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Thread: Melbourne and surrounds

  1. #11
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    D) Some festivals and events in Melbourne

    i) Jan – the Australian tennis Open happens here ; 26th Jan is Australia day (something like a National day) – fun to spend the day in the city with air shows, many events for family and kids and end the day with fireworks display.

    ii)March/April – International comedy festival

    iii) March – Melbourne Food and wine festival – a must for food lovers

    iv) Film festival – September

    v) Melbourne cup – the famous horse race in November (actually spring is the racing carnival period, the icing on the cake is the Melbourne cup held on the first Tuesday in November). Exciting day for punters – hee hee – you can try your betting skills…

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  3. #12
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    E) Away from the city

    i) Great Ocean Road – you must see the 12 (now 11) Apostles! (4 hrs away); go for scenic drive along the coastal road

    ii) Check out Grampians – beautiful national park (4 hrs away); go camping in summer, spend the night and wake up to beautiful sun rise – so I was told!

    iii) Dandenong ranges - cooling, peaceful, beautiful scenic venue when you drive along the national park

    iv) Go north to Echuca – you can take a ride in the old steam boat along the Murray river (abt 4 hrs away)

    v) Go south to the Mornington Peninsula – beautiful beaches and countrysides.

    vi) Go south west past Great Ocean Road and you will reach Warnambool where you can see whales if you are lucky between June-September.

    vii) In winter (June-August), go to Mt Buller (abt 4hrs north) to experience snow. You can play in eths now, make snow man, go toboganning (like a slide), learn to ski or just sight-seeing. You can hire the snow shoes/jackets/pants for the day.

    viii) Daylesford and Macedon ranges – beautiful countryside along the way, waterfall and hill tops. Visit Hanging Rock and discover the mystery 

    .. and many more….

  4. #13
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    Melbourne International Flower and Garden show is not to be missed if you are here in March-April -
    http://www.melbflowershow.com.au/

  5. #14
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    NM, do share your personal experiences of Melbourne....!
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

  6. #15
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    In Dandenong ranges, i loved the Tulip festivals held in mid Sep to Mid Oct every year - see the Tulips .
    When you drive along the ranges, you will see the green everywhere - it is nice to see now and remember how they were all black and burnt after the 2009 bushfires!

    Also, when you are in Dandenong ranges, take the Steam Engine ride - this is fun really! It takes you along the ranges and you will see breathtaking views from the train.
    When you are in the Dandenong area, don't forget to visit the Carrum Downs Shiva-Vishnu Temple. It is the most beautiful temple in Melbourne - i love it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #16
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    Well .. enough of the what to do, where to go etc...
    Here's what I have found out/experienced etc over the last few years.......hope Badri comes and shares his too ....

    When I first came to Melbourne in 2005, the first thing that hit me was “aiyooh, their immigration and customs is soooooooo slow”. They do try to improve their customs but sometimes it gets to be a lengthy process. It is especially so if there is a ‘Border Security’ episode being filmed on that that particular day of arrival! There will be extra screening! They also have dogs in the immigration area which go sniffing all your bags!! So, do not be alarmed!
    The moment I came out of the airport, the cold draft hit me! It was cold when I arrived – I expected it to be warmer in late September as it was spring but NO! Fortunately I had a jacket with me! Even today, it is supposed to be mid-winter but I have 2 layers on. You never know what the weather’s going to be like – if you are lucky, you get a wind-free summery day otherwise, it will be a cold, wintery day with strong cold wind. If you suffer from sinus, be warned that you can feel as though your head is being blown off due to the cold wind – speaking from experience here! I have learnt to always have a light cardigan with me even in Summer! You can get 4 seasons in a day. On Christmas day 2 weeks ago, we got hail storms, some as big as the tennis ball. And when it rains and its windy, you are better off wearing a water-proof jacket or rain-coat. Do not carry an umbrella unless you want to get rid of it. Winds here can get pretty strong!
    Buds were coming out when i came and trees were starting to flower. That’s a sight you never get back home where you get flowers all year round. Here, when you come in winter, most trees will be bare and plants would be hibernating! They have seasonal plants here – that’s the other thing we learnt. For the garden, we need to choose carefully – plants that are always green throughout the year so you don’t have a barren garden for 6 months and a flowering one for the next 6 months.

  8. #17
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    Hmm… my husband taught me ‘nothing is free’ concept here. Once when we looking at some paints and colours for our house, Kan1000 gave me a brochure to keep with me until we checked-out. At the check-out, we paid for all the stuff we bought and happily went home. I then took out the colour brochure and gave it to him. He asked me ‘were you keeping this all this time?’ I said ‘yes’. Hee hee --- apparently we had to pay $5/= for it but I didn’t realize that! I thought it was for free… Kan1000 didn’t know what to do, just shook his head.. for a few trips to the same warehouse after that incident, I had this fear that someone was going to call me out since they have camera everywhere …. Everything is money here and its not cheap! A loaf of bread can cost anywhere between $3 to $5. And DO NOT convert the $$$. Otherwise you won’t even eat bread! Imagine paying 15 Ringgit for a loaf of bread! Sometimes little things like this make you appreciate home. You can’t get any decent lunch / dinner under $5/=. The simplest ‘mee goreng’ can cost 10 – 13 depending on whether you want it to have meat or seafood or plain veg.
    In Malaysia/Singapore or even India, I guess we take things for granted. You wake up and if you feel like having nasi lemak for breakfast, you can run down to the stall and get one. You have curry puffs, apam, thosai, cakes and savouries at any time you want. Here, it’s not the case. You wake up and you want nasi lemak, make your own. No stalls open at 6 or 7 for you. No Kopi tiam or nasi kandar where you can hang around with your friends until past midnight. Most restaurants and eateries close shop at 11pm. No such thing as 24 hr Nasi kandar. If you don’t feel like cooking, one can still run down to the local mamak restaurant for a roti canai or rice and it will be nice to eat/tasty. Here, it’s not easy. We struggle to think of where to go for a simple dinner if we don’t cook at home.
    Another thing that frustrates me is you can’t go shopping after 5/5.30pm. All shops are closed by 5.30pm. Only supermarkets are open. If you plan to get a gift in a hurry, you need to do this between 9am – 5pm. Some shops are open until 9pm on Thursday nights. Fridays are the only long shopping days – 9am-9pm. Shops close early on weekends as well. It was very strange when I first came here. Even on Saturdays, you need to hurry up and shop!
    Seems like I am complaining more than I had intended . Well not all is bad.

  9. #18
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    I like the timeliness of their transportation system. There is a schedule and they stick to it. Buses / trains and trams are frequent. It does frustrate somewhat if the train/tram you are hoping to catch gets delayed but they do have frequent trains/trams here. Parking in the city can be very expensive – upto $20 for the first 3 hrs or so. Hence, many Melburnians take the public transport to commute. There are ‘Early bird’ concession rates – example if you enter the parking before certain time and exit after a certain time, you end up paying something like $14-17 per day.
    The parks are beautiful and kept clean. The public toilets are very clean unlike in some parts of the world. They have family-friendly toilets in every shopping mall where you can bring your whole jing-bang along without having to let them wait outside.
    On the road, I noticed very different behaviours from the ones I was used to in Malaysia. The rule here is that you give way to the vehicle on your right side – so when you are at the round-about, you look to your right and if there are no cars, you are free to go. The car on your left must wait for you to drive past before driving off. This was one of the first thing I saw and learnt when I came here. Unlike back home, everyone seems to be rushing and will not give way. The other road-rule here is if it is school zone, during school hours you cannot ever drive above 40. This is a serious offence. And, you must always stick to the speed limit as the fines are hefty! Above by 5Ks, you get fined $140; 10K 240 and the on to $300++!! And on top of getting fined, you get demerit point too! If you are successful in collecting 12 demerit points, the govt gives you to have a good rest for a few months with a suspension. There are cameras everywhere! Normal speed limit is 50 or 60 in residential areas. Imagine, I live only 22kms away from the city and yet it takes me 60-70mins to get to work! But they do give you rewards for being a good driver – I had discounts for my driver’s licence when I renewed it.
    I still have lots more to tell but guess this is enough for now…..

  10. #19
    Senior Member Diamond Hubber groucho070's Avatar
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    NM, thanks for sharing.

    About the road rule, it applies every left side driving country, but in Malaysia evan pArkuRan. Traffic is one of the biggest contribution to stress in Malaysia. On your "complain", I heard the same from a lawyer (very successful, very rich) when he was asked why he is not migrating to Australia, he said the same thing. But I guess once you are over it, it's not an issue anymore.
    " நல்ல படம் , சுமாரான படம் என்பதையெல்லாம் தாண்டியவர் நடிகர் திலகம் . சிவாஜி படம் தோற்கலாம் ..சிவாஜி தோற்பதில்லை." - Joe Milton.

  11. #20
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    Your last three posts were very useful NM - seen from a visitors eye.
    Looks like I will have to bunk in with you if I ever visit
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

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