Ahh, the Aussie accent. Melbourne. Pronounced, Mel-ben (the 2nd e sounding like A in about).
Anywho, we docked in the Port of Melbourne for our 8th stop – and 1st Australian city. We headed straight into the CBD via bus and decided to hire a car. We thought that it wouldn’t hurt to pass up Melbourne’s “city” highlights considering we would have our fill of “city” sights while in Sydney. Our plan was to head straight out to the beaches. I really wanted to check out the Great Ocean Road as it’s a top-billed thing to do in Victoria, however, we were under time constraints. So, we decided just to get as close to the GOR as possible. Being the surfer, Justin knew of Bells Beach in Victoria that would be in perfect distance for our schedule.

The coast was really beautiful, but damn! there were crazy flies there! It was pretty windy, too, and I thought that the wind would blow the flies away…I was wrong. Anywho, back to the sights, we made our way to Torquay (about an hour and a half drive from the city), which is where the Great Ocean Road actually begins. Torquay was a quaint surfing town bogged down only by the sights of massive retailers like Quiksilver, Billabong and Cult. The coastline, though, was jagged and ginormous and impressive. (I mean, I’m from Florida where the greatest hills I knew of are the streets of Tallahassee! Haha!)
And, Bells Beach was cool to see because a) it’s a famous surf beach that hosts international competitions like the Rip Curl Pro; and b) it’s where the final scene of Point Break is supposedly taking place. (You know, where Utah finally tracks down Bodhi?! **Film trivia – the scene was actually shot in USA – Cannon Beach, OR, to be exact…thank you, Wikipedia)

So, after we checked out the coast and had some lunch (really good pizza!), we made our way back to the CBD. We returned the car and decided we could make the walk back to the Port. It was a bit long, but we did it! I’m sure most people on the cruise made their way straight to the CBD as we did, but the city Port Melbourne was really quite good in itself. Beaches, pubs, pokies, restaurants, cafes…it had all the flair a proper Australian city should have. We stopped at a little tavern that advertised $3.00 schooners of beer all day, plus we got some entertainment from a local-yocal who took time away from the pokie machine to tell us a few jokes.

All in all, I liked what Melbourne had to offer 🙂

–More pics on Flickr!