Simply put, 48 hours in Melbourne is not enough, but Aaron wanted to make a go of it anyway so we did just that. And even though we weren’t there for very long, we had a pretty fantastic time.
The airport is situated about 22 km from the CBD, so rather than taking a pricey taxi (~$65) we opted for the SkyBus ($30 for two people) to Southern Cross station then walked over to our hotel from there. We decided to stay at the Citadines on Bourke because of its central location and reasonable price tag, and we were very appreciative when they told us we’d been upgraded to a room on their top (25th) floor. We had a delicious Indian meal at Red Pepper, then called it an early night. We had a big day ahead of us, after all.
Saturday was the main event: the Great Ocean Road! When I first went to Melbourne in 2005, everyone told us to drive on the Great Ocean Road but I was naively skeptical about doing so. Being the native Californian that I am, a drive along the ocean sounded rather ordinary and I wasn’t convinced that I should devote an entire day to doing that when there were so many other things to see within the city of Melbourne.
But, and you can already guess where I’m going here, I was totally wrong. My friends and I rented a car, listened to Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” on the radio far more often than anyone our age ought to, and had an amazing day. I knew that I wanted to recreate those memories with Aaron.
Renting a car in Melbourne’s CBD is super easy. We used Redspot, which had a location right around the corner from our hotel, and headed off toward Geelong.
Our first stop was Torquay, home to some of the best surfing in the world as well as to a couple of the most famous surf companies (Rip Curl and Quiksilver). We picked up some takeaway coffee from Sticks and Stones Cafe and headed over to Bells Beach to watch the surfers do their thing.
Candidate for “Greatest Dog Ever,” Louis patiently watched his owner go for a surf
After a quick photo break in breathtaking Anglesea, we drove on toward Lorne. I remember a lot about my previous Great Ocean Road experience, but I have no recollection of Lorne whatsoever! I don’t understand how that’s possible as it was my absolute favorite stop this time around. *Shakes head*
Anyway, Lorne is a major stop along the Great Ocean Road, and time permitting we would have happily spent an entire weekend there. The beaches were gorgeous, there were plenty of interesting shops along the main road, and a huge variety of different restaurants. We grabbed a milkshake at The Bottle of Milk (though they are famous for their burgers), tried Australian-Mexican food for the first time at Mexican Republic, and actually came back to Lorne at the end of the day for dinner at Chopstix.
Windy in Anglesea