My Life Abroad: The Adventures of Two Birds
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12
Dec '08

Lainey’s Top Ten

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and we’ve just been going full out over the last couple months with so much going on here. I’ve been doing community work and with Thanksgiving and a visit from Candace for a couple weeks – I’ve been overwhelmed.  

Movember

Movember’ went off well, Birdie’s team raised over $2000 by growing Mo’s for the month of Movember. Birdie has yet to shave his off even though the rest of the group shaved theirs off on the last day of November. I don’t mind his moustache so it doesn’t bother me he looks like a biker.  Here’s the before and after!!

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Thanksgiving

Our annual Thanksgiving was great, family gathered together to celebrate the third Annual Thanksgiving in Australia and we had some wonderful food as always. It was nice to have Candace visit during this time and she really got to see how we live. Meeting all of our closest friends and family was a good experience for her.

Candace does Melbourne

One thing about Candace is that she is pretty independent – I remember when I first moved here I cried the first time I had to get on a tram by myself. Candace really made the most of her two weeks here. I did take her out to do a lot of fun things but she sure did a lot of stuff on her own. Soon pictures from Candace’s trip will be available on my pics page for everyone to see. Already miss you Candy – can’t wait for you to come back out! Here are my favourite pictures of Candaces trip, which will hold you over until I get off my lazy butt and make a new album!

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 lainey_candy.jpg penguins_10.jpg jellyfish4.jpg arcade2.jpg southbank.jpg

In researching things to do in Melbourne I came up with a Top-10 list and I thought I’d share it here for anyone thinking of coming on a holiday to Melbourne. Whether you are coming from Perth or from overseas, these are the fun things to do in Melbourne year-round:

LAINEY’S TOP 10 MELBOURNE SIGHTS 

  1. Healesville Sanctuary. The Healesville Sanctuary is a spin-off of the Melbourne Zoo located on the outskirts of the city in Healesville, Victoria.  Healesville the town is a quaint little get-away with wonderful shops, restaurants, and country scenery.  The Sanctuary is all Australian animals, those indigenous to this continent and it makes for a full day of entertainment from Kangaroos and wallabies, to koalas and kookaburras. If you can’t find your way out of the city, a trip to Melbourne Zoo is also a wonderful day trip.  You can find out more online at http://www.zoo.org.au/HealesvilleSanctuary

  2. Melbourne Arcade Walking Tour. Purchased online, the Melbourne Arcades Walking Tour is a 4-hour jaunt around the Central Business District of Melbourne, travelling through some of the hundreds of laneways that weave through the city.  From wonderful little boutique shops and restaurants, chocolate, wine, and more – this makes for a wonderful experience of the city itself.  You can purchase tickets for the Walking Tour online at www.walkingtoursmelbourne.com.au 

  3. Eureka Tower Skydeck. The Eureka Tower is the tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere and the tallest in Melbourne, of course.  The 88th floor has a wonderful view of the city. Open day or night this experience is a great way to see the entire city on a budget! www.eurekalookout.com.au 

  4. Balloons over Melbourne. For those that can afford this experience, it’s well worth your time to take a hot air balloon over Melbourne. ‘Balloons over Melbourne’ was the smoothest ride I’d ever been on!  Following the ride get treated to complimentary Champagne and breakfast at the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. Buy your tickets online and see some great aerial photos from other trips to the Yarra Valley http://www.balloonovermelbourne.com.au 

  5. The Victoria Market. The Queen Victoria Market (a.k.a. The Vic Market) is one of Melbourne’s most treasured and wonderful experiences.  A cavalcade of vendors comes out of the woodwork to offer everything from clothes and shoes to genuine Ugg boots, akubra hats, and indigenous art.  Fruits, vegies, and meat markets are also on hand.  This is a full day experience so come prepared.  Sunday is the best day to visit! More about the Vic Market can be found online at www.qvm.com.au 

  6. The Moonlight Cinemas. The moonlight cinema in the Botanical Gardens is such a fun and memorable experience in Melbourne. First of all the Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to visit – the moonlight cinema shows a great movie (new and old) Tuesday through Sunday. Laying on a grassy hill at dusk you will see the hundreds of bats leave the gardens before the show begins.  Bring your blanket, picnic basket and bottle of wine or rent a bean bag for extra comfort. Get your tickets for the moonlight cinema and see the list of movies at http://www.moonlight.com.au 

  7. Phillip Island: Penguin Parade Wildlife Park. Phillip Island itself is a fun experience; there is a wildlife park available to see all types of wildlife but what you go to Phillip Island to really see are the “fairy” or little penguins.  These little penguins come up at dusk each night to the beach to make their way to their burrows in the dunes, a ritual that has been followed for thousands of years.  This is a very unique experience and from the viewing deck you can see them all waddle in. This is a full day with the wildlife experience during the day and the penguin viewing at night but completely worth it! Find out more online at http://www.melbournetours.com.au/penguin_viewing.html 

  8. Great Ocean Road: The Twelve Apostles. Port Campbell National Park is a bit of a drive but once you get to this majestic spot you just have to take it all in!  This is the most wonderful natural experience ever!  The drive from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road is about 4+ hours and a beautiful drive. The Twelve Apostles giant rock stacks are a central feature of the spectacular Port Campbell National Park. The forces of nature gradually eroded the softer limestone, forming caves in the cliffs which became arches and when they collapsed, the rock islands as high as 45 metres were left isolated from the shore. This is free and a must-do while in Melbourne. Find more info online at: http://www.greatoceanrd.org.au/Destination_View.aspx?homepageid=5 

  9. The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. This is the one thing I haven’t been able to do yet, but I am planning on very soon.  The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant is an old time tram car that has been converted into a dining car – it takes off Thurs – Sun through the city for a full dinner service while winding the streets of Melbourne.  Old time colonial features and I’ve heard it’s a really fun experience. Buy tickets online at: http://www.tramrestaurant.com.au/ 

  10. The Melbourne Aquarium. Last but certainly not least the Melbourne Aquarium is in the heart of Melbourne and has a wonderful brand new display of penguins that cannot be missed!  This display has only been in for a couple months and splits views of snow and water for all to see.  The penguins jumping in and out, they come right up the glass and wave at you – it’s just incredible!  Additionally everything else that an aquarium should have is available here. The jellyfish display as well as the shark and stingray tank is absolutely wonderful. Take the time to come out and see this one!  Info available online: http://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/

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