At the end of the day at Phillip Island we travelled toward Melbourne and camped on the Tooradin foreshore for the night. It was really hot that afternoon so we spent it in the shade of a tree by the water.
The next day we took the scenic route up into the Dandenong Ranges, travelling through the lovely leafy villages, stopping here and there. Took a walk through the National Rhododendron Gardens which were really beautiful despite it being the wrong time of year for the blooms to be out. We went up to the Sky High scenic lookout and had lunch in the gardens there before heading down toward the city.
A caravan park in North Coburg was the best option for accomodation the first night in Melbourne as it was fairly handy to where Luke lives now. It was great spending time with Luke, seeing his new place and how he’s settling in to life in Melbourne. He took us to an excellent coffee place – The Vertue of the Coffee Drink. There was little to suggest a coffee shop was behind the large doors at the end of the alley. It was really hidden away. Good coffee.
We spent some time wandering around Melbourne for a day and taking in the sights. The Moomba Festival was on so it was a great opportunity to watch the slalom water-skiers on the river as they competed in their heats.
The Friday afternoon walk along the boardwalk at St Kilda was picture perfect as the sun went down. We had dinner there with Luke before saying goodbye. That night we stayed with Brendyn’s cousin Judith and her husband Andrew at their beautifully renovated terrace house home in St Kilda.
We had an early start the next morning as we joined the long queue to board The Spirit of Tasmania at Station Pier. Thankfully it was a beautiful, calm day. Having experienced rough conditions crossing the Bass Strait before, it was wonderful to have such great weather for our first daytime sail across. It was good to relax for the day watching the fishing boats out there, other large boats and also the dolphins jumping as we went by.