Half a year since I updated this blog. I really meant to write about my Australia trip before my Hand In Hand drama, but right after the trip I got too involved in the preparation of the drama that I can only write about my holiday now. The memories have become rather blurred, but the feeling of freedom and sheer relaxation is deeply imprinted in me.
Yes, my road trip in Melbourne was simply liberating. I only got my driving license not too long ago but I was able to drive down long stretches of roads with rolls of grass on either side of me, dotted with grazing sheep and cows, it was pure serenity. Almost zero traffic, just smooth long hours of driving. Australian drivers are rather like The Flash, and my heart almost always leapt out of my chest whenever giant vehicles whizzed past me, but in general driving in a relaxing countryside is unadulterated bliss. I simply love road trips.
If Australia is this good, I can only imagine how much more tranquil New Zealand would be. While it had been gruelling to drive for 4 hours along the Great Ocean Road to reach The 12 Apostles just to state an example, the scenery was more than sufficient as a reward for me.
While Phillip Island may be more known for its adorable Penguin Parade, and I was definitely one of the captivated audiences ooh-ing and aah-ing over the little penguins waddling in groups from the sea, I must say I wish that we were closer to the penguins. We had waited for hours in the cold to catch a sight of them, so it was a teeny weeny bit disappointing.
The Nobbies at Phillip Island
The Nobbies is a long boardwalk that seems to stretch forever, which is wonderful, for I could look at the coastal scenery it provided for eternity. It was terribly cold and it didn’t help that there was a slight drizzle at The Nobbies. The wind whipped the stinging cold rain into our faces but we were determined to explore the whole of the Nobbies to witness the beautiful crashing blue waves. Why are the waters such a gorgeous shade of turquoise at certain parts of the Nobbies I wonder?
While The Nobbies were the highlight of my time at Phillip Island, there is actually a myriad of relaxing activities one can do at this island, from wildlife coast cruises to farming experiences and feeding animals. I did really quite enjoy Maru Koala and Animal Park, for I got to get close to koalas, kangaroos and wallabies, and even got to feed them! While this activity may seem very family-oriented, it is nevertheless a rare experience for a city girl like me, so I really indulged in my inner child while feeding and patting the adorable fluffy animals.
A Road Trip along Great Ocean Road to The 12 Apostles
Next up is The 12 Apostles. A sight not to be missed if you are visiting Melbourne because the limestone apostles are dwindling over the years due to erosion. The sight of their rugged magnificence towering above sparkling azure blue waters simply took my breath away. I really love the beach when it is cool and windy. Only then I am a beach person.
Be warned though, if you are driving there, it will take approximately 5 hours to just reach the 12 Apostles from the city. During the drive, which we took in turns between my sister, father and me, it was really tough for each of us to stay awake, for most of the roads were straight and seemed to go on forever. It was actually really dangerous, for as I’d mentioned, there were many large vehicles in Australia that drove on the opposite lane at really rapid speeds. So really, stay sharp and focused while driving the roads in Australia!
Flowers and Fruits Gardens in Melbourne
The last two places have no waters. But brightly coloured flowers and fresh fruits grow in abundance. They are Aloywn Gardens in Yarra Valley and Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens in Mornington Peninsula. And what is cool is that you can taste the fruits in the gardens as well!
Both the Yarra Valley and the Morning Peninsula also provide opportunities for wine-tasting, and to be able to slowly savour a glass of wine while overlooking vineyards and wineries, is heaven on earth indeed.