Melbourne Travelogue Part 1 : Exploring Melbourne City + Brunching

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Hello guys! It's me again and I'm back with another travelogue! Hopefully I wouldn't abandon it halfway this time (like I did for Perth), so sorry!
Read Perth part 1 , 2 , 3 
Nevertheless I'm still trying to finish up my Perth travelogue and have given you guys my itinerary. For those that are unaware, you may email me for my full itinerary and I'll send it to you!
This trip to Melbourne is my graduation trip (sorta) to myself. Despite being there for work, I am still blessed with the opportunity to travel with my closest bunch of girlfriends. We also celebrated our tenth anniversary of friendship this year so this trip was a really meaningful one.

Not only did we celebrate graduation and our 10th year friendship, it also signified the starting of our lives as real adults, stepping into the workforce. One last good trip before all the responsibilities come in, eh?

First 2 days of Melbourne were spent in Melbourne city. I love this city for being so vibrant and fun, the architecture were all colourful, and came in very interesting shapes and sizes. Really different from Perth and it confirmed my love for Australia, hehe
First stop, Hammer and Tong
 Melbourne is famous for their cafes and I'm thinking of making a list of cafes I visited in Melbourne and all over the Great Ocean Road Trip so I'm gonna save the details for that post.
I would recommend this place for their coffee, and soft shell crab burgers. yum. My friends enjoyed their pancakes a lot too and there was an interesting twist on this dish - maple syrup ice cream instead of the usual syrup you'd get. People with sweet tooth would love this.

Hammer and Tong
412 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia

The first day was running all of our errands and getting settled in. Picked up our rented car, a Toyota Kluger 7 seater driver from the airport and was so shocked at how big it was. Literally.. We could fit 4 to 5 people at the back seat. 😂 For a 1.63m girl like me, the car was a little too tall. But thank god for allowing us to have such a smooth and safe trip! 
We rented our car from Thrifty, one of the cheapest for the car we found.
The cost added up to AUD$1,100 for 7.5 days split among 5 people.

We headed to Optus in town to get our SIM cards fixed. There's one in the Melbourne airport but the queue was soooo long we thought it would be stupid to queue up for hours for it.
The store in the city was much bigger and they had more staff to help tourists get their sim ready. I would highly recommend Optus because it's really cheap and good! $2 AUD for 500 MB data per day, and if you exceed the 500MB data limit, you can top up another $2 for 1 GB data that will last you till 2359hrs for the day. This plan comes with unlimited phone calls and texts within Australia as well. So in total I spent AUD$20 for super good and fast connection during the 8 days I was there!

The first day, I was wearing something really casual and comfy. I paired this slit dress from Shoplovet with a pair of comfy sneakers and a denim jacket for a laid back look.
We knew nightfall was coming too soon (sun sets at 5:30pm during winter) so we decided to head to the Brighton Beach to catch the gorgeous sunset. The Brighton beach bathing boxes were as beautiful as it looked when I saw it online. There were about 30? Or more of them? All lined up across the beach and we were very lucky to be able to get photos without too many tourists. 

I would say that this spot is definitely a must go if you're looking for good photo locations. The different coloured houses made it really interesting and easy to shoot! And when the sun sets, boy, the Sun rays are worth it.

We had our graduation photoshoot here, and was very lucky to have Andy with us on this trip to capture our moments.
For dinner, we headed to a Korean restaurant located in town, called Joomak.
It was super difficult to locate and as usual, I got lazy and decided not to bring my camera with me because it was too heavy and my hands were too cold 

I would recommend the kimchi stew, beef bulgogi, seafood kimchi pancake and the Japchae! 
Please skip the fried chicken, it was so pathetically small and dry. Nevertheless the restaurant served really good kimchi and other dishes mentioned! I would say much better than the ones I've had in Singapore so if you're up for some good Korean food, try this out!

Day 2 : Melbourne City
We decided to try out some cafes before driving out the Warburton Redwood Forest for our photo shoot. Headed to Hardware Street as there were 2 famous cafes -Hash specialty Coffee and Roasters and Hardware Societe located there. It was a Saturday so the cafes were both really crowded. Hash specialty had a waiting time of 30 mins while Hardware Societe was 1 hour. It was insane!
Anyway we got to seats at Hash first and I gotta say that the hot chocolate we ordered upon searching for recommendations on Instagram was pretty disappointing.

 It was a little too thick and sweet for our tastebuds but nevertheless It got everyone snapping happily away because of its presentation. The chocolate was served in a chemical flask and the cup had a cloud of cotton candy on top. When you start pouring hot chocolate in, it starts to melt the cotton candy making it look like a cloud raining chocolate!
The mains though, were fantastic. My favourite was the cured kingfish that didn't sound too appetising but the combination of the fish and Rosti.. Perfect. 

The eggs Benedict were made really well too! For Desserts we ordered Panna Cotta and while it looked super pretty, the texture of the Panna cotta could have been finer. But still!! Go ahead and order them because looking at them would make your day already!

Hash Specialty Coffee Roasters
Australia, 113 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC, Australia

Hopped over to Hardware Societe after that and ordered 2 of their specialities - the Fried Brioche and Lobster Burger. I would say that at this point we were all really full so we couldn't really enjoy the food thoroughly. 
But the fried brioche was really really good. And the lobster burger was... Very decent as well. I could see why there were such long queues outside!

Hardware Societe Melbourne
Australia, 120 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC, Australia

We then drove to Warburton redwood forest. THIS IS A MUST GO GUYS! Totally no regrets making this detour out because this place was so so so surreal. The trees were lined up so perfectly, we joked about how OCD people would love this forest.

How can everything look so uniform? 
The tall trees made really good picture spots but sadly our camera equipment did the place no justice at all. Thankfully I got to capture everything with my very eyes and I wish I could show you guys the sight I have in my mind right now. Serene, beautiful and really reminded me of how wonderful this world is and how much of this world I HAVE to see.
Second day's outfit from Shoplovet was something very casual as well, but can be dressed up or down easily. The Stripe Spaghetti top allows for some tummy space and I love thin straps like this because it gives you an impression of a leaner chest and shoulder. 

Nightfall came really soon as we got too carried away shooting. And we scurried to pack up and stopped by for dinner at Innocent Bystander along our drive back to Melbourne city.
The restaurant had a bar at the side as they produced their own wines. Customers could taste wines while waiting for their seats and that was the highlight of the entire night. We had free, and good wine. Glass after glass, I think I had about 12 glasses in total! Bagged a bottle home because some were too good to be missed and they were really affordable!

Check back for Part 2: The Great Ocean Road Trip really soon!
As usual, if you'd like the full itinerary, I'm happy to share :) Do drop me an email at 

Most photos are by Andy Loke (
Wardrobe by Shoplovet

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