India Guide

Oh India. I cannot possibly put into words how I feel about you but I will give it a go: Beautiful, dazzling, dirty, noisy, congested, polluted, vivid, intense, rank, fascinating, inspiring, monumental, maddening and sublime. My eyes and ears are continuously and curiously dragged into your surreal offerings, even when I try and sleep. Noises everywhere. Horns bibbing, children playing, dogs barking, cows wailing, fireworks, music, mosques, temples and market men. Every taste of food is rich and the history is even richer.
India is everything and nothing I imagined all at once. Being here is overwhelming and NOTHING is easy here, but something it is not, is boring. Here's my budget guide to this crazy, magical land.
Stuff to know
£1 = 86 Indian Rupees
1AUD = 50 Indian Rupees
You must get a visa before you go. The easiest way is to follow this handy guide and buy your visa online here.
I visited Delhi, Agra, Rathambore National Park
Rajasthan & beyond...
New Delhi (2 days)
If the smog doesn't hit you first a cow just might. Kidding. But seriously, Delhi is the most insane place I have ever been. I only spent two days here and that was enough, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go.
Stay at: I stayed at Hogs Hostel which was around 300 rupees and was awesome with a rooftop, good vibes and free breakfast.
Work your way around Old Delhi markets and indulge in the best street food you'll find in India. Don't be scared, look for the stalls with loads of other people and go for it. It's so cheap too, so try a bit of everything!
Other things to do in Delhi:
Wander the ruins in Hauz Khas Village & check out the fancy boutiques (free)
Visit UNESCO World Heritage site Humayun's Tomb
Visit the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi - one of India's largest mosques
Spend the day wandering the Lotus Temple
(Trying to walk the streets of Old Delhi)
(A haircut at the side of the road)
(Street food in Old Delhi)
Agra (1 day)
The main(and only in my opinion) reason to visit Agra is for the Taj Mahal. Get a sleeper bus from Delhi and dump your bags in a cheap hostel/guesthouse, freshen up and head to the Taj for sunrise. It costs a wopping (or not) 1000 rupees (£10) to get in but is worth every penny.
Afterwards, grab lunch at Joneys Place, just outside the South Gate of the Taj where you can indulge in cheap, delicious food cooked fresh in the tiniest kitchen I've ever seen.
After, go pick up your bags and get a bus or train to the city of pink - Jaipur.
Jaipur (2-3 days)
Jumping into a tuk tuk on the first day, I was lost in what I saw. Hues of orange and pink, colourful saris and Elephants marching down the streets, their huge trunks moving everything out of their way including goats and cars. The city of pink had elements of magic around every corner but sadly it didn't grip me. I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of it and found that every person was trying to force me to buy something, or go into their shop and it was draining. HOWEVER, it's still worth a visit if only for two days.
Stay at: Roadhouse Hostel or Stops hostel.
Must do's in Jaipur:
Amber Palace - sitting amongst the hills, this stunning palace is worth the walk up the hill for the view itself. You can get elephant rides up in the morning but if you care about animal welfare, don't.
Nahargarh Fort - There are a few forts around Jaipur but if you're on a budget I recommend just going to see this one, especially at sunset if you can.
Galta Ji Monkey Temple - Worth a trip for sunset, you're tuk tuk driver will drop you off on the other side so you need to walk over the hill and back down again to see the temple itself. Watch out for those pesky monkeys.
Watch a Bollywood film at Rajmandir - This amazing cinema opened in the seventies and showcases many premiers of Bollywood films; it's worth going one evening just for the experience! We didn't have a clue what was going on but it was fun anyway.
Pushkar (4 days)
It's easy to spend a while in Pushkar, it's tiny so everywhere is walkable and you can spend your days haggling and purchasing handmade clothes and trinkets and sipping on coffee at one of the many cute cafe's and restaurants.
Stay at: I stayed at Milk Man guesthouse which was amazing value for money at only 350 rupees for night for a basic double room (£3.50!). It also had a lovely little rooftop cafe serving great food and breakfast. There are practically hundreds of guesthouses and hostels so you're spoilt for choice.
I did an amazing silver class whilst in Pushkar with an awesome woman in a tiny little studio. The cost for the course was 300 rupees for 4 hours and I walked away with a handful of rings and bracelets.
Eat at:
Laughing Buddha for wonderful organic fresh meals; the owner even donates 50% of profits to disadvantaged local kids.
Grab a mouth watering falafel on the main market street or a veggie burger from the stand near the entrance to the was sooooo good.
Also, there are a few lovely little book shops nestled somwhere in the market, perfect for picking up the new Lonely Planet or a new read for yourself.
Be CAREFUL of the lake scam, where a man will offer you "free" flowers. Do not take the flowers, this then acts as a code for "holy men" to harass you into having a blessing, where they will then charge a fortune or curse your family.
If you want to head onto Bundi, rock up to the new bus stand in Pushkar for the 11am bus there.
Bundi (2 days)
Off the beaten path, Bundi is well worth the few hour journey from Pushkar and I'll tell you why.
The fort and palace (600 rupee entrance) was the best I had visited in India. It was slightly un-cared for, but this added to it's charm. We had the place pretty much to ourselves and felt like Indiana Jones exploring the huge palace and fort area, where the only other company we saw all afternoon were monkeys!
Eat at:
Ringo Starr - It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the owner cooks everything fresh to perfection and makes a killer Shakshuka. There's no point eating anywhere else if I'm honest but if you must, try the Paneer Butter Masala at Lake View Guest House, it's sublime.
Krishna Chai - Patiently wait to be served the best chai you'll find in India.
Ranthambore National Park
Tigers. If you aren't keen to see one in the wild, don't bother with this national park, but if like me, you were dying to see these beauties in their natural environment, this is the best place to go.
Book your safari directly through this website and choose a morning or evening safari. We were lucky enough to spot this huge male and I was weirdly calm by how close we got, even when he was staring straight at us.
Jodhpur (3 days)
The city of blue was probably my favourite out of the bigger cities in Rajasthan for a few reasons. It has a beautiful fort, blue is one of my favourite colours and it's very chilled and easy to walk around in.
Stay at: Loads of choice on, we stayed at Shayam Palace which was a steal and had a cute little rooftop, only downside being the beds were super uncomfortable.
Don't miss:
- Wander around the old blue city, everyone can point you in the right direction and you'll pass a cool stepwell on the way
- Sadar Bazaar is a busy market worth visiting and it is home to the famous makhania lassis which you can purchase at Mishrilal hotel for 45 rupees.
- Visit the fort just before sunset
- Be an extra in a Bollywood film like Jack did. Apparently Jodhpur has lots of films shot here so they're always looking for extras, and they'll even pay you too!
Jaisalmer (2-3 days)
Close to Pakistan, the sand town is situated closely to the Thar desert and that makes it special. There's a few things to do in Jaislamer, including a legendary bhang shop, but most people come for the camel safari's.
Stay at:
We stayed one night at the wonderful Wanderlust guesthouse which is the best value room of the entire trip.
The next day we booked onto a camel safari with Mahal Jeet for around 950 rupees each (£10), which was so much cheaper than all the others on offer and just as great (so I've heard).
I was dubious about riding a camel at first because I wanted to know they were well looked after and happy. The desert boys who rode with us into the desert and cooked us chapati's and sang to us at night clearly loved the camels, and let them roam free in the night. We slept under the stars and woke up to watch the pinky orange sky loom over the sand dunes and it was magical. There was even a dog who followed us from the village to where we slept and guarded us all night.
A night bus turned into a hellish ride to Udaipur due to the dreaded food sickness India is so famous for. We slept all day and missed off most of the activities I had planned, only managing a small walk and porridge at an amazing cafe called Yummy Yoga.
If I had felt better, I would have explored the lakes more and visited the palace and volunteered at the wonderful Animal Aid where they take care of injured street animals including dogs, cows and birds.
Mumbai (1 day)
Roughly 19 million people live in Mumbai, which didn't surprise me when I went. It was not quite as mad as Delhi but equally as dirty and hectic. We ventured out to see the Gateway of India and the beach and that was pretty much it. Sometimes you just need to stay at your hostel, order a pizza and chill out.
Stay at: Zostel. Mumbai is SO expensive but Zostel hostel was a good choice.
Hampi (3 days)
Definitely don't miss the magical Hampi on your travel itinery. The nearest bus station is Hospet, around 20 minutes from Hampi and once there you can choose whether to stay on the mainland in Hampi or across the river on Hippie Island.
The 'ferry' leaves from one side to the other once it's full and costs 30 rupees with baggage and 20 without. There's plenty of guesthouses on either side of the island so do your research before you go, ahem *Goan Corner - bed bugs*.
Things to do in Hampi:
Hire a tut tuk or bicycle to take you to the many temples. This should only take around three hours.
Take a walk to try and find the waterfall, you can pay a guide if you get lost.
Hire a scooter on Hippie Island and go exploring for the day, driving past banana trees, rice paddies and tiny villages. In the evening push yourself to walk up to the top of the Monkey Temple for sunset.
Every morning at around 8am, Shiva the temple elephant has his morning bath in the river that passes through. It was a magical moment to witness this huge being trudge down the steps and happily roll around in the water. If you can't face getting up so early you can go into the main temple where he awaits to be fed bananas and get a blessing.
Eat at:
Laughing Buddha on Hippie Island / Mange Tree on the mainland
Mysore (2 days)
hostel - free yoga
yoga place

A weekend in Bilbao

My Canggu Guide

Probably the coolest place in Bali, if not the world. I came back to Canggu (pronounced Chan-goo) twice and spent over a week here because it was just so good.
I stayed at various guesthouses and hostels when I was there. Canggu Beach Hostel being the cheapest and wildest place, Layday hostel having a bar and awesome vibes and House 46 Guesthouse being the best value in terms of hospitality and all round chillness.
Getting around...
Uber is banned in most areas (although you can still secretly order one) so taxi's are the go to. Make life easier by hiring a scooter for the day for IDR50-60k (5AUD/3GBP).
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong is the 'main road' in Canggu with loads of bars and restaurants, however it's worth exploring as there are literally so many shops and restaurants in the areas in and around Canggu.
 (Bold & Bright studio tattoo studio)
Here's some things and places you should definitely not miss:
Pretty Poison - it's got a skate bowl with live bands and open mic nights.
Old Man's is the place to be most nights. Right near the main beach, it also serves decent food and has BOGOF on most evenings before 6pm.
 (One of the many eateries in Canggu)
Crate Cafe for super reasonable and delicious brunch. There's so much choice when it comes to food but this was my all time fave. The tiny newbie Bold and Bright near Pererenan and Echo Beach also did an impressive breakkie!
Do Yoga - it should cost IDR100k (10AUD/6GBP) a session.
Get a massage, I can recommendation Lotus on Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong a good and professional service at exceptional value.
Hire a surfboard (50,000IDR) or have a one on one, super duper cheap lesson with a local for around 300,000IDR (30AUD/16GBP). Go behind Old Man's and you will find lots of choice!
Visit La Laguna for sunset - a gypsy themed outdoor bar with interiors to die for.
Grab your bikini and visit Finns Beach Club for sunset drinks.
Visit MyWarung Echo Beach for the best Nasi Goreng I had in Indonesia!
Deus Ex Machina for Taco Tattoosdays (on a Tuesday from 5pm) where you can bag a free tattoo. I personally didn't rate Deus as it was pretty pricey and I thought it was kinda meh. Visit Konkrete instead which is a bit further out but has live music, a cafe and skate bowl.
Get a tattoo - there's loads of studio's to choose from with amazing artists from all over the world and reasonable prices. We chose Bold & Bright.
Gimme Shelter bar. Worth checking out if there are any events on at this awesome rock bar with the nicest owner. We happened to stumble across this place during a packed out ska gig which was a sight to behold. Hundreds of kids donned in studded denim jackets and having the time of their lives.
Chill by the beach, get in the water, drive around the rice paddies and eat loads of food. Cheers Canggu.

A weekend in Yogykarta

Yogkykarta is the cooler city of I am told. We flew from Lombok to Jogja on a bit of a whim and because the flights were cheap (around 60AUD/£35). It's a very busy, very cool city which hasn't yet reached peak tourist unlike Bali.
Where to stay?
We stayed at an amazing hostel called Sae Sae (book here) which was super cheap at only 7AUD/£3.50. There was also a little cafe inside the hostel which served awesome smoothie bowls, so definitely check this out even if you decide to stay elsewhere - you have many options!
Getting from the airport
Depending on the traffic, getting to the city should take around 30 mins to an hour. Head to the bus stop and get the local bus for ridiculously cheap, or if you can't be bothered with the hassle, get an Uber for around IDR50,000.
Below is my guide on what to do in Yogyakarta. If you are confident on a scooter (you need to be - the roads are mental) you can hire one for around IDR50k a day and if not, stick to Uber/Grab or get a Tuk Tuk and barter hard.
(Streets of Yogyakarta)
1. Visit Malioboro Road
Probably the most famous street in Jogja, and I can see why. The street is hectic and is lined with souvenir shops, street food stalls, tuk tuks and a hell of a lotta people. I actually came back to Malioboro road twice, once by accident in the day and once at night. Visit at night, buy some souviniers, HAGGLE, people watch (or rather, people will watch you - and ask for your photo, a lot) and eat the tasty and cheap cuisine.
(The world's most disgusting fruit - Durian)
2. Buy some Batik
A local told me about the Batik mafia and how they rip you off and copy the original artwork for a much higher asking price so be careful where you buy if you want a legit piece. We stumbled upon the Ori gallery and were shown around by a cheerful, enthusiastic art student who showed us the incredible and intricate process of Batik. It's cool and I walked away with an original piece of my own for 40k (4AUD) - bargain.
(Coffee shop near my hostel)
3. Eat some grub
Grab some street food or head to Jl. Prawirotaman (my favourite street to keep coming back to) and enjoy western and Indonesian food and amazing gelato shops!
Via Via is my recommendation for awesome breakfast - and they also do a cooking class and yoga!
(Water Palace)
4. Visit the Kraton and Water Palace
Unfortunately I only managed to visit the Water Palace as I was feeling really unwell. But both are within walking distance to each other and have an awesome history surrounding them. Hire a guide if you wish to learn more. I had a 60 year old student show me around for free because she wanted to practice her English...she told me her son drew the wall art below and told me to pose in front of it, of course the picture was far too cringe so I photographed a stranger instead.
Entrance fee: IDR12,500 each (around 1.25AUD)
(Wall art near the water palace)
5. Climb Mount Merapi
I was too ill to do this, but maybe for the best. My boyfriend set off at 10pm and arrived back at the hostel the following day exhausted and barely able to move. Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in Indonesia and you can climb up to the top of it to watch the sunrise. The cost is around IDR450,000 with transport and breakfast included.
Be aware you need to have a high level of fitness to do this hike. Jack told me only half of his group made it upto the top! Also - get lots of sleep the day before and take plenty of snacks with you to keep you going.
(Tuk Tuk rides make getting around easy)
6. Visit the temples
Borobudur Temple
This is a 9th century UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered one of the world's seven wonders of the ancient era. It's pretty pricey at IDR450,000 (45AUD) and you will need to arrange travel which you can book at your hotel. Set off at 4:30am (I know.) and watch the sunrise here then head onto Prambanan Temple...
Prambanan Temple
Another UNESCO World Heritage site which is cited as the biggest Hindu temple in SE Asia. I've heard it is very beautiful. The cost of entry is IDR450,000 again but if you have a student card you can get it much cheaper.
7. Caves!
Check out Goa Jomblang cave. A few fellow travellers have told me that this was their favourite experience in Jogja. Descend into the ancient, vertical cave and get your adrenaline pumping. Also try to check out Kalisuci cave tubing (around 10 minutes away) if you have time.
*Can book through your hotel or arrange transport there yourself. Price: IDR450,00
(Cages at the bird market)
7. Visit the bird market if you want OR avoid it like the plague (advised)
We got told to visit the Bird Market, and rather naively, we went. Also known as Patsy (Fauna and Ornamental Plant Market of Yogyakarta), the market moved locations a few years ago due to bird flu, however, undoubtably the concept is the same - a place for men to come and buy a bird as part of 'becoming a man' tradition.
To be honest, I don't know what I expected. I hate seeing birds in cages anyway but I was even more horrified at what I witnessed. Cats, rabbits, bats, ferrets and monkey's were all packed into tiny cages, some even jammed in there so unimaginably tightly they were on top of each other, clearly distressed. I saw a monkey running up to the cage barrier, looking confused and screeching and that was enough, I left and cried all the way back to the hostel. Some dude I met at the hostel told me he thought it was "interesting to engage in other cultures", but two weeks later and I still can't get the image of the poor Monkey out of my head and wished I had never stepped foot in the place. If you are an empathetic person who genuinely cares about animal welfare, AVOID avoid avoid!
 (Caged birds ;-( )
 (Street food)

Wine 'tasting' in the Yarra Valley

I won't claim to be any kind of wine connoisseur, however, I'm quite partial to drinking it from time to time and I was not going to turn down an opportunity to escape the city for a day and get a little tippppsay.

Me and a few gals decided to book A Day On The Vine which was a boutique tour around the Yarra Valley and at $130 it was pretty much a steal. We. drank. so. much.

It didn't take us long to get out of Melbourne city and after 30 mins we arrived Rob Dolan and Yering Farm were favourites from the day, and all I kept thinking was dream wedding venue! I won't delve too much into the moment I  threw a glass of Rosé over my shoulder at lunch and it landed on our lovely guide Bernadette's white top. Sorry Bern!

If you decide to visit the gorgeous Yarra Valley I would highly recommend keeping hydrated with water and wearing a hat - it can get rather quite hot.

Living in Australia

I hate the phrase travel bug, but my god I have got it. I’ve always loved going on holiday (who doesn’t?) but when me and my best pal went to South East Asia last year for a few months I came back to England and felt pretty blergh.

Australia was never on my list really, it just seemed as easy option to get a job and earn money. What no one tells you is just HOW easy it is, how good the money is and how amazing it is – Melbourne, I’m looking at you.

I booked my flight to Australia a month before and I was completely unprepared. I read a load of travel blogs and bored people I know that have lived here to death with my questions, but really, there’s a few things I have picked up on the past few months living here that I wish I had known before I came out here.

Time your trip around seasons

The weather in Melbourne really really sucks in October. People told me it would be cold, but I thought they meant like 18 degrees cold…. It was fucking freezing. I stayed in a really depressing hostel for a few weeks and the heating sucked and it was generally a really depressing time, however, the sun soon came out and Melbourne suddenly became more appealing. I only had a month of the cold but my point is that if you’re not a complete psychopath and prefer Summer like most people, do your farm work up north where it’s always warm in the Australian winter months and live the high life in Melbourne/Sydney in Summer.

Sort the mundane stuff straight away

You can sort your bank account out before you leave (I recommend Commonwealth bank) and your tax file number as soon as you get here, but I left some stuff months into my trip here which I should have done straight away. For instance, I would have been more organised with my money had I added a savings account into my account (too easy to sort out) and Medicare; you literally just go into your nearest branch with your passport and visa and they do it for you there and then.

Do and see as much as you can

You can get caught up in the work scene here, I earned more money in two weeks than what I did in a month at home…but don’t let that stop you from EXPLORING. Melbourne has so much to offer, so don’t waste your time working and then being shattered in the evenings and weekends. Sites like The Urban List and Timeout are amazing for this. Rent a car for $50 a day and go explore the Great Ocean Road, Wilsons Prom & more.

Work is different (and easier to get) here

Even for a sucky job at home, the process takes bloody ages. Here, you can hand your CV in somewhere and have a job the same day. BE AWARE though, loads of companies have a habit of using and abusing, which means you won’t have such a steady and secure position as you do at home. I have heard horror stories of people doing work and not getting paid for it. Research companies before wasting your time. Google is pretty good for that.


It’s a lot different here than in the UK. If you plan on spending at least 6 months to a year here get a lease; it’s cheaper and you can choose your flatmates. If not, I found or Facebook page Fairyfloss Real Estate really useful, and found my place on here. Also, don’t just panic and go for the first place you go to see (I nearly did this, after 3 weeks in a hostel you become desperate); have a real think about what area you want to live in before you commit and make sure you have access to a tram or train nearby.

Some other tips

Transferring all ya hard earned cash into Aussie dollars? Use Transferwise. It'll take 2 hours as opposed to 2 days.

Get your working holiday visa from as opposed to some dodgy third party. Mine was accepted within hours & it's only £250)

Open a superannuation account with your bank as it's easy to see what's going in. When you leave Australia you can keep around 40% which is great as it's basically an added bonus from your work every pay cheque, like a pension.

Don't get stuck - Australia is a big country, explore!

Melbourne City Guide

Before I flew out here, everyone told me to go live in Sydney. Melbourne has a crap beach, they said.
Luckily I'm more of a City person and have my friend Rosie to thank for the push to Melbs. "It has good food and cool vintage shops and bars" she told me, and so, I was sold.

My real moment of adoration for this City came in December when Summer hit. Upon departure (I've thrown in the towel and Byron Bay is booked for next week) I thought I would list my top recommendations for anyone that wishes to come here, and prove those Sydney lovers wrong.

Go Camping

Hire a car and go explore Victoria. My favourite place? Wilsons Prom. I got to trek between 5-10 hours a day, camp in the bush, I ticked off a few bits of Aussie nature (I nearly stood on a brown snake, nearly held a huntsman spider, a wombat stole our food and I finally got to see kangaroos), had gorgeous beaches all to ourselves, was given and cooked fresh out the water salmon and saw more stars then I have ever seen before.


TIP: Pack light, take waterproofs, take a bin bag (you have to carry your rubbish around with you) and take water purification tablet's so you can drink the water.


Melbourne is known for it's food. OH MY GOD. I have been spoilt. Add these to your list for lunch immediately: Darling Cafe for the best food ever, any where on Greville Street in Prahran (it's sort of hidden off Chapel street but well worth a visit), Higher Ground for it's interior, Stables of Como (it's in an old ground, and they do the best milkshakes) and Stepping Stone - it sells dippy eggs in an egg box...who wouldn't be sold eh?

Visit the Botanical Gardens

I was fortunate enough to be able to walk from my place in South Yarra straight through the tan to the City. One moment you feel like you're in Hyde Park, the next, you're in a jungle with palm trees and cactus'. If you are here in Summer make sure to do the Moonlight cinema and watch bats fly over your head as you watch a film under the stars. Bliss.

Drink All The Wine in the Yarra Valley

If you want to experience the gorgeous Melbourne countryside and are partial to getting a little tipsy from time to time, the Yarra Valley is a must see.

Grab some friends and book a tour; we chose boutique tour A Day On The Vine and at $130 each it was pretty much a steal. We. drank. so. much. I won’t delve too much into the moment I  threw a glass of Rosé over my shoulder at lunch and it landed on our lovely guide Bernadette’s white top. Sorry Bern!


Go to the Beach

Okay so it's not the most picturesque beach in the world, but it's easy to spend a whole day in St Kilda. When I first arrived I felt like I was people watching heaven (one of my favourite hobbies). Spend a day on the beach, go for a walk down Ackland Street and grab dinner or drinks at one of the many restaurants and bars. Have a wander around Luna Park (old school theme park) then at sunset head towards the Pier and watch the penguins arrive for the night.

If you wanna head further afield, get on the Sandringham line train and get off at Brighton Beach. Walk about 20 mins to those beach huts (you've seen em), grab some shade, play in the clear blue water and take in views of the city.

See Graffiti

I remember first arriving here and walking through Brunswick Street, amazed at all the graffiti on the walls that the council just allow to be there. I guess it reflects Melbourne's creative aspect. Have a wander down Hosier Lane, which is the most graffitied street in Melbourne, and check out Brunswick Street. Speaking of which...



Drink @ Rooftop Bars

Naked For Satan in Brunswick Street is a must do. Grab some tapas (only $9 per dish on weekdays) and watch the sun set over the city (awwwww). Plus check out Goldilocks (you have to walk through a Chinese restaurant to reach it), the Rooftop bar (also doubles up as a cinema in the summer), Bambinos in Fitzroy ($4 pizzas weekly).  Seriously you're spoilt for rooftops here.
OH and there's also loads of secret bars in Melbourne too.

Little Bourke Street

For a European eutopia head here. It's a bustling tucked away street where coffee shops adorn the road and you feel like you're in, yep, Europe. Spend a few hours here with a newspaper and croissant and feel pretend you're a) well sophisticated or b} in a film.

Wander Around the Old Convent

Take a morning to have a Prosecco breakfast (lol who am I?) at the bakery, wander around the garden, visit the little art gallery and do good eating at Lentil As Anything where you can pay as you please  with all proceeds go to the homeless.

Night Markets

Both involving food, obvs. Visit Queen Victoria market every Wednesday in Summer for live music, awesome food and good food. Grab a pint of $9 sangria to edure the crowds. For a more chilled out vibe, South Melbourne Market (Thursday's in Summer) has live music, great stalls and food ta boot.

Do the Great Ocean Road Trip

You can't come to Melbourne without venturing out onto the Great Ocean Road. Hire a car (they're like $50 a day from Hertz) and make your way from Torquay (surf shops galore) to Bells Beach to Lorne (we stayed overnight here) then onwards to the twelve apostles. If you want to see a Koala as much as I wanted to see a Koala, drive up from Lorne and turn right off at grey street, stop the car and there they are in all their fluffy glory.

A guy I met when i first got here told me this: "Sydney is the tall blonde you fancy straight away, Melbourne is the brunette you fall in love with over time" - I guess he was right.