September 16, 2017 by Terumi
Why do we not have a teleport button yet in 2017? I would totally push mine and head back to Melbourne ASAP. I am sitting at a desk filled with back to school paperwork (the same back to school paperwork we fill out every year btw), I have a pile of last night’s dishes in the sink and all I want to do is scroll through pic after pic from our Australia trip and conjure myself back to the land of yummy things and beautiful animals so I don’t have to face real life today. I want to go see penguins in Melbourne and drink milkshakes in cool restaurants. I want to explore and adventure and sitting here with all this grown-upping makes me feel so stuck.
Because we were on a month and a half long trip with kids when we went to Australia, a land faraway from our home in Seattle, it was important for us to find reasonably priced apartment-style accomodations and especially places with washers and dryers because we had only packed a small suitcase each. We had a bit of a problem with an Airbnb in Tokyo on a recent trip so I was a little hesitant to book one on this adventure which was sad because it usually is the easiest way to find an apartment. I ended up finding quite a few on Expedia and lucked upon a real gem in Melbourne: the Serviced Apartments Melbourne-Platinum. We were just looking for an apartment in a good location when we booked so I was excited that it had a grocery store in the bottom and the kids were delighted to find out it also had an amazing swimming pool on its roof. This was one of our favorite places to stay on our trip and it made it feel like we were living in Australia even though we were just there for a visit. The kids had a blast in the pool every night and I wondered if we could live in a place like this long-term.
We totally fell in love with Melbourne. One of the reasons it was so fun was that there were so many adorable alleys to stroll down and find cafe after beautiful cafe tucked between enticing shops and pretty street art. We spent a few days wandering the streets in between outdoor adventures, playing at the parks and going to a footie game. We even really enjoyed going to the mall-we went to Chadstone Shopping Center and it was lovely-I can’t recommend the food courts in Australia enough for eating out with families. I wish our malls in America had food courts like these! I think Melbourne would be such a beautiful place to live.
One thing that I didn’t expect to see in Melbourne were penguins. I thought we might try to head to Phillips Island where I read that there were penguins but it seemed like this might be a little far to go (90 minutes away) and a little touristy and we were a little toured out at this point in our travels (Melbourne was our 5th week of a 6 week trip). But then I heard there might be penguins at St Kilda’s Pier and I couldn’t believe how close this was to our place in Melbourne. On our way we stopped at the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes to see the colorful structures and I fell even more deeply in love with this beautiful place.
I was scared we would miss the penguins so we arrived at St Kilda’s Pier too early. Penguins do not arrive until about 30 minutes after sunset and since we were there in May, it was really windy and cold. We froze as we waited and waited. Then other people started to arrive. And then a few penguins arrived and some volunteers told us how to interact with the penguins-you can use red light, you cannot use selfie sticks, we were visitors in the penguin habitat. I really appreciated how these volunteers helped people be more respectful around the animals. The kids were excited with the few penguins we saw and I was sad that we were frozen so we decided we would come back again the next day a little later to see how many penguins would eventually arrive.
Penguins arriving at night is a magical thing and all of us were in complete awe-we didn’t take a lot of pictures, we just took the whole experience in. They are noisy. They are adorably cute. These penguins are ‘fairy penguins’ too, so they are a lot tinier than the ones we see in our zoo in Seattle. It’s amazing that they live in Australia in the wild. If I lived in Melbourne, you would probably find me at St. Kilda’s every other day and after seeing all the penguins in St. Kilda’s I probably would visit Phillips Island too. On the alternate days you would find me looking for koalas on the Great Ocean Road……
Do you dream about animal adventures? I’d love to hear if you’ve been to a place you can’t get out of your head. I love living vicariously through others’ adventures! I totally want to go back here one day!
Category Australia with kids, FAMILY TRAVELS, RESTAURANTS, trip-planning | Tags: Apartment style hotel in Melbourne, Family travel to Australia, Looking for penguins in Melbourne with kids, Melbourne family trip ideas, Month long holiday with kids from the US in Australia, Where to stay in Melbourne with a family