My Australian Summer-Winter was one of the wildest things I had the opportunity to live in all my travel-life.
When you land, in December, in a place where you feel what your mind recognizes as spring and/or summer perfumes and air lightness, you understand that everything it’s going to be crazy.
This mazes vas to me even cstronger during the very first jet lag sleepless night! I heard animal sounds I’d never heard before, there was that ocean wind that made the temperature change so crazily during the day (well, there’s a reason if they say that in Victoria you’ll Experience the “4 seasons in one day”…
and you can see it trought my outfits in several hours of the same period, during my Travel in Melbourne and all around the Victoria State.
Now, to celebrate this crazy wildness, I’ll tell you the top 6 wild things I did in the state of Victoria and why I was so amazed by them.
#1 – I Walked along ‘crowded’ streets and meditated about ny European idea of ‘crowd’ and ‘spaces’
First of all, let’s say that the Australian federal state of Victoria is the second smallest state in the continent; its SMALL 227,600 square kilometers and are populated by no more than 5.7 million people, three-quarters of which in Melbourne.
I come from Europe, and this sense of ‘human endless human deserthood’ is so strange to me and can be perceived as soon as you get out of Melbourne for a hike in the outskirts.
#2 – Look at the variety of landscapes
Over than “4 seasons in one day” the state of Victoria will make you experience a thousand landscapes in a few miles:
Victoria houses 1600 kilometers of coastline, rocky shores and sandy beaches South, peaks of almost 2,000 meters high East, fertile and gentle hills in the center, wild hinterland and rainforests in the West and North. If you Travel there, your eyes will be overwhelmed by diversification.
#3 – Wild animals watching
Australia has a huge amount of animal species almost unknown and unseen in Europe (and in the rest of the world). Going to a zoo to see them all is ok… but not my cup of tea. (by the way, Melbourne zoo is big and very well done, and the animals are ‘kind-of-free’).
If you go to Philip Island you’ll have the chance to see the lovely Blue Fairy penguins. The island, just an hour and a half from Melbourne, is a natural paradise. The penguin parade at dusk, when they return from hunting for food and go back to their refuge on the beach.
There are places such as the amazing Cape Otway National Park where you can see dozens Cangaroos jumping or resting but, if you are well driven by a local, you’ll be able to see Cangaroos also in the outskirts of Melbourne, at down. They just run free in the shadowy and cool moments of the day, so be a early bird.
I saw free cangaroos also in the wide and mild hills of the Yarra.
# 4 – Yarra Valley (and local wines)
If you are a nature lover and a wine lover, don’t loose the chance to visit the local wineries spread all around the area. I was lucky enought to taste some good cabernet and sauvignon blanc by Mandala and Allinda.
The yarra Valley is also a good place to enjoy festivals and sport events: you’ll find here more infos and accomodation tips.
If you a travelling wine lover, you might also like this post about the Top 5 winter destinations for wine lovers
#5 – Look for gold and History
The Goldfields, an hour’s drive north west of Melbourne, is the area where gold was found for the first time in Victoria, giving way to the gold race of the fifties and sixties of the nineteenth century.
Visiting the villages of Ballaray and and Bendigo is a way to learn how people used to live in these settlements looking like the most known USA Far West, you’ll experience the way life went around the search of gold and richness and the way people coming from all over the world (mainly Europe and China) lived together trying to keep their homeland habits.
You all know I love the museum-villages (like those I also visited in Timisoara and Stockholm), and the one in Ballarat is like living in that period, experiencing the spaces, the dust, their cohabitation needs and social problems that sometimes derived from that.
And… well… I fell in love with all that shabby furnitures!
#6 – Ocean watching
It’s not, for sure, just a matter of watching but also of feeling the wind over the skin (it’s freezing, even in Summer).
California Highway 1 is the Great Ocean Road, is one f the most fascinating scenic route in Australia. It stretches for 253 km south of Melbourne, heading west.
The popular 12 Apostoles are just along this road. With a little ‘luck you might spot the whales in the ocean, and meet koalas and kangaroos in their natural habitat.
If you have experienced other wild things in Australia, please tell me in the comments below!
I’ll write soon more specifically about Melbourne, focusing on night life and the more Indie activities to do, so stay tuned!