Then I grew up and got married and I honestly thought I would never get to road trip with the girls. When my sister told me she was coming to visit me from the UK I decided to grab the opportunity and plan a road trip. One of my sisters lives in Australia but she has never been out of Adelaide so I decided that we would all road trip to Melbourne girls style.
Obviously we were planning lots of shopping but we also wanted to get in some sightseeing and the museums. I will share our adventure by days as it will be too long for just one blog post.
Day 1 - The Drive
Everyone was super excited for the road trip so we were up and at em super early. The car was packed and ready to leave by 5.15am. I was super impressed that everyone managed to get up without any complaints. My husband was a champion and let us drive our new car the 2014 lancer, which is a dream to drive and has great heating. It was also nice and big so we had much better leg room and plenty of storage in the boot.
Each of us girls had a suitcase and a bag for inside the car. My car bag had my purse and keys as well as snacks for the road, car phone chargers, my iPad, simple first aid kit, beanie, drinks and a blanket. (I'll share what I packed for the weekend in a later post).
None of us were expecting the drive to feel so long. It was a 9 hour drive from Adelaide to Melbourne and it seemed to take forever but it was worth it. Following the phone GPS we headed to the Highway. It was an amusing start as we managed to get on the highway the wrong way and our journey started with us heading back to Adelaide. A quick giggle and blame passing and we got back on track with the radio playing and everyone warming up in the car with our blankets and heater.
Our first stop was at a little rest stop on the side of the road just before Bordertown, where we did a quick change over of drivers as I was getting a sore back the first few hours. Then we carried on to Bordertown and stopped again to fill the car with petrol, have a toilet break and grab some energy drinks.
There was not a lot to see on the drive and some of the girls fell asleep along the way. We didn't bother stopping anywhere as we all wanted to get to Melbourne ASAP and we didn't really see anything that motivated us to pull over and get out until we saw a McDonald's at Ararat. We didn't all get out but a couple of girls went in for a bathroom stop and we swapped drivers again.
The next few hours were a bit of a drag. We were all getting tired and just wanted to arrive in Melbourne and get out the car. Eventually we could see Melbourne city in the distance and we all woke up and started getting excited. We didn't need the GPS for the whole trip so far as it was basically one road the whole way but once we arrived at the end of the highway and entered Melbourne we had to get out the GPS to help get us to the hotel. The roads in Melbourne were hard to figure out compared to Adelaide so it was a bit chaotic and nerve racking getting to the hotel but we made it without any bad experiences.
Mantra on the Park was our hotel and we quickly parked out the front and then ran in to check in. The receptionist informed us that there was parking on the premises for $30 a day, which we took her offer as it was just easier than searching for another park. We also wanted the car to be close to us and feel that it was safe. The hotel car park also came with a key card that we could enter and exit as many times as we liked during our stay, but we never took the car out as the trams over there were so easy and most things we wanted to do were in walking distance.
Once the car was packed up safely we headed to our room to drop off our luggage and check out the hotel. (More on that tomorrow).
Everyone was exhausted so we headed out for an early dinner. We ended up walking to Chinatown but the restaurants we liked the look of were super packed and it was freezing so we headed back towards the hotel and next to our hotel we found a little Thai restaurant called ThaiLicious. The food was super nice and staff were very friendly. I ended up ordering an entree of satay chicken and salad with a side of coconut rice which cost me about $12. The dish was made with a good amount of spice and was a great portion for someone with only a small appetite. Looking at the whole menu the prices were extremely reasonable and there was a nice variety. I wish we weren't so exhausted from the drive as we would have been able to appreciate our surroundings more that night as I remember it to be such a pleasant little restaurant. If I go back to Melbourne I will definitely eat there again.
Once dinner was over we just went straight to bed so that we could get enough sleep to be refreshed for the rest of the weekend.
Make sure you stay tuned for the next instalment of Melbourne adventures tomorrow with the hotel review and day 2 of our trip.