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History brought to life

“A theme park?”, I asked my guide as we strolled around Melbourne. Cartoon characters and wild, adrenaline-inducing rides immediately sprang to mind. “Well, no”, she replied, “it’s more like an open-air museum. If you’re interested in history, you’ll love it there”. It was the first of several times that day that a local recommended a […]

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Road tripping in Victoria

p5rn7vb Victoria is one of Australia’s smallest states but what it lacks in size (relatively-speaking – Australia is after all a massive country!), it makes up for in diversity: from craggy mountains to resplendent vineyards, expansive gumtree forests, spectacular coastal cliffs, stunning nature parks, colourful gardens and vibrant cities. To complement this, there’s a great […]

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Discovering Melbourne’s hidden secrets

Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city and capital of the state of Victoria. The second you arrive in Melbourne, you’ll immediately be swept off your feet by its infectious energy; at times brazen, often funky but always omnipresent. You can’t miss it! On my previous visit in 2008, I remarked: Melbourne is a city with aspirations […]

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koala-family-photo

Velvet Moments: travel photos – koalas!

Koalas are arguably one of the most adorable animals on the planet and no visit to Australia would be complete without at least seeing them in a zoo or wildlife park. On my recent visit to Victoria, I visited the Ballarat Wildlife Park where I got to see and pat a family of koalas – […]

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My first ever solo road trip! Part Two

This is the second of a two-part series about my solo road trip around Victoria, Australia. Read Part One (if you haven’t already). Mingling with the local wildlife I left Daylesford Springs for the 45-minute drive to Ballarat, a town famous as the ‘Gateway to Victoria’s Goldfields’. It was a lovely drive past verdant, undulating […]

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On my solo road trip - me and my car. :-)

My first ever solo road trip! Part One

It hadn’t occurred to me before but it wasn’t until I was about to leave for Australia that I realised I was about to embark on my first solo road trip EVER! I’ve done many road trips before but never alone. I looked forward to lots of ‘me-time’ in the car but who was going […]

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A home away from home in Melbourne

“Good morning Mr. Jenkins! Your suite is ready.” I almost danced around with joy when I heard those magic words. It was 10am and I’d just arrived at The Lyall after a gruelling 30+ hour journey from Amsterdam to Melbourne and all I wanted to do was sleep. I looked around as the receptionist completed […]

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melbourne-australia-photo

Experiencing Melbourne and beyond

My next trip takes me to Victoria, Australia. In fact, I’m already here… in Melbourne! I arrived yesterday after a 34-hour journey that took me from Amsterdam via London and Dubai and through to Melbourne with Royal Brunei Airlines. I arrived surprisingly fresh – there’s something to be said about booze-free flights! And my J-Pillow […]

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Auckland skyline from Devonport (image courtesy of Abaconda)

My velvet escape travel tip: Auckland

“My velvet escape travel tip” is a guest series about what the name ‘Velvet Escape’ evokes and what that would be in the hometown of the guest writer. With this series, I hope to uncover travel tips from places around the world to help visitors have a truly local experience. Today’s guest post is by […]

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Velvet moments: travel photo – swimming with rays in Bora Bora

One of the many highlights of my trip to Bora Bora in French Polynesia was swimming with various types of rays in the Bora Bora lagoon, amongst which the large manta ray. I described this experience in my Travel Journal entry, A Little Piece of Heaven: “As the boat anchored, about a dozen large manta […]

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