Whistle-stop tour of Melbourne

Congratulations Cal!
Our October blog winner

Fosters... the Australian
secret is out. 

Cal O'Neill discovers the real truth about Fosters and makes some new friends in a four-day stopover of Australia's most stylish city, Melbourne.

So after three weeks in Sydney, the next stop on my ‘great Aussie adventure’ is a brief four day stopover in Melbourne where I’d be staying at the delightful Habitat HQ hostel in St Kilda.  The short plane ride over gave me time to reflect on my time down under so far.   

When thinking of Australia back in England, I had this clear image of day-after-day of glorious sun with everyone chilling out on the beach, having BBQ’s and drinking Fosters.  So far my trip had brought up weird red dust storms, endless amounts of rain and not a Fosters in sight.  No one drinks it here! 

Back in England their whole marketing angle is ‘drink Australian, drink Fosters’ and the adverts always have cool, relaxed Aussie dude’s chilling at a beach (now you can see where I got my image of Australia from) but over here, no one bloody drinks it!  Perhaps Melbourne would be the place to provide me with my Aussie ideal.

I arrive at the hostel and for a minute forget what country I’m in due to the sheer volume of English.  Now despite being English myself, I’ve always been amused by the stereotypical English tourist and how often many live up to that stereotype.  Here was no different.  All they want to do is get a tan, get pissed and only hang out with fellow English people.  I never understand why they waste all that money and effort coming halfway around the world to do this when they could have quite as easily stayed at home, bought a crate of beer and a few sessions on the tanning bed.  At least back home they can get a Fosters.

I get to my room and am greeted by a large German guy snoring away in the bunk above mine.  I dump my bags in my room and quickly make an escape into the city to see what Melbourne has to offer.  After hours of roaming around the cool little side streets and checking out some of the Arts Festival I find myself at a bar with a well earned pint of Super Dry (its low-carb so I feel healthy for drinking it).  I’m sitting there lost in thought when two very attractive blonde Aussie girls approach me, “Excuse me, anyone sitting here?” 

They introduce themselves
as Kat and Marley and for the
next two hours or so the beer
flows just as quickly as the
conversation. And so I sit
there and enjoy some good
old fashioned Australian
hospitality.

After a few seconds of bewildered silence I tell them no and they join me. 

They introduce themselves as Kat and Marley and for the next two hours or so the beer flows just as quickly as the conversation. And so I sit there and enjoy some good old fashioned Australian hospitality. Things are about to get a bit more hospitable when Marley tells me they are off back to hers to make dinner and would I like to join them.  After a few more moments of bewildered silence I find myself in their car travelling to some suburb in the middle of nowhere asking myself how I got here.  I have no idea where I am or how I’m going to get back to the hostel and I’m already starting to imagine tomorrow’s headlines – ‘another stupid pom backpacker missing.’

As we approach one of the biggest houses I’ve ever seen, Marley turns to me and says “My friend Dan is coming for dinner as well.”  Before I can ask who this Dan guy is Marley says “oh there she is now, she’s early.” 

It turns out Dan is short for Danielle who is yet another tall, attractive blonde.  I’m starting to question whether I’m actually awake or if this is all a dream and I’m really passed out in my hostel room with the large German guy in the bunk above me snoring away.  I mean seriously, this is like that scene from Love Actually with the American girls and those two English guys.

I decided that dream or not, I’m just gonna go with it so get out of the car and introduce myself to the delightful Danielle.  We make our way into the house, which much like the whole of this experience, is unbelievable.  It’s like one of those houses you see in American teen movies where they always have a massive party.  So we settle in one of the many lounge rooms and I enjoy an evening full of drink, food and general good times.  Marley is even kind enough to drop me back at the hostel the next day where the large German guy is still happily snoring away.  I’m not quite sure if he’s moved at all from when I left him.

And so I now head over to Perth taking with me some very fond memories of Melbourne and thinking that Australia so far is way better then chilling on a beach drinking a Fosters.

- Interested in tracing Cal's travels and visiting Melbourne? Get a free night's accomodation at Habitat HQ and heaps of other freebies with your Visa Bureau Australian Working Holiday Visa.