Our Albury Airbnb host recommended we visit the Albury Railway Station before leaving the area.
The heritage-listed station, built 1880-1, is well-known for the length of its platform. As the terminus for trains at the NSW/ Vic border, the length of the platform is due to incompatible track/ train designs between the two Australian states, wherein commuters were required to transfer trains at the station.
Still in use, the station’s historic design makes you feel as though you are boarding a train through time.
Complete with waiting rooms, the station is truly stunning. The inclusion of a modern TV screen, an anachronism that blends the past with the now.
We chose to stay at David’s Airbnb in East Albury due to its convenient location close to the centre of Albury. Only a five minute drive to the main boulevard, we felt staying here gave us more options for things to do in the short space of time we had to do these.
Dave’s Airbnb is a recently renovated standalone unit attached to the bottom of his house. It is incredibly modern with beautiful decor. We were ‘wow-ed’ the moment we stepped into the room. If I could describe the unit in three words, they’d be: luxurious, spacey, and warm.
From the way the bed was made to the placement of the ladder, the decor really blew us away. We also really loved some of the artworks on the wall- one of the first things you’ll notice as you step into the room. Our favourite facet of David’s place, however, was the heated floor! Such a small detail really improved our mid-winter stay.
From the beginning, Dave was very helpful with giving tips for things to do and even offering to lend us his bike if we decided to go cycling (there’s a beautiful cycleway in the area called the 6km Wagirra Trail, a must-see in the region, but we unfortunately didn’t have time to ride the path!). One tip that Dave gave us that we did take on-board was to visit the Albury Railway Station. It’s a historic station, still in use, known for its extra long platform, with the length due to the station being the interchange between Victorian and NSW trains.
We enjoyed our time staying at David’s Airbnb and would definitely go back if we pass through the area again. Next time we’ll leave more time to explore though!
We stayed at Lake Bunga in Lakes Entrance as it was halfway between Walhalla and Jervis Bay, so a good resting place for us. My understanding is that Lakes Entrance isn’t a massive tourist destination but there are some lovely views of lakes, beaches to visit, and a quick Google search shows that it does have some noteworthy activities. We didn’t spend any time doing activities here – For us, Lakes Entrance was just a stop over.
We chose Alan’s Airbnb for affordability. We saw on his listing that his house had a lovely view of Lake Bunga and this was enough to excite us. However, we found Alan’s Airbnb to be much better than expected. He really went above and beyond with his effort in making sure we left satisfied and had the best possible trip. One thing I loved is that Alan responded to my messages quickly; giving me a much-appreciated tip-off about the best place to stop for fuel and warning me that most eateries would be closed by the time we arrived. He also added to our itinerary by giving us a tourist pamphlet and circling some scenic places to stop, great places to eat, etc. We actually did take his advice too, stopping in Eden at the lookout where we saw a seal flipper sticking out of the ocean and grabbing lunch from Longstocking Brewery in Pambula where we unexpectedly had a lot of fun with their attached petting zoo.
We had a great chat with Alan about his travels as well. He is a retired teacher, who spent the latter years of his career working in international schools around Asia. As such, his home is decorated with Asian artefacts and art pieces. We found this a real treat as both Luke and I come from caucasian backgrounds and haven’t been exposed to much Asian art, so it was quite culturally enhancing for us.
We would definitely recommend staying with Alan if you’re travelling through the Lakes Entrance area. He really goes above and beyond to help you make the most of your travels and he is great to converse with.
Phillip Island is a gorgeous Australian ‘must-see’ just under two hours south from Melbourne. The island is known for its nightly penguin parade, seal colonies, and motorbike GP circuit, among other things.
We stayed at an Airbnb in Bass, just ten minutes from Phillip Island. Our hosts Ross and Tracey were outgoing, altruistic, and artistic; with these characteristics making our stay truly unique.
When we first entered the unit, we found a personalised note for us with a couple of chocolates. This made us feel very welcomed and really set the mood for our stay.
One of the small, yet very homely, ways that Ross and Tracey have made this place special is through the small pile of board games and books in the living room. This is perfect if you’re looking to kick-back and relax, and bond with your travel companion.
Ross and Tracey also run a café, Paul’s Table, adjacent to their Airbnb unit, out of their own home. They are all about community and hope to unite their customers in conversation. They achieve this by providing a single table that customers can sit around and talk, breaking the cycle that technology and the modern fast-paced society have created. To further illustrate that their café is focused on bringing people together rather than making money, everything on their menu is only $2.50.
Their café is decorated by beautiful Australian-themed artworks, painted by Ross himself. These add a sense of patriotism whilst giving a nod to the country roots of the café, adding homeliness to the space and giving it a touch that makes it stand out from other, everyday, city cafés.
(Fun fact: Paul’s Table Café was converted from an old police station to the modern and artistic building it is now!)
Unfortunately, the café is only open a few days a week (as pictured below), with the reason behind their limited trading hours being because Ross and Tracey work closely helping local people with disabilities on the days the café isn’t open. We were told they were helping one individual to exhibit his photography skills, and we had the good fortune of meeting another, who was learning how to make drinks and made us an excellent-quality cappuccino and hot chocolate.
Ross and Tracey went above and beyond by offering us tea/coffee from their café when we arrived and a massive breakfast the next morning consisting of scones, jam and cream, fruit toast and butter, and muesli with yoghurt. It really reflected in its taste that our breakfast had been lovingly and delicately homemade by them rather than bought from a shop…and we loved it!
All in all, we would say that our stay with Ross and Tracey exceeded expectations. Our Airbnb was truly remarkable, unique, and we were astonished at how kind-hearted and warm the couple was. We won’t be likely to forget our stay here soon and we hope to return some time in the future!
This is the basic itinerary of a road-trip from the Central Coast to Melbourne and back, recently completed by my partner Luke and I.
The trip ranges across 9 days, so we took advantage of all the must-see places and attractions in order to make the most of a short holiday! We would recommend taking this road-trip over a fortnight, if possible, in order to experience all these amazing places to their fullest. However, if taking more time off isn’t possible (like it wasn’t for me), we would suggest taking this trip in summer, as we found (since we went in winter) we were often chasing the sun, which rushed us along a bit.
Please click the hyperlinks to see more detail about specific aspects of our trip. ((These will be uploaded as they are ready)
Accomodation: Airbnb in Canberra (host wished to stay anonymous).
We travelled on a very overcast, winter day, and as a result drove alongside some of the most beautiful scenery. We stopped at multiple rest stops between Goulburn and Canberra to take in the views. Imagine: Rolling, gray-green hills being grazed by nonchalant sheep; speckled by gray-green trees, dotted with rusty brown leaves; and, distant windmill farms shrouded by low, misty clouds.
9pm: Walk down St Kilda pier to view Little Penguin colony
We had intended on driving through Bendigo, Castlemaine, and Maldon, but unfortunately made a wrong-turn that led to use by-passing these. This ended up being a blessing in disguise as we later only just made it to the Hanging Rock with enough time to skim the beautiful reserve before they locked the park.I’ve included these on the map. Consider splitting this part of the trip into two days.
10am: Shopping at Melbourne Central
2pm: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, pt. 1
5:00: Drinks and dinner at Lazerpig
7:30pm: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, pt. 2
We didn’t do this ourselves, however, after the Cursed Child would’ve been an opportune time to have a night out bar-hopping.
11:40: Historic train from Thomson Station to Walhalla Station
12: Lunch at Wally’s Pub, Walhalla
12:45: Walk through historic town; stopping in at the historic Post Office, Sweet Shop, feeding some wild King Parrots outside the Sweet Shop, and viewing historic buildings in the town such as the old Bank of Victoria.
1:30: Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine Tour
2:45: Walk back to Thomson Station, via Tramline Path- Australian Alps Walking Track- Mormontown Track
3:45: Leave for Lakes Entrance via The Honeysuckles (1hr 40 mins) – Golden Beach (20 mins) – Lakes Entrance (2hrs)
We were travelling on a Sunday so our Airbnb host warned us that there may not be anywhere to eat in the vicinity of Lakes Entrance. We also didn’t see any food places along the 90 Mile Beach. Consequently, we stopped at a McDonaldson the way… so if McDonalds isn’t to your taste, we recommend taking your own dinner along.
If you choose to skip The 90 Mile Beach, the drive from Thomson Station to Lakes Entrance is only about 2.5 hours.
Day 8: Lakes Entrance to Jervis Bay
9.30am: Leave Lakes Entrance for Jervis Bay (7 hour drive)
12:30pm: Eden Lookout and Rotary Park
1:30pm: Lunch at Longstocking Brewery, Pambula
Dessert at Bodalla Dairy Shed
6:30: Arrive at Balan Village Motel (a Best Western), Bomaderry
Dinner at Chef Tony’s Modern Chinese Restaurant (attached to motel)
We chose to stay in Bomaderry due to the prices of accommodation around Jervis Bay, which meant we had to back-track about 35 minutes to spend the following day in Jervis Bay. We liked the motel, but not the area; so, with this in mind alongside the back-tracking, if we were to redo our choice of accommodation, we would’ve spent the extra money to stay in Jervis Bay.
Day 9: Jervis Bay to home
10am: Check out of motel
11am: Hyams Beach
12:00: Blenheim Beach
12:30 Huskinsson Beach and Moona Moona Creek
2:00 Abraham’s Bosom Reserve Walking Track
4:15: Leave for home via Grand Pacific Drive and Seacliff Bridge in Wollongong
Sunset at Kingsford-Smith Memorial Lookout
We only stayed on the Grand Pacific Drive until sunset, which for us was as we were driving past Kingsford-Smith Memorial Lookout. We then joined the fastest route home, via the Princes Highway. However, we plan on doing the full Grand Pacific Drive between Wollongong and home another time as it definitely looks like a must-do!