More Melbourne fun
Here's a brief summary of my thoughts on the rest of my activities in Melbourne because I want to get to the Phillip Island and Gippsland part ASAP.
Hidden Secrets Tour of Melbourne: Raddest. Exploring laneways and discovering all the quirk. Thanks so much to Shaun Layh for a wicked morning!
Andy Warhol/Ai Wei Wei at National Gallery of Victoria: So, so, so good. Honoured to have been able to see some of Andy Warhol’s work in the flesh and Ai Wei Wei is my spirit animal.
Press Club Projects dinner: Food geeks unite! A six-course degustation created in front of us in the experimental kitchen of chefs George Calombaris and Reuben Davis, which I can only describe as a flavour and texture adventure. And I love a good adventure. The whole thing is essentially a fun lab for the chefs who use the space to be as creative as they want and you can watch the whole process from prep to plate while they explain all the steps and ingredients as they go. Thanks for having us and putting up with my loud laugh in such a small space.
Crown Metropol: Also worth mentioning here our absolutely insane accommodation! #softestpillowseva
Out of town and out of this world
After that blurr of art, culture, bread, cheese and booze, I was off on my own to Phillip Island and Gippsland. Before this trip, I had never heard of either of these places, but I’m already planning my return.
Phillip Island has a multitude of activities and wildlife. After a morning of freaking out at the cuteness of koalas (and how much they poo. Like wow, so much poop.), I enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Cape Kitchen with uninterrupted views of the Bass Strait and a wander along the cliffs to help digest my veggies. The afternoon was then filled with seals (aka water dogs, I luff yew) and an evening at the Penguin Parade. Now the penguins really did blow my mind – literally thousands of penguins all waddling up out of the water and up the beach at dusk. I was then lucky enough to enjoy a scenic helicopter flight, which was really the cherry on top of my time on Phillip Island. It was such a buzz to see the entire island I had just explored from above
Gippsland Gippsland Gippsland. I have this newfound love for a place I never knew existed. The only problem was I didn’t have enough time there! Sitting at the very southern tip of the Australian mainland, this place is a lush and vast playground. The rural farmland and a lot of the bush actually reminded me of New Zealand. Highlights had to be lunch and 4WDing with Jenny from Gippsland Food Adventures, meeting Spud the farm dog, staying with the beautiful Mary and Peter Riedel at the Church House (a brand new B&B in an 1887 Anglican church that featured on the first episode of Grand Designs Australia!) and of course Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory. My jaw was on the floor the whole drive. Incredible landscapes, white sandy beaches and turquoise water. I really was itching to have more time here. And I’m determined to see a tiger snake in the bush – plenty of those out there.
Lola has a photography and travel blog here: lolaphotography.co.nz/blog