The Melbourne Wanderlust~ DAYS 3 & 4

Monday, February 24, 2014

We spent the majority of our time in Day 3 on the roads as we took a 3 hour drive back to Melbourne itself. The route was very long at over 200km and I was really appreciative of Nian who insisted driving the entire distance by himself while the rest of the family doze off into intermittent naps.

At some point in time, he was sleepy himself, yet everyone else was asleep and there was no one to keep him company. ME ESPECIALLY. -__-

At the start of the journey, I even told him enthusiastically that I will keep him company while he drives but who knows, I fell asleep within the first hour, only to wake up some 30 minutes later and go, "OMG I FELL ASLEEP SORRY!!!!"

I'm such a terrible wife sometimes, I know.

Anyway! I wanna talk about this really nice cafe at Port Fairy before we left! Bella Claire is located just about 5 minutes walk away from our apartments and thanks to the recommendations from the landlord, we managed to find this little gem where we enjoyed one of the best breakfasts of waffles, egg benedicts (we had egg bens like every day omg) coissants and everything else.

Everything was just so delicious and pretty! Check out this strawberry waffle for example. The waffle is moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, and then it is drained with maple syrup and we get to eat them with cream cheese or strawberry yoghurt.

My personal favourite is dipping them in the cold yoghurt. SO NICEEEEEE.

Bella Claire
28 Bank Street
Port Fairy, 
Victoria 3284

You should also check out their yard at the back too, if you ever have a chance to visit Port Fairy. It is indeed so fairy-like, I wished we can spend a few more days there. :)

We also visited Griffiths Island the night before to look for wild wallabies, which was a really short trip so I didn't blog about it previously.

Griffiths Island is a great place to hang out if you like bird-sightings because on a good day, you get to see many migratory birds coming to the island to lay their eggs. This sight is only unique between January to March, because in April, the birds will then leave for the Aleutian Islands (near Alaska) again.

With some stroke of good luck, we managed to spot a couple of wallabies hiding behind the bushes! Dylan was so excited watching the wallabies hop, he imitated them all day every day until now. :O

Anyway..... the temperature along the coastal lines are really very cooling but as we headed towards inlands to Melbourne, it went higher and higher until it hit all time high at 43 degrees celcius! My mom was initially very happy because she brought all her sleeveless tops (my sis even cleverer, she brought all shorts so imagine how cold she felt when we were along the coastline LOL) that finally can be worn, BUT IT WAS SO HOT, she wanted to melt!

It was supposedly a fun day at Collingwood Children's Farm because every first Sunday of the month is family day and they will give away free pony rides, tractor rides and there will be BBQ lunch until sold out.

But because the weather was so hot, there was a Total Fire Ban in place for that day, which meant that there couldn't be any BBQ sessions at all. All the animals also disappeared into hiding because.. well, it is simply too hot.

Paid $8 per adult for nothing lol.

The Collingwood Children’s Farm
18 St Heliers Street,
Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia

Then... unable to bear the heat any longer, we moved on to Harbourtown after this failed trip to the farm because we were in dire needs of air conditioning. My dad even had a sunburn on his forehead, LOL quite serious ah this weather?!

Harbourtown was another disappointing trip, sad to say. You know, I had purposely added Harbourtown to our itinerary because all the other Harbourtowns in Perth and Fremantle were really very good with nice clothes and cheap shoes.

Harbourtown in Melbourne paled very much in comparison with really nothing much for us to shop, except for a discount store where my sisters, aunt and grandma went slightly mad with the AU$15 - $30 shoes and boots.

You can go to the visitor's center at Harbourtown to collect some tourist discount cards but honestly, most stores either give a discount much better than what the discount card gives (which makes it redundant), or they don't accept the tourist discount card at all.

Not wanting to shop anymore, my famished family ended up at Le Cirque because we had a one-for-one card for coffee (which was only applicable to one set because the rest of the sets we ordered came with drinks zzz).

Another reason was because it was the most spacious and it had a little playground for kids. You can see how Dylan's eyes lit up when he saw the area full of toys. All he said when we put him down was, "Toy toy......" and then he ran to the playground. There was no turning back to see if his parents were following him at all man!

And that marks our boring Day 3. Thankfully, Day 4 was better! WAY BETTER!

We started off our day with really great breakfasts, as usual. This time, we headed to New York Tomato for their breakfasts. Words had it that many tourists will specially head down there for their food so we thought, why not?

Overall, the food was pretty good but the drinks were even better! Even though I don't take coffee, reviews said that this cafe has consistently good coffee and the food is served prompt and hot. Probably not as fast as Singapore's standard; you would have to wait for about 10 to 15 minutes while the food is being prepared but everything is really fresh!

It's located right at Melbourne itself so I guess it will be quite convenient for you to try it out if you happen to be there next time. ^-^

New York Tomato
6 New St
Richmond, VIC

Visited the Melbourne Sealife Aquarium next!

In case you didn't know, Nian and I like to visit Aquariums wherever we go. We have since went to KLCC's, Perth's and Jakarta's aquariums. And now, we conquered Melbourne's!

It is actually quite expensive because it costs AUD$38 per adult to get in, which technically costs even more than our local SEA Aquarium because of the exchange rates. However, I think one major difference between our local aquarium and the rest we've been to, is that they always exhibit amphibians as well.

Looking at the leathery skin of the Tree Frog makes my stomach churn but at the same time, I cannot help but marvel at its leathery texture. The brown ones look like the chocolate frogs from Harry Potter!

Another highlight of the Melbourne Sealife Aquarium is the Saltwater Crocodile, Pinjarra. Over 5 meters long, Pinjarra is one of the biggest saltwater crocodile ever~

Pinjarra, whose name is aboriginal for ‘place of soft grass and smooth water’, was relocated to Koorana Crocodile Farm near Rockhampton, Queensland, after he was found stranded on a cattle farm after a significant flood.

Pinjarra has spent the last 25 years with three female companions at Koorana, but they have now grown too old to produce eggs and he is too big to put with young breeders.

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium was considered an ideal location to keep, protect and add to the conservation of this incredible creature, and so the brand new state-of-the-art exhibit - Crocodile's Lair - was constructed to meet his needs, which opened to the public on September 21, 2013. [credits]

Initially, when he was resting motionlessly between the rocks, everyone just walked on and looked in curiously, wondering where the hell the croc is. When I excitedly pointed it out to my family, my aunt insisted that it was a fake because according to her, it wasn't breathing, and the water reflection made it look like it had two tails LOL.

I was so exasperated at explaning at that point of time because to be honest.... why the hell would an aquarium spend so much money to build a lair to house a fake crocodile?????

But the moment he moved, everyone then believed that he is real -___________-

Here's another interesting thing we saw at Melbourne Aquarium. Any idea what is this?

Well.. it is actually a pouch to store sharks' eggs!

Even though we learned in school that all sharks lay eggs, because they are fishes, almost 70% of the sharks are Ovoviviparious, which is a really huge word, but essentially means that the eggs actually hatch inside the mother's body and when it comes out into the world, it is already alive.

The remaining 30%, usually smaller sharks, will lay eggs into the water, near the bay or river mouths and they will all be slotted into this pouch, affectionately known as the Mermaid's Purse. It hooks itself to the crevice so that it will not be washed away by the undercurrents while the eggs hatch.

Quite cool eh??

And then some other cool stuff they have are display aquariums where we can stick our heads in and look at the fishes in 360 degrees. Dylan was SO AMUSED! Just look at his face, haha!

And then we saw penguins! Even though we were planning to go to Philip Islands the next day to see penguins, we were still very excited to see another type of penguins~ These King Penguins are too still and too cute. ^-^

Because they stood so still, we have people crowding around us and ask.. "Are they real? Are they real?"

Crazy lah them!

Here's one with Nian and I, no Dylan because the little boy was fast asleep by then. Too bad he missed these penguins!

Left the Aquarium some FOUR hours later, headed to Crown Casino because my mom wanted to try her luck lolwtf. Eventually, thanks to Nian's guidance (he's pretty good with these Blackjack and casino thingmajic), all of them walked out $90 richer.

I, being underaged (AHEM), stayed outside with Dylan~~~

By then it was already late evening at about 7PM, so we decided to head back to our cozy apartment with our delicious take-away from a nice little Thai restaurant we found. But before that, here's a picture of a very nice Spidey & Venom that we chanced upon while walking to Coles to grab some tidbits and drinks.

And again, we ended the night with loads of moscato, potato chips, ice cream and delicious Thai food courtesy of the casino. Hehe.

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