Sunday, January 30, 2011

Travel and Review : From Melbourne to Sydney–A road trip via Sapphire Coast traversing the Eurobodalla.


Part 1: Melbourne followed by a drive to Lakes Entrance.

Melbourne is a busy city. It is not uncommon to get lost once you are in the city due to the one way streets but the charm of Melbourne lies in its diligent effort to merge the modern and yet retaining some sort of cultural identity amidst all the buzz. From students studying at its university to the tourists that comes from all over the world, Melbourne sits in well as one of my favourite city to visit.

Within Melbourne itself, one cannot help but visit the Queen Victoria Market.

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Here you can find myriads of food ranging from local and international flavours plus souvenirs that are good for value. If you are looking for generic souvenirs, this is the place to go as it has it all. In my opinion, if you find similar products elsewhere in Melbourne at a a higher price, it is probably because they got it here and then jacked up the price.


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If you are driving in Melbourne, staying within the city can be quite expensive so getting a hotel which require some driving could be a money-saver. Bayview Eden and Bayview by the Park are both good for value hotels. Situated along Queens Rd roughly 400m apart, they provide simple accommodation that offers free parking.

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Targeted towards business traveller, the hotel is rather clean and well maintained.

The sister’s hotel Bayview by the Park is equally good. (pictures below)

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Other than a good ventilation system which Bayview By the Park has, Bayview Eden is rather similar in most of its design.

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Of course, if you are willing to spend a larger amount of money and have a kind of luxurious hotel stay then just drive towards the Melbourne Convention Centre for a stay at the Hilton Melbourne.

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Also at the Melbourne Convention Centre, you can find the Direct Factory Outlet (aka DFO – selling branded named clothes at the fraction of the price ) within 5 minutes walking distance. Thus if you prefer to laze around at the Hilton and then feel like a good shopping spree, staying at HIlton is a great choice although it will probably set you back 3 times what you will spend at the Bayviews Hotel.

Melbourne offers free tram ride however you have to bustle with the locals as well. Despite it being a tram designed for tourists to get a sense of where everything is around Melbourne, locals use it too to get from one location to the other. A better alternative, yet less charming, is to hop on the free Melbourne CIty Shuttle which will take you to many places from the University to its zoo to the Queen Victoria Market to its science centre. Thus if you only have a day or two to visit Melbourne, this is a great transport to be acquainted with.

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But after the shopping and the sight seeing, you prefer something more relaxing, you can stop at one of the stops on the Melbourne City Shuttle and land yourself at the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens.

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Here you can pretty much soak yourself into a tranquil atmosphere that is so calming you wish you stay here forever.

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Or simply take a seat and simply ponder on your life’s journey by having a rest at some of the garden interesting architecture.

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Melbourne has its charms and it is rather quite lovely when you think about it. It has a bit of everything for everyone. However, Australia charms was never about her cities. Her charms lies in her less touristy suburbs.

With that in mind, the road trip from Melbourne to Sydney is still in its infancy as the rest of the journey will attest. A few hours drive from Melbourne via the Princes Highway will lead you to beautiful Lakes Entrance.

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