Adelaide + Melbourne

For the Independence Day long weekend, I found myself in a new country yet again. Here are the things I recommend doing:

1. Take a road trip. Australia is hugely a car country, there are not a lot of buses, trams or trains. However, there is a lane in the freeway that can take you anywhere in the country {M1} and you can get from Melbourne to Sydney to the Gold Coast. I took several road trips: one to Yarra Valley in Melbourne, to the Twelve Apostles and to Barossa Valley in Adelaide. The Australian countryside looks amazing and the weather is almost always perfect. Australian winters run from 9 to 21 degrees Celsius which is perfect for spending a day outside.

2. Speaking of Yarra and Barossa Valley, taste all the wines you can and bring home a bottle or a case. As a wine enthusiast, wine tasting was my priority everywhere I went, thus resulting to having tasted around 20 kinds of wine in several days combined. It was also my first time to taste a sparkling red and just like what they say, it tasted like Christmas morning. As a souvenir though, I took home a bottle of mead, a fortified kind of wine that came in the flavor of rum raisin, and it was just for AUD 20, roughly PHP 660. Not shabby at all. Among the Yarra Valley vineyards I visited are Domaine Chandon, which is owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Henessy and in Barossa, Jacob's Creek, Dorriens and Wolfgang Blass.

3. Eat shepherd's meat pie and an iced coffee, preferably in the middle of a road trip. One of the Australian staples especially in the middle of the day is gooey meat with gravy and potatoes in crumbly crust plus iced coffee. Yum!

4. Nibble on fish and chips. As a former British colony, Australia thrives on fish and chips too, just like its Victorian sister, London. In Melbourne, I was lucky to find a fish and chips place somewhere in Brighton Beach. One gets to choose which fish as well such as halibut, herring and flake. I had a very Australian drink of port, too!

5. Eat steak and drink milk. Australia is home to the happiest cows therefore the softest steak I've ever had in my life and one of the countries with the creamiest milk I've ever drunk, too. 

6. Surf in between daytime activities. It's completely normal in Australia to take a break within the day to take a dip in the beach or swim or surf during lunch hour. Beaches are ridiculously close to the metros. However, I wasn't able to do this as it was winter time during my visit. Still, it was great getting close to the beaches!

7. Feed a kangaroo. I loved the idea of getting close to animals, most especially since kangaroos live exclusively in Australia. You can't tell but I was scaredy cat inside here!

8. Hold a koala bear. Oh, one of the highlights of this trip was being able to carry Violet, an eight year old koala bear while she nibbled on eucalyptus leaves. What an amazing, calming feeling. It was similar to carrying a baby!

Anyway, I can't believe it's already a month since I came back {and more!} from Australia! I used to be able to blog as soon as I return but oh well, life happened. I am grateful I've been able to visit one of the best countries I've ever set foot on. Can't wait to go back!

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