An Instagram worthy city which is located just 150kms away from Melbourne was my weekend destination. The 4th largest city in Victoria, offers picturesque laneways, Vintage (Talking) tramways, Manicured gardens, Colonial era buildings and historical precincts.
The famous Chancery Lane and a wholesome brunch to go along with it, this lane is located right in the middle of CBD and is easy to locate. We were greeted by beautiful decorated walls and decided to settle down at the El Gordo Café over a coffee.
Vintage Talking Tram
The Vintage Talking trams is the heartbeat of Bendigo, they run across the CBD, taking you across the numerous historical landmarks of the city. Hop on and hop off anytime when you wish to make a stopover or stay on to finish the trip in just 30 mins.
Walk down 7 mins from the Bendigo Station is the visitors centre, to grab your talking tram tickets and hop on from any stop to start your journey. Our 1st stop was the Bendigo Woollen Mills. Explore the 18th century trams that no longer runs on the streets and are now on display as a part of their Vintage Collection. The famous Woollen woven trams only ran during the winter season, therefore I was unable to catch a glimpse of it.
While you settle for a cosy place in the tram, you’re taken back in time discovering the iconic architecture of the city and the Gold rush era.
Joss House Temple, Chinese community is an integral part of Bendigo history and this place is one of the few remaining of the 18th century. Understanding the cultural heritage of a city specially which has various cultural amalgamation.
Sacred Heart Cathedral was our next stop, this is one of Australia’s largest churches and is extremely beautiful. It’s massive and extends over a lush green stretch of land, on a bright sunny morning this place looks like a family hang around place.
Alexandra Fountain, Bendigo Town Hall, Pall Mall, Head post office, Hotel Shamprock, Military Museum, Myer place, Bendigo art Gallery, Golden Dragon Museum, Rosalind Park are the major historical buildings which you can’t give a miss. Located adjacent to each other these architectural wonders takes you back in time to relive the history of the era.
A day tour is too short a time to enjoy this colourful era, go ahead and explore this beautiful city of Victoria which offers something for solo or a family traveller.
Have you ever dreamed of having a private beach to yourself? or may enjoy a family cocktail and dinner on a beachfront cafe? or waking up to the sound of the waves at the Great Barrier reef?
When you think of any Tropical islands, a beautiful post card picture appears in front of your eyes with emerald blue ocean and lush green mountains.The Fitzroy island is no way less than a paradise on the Coral sea on the North of Queensland, Australia and i was fortunate to spend 2 days in this Idyllic Island.
Well one doesn’t have to travel far to experience the serenity of this place, take the Fitzroy Island resort ferry from the Reef Fleet Terminal at Cairns City. A 45 mins long ferry ride among the inhabited islands and Rain forest is worth the time and money.
Located on the Great Barrier Reef, this island offers something to everyone and i loved every minute of my stay in this beautiful island resort.
Once you reach the island your greeted by the hotel staff and handed over the Fitzroy Island map, that comes handy while exploring this 339 hectare continental island .With towering rain-forest mountains, a lighthouse, fringing tropical reefs, a turtle rehabilitation center , Virgin Beaches, along with several eating options, this island resort has everything to offer.
As we were traveling with our 3 year old toddler, so the first thing we did on day 1 was to hit the beaches. The island beaches are made of Coral rocks and are not quite comfortable to walk around, so make sure to wear shoes.One can hear a clinging sound while the waves hits the coral rocks on the shore, quite a musical sound it is.
Snorkeling along the island we spotted colorful turtles and fishes, the corals around the islands are mostly white and off white in color, if your keen on diving into the deep sea you might be lucky to spot the colorful corals and the sea cucumber too. Its always advisable to wear sting suits as Jelly fishes are rampant during this time of the year.There are water sport hiring shops on the beach itself and special diving trainers too, if you wish to explore the deep underwater world.
The resort has a bar pool which has a kids section too, so while you enjoy the island cocktails, you can leave your toddlers at the kids pool to have their own fun.
Our Day 2 , on the Island stated with having hot breakfast on the beach, the sumptuous breakfast menu made us drooling for more. Their hot breakfast is a must try and is available for 22AUD/person and is worth the penny, specially with the view!
We were recommended by some fellow travelers to explore the Nudey Beach , which is on the other side of the island. Please do not go by the name, you have to keep your clothes on in this Nudey beach though.A 25 mins trek through the bushes and the rain forest landed us up in this secluded beach. We trekked through the path with our 3 year old toddler and it wasn’t as tough as we thought it to be.
This is a sandy beach in which one can snorkel and swim too unlike the other beaches on the island, at low tide one can get an easy view of the corals too.
If you happen to have a day tour, i would recommend that one should venture the Nudey beach instead of going to other beaches on the island, totally secluded and you have a whole private beach to yourself and your family, isn’t it amazing?
My little one was too excited to see the Turtle sanctuary on the island, where the injured and the old turtles are kept , kind of rehab place. There are 2 tours that runs through the day and the cost of the tours are like 8.5AUD/person and 5AUD/Child and the kids totally love this place, so did we.
The Island has a little Fitzroy island located adjacent to it and there’s a small lighthouse on it as well,there isn’t much on this baby island but you can swim , which is the only mode of travel to this smaller version of the island.
I loved lazying around the Nudey beach and getting clicked, the place is too beautiful for not being photographed for memories and i made sure to carry these memories along with you.
Before we could catch the sunset while relaxing on the deck with our evening cocktails we decided to trek up to the secret garden on the Fitzroy island. This is 30-40 min trek along the rain forest before you could find yourself among the beautiful wild flower garden,if kids can trek that long, this place is worth the visit.
We bid adieu as we caught the last 5pm Ferry back to the cairns city, enjoying the sail as we saw the sun going down.
I still feel 2 days is pretty short to enjoy this tropical paradise on the Great barrier reef, but i surely look forward revisiting this island once again very soon.
Till then , keep reading , while i am coming up with the Destination review of Cairns soon!
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all my readers!
Being a tropical person, i am always left out with options during winter, but Melbourne does offer a couple of snowy encounters during winters; the nearest would be the Lake Mountain. Specially when your just 4 months into a brand new continent wherein your able to see all the four season at its best bloom.
Whenever you think about weekend and there are numerous options that comes up for road trips. As Australian winter is giving way to its Spring to flutter in, we decided to enjoy the last snowfall of the season at Lake Mountain Alpine resort in Melbourne.
Situated just 120 minutes drive from the CBD of Melbourne, this place offers more than just a weekend gateway, its a all year round action packed family destination.
This 2 hour journey takes you through the Yaara ranges and its a feast to the eyes to enjoy the journey through the woods. There are points wherein you can stop and enjoy the pictorial landscapes.
Me and my 2 year old toddler were excited to have some snow fun at the Alpine resort which had their yearly snowman festival. Dozens of families with their kids were seen participating in this festival; so did we.Victoria is always known to have the chilliest winters and this years winter was a prolonged one with heavy snowfall almost every single day.
Skiing and Toboggan are common snow games and whether your an adult or a kid one should trying skiing on Tobaggan, its super fun.
Lake Mountain Alpine resort has a retail store and a snow hiring equipment store too, for all you snow play needs. The retail store has a plethora of snow gadgets so if your missing on a gloves or a cap you can buy on at a nominal retail rate here.
Apart from snow-play, there’s a snow walking trial , which can be covered by foot and one should explore it.Though the path which we explored unknowing was entirely covered with 4cm of Snow as it snowed 2 days back on the mountain.
This path was not allowed for pedestrians and was solely for the skiers only, there’s an alternative path that runs parallel to this snow covered ski zone as well.
The Lake Mountain resort has a two cafes that offers variety of food and beverage offerings. You wish to enjoy in the snow or sit by the cafe window side and enjoy a hot cuppa while seeing others having the snow fun.
So if you have missed 2016 snowy gateway to any of the Snowy mountains in Victoria, you can definitely plan your next road trip to this kids friendly Lake Alpine Snow mountain resort.
Perched just 60 kms away from the CBD of Melbourne, this sandy Inlets known as Mornington Peninsula offers a bit more just a weekend gateway.Drive down or catch the train this is easily accessible by the public transport (PTV) Please click here to download the map
If you are using public transport you can get down at Frankston Station where you have various connecting buses that takes you to Dromana, Portsea, Sorrento and Rosebud the other side of the peninsula.Click here for the Bus timetable
From Rugged Coastlines , Hot springs, sandy bays, Stunning beaches and myriad native wildlife, this place definitely features as a no.1 escapade among the Victorians.
The highlights of this beautiful peninsula are the colourful and iconic bathing boxes, this always figures out in lot of bollywood songs and movies wherein you can see the movie star dancing to tunes with the boxes at the backdrop.These bathing boxes are owned by individuals and are used for bathing and changing purposes.One can catch the glimpse of these bathing boxes across the Gorgeous coastline from Seaford, Mount Martha, Mornington, Rosebud,Rye, Portsea to Sorrento.
Frankston happens to be the last connected Public transport stop from the City, this place offers a plethora of activities to kids, one of them is the Sand sculpturing, Australia.
These sculptures change once in 3 months and are made of sand and glue so that they remain intact.There’s a kids play area section, where kids and toddlers can make their own sand castles too and spend some times exploring the area.
The broadway walk on the Frankston beach stretches along the entire peninsula and is a good walk for beachgoers, soak, play or swim in these pristine water or for some water sports.
Sorrento is a popular destination on the peninsula and the “Seared ferries” that runs hourly connecting the other end of the peninsula which is known as the Queenscliff. Check out the Ferry timetable
The pier itself is a wonderful place to wander around . There’s a playground, cafes, resturant anda mini market for visitors to have a variety of choices to choose from. Or you can simply relax and enjoy the Views across the bay and the landscapes are worth the watch.
The 45 mins ferry ride is worth the penny as they take you across some breathtaking mountain views along with Whale sighting, if indeed you happen to be lucky.
On disembarking at Queenscliff, one gets greeted with a plethora of eating joints which is set across at the Yacht club, enjoy having a pizza or pasta with the amazing view at the backdrop! There are whale watch tours that takes off from here as well Yacht hiring for private parties. The “Seared ferries” operates till 9 in the evening including the public holidays.
If you thought only beaches would sum up Mornington experience then you are probably wrong, head straight towards the world’s best Mineral hot spring Spa at Rye (this place isn’t accessible by public transport and one needs to drive from the Rye beach).This is a place is not to be missed for any visitor to the peninsula.From the mineral bath to sauna or spa, this place has it all.Book a spa package or combine with a luxurious stay overnight, they have it all.
The Mornington Peninsula National Park offers wonderful view of the wildlife in Australia not only Kolas and Kangaroos but to many protected species of the Country.Have a personal encounter with a Kangaroo or wander along the trail.
The several beaches along the coastline of the peninsula offers something to offer for everyone, take a walk along the broadway or catch up with family over a coffee at the beach shack. There are many cafes which offers sumptuous breakfast and a must try if you arrive early in the morning!
These beaches are known for having stunning sunrises and sunsets, the best can be caught at Cape Schack and Hastings Jetty and Diamond Bay at Rye!
No matter how many times you visit this peninsula , you seem to discover something new always, i have been here 4 times in 6 months and i still want to go and explore more of this stunning peninsula!