Melbourne Wins Out

First stop in Melbourne here I ended up setting up base was in St Kilda. I had been told this is where most of the travellers base themselves and I think they were right! I immediately loved the relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The beach isn’t amazing but good and handy all the same and a run along it in the mornings is nice.

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St Kilda Sunset

I was lucky enough to get a job on the second day on Acland Street in a falafel and juice place. So it took me a while to get around Melbourne between work but I jam packed my days as usual! 🙂
In had a lot of reunions here with old school friends and people I.had met while travelling. I was extremely lucky to be brought to so many cool places. The 1000 steps, Chandon winery, outdoor cinema, Chinatown, Victoria Markets, Ballarat, The Ocean Road, all by people living here and knew the areas. I couldn’t have asked for more!!

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Twelve Apostles

What I loved about Melbourne is there is so much to do, day and night. All surrounding suburbs have so much to offer without going into the CBD.  I was blown away by coffee and rooftop bars in Fitzroy, frozen yoghurt in Balaclava and op shops and bazaars on Chapel Street. Not to mention the amazing graffiti that’s to be seen around every corner!

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Graffiti in Fitzroy

The CBD itself still offers a lot. Again lots of graffiti covered alleys, quirky and interesting cafes, delicious food and huge choice of bars. I got my salsa fix in and visited the art gallery and strolled around the beautiful Botanic gardens. But there’s still so much more to see!

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CBD

I think I would definitely live here over anywhere else in Oz just for the sheer variety. I got to work at a beer fest in Ballarat, run by the beach, drink on a rooftop bar and watch the tennis in Federation square all on a regular weekend. Ofcourse it’s Australia so it’s crazy expensive and there is so much more available to do for the working, nonbagpacker but I think I did well on a tight budget. (Free food in work helped!)

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The Nobbies

I only had to do one organised tour because I had so many generous people offering to bring me places. I went on a tour to Philip Island. Parts of the tour were definitely time fillers but I had a great day and the penguins at the end are an amazing sight to see!
I think it’s pretty clear I loved Melbourne. My time in Bass hostel, especially my time in Barkley Hotel and my final stint in a college student house made me feel young again! 😉 I loved every minute and the roadtrip in a relocation camper to Sydney just put the cherry on top!

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Fitzroy Falls with my camper pal

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NYE and the aftermath in Sydney

In Tuesdays following Christmas I made a trip to Manly on a gorgeous sunny day. Unfortunately it was very busy but to be expected at this time of year. The ferry itself gives great views and I loved the beach town on Manly.

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View from Manly Beach walk

The town itself is so relaxed and has such a nice holiday vibe. Reminded me of a sunny Galway. Course I went with two fellow Irish gals so we fit in a few day drinks out in the sun listening to the buskers.
I also fit in a day at Darling Harbour and the Chinese gardens. Meeting up with people I’ve met along the east coast that are also here for new years. The reunions are great!
Darling Harbour is a good place to go for lunch and there’s a good few cheap options looking out onto the harbour. The Chinese gardens are a little peaceful area in the middle of the madness. Worth a look.

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Chinese gardens

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Chinese gardens

I finished off the day with one of the highlights of Sydney for me so far. I had been told about the O Bar in the city so I told a couple I had met along the way about it. They were well impressed!!
Its a revolving bar on the 47th floor. The views are amazing and the bar is so comfortable and swanky. It’s a bit expensive but I just sipped a glass of wine VERY slowly and nobody took any notice.

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Feeling posh! 🙂

Sunset dinner here would be unreal. Just need to start doing the lotto!
Finally it came to New Years. Ofcourse I managed to overdo it the night before at an innocent few drinks at my adopted Ozzy family’s house but I was still excited. After a lot of panic and tossing and turning options of what to do for new years the plan turned out perfect. (Always the way!)
I met my cousin and her boyfriend and we went to her friend apt in North Sydney which had such a ridiculously amazing view of the bridge. We may aswell have been on it!

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Am I close enough to the bridge?!

I got my classy box of goon and nibbles and we settled down to watch the 9pm fireworks and then the main event at 12. Not going to lie I got a bit emotional when the mammy rang me in the middle of them. #totesemosh

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Unreal!

They only lasted 12 minutes and some people found them bit underwhelming but I enjoyed them and the whole experience.
The trek home was as chaotic as expected. After a few hours sleep I was up again at 7am to head straight to the Tee Gardens pub in Bondi to celebrate the Irish new year!
I can’t explain the sick head on me but I made it. I couldn’t believe how packed it was and the tunes were pumping. Dj and a guy on a saxophone led up to the countdown followed by rebel songs. Irish dancing and the usual Irish madness!

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Full pub at 8am!

This day was followed up by more reunions, picnics in the Botanic gardens, drinks in the Opera Bar and a mad night out in Coogee and a drive to all the bays.  Coogee is definately one of my favourite places in Sydney.

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I’m a broken woman after a very hectic festive period in Sydney so my detox will be happening in my next stop, Melbourne. (ya right!)