This is a post in retrospect, in that I actually took this trip a year ago. The other day one of my friends asked for my advice on road tripping around New Zealand’s South Island. So after I’d sent her my itinerary I thought I may as well go one step further and write a post about so I could share this trip and my advice with everyone else too. Our road trip began and finished in Christchurch and took us via Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown and Fox Glacier as we visited four of New Zealand’s regions: Canterbury, Otago, Southland and West Coast.
This week I was looking for a hike a bit closer to home, so I chose the Bay Trail, a path that extends along Melbourne‘s Port Phillip Coastline. The trail begins in Spotswood and runs all the way to Seaford, 45km down Melbourne’s coastline. Cycling the entire trail would be manageable in a day but walking it, not so much. Of course, you can just choose a section that suits you and that’s exactly what I did. I chose to walk the Brighton to St Kilda section and back again. This was only a 13.5 km return hike but it takes you past three iconic Melbourne landmarks; the Brighton beach boxes, Luna Park and St Kilda Pier so it’s not a bad choice for tourists either.
Eighteen months ago I was in Venice for the 2015 biennale and two years before that, in 2013, my partner and I were there on our first ever holiday together. Well, it’s biennale time again and I’m feeling a certain amount of nostalgia.
Yesterday I had a day off work and Melbourne was having an unusually smoggy day (for what is usually a very clean city). So I decided I needed to head somewhere a little more remote for some fresh air, views and exercise. A quick google search led me to the Cape Woolamai Trail on Phillip Island. I’ve been to the island a few times but hadn’t ventured out to the cape at the eastern end. Two hours later and I was looking out over a world-famous surf beach ready to begin my hike.
If you’re staying in Melbourne and you can only choose one side trip, I would suggest you pay a visit to the Great Ocean Road. The celebrated route starts in Torquay, about an hour and a half south-west of Melbourne, and extends 243 km (150 miles) along the coastline to Allansford. The road and its surroundings are heritage listed and when you drive along it it’s not hard to see why. Victoria’s coastline is wild and this is the best way to experience it.
The Cathedral Ranges are only a couple of hours north-east of Melbourne yet somehow I only heard about them for the first time this year. If you want panoramic views of a quintessential country Victorian landscape then the Cathedral Ranges are for you. There are eucalypt forests for miles around. Standing on top of a mountain we felt like we were the only people in the world and suddenly the exhausting trek up all seemed worth it.
We were back in Shanghai having just spent three days exploring and drinking copious amounts of tea in the beautiful city of Hangzhou. Our next few days would involve some shopping, a trip to the zoo, a visit to the French Concession and walks along the Bund.