A Travellerspoint blog


Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...


Dan and I have a strong connection with Brighton back in the UK. Not only is it the city where we first met but I used to go to uni there and Dan used to play the Brighton circuit with his band, good times for both of us :) So you can imagine how we reacted to finding out that there was a Brighton here just 20 mins by train south of Melbourne. We had to go and check it out...


In true British form a bit of drizzle didn't deter us from heading to the seaside.


Tiles that had been designed by children had been embedded at intervals along the coastal path which you can't help but smile at..


If I'm honest we weren't that impressed with the beach until we turned the corner and had a great view of the city.


We continued up the coast until we came to Dendy Street Beach which is instantly recognisable by its famously vibrant bathing boxes.



There are 82 bathing boxes along this stretch of beach each with a unique vibe and character and definitely brightened up the grey day.


We weren't the only ones enjoying the beach... the little terrier is called Woody and he lives with a cat called Buzz :)



We'd worked up a bit of an appetite and decided to keep walking to find some food. Brighton is a very affluent area with some amazing beach front properties with huge windows to make the most of the view. We also got a view though and you could see all the expensive decor inside the houses...one day we might live somewhere like this...one day...


Clearly in the expensive stretch of the beach we were worried that the only place to eat would be at the yacht club so we were really pleased when we spotted a fish and chip shop on the otherside of the road, where we could get some seaside grub for under 10 bucks each (way cheaper than the yacht club!)

No trip to Brighton would be complete without fish and chips!



Posted by doyledan 05:07 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Street Art of Melbourne

Melbourne is known for being a centre for the arts and culture and this character is represented on the streets themselves through the artwork that can be found around every corner.


The city is famous for its street art with streets and lane ways providing the canvas for people to express themselves.


Granted some are better than others but majority will blow your mind at how talented graffiti artists are as you marvel at the creations that have come from an aerosol can.






The graffiti is always changing so there is always something new to discover, another reason why we love this quirky city.


Posted by doyledan 18:59 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

A night of variety!

We had heard talk of a random night at a pub in Brunswick called 'The Variety Collective' where for 10 dollars you get an evening of various acts which could be anything from magicians and singers to contortionists and comedians.

When we took a look at their website and watched one of the videos that showcased what you could expect I spotted 'potato girl' in one of the acts, an unsuccessful contestant from Australia's Got Talent who wasn't that great! A bit concerned about what we were going to get we decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a go.... It turned out to be an awesome night of fun!! :)

We roped in a couple of mates to join us and with wine and beers in hand we found seats in the side room of the Brunswick Green (which is quite a quirky pub, will def go back for a drink there) and waited for the show to begin. It was quite an intimate setting with our group making up a quarter of the audience but our seats were towards the back so we thought we would be safe from any crowd participation.


We were introduced to the show by the compare who explained that the show was all about acts who own the stage "LIKE A BOSS", a saying that would be repeated throughout the evening reminding me of my brother as its one of his catchphrases (although he and my sister had both mastered incorporating a whistle at the end of Boss which annoyingly I never got the hang of!)

We were eased into the night by a comedian, although his act being solely about his disappointment at not being diagnosed with testicular cancer was a bit hit n miss with the crowd.

As the MC introduced the next act we didn't know what to expect as a guy looking like he had escaped from a Super Mario convention started to walk down an aisle. He was a StrongMan and proceeded to demonstrate his physique and impressive moustache on stage.


We were all in fits of laughter at this random act although this quickly turned into nervous laughter as he prowled back down the aisle clearly looking for someone to help him with his next demonstration. I thought I was safe being in the corner at the back. Despite my best efforts to not catch his eye by sinking lower in my seat and trying to appear preoccupied with my glass of wine I somehow found myself singled out and being led onto the stage! He told me to stand straight and keep my arms and legs pinned together, no matter what happened I was to remain like a board...oh and not to panic! Not knowing what was going to happen next I followed his instructions to the letter as he literally whisked me off my feet and I was up in the air above his shoulders in one movement!!


The crowd went wild!!

Next up was a young magician who wowed the crowd by solving a Rubix cube in a minute. The MC had found out that one of the women sitting in the front row was called Phun, which lead to lots of references to 'Phun being fun' and soon enough she was up on the stage with the magician along with one of our friends Henry for some crowd participation. Although she didn't quite get the point of the act and inadvertently gave away how the trick was being done, which was annoying for the magician but hilarious for the rest of us!


The next act was a girl who did some Taekwondo, bit of a time filler I guess as was a bit boring watching her kick and punch a board that was made to break apart. Although we did like her glamorous assistant :)


Our favourite StrongMan came back on stage and Dan and Broomy were selected with 2 other guys to try to pull his arms apart. It sounded like an easy task for 4 guys to take on but despite their best efforts his hands never parted!


The final act of the night was a great singer called Jefferson Smith who got the crowd going with renditions of Frank Sinatra and Jonny Cash.


Phun couldn't contain herself and jumped up on stage with him to dance as he serenaded her.

It was a great night which far surpassed our expectations. Most of us ended up on stage which added to the fun and I think we all would come back on another Wednesday soon. check it out here


Posted by doyledan 17:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

A trip to Dandenong

Having spent the weekdays scouring the job websites we were easily persuaded to join Ria and some of her friends out to the Dandenong Ranges at the weekend. The Dandenongs are low mountains which are east of Melbourne and we had often looked at them in the distance from our apartment window. The opportunity to get out of the city and soak up some country air was enough and so we planned to meet Ria at Flinders Street station with the intention of getting the train out to Belgrave. The added bonus to this trip was that we were going to have a Bar-b out in the ranges, apparently there are these purpose built areas within the woodland with gas cookers where you can set up kitchen and have a good meal! Brilliant idea! So Sarah and I stocked up on sausages, rolls, salad and crisps ready for the adventure. Oh and we found a few Bintangs too! We also picked up the MyKi card which is the equivalent to London's Oyster card.


When we got to the station at 11am it wasn't long before Ria, Noreen, Chauny and Carianna showed up and we chatted away catching up on what we were all doing in Melbourne before Ria revealed that the trip actually takes about 1 hour and half just to get to Belgrave. None of us were aware of this but it didn't matter as it would give us a chance to get to know the others and see the scenery change as we travelled out of the city. It wasn't till we made it to the end of the line that Ria revealed we needed to also take a bus out to Gemsbrook so it was going to be a little longer before we were at our destination (another 40mins). It was quite funny because Ria said that if she had revealed before we left how long it was going to take then it was possible no one would want to go, but we didn't mind and had a laugh taking over the back seats on the bus.

When we got to what we thought was the right stop we hopped off and already the countryside was around us, it was really refreshing. We passed the old steam train called Puffing Billy which you can actually take instead of the bus, however its a little over priced for the novelty (around 50 bucks return!)

Puffing Billy looked pretty cool though.


The area we had found ourselves in was called Gemsbrook and we asked around at the shops to find out where to go for a walk and find the Bar-B!


The area is prone to bush fires so these warnings are put in place to warn locals..Crazy!


We walked down Gembrook Avenue of Honour which is lined with trees in memory of Word War I servicemen who died.


On the way we asked a loony lady in a craft shop directions and found ourselves on a path leading into the forest.

We passed big trees that could you could fit a family inside!


And had to make a decision at one point which route we would take, deciding to go towards Fern Gully, mainly because Sarah loved the cartoon as a kid.


The forest was nice and colourful and on the path there was the enormous tree that had fallen which I thought was pretty insane.


It was a really different forest full of eucalyptus trees and glades of ferns, at points looking more like something you would find in Jurassic Park. We didn't see any dinosaurs though, or koalas despite as trying to keep an eye out in the eucalyptus trees.


The path was quite short in the end and we ended up on a country road walking towards the hills, it was a beautiful scenery and reminded us of being in the countryside at home. After walking further down the road we got the sense that we weren't going in the right direction. We decided to turn back and head back to the puffing billy train as one of the girls had seen a Bar-B set up in the gardens nearby. Despite the mis-direction it was still a pleasant place to walkabout.


As we walked down the countrylane Sarah had an odd feeling that we were being watched...


Walking back didn't take long as we knew where we were going. But we had worked up an appetite and were pleased to find that the outside Bar-B was ready to Burn!


Sarah continued her animal photography pursuits. These are Rosellas, a type of parrot native to Australia.


And, naturally we had to go in the playground.


A big thanks to Ria for arranging it and thanks to all the girls for making a fun day.

Stay tuned for more tales


Posted by doyledan 04:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Run Doyley! Run!

The Tan Track is a famous running track in Melbourne that circles the Botanical Gardens for 3.8kms. It used to be an equestrian track for people to exercise their horses but now it is used by runners, joggers and walkers alike to exercise themselves and their dogs too.


The story goes that it is known as the Tan due to the colour of the track but some people will strongly debate that it is called 'Tan' because it circles the boTANical gardens, so who knows? (just an FYI the info signs at the track go with the colour idea but I'm not gonna take sides).


Now those who know me will confirm that the words "runner" and "natural athlete" are not normally used to describe me... unless you have witnessed me leaping away from a spider, chasing after a cat for a kitten cuddle or using my fencing skills to get the last spoonful of Ben & Jerrys.

So you may be surprised that when Dan suggested we tackle The Tan that I said "YES!"

If I'm honest my initial response wasn't quite as enthusiastic as that, its was more of a "meh" and so it took a lot of encouragement and coaxing from Dan. Basically I'm a bit of a self conscious runner, probably because I regularly trip myself up just walking, but when Dan said that he'd seen "plenty of people who looked like they couldn't run giving it ago" then I thought I'd better join them.

Soon enough trainers were on and we were out in the crisp autumn air. After being so active during our travels in Asia I really dont want to turn back into a couch potato and lucky for us the Botanical Gardens are only a few minutes walk from the flat, so there are no excuses really.


And guess what I surprised myself and actually made it all the way round without dying (although I did walk up the hill section) and I enjoyed it! Dan was right there are all sorts of people on the track of varying abilities, sizes and ages. I swear one woman must have been in her 70s, she may have lapped me actually. I hear on the grapevine that a lot of Aussie celebs and sports stars run on the track too, not that I would recognise any of them yet.

We did spot a onesie photoshoot though!


I have tackled the Tan a couple of times now and hope to keep it up. I ve decided a way to keep me motivated is to update this entry with my times. If you can be bothered to check this and see that I haven't updated it then feel free to send me a kick up the backside to get moving!

So here it is, not that impressive given that the fastest lap is around 10 mins but do remember Im not a runner and have short legs!

10/06/2013 - 29 mins

15/06/2013 - 27 mins (getting better already)

17/06/2013 - 26 mins :)

21/06/2013 - 26 mins

23/06/2013 - 24.10 !!!!! Quicker going the other way

28/06/2013 - 23 mins 50 seconds!!

Unfortunately have been too enthusiastic with the running and hurt by foot so won't be running for next month. Thank god we have the pool!

Who knows one day my name might be on here...



Posted by doyledan 01:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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