Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road – Part 1

December 13, 2018
laneway, cafe, melbourne,

We left for a bit of a whirlwind holiday in Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road on Thursday 22 November 2018.  This adventure would last 8 days until we returned home on Friday 30 November 2018.

I took so many photo’s on our recent trip.  Most were taken with my iPhone but I did use my camera (Nikon D7100) at times as well whilst travelling the Great Ocean Road.  

There are so many photos to sort through that I’ve decided that a series of posts is the best way to share the trip.

So we’ll start at the very beginning which was the 2 nights spent in Melbourne.  

Arrival in Melbourne

plane, aeroplane, flight, Melbourne, landing

I was excited to get to Melbourne as I was meeting my friend Rita for coffee at 3:30pm and was very much looking forward to seeing her again.  I had seen her earlier in the month when I stayed in St Kilda for the BUPA Blog Awards.  We arrived later than expected in Melbourne as our plane’s departure from Brisbane had been delayed for nearly an hour but I wasn’t too concerned as there was still time to get to the hotel, get checked in and then meet her on time (or so I thought!).

skybus, bus, shuttle bus, melbourne,

Enroute to Melbourne’s CBD from the airport on the ‘Skybus’

We arrived to a rainy Melbourne day and caught a Skybus from the airport to the city.  We had pre-booked tickets online.  This service was fabulous – comfortable and efficient and delivered us to Southern Cross Station in Spencer Street in the city.  Our mistake was that we had not worked out prior, how to get from Southern Cross Station to our hotel!  We didn’t realise how far away from our hotel we would be.  We had two large suitcases, one small suitcase, a backpack and I also had a large and heavy handbag!  We were at a loss, disoriented and unsure.  We walked around in circles for a while dragging all the luggage with us before eventually ending up on a tram.  I felt bad because all our luggage blocked the front entrance to the tram which I’m sure would’ve been annoying to commuters.  However, the good thing about the trams is that there are other doors to get on and off through.  We eventually got closer to our hotel and after the final drag of all the luggage up a hill and into the foyer of the hotel, I had to leave ‘the tennis player’ (hubby) to check in and run off to meet my friend Rita.  My fingers and toes were crossed that I would not get lost because I was running very late!  

Where we stayed

hotel, accommodation, melbourne, city, cbd, the victoria hotel,

We stayed at The Victoria Hotel in Little Collins Street and it was lovely.  It was in a great central city location, clean and well appointed, good service at Reception, nice and quiet, lovely wide hallways for ease of wheeling around luggage, really comfy beds and pillows!  Previous visits to Melbourne I have always stayed at new and modern high-rise hotels in the city and over at Southbank.  This time, the lure of this historic landmark hotel was strong. I do love old architecture and historic character and The Victoria Hotel did not disappoint.  By some stroke of good luck (I’m not sure why or how) we were given a room upgrade so had a lovely extra spacious room.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms

I met Rita at Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the The Block Arcade, 1-2/282 Collins Street. Thank goodness for mobile phones and the GPS and maps on them that guided me from the hotel to here without problems.  I had texted Rita to let her know I was running late and was so relieved when I finally got there and saw her waiting out the front.  By the time I got there I was a little bit frazzled as you could imagine but it didn’t take long till I was chilled out and enjoying great conversation.

This might seem strange when you see the beautiful sweets on offer at this place, but I had not been given any lunch on the plane and I was starving and wanted some ‘lunch’ kind of food! So, I ordered a crab salad!  Yes – they have more than sweets on offer at Hopetoun Tea Rooms.

selfie, friends

tea rooms, hopetoun, melbourne, victoria, cakes, sweets, window,

tea rooms, hopetoun, melbourne, victoria, cakes, sweets, window,

crab salad, lunch

My crab salad

arcade, block arcade, melbourne, cbd, city,

We had arrived on a Thursday and that evening we decided to go and see Bohemian Rhapsody at the movies.  We saw it at The Kino cinema in Collins Street.  The theatre was a lovely boutique, small and cosy one and the movie was fantastic.  If you haven’t seen it you really must go!

The next day was a lot of walking and exploring around the CBD (in the rain).  We tried to go and see things and places we’d not seen before.

Flinders Street Station

The gorgeous Flinders Street Station.  It’s apparently a common meeting place for locals – “meet you under the clocks”.

train station, station, flinders street station, melbourne, cbd, city, pedestrians,

Train Station, Clocks, Melbourne,

Flinders Street Station, Ceiling, Architecture,

Clocks, stations, train, train station, ceiling, architecture, window,

Out and about in Melbourne’s CBD

pellegrinis bar, cafe, melbourne,

Pellegrinis Expresso Bar on Bourke Street – the site where co-owner and much loved Melbournian Sisto Malaspina was tragically killed nearby by a terrorist. You can see a memorial for him in the window.

laneway, melbourne, cbd, city,

soup, soups, melbourne,

coffee, caffeine, laneway, melbourne,

flowers, flower stand, melbourne

Cooks’ Cottage, Fitzroy Gardens

We visited Cooks’ Cottage, found in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne’s CBD.  This cottage was built in 1755.  Originally located in Yorkshire, England, the cottage was brought to the Fitzroy Gardens by Sir Russell Grimwade in 1934.  Navigator and explorer Captain James Cook never lived in the cottage – he’d been away from home for almost ten years when his father built it – but this connection to the Cook family was enough to prompt Grimwade to transport the cottage to the other side of the world. Astonishingly, each brick was individually numbered, packed into barrels and then shipped to Australia, along with cuttings of the original ivy coverings.

Lygon Street

Wine, cheers, lygon Street, restaurant, dinner,

No trip to Melbourne is complete without dinner at Lygon Street. Here I am sipping on a wine whilst waiting for dinner to be served at a gorgeous authentic Italian restaurant.

To be honest, I was saddened by Lygon Street.  It is not what it used to be.  First thing you notice is that the fairy lights have been removed from all the trees up the street.  Fairy lights ran the full length of trees along the restaurant strip on Lygon Street and used to be so beautiful, a highlight of my previous visits.  It created such a lovely atmosphere.  Next thing you notice is the massive reduction and absence all the Italian men outside their restaurants trying to coax you into their restaurant.  I enjoyed the fabulous conversations you would encounter and the ambience this provided to the whole Lygon Street experience.  Then you notice the massive reduction of all those gorgeous authentic Italian restaurants that used to be there.  There are many factors that are behind these changes but most are just heresay to me so I won’t get into them here.  I just hope that Lygon Street can be restored to its former glory one day soon.  Meanwhile, we were very lucky to find an authentic Italian restaurant and our food was absolutely exquisite which is fabulous because when I think of Lygon Street, I think of exquisite food!

Cafe Segovia

Discovered a gorgeous place in a laneway for breakfast that wasn’t far from our hotel.  It’s Cafe Segovia, 33 Block Place, Melbourne.

coffee, caffeine, cafe, melbourne

laneway, cafe, melbourne,

poached eggs, brekky, breakfast, asparagus, eggs benedict, smoked salmon,

Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Eggs Benedict, Cafe Segovia.

Time to move on

After breakfast we headed back to the hotel, packed up, checked out, and off went The Tennis Player to collect the hire car.  I waited with all the luggage in the hotel’s foyer.  Next stop will be Lorne!

luggage, baggage, foyer, waiting,

Ciao for now,



Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
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  • Reply Joanne Tracey December 13, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Oh, how I love Melbourne – and the flat (grey) light seems to really suit it and makes the colours pop. I agree re Lygon Street – sure the spruikers were touristy and all the other reasons, but I loved the banter. No one can flirt quite as well as an Italian waiter.

    • Reply Min December 13, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      I love Melbourne too! Love the weather (it suits me), love the European feel, love the laneways, love the food, and more! You’re right about the grey light making the colours pop! Yes I miss the Lygon Street banter too and those Italian waiters sure do know how to flirt! lol

  • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond December 13, 2018 at 8:44 am

    I love Melbourne, MIn and have only had two long weekends there both for my husband’s birthday. When he turned 50 I took him to Melbourne and we did the Great Ocean Road and I had my first helicopter flight as well. The second time was for his 60th and we went in the opposite direction to explore the Mornington Peninsular and Phillip Island. Your photos are stunning and brought back great memories. I’m so pleased you had such a wonderful time and I could have spent a day in the Tea Shop so beautiful. Have a great Christmas and let’s catch up again in the New Year. xx

    • Reply Min December 13, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      I love Melbourne too Sue. I’ve been there several times now and still more I want to see. I loved the Great Ocean Road and that helicopter flight – which will be shown in an upcoming post. Yes definitely another catch up in the New Year. Have a wonderful Christmas! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Natalie December 13, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Hi Min- I’m glad you had a wonderful time in Melbourne and your photos are lovely. I know what you mean about writing a series of posts to share the trip. I’m almost done with my posts on Morocco, LOL. Look forward to reading your next post. #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Min December 13, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      I’m really enjoying your Morocco posts Natalie. There’s so much more exciting than my Melbourne ones! LOL I always take lots of photo’s – it’s just too much to cover in one post so a series is the way to go! 🙂

  • Reply Deborah December 13, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Stunning photos Min. I’ve never been to the Great Ocean Road and actually only been to Melbourne a couple of times and not done much touristy stuff there.

    I know I just had my Italian holiday but am finding myself craving ‘getting away’ at the moment. Given my lack of job I’ve come to mum’s for a few days for a change of scenery so I can pretend I’m on holidays!

    • Reply Min December 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks Deb! I know what you mean by feeling the need to get away. I feel the need for a proper ‘holiday’ (i.e. a beach getaway). Loved Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road but it was go, go, go, go and I was rather exhausted by the end. Now I need a quiet and restful break – just lying about reading books and stuff. It’ll probably be a staycation at home. Floating in the pool and reading books. Sounds fab to me! Enjoy the time at your Mum’s! xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee December 13, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I used to stay at that hotel for the F1 – I could get a ‘single’ room and the location is perfect for a gal to walk home after dinner solo, and to make the early start to the track. I see they’ve done a reno….

    • Reply Min December 13, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Yes it’s in a great spot isn’t it?! I’ve never stayed there before so not sure about the reno’s but most likely. We stayed there again for a night before heading home and both rooms we stayed in were beautifully done – new, modernly fitted out, clean, just lovely. 🙂

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl December 13, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    What a fun and beautiful trip, Min. Glad you made it in time to meet your friend. I am drooling over your photos from the tea rooms.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Min December 20, 2018 at 7:41 am

      It was a great trip SSG! It was a bit of a frantic arrival in Melbourne – the rush to meet Rita in time! lol BUT I got there eventually! 🙂 xo

  • Reply jodie filogomo December 14, 2018 at 12:49 am

    What a fabulous trip, Min.
    You’re making want to come out there little by little between this and Kathy’s posts!!

    • Reply Min December 20, 2018 at 7:39 am

      Come to Australia Jodie! You have lots of friends here in just about every city. We could all show you around! 😉 xo

  • Reply Patrick Weseman December 15, 2018 at 1:42 am

    Wow, so very nice. Thanks for sharing it. A place that I would love to visit. #lovinlifelinky

    • Reply Min December 20, 2018 at 7:38 am

      Glad you enjoyed – thanks Patrick! 🙂

  • Reply betty - NZ December 15, 2018 at 7:45 am

    What a beautiful city! I love the ‘under the clocks’ place!

    • Reply Min December 20, 2018 at 7:38 am

      It is a lovely city Betty. The under the clocks place is Flinders Street Station (a train station).

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