A couple of weekends ago, I had the honour of attending a close friends wedding in Bendigo, Victoria. For those of you who don’t know, Bendigo is the fourth largest city in Victoria and is approximately 150kms northwest of Melbourne. In the months leading up to the wedding I was super excited for an excuse for a weekend away, thinking it’d be a nice chance for Henry and I to spend some time together before having to go back to work. It was about 6 weeks before the glorious day that we had an ‘oh shit’ moment as we realised we hadn’t booked any accommodation. We quickly hopped online and found a great deal with The Art Series Schaller Studio (highly recommend staying at any Art Series Hotel!) and booked 3 nights in Bendigo, thinking how cool it’d be if we could fit in a day trip to Melbourne.
After pondering the thought of Melbourne for a few hours, we decided to leave a day early and fit in a quick overnight stop in the hipster city. With only a short amount of time spare to spend in Melbourne, we made sure we didn’t waste a second of our time, and soon after arriving we were quickly off, ready to experience as much as we could in such a short frame of time.
Our trip was off to a busy start. I had to work that morning, so didn’t get home until about 1pm. But the second I pulled in the driveway, we quickly filled the car with our stuff, gave the cat a pat goodbye and set off for our nine hour drive. I’ve got to be honest, the drive from Thirroul (Sydney-ish) to Melbourne has got to be one of the most boring drives I’ve ever done! You’re literally on the same highway the entire way and it is just farmland surrounding you until you get about half an hour out of Melbourne.
We drove into Melbourne as the sun was setting (8:45pm!). Such a stunning entry into an equally stunning city – and a great first impression for Henry, who had never been to Melbourne before this trip.
We quickly checked into our hotel (Fraser Place – also recommend it!) and walked into the city, on the hunt for some food. Being close to 10pm we were thinking that fast food was going to be our only dinner option, but as we walked down Swanston Street we came across quite a lot of Asian cuisine restaurants which much to our glee were still open for business! We ended up googling reviews and chose to eat at China Bar, a 24 hour restaurant serving all different types of Asian cuisine at all hours of the day and night. We ordered steamed pork buns as an entrée, which were DELICIOUS! For dinner I had BBQ Pork (Cha Siew) on rice, which I had with a Lychee Juice. Both were amazing!
After an enjoyable meal, we strolled down to Federation Square and enjoyed the Melbourne Skyline in the dark before heading back to the hotel.
Although we were exhausted from the previous days drive, we were up at 8am the next morning, ready to pack in a day of sightseeing before heading out to Bendigo. We kick-started the day with a quick walk to the Queen Victoria Markets, where we enjoyed the best breakfast I think I’ve ever had! I had a big breakfast (sausages, eggs, bacon, roasted tomato, toast and a coffee). The meat was super fresh and it tasted so much better for it! After reluctantly finishing my meal (hey, I wanted it to last forever) we wandered around the market for a while. We didn’t end up buying anything – we came close to buying the cutest pair of baby ugg boots ever for a friend who is expecting, although realised that there would be little use for them in Perth – but it was nice to just have a sticky beak around at our own pace.
Being with an aspiring architect, getting lost in any concrete jungle is a given. After our market window-shopping, we walked around some of RMIT’s rather creative buildings that are sprawled all about the city. We even stepped inside the architecture building to scope out a feel.
We then decided it was time to tick another thing off our little ‘to-do’ list and headed towards Hosier Lane. Unfortunately, this took a while. Google Maps lied to us and led us to the opposite side of the city. It was super hot and we were getting tired, so it was lucky that we saw a T2 store where we were. We stepped inside the tea oasis and taste tested all the teas that were available. We were back in game. Eventually we did find Hosier Lane. At first sight, it was really cool but then as we stood closer to the wall all we could smell was piss. We then got super excited when we saw a café selling frozen Zooper Doopers – Winning! Although, our trip to Hosier Lane ended rather quickly when a junkie couple emerged from a dodgy side street yelling at random passers-by.
Disappointed in our premature departure of Hosier Lane, we wandered across the street and found ourselves at Pilgrim Bar, where we each shared a local handcrafted cider and enjoyed the spectacular view of Melbourne right in front of us. It was starting to creep into early afternoon, so we decided to leave Melbourne on a positive note and make our way towards Bendigo.