Melbourne is the farthest south point of Australia besides Tasmania, so I broke out my jeans (thank g they still fit) and was ready for a chilly weekend.
The weather was beautiful, with clouds only on one of the days there.
Day one, we visited Queen Victoria Market, an open air market with a million stalls of food, clothes, jewelery, gifts, etc. I bought a fascinator for the Melbourne Cup after much debate, even though I kind of think they look stupid.
I also went to the Melbourne Museum and the Carlton Gardens before heading out to Brunswick St. later that night.
I couldn't believe how many couples I saw taking wedding pictures all over the city. It must have been close to 20 by the time the weekend was over.
The next day a couple of my friends and I joined a laughing circle on the side of the street. It was basically a bunch of people standing in a circle fake laughing until real laughter takes over. It was hilarious and spontaneous and bizarre but really fun.
Next we went to the National Gallery of Victoria to see some Australian art, then sat on deGraves st, which is an alley of cafes with heat lamps. It was perfect when it started raining.
Later, we checked into our hotel and drank tea in robes to end the day.
We woke up early on day 3, saw street art and had breakfast then hit the road for a Great Ocean Road tour. We rented a van and drove along the Great Ocean Road til about 11pm. We stopped at numerous beaches, saw surfers, koalas in nature, and the 12 apostles which are one of the 7 wonders of the natural world. There are only 8 apostles left due to erosion, but we got to them just at the right time when the sun started setting and the lighting was beautiful.
Great Ocean Road was probably my favorite trip in Australia. I realized how much I missed driving around and not having to rely on public transportation, plus all of my roommates and I and a few other friends were just happy to be together.
On the last day, we woke up early and got ready for the Melbourne Cup. In Australia, they refer to it as "the race that stops the nation" and its a public holiday. The whole city of Melbourne shut down for the day.
We took a train to Flemington Racecourse, then found a spot on the lawn to watch the races.
When it was time for the actual big race for the Cup, we were standing near the paddock and watched the horses up close as they went out to the track then came back in. They are really beautiful animals.
I picked the winning horse but the line was too long to make a bet. Regrets.