Thursday, 25 June 2015

Melbourne & Gold Coast, Australia - 02 Aug 2013 to 12. Aug 2013

My 10 days in Australia

I decided to venture into Melbourne and Gold Coast.
Melbourne is famous for it's wild life and Gold Coast is famous for the sun & beach :)

02 Aug 2013
I departed from Singapore to Gold Coast with Flyscoot as there are no direct flight to Melbourne if you take Flyscoot.  Fly scoot has bigger room space for my legs :)
I am tiny so the seats are quite ok for me.  However, people with long legs will be not be that comfortable.

I arrived at Gold Coast Airport.  

There is a little cafe in Gold Coast airport named ZOOM if you are hungry. 
I am surprised that there is only one person running the show. 
She take orders, prepare your food, clear the tables and the floor.  
I am really impressed.

On the same day, I took a domestic flight from Gold Coast to Melbourne by Virgin Air.
The prices are reasonable like about SGD 300 for a return flight.

I checked into Gold Coast airport to take a domestic flight to Melbourne.
It takes about 2 hours. 

When we arrived at Melbourne, I have booked a airport pickup from the airport to the hotel Ibis.
It picks us in groups.  It's a little van which can accommodate 13 pax.  I booked it via Kent Holidays.

Name of pick up company : CON-X-ION

By the time I arrived at the hotel it's in the evening with little droplets of rain.  The weather was cold...  By the way, it's winter during that season.

The van has frosted.  You can imagine how cold it is there.

We arrived at Ibis Hotel, Melbourne.
Usually I do not want to spend too much on my hotel so Ibis is only a 3 star hotel but I find it cozy and comfortable.  This hotel is small.  It's entrance is not glamours at all.  But it is worth the stay.  It's cheap and economical plus it's cozy.

Name of hotel : Hotel Ibis
Price : From SGD 123

After settling in the hotel, we were starving so we venture nearby to look for food.
The sky in Melbourne darken really fast and the shop closes super early too.
By 5pm, the street turn to zombie land.  There are still people walking and only limited shops operating.

Suddenly, we found MACDONALDS.  Oh my god, it's like we found water in the desert.
Ok let me tell you the difference between Macdonalds in Singapore and Macdonalds in Melbourne.
1. The portion is bigger
2. The have Mc Champ
3. The vegetables in the burger is fresh
4. The milk use for coffee

The address of the Macdonalds is in the receipt.

After eating, we explore the places near our holiday.
The few shops operating are 7-eleven, Chinese cuisines, fast food.

After exploring and only finding 7-eleven that is operating, we went back to rest for the day.

03 Aug 2013

I have booked a tour from Kent Holidays to visit the wildlife.
I took their optional tour which I can choose what I would like to visit.

It is a package which include:

1. Moonlit Sanctuary

You can feed the wallaby with your hands and it was so fun to be so close to the animals.
You will need to purchase their food from the counter, wash your hands and feed it.
It's so cute that you want to just carry it home.


The Sanctuary has other animals too.


Koalas - This sanctuary do not allow carrying of the Koala.
You can  touch the Koala and you need to pay to get a photo taken.


They are kept in cages.
Due to the cold weather, snakes need the heat from the light to keep itself warm.

The tour include a light lunch.  It's not fantastic, sandwiches only.

After the sanctuary, we proceed to Churchill Island.

When our bus entered the visitor centre, this little fellow came up to greet us :)

There are many of them.  It looks like a buffalo.

The visitor centre include other animals too.

Sheep - Many of them.

There is only one horse that I saw.


There is a short performance on how they remove the wool to sell it for money.
Wool can be used to make clothes etc to keep us warm during winter.
The poor sheep will scream at the top of its voice but it's harmless to the sheep

They even allow you to milk the cow.
I tried and it is yucky but fun :)

After a afternoon of farm animals, we proceed on the Koala Conservation Centre.

It is like a park full of Koala bears.  They are sleeping most of the time.
You can see them in their natural habitat.

NOTE : DO NOT touch them as there will be a fine impose.

After this, the tour brought as back to the city and it was about 7pm.
The shops re already closed.
We grabbed some food from the a convenient store and proceed back to our hotel to rest.

04 Aug 2013 (Melbourne)
Today we visited Philip Island.

Along the way, we stop by this place.  I am not sure where is it.
The weather is good and the scenery is so prefect, it looks like a painting.

Suddenly our tour guide took out a box of biscuits and a thermal flask.
He ask us to take and eat.  
It was fun to be so close to nature.
It's my first time too and it feel great.

We had lunch here.

Philip Island

This place is known for their penguins and they are living in their natural habitat.
The journey from the city to Philip Island takes about 2 hours depending on the traffic.

Nobbies centre exhibits information about Philip Island.

There is a nice background near the centre and you can take beautiful pictures.

During the late afternoon, we proceed to the penguin parade.
There are wild penguins come up to shore after their hunt so we proceed to witness it.
The weather is super cold in August.
If you are going there during this period, you need to wear more clothes.

You will see an exhibition before proceeding outside to witness the wild penguins.
There is a specific time I think it's 6pm.
You will need to wait and the weather is freezing cold.
Please go to the front, I am at the back and I was unable to see anything.
No photography allowed too...

You will see little penguins going back to their homes with fishes.

These are fake.

After that, we proceed back to our hotel.

05 Aug 2013 (Melbourne)

Today, we proceed to to have our breakfast at Queen Victoria Market.
The portion of food is big for small eaters like me

After breakfast, we took a walk towards the federation square.
Along the way, there are really nice building along the way.

The federation square

After visiting the federation square, we took the Melbourne tram to the outlet mall, HabourTown.

In the tram, you can see beautiful buildings along the way.  

How to get to HabourTown:-

Harbour Town Shopping Centre is located in Docklands, right next to Medibank Icehouse and Costco Wholesale

Harbour Town Shopping Centre has two large undercover car parks conveniently which are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Our rates are;

1st hour $3
Up to four hours $7
Flat rate $10

Entry to both Car Parks is off Footscray Rd, or Docklands Drive. The North Car Park which is located on Waterfront Way has 6 levels of parking, and 2,225 parking spaces. The West Car Park which is located on Pearl River Road has 4 levels of parking, and 663 parking spaces.

TRAM:  (I took this option near the federation square)

Catch the FREE city circle tram along Harbour Esplanade and Docklands 
Drive to the front of the centre. 

No.70 via Flinders Street to Waterfront City/Harbour Town OR No.86 via Bourke Street to Waterfront City/Harbour Town 

Take the train to Southern Cross Station and walk over the Bourke Street Pedestrian Bridge to Harbour Esplanade. Then follow the Promenade along to Waterfront City through to Harbour Town.

Alternatively you can catch Tram No. 86 from the corner of Spencer and Bourke Steet, the last stop being Harbour Town Shopping Centre!

Melbourne Visitor Shuttle

The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle stops at key tourist attractions throughout Melbourne, including Harbour Town Shopping Centre's Tourism Lounge (Stop 9).

Buses run every 25 minutes, seven days a week.
An all-day ticket will cost $5 while children under 10 travel free.
Ticket machines are located at each of the 13 bus stops.

Visit for further details.

Bus Link's route 220 will also drop you at Harbour Towns doorstep (stop 6-Footscray Rd)
Buses run every 15 minutes, seven days a week.
Visit www. for timetable information

There are plenty of on and off road bike tracks surrounding the Docklands precinct that will lead you right to the heart of  Harbour Town Shopping Centre. Please visit for maps of  nearby bike tracks.

Compare avis, budget, hertz, thrifty and many more car hire Melbourne suppliers and save.

Arrive at HarbourTown.
You should look for local brands and it is super cheap.
I bought a tank top for AUD 5 only.

We had lunch here.  This place is in HabourTown.
The western food in Melbourne is Awesome !

The food is nice but a little pricey.
We shopped till evening and it is time to go back.
All shops closes at 6pm.

We made our way back to our hotel an drop by this Korean food place for dinner.

06 Aug 2013 (Melbourne)

Today, we visit the twelve apostles.
I booked a tour from Kent Holidays to bring us there.

You can hop on a helicopter to have a sky view of the area.
It cost about AUD 95 per person.

Basically, what you see are rocks.

You can walk around the park and you will find places like that.
Full of grass and rocks.

After visiting the twelve apostles, we stopped by this noodles shop recommended by the locals on the way back to the city.

It's too oily for me and the portion is really big.
I could not finish it.

I got this too.  It taste much better than the noodles.

We packed them and munch them on the way back to the city.

07Aug 2013 (Melbourne > Gold Coast)

We had a relaxed morning & afternoon.
We proceed to the airport to take our domestic flight from Melbourne to Gold Coast via Virgin Air.  It takes about 2 hours.

The flight provide free coffee and tea.
The seats are kind of small but since it is a short flight, it's fine for me :)

By the time we arrive at Gold Coast in the late evening.

We were tired and proceed to our hotel and rest for the day.
I stayed at Vibe Hotel, Gold Coast.
It is located at surf paradise which is like 10 mins walk from the hotel to the beach,
It cost estimated SGD 176 per night stay.

08 Aug 2013 (Gold Coast)

View from my hotel room

Breakfast in Australia is really different in Singapore.
It has very fresh fruits like my favorite passion fruit and strawberries.

After breakfast, we stroll to the beach.
It takes only 10 mins walk from Vibe hotel to the beach.
It's beautiful. 

Blue waters and Blue Sky
You can see many bikini girls sun tanning and swimming

In addition, you will see seagulls flying around and there are many of them.
Some might even wanna share your food.
These little birds are adorable.

09 Aug 2013 (Gold Coast)

I really did not plan much for Gold Coast. While we were shopping,  we saw this whale watching.
We have not done this before so we brought the tickets and went on the cruise.  It's somehow a full day event.

You are not the only one on the boat.  There are other tourists as well.
As you cruise along, you can see the beauty of Gold Coast.
Clear blue sky and fantastic weather.

My Opinion :
It is really difficult to spot a whale and when it comes out of the water, it is really fast.
I am unable to take a pictures.  You can only see it's tail in a split second.

After the tour ended,  my neck was aching as we are turn all around to catch a glimpse of the whale.  We had dinner at a pub and proceed back to the hotel.

10 Aug 2013 (Gold Coast)

In the morning, we visited the Currumbin wildlife.

I heard that this is one of the sanctuary that allow you carry the Koala bear while a photographer takes the photo for you.  It cost like AUD 20.

Look at the Koala... It's super cute so I bought a fake koala bear back from there.
While I was taking a picture with the Koala bear, I asked the crew for it's name.
It's name is Aussie !
So I named my fake Koala bear Aussie too !!!

You are allow to feed the birds....
The crew will provide you with the bird food and the birds will fly to you.
It has very sharp claws so it might leave some marks on your skin too as a souvenir :)

And the Kangaroos...
You need to get their food from the vending machine.
The place is not nice smelling but the animals are really cute.
Tourist feeds them until they are kinda of full.
Sometimes, even if you bring the food to them, they even ignore you.  Haha...

There are many animals there,  you can even see the wombat.  We were there but they did not come out to greet us so I am unable to take a picture :)

After the wildlife experience, we proceed on to the "DRACULAS SHOW".
We took  cab from our hotel.  It cost us around AUD 20.
It was fun !!!  If only you are into rock band !!!


We queue to get into the hall

The Crew - Cool right?

The Fire-Blowing Crew

The audience was from all over the world.  Dinner is provided.
As such,  you are seated during the show.

Our Souvenirs

After the show, we took a cab back to our hotel.

11 Aug 2013 (Gold Coast)
Today is my last day in Australia and we decided to visit Sea World.
I bought my tickets online via the link below.

12 Aug 2015 (Singapore)
We took the night flight and arrived in Singapore very early in the morning on 12 Aug 2015
Yawn... After so many days for exploring and fun, It's time we go home.
I think our spending was about $2K-$3K per pax :)  We really enjoy Australia !!!!

Additional information
She is the lady that I communicate with and she is very friendly and nice.
I did a couple of changes and she is willing to accommodate with that. :)

Sally Chua
KENT Holidays (S) Pte Ltd
2 Havelock Road
2HR, Unit # 01-15/16
Singapore 059763

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