Day 9 – Airlie Beach, Queensland
We reached Prosprine airport, also known as the Whitsunday Coast Airport around noon. If you are flying to Whitsunday during day time I would suggest to make the extra effort of doing web checking and reserving a window seat. The view is just magnificent and you would not want to miss the experience of flying over the Great Barrier reef. Before we landed, It had rained there and we were lucky enough to spot two rainbows adding to the beauty of whitsundays. We were staying at a place called Sunlit resort at Airlie beach. Airlie beach is 30 mins drive from the airport and you can easily prebook your transfers online or on the spot as well for a little amount. The bus which came to pick us up was really comfortable and also has good wifi 😉 and on top of it they were also giving us a quick tour of the place. In 30 mins we were at our hotel. It was a decent place and a good deal for people who are on a budget. It was almost evening and sunset time when we decided to head out and explore this beautiful little place. Airlie beach is kind of a place you would want to spend your retirement. If you ask me about my favourite place in Australia, I would say Airlie. Good food, good vibes, amazing people and a free lagoon with perfect water temperature with ocean view, what more would anyone want? Did I mention that sunset in Airlie is pretty badass too. After walking almost the entire city we were very tired and hungry too. For dinner we chose an Italian cafe with really cute decor. The food was good and the host a little too friendly, he really was sweet though. After dinner we called it a day, as the following day was going to be a long one.
Day 10 – Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
We booked a day tour to through Whitehaven express . Whitehaven express is run by a family. This team of three people Mother, Father Son do a great job in making everyone comfortable onboard. It was well worth considering the number of activities it provided in a day. After everyone was picked up, we were taken to Hill Inlet/ White Haven Beach Lookout. To reach the look out area one needs to walk a little. After spending some time at the Hill inlet, most of the time was spent in trying to absorb the beautiful view and get some good pictures too. Next we went to the white haven beach. White haven beach is a 7 km long beach on Whitsunday Island and is famous for its white sand and turquoise water. We were there for around 2 hrs, swimming, chilling, trying to figure out if it was for real. We were served authentic Aussie beach BBQ, which I thought to be a bit overrated. After lunch we went to snorkel over the corals. We saw the marine species from Turtles, the awesome Humphead Wrasses, and of course NEMO. After snorkelling it was time to get back to Airlie beach. We wanted to go to the lagoon again but unfortunately were too tired to get out. While walking to our hotel we found a place full of youngsters, live music and lively vibes. We chilled there a while, ate and went back to our hotel. That was all for Day 10.
Day 11 – Melbourne city
It was time for us to see a new city, Melbourne. I was excited and sad at the same time, excited because we were going to a new city and sad because I was not done with Airlie beach yet. We had planned to stay a day in Melbourne, next day in Sydney and day after back to Mumbai. We landed in Melbourne around 4 in the afternoon, since the next day was again a full day tour we really had one evening to see Melbourne as much as we could. After checking in we headed straight to Hosier lane to see some the famous street art. It was good fun to be there and take in the dizzying array of colours, characters and shapes created by local and international artists alike. Since the time was less and we wanted to maximise our experience in this city we moved to the the other part of the city. For dinner we chose TONKA, a place suggested by our friend. Tonka serves upmarket fusion Indian cuisine. It worked perfectly well for me where as the Husband was a little disappointed. Post dinner we roamed around Flinders street for a while and then were back to the hotel. Also, we were lucky enough to experience the Queen Victoria night market at Therry street, which was just opposite our hotel. Night market was a fun experience full of live music, entertainment, a lot of options to eat from and also opportunity to shop :D. That was all for day 11.
Day 12 – The Great Ocean Drive
Great Ocean Road begins a 90 minute drive from Melbourne’s city centre. It’s the most spectacular ocean drive one can experience. There are several breathtaking spots in between where you can get down to grab something to eat or just to soak in the beautiful view. We drove into the stylish town of Lorne, known for it holiday vibes, cafes and sparkling water. Next, we stopped at Kennett river for some Koala spotting, bird watching and some coffee. After the break we drove again on the ocean road for around an hour and then stopped for lunch at a cafe in Apollo Bay. The meal was included in the day trip we had booked and it was totally worth the money. We stopped at a place called Iluka for lunch. followed by scoop of Ice Cream at Dooley’s in Apollo Bay itself. Next spot was a rainforest which was a short drive away from the Apollo Bay. We followed one of the walking trails past moss-covered trees and fern-fringed pools, in the lush mysterious Maits rest Rainforest. It is an 800m circular walk that takes you through the temperate rainforest and exposes you to some of the region’s most spectacular scenery.All in all, the walk takes around 30 minutes from start to finish, giving a bitesize snippet of rainforest life in Australia. Next and the last spot was the most awaited 12 Apostles. Most of the people come to see this beauty. Do’t let the name fool you, there are not 12 but only seven limestones spires rising right out of the ocean. The rest of them were eroded by wind and water. Nevertheless the view is the just amazing and the drive is highly recommended. After spending around an hour there, which was certainly not enough we moved ahead to our next and the last spot for the day i.e. Loch & Gorge. It’s named after a ship which was wrecked here. It’s a lesser known place than the apostles but is equally striking sight, and eye catching. There is a long flight of stairs one needs to take to reach the beach. It provides the view of the towering rock from a different angle. That was all about the Great Ocean Drive and it is one experience we are going to remember for a long long time. We reached Melbourne around 9PM and sadly most of the cafes were shut 😦 So dinner was nothing fancy and we just grabbed a burger from whichever joint was open. Next day we were flying to Sydney for a day and then back home.
Day 13 – Sydney
We reached Sydney around noon and from here we were totally clueless about the things which were coming our way. We were told by our friends to not plan or think of anything because they have all the plans ready. Btw, this is the same crazy friend who made us all dance on the streets of Sydney on Day 1. After reaching their home and resting for a while we were asked get ready and we were going out. We went to Bridge street the place where our friend worked and from there to a place called Australian Heritage Hotel. The Australian Heritage Hotel is really old one around 100 years and famous for its beer and Pizzas featuring Emu, Kangaroo crocodiles. I don’t know how but this crazy friend of ours convinced me to have the Kangaroo and Emu pizza. Surprisingly, it was really good and I could hardly find it any different from chicken. Next stop was Shirt Bar, this was a totally new experience, Clothes, coffee and spirits under one roof. Basically, you can do shopping in a bar while enjoying a drink and food. The world needs more of this and especially for women 😉 We had Affogato and some other coffee here and everything was really good. We left from Shirt Bar and hung out a bit at Barangaroo. It was friday evening and it was so good to see everyone just relaxing with their friends. The next stop was O Bar. O bar is a revolving restaurant located on 47th floor of Sydney’s Australia square. We have a truly amazing experience here, from the crowd to the food everything was lavish about this place. By this time I was really impressed by my crazy friend, little did I know that how he will disappoint me in the next hour. After our dinner we headed to a club to party, all planned by this crazy guy. He told us we were going to party somewhere which was very far from our place, what he did not tell us was he is going to make us run almost 10 kms, climb around 100 stairs and jog to reach a place from where we can board a bus which will take us to the club, all this wearing heels. We SOMEHOW managed to board the bus which was full of youngsters who were already partying inside. Turned out it was a special party bus for the people who were staying in a particular hostel. We reached the club called Marquee. We spent some two hours dancing there and then went to the casino- The Star to try our luck. Unfortunately lost 20$ there and left. By this time all of us were really hungry and decided to go to Golden Century for dinner. The first meal of the trip and the last meal of the trip was same. It ended as it started. The circle of our Australia trip. Post dinner we went home to catch some sleep after all that running and dancing. The crazy friend was still not tired and wanted to go to Bondi at that time. Next morning we bid goodbye to our friends and left for Mumbai!