Friday 1 May 2015

Melbourne Day 1: Arrival at South Yarra

Our trip got off to a bad start as we arrived early at Changi Airport on the evening of our trip just to realise that we had forgotten to bring one of our many luggages! *gasp*

Thankfully we were still early so the hubby and bro-in-law managed to head back home to get it while the mum-in-law and I checked in. What a terrible way to start a trip! *sigh*

Luckily the queues weren't too long so we even had some time to eat something light while the kids played in the playground.

Baby Boy is finally old enough to play in this structure
Exploring the playground on his own

We decided to fly by Emirates this time as it was cheaper than Singapore Airlines (cost us approximately $700 per adult, $615 per child, and $12 per infant). We saved the most money on the infant ticket as you can tell =)

Flying by Emirates was pretty enjoyable; we got the usual spacious infant seats (gotta enjoy it while it lasts, which is not much longer! *sigh*), good service from the Cabin Crew and a lot of freebies for the kids!

Food was ok, not too bad but not fantastic either
(kids was much better in my opinion!)
Goodies from Emirates for the baby, the girl (left) and the hubby (right)
Freebies from Emirates for the girl and Baby Boy! First time we had ever received so many things! =)

It is fun to be a kid travelling on Emirates I have to say. You've got toys, toiletries, kids blanket, kids entertainment (my girl was happily watching Cinderella) and special kids food! If only I can travel as a kid!

Both kids slept for most of the 7.5 hours flight as I had hoped they would (*whew*) and we arrived safely at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) at about 8am Melbourne time (Melbourne is 2 hours ahead of Singapore).

It was a ridiculously long process to clear customs such that it was almost 10.30am when we had finally finished the immigration process! =S

We proceeded to 'Yes' Optus, a local mobile network service provider, to buy our prepaid SIM cards (as you see, we can't live without internet for even a day *laughs*). The My Prepaid Daily Plus plan gives us unlimited calls/sms in Australia and 500 MB data for just AUD 2 a day!

The 'Yes' Optus shop in Terminal 2 Arrivals, Ground floor

We paid only AUD 20 per card (we got two cards so that we can contact each other) for the whole 9-day trip! Definitely A LOT cheaper than the S$15 a day we paid to Singtel when we were in Sydney. Do note that the internet connection is not as good though; I guess what you pay is what you get.

As we were still too early to collect our rental car, we had a quick brunch at McDonald's. For some reason, it has become a tradition of sorts to have McDonald's whenever we arrive in Australia (we did the same thing when we arrived in Sydney!).

The Grand Angus burger! *yum*

When it was finally time to hop onto the free shuttle bus that will bring us to the car rental depot, we headed to the meeting point as directed by the company.

Head out of the Terminal 3, cross the crossings, turn left
and walk to this shelter labelled "Hotels and off airport parking buses"

The shuttle was really full so the hubby headed to the depot first to complete the paperwork such that once we arrived, we could go straight to the car and load it up. We rented a Hyundai IMAX from Apex Car Rentals Australia and only paid a total of AUD 660 for 9 days, which was inclusive of full insurance, one car seat, one booster seat and a GPS at no extra charges (cheaper than the car rental company in Sydney).

Our Hyundai IMAX rental car
Fitted with two car seats, one at the back for the girl and one in the middle for the boy

Exhausted from our long flight, we couldn't wait to get to our home away from home at the Vogue Apartments, which was located at 35 Malcolm Street, South Yarra.

Crossing a bridge over the Yarra River
(the Vogue Apartments is the bluish building on the left, the tallest building in the area)

The apartment we booked was a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom unit located at the highest (30th) floor of the building. It cost us about S$192 per night, which was quite affordable.

Clockwise from left: Corridor leading us from the main door to the living room;
Small kitchen space with basic amenities;
Good size living space (as good as it gets for an apartment anyway)
Look at the beautiful view from the 30th floor! =)
Balcony seating area
First room with queen size bed and an attached bathroom
(used by the mum-in-law, brother-in-law and my girl)
Second room with a slightly smaller bed and no attached bathroom
(used by the hubby, me and the baby because the hubby and I prefer to open the sliding door to let cold air in)
Love the beautiful sunrise and sunset that we got to see every morning and evening! =)
Baby Boy looking out the sliding doors as he got ready to take a nap

The first thing we did after we had sufficiently unpacked was to visit Woolworths located conveniently at the ground floor of our apartment building.

Woolworths, South Yarra

As usual, the hubby wanted to get some alcohol while I wanted my usual Coke Light and chocolates. Mum-in-law wanted to buy food and ingredients to prepare our dinner and was amazed at the freshness of the food.

A few hours later, we've got homecooked food on our table! Gotta love it when you've got a cook in your travelling party *laughs*

Fried noodles, chicken, beef steaks and eggs
Stir-fried vegetables and eggs

It's so nice to be able to have a homecooked meal after a long day! Can't wait to start our Melbourne adventure tomorrow =)

Continue to >> Melbourne Day 2: Prahran Market & Outlet Shopping at DFO


Check out our full list of kid-friendly attractions in Melbourne
Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Melbourne, Australia 

as well as other travel itineraries!

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