Lots of fun along the Mitta Mitta

One of the longest sections on our journey through Australia was the one between the cities Melbourne and Sydney. Where others would simply take the train or board a plane, we decided to hit the road for two consecutive days and have some fun along the way.

After enjoying a small rafting adventure on the river Iller in the South of Germany in September it was pretty clear that we should do something similar in Australia. We decided to book a day trip on the Mitta Mitta River provided by Rafting Australia, which was comfortably located on our journey towards Sydney.

We therefore booked a night at the Snug as a bug Motel in Omeo, which I can recommend. The offer in Omeo is quite small and during our visit not much was available. After a small snack, we then went on a small hike for the Oriental Claims following the path of the Livingstone Creek. The oriental claims are a former gold mining operation (claim) by the Oriental company from 1876 to 1904, hence the name. It is a nice and interesting walk.

The next day, we headed off for our rafting adventure. As the river hold a lot of water at this time of the year, we were told to have the most exciting route in front of us. Yet first we had to get the boat down to the river, which was already pretty exhausting and an adventure in its own right. After being instructed on a wider part of the river, our adventure could finally start.

For hours we now enjoyed the rapids as well as the quitter passages of the river all embedded in a beautiful landscape. We had a great spirit in the small team and some great talks along the way. At one point we got a small lunch break and enjoyed a particularly nice pumpkin soup. Back to full strength we then continued on the last stage of our river adventure which featured some pretty impressive rapids. We had a blast!

After our rafting experience, our adventure was by far not yet over. In order to get to our next hotel, we were being told a short cut, where we had to go a bit off-road. We did not have the right car for doing so, nor did we have good tires, yet we did it anyways. My friend was quite afraid when I was driving through the serpentines, and we started to slide a bit. The path was quite hilly, which doubled the fun or the fear – depending on which person you asked. After a while we then hit the normal roads again, which were a bit easier to drive on. After riding along Lake Hume for a bit, we then passed the Murray River and entered New South Wales.

I booked a night at the Holbrook Town Center Motor Inn. As we arrived late, I had to call in. While doing so, I wondered why I could not hear anything. After looking at my phone for quite a bit, I then realised that I was still connected to the Bluetooth of the car, and it was acting like a giant speaker. I then called again, and shortly thereafter we could get into our room. As the staff could not charge my credit card for whatever reason, we were waked up quite early and forced to pay. Apart of that, we had a good stay.

On the next day, we took the remaining 500km towards Sydney for Milsons Point. After passing the Harbour Bridge and finding a parking spot, I headed for the nearby Luna Park Sydney, while Aris enjoyed the surrounding area.


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Brighton Beach and the Dandenong Ranges

To shorten the waiting time until the late evening opening of Luna Park Melbourne, we started our day at Brighton Beach, which is mainly known for its colourful beach huts. Instead of some fun on the beach, however, an immensely high number of freshly hatched flies awaited us, which is why we only stayed here for a short time and headed back to the car as quickly as possible. It took a while until we could get rid of the last fly. With the window open and a bit of driving, it finally worked.

Our second stop took us to the Dandenong Ranges National Park. We parked at Grant’s Picnic Ground, where the first Rosella parakeets were already waiting for us. At a small feeding station you can also feed cockatoos here, which can of course be found in larger numbers.

Meanwhile, we were drawn to the rainforest. We first followed the Coles Ridge Track in the direction of Belgrave. On the way, we decided to have a look at Sherbrooke Falls, so we first changed to the Tregellas Track and then to the Bleakley Track. After crossing the Monbulk Road at the Micawber Tavern, things got really interesting. On the Hillclimb Track, we followed Sherbrooke Creek up the mountain, which gave us a sense of adventure due to the dense vegetation.

The Sherbrooke Falls were a little less impressive, but this did not detract from the trip. Via the O’Donohue Track we reached the O’Donohue Picnic Ground quite leisurely. Here we were finally able to catch a glimpse of the birds that had so loudly accompanied our hike – unfortunately you can hardly see the colourful birds hidden in the trees.

The way back to Grant’s Picnic Ground led us first into a residential area. After a few metres on Sherbrooke Lodge Road, we joined the Clematis Track, which took us back to our car, always going downhill. On the way back to Melbourne, we took advantage of a short petrol stop in Lysterfield to have something to eat at Nando’s.

Pictures Brighton Beach and Dandenong Ranges


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Walking through Melbourne

The second day in Melbourne started with a free walking tour by I’m Free Tours. Here we got to know some of the city, whereby the walking tour focused to a large extent on the really impressive street art of the city. It was quite an entertaining walk – but I didn’t retain much of the information. Since the tour ended at the Arts Centre with its funny Eiffel Tower-esque roof construction on the other side of the Yarra River – probably Melbourne’s answer to Sydney’s Opera House – we made our way from here towards the Shrine of Remembrance. On the way, we visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, which are really worth seeing.

The Shrine of Remembrance is one of the largest war memorials in Australia. Originally built as a memorial to all the men and women of Victoria who served in the First World War, it quickly became the central memorial to all 60000 Australians who died in the war. Today it serves as a memorial to all Australians who served in the war. The monument is truly impressive. From the Terrace you also have an excellent panoramic view.

After resting a little at the hotel, we went back to the city centre in the evening to see the musical Come From Away at the Comedy Theatre. The play, which revolves around the events of 9/11 and the resulting closure of American airspace, is quite remarkable. Each actor plays at least 10 roles, whether a resident of Newfoundland or one of the passengers on the 38 planes stranded in Gander. Several smaller stories are told; some tragic, some funny and some simply beautiful.

After our visit to the theatre, we went to one of the many rooftop bars in the city. The pleasant climate, the great ambience and the lighting of the other skyscrapers created an atmosphere that I have rarely experienced. Melbourne is a truly great city.

Pictures Melbourne


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