Back in February, I decided to catch a flight from Sydney to Melbourne to explore another of Australia’s most famous cities. The general consensus between backpackers is that you are either Team Sydney or Team Melbourne, and although Melbourne is beautiful, I am Team Sydney completely.
But flying to Melbourne symbolised my first real solo trip. Technically, I have always been a solo traveller, but I have spent most of my travels meetings travel buddies and travelling on with them.
With Melbourne, I was alone – nothing but a flight & a hostel booked, keeping my fingers crossed that I would meet cool people and all would be fine. Thankfully, that is exactly what happened.
Leaving Sydney initially was emotional. I had been there one month, celebrated New Years & my 22nd birthday and very quickly fallen in love with its chilled atmosphere, gorgeous weather and the people I’d met.
So to say goodbye, we headed out out, from which I didn’t go to bed, quickly changed my clothes and grabbed my passport and went straight to the airport at 6am.. Not my finest moment arriving in Melbourne with 0 hours sleep, my false eyelashes still on and a club stamp still on my hand. Not something I advise..
I checked into United Backpackers, which is one of the biggest and most central hostels in Melbourne, opposite the famous Flinders Street Station. If you are headed to Melbourne, I would highly recommend it as a place to stay within the CBD – the location is perfect. I caught th SkyBus from the airport to the city centre ($19) and was dropped right outside.
After spending that day sleeping and recovering from not going to bed, I met up with Chris & Dan, who I’d met in Sydney for their last night in Melbourne, before leaving to do their farm work.
We took the tram to St Kilda for sunset, walking down the pier and spotting all the penguins that live on the rocks. They are adorable and it’s a must do for when you’re in Melbs.
I started Day 2 with a walking tour of the city – the architecture is gorgeous, it’s tranquil and it’s pretty easy to see why it’s been voted the World’s Most Liveable City.. 6 years in a row. The street art down Hosier Lane is as cool as I’d hoped and the coffee shops can turn haters (me) into lovers. The shopping malls are picturesque and in between each street are alley ways full of swanky restaurants. It was stunning.
The walking tour was where I met the lovely Line, and we went on to shop together and spend our evening on one of the coolest rooftop bars I’ve ever been to.. chilled vibes and a great sunset to enjoy over wine! Line, you are so lovely and I had such a fabulous time discovering Melbourne with you.
We spent the next few days together, wandering through the city, strolling through the Botanical Gardens & going up the Eureka Sky Tower for 360 degree views of the city. Although Melbourne’s weather is known to be unpredictable and pretty much exactly the same as the UK, we were spoilt for sunshine, making our trip even more perfect.
One thing I was desperate to do during my time in Victoria, was travel down the Great Ocean Road. I disputed between trying to find travel mates, hiring a car, or driving solo. I settled for a 3 day tour – down the Great Ocean Road, through the Grampians National Park and onto Adelaide.
In a moment of bravery, Line decided to book a skydive and I decided to book a 10 hour bus from Adelaide to Port Lincoln – the only place in Australia where you can cage dive with Great White Sharks.. (blogposts to come!)
The trip cost an absolute fortune, but the sights I saw were incredible and completely justified having to live off jam sandwiches for 5 days in order to be able to afford it.
Line sadly left Melbourne to travel the East Coast. My least favourite thing about travelling has been the goodbyes – especially when it’s saying goodbye to really cool people that you really click with.
Fortunately, I met some really great people at United Backpackers and another of my faves was the lovely Kate. We spent the day together exploring St Kilda, the beach & Luna Park, before having drinks that night.
I left Melbs feeling fulfilled and and with a sense of accomplishment for achieving something that scared me – travelling solo. Melbourne, you are a beautiful part of the world and I can understand why so many people love you. I can’t wait to return.
I woke early on a Sunday morning to meet my tour and head down the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians, Adelaide & to Port Lincoln. Can’t wait to share more about a great adventure.