04 October, 2018

[TRAVEL] 7D6N Melbourne Itinerary: Phillip Island, Brighton Bathing Boxes & St Kilda


Oh hello, our trip in Melbourne continues! 

Day 2 in Melbourne continues with our journey of exploring Phillip Island Nature Parks before heading back to town and spend our night in St Kilda. So it's a day of being away from the city, staying close to the nature and enjoying winter breezes!



7D6N Itinerary in Melbourne
Day 0: KL - Melbourne
Day 1: Melbourne - Yarra Valley - Phillip Island (Blog)
Day 2Phillip Island Natural Parks - Brighton Beach - St. Kilda (Blog)
Day 3: Great Ocean Road (Blog) 
Day 4: Sightseeing in Melbourne CBD - Flinders Station, St Paul Cathedral,
State Library of Victoria, Block Arcade, Docklands (Blog)
Day 5: Yarra River, Queen Victoria Gardens, NGV Australia, Shrine of Remembrance (Blog)
Day 6: Hosier Lane, Queen Victoria Market, Richmond, Southbank (Blog)
Day 7: Melbourne - KL


To give you a big picture of our Day 2 itinerary, here's the map of Phillip Island. 

After our first experience seeing penguins at the Penguin Parade the night before, we spend a night staying in Ventnor, Phillip Island which is very close to all the tourist spots. Despite of the proximity, our home in Ventnor is absolutely quiet, calm and free from disturbance.

On the following day, we visit another two attractions in the Nature Parks -- Koalas and Churchill Island -- using the same Phillip Island Combo Ticket which we have gotten from Klook. 

Travelling Tips:
Alternatively, you can plan for a day trip to Phillip Island covering all the attractions:
❤ Koala Conversation Centre
❤ Churchill Island Heritage Farm
❤ Penguin Parade
❤ Wild Ocean EcoBoat Tours, and
❤ Nobbies Centre
without having to stay overnight here.

Ventnor, Phillip Island
Ventnor Homestay by Leonie via Airbnb 
2 Fisher St,
Ventnor VIC 3922,
Australia.
$$$
RM326 per night for two double rooms (fit 4 persons)

The Airbnb we choose is like a cottage sitting by the sea, located away from the crowded and noisy central tourist area of Cowes. All we can hear for the entire night is the melody of calm waves and light wind. If you are lucky, you can watch whales here too!

Good morning from Ventnor, Phillip Island, Melbourne! 

It is freezing cold on a September morning, 10°C but that does not stop us from getting some fresh morning breezes by the sea as the lovely north-facing beach is only 50 metre away. The morning coldness actually travels down the spine and wakes me up almost instantly.

The unit is part of Leonie's home, but self-contained, with two bedrooms and separate shower room. Both bedrooms are spacious and have comfortable chairs for relaxing. The private dining room is equipped with fridge and microwave oven too.

It is sad to leave such an amazing home, and the host, Leonie is a sweet old lady that takes really good care of us by providing plenty of thick blankets, in-room warmer, and simple breakfasts. Highly recommended for short stay!

Our car fits perfectly at the garage in the Airbnb. 

Sea view from our Airbnb. ❤ How beautiful!

Koala Conversation Centre

Koala Conservation Centre
1810 Phillip Island Road,
Phillip Island, Victoria 3923, Australia.

Here we are at our first stop of the day, Koala Conservation Centre. As we have already collected our Phillip Island Combo Ticket at Penguin Parade the night before, we can skip the queue and enter into the centre right away.

$$$
Phillip Island Combo Ticket (3 parks) @ RM175 per pax
 
And we saved AUD13 admission fee since it has already been included in our combo ticket!

Travelling Tips:
Prebook your ticket here to skip the queue and enjoy savings on various Phillip Island attractions.

You can get RM20 OFF for your first purchase on Klook using my promo code:
KLOOKFISH
*Promo code is valid for all activities on Klook across the globe
including Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and more

Welcome to the Koala Boardwalk!

To my disappointment, there are only a few koalas in this place, and most of them are sleeping during the day we visit (FYI because koalas sleep 20 hours a day and only stay active when the sun sets!). Plus, I don't see any booth for close interaction / photo taking with koala like how I did in Sydney last year.

Nevertheless, you can still watch them from close distance when they sleep like a baby on the tree.

Awww....look at the koala! It's such a cute fluffy ball.

We spot some wallabies in the bushes too. But actually there are more wallabies out there in the wild as we come across along our road trip. They are bigger in size too!

Travelling Tips:
Alternatively, you may visit Maru Koala and Animal Park (about 30 minutes drive away from Phillip Island / 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne CBD) for closer interactions with koalas and wallabies (i.e. baby kangaroos). Personally, I feel that would be a better experience for first timers.

Don't forget to bring home some Koala Pennies (AUD2 each) as souvenir!

Churchill Island Heritage Farm
Churchill Island Heritage Farm
246 Samuel Amess Drive, 
Churchill Island, Newhaven 3925, Australia.

Our last stop in the Phillip Island Nature Parks is the Churchill Island Heritage Farm which is only 10 minutes drive from the koala home. Again, our entrance fee has already been covered by thePhillip Island Combo Ticket we got from Klook. Otherwise, the entrance costs AUD13 per person.

$$$

Phillip Island Combo Ticket (3 parks) @ RM175 per pax

Here are some of the Sunday activities happening during our visit. Nothing much, really, just some wagon rides, cow milking, sheep shearing, whip cracking and working dogs demonstrations which are more suitable for children.

Travelling Tips:
Bring your kids here and enjoy picnic amidst the lush greenery with a magnificent ocean view!

Can you believe that Churchill Island is only 57 hectares wide? And now this Victoria's heritage is open to the public as a historic working farm that boasts significant natural and cultural values with world-class wetlands, ancient Moonah trees, heritage gardens and historic buildings.

Unlike any ordinary farm, this is surrounded by the sea so you can enjoy the coastline walks with magnificent views of Phillip Island and Western Port.

If you prefer more greenery and colorful flowers, take a relaxing stroll through the fragrant cottage gardens and lawns, then explore the restored farmhouse and cottages that give you a glimpse into the past lives of early Australian settlers and past farming practices.

Here you can enjoy lunch with a glass of wine on the grass or in the cafeteria while immersing yourself in the magnificently beautiful natural landscape.


We have nothing much to do here except for getting on a wagon ride (like a local school kid there! LOL) since our time of visit coincides with the activity hour.


Travelling Tips:
Overall, Churchill Island Heritage Farm is a great place to relax deep in the greens although I find it more suitable for families. Do drop by only if you have free time to spare.

We are done with our half day tour around Phillip Island Nature Parks (including Penguin Parade in the evening before). And it's time to head back to town before our Great Ocean Road trip on the next day.

Brighton Bathing Boxes
Brighton Bathing Boxes
Esplanade, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia.

After another 120 km car ride (roughly 1 hour 45 minutes drive from Churchill Island), we finally arrive at the ever famous Brighton Bathing Boxes. Photo alert! There are plenty of Instagram-worthy photo taking opportunities here.

After driving outskirt for days, we almost forget to pay our parking fees when we are back in town. LMAO! Don't learn from us, as there is no free parking spot here at the Brighton Beach.

$$$
Parking rate is AUD5.70 per hour, and the ticketing machine only accepts credit / debit cards. (=RM17 per hour)

Like the internationally-known Blue Boat House in Perth, the Brighton beach boxes in Melbourne are one of the most photographed spots around the country!

I mean, how can you not love these iconic group of 82 brightly colored wooden beach huts which are over 100 years old? Built since early 1900s, they still retain their charm of a bygone era, and despite only being the size of a garden shed, each beach box sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars and are only available to buy for local residents!

Beach is home! Am happy to visit this sunny beach with melodies of waves coming from the deep blue ocean! I notice that each wooden hut lining Brighton Beach is numbered but strolling past 82 of them is just too much for our feet. By the time we reach No.50-ish, it is almost time for us to leave already before the sky turns dark.

Colors like this would definitely brighten my day regardless! The time spent on strolling along the wooden huts lining Brighton Beach while watching the seagull along the beach line and surfers (hot hunks!) in the sea is probably the best time I have for the day.

How about licking an icy cold gelato while strolling along the beach?
As much as I am tempted to, I can't stand the winter chill with ice cream!

Till we meet again, Brighton Bathing Boxes! 

Travelling Tips:
You only need roughly 1 hour at this attraction (including photo-taking time) and be mindful of the parking hour if you are driving. 

Dinner in St. Kilda, Melbourne
St Moritz
138-140 Acland Street,
St. Kilda. 3182, Victoria, Australia.
Contact: +61 3 9525 4464
Email: info@stmoritzstkilda.com.au
Instagram: @stmoritzstkilda

Business Hours
Mon - Fri: 7am - Late
Sat - Sun: 8am - Late 

The day ends with an overnight stay in St. Kilda, the suburb of Melbourne which is just 15 minutes drive from Brighton Beach, where we have our dinner at St. Moritz, a modern Australian restaurant with live band during weeknights.


Travelling Tips: 
Along the long Acland Street, there are plenty of eateries to choose from. Some of the recommended ones by the locals are: Abbey Road Cafe, Rococo and La Roche.

As the sky has already fallen by the time we reach St. Kilda, we did not get to do some shopping at the famous Esplanade Market which operates from 10am to 4pm (with over 250 stalls!) or stroll along St. Kilda beach. So if you are there, plan your time and make sure you visit these two iconic places!

$$$
AUD25 - AUD40 per pax for food only, excluding beverages

Good to tuck into such a delicious meal before calling a night and waking up early on the next morning for our much awaited Great Ocean Road road trip.


Base Backpackers
17 Carlisle St,
St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia.
Website: www.stayatbase.com

Base Backpackers group has been very famous and dubbed as the backpackers' favourite hostel in Australia and New Zealand. But the one we stay in St Kilda, Melbourne gives us sort of a meh experience.

Overall, it is an extremely small and budget backpacker's place which I personally don't recommend. Extremely small room, strong stench, dirty common cooking area. But on the bright side, we are glad to have a private bathroom in our room (not public sharing).
.
$$$
AUD114 per room for 4 (=RM89 per pax per night)


Next up: [Day 3 in Melbourne] Follow me for my next journey along Great Ocean Road!

Will be sharing with you about our road trip from St Kilda to Great Ocean Road, the Australian natural heritage and finally driving over 300km back to Melbourne. So, stay tuned! 

More about my Melbourne travelogue:
#1 2D1N in Yarra Valley & Phillip Island
#2 Great Ocean Road One-Day Tour
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