Oz '04! travel blog

A sculpture of a coin purse in Melbourne :)

The first STA Travel we found!

We stopped at a park...

Freezing at the beach!

A bird on my head :)

Lots of birds!

Making billy tea

On the steam train

Wine tour of the Yarra Valley

At Fergusson's Winery

Shiraz! - my favorite wine

Alison and Hilary tasting wines

Now I have been to Chandon wineries in 2 countries!

Tasting sparking wine at Domaine Chandon

Beautiful vineyards, but no vines

Domaine Chandon winery

Domaine Chandon

We just arrived in Cairns, and the weather is a welcome change. We went from layering every bit of clothing we brought to breaking out the flip-flops and tank tops.

As for the rest of the time in Melbourne, I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday and decided I had both strep throat and an ear infection. Friday morning we visited Queen Victoria Market, a large outdoor market that sells clothing, souvenirs, food, wine, and tons of other stuff. We spent some more time exploring the city - I like Melbourne a lot, even though the weather isn't so great in July. A lot of Australia so far seems similar to the US with slight differences. (One random note: there are 7-Elevens everywhere!) Later we took the city transit to the beach, where it was freezing cold but a cute little oceanside area.

Yesterday was a winery tour. We took a bus to three different wineries in the Yarra Valley, but first we stopped at a forest area where we had billy tea. It's tea made in a billy, a metal can with a wire handle, where the water is boiled and then the tea leaves are added. The billy is then swung in a circle over your head a few times so that the leaves sink to the bottom. You then add gum leaves or peppermint leaves to sweeten it - no sugar, because campers who made this tea could not bring anything sweet with them or they would be found by animals. There were also tons of birds there that we fed. Next we went to the wineries where we had a really great spitfire lunch, had a wine tasting with 4 different wines, and had a tour of the Domaine Chandon winery to find out how they make sparking wine. Last night the others went to an Aussie rules football game, but I needed to rest to try and get over the infections so I stayed behind.

This morning we took a flight to Cairns and arrived at the Serpent Hostel where there's a huge swimming pool, 2-person rooms, and free dinner every night. More on Cairns later!

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