First stop in hitting the road from Shepparton was to head back down south to my favourite city of Melbourne for a few weeks. Adam still had two weeks left of work at this point, so I used the chance to be a lady of leisure and enjoy chilling out for two weeks in the city. While I did mostly relax and get ourselves ready for our road trip through the red centre, I did get up to a few exciting things while there.
First was the QV night market, and we attended the opening night of the winter markets. It was jam packed full of food, drink and craft stalls to browse. We grabbed ourselves a mulled cider and took a stroll right around to decide what to eat before queuing up to get what we wanted. Unfortunately a few things were sold out by this point, and with queues of over 30 minutes at some stalls we soon regretted our plan of browsing the whole thing first! I’d recommend if visiting to go either really early to get in first or really late to grab some last minute bargains, as supposedly they drop the prices towards the end to finish off stock for the night.
Being typical tourists, we took another stroll down the famous graffitied Hosier Lane, as well as visiting the beautiful State Library of Victoria and heading to the casino to check out the flame show. We also had the opportunity to visit a cool art installation that was running at the time called Neon Night Garden, with neon statues lighting up the square of QV shopping centre.
As for meals out, the highlight was The Afghan Gallery. With its intimate atmosphere and delicious food it’s one worth visiting, though sadly we had slightly slower service than we would have liked. Catching up with friends and family from across the globe, we also sampled Don Don with its great value meals, The Highlander pub where we claimed our free cocktail for subscribing to their newsletter as well as sampling various local UberEats on our nights in.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Melbourne without hitting up the nightlife. Heading out to Swan hotel, Richmond hotel, Evelyn hotel, Provincial hotel and The Peel, we made our way around quite a few over the course of two nights. All were great, with The Peel being a highlight – great atmosphere and easy-going crowd made this a big hit.
Finally, for our last night with our flatmates, we went for an evening walk around Dandenong Forest. We couldn’t see much as the sun was quickly setting, but it looks like a beautiful location and is high on my list to visit when we return. We ended the night with incredible takeaway from Moroccan Soup Bar. Don’t let the name fool you, soup isn’t on the menu! They allow you to bring your own tupperware to load up with various dishes, and the highlight of our menu was the delicious chick pea bake. Highly recommend this place to anyone.
We had a great time and we’re both dead set on coming back here and working relatively long term after the rest of our travels are complete. The only reason we’re not there now is the freezing cold weather – it’s like being back at home!