The first port of call on my visit Down Under was the birthplace of Neighbours, Kylie and Jason, the ridiculously good looking Hemsworth brothers, and the beautiful yellow brick Flinders Street station with its many clocks.
And wow, Melbourne, you sure didn’t disappoint!
After a ridiculously long flight and a brief stopover in Dubai (although I’d have loved to have actually been able to have a proper stopover there), I arrived in this beautiful city with my Mum and stepdad, Paul.
Seeing the sun dappled trees of the Parisian, tree-lined Collins Street and the sparkling Yarra River, I was so excited to be here at last.
We were staying in an apartment directly opposite the mighty Crown Casino, and the views across the city and the Yarra River were amazing – a very welcome first glimpse of Australia, both by day and night.
Despite being super jet lagged, we were determined not to waste a minute, so all freshened up and got ready to head out to explore the best that Melbourne had to offer.
On our way, we walked past a store selling Neighbours tours, and couldn’t help ourselves! If you’re unfamiliar with Neighbours, it’s an Aussie soap opera and watching it was essentially a British rite of passage in the 90s.
We booked onto a pretty cheesy looking Neighbours Night quiz for that same night, which promised a drunken evening of music and entertainment from Dr Karl Kennedy (a total national treasure) and other cast members including Paul Robinson and the legendary Madge.
We were told to meet in a British themed pub in the Melburnian suburb of St Kilda, which we reached on one of the city’s famous trams, travelling past the iconic Luna Park.
As you could probably expect, the pub was swarming with Brits! You may even be interested to know that most Aussies have never heard of the show, let alone know which channel it’s on.
Although we were a little dubious and expecting a cringeworthy fest of diehard Neighbours fans from the UK teamed with cheesy tunes, it was genuinely so much fun and a great laugh, despite the jet lag.
The rest of the night consisted of some alcohol-fuelled banter between the quizmasters and actors, multiple photo opps, and casual chats with the cast, as well the hilarious musical antics of Dr Karl and Paul Robinson (who are actually not bad! A personal fave was ‘Who The F**k is Susan’, naturally about the doctor’s on screen wife).
It was a really good laugh, a great opportunity to meet other people also enjoying their visits to ‘Melbs’, and a few free drinks are even included in the price – what more could you want!?
I’d totally recommend it to anyone even slightly familiar with Neighbours, and there are such a mix of characters that joined, from backpackers to die hard fans of the show. If it sounds like your cup of tea, you can buy tickets here.
My first evening has been a brilliant start to my trip to Australia, and I can’t wait to share the rest of my adventures in Melbourne with you! Have you visited Melbourne before?