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Saturday 3 Jan
Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne

Melbourne seems to be everyones favourite Australian city and over time I am beginning to understand why!  The bayside area of St Kilda is my favourite district with it's quirky coffee shops, boutique clothes stores, numerous bars and restaurants and of course the beach. 

Unfortunately for me the visit was somewhat tarnished by having my camera and mobile phone stolen at the hostel bar on my first night in Australia.  I guess this could happen anywhere but staying at a hostel with an onsite nightclub which I would liken to TJ's (Newport) or The Purple Turtle (Reading) probably didn't help!  Also, staying in a room full of 18 year old Germans who kept telling me that Robbie Williams is the worlds best entertainer perhaps made me feel a little old :)

Melbourne is home to Britains favourite Aussie soap opera, Neighbours.  I wouldn't put myself quite in the 'Robins' category of Neighbours fanatacism but I am also a pretty big fan (or I was until Deloitte took over my life...)!  A neighbours tour and Neighbours quiz where I got to meet Irish Connor and Janelle Timmins was therefore a bit of a highlight, especially as my team won the quiz!  Oooo, Ramsey street is sooo tiny!

Without doubt the highlight of my time here was a visit to the nearby Phillip Island where you can watch the worlds smallest penguins parade up the beach at dusk.  They all walk in the line while the baby penguins come running out of their burrows to meet their parents.  This is a bit of a natural phenomenom and so different to seeing penguins in the zoo so I guess it's no surprise that it draws more tourists per year than either Ayres Rock or the Great Barrier Reef!

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Hong Kong - Thailand - Laos - Australia - New Zealand - South Africa

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