24 June 2017

14D13N Self-Drive Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane (Part II)


We arrived at Melbourne Airport early in the morning with only about 3 hours of sleep. Once we cleared immigration and all that flying-stuff, we got out and realized that the airport is pretty small. I expected something larger and grander, something better than Penang Airport, but nehh. 

It was not even 8am yet so we had to linger around in the airport till about 8:30am for the car rental shop to open. Some of us went to the only Telco shop opened that time (Optus) and purchased sim cards with data to be used. it's a 10-days plan with 5GB of data - $20.

We walked out after 8:30am and at first, the temperature felt just nice, but the longer we were outside, the colder it became. I was already wearing the thick winter jacket. The wind, it's crazy. 

Apex sent a van to pick us up (two rounds because they 'tried' to squeeze another group of youth) and dropped us at their official shop which is not too far away but far enough not to walk. From there, we took the 2 rented cars and headed to our Melbourne Airbnb home.

First car: Hyundai iMax 8-seater minivan // $786.60 (+ 2 baby car seats) - Melbourne to Brisbane.
Second car: Mitsubishi Outlander // $153.92 (no baby car seat) - within Melbourne only.

We were told that Waze sucks big time in Melbourne (or Australia in general) so we used Google Maps and we have never gotten lost, not even once. Thank you Google.

Our first Airbnb home was so cosy I cannot. Super love the place.

The townhouse is located at Ashburton and it has 2 single beds and 2 queen size beds.

From outside, it looked like a house. A unit of a landed property, but the owner renovated the entire unit into few more houses like this one. I think probably got 4 units of Airbnbs on that one same location. Got underground gated-parking space for all units some more.

Two thumbs up.

We did not rest a long time after check-in because hello, every minute is money. Hah. Just kidding! Obviously we did not come so far to just rest at home, despite only having 3 hours sleep. 

Daryl was cranky because he was having a real bad flu and running nose and then there's Shalynn who is just so unpredictable. Hah. 

Weather was perfect that day. Thinking back about it now makes me want to cryyy. 

The first place that we 'rushed' to was Queen Victoria's Market because closing time is at 2pm and we only had like less than 2 hours or something. Cannot really remember anymore.

It is a must visit because mom loves this kind of market. To be honest, it was really nice, and because it was so close to the closing time, all the vendors were like shouting for special sales and all! It was insanely fun.

3 strips of pork belly - $10.60
10 pieces of pork chops - $10
A lot of sliced ham - $4.55
A tray of salmon - $10
2 trays of authentic meat-sausages - $8
30 eggs - $5.50
Mixed of variety vegetables - $20.10

Can you believe that we walked and shopped till all became cranky? 

Yeah, we really did. We only realized that we became so hungry after seeing all those food and it was way past lunch-time. The last meal was breakfast on board. Heh. 

Lunch was at the 'food court' next to the QVM's Meat Section. Got western cuisine, HongKong cuisine and Indonesia cuisine. All pun ada. 

I ordered fish and chips ($8.90) and it was huge!

Just FYI - everything you order in Australia is not meant for one-person. Their portion can feed two people please. The entire trip, Koay and I just order 1 main course and we would ended up being too full because the others won't be able to finish theirs.

By the time we finished hanging out at QVM, it was almost evening I think. The sun was slowly setting and our battery was running low already.

We drove back towards Ashburton and stopped at the 24-hours Woolsworth near our house (walking distance only). We spent quite some time in there getting cereals, milk, snacks, biscuits and chocolates.

That was the last outing for that day,

Mom cooked dinner at home with some of the ingredients bought at the market, and we stayed in to rest and re-charge.


Rise and shine! One of the best sleep I've had in my life. Their pillows are so soft and their comforter, so comfortable I cannot!

We had quick breakfast at home, with toast bread, eggs and porridge (mainly for the kids) then packed more sandwiches for the long road-trip.

We decided to do Great Ocean Road before anything else because it takes the longest time I think. The drive there is really far my goodness, but so worth it! SUPER WORTH IT!

The drive there takes about 3 hours but we decided to take the longer but more beautiful scenic route (via Apollo Bay) and stopped a few times to eat, take photos and take more photos. I think because of all these random stops along the way, we probably took like 6 hours to see the Apostles and another 3 hours to go back (at night nothing to see so never stop anymore heh).

Visiting the 12 Apostles ranks the top of my overall OZ trip FYI, so for me IT IS A MUST SEE.

There are so many towns along the road to see the Twelve Apostles so of course we needed to stop by and breathe their fresh air. Heh.

Their towns are very small and cosy so it felt very nice to spend some time there.


The entrance to the 12 Apostles! So windy and cold.

Please wear thicker if you plan to visit the 12 Apostles (maybe nearing to winter time or something) because if not, you will not be able to spend more time there. Thank God we were correctly dressed! We wrapped ourselves with whatever scarfs we have in the car. Hah.

There are two routes that you can choose and if you reach there early, you can probably cover both. We chose the Twelve Apostles Lookout because ain't nobody got the energy to walk down to the beach and walk up again.

If we had more time, I would la.

If we had more scarfs, I would use it to cover my entire face except my eyes, kid you not. So windy it hurts the skin. Daryl was covered in every inch, except his face. Every now and then, you can see him hiding his face onto his daddy's chest/jacket.

So cute I cannot.

The photo below is the exact spot where I turned my head to the right and said a thousand times of wow. I literally just froze standing there. I stopped (even though there were people behind me heh) so that I can take this photo and remember how I almost want to cry seeing this. 

It looks like a normal view, but from where I was standing, it was just too wow. I don't know how to describe to you. It felt very majestic and it's as though all the impossible things (in my head) now seems possible. God is truly indescribable. 

Love this. 

More lookouts as you walk further out and into the wind.

We were so close to chartering a helicopter to see the entire view but we thought it would be too risky because it was way too windy.

Once in a lifetime experience, hah.

Nearby the Twelve Apostles, there's another place called Lorh Ard Gorge which is pretty amazing but it was getting darl so we (some of us) ran down towards the end and spent like 5 minutes there and walked back. Heh.

We drove to one of the town on the way back from Great Ocean Road and found a fish-and-chips place for dinner, called Captain Georges Seafood. Very economical and comes in very big portion. Are the potatoes in Australia free or something?

So overloaded with potatoes oh my goodness.

We realized that all their small towns felt very eerie at night because most shops will be closed and you will see no one on the streets. Maybe eerie is quite a strong word, but it's really like ghostly and all.

This is the one thing that is so hard to get used to.

We shopped at Coles there for more supper-foods and headed back to Ashburton to rest for the night. It was such a great long day mann.