Archive for the 'Melbourne' Category

by Pat
on Jun 13th, 2007

Hello! I’m Back In Cairns!

Yep, about a week later than originally planned but I’m finally here.

Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve had a really lethargic couple of weeks to be honest… don’t know why… I think it was SAD syndrome kicking in (yep, it’s cold, rainy and rather “UK in the Winter”y down in Melbourne). That and having nothing to do at all each day… it’s amazing how tired and lazy you get through doing bugger all, eh?

Still, good times were had in between the idleness, with a fair few good nights with Hannah, Lauren, AJ, Kirsten, Fletch and the rest of the Urban Central smokers gang.

“Smokers Gang? Have you started smoking?”

No! AJ and Kirsten smoke so I spent a lot of time outside in the smoking area with them and ended up meeting lots of the smoker folks. You know, it’s amazing how quickly smokers get to know each other as mates, just through meeting during smoking breaks. It’s like a secret club or something. If it wasn’t for the fact that in order to join the club you have to a) shorten your life by a decade or so, b) forfeit the last years of the remaining life to being very, very ill and c) smell like an ashtray, I’d definitely join!

If you smoke, no offense. I’ve just had it up to here [points to top of head] with bloody smoke.

Aaaanyway, now I’m in Cairns I’m going to get some work and also help out at the community radio station here (if they want me, that is… I’m going in on Saturday to chat with the station manager).

That and doing lots of exercise. I need to work off the lethargy-induced crap food eating, dead lungs and lack of exercise of Melbourne. :-)

So here goes!


by Pat
on May 31st, 2007

Back In The Magnetic City!

And it’s fl-i-i-i-ping c-c-c-c-cold!

After a nice 12 hour overnight bus journey from Sydney (complete with, I think, about 30 minutes sleep) I arrived in Melbourne at 6:30am, getting out of the coach to be greeted by the weather equivalent of a big block of ice smashing me in the face.

Still, there was no choice but to grin, bear it, put a coat on and trundle 15 minutes down the road to Urban Central (via an exposed, windy section across a bridge over the Yarrah)… to find out that check in was from 2pm. It was 6:51am. Luckily there was space to store my rucksack et al and some sofas to crash on, so that’s what most of yesterday morning was spent doing.

Last night I met up with AJ and Kirsten, who are still at Urban Central 4 months after seeing them last, which was great to catch up and meet all the friends they’ve made at the hostel. Seems like a good crowd, so the next week should be fun I reckon. AJ’s doing a drag show tonight in the hostel bar, so I can’t wait to see that. Never seen a drag show before. I guess you’ve gotta try anything once, right? *

Today I picked up a Coles green bag full of bits I’d left in Greenhouse Backpackers’ 2-3 week storage area 4 months ago. Everything’s still in there! Winner!

The next week is going to be spent burning DVDs of photos, posting lots of crap back home (sorry in advance Mum and Dad!), watching Squage blog and looking for job opportunities here there and everywhere.

Then… who knows?

Hope all’s well back at home. I’m off for a walk back to the hostel. With a coat on.



P.S. I’ve uploaded some photos from my Surfing Lessons and more from the Whitsundays Tour, if you’re bored and fancy a look!

* N.B. This will not extend to actually participating in a drag show, for the record

by Squage
on Mar 9th, 2007

Catching Up A Bit… Part 1: Melbourne

Well, Pat’s been his usual procrastinatious (is that a real word? Hang on a sec I’ll go for a look… (fnar fnar)) self and has managed to do just about everything other than sit down and catch up with his blogging.

So it’s up to me, yet again, to take the wheel and deliver you some blogging action. Grap yourself a cup of tea (or perhaps a can of Pepsi Max from the third floor vending machines… not that I’m assuming anyone would be reading blogs whilst at work, heaven forbid! (psst have you checked the GIRS queue recently lads?)) and start a-reading!

Let’s start where we left off: Melbourne.

A quick summary of stuff that happened:

  • Pat got into Melbourne from Tassie
  • Pat bought some food a few times from Coles, to try and eat healthily and cheaply
  • Pat bought a few Pizza Hut lunches, to try and stop himself becoming so thin you’d not see him when he turned around (ahem)
  • Pat socialised a fair bit with his friends, either in hostels, pubs, bars or at Jen, Kate and Emma’s appartment (check them out with their appartment, eh?)
  • Pat ate lots of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday
  • Pat went for a few brisk walks along the Yarrah river, to try and counter the Pizza Hut meals, socialising and pancakes
  • Pat went to St Kilda and did some swimming and sunbathing
  • Pat read lots of books
  • Pat did LOTS of planning (including – shock horror – going to a travel agent for advice!) and got everything booked up until April 16th.

Particular highlights:

  • Chinese New Year in China Town with Jen and Amy, watching some cool Chinese “dragon” parade around:
    Welcome To Chinatown Chinese Dragon!
    Amy And Jen At The Cool Decorations By The Yarrah GRAAH!

  • Seeing Ghost Rider then walking past this arched bridge on the Yarrah featured in a big stunt scene:
    Pat wanted me to clarify the exact part of the film I mean. You know that bit where he’s on the arched bridge? That’s the bit. (Oh, *thanks* – Pat)

  • Spending hours watching Invader Zim and Futurama on AJ’s laptop in the hostel:
    Kirsten And AJ!
    They’re fully normal. :-)

  • Pancakes at Kate, Jen and Emma’s appartment:
    Pancakes: Healthy
    Health on a plate.

  • Going to the Queen Victoria Night Market and checking out the many amusing, odd and downright scary signage:
    Slow Hand Clap Queen Victoria Night Market
    Dear Trading Standards... Hey!  We're In A Market!
    Feel the Fear
    This was about 2 metres tall…

  • Watching the sun set from the top of the Rialto Tower:
    Ooh Look!  A Nuclear Explosion!

    No.  It's Still Setting Over Melbourne

So there you go. Pat enjoyed the two weeks, despite being back in the same ol’ place yet again as aside from all the planning he met lots of great people:

  • Emma – co-UK traveller and roommate / flat mate of Jen and Kates’, who’s a good laugh and is working in Melbourne for at least the next 3 (or maybe even 6) months. Good work!
  • Amy – Perth-born-and-bred, she was only on holiday for two weeks in Melbourne and was Jen, Kate and Emma’s roommate for one of those weeks. She’s great, not only because she’s fun but also because she works as a journo / has a show on a Perth-based community radio station. Pat has stated clearly that this did not at all interest him as he’s got no real interest in radio anymore. That said, Pat’s hoping to catch up in Perth when he gets there in a couple of weeks and might have his radio CV up to date by then ;-) (N.B. Alas I don’t have time to get involved in that sorta stuff inbetween tours… er… not that I would be interested anyway, no. Definitely not. No. – Pat)
  • AJ and Kirsten – These two legends were Pat’s room mates (along with a guy affectionately known as “Banana Republic” (he smelt of bananas) or “Mr Gambly” (he spent most nights playing online poker on the hostel’s PCs)) in Urban Central for the week he stayed there. Pat’s first thoughts when AJ and Kirsten bounced into the 4 bed dorm he was resting in was “Oh, God…”. AJ was a rather hyper, outspoken camp fella, and both he and Kirsten spent a fair amount of time stating/calling eachother “c***” and saying “yeah, well your face.”, “no, your face’s face” and “well, your face’s face’s face” etc, before they bounced back out of the room. Pat wondered at this point whether it was finally time to give in and get a single room… but is so glad that he didn’t. Both of the Brisbanites(?) are funny, chatty, kind and have the most interesting life stories to tell – besides neither of them being in their 20s yet. Many a night was spent chatting about life, religion, people’s prejudices and Insanty Prawn Boy. “Who’s he?” I hear you ask. That’s right! :-) Pat can’t wait to meet up with them when he gets back to Melbourne (they’re staying their to work/study).
  • Teki – A mate of AJ and Kirsten’s, who’s really friendly, cheery and also happens to be a hard core DJ who might just be getting big any time soon. How cool is that??

So yeah, Pat’s been meeting some cool folk. He was sad to say byee to them when he went off to the Grampians… which, of course, is another story altogether.

What? Oh, right, yes, that’s the end of this blog entry. You can go now. Bye!


by Pat
on Feb 14th, 2007

14th of February

There are odd things in Melbourne today – heart shapes have appeared in lots of shop windows and there appear to be lots of men rushing around with flowers in their hands.

Maybe it’s some special Australian thing. Either way I’m not needing to do any of that, which is… er… good? Sort of? Maybe? No? Shoot.

Anyway, Happy Valentines Day to you (but only in a platonic way, naturally *). Hope you’re having a nice one. :-)

I’m not having a bad one to be honest, despite feeling a little tired through a few bevvies last night with Jen, Kate and Welshy (none of whom I’d seen since New Zealand) – as I’m looking forward to more of a catch up this evening, which’ll be ace.

Melbourne’s as it usually is, although with less flies – which is a big plus. I’m just here for a week or so to plan and book the next month or so of my Big Adventure (got my eye on a 10 day 4×4 tour of the outback from Adelaide to Alice Springs, for a start), then I’m off out on the Great Ocean Road (more hire car action here we come!) over to the Grampians and Adelaide.

I’m feeling pretty damned chilled out – apart from for about 30 minutes two days ago where I thought I’d lost my wallet in the library (turns out I’d left it in the locker in my hostel room), which was quite scary!

I’m staying in the Greenhouse Backpackers (which I’d previously recommended on this ‘ere blog, I seem to recall). It’s bloody good. Nice rooms, huge TV lounge, good kitchen, a “free food” shelf, free breakfast, weekly free BBQ (including veggie burgers!!!), free pancakes on Sunday… and slap bang in the middle of town. Winner!

Twas sad to say bye to Jersey on Saturday (as he went to Sydney from Tassie – he’s on a tour of Alice Springs etc as I type), as we’d been travelling together for 3 weeks and twas very odd thinking that I won’t see him again on my travels. We’re of course planning on a cross-English Channel meetup later in the year, mind!

I don’t feel as though I’m on my own here in Melbourne, as Chris, Welshy, Kate and Jen are all here (albeit in different hostels/appartments). Should be interesting on my solo trip to Adelaide… in many ways I’m looking forward to the freedom of “travelling fully independantly” (almost always been with other folk so far). Let’s just hope it’s not too lonely.

Anyways, back to planning stuff – and perhaps grabbing some food and a nice smoothy (yep, I’ve become addicted to them – which is better than being addicted to pizza I guess! Mmm. Pizza… ah, crap. :-) )

Take care and Happy 14th of February!



* Unless you’re Elisha Cuthbert in which case please consider the phrase “Happy Valentines Day” as my way to say I want to [CENSORED BY THE UNIVERSE] night long. Thanks.

by Pat
on Jan 21st, 2007

Melbourne: A Review

So that was Melbourne.

Few things about it:


  • Public transport: I suspect the Melbourne/Victoria Government once followed the Tony Blair “Education, education, eduction” approach… but with trams. There are loads of trams in Melbourne, taking you to all the areas you need – and – they’re pretty easy to get around on. What’s better is that they’re air conditioned too. Oh and they’re TRAMS! Come on, don’t tell me the idea of going around on trams doesn’t excite you a bit? Just a little? No? Just me? Ah.
  • People: Friendly, easy going folk. There’s a wide range of cultures too – a fair few Chinese and Japanese residents, alongside a great deal of travelers. In fact, there’s probably more non-Australians in and around the CBD during the day than there are Australians. Still, everyone seems pretty chilled and, on the whole, pretty happy. It’s a nice city to visit and a great city to work in, I’d say.
  • Weather: Well, on the whole. It’s nice and hot, sunny and with just enough wind to stop it being too horrendous. Only the fact that it can be a bit sticky occasionally detracts from the otherwise ace nature of the weather. Oh and also that it chucked it down on Christmas day. And that it attracts loads of bloody flies. In fact, I guess the weather’s not all good. Just ignore this point.
  • Sights: From the singing bridge, through the MCG and to the lovely parks around the CBD (Central Business District), there are lots of nice places to see on your travels around Melbourne.
  • Lord of the Fries: The best chip shop in the world, mainly because of the awesome sauces on offer and the quantity of chips you get. Sitting at the bottom of Elizabeth Street, just opposite Flinders Street station, it’s a must if you’re out and about on the town late at night. This was one of the contributing factors to me not losing weight in Melbourne.
  • Smoothie shops: There are a LOT of smoothie shops in Melbourne. These are all great because a) they’re quite good value, b) the smoothies taste looovely and c) you can convince yourself (pretty legitimately for a change) that you’re being healthy by drinking stuff that tastes bloody good.
  • Internet cafes: Aside from the crap hostel ones these are generally fast, good value and allow you to download such things as Paint Shop Pro and Limewire (not that, er, I used Limewire at all. Because that would be bad. Yes.) without breaking a sweat (aside from emotional sweat through the fear of being caught illegally downloading music. Which I didn’t do. No. So that was fine. Yes.)
  • Socialising: Not so much in the CBD, but places like Fitzroy are chockablock with pretty, good value cafes and bars, always bustling with people and a great place to hang out / grab some food / have a night out.
  • New Year Celebrations: Huuge fireworks display, loads and loads of cheery revelers out and about and a really great feeling of fun throughout the city. They know how to celebrate New Year in Melbourne.


  • Internet cafes: Through being good and allowing lots of things to be done, these ended up causing several hours on certain days being totally wasted. These hours could’ve been better spent in a pub. Actually, maybe that was a good thing…
  • Flies: FUCKING flies. Everywhere you go, they’re there. And they don’t leave you alone. For some reason, a long time ago I had the romantic notion that flies had a “home”. A territory, if you like. But no. They follow you for MILES. And sorry, but what is the POINT in them anyway? They buzz around you, sit on you and then fly off. GAAAAH!
  • TV: Advert-ridden, US sitcom filled tosh. Honestly, it’s worse than the US telly I’ve seen. The adverts seem to be every 5 minutes and it’s the same damned ads every break. My particular “favourites” were the Optus ad – which featured lots of animals in the outback “singing” (hooray for computer generated mouth movement) Give Me The Simple Life for about 30 seconds – and one for a bargain warehouse place – which involved an Aussie bloke SHOUTING ABOUT ALL THE THINGS THAT YOU CAN BUY FOR A REDUCED-YES A REDUCED PRICE at 200kmph for 30 seconds. It felt akin to having your head beaten in by a lump hammer for half a minute.
  • Christmas Celebrations: I’m guessing Christmas celebrations in Melbourne happen at home and not out in the bars and clubs, because the most Christmassy thing I heard all night in the pubs was a Christmas Mix of “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit”. By “Christmas Mix”, I mean a version of the song with the DJ mumbling something about it being Christmas day over the start. Ho ho bloody ho!
  • Flies: Did I mention these were annoying?


  • Not many: There are a LOT of attractive people in Melbourne.

Ooh yeah, and about the hostels…

  • Freeman Lodge: Really nice – the owner’s really friendly, the rooms are comfy and the kitchen, whilst small, has all you could ask for. It’s rather quiet, mind, and a bit of a walk from town, so Chris and I moved to the hostel “Hotel BakPak” after a couple of weeks to mingle a bit more with other travelers.
  • Hotel BakPak (or Hotel Discovery as I think they’re renaming themselves (each day I was there they seemed to replace another BakPak sign/poster with a Hotel Discovery one… but without anyone actually mentioning anything)): Not so good. Despite the cheapness of rooms it’s a bit basic, feels run down, the kitchen is fully crap and the place is so understaffed that you have to wait bloody ages to check in/out, find info, book anything, get a replacement room card (you tend to need to at least every day or so as they inexplicably decide to stop working rather often)… or get a drink in their bar. Oh, AND you have to hand in your passport/drivers’ license in order to get your room access card. Secure! Ok, so maybe I’m being harsh – after all it’s situated at the top of the CBD and the place does have a rooftop garden, which is awesome to chill out in – but frankly I’d rather stay somewhere that felt a bit friendlier and well run.
  • Greenhouse Backpackers: Slap bang in the CBD, it’s recommended by all who go there. I didn’t go there. Why’m I personally recommending this then? Because they made me feel Christmassy on Christmas day (yep, this was the TV Lounge I watched Only Fools and Horses in). That’s enough for me :-)

Anyway, enough waffling… I’m off to the Museum of Sydney with Jersey!



by Pat
on Jan 9th, 2007

I May Aswell Go Home Now

It’s not going to get better than this:

Toadie (legend), Steph Scully (mmm) and Dylan (apparently well known). In photos. With me. And a sign saying “Squage Rules”.





The Neighbours night was last night in a pub called the Elephant and Wheelbarrow in St Kilda, Melbourne.

Twas excellent fun (Chris, Ian, Katie, Katie and Matt were there and we were having a great laff all night) even if it was bloomin’ expensive (captive audience, anyone?).

Well worth the money though. :-)


by Squage
on Jan 2nd, 2007

Happy 2007!

Hi all!

Just a quick one to say a big HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and thanks again for keeping on reading this here blog.

Not a massive deal to tell you about (hey, Pat and I have been taking a (we reckon) well deserved break from dashing about the place) aside, probably, from New Year’s Eve.

Here’s a few things to note about Pat’s New Year’s Eve:

  1. Early Afternoon: Pat bought a shirt, a gold steering wheel cover, a string/bead necklace, thick permanent markers, elastic string and kitchen foil
  2. Late Afternoon: Pat cut up a Special K box into a sword, eye patch and hat, cut “2007” from the steering wheel cover and stuck it to the hat, cut circles from the cover to use as a medallion / belt buckle… and…
  3. Evening: …He looked like this:

Yep, it was a Pirate Party at P.J. Obrien’s (an Irish Bar) in the centre of Melbourne and Pat, Chris, Matt, Katie and Katie were all there dressed as pirates:


From what I understand, it was quite fun getting to the pub as Pat and Chris kept getting lots of confused/amused stares, shouting of “YAAAR!” and even photos taken of them.

Pat says he spent the evening pretty much sober (given that he was a bit tipsy before even leaving the hostel I’m not quite sure how accurate that is), but had a pretty damned awesome time. The aussies certainly know how to party and there were loads of friendly folk who Pat got chatting to. His views on people here have changed (a little) over the past week or so – people really are pretty chilled, friendly and generous. It’s ace.

The fireworks at midnight were nothing short of spectacular… these pissed tired photos don’t quite do it justice:

Midnight Fireworks at Melbourne Midnight Fireworks at Melbourne

After getting in at about 4:15am, Pat and Chris didn’t manage to move until about 1pm.

New Year’s Day? Well, that was – at best – a write off.

Pat managed to go for a long walk down Bridge Road, by a river and then around Richmond (getting lost on the way… almost as though he was, say, hungover or something? (Look, ok, so I may have had a couple of beers – it’s New Year, damnit! – Pat) Finally he admits it!) and Chris didn’t even make it out of the hostel.

Good to see that New Year’s Day in Australia is pretty much the same as in England, eh? ;-)

Anyways, that’s pretty much all I’ve got for ya at the mo… as I say it’s been quite chilled aside from that. Pat’s been getting a good bit of walking done, which he’s pleased with, and has now decided that he needs to get the next leg of the trip sorted.

We’re planning on getting up to Sydney in a week or so – via Phillip Island (to see the penguins!) – so expect more details as we do it!

Take care and we both hope 2007 proves to be your best year ever.


Squage (and Pat)

by Pat
on Dec 28th, 2006

Christmas 2006

G’day folks!

Hope you’re well, had a lovely Christmas and are currently enjoying the (hopefully) nice and chilled week up until New Year’s Eve.

Just thought I’d do a quick (compared to some of Squage’s “War And Peace” efforts) blog to fill you in on how Christmas in Melbourne was.

Christmas Eve
This mainly consisted of wandering around department stores during the day (just to see somewhere that actually had Christmas decorations up if nothing else), then going out drinking in the evening. We met up with Matt from earlier in the New Zealand trip, along with his girlfriend and her mate (both called Katie, which helped my lame memory), so including Chris and myself we were 6 strong, which was quite cool.

Matt, Katie and other Katie are all from Essex, which was cool – if a little odd, in that it almost felt like being back in Essex occasionally, what with chatting about such things as the Essex Chronicle, the Blackwater and pubs in Woodham and Maldon…

Most of the pubs were filled with British folk (most of the Aussies at their local pubs rather than expensive, pomme-filled city places I suspect), which was odd and it seemed that none of the pubs wanted to admit it was Christmas, playing generic dance/chart tunes all night.

We saw Christmas Day in with “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit”. How festive.

It wasn’t a crap night, it just didn’t feel like Christmas.

Christmas Day
After waking up too early (i.e. pre-12pm), Chris and I met up with Matt et al and headed to St Kilda for our Christmas meal at a local greasy spoon luxurious restaurant.

In the restaurant we met up with some of Matt’s travelling mates/mates from home, which was cool so there was a good crowd of us.

Christmas Lunch itself was, well, interesting. The serving staff were somewhat confused and the meal rather, er, odd. I guess they don’t normally need glasses with wine – or open wine bottles – or champagne of one colour – or christmas pudding portions bigger than one mouthful – or white wine that doesn’t taste like cream soda – or… I could go on.

To be honest, I’m not moaning as from the very beginning, on seeing that we were going to be having our Christmas Lunch in what was essentially a seaside cafe, we started laughing. Much of the meal was spent with tears in my eyes through finding it all a bit too amusing – and I wasn’t the only one.

So a great time had on the whole, even if it was a bit ridiculous. Ian (Matt’s Irish mate) even took to “welding” the crap cracker toys together to make weird looking sculptures that’d not look out of place in the Tate Modern. As I say: a bit ridiculous.

We didn’t make it to the beach, sadly. This was mainly due to it being a) cold, b) cloudy and c) frequently rainy. Apparently it’s been the coldest Christmas in Melbourne for a loooong time.

You can take the Englishman away from the weather…

In the evening we scuttered around some (non-festive) bars, then eventually onto a hostel lounge in the city centre, which had a huge telly and plenty of cosy chairs.

I spent the last part of the evening watching Only Fools and Horses, drinking Bud from a bottle and eating crisps and nuts.

Now that’s what Christmas is all about :-)

Oh and on Boxing Day?
Chris and I met up with Neil from work and his travelling mates Roy and Louis – and spent the afternoon and evening pubbing it up. Another good, if slightly tipsy, day.

Anyways, we’re about to go to the cinema to watch that Arag-Dara-irog-eargo-… That Dragon Film, so I’ll speak to you later. Check out the photos of Christmas if you’re bored!

Have an awesome New Year if I don’t speak to you before then!


P.S. Due to a plethora of spam comments, which continue to bombard the blog (even though if WordPress’s security is functioning correctly, they shouldn’t be able to), if you post a comment it won’t appear until I’ve approved it. Sorry peeps…

P.P.S. Due to net issues thanks to the nasty earthquake t’other day I couldn’t get through to to post this yesterday. So I’ve seen Eragon now. It’s a bit rubbish, I’m afraid. Great special effects, not bad acting but the script just felt rushed… no time to get to know characters, lots of rather quick learning, lots of convenient twists… boo. I’m at the Melbourne Museum at the mo and Chris and I are about to watch Night At The Museum (appropriate, non?) at the IMAX. Can’t wait :-)

by Squage
on Dec 23rd, 2006


Howdy again,

Just a quick one to let you know Pat and I have found our first almost-week in Melbourne:


  • A mixture of massively hot and sunny (i.e. over 35 Celcius during the day, too hot to sleep during the night), quite warm and cloudy and anything inbetween those two.
  • Pat’s found it a bit of a shell shock given New Zealand’s rather British climate (particuarly in the colder South Island), but certainly enjoys the sun so isn’t complaining (although he’s constantly a bit tired and does keep mentioning a lady called Betty).
  • It’s a bit smoggy on some days due to smoke from the raging bush fires elsewhere in Victoria…


  • A very diverse populus – although mainly Aussie, British, Japanese and Chinese it appears – most of whom seem pretty friendly.
  • Pat’s found people to be a bit less easy going than in New Zealand, but I think that’s a Melbourne thing rather than an Australian thing.
  • Also, shop assistant folk tend to be a lot more like in the UK – i.e. they really wish they were somewhere else. It’s nice to feel like a bit of home has travelled with you, you know?
  • Finally, you can really tell that the locals go to the gym. And eat heathily. And spend time enjoying the sun. And have lots of, er, hot weather clothing. In other words? There are a lot of hotties. :-)


  • It’s a nice city, not too big but with loads of shops and eateries crammed in, with a fair few awesome looking buildings and museums etc (although Pat’s not actually made it to any of them yet).
  • There are lots of well-kept, very pretty parks, which Pat’s made good use of during the particularly hot days – wandering around and reading books whilst admiring the scenery (and its hot weather clothing) (Shhh, you’re making me look like a dirty old man – Pat) Hey, I work with what you give me.
  • There are lots of pubs and bars, most of which charge tourist prices, which is a shame but that’s not stopped Pat from going out and getting tipsy two nights this week.

Public Transport

  • There are trains and trams to choose from, the latter of which are situated down the middle of all the major roads in the central city grid, and both reach out into the suburbs (such as Richmond to the east, where we’re staying).
  • It’s pretty reliable and even better: it’s air conditioned.
  • Ticket wise, there’s a zone-system akin to London’s tubes, and you can buy tickets that give you unlimited journeys in your purchased zone(s) for either 2 hours, 1 day, 1 week or 1 month.
  • The ticket machines are shite, not accepting credit cards, UK debit cards… and not providing more than $10 change.


  • Well… sadly Pat and Chris haven’t really done a great deal other than look for jobs (Chris), sit on the net (Chris and Pat), blog for 8 hours (Pa-er, me), drink (Chris and Pat), never leave the hostel before 12pm (Chris and Pat) and read a book for every spare moment (Pat)… so to be honest we’re not sure quite what stuff rates above others.
  • I’ll get back to you in a few days time, now that a) Pat’s finished his book and b) I’ve finished my blogging…

Christmas and New Year

  • After Pat and Chris met up with Matt – he of “smashing face in doing sandboarding in New Zealand” fame – and his girlfriend Katie yesterday and it was suggested Christmas on the beach at St Kilda should be done, that’s what the plan is looking like. Hopefully the weather won’t be raining, as the forecasts seem to be suggesting.
  • Christmas Eve is likely to be spent in an Irish Bar that we went to yesterday (which has been converted to the Barmy Army HQ for the Ashes period).
  • New Year’s Eve may also be there… but that’s not been decided yet. Neil from Pat’s ex-work is arriving in Melbourne today so he may have some funky plans!


  • Pat’s not listened to much (he’s been listening to MP3s on his iRiver) but found that it’s not massively different to UK Commercial Radio. Just without Dave Kelly jingles.
  • I’m sure he’ll have found lots of nerdy things to tell you about soon enough, though…

Rightly, that’ll do for now… my fingers are still bleeding from that last mammoth entry so I’d best stop for all our sakes.



by Pat
on Dec 18th, 2006


Strewth, ya flaming galores, I’ve pulled me hammie, throw a shrimp on the barbie, Bruce, Sheila, Rolf Harris, Didgeridoo and other such Australian stereotypes.

I’m here!

After a few chilled out days in Christchurch (including a trip on the TranzAlpine train to Arthur’s Pass – photos to follow) I thought it’d be a great idea to have a few beers last night – after all, twas the last time I was going to be seeing Mette, Kate, Jen, Jersey, Welshy, Cat, Anne and Ian for some time so it’d be rude not to.

Sadly it meant that I got in a bit drunk at 12:15am.

Then got up at 4:00am to get into Christchurch airport for my 6:15am flight.

This morning was quite, er, delicate. Still, both myself and Chris (who’d decided going to bed was a crap idea and just stayed up all night) made it onto the plane… and after lots of dozing on the plane – and a 4 hour sleep in the lovely hostel (Freeman Lodge) over in the Richmond part of Melbourne – we’re now alive again!

At first glance Melbourne seems ace. Big, bustling, diverse city with loads of things to see / do / eat / drink (although there might not be much of that going on today)… a good place to stay for a couple of weeks, methinks.

Which is lucky, as that’s what I’m going to do.

Hopefully tomorrow or the day after Squage’ll get his ass in gear and fill you in on the last week in New Zealand…

Till then, no worries.