I left Canada and its snow early this week to start my australian journey in Melbourne. Shortly, I am leaving Melbourne to make my way to Adelaide. I am stopping in the town of Ballarat for one night and Tuesday I will arrive, in Adelaide which will be my home base until July.
My last few days in Melbourne have been super fun. But, I want to start by reminding everyone that the journey from Canada is a bit brutal. I am still recovering form the jetlag. In all I was about 24 hours traveling from Ottawa to Melbourne, and between the two cities there is an 18 hour time difference. A tip to anyone coming on a similar trip backpacking would be to spend the extra money and stay somewhere nicer for the first few days. I am staying with family friends who have been spoiling me with local food. See the example below.
So the fun stuff. What have I been up to in melbourne?
The day I arrived I went to some local places in the suburbs my friends live in, as well as drove by the area I used to live in when my family lived in melbourne for a year. It brought back a lot of great memories. Hanging with my friends here and seeing the local places it has been interesting to observe the subtle differences that make Australia very different from North America. Besides that you drive on the opposite side of the road, the schooling system is quite different. All the schools have uniforms and strict dress codes which I find quite fascinating. I have also already noticed some other cultural differences, and think I will definitely write a blog about that in the next few weeks.
Back to my travel, the next day I went in to the city center, and the city is beautiful. Also side note the public transportation is great, taking the train is actually kind of fun as there is lots from it. There is so much shopping in downtown Melbourne and I had a lovely afternoon just wandering around. That evening I went to the outdoor cinema (how australian is that) with my friend I’ve been staying with and it was so cute. The movie playing was Pretty Women which I’ve never seen so that worked out well and I really enjoyed it. It felt surreal that I had left -20 weather and now I was just out chilling in shorts in the evening.
The following day was when my jetlag hit me the worst, so I had a relaxing day with friend and walked through the Melbourne Royal Botanical gardens. The fresh air was great and it was nice to be away from the crowds of the city. The highlight of the day though was seeing fairy penguins on the beach in the evening! The penguins come home to theirs nests along the beaches from fishing all day at sunset and there was a place 10 minutes from the suburb we were in where we could see them. 10 minutes from the city we could see penguins that just blows my mind. As well as the penguins we saw this other australian species that are basically gross swimming rats. They might have been a little icky but still something I would never get to see in North America.
To conclude my days in Melbourne I went a bit outside the city to a place called Healesville Sanctuary, a zoo that is all Australian wildlife. Here I found out the “gross” water rat I saw the night before is actually endangered and lots of other interesting facts. It is a great place to visit whether you are a 20 year old backpacker or someone traveling with family. You really gain an appreciation of just how unique some australian species are.
Thanks for reading! Sadly, I don’t have a ton of great photos yet but have gotten some video I will put up soon.
If you are interested in more updates on my travel follow me on my insta.