November 28, 2006

Beautiful Down Under

Note: My longest post by far, with lots of photos and words. As you can imagine, it took me a very long time to come up with it, as I had to pick my brains to remember the names of the places we went to. This post is also dedicated to the boyfriend (read on, and you'll see why), whom I'm missing very much.

October 20
Arrived in Melbourne with much anticipation, for I had not seen the boyfriend in over a month. And he was late! Well, only about 5 minutes (he had to park the car), but I was kinda expecting someone to be actually waiting for me, rather than the other way round (sorry babes, I couldn't resist :-p). Anyways, it was so good to meet up once again, and we went for a light supper before heading to his place. He was so sweet; he surprised me with a box of a dozen long-stemmed pink roses (which also came with a bag, a small box of Lindt chocs, aromatherapy oils, and a small sachet of potpourri), waiting for me on the bed.

Roses from the boyfriend

Awww ... ain't that purdy? Thanks babes! (yeah okay, the rest can stop rolling your eyes now ;-))

October 21
This was the first day of our road trip. Honestly, I've never been on a road trip where I do not sleep more than 50% of the way (those of you who know me well, would know that I always sleep in the car during long trips). I guess the company makes all the difference, eh? ;)

AUstralian countryside

Stopped by Torquay for breakfast, and then on to the Great Ocean Road. I have to say, the vastness of the beaches was simply astounding. The strong, but beautiful waves hitting against the shore, the beautiful clear waters, the sound of the ocean ... it was as though time stood still for us.

In between the drive, we stopped the car by the side of the road many times, no thanks to the country bumpkin who saw the lovely vast beaches for the first time (okay, Penang beaches just don't cut it compared to this, k?). I ooh-ed and aah-ed every kilometre along the beach.

Along the Great Ocean Road

Finally reached Port Campbell, where we saw the very majestic Twelve Apostles (I actually have a photo of the Twelve Apostles from National Geographic as my desktop wallpaper; I never expected to actually SEE it). It was certainly worth the many-hours drive just to see it (babes, I knew you were tired already from all the driving. Really appreciate you).

The Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell

Another Apostle

It certainly was a very long drive, to me anyway, and we had to catch the last ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento, so we had to grab a very quick takeaway lunch at Port Campbell. Thank God, we managed to get to Queenscliff about a half hour before the ferry arrived. Took the opportunity to walk along the nearby beach (and take more photos!). The ferry transported us (and the car) over to the Mornington peninsula. Parked the car, and went up to the deck to enjoy the lovely albeit cold breeze. We managed to catch the lovely sunset :-)

Mornington Sunset

Mornington Sunset Again

As usual, my usual clumsy self always manages to get me into a bit of trouble.

Clumsy Hand

Jammed my hand with the restroom door aboard the ferry. Had to ice it up a bit, and yeah, it hurt like hell.

Stayed at the Whitehall Guesthouse in Sorrento, which was, like, a student hall. The rooms with ensuite bathrooms were all fully booked, so we stayed at the smaller ones instead, where we shared a common bathroom at the end of the hall. It was like walking down memory lane, staying at a place like this, tip-toeing up the staircase, having breakfast with other "students", reminiscing of our student days in Dundee. It was pretty cool. Certainly a beautiful moment to remember ;-)

October 22
After a good, hearty breakfast, we headed to the Point Nepean National Park. Point Nepean is a highlight of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. Once the site of a quarantine station for immigrants, and later home to a military fortress, there were a lot to enjoy from the maze of tunnels, lookouts and fortifications, to enjoying the coastal scenery and panaromic views of the Bass Strait, the Rip and Port Phillip Bay.

Point Nepean

Okay, how obvious was that that I totally plagiarised the last paragraph from a travel site? :-P I can't help it if I can't remember the names of ALL the places I went to; it's the moments that count, and THOSE, I remember like it was just yesterday.

Anyhoos, we spent quite a bit of time at the Point Nepean National Park. Next to the lovely stretch of beaches along Great Ocean Road, this has got to be the best view of the beaches ever. The water was so clear, you can see the green and red seaweed bobbing along. Well, I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves, eh?

Point Nepean - very clear waters

There are four main lookout points at the national park - we started from the visitor's centre, Gunner's Car Park, Fort Pearce, and up to the Point. We took a train-thingy (well, it was carriages joined together by hinges, pulled by a heavy-duty truck, what else would you call it?) to the Point. Since it was an hour's wait for each stop, the boyfriend decided we should walk down instead. That was like, 4.5km! Okay, that might not seem a lot to you, but I was like, dying out there! (Yes, dear, I was!) And it did NOT help to have bloody flies all over the place. Seriously, you'd think we were back in Penang or something. We had to break a short branch of leaves off the shrubs and use that as a fly swatter.

Perplexed Boyfriend
"Seriously, woman, how difficult is it to walk 4.5km?! Lord, gimme strength!"

Before I came to Melbourne, I promised the boyfriend that I'd go jogging with him (yeah, it's his thang). I have SO TOTALLY fulfilled that promise after that albeit-fly-infested-but-totally-gorgeous place, babes. Tee hee hee! :-)

The next attraction in mind was the wineries. Can't remember the name of the winery he brought me to, 'cos we were a bit late for lunch, and there was a big party going on inside. Anyhoos, we drove back to Arthurs Seat, had a late lunch, enjoyed the gorgeous view a bit, and then headed to our next destination.

Arthur's Seat

It's been quite some time since either of us have been to a hot springs resort, so we thought we'd check out the Peninsula Hot Springs.

Peninsula Hot Springs

Pretty up-class, really expensive (AUD35, if I'm not mistaken, compared to the 500yen onsens I've been to in Japan!), but veeerrrryyy nice. It stinks of sulphur, but that's expected. You know what I found funny about the hot springs? It's not that we had to wear our swimsuits to the pools (the Japanese bathe walk about buck-nekkid in the changing rooms, and bathe in the nude), but that the ang-mohs are pretty conservative about undressing in the locker room. I'd think that they'd actually be far more open than the Japs! Anyways, we tried the various temperatures of the hotsprings - 37C, up to 42C. Very relaxing indeed; the boyfriend didn't want to leave! We went home pruned and very relaxed :-)

October 23-25
Finally headed to the CBD. I was on my own those few days as the boyfriend had to work. Did a LOT of shopping, which is weird, because I thought it would be really expensive, given the exchange rate. It's actually not that bad, if you don't go to the big stores. The streets offer plenty of small shops where you can get really good bargains.

Melbourne CBD

Melbourne City

Met up with May, who leaves in the city. She took a day off to go shopping with me, bless her. Although I'd say that she bought a lot more than I did, tee hee hee! Anyway, it was a lot of fun, catching up and all. Shopping was at South Yarra, where she introduced me to her favourite shops and stuff. I'd say it was so much fun till I developed leg pains from walking too much! :-P Anyways, yeah, we had a really good time, catching up and all. Thanks May!

October 26
The boyfriend took a day and a half to bring me to the pretty-but-touristy-hence-pricy Phillip Island. Yay, another road trip! Yep, by then, I was really starting to enjoy our road trips, because this has got to be the first time where I do not want to go to sleep immediately when I'm in a car!

San Remo

We stopped at San Remo before crossing the bridge to Phillip Island. Took some photos, camwhored a bit (tee hee hee!) before we made our way to Phillip Island. First stop was to check in to our B&B (Holmwood Guesthouse). It's a quaint little house in Cowes, which had three rooms; all the rooms were decorated of different themes. Ours was The Toile Room, supposedly French, but I thought it was really English! Anyhoos, it was simply gorgeous, really romantic, but really pricey too. Given that the island only thrives on its touristy activities, you can imagine how overpriced everything are (more so for me).

First stop was The Nobbies and Seal Rock. It's like a point, at the edge of the island, where you can see the beautiful rocky ocean, and Seal Rock's this rocky area further to the sea where wild seals lay about (you need to take a boat out to view the seals properly, which we didn't). Very beautiful place, but totally, TOTALLY ruined by the crazy amount of seagulls circling the area. It's like being in Malaysia, but you get seagulls instead of crows. These are vicious birds (I think so anyway), which simply crap about anywhere they please. We were very lucky to not get hit, but a few of the tourists around the area got 'bombed' pretty badly.

The Nobbies

Nobbies again

We managed to catch the sunset at The Nobbies, which was simply gorgeous. On a side note, I've seen a sunset (nor sunrise) anywhere before, and I managed to catch it TWICE in Melbourne. It was such a sweet moment for us, which was cut short, because we had to make a dash for the car before we get 'creamed' by the birds, hehe!

Sunset at The Nobbies

We didn't visit the Penguin Parade as I thought it was ridiculously expensive to pay $17 per person to crouch in the cold, on the beach, to wait for a group of penguins to come in from the sea. Anyway, we were really blessed to be able to see a couple of penguins hiding under the walkway when we were at The Nobbies :-)


Dinner was at Harry's On The Esplanade, which was a pretty posh seafood restaurant. The fish was simply fantastic, and I'd recommend anyone to try if you're ever at Phillip Island. Pricey though.

October 27
Coming to Australia, it would be real sad if I did not even see a koala bear, eh? ;-) Thus, we made a short trip to the Koala Conservation Centre. The koala bears are very cute, but boy, are they LAZY! Apparently, these bears sleep about 20 hours a day! The boyfriend enjoyed likening himself to one, that he'd love to sleep 20 hours a day too. Tee hee hee!

Sleeping koala

We didn't do much on that day, just drove around the island a bit, before we headed home.

By the way, I have yet to see any kangaroos though. Drats.

That night, we met up with May in the CBD for dinner. The boyfriend brought along his best bud, whom I introduced to my best bud, whom she introduced her bud to us too. It was pretty funny. Anyhoos, the five of us met up for dinner, and had a pretty good time.

October 28
Shopping day for me and the boyfriend, just to get last-minute gifts and such. He brought me to Knox City Shopping Centre, and also to Chadstone, where he *ahem ahem* got me a very gorgeous gift. Thanks babes, I absolutely LOVE it ;-)

October 29
The day I left for Malaysia. Sadly, the wonderful holiday had to come to an end. I was feeling real shitty that day, to think that the next time I see him again would be in February '07. Can't remember the time I cried that much. Although I left Melbourne with a really heavy heart, I bring home with me beautiful memories, which will last a lifetime.

Dear, I had such a wonderful time with you in Melbourne. It was heartbreaking to leave. I'm so glad that we got to know each other more during the awesome nine days which we had together. Can't wait to see you again. Love you.


beetrice said...

oh gawd...*saccharine overload*...the pics ARE gorgeous, girl...but I'm passing out from diabetes liao...*wink*

are you sure you're not turning your blog into a shrine?!?'s one for ya:
blog + shrine = shrog?? bline??

aaahh, you know I'm just yanking your leg... ;)

beetrice said...

and another come the whole post is "dear" this and "the boyfriend" that...and all we see of him is his rear end in ONE photo?!?

*helpless laughter*

Tine said...

Oh hell no! Shrine? Dahlink, this blog's a shrine to MOI :P

Well, he DID go to most of the places with me, it's only fair that I include him, right? Hehehe :P Call it an early anniversary present, if you will ;) (babes, if you're reading this, it's time you know your girlfriend's a real cheapskate :P) I was also having an emo moment lah :)

Well, I won't post actual pictures of us here, but you've already seen his photos what. I couldn't help posting that picture of him, I thought it real funny, hehe :P

TrueBluePenangite said...

Tine, GEORGEOUS pics. What kinda camera were you using? Point and shoot or SLR. I'm in the market for a new cam.

Timodee said...

so glad you enjoyed the time spent here...
waiting for you to come back....*patiently*
(but seriously...where's PIC of me? hehe, just joining in the banter)

Tine said...

truebluepenangite: Was using bf's camera, and it's a Canon Ixus 850 (if I'm not wrong lah). It's a point-and-shoot, and the photographs taken are really good.

timodee: I'm not putting any pictures of you, me, and anyone else I know on the blog lah. Or else it'd REALLY be a shrine ;-)

Timodee said...

Dear, just wanted to correct you's an IXUS 65
PS i was just teasing you about the pics...

Tine said...

Ooops ... sorry babes, I forgot the actual model of the camera :P

Misery said...

i only get a paragraph??? A SHORT paragraph???

AND hey..i asked if you wanted to do anything in's not my fault that sales follow me everywhere.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time here. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks...yes few weeks baby!!

Tine said...

Actually, you've got TWO paragraphs :P

Yeps, looking forward to seeing you too. You, Chin and I will go paint the town red! :P