Travel.P #34 – Leaving New Zealand. Hello Australia

Melbourne is my type of city, much more so than Sydney.

Morris Gleitzman

Leaving New Zealand behind me. After nearly two years. My first years travelling. I learned so much. I grew so much. I met so many beautiful people. I had super cool jobs. I saw the most beautiful nature in my life so far. I even fell in love with a girl. I got my first tattoo. My first van. My first sailboat. So many things. So many memories. I got really attached to everything and I had no plan again. Same situation like in New Zealand. I booked the flight and that was all I did. I knew there are some poisonous animal and its hot and big but that’s pretty much all I knew about my new destination, Australia. I arrived late at night, flying over the lit street squares of Melbourne. I completely forgot about how big towns can actually get. New Zealand is way less populated than Australia. Melbourne, the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania.

After descending closer and closer to the never ending orange street lights in the dark, I landed in Australia, exhausted and sad that I left New Zealand. I felt like this country can’t beat New Zealand for me, but I gave it a try, haha. When I arrived at the airport it was already very hot, even though it was night time. I left the huge Airport, crossed the highway and looked for a calm spot to sleep. Walking through knee high dry grass, with no vision, imagining myself to get bitten by something poisonous, I scouted the area next to the street out. In the near distance I saw a park, but before that was an industrial patch with big long fences, so I took my hammock and set it up in between two threes next to the highway. Getting eaten alive by swarms of mossis and changing my spot once due to weird big looking spiders, I finally managed to jump in my hammock. I was surprised that I slept so deep, I maybe woke up only 5 times during the night.

The next morning I discovered that those light thin hammocks are not mosquito sting proof. I had a net, but those bastards sting through the base, and for a sleeping bag to shield yourself against them, it is way to hot over there. What a great start into Australia.

Melbourne Skyscrapers just next to the market.

At least I was quite lucky hitchhiking into town. I opened a bank account and made it slowly closer to the city. I walked at least 5 km through the town, when a very kind woman gave me a lift to a library that had lovely cool air inside. She said she picked me up, because I looked so exhausted and boiling. I was carrying my heavy bag through the town surrounded by wet heat in like 40 degrees. It wasn’t a pleasure, it was alright though.

Once in the library I made a plan and found out which tram I would have to take to town center. I also pre booked a hostel for a few nights, so I could get a picture of Melbourne and know what is going on. I also figured out that it is mostly the cheapest option to book hostels online, since you have so many different prices. It is really the best way to book your stay for the night in my opinion. You see strong discounted hostels, that you normally would never consider going to. Coming closer to town by riding the tram, I picked up so many sights, so many people, so many different people, different nations, stores on stores on stores, and smells, noises of cars, people and sirens in the distance. Wow I was overdosed by the big city. And once the tram entered into the CBD, I got swallowed by skyscrapers all around us. The tram just stopped 200 meters to the hostel, which was great, since I was quite exhausted, and wet due to walking half of the day through the heat.

Sea shepherds and the Marvel Stadium of Melbourne

Once I arrived at the massive Discovery Hostel, that was really ugly and full of people at that time, before New Year, over 5 floors and a big rooftop, but cheap, I checked into my room, shared with 7 other people that were really nice and changing daily, but I never got idiots on my room. After trashing my stuff on my bed I left the hostel and looked for places to get some bin food.

Free bin food

Walking away from the skyscrapers, through pot smoking and drinking backpackers, that were hanging out in front of the hostel, I saw a massive parking area, at least two soccer fields big, and next to it halls that were together three soccer fields big. That was when I discovered the huuge Victoria market, just 300 meters from the hostel.  The Queen Victoria Market survives today as the largest and most intact of Melbourne’s great nineteenth century markets and is listed on the Historic Building Register to protect it from becoming a trade center, office and hotel complex. The market was established in the late 1860s to serve as both a wholesale and retail market for the rapidly growing population of the city of Melbourne. Closed 2 days a week of that on day is made as night market which offers dining, bars, live entertainment and a variety of other stalls. The market offers both local and international visitors a variety of fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood, gourmet and delicatessen food as well as specialty delicacies. It also has a large non-food related market, selling a diverse range handmade crafts nd art as well as clothes and shoes. For me it was my supply for vegetables nearly every day. Bins too full to close the lid, filled with still enjoyable healthy vegetables after 4 o’clock. Nice. Through this, I could cut my expanses only to the 15 dollars a night in the hostel. After filling up a carton with food and sharing the rest, that I didn’t take for my food with my floor, the second floor, I made some delicious lunch and left to get some spices and oil. I couldn’t believe that there was an Aldi store just 2 minutes walk the other way of the hostel. I kind of missed Aldi, since we always went to Aldi to get our groceries at home. After that I started walking around and discovered Melbourne by foot.

Melbourne is a massive city with a great vibe. It has a temperate oceanic climate with hot summers and cool winters. Due to its location on the boundary of hot inland and cool southern areas it got changeable weather conditions, for those Melbourne is well known for. These cold fronts are creating gales, thunderstorms and hail, as well as large temperature drops and heavy rain. Like many urban cities Melbourne faces environmental issues, like drought on water supply, resulting to water restrictions. Because of its low density housing, Melbourne has one of the largest urban footprints in the world and following a vast suburban sprawl, with minimal public transport and a high level of car dependence. Not supporting their 2020 goal to reduce carbon emission to net zero. On the other hand Melbourne’s CBD, compared with other Australian cities, has unrestricted height limits. As a result, it has become Australia’s most densely populated area with approximately 19,500 residents per square kilometer, and is home the most skyscrapers in Australian cites, the tallest being Eureka tower with a 297.3-meters of height. Loads of vegetation in the city is non native including many invasive species and noxious weeds. Being an international cultural center and serving as Australia’s cultural capital, with prominent offerings in the form of major events and festivals, drama, musicals, comedy, music, art, architecture, literature, film and television,it held for seven years in a row, the top position in the world’s most livable cities, partly to its broad cultural offering. The waterfront location and nightlife make it one of the most vibrant destinations in Australia. As of the 2016 census, 62% of the five million Melburnians speak only English at home. But Melbourne is not only cultural rich, it is also a beautiful city, packed with gardens and parks, also known as the Australia’s garden city and its state Victoria was once known as the garden state.

The CBD was full of Asian looking people and there is even a China town in the city. Street art is I think the hugest street art I ever saw in a big city. From awesome art to tags over tags on everything that was able to write on. It took me around 4 days to finally see the sea, because Melbourne is so big.

Victoria Market after 5 o’clock.

I was lucky that I met Abby and her German friend, that showed me around in Melbourne and introduced me to some cool stuff that was going on in Melbourne. Like the restaurant ‘Lentils as anything’ and spots to chill out and party. I preferred to hang out in parks though than party, but she also showed me the botanic gardens and St. Kilda. I really liked the vibes in St. Kilda. She and her friend also invited me to spend New Years together, that was a quite lame house party and sadly we missed the big fireworks, but well it was a cool night anyway. Not as cool as expected though. Luckily we separated us from the party and saw the last moments of the massive fireworks of Melbourne from a high wall of a builiding. It was a great spot from that we could see the whole skyline of Melbourne. A week after new year I left the hostel and started to live in the streets or more in the massive park of St. Kilda.

But more to that the next time in my blog. About the living on the street, volunteering for Lentils as anything and finding a good friend in Melbourne. About mission ‘clothes of Lorna’ the Australian opens, beautiful trees and parks, me getting into yoga and finding my favourie spot in Melbourne. The library. Also why I think living on the streets is not to bad and the realization of time management in comparison off wifi signal, living in a house to living outside without wifi or signal.

Maybe think about installing a timer on your WiFi. Check that your Bluetooth is off. I am convinced that the frequency is not healthy for us.

Leave a Reply