Monday, October 19, 2015


In Mid-March, I got sick of not travelling and booked a ticket to Melbourne without anything much in the way of a plan. I stored all the stuff I couldn't take with me with family, emptied out everything from the flat as we were all moving out and the landlord wanted everything gone (furniture, dishes etc...). While it wasn't a whole lot of fun leaving Clem, it did feel really good to be getting on a plane bound for somewhere I hadn't yet seen.

I'm not really sure what all to write about my time in Melbourne but I'll brush over a few of the more memorable things and hopefully this post wont be too all over the place to follow.

Accomodation-wise, I booked myelf into a backpackers in central Melbourne before I left and decided if I liked it I'd just stay there the whole time. I ended up working there as a cleaner to pay for my accomodation and becoming a part of the staff culture which was an ecclectic mix of travellers from all walks of life. We had a bar downstairs that had something social going on pretty much every night and I spent a lot my time in my first couple of weeks down there meeting new people only to have them leave a couple of days later. It was a quick walk or free tram ride to pretty much everywhere you'd want to see in the central area from where I was staying so it had that going for it as well.

I spent a bit of time busking in the downtown area and loved that. The streets are wide and the foot traffic heavy which is pretty much a buskers dream. It was a bit more of an intense process getting a busking permit there than in Wellington but I guess that can be expected from a city of 4 million odd people trying to keep everyone in line.

The two most interesting people I came across were an utterly insane Englishman who became one of my best friends in the hostel, and an equally ecclectic guy from small town Victoria who I ended up taking a weekend camping trip round the Grampians with and who showed me some of the most beautiful parts of the state (cheers Ben).

My favourite hang-out spot in town was the ACMI (Australian centre for the moving image) at Federation Square where I spent a lot of time wandering through the free exhibitions and watching random collections of animations and short films from their archives.

I got incredibly sunburnt in the Cricket World Cup fan zone down by the river where I sat and watched with great commitment as New Zealand were embarrassed by Australia in the final along with an English cricket fan named Freddy who was equally distressed at our poor showing against the Aussies and two Scandinavians who probably had very little idea of what was going on.

I drank a lot of terrible beer at various different places across town, went to a poetry night at Ferdydurkes where I was too intimidated to read anything of my own, probably my only regret from the whole trip and was shown some cool bars around the central area which I could never find on purpose again.

I got to catch up with a guy that was hosted a couple of years after me by the same host dad as I was in the states. We went and got lunch and it was nice to chat with him about Fort and reminisce about things back there.

Ultimately, I went to Melbourne to get away from the familiar for a bit and achieved that. I can't wait to go back again some day, hopefully on a more permanent basis rather than a 2 month taster. I think my favourite thing about Melbourne is that it has a very ecclectic artsy feel to it (much like Wellington) but on an absolutely massive scale which appeals to me. I like that there is so much to discover there and that I could never find anything until I wasn't looking for it at which point it would appear seemingly out of thin air. Melbourne is definitely a city for the explorer, and there is so much there to be explored.

My next post here will be about my experiences with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival which co-incided happily with my visit.

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