First of all, a very Happy New Year to all my readers as this is my first post in year 2009..
In the middle of the summer of 2008, in Christmas holidays, I and Jagdeep (my friend / room mate / colleague) decided to have a 5 day trip to Melbourne. It was indeed an adventurous tour as we decided to drive till Melbourne from Sydney (approx. 870 Kilometers).
We started on Christmas eve as we had half day on 24th December at work. We started at approximately 5 in the evening and reached Melbourne at about 2 in the night. We decided to have a stay at one of my friends (Jignesh Patel) place in Melbourne for 4 days. We were so tired after reaching there that we slept just as we were down on the bed.
Next day, we woke up at around 10 in the morning and I decided to roam around in the city. Melbourne seemed to be very quiet to me than Sydney. May be because it was a Christmas day and all people were busy celebrating the festival. We booked a tour for Puffing Billy train ride and Healsville Sanctuary. Back home where we stayed some of the friends had organized a Christmas party. After roaming around for about 2 hours in the city we came back home to celebrate the party. We had “Bataka Vada” prepared by my friends wife and had a great fun doing Garba on a Christmas day in the backyard. As almost all of them were Gujaratis.
Next day we started off fairly early in the morning as our Puffing Billy train tour was starting at 8.30 in the morning. Puffing Billy is a steam train ride which is almost a century old train that is still running on its original track in scenic Dandenong Ranges. Before we boarded the train we had a morning tea in Dandenong Ranges where we saw beautiful birds of various species in lap of the forest. Ride in the train was just awesome. The scenic beauty around the train route is just mind blowing. After the train ride, we had a grand lunch in a winery, where we did some wine tasting and browsed big wineries. Soon we headed to Healsville Sanctuary, were we saw various species that are only seen in Australia along with Kangaroos, Koalas, Wombats and various different lizards of all size and colors. It was just fascinating to interact with animals from so close.
Next day, along with Jignesh and some other friends we headed towards most breath taking coastline of south-east Australia – The Great Ocean Road. It is most scenic road I have ever traveled on with the trip ending at the world famous – twelve apostles. It was almost 300 kilometres drive from my friends place – starting at Geelong and ending at Port Campbell. First stop was at Lorne, where we enjoyed its beach. Jignesh and some other friends had a great time in waters. We had a great opportunity to see a Seal that accidentally came on the beach rocks. Seal was either injured or sick as it hardly moved. After having some pizzas for the lunch we headed further on the great scenic drive and captured some magnificent views on our way. We reached, twelve apostles, at round 6 in the evening. It was just great view with the sun setting in and it rays falling on the apostles gave a golden looks to it. I personally feel it is a pleasure to see these apostles at either dusk or at dawn. The forces of nature gradually eroded the softer limestone, forming caves in the cliffs which became arches and when they collapsed, rock islands as high as 45 metres were left isolated from the shore. I am just speechless as I don’t have more words to describe its beauty. One can see its beautiful pictures in my photo gallery section as I have added some. We headed back home from twelve apostles through a country side road which was also a sight to see as I have been never to such country side roads in Australia. We reached home at 10 in the night and had a spicy “Khichadi” in the dinner.
This was the last day of our trip. It was time to say good – bye to Melbourne and come back to Sydney. We started off fairly late in afternoon at about 12. The day was very hot and humid but still we kept going and reached home around 9 in the night. I was so tired that I went to bed straightaway. It was rocking trip. It will be remembered till long time.
Now, holidays are over. Today was the last day of rest. From tomorrow its again time for work and business.
And yes, dont forget to see some awesome photos that i have took in my Photo Gallery Section.
Have a great time.