Greg and Molli's Round the World Trip travel blog

In front of Queen Victoria Market

Greg in Ned Kelly's armour at the Old Melbourne Gaol

St. Kilda Beach

Mama and baby Koala at Healseville Sanctuary

Hoos with the Roo's

Greg and his Emu buddy

At Yering Station winery in Yarra Valley

Koala in the trees at the Koala Conservation Center

Tuck's Ridge Winery on Mornington Peninsula

We arrived in Melbourne at 9:00am and were lucky enough to check into our hostel right away. We stayed in South Yarra, a fairly posh area just outside of the central city with tons of shopping and restaurants and bars. Really, all of Melbourne is just tons of shopping, restaurants and bars - we loved it.

We spent three days right in Melbourne and did a lot of walking around the city checking out the various neighborhoods and the local architecture, shops and eateries - Fitzroy (alternative and arty), Carlton (Italian district), St. Kilda (cute seaside village) and South Yarra/Toorak/Prarahn (hip and trendy).

We hit two great food markets - the famous Queen Victoria market (in the Food&Wine top 25 food markets in the world) and the Prarahn market. Both had stand after stand of produce, meats great organic sections and huge delis with homemade pastas, olives, cheeses, cured meats etc etc. Melbourne has a huge Italian influence which we didn't realise before we went. I think we had pizza like 3 or 4 times! We also spent a couple hours at the Old Melbourne Gaol established back in the mid 1800s and where Ned Kelly was imprisoned and hung.

After Melbourne we spent a couple days each in the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula to do some wine tasting and check out the local wildlife. We went to about 5 wineries in the Yarra Valley - our favourite by far was Balgownie (thank you Matt and Sam for the tip!) beautiful chardonnays and shirazs.

Also in Yarra Valley we went to the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary and saw some native Australian animals like kangaroos, koalas, wombats, emus, tasmanian devils, and wallabies. It was a bit too zoo-like for me, but it was pretty cool to get right into the kangaroo area and pet them.

We also managed to catch the grand final of the AFL (Aussie Rules Football) which is basically the equivalent of the Super Bowl. We watched it at a small local pub in Healesville - it was a really close game and pretty sweet to be in Aussie to watch it!

From there we headed down to the Mornington Pensinula, stopping through Phillip Island to check out the koala conservation center which was way cool. Did some more wine tasting in the Red Hill valley on Mornington and tried some very nice cool climate style wines. At Tuck's Ridge we tried a 91 Chard which was still tasting absolutely beautifully!

Obviously Australia is huge and we could have spent a month there alone, but we had a great week and got a great taste of Victoria. Melbourne definitely rivals SF as a huge foodie town - could be a very liveable town!

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