The last Australian mainland stop
After the reef, diving and hot weather in the north, the main next destination was going to be the cold Tasmania (finally). But to get there, we had to hit Melbourne first. We didn’t have much idea about Melbourne other than it should offer good coffee, food and few days of chilling.
Isi (as pretty much most of the time) scouted the internet and decided that we should settle down in the East Brunswick district for some days. Good choice. While out of the downtown a bit (some 15min), it was a really good spot with a lovely hotel and totally unforgettable breakfast. There have been 2 places on our travels that I think of when making my Sunday breakfast back home. The pancakes, bowls or the flat white from East Elevation always made the day start the right way. The next such place was in New Zealand (Bespoke Kitchen in Queenstown). But more about that in some other blog post.
The best things happen when unplanned. We had no clue, that we were getting to Melbourne exactly during the semi-finals and finals of the Australian open. We were quite tired to go out to town and watch the Swiss semifinals (Federer vs. Wawrinka), so we bough some beers and watched from our sofa.
In the next days we checked out the city and watched some games from the public area with large screens. Needles to say that Federer won in the pretty emotional and amazing final against Nadal.
We took the circle tram line to get a flavor of the city. To be honest, it was nothing exceptional. We did some shopping (especially Isi), checked the local market (no clue why lonely planet would send you here) and ran after some nice food in the middle of nowhere (South Bank).
One of the nicer things to check was the Brighton Bathing. This is a beach with plenty of wooden colorful houses next to each other. The Uber ride was about 20 AUD away from the downtown and the driver couldn’t stop explaining how ridiculously expensive those little wooden houses are.
Once finished with these touristy activities we booked an organized wine tour for the next day. Wine – great, countryside – amazing, people – really nice… All in all a perfect day. One specialty that I was totally not aware of is the red champagne style wine produced in Australia. And surprisingly it is good. The tour even started at the Chandon (yes, related to that Moët & Chandon). The Australian Shiraz is also worth a try. Very different from the European Shiraz.
Back in the days of planning our around the world (late Sept 2016) still in Switzerland, I watched the DJI announcement of a new drone (DJI Mavic Pro). In short – a really good small compact drone with almost professional capabilities. The only problem back then was that it was not available yet. Fast forwarding to Melbourne –> it became available online. So I quickly bought one and hoped that it would still arrive in time before our next flight to Tasmania. Luckily it arrived in the morning before that flight. More about droning in the next post from Tasmania.