Travelogue | Melbourne, Australia (2018 Version)

I'm back to Melbourne again after 4 years and coincidentally in the same month of August. So I'm just gonna show you peeps my personal favourites of this trip, which of course will be different from the last. May not be interesting to you but at least it is to me.

And if you are curious, here are the links to my posts 4 years ago:

So let the simple narration and lots of photos to bring you through Melbourne.

Williamstown and its surrounding

Honestly, I have never been to a place where you get to enjoy serenity. Not much of vehicles and people walking around (yes, there still is and not a ghost town please). I wonder if it is because of the rain or it is really this way. If not, it will be a perfect place for retirement. Totally away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And the population here is about 70k+ according to their stats. 

To get there, take a ferry just opposite of Flinders Street Station (the back of the station). Almost an hour journey that cost about AUD 32 for a return ticket. Refer to the link for my info. If your departure time is still early, you can have your breakfast or lunch first at Southgate Shopping Centre which is just at the same stretch where the ferry ticket booth is. If you don't want to buy a return ticket just in case you wanna spend more time there, there will be some people selling the tickets back to Melbourne City at the Gem Pier (of Williamstown). Not sure if it is gonna be expensive but no harm trying. 

You can find lots of interesting cafes, restaurants, ice cream shops around for your meals, fresh produces stalls and even gift shops. Colonial style buildings were worthy a photo or two. Or even more.

Holy Trinity Williamstown

Oh and please visit the HMAS Castlemaine Museum Ship located at the Gem Pier (too bad it was closed when we visit). This vessel served during WWII and the last that is still afloat through restoration by volunteers. Visitors will see the life of crews during the war time on board the ship.

HMAS Castlemaine (front view) at Gem Pier

HMAS Castlemaine (back view) at Gem Pier
Actually we didn't spend a lot of time here due to time constraint and according to the website, there are more to explore in Williamstown. So if you wanna make a trip here, please plan well.

South Melbourne Market and its surrounding

Some random market we googled in the last minute and it was a pleasant surprise. Accessible by tram. Just alight at South Melbourne stop where you also get to see graffiti at the tram stop. The trading hours here was a little different from Queen Victoria Market. Opens on Wednesday, Friday to Sunday from 8am to 4pm (to 5pm on Friday).

For outdoor areas, you can sit around and enjoy some food or grab dry food or fresh produces like fruits and vegetables (some extra large in sizes too). For the indoor areas, you can find stalls selling from books, clothings, alcohol to household products. Lottery booth included if you want to try your luck. Grab a bite from food stalls around to feed your hungry soul. 

My advice is just spend a little more time there to explore the surroundings (not just the market). Make your trip worth.

St Kilda and its surrounding

It was weekend Saturday and on a road trip. We googled (again) for places to visit and found our way to Acland Court Shopping Centre. And that leads us to St Kilda too because is right smack on the area. Heard of this place and wanted to visit. Thanks to my husband for his tiny bits of effort this trip.

Sent my dad some photos during the trip and he was surprised that a haircut can be so expensive. Yes it is and a double here from Singapore. Usually the cheapest we can get was like SGD 5. Just imagine. But then, I like how old school it looks. That was how the barber shops looked like in the 90s. Nice!

And I couldn't help being jealous over their cake shops. OMG! Like some European style kind of shop. So pretty and I like their idea of cake display. It instantly attracts the attention of passer-by. I'm one of them. From top to bottom shelves, stuff yourself visually with the cakes and pastries in one frame. My heart fluttered from the beautiful sight. Not just one but a few cake shops in that same stretch.

Graffiti can be found in the alleys and along the roadsides. Actually there are more in Melbourne than I have already seen. How I wish I have more days to explore around. Too bad.

And we ended the day at Abbey Road Restaurant for dinner. The name made me thought of The Beatles and London. Very retro-looking restaurant. And also looking around the restaurant, we were the only table of Asian diners. Thankful no one throw us that dirty or discriminating look. Thank you!!!!

Queen Victoria Market: Winter Night Market

Didn't know of this Winter Night Market until this trip back to Melbourne. Opened every Wednesday starting from 6 June to 29 August 2018 from 5pm to 10pm. So peeps, next time you visit Melbourne between the 2nd and 3rd quarter of the year, experience yourself here. Not many enjoy the crowd but it didn't matter to me. Because it is a different scene from the usual day market. Packed and long queues at food stalls. Lots of food to fill your tummy. The smell from every stalls were so alluring that you wish your stomach can contain every bits. Not only that, you can shop around or sit back and relax with some music performance while enjoying your night away with drinks or food. Warmers around the market on cold days like this an ultimate love.

I would say our attention were drawn to this stall, The Black Sheep. Selling bbq meats like mutton, pork and cooked over the charcoal pits which made me go 'Wow'. A must-try if you are there (that will be next year 2019). Mutton probably a good choice. They served up w flatbread and salad (or coleslaw as I can't remember).

From The Black Sheep

From The Black Sheep
Look at the huge bread bowl (about a palm size) with the soup of your choice. Had clam chowder and it warmed myself up especially at such chilly night. And the bread was good to have because of the crispy outside and soft inside. Dipping in the soup was perfection.

From Soup Factory

From Soup Factory

From Copa Grill

Of all that I have tried, my favourite will go to Seafood Paella from Simply Spanish. Take a look at their huge pans with the steamy paella cooked and ready to serve the hungry crowd. A generous portion that can feed at least 2 humans. They actually have a shop at South Melbourne Market (chanced by during our visit) so if you miss it, just pop by there.

Simply Spanish

From Simply Spanish - Seafood Paella
Satisfying tum tum!

So that's about it and some places (eg. Great Ocean Road) being too touristy that I give them a miss. All I knew was the love of their cold weather and experiencing hailstorm too. And how accurate their weather forecast was. Brilliant. Lastly, supermarkets and chemist shops. Visited Chemist WarehouseColes and Woolworths. Cheap and affordable. 

Also I have a few things to share through some observations over 8 days and pretty new to me and had me understood this place more:

1. No such thing as 'Can I have a new piece please?'. I was at Adidas shop and wanted to get another new piece and that retail staff gave me that 'What's do you mean?' look. Being a typical Singaporean, when we buy things, we always ask for new piece (not taken out from the plastic kind). Very silly of me to do that. So remember just check that piece you want (off the rack/shelf) and go pay if everything is fine. I have already confirmed it with a colleague who studied in Aussie for 3-4 years.

2. Free Tram Rides for certain sectors. I'm not sure though but have observed that at certain sectors which you need to tap your Myki card, some commuters didn't. I'm quite confused and so are my friends. So we just hop in and off with go to our destination. But still, have a Myki card with you, just in case.

3. Street bums in the night and homeless. One lady approached my husband for cigarette and he told her it was the only stick from his friend (just to brush over with a lie). Then saw with my own eyes some of them picking up half finished cigarette butt to try their luck on. And able-bodied men and women living in the streets. Some were young and should be able to get a job. Actually I'm not very sure about the situation but this was what I have seen there. A little sad though.

Correct me if I'm wrong with my observation because is just a short 8 days. Don't wanna be judgy. Or you can tell me more if you are Australian or expats living there. I love to know because there are other parts of Aussie awaiting to be explored so knowing more won't make me like an alien there.