Review: Airbnb in MELBOURNE

In a world where hostels are too crowded and hotels are too boring, the internet has given us Airbnb. For those of you who have been living under a rock, then I’m about to make your 2016 even better. Airbnb is an amazing website which allows for a truly unique travelling experience. You choose the place you’re going, punch in some dates, adjust the price range per night and voilà! It gives you so many different options, from a room in a house or apartment to the entire house and apartment! If you’re staying somewhere where your host is also living, it allows you to really immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of the place that you are staying. Or if you opt for the entire place and share it with some friends, it gives you so much freedom to explore and do what you want to do.

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Our beautiful Airbnb apartment! 

So… my friends and I were planning to spend New Years Eve in Melbourne and we were looking at accommodation. Hotels were crazy expensive per night per person, and hostels just didn’t seem ideal. Then we came across this listing on Airbnb. A beautiful 2 bedroom apartment in central Melbourne. We contacted the host, Mel, who was extremely prompt in replying. We agreed on a price, we paid and we were booked in. Upon arrival we were blown away with the quality of the place we were staying. Across from Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and we could see Hosier Lane from our window. The place was beautifully decorated (and even came with some beer in the fridge). There were board games and DVD’s and when we were a bit worse for wear in the morning, we would lay on the fold out lounges that were incredibly comfortable. With such a perfect location and amazing people to spend my time with – we had the ultimate getaway. Though I believe our time was only so amazing after some solid planning. So here’s what I recommend doing when booking with Airbnb so that your time can be as amazing as ours!

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A list of sites and things to do in Melbourne. 

Do’s

  • Read the reviews. Airbnb asks people that stay at a property to review it. After you finish your stay they bombard you with emails reminding you to leave a review which is a win win situation. You get to read the review your host left you, plus add what you loved and what you thought could be better (if there’s anything). Reading the reviews are absolutely essential to secure the right place for you.
  • Contact the host. You’ll be staying at their property so make sure to carry yourself in a mature manner. If you’ve got any questions about the property, now’s your time to ask.
  • Google Maps It. Look up the location on Google Maps to ensure you’re in a good location. Look for famous landmarks or central areas.
  • Read the house rules. Generally each property has their own ‘house rules.’ This may include information like where to pick the key up, how to operate the air conditioning/pull out loungs, where you can and can’t smoke and if it’s ok to have parties. We were staying in a residential building so of course we couldn’t throw a wild party. It’s important to read these to make sure you get the right place for you.

Don’ts

  • Break the house rules. If they say ‘no smoking,’ then don’t smoke. If it says do the dishes before leaving, then do the dishes. This is out of respect to the property owner, and to ensure you don’t incur any cleaning or damage fees.
  • Try to squeeze more people into a space. The number of people the property sleeps is set at that for a reason. Any more and you’re at risk of breaking something or getting kicked out. Just be honest and I’m sure they’ll be able to accommodate your needs.
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The view from our window. Hello Melbourne!

In Conclusion… Our 4 nights away in Melbourne was made more spectacular by us staying in such a beautiful apartment. It was honestly worth every cent and I’d highly recommend it to anyone with a group of 4-6 people looking for a great location.

If you want to stay at this apartment, you can enquire with the host here. 

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11 Things To Do in Melbourne

After my amazing girls long weekend away to the amazing city of Melbourne, I’ve come up with my ultimate to do list in this spectacular city.

1. Brighton Beach Huts. Only a 15 minute train ride from Flinders Street Station, is Brighton Beach. From the station, you can make the quick walk to the beach where you’ll get exquisite views of the Melbourne city skyline and get to see the quaint, beautiful and bright beach huts. And once you take your photos, you can venture up to the main street of Brighton and enjoy some shopping and beautiful cafes.

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2. Chapel Street. Get the train to either Windsor or Prahan and just wander that street my friends. Perfect for day and night. Great little boutiques, funky bars, unique restaurants and a cool vibe that resonates with King Street in Newtown, Sydney. (Note: the bar tenders at Taco Bill are really attractive).

3. The Lion King. If you’re a sucker for musical theatre like I am, and if you great up singing Hakuna Matata, you’re in for a dream come true kind of night. When we went, a little boy was bouncing up and down and cackling to himself in his seat and it just made me even more happy and excited.

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4. Cookie. I don’t really know how to describe this hidden tower of bars and restaurants but it’s awesome! Located on Swanston Street, from the outside you wouldn’t even look twice at the entrance. But up every flight of stairs, there’s a different bar, club or restaurant. The best is saved til last… the ROOFTOP BAR! We drank a jug of sangria whilst listening to some awesome music and looking out over the dazzling city.

5. Degrave Street. Located off of Flinders Lane is the incredible little street stuffed with amazing cafes! One part of the street feels like you’re in Paris, other half on the other side of Flinders Lane feels like you’ve just stepped into Japan. It’s so diverse, with little boutiques and bars, we felt so lucky we didn’t have to travel far to get some amazing food and shopping done.

6. The Great Ocean Road. You can read about our adventure on this spectacular piece of coastline here. If the picture below doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

The magnificent 12 Apostles
The magnificent 12 Apostles

7. Take a tram ride. The CBD of Melbourne is lined with trams. And the best part is that they’re free! It’s a fun, easy, quick and free way to get around to all of the hot spots that Melbourne has to show off.

Wandering the streets
Wandering the streets

8. The National Gallery of Victoria. A big and beautiful gallery located just off of Federation Square, is a great way to see some beautiful Australian art and also spend a rainy cold winters day.

9. The Yarra River. Stroll along the river and soak up some sunshine (well, maybe if you go in Summer). It’s a gorgeous river dotted with cafes and a great bicycle track. Around Melbourne there’s also bikes you can hire for a few hours (similar to Barclays bikes in London), so you can ride along the river and get a different perspective of the city.

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10. Hosier Lane. Another hidden gem of an alleyway that is completely covered in street art! It’s funky and fresh and makes for some absolutely amazing photos! Oh, and there’s some Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc artwork aswell. What’s not to love?

Hosier Lane
Hosier Lane

11And if nothing else… just wander around the streets. You’ll never know what cool bar or amazing coffee you’ll stumble across.

Anything I’ve missed? Where would you want to go if you visited Melbourne? Let me know in the comments below!

xxx A

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One day exploring the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is one of those breathtaking journeys that you just have to experience in your lifetime. I was lucky enough to go with my family when I was a wee lass, however, being 4 years old, I didn’t exactly appreciate/remember the whole experience. So… on a girls long weekend away to Melbourne with one of my best friends (Tishia), we decided to relive this awesome journey together and it was one of the best day tours I’ve ever done.

The magnificent 12 Apostles
The magnificent 12 Apostles

We travelled with ExtraGreen Holidays located in Swanston Street. Our tour guides name was Frank, and frankly (haha get it?) he was awesome. For $45 we definitely got our value for money. From 7:30am-7:30pm, we were on and off the bus and absolutely breathtaken by the spectacular views of the unique coastline of the Great Ocean Road. We were considering hiring a car and doing it ourselves, however for that value for money, we not only got there and back, but were also taught some great history lessons along the way. So in our situation, it was totally worth our money. (NOTE: The weekend special is $45, any other day can cost you up to $100).

These windy roads are not for the faint hearted. If you're prone to car sickness, be prepared.
These windy roads are not for the faint hearted. If you’re prone to car sickness, be prepared.

We stopped and had lunch at Appollo Bay for an amazing Fish and Chips feast (what else can you expect from a small coastal town?) and continued on down the windy roads with many photo stops along the way. The tour highlight include, the 12 Apostles (the most iconic part of the Great Ocean Road), Lord and George and London Bridge. Even though we willingly came to Victoria in the middle of winter, it was indeed pretty damn cold, so a good jacket and warm clothes are definitely recommended. And as Frank wisely advised us, on the Great Ocean Road, it can be sunny one minute and raining the next so always be prepared.

With so many photo stops, you'll have plenty of time to capture the perfect photo
With so many photo stops, you’ll have plenty of time to capture the perfect photo

Many of you may ask if it’s worth spending the full day on a bus to see some rocks and cliffs. If you’re spending several days in Melbourne (like we did) then yes, absolutely. It’s cost effective, exciting, adventurous, and you get to meet lots of great new people and learn about the history and making of the Great Ocean Road. However, if you’re intending on doing further travel throughout Australia and Victoria and already hire a car, it’s probably worth heading there yourself. Then you can do it at your own pace. Saying that, we were definitely given plenty of time at each spot to explore each area and take some pretty amazing photos.

The photos speak for themselves. The Great Ocean Road is definitely a must- regardless of if it’s Summer or Winter, raining or sunny, it’s going to take your breath away I can guarantee that!

Have you been here before or want to know more about it? Let me know in the comments below!

xxx A

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Tishia and I. Nothing better than going on adventures with your best friend
Tishia and I. Nothing better than going on adventures with your best friend

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