The Grampians Trip | New to Melbourne Bus Tours

Hey, can you believe it? We finally got around to doing something touristy and leaving the city! It only took about 2 months to do so… lol.

On Australia Day (Jan 26th), we finally went on the long-awaited Grampians bus tour. I found this bus tour hosted by New to Melbourne on Facebook and it’s aimed towards travellers and budget travellers. We missed out on the early birds special and got the next tier which was about $65? I think early bird special was only $50 per person.

I mean… that is significantly cheaper than renting a car! I pushed Dan to join me on this bus tour because the reviews were great buuut… I think we’ll skip these bus tours going forward. We originally planned on doing two more tours with them but it’s not our style, despite the cheap prices.


I took a nap before arriving at our first stop, Beaufort, a small little town about 2-2.5 hours away from Melbourne downtown. It’s one of those towns with only one major main street as their downtown and everything is local. It was our first pit stop to grab some lunch and for the next 30-40 minutes or so, I just loved Beaufort. I don’t know why but I love small towns.

From there, it was only about 40ish minutes to The Grampians.

*Cue Country Roads by John Denver*

So, Grampians is like a national park in the state of Victoria and our first stop was Mackenzie Falls. It’s at the top of the park and let me just say… holy crap, it’s beautiful!

It’s a giant waterfall but the scenery and landscape were just so beautiful and peaceful. Everything was blue. The water stream was refreshing and cold on a nice 30 degrees day. It really was breathtaking and I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like this before.

The great Mackenzie Falls.

We then hiked a bit further down to get away from the crowds.

Does anyone else like copying their significant other? LOL.


Unfortunately, the tour started later than usual and the tour guide had trouble sticking to the itinerary throughout the stops so Mackenzie Falls was only about an hour… like seriously?! Only an hour to experience this beauty?

So we hopped on the bus and visited our next stop, The Balconies that overlooks The Grampian, I suppose.

This was a mediocre stop. The view was great but definitely not worth cutting Mackenzie Falls short.


And ten minutes away was Reed Lookout (I think??? lol). This was literally the dumbest thing because she only gave us 20 minutes to experience this lookout, and the best lookout was 1km always. Like, it would take 15-20 minutes alone just to walk back and forth from the lookout to the bus.

Sorry! This panorama wouldn’t rotate T__T

The last stop at the bottom of the Grampians was this kangaroo park. Unfortunately, it’s weather dependent and it was a hot day so the kangaroo park was empty. I think that sort of stricken a chord with Dan because when you look back retrospectively, we didn’t have to rush all the stops and could’ve experienced a bit more.

The next and final pit stop was in a town called Ararat where we stopped for some dinner. We had Nando’s planned (since we get dropped off right in front of it after the tour) so we just ordered some fries and drinks at McDonald’s to keep us satisfied until Nando’s.


So, all in all, the itinerary was planned for 9am to 9pm and we got back into the city at 8:45pm despite having a late start… I mean, I disliked the tour enough for me to actually be happy to have it end earlier than anticipated.

Don’t get me wrong – The Grampians was a beautiful experience and trip but the bus tour thing is not us. And New to Melbourne could really tighten up their game.

The tour guide was late to greet us. The bus was late to arrive. The bus driver was haggard and needed to take breaks on the side of the road. We stopped at a hotel to pick up another passenger’s mom?! And every stop was cut short to ensure we arrive back into the city at 9pm.

Not worth it. Crammed in a bus, our legs were tired and our shoulders were stuff, and when we arrived at our stops, we barely had time to fully stretch our legs and enjoy the views.

Sure, it’s $50-65 but for a once in a lifetime experience, I think it’s worth it to chuck out some money to rent a car and do things to your own desire and not wait on anyone else.

Oh well… lesson learned for our next road trip!

My First Australian Open!

Last week, I went to my first ever Australia Opening… actually, make it my first tennis game ever. If you don’t count any games I’ve watched my classmates play back in high school.

Dan has been doing some work at the AO and decided to grab some court tickets to catch this event. I didn’t know just how big an Australia Opening is until my colleagues were talking about it. When I mentioned that I’m heading there on Sunday, my colleague, Charlotte, was telling me how much I’d love the atmosphere and Dan thinks the atmosphere would be pretty cool for me as well.

We went with our roommate, Tiffany, and her brother, Tom. When we first arrived, we walked around the grounds filled with yummy vendor stands and shops.

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOOOOOVE visiting souvenir shops so when I saw the Fan Shop, I dragged Dan in. He did warn me that all the Australia Opening swag is hella expensive so just how expensive? A damn baseball cap costs $40 and all it has is ‘AO’ embroidered on the front.

We got tickets to Margaret Court and I watched some legendaries played. They must be legendaries but I had no idea who they were, lol.

After this, it was the Women’s Double.

After that, it was a break before the Women’s Single match. We went to this BBQ pulled pork vendor for lunch and made it back to our seats in time for the Women’s Single match.

So, prior to the Women’s Single match, the court was rather empty. But when this match was starting, the entire court was nearly filled seat to seat. I think this was the “title match” for ticket holders to Margaret Court.

I remember this match because everyone was talking about it! It was the match between Danielle Collins and Angie… something, lol. I don’t know the players but I believe Angie was world’s #2 and she was knocked out by Collins under an hour! At that time, Collins was #14 in the world.


Since Collins smashed the match fairly quickly, we were pretty much out of our seats as fast as we got there. I mean, it was a good match but Tiffany made a good comment saying we spent money on these tickets and sort of wish we got to see more tennis.

We were about to head home until we decided to watch another big game outdoors since we don’t have tickets to see that game. It was a good experience to see how so many Aussies would just hang out with drinks and food and catch some good tennis.


Overall, it was a great day and a nice real Aussie experience! I learned a lot of tennis as well and can see how much of an addictive game it can be to watch.

We Went Mini Golfing! | Holey Moley Golf Club

Two Mondays ago, Dan and I got kicked out of our place because the water heater broke and the plumber and real estate agent came to repair it in the evening. Our housemate isn’t actually allowed to rent to couples, and our names aren’t on the lease, so we weren’t allowed to go home until 7PM-ish.

So, what is something to do on a Monday evening? Indoor mini golf, of course!

We planned on going mini golfing earlier but Dan got super tired so we saved it for another day. Plus, it was sooooo much cheaper to go on a Monday than a Saturday ($10 per person vs $22 per person).

It was such a cool little joint! First of all, I couldn’t believe this building housed mini golf, lol. I was also surprised to see two bouncers at the door but I guess it can get pretty rowdy with the crowds and drinking. The joint also has a small bar and dining area in the back.

I think I’ve only done mini golfing once or twice in my life and that was back at some shitty neighbourhood carnival, haha. Recently, I’ve been going to Top Golf down in the US for the past two years thanks to my work’s conference and it’s always a blast! I was super excited to see a Top Golf commercial for Australia but it’s on the Gold Coast and we don’t plan on exploring that area until closer towards the end of our trip.

We have ten rounds and each of them has a different theme. My favourite one is this ass Trump themed round, and the goal was to get the ball through the wall.

At the end of the night, Dan won by three points. I think he was pretty surprised to see how close our scores were since he has no idea that I absolutely love Top Golf.

How cute is this plants vs zombie theme?!

And yes, we also came home to a nice working hot water tank again 🙂

Journal Entry #007

Monday, January 28th, 2019

I said it once and I’m going to say it again… January 2019 is done already?! The first and last month of the year always flies by for me. I can’t believe this is my last entry of the month!

I’m quite proud of myself lately. 2019 has been a great start so far in terms of finally getting around to one of my goals that I always set year after year. And that is… learning how to cook.

Prior to the start of the year, I Googled and snapped pictures of easy, peasy, lemon squeezy recipes and saved them onto my Google Notes app to sort of make an online recipe book. I think of the things that failed in the past was I would always dive head first and get overwhelmed by all these ingredients and cooking methods. I had to realize that even professionals had to start somewhere so I broke it down into easy recipes so I can master the techniques and get comfortable working with different ingredients.

Dan and I sat down to make a weekly dinner plan so we also won’t be tempted to order out or drop by the supermarket and spend $30 on one dinner. The other day, I felt so cheesy that we’re one of those families that have declared Wednesday nights as meatloaf nights.

Shit quality but first time making meatloaf! We followed an easy one pan meatloaf dinner recipe w/ broccoli and sweet potato.

Following Vivian’s recommendation, I dragged Dan to try out Sakura Kaiten Sushi and oh my lord, it’s the best sushi we’ve had since arriving in Melbourne! There was a small line up when we went but it was sooooo worth it. It took me by surprise how cozy and small the restaurant was. Definitely an intimate place to have dinner.

And, did I mention that this is another sushi train restaurant?! It’s not as cool was Genki Sushi in Tokyo but better than Sushi Hub!

Since it’s a sushi train, we pay by the dishes and each colour of the dishes represent a different price. I think we picked out most of the $3-something plates.

The damage!

We have also been trying new local restaurants as well! We went to Burger Bliss for some delicious burgers – they got very yummy fries, and Wings of Glory for some good ol’ chicken wings. We only went to Wings of Glory because I found a Groupon deal, lol.


So, taking 10-20 minutes walks throughout the day is highly encouraged by my team at work so I’ve been starting to go on daily walks after my lunch. Now only does it kill time (haha), but it also makes me feel like I’m burning off some calories from my lunch. I work in Footscray and it’s surrounded by very nice graffiti murals.

Dan’s dad also requested us to find a book called The Killer Koala and we tracked it down via an online store. It’s somewhat of a rarity I suppose because very few stocks were available online and most of the ones we found were on Amazon or eBay for almost $100! We got the book for only $30 with free shipping.

Dan has finished reading it and I heard him chuckle a few times throughout the book so I’m keen on reading it as well before we ship it back to Canada for Dan’s dad.

Money Diary of a 25-year-old HR Admin in Melbourne | Dec. 16th-22nd, 2018

Doing a new segment called Money Dairy that logs my spending on a weekly basis (excluding rent, subscriptions (eg. Netflix, Spotify, gym and Scribd) and debt payments). I love looking at how my peers spends because it makes me less guilty of my habits, but it’s only fair that I contribute my weekly spending habits as well. Be sure to check out my other money diary entries over here!


Sunday, December 16th
11am – Kicked off the nice Sunday with some Starbies… $11.80
12pm – Went to my beloved Target for a better pillow and some workout clothes… $19.00
12:30pm – My shitty Skullcandy headphones broke so I had to buy a replacement from JB-HiFi. I decided to go with Sony this time… $30.74
1pm – Since we were in the city, we decided to stop by Sushi Hub for lunch… $15.40

Monday, December 17th
1pm – Hit the wall at work and went for a cup of coffee from a fancy shop… $4
6:30pm – Grabbed some groceries for tonight’s dinner from Woolsworth… $24.47

Tuesday, December 18th
9am – Was craving that delicious Vanilla Latte from Cotton Mills Coffee so I skipped the usual 7-11… $5.50

Wednesday, December 19th
8am – I forgot my banana for breakfast so I purchased a slice of banana bread with my coffee at 7-11… $3
6:30pm – Got too lazy to go food shopping and cook so we ordered Yori Yori Sushi from Uber Eats… $36.48

Thursday, December 20th
9am – I don’t know why, but my dumb ass decided to skip 7-11 today and went for a fancy latte again… $6

Friday, December 21st
3:00pm – I got off work early so I decided to stop by TK Maxx (the Aussie version to Winners/Ross/Marshall’s) to browse around without being rushed. I ended up picking a pack of seamless undies and lavender essential oil… $18.95
4pm – Of course, the mall I was at had a Starbies… $5.50
6pm – I promised Dan that I’ll cook dinner so I dropped by Woolsworth again to grab some groceries… $29.76

Saturday, December 22nd
Hallelujah, I did NOT spend a dime today!


Total for the week? $210.60!

Not bad, compared to last week’s, eh? It’s the week before the holidays so I was downtown a bit more, and it was an odd week that I craved Vanilla lattes so much!

Lessons from this week? Do not buy Skullcandy in-ear headphones… and maybe plan my groceries a bit better so I’m not constantly heading to the groceries stores.

For those who are wondering, I’m not including my monthly rent, bills, subscriptions, and student loan repayments. I don’t know why, maybe I should?

Journal Entry #006

Friday, January 11th, 2019

I can’t believe it’s almost halfway through January! January is one of those months that always flies by for me, regardless if my life is eventful or not.

I’m currently sick right now. I don’t know what happened but Thursday morning on my way to work, I was just hit with motion sickness that wouldn’t go away so I left work early to rest up. This morning, I woke up without the nausea but just sharp headaches and a very achy body. You know the type of achy-ness that comes with fevers? Where you feel like you’re an 80 year old old nanny and the aches just seeps into your bones? I have that right now as I type this journal entry, lol.

The good thing about being stuck at home like an 80 year old granny is the fact that I’m able to finally catch up on blogs, write new entries, and discover new blogs. I really want to keep consistent with my blogging this year and grow my blog.

I was looking through my Google Photos and have a back log of photos… so, here’s a photo dump!

Where are all my B99 fans?! This shirt is from Greyline AU and I just had to buy it after seeing the Instagram ad for it. I got one for Dan as well but his shirt says Amazing Genius/Detective lol.

Dan’s mom sent us pictures of Cooper and look at how big he has gotten in just two years! As you can tell from the picture, I’m a dog aunt. Cooper belongs to Tyler, Dan’s older brother.


Last Friday, we went on a walking ghost tour! This would be my third one (lol, I know right?) and it was great. I found Lantern Ghost Tours off Groupon but otherwise, I normally wouldn’t pay full price for these activities. The host, Jason, was very good and the tour was fun. A lot to learn about Melbourne and its criminal past.

The other two ghost tours I’ve been on was back in Seattle and Vancouver. For those who think it’s ridiculous… I honestly recommend trying a ghost tour… you may just get into it like I did! This was Dan’s first ghost tour and he said he had a great time as well.

Also, during the daytime, it was hella hot… like 42 degrees Celsius hot.

I’ve never experience this heat before. The moment I left my nice air-con office, I felt my eyes being dehydrated asap. It was a weird feeling.

I’m trying to cook more and save money instead of always ordering out. I tried this recipe I found online for spicy tuna avocado wraps and it was the bomb dot com. I ended up making the same thing 2 days later because it was sooooo good and hella easy and cheap to make.

That’s all from me! I’ll try to keep consistent with my blogging so I don’t have a backlog of entries and photos to spam.

Money Diary of a 25-year-old HR Admin in Melbourne | Dec. 8th-15th, 2018

After reading a few money diaries out there, I thought I’d give this thing a shot! I love discussing finances and seeing how my peers live. I also think seeing things outside of my statement could put my spending habits in a different perspective.


Saturday, Dec 8th
2pm – For lunch, we went to a nearby McDonald’s… $18
5pm – I read a few articles that eczema cream helps with KP so I went out to grab a baby eczema cream from The Chemist Warehouse… $20
6pm – After dinner, I treated Dan and myself to Starbucks… $10.60
6:30pm – A little mishap while on the train and accidentally loaded up my card with another transit pass and top-up money… $175

Sunday, Dec 9th
9:30am – I went into the city and purchased a Christmas gift from Perfect Position for my work family back at home… $19.96
4pm – Was hitting a wall and went to 7-11 across the street for an iced coffee… $2

Monday, Dec 10th
11am – Finally decided to gather the courage up and get laser hair removal after getting fed up with shaving my armpits on a daily basis in this hot country. The clinic was having a Christmas sale of $9 per session for armpits if you prepay for 10 sessions. I also ended up getting their aftercare system as well… $180.67
12pm – Hit the wall again and grabbed a cup of coffee at 7-11… $1
12:30pm – Tomorrow is my first day of work so I went to Woolsworth to buy some grocery for my lunch meal prep… $34.57

Tuesday, Dec 11th
8am – Grabbed a cup of coffee from 7-11 to start the day… $1

Wednesday, Dec 12th
8am – Grabbed a cup of coffee from 7-11 to start the day… $1
12:38pm – Went to get a coffee and a snack with a colleague… $7.30
7pm – We went to the Summer Night Market and withdrew some money for the cash-only event… $28 ($25 spending limit w/ $3 ATM withdraw fee)

Thursday, Dec 13th
8am – Grabbed a coffee and a loaf of banana bread from 7-11… $3
5pm – I read a few blog posts about a caffeine shampoo that promotes healthier hair and hair growth. I’m self-conscious of my hair at the moment so I’m willing to try anything and picked up the shampoo from The Chemist Warehouse… $14.99
5:15pm – Grabbed some dinner at Sushi Hub… $6.60
5:15pm – Also grabbed some dessert for Dan and me from Uncle Tetsu… $11.30

Friday, Dec 14th
8am – Grabbed a coffee from 7-11… $1
1pm – Forgot my lunch so I had to buy lunch… $15

Saturday, Dec 15th
12pm – I believe this run’s groceries at Woolsworth included next week’s lunches as well as some snacks and dinner… $68.85


Total for the week? $619.84

So… obviously, this isn’t great, haha. I did splurge a bit with the services and got caught up with some of reviews for the products. I was a bit annoyed that I messed up with my transit pass but whatever – it’s all good because I would’ve had to purchase it down the line anyways.

In hindsight, I also didn’t need to buy the aftercare laser treatment kit from my clinic as well but oh wells, haha… I’ll use it throughout my entire sessions anyways.