Ya gotta love Melbourne!

Yes I travelled to Melbourne the week of the Melbourne Cup, but no I didn’t go to the race!  This last weekend I was in Melbs to celebrate my sister turning 30!  My sister has happily lived in Melbourne for several years now and invited her friends and family over to sample its delights.  Off the top of my head, around 20 or so flew over from all parts of New Zealand, and we enjoyed every second of it!

 

Sport, culture, shopping, food-Melbourne has it all AND it is easy to get to it!  The public transport in Melbourne is fantastic, starting with the Skybus that takes you directly from the airport to the city for $16 ow.   In the city you can choose from buses, trains and trams, that will get you anywhere you want to go.  I also loved being able to walk places as Melbourne is famous for its laneway culture (lively shopping lanes), wide boardwalks and leafy walks through parks or alongside rivers.  My walking highlight was strolling back from an amazing buffet dinner at the Kitchen Workshop (Crown Casino) back to my sisters house in Richmond.  We followed the Yarra river passing several top event centres: AAMI Park -where my fav band, the Foo Fighters will be playing next month, Etihad Stadium – an AFL haven and of course the world famous MCG – Melbourne Cricket Ground.

 

But lets not forget the reason we came to Melbourne in the first place…to shop! Sorry sis, I do mean for your party, and boy what a party!  Without going into too many of the somewhat fuzzy memories, what I can say is that we had the perfect venue.  My sister had hired the private function room at The Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda.  The function room is upstairs with a fabulous balcony looking out to the ocean and a ‘must visit’ while in Melbourne, great food, live bands and cold beers!   The beach below was still crowded after a 30 deg plus day when we arrived, just in time to grab a glass of bubbly and watch the sunset. The perfect end to a busy day, or should I say, a great start to a rocking night!

Sisters and Aunties enjoying our first glass of bubbles on the balcony of The Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda

 

( And for those of you who were disappointed I didn’t talk enough about shopping hotspots…head to Chapel St in Prahan and/or Bridge Road in Richmond-full of fab stores and great bargains! )

 

 

Nau mai, haere mai-I need your travel advice!

 

I am beginning to get withdrawals.  

It’s true, I am addicted to travelling and without a trip to plan, I feel lost.  Not that working full time, with 2 young children doesn’t keep me busy, but this is what I love and I ALWAYS have a trip planned.

Problem is, my husband and I are off to Melbourne (watch this space for the next post) for my sister’s 30th in 2 weeks time but after that…the deep dark black hole of traveless time beckons.

That’s where you step in. What I want to know is where should we go next? The only catch is, this trip is to be a family trip, kids are coming along too! They were unable to come to Melbourne as its only for 2 nights and its a 30th party…I’m sure there is no need to explain further! I want the next trip to be for all 4 of us, so here’s the brief:

  • Somewhere warm and sunny
  • Not going to break the bank
  • Kid friendly (2 girls, ages 2.5yrs and 1yr)
  • Most likely to take the trip early to mid next year

Here is an idea of what I have been considering so far:

  • Flying to Auck and taking a campervan around the Northland hotspots, Coromandel, Bay of Islands
  • Heading to a Pacific island – Fiji or Samoa
  • Thailand!

Thailand is number 1 on my must visit hit list.  The only trouble is it is quite a distance, flights can be expensive-although cheap food and accommodation once you are there, and the big issue is the time difference travelling with 2 young children. I keep thinking that maybe it should wait until they are older, or perhaps make it a Mum and Dad only trip.

What I now need from you is feedback-please let me know your thoughts. What, if any, of the options I’m considering are worth doing, do you have any advice or experiences from having done a similar trip yourself, or where would you go and why if you were me?


Photo credit: kakisky from morguefile.com