I recall that I always booked all the activities I wanted in advance whether travelling in New Zealand or Iceland. Of course, I also joined addtional activities that were not in my plan, but the situation will not become worse if I could not join the activity beacuse of some reasons.
Someone may consider there is no necessary to book all the activities in the low season.
Therefore, before travelling in Australia, I trid only to booked the day trips in Kangaroo Island and Uluru and I didn't book any activity in Blue Mountains, Hoabrt, Bicheno and Melbourne.
Most of the time, I was lucky to join the trips as I wished.
However, a plannaed itinerary is always better and that's what I should insist to do.
Otherwise, I will not get into trouble because I chose the activity with the unclear information in Melbourne.
Today, I'm a stupid tourist....
Last night, I was glad that I've booked all the trips in Melbourne for the next three days.
Maybe I was too tired and didn't sleep well for the "Unpleasant Reason".
I wake up at 7 o'clock.
What！It's already seven！Why didn't I heard the alarm?
It's terrible that the bus for the Great Ocean Road tour will pick me up at 7:05 and it seems to be impossible to rush the pick-up point in just five minutes.
I leave my room with only a T-shirt and my camara bag in a hurry.
As I pass the desk at first floor, the staff tells me that the bus has left and I have to go to their office at the Federal Square.
Oh my god, why did not the bus wait for another five minutes? Is the departure time so strict that they could not delay even only for 5 minutes? I wonder.
I'm a little sad but hurry to Federal Sqaure by the taxi called by the kindly YH staff.
Unfortunately, this thing is not going well......
When I arrive at Federal Square crowded with lots of tourists, I could not find the office of Great Sights.
There are offices of AAT King, Grayline and other companies, but there is no office of Great Sights！
Thus, I try to wait for the bus of Great Sights at the corner and sustain the cold wind.
I think there should be a bus marked with "Great Sights".
Though there are buses departing here one by one, I still could not find any bus for my trip until the time pass eight.
Is there something wrong? I call the YH staff and tell them about my situation.
"Why is there no office of Great Sights?"
Just as I'm talking the phone, a staff nearby points her finger to the very small "Great Sight" hidden at the right side of Grayline office
At this moment, I feel that I'm a fool.
Why did not anyone tell me that Great Sights is Grayline?
Why does not the tour information provieded by Great Sight tells me that their tours are actually managed by Grayline?
There is no information that shows the relationship between Great Sights and Grayline.
It's no doubt that I could not find any bus of Great Sights.
If I've already known the trips are ran by Grayline, I will book my trips directly via Grayline, not Great Sights.
That is truely a mystery why do Grayline and Great Sights both own the website, provide their own advertisement. If Great Sights is an agent or a subsidiary company, they should tell their customers whcih tour company is actually responsible for their trips.
No matter what the truth is. I've missed my bus toward Great Ocean Road that departed a few minutes before.
What could I do now? The same tours provided by other companies must be fully booked.
I feel quite confused .
Because I also booked the tours of Mt.Buller and Puffin Billy, the Grayline staff recommends me to exchange the Great Ocean Road with Puffin Billy trip on the day after tomorrow and it's lucky that there is still a full-day trip of Puffin Billy.
Well, it's better than giving up taking the Puffin Billy train.
Finally, I get on the bus at last. What's a Terrible morning.
On the bus, I study my itinerary and think of how my rest journey would be.
Actually, it seems not good. Because the flight delayed yesterday, I didn't have time to walk around the Melbourne city. Besides, I join the Mt.Buller tour instead of my free day in Melbourne.
Now, the Puffin Billy trip is also changed to the full-day trp.
All my free time for walking around Melbourne city become fewer than I expected.
If I choose to go to Belgrave and take the Puffin Billy train by myself, I should be free in the afternoon.
However, I'm quit confused in the morning and I could not think the matter out for the correct decision.
Just as I'm thinking, the bus has arrived at the Sherbrooke Forest, the first attraction today.
Sherbrooke Forest is famous for the wild birds, especially parrots. You could buy the bird food from the strore and these birds will get close to you for the food on your hand palm.
For me, the first thing is to buy a coat for I only wear the T-shirt and the weather is pretty cold. Besides, I also didn't have my breakfast. So, I buy the juice and chips as my breakfast.
In the forest outside the store, lots of tourists are feeding the birds and taking photos. I think these birds should have enough food from other tourists. Therefore, I don't have to buy any bird food and just wait for the good timing to take photos of them.
If you still want to feed the bird on your hand palm, remember one important thing: Don't let the big white parrot stands on your hand or hand palm. Their claws may hurt you.
Of course, you have to feed the bird with the bird food in the consideration of their health.
The biggest parrot in this forest is called Sulphur-crested Cockatoo with a total length of 45 to 55 cm.
They are distributed in the forest ares of Australia. Becuase Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is locally numerous, he is sometimes considered as the pet.
There is another smaller parrot which looks like Sulphur-crested Cocatoo called Yellow-crested Cockatoo.
The total length of Yellow-crested Cockatoo is about 35 cm. Their differences from Sulphu-crested Cockatoo are the retractile crest and the pale yellow coloring on the cheek.
Except for Sulphur-crested Cokatoos, Crimson Rosella is also common in this forest.
Crimson Rosella is distrbuted in the eastern and south-eastern Australia.
The cheek and the tail are blue, and the total length, included the long tail, is about 36 cm.
More precisely, Crimson Rosella is classified into five species. Three species of the red-coloured Rosellas are actually Crimson while the red coloring of Yellow Rosella is replace by bright yellow and the coloring of Adelaide Rosella is a misture of red, orange and yellow.
Besides, adults and juveniles in south-eastern populations are different in color. The body plumage of juveniles is green-olive and the color will turn to red as they get older.
If the body of the parrot is green, it might be the Australian King Parrot.
They are not so numerous as other parrots. I only find one on a tourist's palm.
The adult male has red head, breast, and lower undersides while the female has the green body and breast.
The color on the back, wings and tail is green for both the male and female.
Before I get on the bus, I find the forth parrot: Galah which is also common in Australia.
Galah has pink and grey plumage with a light pink mobile crest but the juvenile has the greyish chest, crown and crest. The size is a liitle bigger than Crimson Rosella.
By the way, Galah is a very loud bird.
According to the information board, there should be another two birds in this forest but I don't find them.
One of two birds is Laughing Kookaburras which I have seen in the Featherdale Wildlife Park and Cataract Gorge of Lauceston. It's said that Kookaburras will steal human's food.
Another is Superb Lyrebird which has a very long tail and is the feature of Australian 10 cent coin.
The upper body plumage is brown and the lower is grey.
Superb Lyrebird is not common and listed as a threatened species of IUCN red list.
(Photographed in Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney)
For about thrity minutes, the rest time is over and we head to Belgrave for the Puffin Billy train.
In general, it's recommend to take the train from Melbourne to Belgrave by your self and your schedule would be much flexible.
Why? Just follow my experice described below.
Due to the day trip, most of the tour buses arrive at Belgrave at the same time (about four buses).
It's no doubt that the tourists are numerous.
We don't have to buy the ticket and just go to the carriage that is booked by the tour company in advance.
So, if you don't want to feel unpleasant in the crowd, please avoid this period.
Even in the low season, the train is still popular.
The train departs from Belgrave four times at 10:30, 11:10, 12:30 and 14:30.
You could get more detailed information on the official website.
As you may see on the image above, the train we will take is the first departure at 10:30 (the clock shows the time for the next train).
I really think it's horible to take a train with so many tourists.
Wherever you watch are tourists and tourists.
The scenery along the way is common. The most important is to watch the steaming locomotive.
Most of the tourists stretch their head out of the windows for watching the scencery.
But I think a train with lots of toruists stretching their head out of windows is another magic scenery.
In order to catch the moment of the steam, I always have to find a space in the crowd.
The best timing is the turning at the specific section.
Besides, the sunlight and the surrounding also affect the work.
The 23-minute riding is passed soon under the photographing.
If the tourists are not so many, it would be easy and pleasant.
The train stops at Menzies Creek and we get on the bus for the next destination, Yarra Valley.
Though I want to take a clear photo of the locomotive without any toruist, it seems hard.
Yarra Valley is famous for the wineries. In my opinion, spring and summer are the best seasons for visiting.
When we arrive at Fergussons Winery, there are only branches in the grape farm.
For a person who don't drink the wine to visit such a place, it's quite boring.
The only thing I could do is to have a lunch here.
Because I join this tour in the moring, I didn't have the lunch ticket and the staff also didn't ask me about the lunch option. Thus, I'm waiting for a long time in another room just like a fool.
There is no other restaurant around here and so is the convenience store. I don't think I have another option for my lunch.
As for the meal, it's delicious but expensive (35 AUD).
It's recommended to preapre your sandwich in advance if you want to save the money.
After the lunch, our last attraction is Healesville Sanctuary
Compared with Featherdale Wildlife Park, Healesville Sanctuary is bigger but no so good as Featherdale.
In Featherdale, you don't have to walk too much but see lots of kangaroos and other animals.
Such as the koalas in this sanctuary, the number is fewer than the koalas in featherdale wildlife park.
The most important thing is that you could not take photos with the koala.
If you really want to do so, you have to pay an extra fee for the Magic Moment so that the guide will let you get close to the koala in the prohibited region.
Except fro koalas, they also provide the same activities for kangaroos, emus, Dingos, reptiles and pelicans.
I'm quite disappointed with the Magic moment. I don't have to pay any extra fee in featherdale wildlife park to get close to the lovely kangaroos and koalas.
It's no doubt that the situation in the kangaroo section is the same and these kangaroos doesn't seem happy.
I miss a lot of the jumping kangaroos in featherdale.
The birds there are also numerous in number and species.
As for the reptiles, I think there is no other place better than the reptile center in Alice Spring.
Of course, there is still something worthy of watching in this sanctuary.
In the aquarium, you could see the platypus.
However, it's quite hard to take photos because of the dark surrounding and the fast swimming of platypus.
I also try to record the movie but it still failed.
Besides, the pelican is different in species. Their plumage is clear white and the yellow eyes look funny.
Dingo zone is also nice. There is an introduction time for the dingo at 3:30.
In summary, this sanctuary is still acceptable but not recommmended very much.
In Sydney, you will have great experience of the kangaroos, koalas and lots of birds in featherdale wildlife park.
In Alice Spring, you will find lots of unknown reptiles in the reptile center.
Unless you don't have time visiting these cities, I won't spend my day here.
The trip is finally finished as we return to Melbourne city.
I get off at the ChinaTown and it's good to find a nice restaurant around here.
During the dinner, I may think of the places I could go in the night.
Melbourne Chinatown is located on Little Brooke street between Spring street and Swanstone street.
There are over thirty restaurants along the street serving Asian cuisines from China, Japan, Korea, India, Thailand and Malaysia.
Besides, the Chinese Museum, the shopping mall, various kinds of shops and accommodations are both around here.
In Chinese New Year, the festival is quite busy and popular.
I choose a Japanese restaurant to release my confused mood. Japanese cuisine is always my favorite.
The first dish is Tempera (天ぷら), a Japanese fired vegetables and shrimps.
It's good and should be the best one I've ever eaten in foreign countries except Japan.
Then, the roasted saury (さんま) is also nice.
However, the Miso soup (みそしる) is too salty for me.
The main dish is Sushi (すし), my favorite one. It's qualified.
Finishing these dishes, I'm quite full and satisfied (except for the price because Japanese cuisine is always expensive in every country).
After the big meal, I walk to Federal Square. This area is popular for tourists even in the night.
Since I may not have time to walk around the sqaure in the daytime, photographing the night scene is better than doing nothing.
Walking along Yarra river from St. Kilda street, the scenery is great.
My destination tonight is Eureka where I could have grest night scene on the viewing deck.
Skydeck is much special for "The Edge", a transparent room included the floor you stand on.
It's quite exciting to watch scenery whether in the daytime or in the night.
The price for Skydeck is 17.5 AUD, and if you want to enter The Edge, the extra fee is 12 AUD.
It's actually a nice place to enjoy the fantastic night scene of Melbourne.
However, it's not ideal for photgraphing because of the glasses.
I really hope that they could provide an outdoor balcony for the photographers.
At the end of today, I remind of the words in the book "雨天炎天" written by 村上春樹, a Japanese writer.
The first part is "Travelling is such a thing that everything will not always follow your plan." and another part is "Because of this, that's why we travel."
In the confusing situation I experienced today, I really agree with these words.
Even I've made the plan, there is still something not included.
Any accident or accidental event is always unexptectable.
It's my first time oversleeping.
It's my first time to choose the day trip without the clear information.
Though I'm not so satisfied with what I expenrienced today, the day still passed away and now I'm watching the night scene of Melbourne on the Skydeck.
That's my travelling. Even something is out of my expectation, all I could do is to make everything going in a reasonable direction and accept it.
Anyway, the big lesson I learned today is: Great Sights = Grayline !!
If not for the lack of this key information, maybe everything will be fine as I planned.
Before sleeping, I check my alram very carefully. I could not bear such an accident once again.
P.S. What is my unpleassant reason that made me overslept?
A rude guy came back to the room very late, shook the bed and opened the light in the midnight.
If you can not bear all the things happening in the dormitory room, why didn't you have your single room or choose the hotel?