Buying Christmas presents become harder and harder, so my Husband and I have learnt that although gifts are great (as in physical gifts), well thought-out escapes, dinners and date ideas are even better. Thanks to Tigerair Australia really sprucing their two-for-one flights, Brisbane to Melbourne flights over the Valentine’s Day weekend popped up at a price which just could not be beaten! It was also our first getaway since our New York trip so we were beyond excited to be travelling again!
So – the tricky thing was we only had three nights to spare – if there is anything I have learned – you can absolutely see what you want to see in three days, never listen to the naysayers!
My girlfriend picked us up when we flew in (we had three nights in Melbourne all up, so knew we needed to make it count!) and took us to the most delicious place in Richmond – Top Paddock for brunch. Excellent coffee and amazing brunch (picture above!).
We then had a personalised tour of Brighton Beach, saw the famous Brighton beach huts, drove passed the Luna Park in St Kilda and then headed back to Toorak. We then went out to an amazing BBQ restaurant and had an amazing dinner with our friends. It is such a pain in the bum, being so far away from people you love – but when you have the fortune of having such amazing quality friends, then it makes it completely okay. At one point we thought we had accidentally lost our friends cat, panic ensued but thankfully he turned up. Otherwise we probably would have been declared worst house guests ever!
Early start, we woke up nice and early for a delicious breakfast and more amazing coffee (well done Melbourne on your coffee!). We made our way into town for our V-Day stay overnight in the city – ate an incredible lunch of Chinese food, ordered off an iPad – drank a stack of imported beers in celebration (and to try to fight the intense chilli burn we were not prepared for!). We stayed pretty inner-city, I think it was somewhere on Burke Street but cannot be sure (we got the room last minute at a pretty good price, so we weren’t too choosy on where we went!). G had booked us a Chinese Banquet in China-Town, it was my first crack at duck pancakes! Like I have said before, and like anyone from the city will tell you ‘Melbourne has great food’ 😉 and they really do, so it’s a fair comment!I honestly thought G was going to walk straight out of a coffee shop when he went to put sugar in his coffee and saw the above label on the jar. With good food and coffee – comes hipsters ha-ha. We spent the night in our hotel and then when we woke up, raided a local bakery and consumed our weight in coffee (our 4am start on the Friday was really catching up to us!). We then took a bus out to the Airport to pick up our rental car. After an incredibly long and arduous process (not sure why this continues to happen, even though you have booked online and already selected all of your options?!), we realised G’s license had expired and I had just undergone a knee surgery 2 weeks before our trip! Regardless, it was Great Ocean Road time!!! So it was a tentative drive for the first couple of hours, but then it was completely fine!
We had an amazingly beautiful, sunny day so the drive was phenomenal! Driving from Melbourne Airport out to the Great Ocean Road, depending on where you are driving to (as in how far up the road) can take anywhere from 2.5-3 hours to get the trip going. We drove west to east along the road, we spent most of the day stopping in at various headlands and were not disappointed – the views were incredible! We had picked a Sunday though, so it was a bit manic traffic wise.
Making it to the ’12’ Apostles is one of those more travel-defining moments, we have all seen them on postcards and in my case – I had poured through my parents’ old photographs of them. The Twelve Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks along the shor of the Great Ocean Road, nearest Port Campbell National Park. Currently there are 7-8 Apostles left and even though there are many missing, it is their proximity to each other which has made the site a popular tourist attraction.
They were formed by erosion, the extreme weather conditions of the Southern Ocean would have gradually eroded the soft limestone, forming caves in the cliffs, which have then became arches, which have collapsed – leaving rock stacks up to 50m high (the Apostles). They will continue to collapse as the years go on – one thing you will notice when you are in the area, is the power of the ocean down South!
There is so much to do in the area, unfortunately we were only driving along the coastline briefly and for the day, so it was in and out for us – but you can see more options on the following link: – https://visit12apostles.com.au/attractions/
We actually drove much further than we had anticipated in the day – originally we had thought to stay in Port Campbell (about 240km from the Melbourne airport). We kept driving however and ended up stopping at Camperdown, which was another 60km inland. We spent the night in an adorable little cabin at the Lakes and Craters Holiday Park which was inexpensive, in a beautiful location and pretty comfortable. Also it had views for days!
Sure enough, the time on our express Great Ocean Road/Melbourne trip had come to an end and it was time to get back to Brisbane. The journey from Camperdown back to Melbourne airport only took a few hours, with a stop in Geelong for delicious pies :).
It is entirely possible to visit parts of Australia just over a weekend, you won’t necessarily see everything, but it is enough to get out of the house and feel like you have had a mini-break!
Tell me, where is the best 2/3 day trip you have taken and why?
Have an amazing day!
x C x