St Kilda was a great place to stay-loads of pubs and little cafes to kick back. There is an amusement park there- Luna park, its has a heritage listed roller coaster and if you saw it you'd know why! It looked a bit rickety and with a long queue we decided to give it a miss. There's a nice promenade too, even got to see some penguins there.
When Olivia arrived we did a few things like going to see an AFL game in the MCG grounds, the game we went to see Adelaide V's Bulldogs and it was tipped to be a close one. It was exciting enough at the start but in the end Adelaide won well but the best entertainment was before the game started. Before the game you'd expect to see both teams warming up so it was a first for us to see the referee and co.(linesman, umpires, water boys)do a full warm up. As it was the international comedy week in Melbourne we went to see this Aussie comedian, Damien Callinan. Some of the Irish comedians were playing too but it was good to go an see an Aussie and his sketch was an hilarious take on Australian footie in a hic town called bodgy creek. For our last day in Melbourne we rented a car and headed out the great ocean road which is west of Melbourne and has some of the best beaches and great views along the way.
Arrived in Sydney on a late flight from Melbourne and had booked into a hostel in the Kings Cross area, again, I'm sure this is an area lonely planet would call Bohemian, had loads of character alright, we ended up staying in a right dive which had two transvestite prostitutes outside the door drumming up business! Olivia reckons she could still hear them when she woke around 5, you have to admire their dedication....
We didn't have any real time in Sydney but did the usual touristy things, got a ferry out to Manley, photos with the opera house in the background, Sydney harbour bridge
(we didn't have enough time to do the bridge climb, although me and Olivia managed to make it to the top of one of the pylons on the bridge). A trip to Sydney is not complete without going to see Bondi so me and and Gareth went out to see what all the hype was about for ourselves.
The waves were great so much so that Gareth nearly managed to drown while there but all in all it was a great experience!(you didn't nearly die madigan-Gareth) That evening we met up with an English couple, Helen and John that I had just bumped into that day, we had been on the Inca trail together back in January so it was great to catch up, no doubt we'll bump into them again in Asia.
Something that no one warned us about though was GOON! We went back to the hostel for a cheese and wine reception after that (ie cheddar cheese and the cheapest wine you can find) and thats when the fun started! The 'wine' we were drinking was a 'fish, egg and nut product', no mention of grapes in this stuff. Never again, it nearly killed us.(We only discovered how bad it was after 6 liters-Gareth)
So the next day in a very hungover stage we hiked across town and rented an estate car and decided our first stop had to be Palm beach, home of the 'home and away' set. Sure I was in my element when we got there and they were actually filming, even got a photo taken with Jack (I'm looking abit delirious in the photos, it was all too much!).
Gareth was abit disappointed that Sally wasn't there that day but we were hopeful of a photo with Alf only to find out it was an Alf double, we felt robbed?! After the excitement of the day we headed on up the to Newcastle, roll on the east coast.
Arrived in Melbourne on the Easter bank weekend only to find that most places were full so so we booked into the first hostel we could find- it was a bit of a kip so later that night we went off in search of another hostel for the next few days. The area we were staying in -St Kilda, must be where all the Irish (and English) stay as every hostel or pub we went into were full of big thick culchie accents( from way out whest Clare-Gareth)! We eventually found a hostel for the next night and it was full of Irish-we're everywhere. After the hectic three weeks in NZ we spent the bank holiday weekend mostly relaxing.