G'Day Australia! - Melbourne - Adelaide - Ayers Rock
17.11.2015 - 23.11.2015 20 °C
It is the first time for both of us to visit Australia so we decided to try and see as much of the country as possible in the time we had here.
After a fantastic flight with Qantas, thanks mainly to the 2 Kath and Kim look-a-like/sound-a-like cabin crew who really looked after us with alcohol top ups all night.
First Stop Melbourne
We had 3 great nights in Melbourne and stayed at The Grand Hyatt which was a fantastic hotel right in the heart of the city and had the best breakfast of any hotel we have stayed in so far.
Melbourne has a very relaxed, young, cosmopolitan vibe around the entire city and felt to us very like Manchester - hence we felt so at home.
Melbourne has some fantastic shops, bars and restaurants, it was great to see a city with a policy of supporting local products and brands rather than the usual international brands you see in all other cities. The city has a policy to help and assist small local businesses and has a policy against big international organisations trying to dominate their commercial shopping centres.
A must see when you stay in Melbourne is The Great Ocean Road. It's an all day tour, we hired a private car with driver/guide for the day and if possible would recommend this as the best way to see the area. Dylan was our guide for the day (and yes he was cute).
He started by taking us to a beautiful cafe for coffee to get to know us and to find our what we wanted out of the day, anything in particular that we wanted to see/do etc.
We did a sunset evening in St Kilda which is on the coast about 15 mins from Melbourne centre, the highlight was to see the penguins coming in to sleep on the breakwater. We imagined big black & white penguins with lovely yellow beaks - keeping from the water onto the rocks... We got blue & white duck like penguins... but they were still very cute!
Adelaide was our next stop for 2 nights. The history is very different as it is one of the only cities where convicts did not settle as they were deliberately priced out of the market to buy property to keep them out. Its a very mixed city where the divide between the rich and poor still very much exists from one side of the city to the other. Many families have tried to maintain a British accent - we could not tell!
Not our favourite city as a little like any other UK city.
We only had 1 night stay in Ayers Rock so decided that after flying from Adelaide to Alice Springs we would not make the 4.5hour drive through the desert but charter a plane to take us to Ayers Rock and include a scenic tour over the area before we landed - it turned out to be very much the right decision!!
The 2 hour flight in our Cesna 210 was amazing - if not a little scary at times. Flying at around 6,500ft in an aircraft with just you and the pilot, lots of turbulence due to the heat was an experience we will never forget. The scenes we saw from the plane were incredible - meteor craters, desert, gorges, more desert, mountain ridges, more desert, Lake Amadeus, more desert, The Olgas, which were as impressive as Ayers Rock and of course "The Rock"
Ayers Rock was a fantastic experience, but as it is all run on behalf of the indigenous people (or Abos as I call them) its all very tightly controlled. There are no taxis from the airport - you have to get their bus, the bars and restaurants are all controlled, everything is a little bit like an upmarket Butlins! But basically if you want to come you have to stay with them!
If you've made it this far.....well done! Here are a couple of pics to prove we were here too ;-)