Part 10 : Melbourne Review and Tips
Sunday, October 23, 2016
"Until next time Melbourne", 2016
(Lola 5 tahun 2 bulan | Lana 3 tahun 1 bulan)
Finally, all of my reviews are finished. So here's my fave spot when you're traveling with kids to Melbourne (just click the title, it will open on another page, and yes there's gonna be a lot of photos) :
1. City of Melbourne
2. Melbourne Zoo
3. Melbourne Museum
4. Brighton Beach
5. Lygon Street
6. Breastfeeding & Nursing Room
7. Scienceworks & Planetarium
8. Soverign Hill
9. State of Victoria Library
We had an amazing two weeks there, and I'm gonna share some of my reviews :
I bought the ticket at Garuda Indonesia Kota Kasablanka, you can actually do it from home using the internet, but since I had to pay a big price for this, so I felt secured if I go to the ticket counter (it was my first time anyway to pay a lot of tickets). I bought the direct flight, departure time was midnight, so the kids can sleep well and we will be arrived in the morning. I suggest you can go to travel fair, too bad the Garuda Travel Fair event was on the day I flew to Melbourne. The price comparison is very different.
We stayed at my husband's sister. They've been a permanent resident since 9 years ago. She just moved in for less than a month to the new house, so she's still busy with the moving, some of her stuffs were still in the apartment. Glad that she has plenty of rooms for us to sleep, and I think her house is also sophisticated which made my kids pretty excited (like the TV is almost 10 times bigger than mine, cinematic size!). And only on weekend we can go to the city or outside city with their cars (anyway parking lot in city area is SUPER expensive, so we cannot hang out at mall for a long time).
Buses, trams and trains are quite pricey in here. Mostly 4 dollars per trip. So if you're travelling a lot in 1 day, I'll suggest you to buy Myki Pass Weekly (options; 7 days, 28 days, 356 days). For example, today you're gonna use 2 buses and 4 trams, it will cost you 24 dollars, but with Myki Pass Weekly you only need to pay 45 dollars for a whole week with unlimited tap on card (zone 1 & 2 only).
If you're planning to go outside city, it has different price. But if you're staying in the city or less than 7 days where mostly walking is the best transport, I'll suggest you to buy Myki Money, where you can top up for as much as you like. CBD (Flinders Street Station - Queen Victoria Market) & Doclands Area is Tram Free Zone (you don't need to touch on your Myki).
Myki Pass Weekly need to be top up only in some places, unlike the Myki Money where you can top up everywhere. So you'll need to check out on PTV map (on website or apps), where's the nearest place. Train Station is the easiest one. Don't forget to download the PTV apps, it is very helpful. You will get the exact time when the bus, tram, train will arrived.
Touch on Myki card when you enter the tram, bus, or train and touch off as you get off so you will get the lowest fare.
Taxi can be used anywhere, you can stop it or either by making a phone reservation (I tried to call them and the call center was great on informing the update). On my last day we used taxi to go to the airport. It cost around 70 dollars for the van (perfect for lot's of suitcases) and 45 dollars for the sedan.
Using car with kids. Just don't forget to put an infant/toddler carseat if you're traveling with kids aged 0-7 years old. From 7-12 years old you can use booster seat (on taxi you don't need it, on Uber yes you can asked them to provide it and it'll be charged 10 dollars). Remember to buckle up even you're not in the front seat.
I used 2 sim cards, Telstra and Vodafone. If you want to buy sim card, you should buy on the direct shop don't buy on supermarket or other places. So you can asked the sales assistant to help you activate the sim card.
On Vodafone I tried to activated by myself, unfortunately there's a problem so I need to make a call to the hotline center and solved the problems with a long conversations. And the result, it took 1 day until the sim card is ready to use.
While on Telstra, I asked the sales assistant to help me activate the card. Within 5 minutes it's ready to use. Asked them to use their emails instead yours, so the junk mail will not spam your email. Buy the 30 dollars package, it's more simple and you don't need to wait for 4-6 hours to get a top up (like the 2 dollars sim card).
Here's the tips, fish and chips mostly always cheaper. In here the food can cost 10-15 dollars per portion, water 2-3 dollars (on avarage resto at mall, not a fancy one). So make sure you'll prepare minimum for 30-50 dollars if you eat 3 times outside your hotel or place.
Snacks, cake, or other stuff mostly cost 4 to 5 dollars each. Buy some food from supermarket could be better. Dairy products are incredibly cheap!! Like big almond milk only 1,5 dollars! For breakfast I usually buy from supermarket. My fave supermarket are Woolworths and Coles.
Some places are close to mosque but some are not. Just find a nursery room or empty corner to pray.
I reallllly love the Melbournians! Everyone is super friendly and nice. Also very helpful. Not only that, every time you bought something, the cashier will ask about your day and how was it. The elderly are the funniest and friendliest. Mostly they will ask you if you need to find a road, or even help you when the kids are throwing their tantrums, they will told my kids jokes! (Oh can I live in Melbourne please?).
Hard to explain, but here in Melbourne, you can find a lot of shopping center, boutique, etc. So many stores. And don't miss the DFO, where branded items are always on sale. Toys R Us for your kids. Kmart is the best place for the one who love decorating house. I'm gonna miss shopping at Kmart!! And bought 2 new suitcases after that because no more space on my suitcase. I bought plates, glasses, bed linen and a lot of stuffs.
There's a lot of free playground in Melbourne, almost every neighborhood has playground. Museums are free for kids.
Big wheel stroller is the best! I've tried the Mountain Buggy while at Sovereign Hills. It was a great experience, the brake is on handle bar not on your feet. No need to worry about bumpy roads. The big wheel will help you a lot when you need to hop on or get off the bus, tram and train. But I used Baby Zen Yoyo on daily activities. Small wheel kinda stuck between the gap of the transport and road.
Since the washing machine at home arrived when we're about to go home to Jakarta, so we used Laundromat (self service laundry). The cost was around 10 dollars or more depend on your pile of dirty clothes. Between 2-3 days I packed my laundry to the nearest place and waited for 1 hour until it is finished. Usually 7 dollars for the washing machine and 3 dollars for the tumble dryer.
Nothing beats a memorable holiday.
A huge thanks to my husband's sister for letting us stay in her beautiful house. The house is such a dream house, especially the pantry and kitchen where spices and herbs can be so pretty. I miss the food, the steaks, the almond milk, and everything that is lactose and gluten free can be found easily. Also I miss the night when I can see city lights from the sunroof when we're driving down to Lygon street.
Despite of the high living cost for 2 weeks that made my eyes shocked, hahaha, everything that I see in the city is lovable. I'm gonna miss catching up the bus and tram. I'm gonna miss the dragon's breath that made my kids laugh because of the cold weather. I'm gonna miss the big portion food. I'm gonna miss the time when we get lost. But I don't miss the time when we met drunk guy who was throwing bottles to the rail.
See you next time Melbourne. Our visa will be expired for the next 3 years, we hope we can visit the city again soon. PS: And nothing beats your mom's smile when she saw the gorgeous city (it was a great holiday when you can brought your mom with you, especially when she's stronger than you and she can even run fast to catch up the bus, while I'm dying because I hate running). Should I hit the gym? Nayy.. :D I just need my couch to make me a happy mom.