairy free garlic mayo. The verdict? Surprisingly good! Even my dad enjoyed it.

For the best view of quite literally ALL OF MELBOURNE you should head up Eureka Sky Deck.

What a view!

88 floors high and with a 360 degree view you can do all your sightseeing at once. Ticking off all the places we didn’t have time to physically visit.

After the Sky Deck we headed to Fitzroy, the ‘East London’ of Melbourne. Hipster central. The sun was shining and we found a rooftop bar in ‘Naked for Satan’. It’s popular for its extensive cocktail menu but we played it safe and had a wine. We were flying to Canberra the next day.

There are so many more things I want to see and do in Melbourne and I can’t wait to get back!

Next stop Canberra

As the title of this post suggests week 3 is family week. Canberra seems a strange choice for most people on their Australian itinerary but my uncle lived and worked there for a long time. So I felt like I wanted to see it.

I’ll be doing a much more detailed post on our Canberra adventure soon, but it’s a pretty strange place! It’s a purpose built city and the home of the government. There is a gorgeous lake in the middle and plenty of places to hike on the outskirts.

I unfortunately had a lupus flare up while we were in Canberra, and started to really suffer from exhaustion. We still managed to hike up Mount Ainslie for sunset, visit the old and new parliament buildings and see the National Museum of Australia. So it didn’t hold us back too much.

Time to get on the move again!

After exploring Canberra where my uncle lived and worked it was time to go and visit the man himself. He lives in the north of New South Wales so it was a long trip. We flew to Sydney, stayed overnight and drove north the next morning. It was a long trip and we arrived in time for a walk on the beach and dinner by the sea with my uncle and his lovely partner.

In the morning it was back on the road to drive in convoy to Brisbane where my cousin lives! Told you … full power family time!

We ended up getting to Brisbane on Friday night, ready for family dinner! My cousin has twin daughters who are 9 years old, and as they were born and raised in Australia we have never met them before. It was so nice to spend the evening hanging out with the Australian side of the family we haven’t seen in such a long time.

On Saturday the family got back together and visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We spent the day feeding kangaroos and ticking all the native Australian animals off my to-see list. Tasmanian devils, koalas, wallabies, dingos, wombats and kookaburra’s! I don’t know who was more excited, me or the twins!

I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about the Koala ‘Sanctuary’ but I’ll be posting my thoughts on that very soon!

‘Not so much Sun’-day

Sunday was a bit rainy, I think Australia is broken! We headed down the Brisbane river into the city by boat. Hopping off to explore the South Bank and hide from the rain in the museums.

It rained so much in fact, my camera went mental and is now broken. So with it being Sunday, I can’t rescue it until tomorrow when something is open!

As Sunday’s are the end of the weekend tomorrow everyone is back to school or work and so dad and I have headed north again, ready to explore Noosa in Queensland tomorrow. Seeing as we are now in the ‘Sunshine Coast’ the weather had better have a change of heart or I’m suing Australia for false advertising!

Luckily my lupus flare up came at a time where we were on the move in the car, but dad was doing the driving. Which meant I could nana-nap in the front seat as much as possible and not worry about negotiating us through new cities on foot. It sucks though, and it’s very frustrating. I’m on the mend now and ready to get stuck back in to exploring as much as possible!

More posts coming soon of course but for now, you can have a read about my time in the Northern Territories in the posts here:

VISITING KINGS CANYON, RED CENTRE, AUSTRALIA

A NIGHT AT THE FIELD OF LIGHT, ULURU

RENNERS DOWN UNDER: WEEK 1 ON THE WEST COAST

RENNERS DOWN UNDER: WEEK 2, RED ROCKS AND ROAD TRIPS

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