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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Mar 12, 2014 - Puffing Billy Train ride

Puffing Billy is Australia's favorite old steam train. This train takes you through the Dandenong Ranges. We chose to go part of the way and return to the start. We started at Belgrave and the train took us through magnificent forests and fern gullies. We passed through Sherbrooke Forest that has the native "Mountain Ash" trees. This tree is a form of eucalyptus and the tallest flowering plant in the world. We crossed the famous timber bridge of 15 spans, "Trestle Bridge" which crossed over Monbulk Creek. Shortly after we passed through the...

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Mar 11, 2014 - Travelling through Yarra Valley and along the Coast to the Beaches

The day was spent traveling through The Yarra Valley and some of the beaches. The Yarra Valley is the name given to the region surrounding the Yarra River in Victoria, Australia. The river originates approximately 90 kilometres east of the Melbourne central business district and flows towards it and out into Port Phillip Bay Unfortunately it was a cool and very overcast day with some showers. So we spent most of the day in the car and hopping out the odd time to check out a view. We did walk down to a beach but it was too cold and windy to...

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Mar 11, 2014 - Melbourne Tues

We have been having such a great time I have been rather lax about updating my blog so have several days to add. Our first full day in Melbourne started with the tourist shuttle - a very economical way of seeing the city with hop on/hop off privileges - first port of call the huge Victoria market. In addition to the usual food stalls there is the cleanest indoor deli, meat & fish area which almost made me wish I was cooking dinner! There is also a large area selling Aussie souvenirs, apart from a new hat for D we managed to resist....

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Mar 10, 2014 - Melbourne

After breakfast we headed off to see the gold museum which is also part of the complex which also included a special exhibition about the US Marines who were stationed in Ballarat in WW2. Our next hurdle was facing the Melbourne traffic to return the hire car and find our hotel, turned out it was very easy and we are established here for the next three nights. The hotel is very nice with a little kitchen, fridge etc. very central and right on the edge of Chinatown. We had a wander about before. Heather & Hayley arrived to collect us. I...

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Mar 10, 2014 - Exploring Downtown Melbourne

We got our MyKi cards so we could take advantage of Melbourne's transit system which is amazing! Then we took a train to downtown Melbourne. It was Labour Day and the city was swarming with people. There were amusement parks, a parade and "The Moomba Festival". Initially we visited the Federation Square which opened in 2002. It is recognized internationally as one of the world's great public places and receives more than 10 million visits a year. This square has art galleries, museums, an interactive history of Australia exhibition and so...

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Mar 9, 2014 - Leaving for Australia

The New Zealand airlines was very creative in their safety shows both times we were on the plane. When we left L.A. they used characters from the Hobbit movie. When we flew to Australia, they used the Sports Illustrated Bikini models. It certainly got the attention of the passengers.

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Mar 5, 2014 - Morning tea, nursery and Black Pepper

Day 11 - Wednesday 5th March (I wonder if Jan will get to write any of this blog - Ron) Only two engagements today. The first was for us to be at the Stonehouse Cafe at Warrandyte about 10kms away in a westerly direction. What a lovely drive through thickly wooded areas in the hills. We had morning tea with Lyn a friend who used to attend Mitchelton many years ago in the days when we had a choir there. It was a great catchup and it took about two and a half hours to complete!! After Lyn left we ventured back the way we had come for a km...

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Mar 3, 2014 - Puffing Billy, Wildlife & Danderongs

18 mile drive east through the suburb of Ferntree Gully rest stop saw alot of cockateils, beautiful white with yellow top notch. I fed 2 from feeding tray, fun!! In Belgrave we boarded the Puffing Billy, a vintage narrow gauge steam train, more than 100 years old. In Menzies Creek we got off and drove on to Rockford Wines where we tasted 3 different wines and we could choose one for lunch. Beautiful wine country, miles and miles of vineyards. from there we droveto Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary. What a great place. The tour guide told us so...

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Mar 2, 2014 - Arrive in Melbourne, Australia

Mike, Jacqui and Joan went on the Penquin tour. To Phillip Island we traveled to Maru Koala and Animal Park. We saw kangaroos, wallabies, dingos, tasmanian devils and koalas. Jacqui had her picture taken with the kaola. we went on to visit Seal Rocks and Nobbies(smaller rocks). We stopped in Cowes for dinner. on the way to see the penquins we went by the Australian Grand Prix Motorcycle rack track. Doohan Pavillion. we went to Phillip Island, which is home to the smallest penquins. we were sitted in an area of concrete steps just before the...

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Feb 27, 2014 - Airports

Not too much news today, and that’s a good thing. We turned in our car at the airport and had to wait until about 9 am for the check-in to be staffed. Apparently there was a whole biking club going to Sydney (with their crated bikes) just ahead of our flight. We did discover that the tickets I had bought online had no allowance for checked luggage, so one of our 2 bags we intended to check became a carry-on, and we had to pay extra for the bag we did check. Probably still cheaper than the next class of ticket. Most of the day was spent...

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Feb 26, 2014 - Melbourne

Kangaroos and koalas! Our excursion on Tuesday (in Melbourne) took us to wildlife preserves to see kangaroos and koalas. This wasn't like the zoo where you can see them up close, but in the wild and you have to hunt for them. The first stop was at the kangaroo preserve, and we trekked through the grass and into the trees on the hunt. It was very warm, and the roos were in the shade of the trees, resting and cooling. We did see quite a few of them, and I got a few pictures, but we weren't very close. We were treated to lunch at the preserve,...

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Feb 24, 2014 - Day at sea

Monday night after dinner. Wow, how fast can time go! The highlight of our city tour yesterday morning was a tour of the Sydney Opera House. It isn't anything that you might expect, with lots of velvet and chandeliers. All the elements are natural: wood, granite, cement (maybe that's not so natural), and glass. It is absolutely beautiful in a very unusual way. The roof, which is what you see in pictures, is separate from the inside structure. The roof went up first, and then the interior was built under it. It is just amazing, and the...

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