LezGoMelbourne

A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne


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Phillip Island: A Day for Penguins, Koalas, and Kangaroos

Lezgomelbourne, Phillip Island, Phillip Island Itinerary, Phillip Island Melbourne, Phillip Island Penguin Parade, Phillip Island Penguin Hours

The open fields to Phillip Island

It was our first trip out of the city. Together with a couple of friends, we made plans to Phillip Island for a date with penguins, koalas, and kangaroos. Yay! I cannot tell you how much this trip made me feel like a kid all over again. I mean, we’re talking about penguins! If you have watched Happy Feet then you know the scale of giddiness that I am talking about. So, armed with smart phones for maps, we navigated the long and busy highway to our destination.

It was a smooth ride all the way to Phillip Island. We took the straightforward route, which we thought might be faster since we were driving on the freeway, and made an exit to Pakenham. From there, we proceeded to Koo Wee Rup and drove thru Lang lang onwards to Phillip Island. There were plenty of signs along the road to remind us we’re not lost or we’re nearly there, so the drive was fairly simple.

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Getting up close with these kangaroos is another unforgettable experience you can add to your itinerary

Our first stop was the Maru Koala & Animal Park, open from 9:30am to 5pm, on 1650 Bass Highway, Grantville. It’s not exactly in Phillip Island, but you’ll pass it on your way there. A short, quick visit here is really nice, especially when you can get up close and personal with the kangaroos. And I really do mean close since you can feed them with the palm of your hands. It is a quaint place with really friendly keepers, so it’s just like visiting a friend’s house and petting their animals.

And oh, did I mention that they have an albino kangaroo?

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This kangaroo looks just like a little lamb.

But, if you are keen on going to places where conservation is of the utmost importance and where you can view the animals in their natural habitat, then I encourage you to visit the Koala Conservation Centre at Phillip Island. Their address is 1810 Phillip Island Tourist Road near the attraction AmazenThings and opposite Rusty Water Restaurant & Bar.

The Koala Conservation Centre is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Here they have trails or boardwalks where you can watch and observe the koalas as you walk along, which can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 30 minutes or more to cover.

Next up was Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate, otherwise known as Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Boo was more than excited to be here and be surrounded by chocolate.

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Are these chocolate men? I still wonder to this day.

The exhibition showcased the origins of the cacao and how it is processed to produce chocolate. As you venture more inside, everything becomes more whimsical and interactive. You have plenty of opportunity to have a taste of their chocolate too.

Considering the scale of their operation, the exhibit was okay but their chocolate products are very limited. You could say I was underwhelmed. For a chocolate factory, they could offer more variety.

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I feel like I’m in a cartoon skit when I saw this.

A stop that is more for the kids and the kids at heart is Amaze’nThings. I had a great time here with all the illusions and puzzles it houses. I’m not going to say more unless I spoil it for you, but I do have to say Amaze’nThings has big potential. With better upkeep and maybe even more puzzles, it won’t be a surprise if this turns into a huge amusement park. I really hope they make further developments with Amaze’nThings.

We included other stops in our itinerary, hoping that we would have enough time to visit them all or in case the weather turns, sadly we didn’t have enough time and it was already raining. So, we decided to go to Penguin Parade.

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The real penguins are as cute and adorable as these stuffed toys, but more so.

Since photography is not permitted, I can only tell you how adorable the penguins really are. It was a cold and windy evening but no one was deterred from spending a considerable amount of time hanging out with the penguins. What made it even more delightful was the sight of fat, fluffy chicks coming out of the burrows, walking around and calling out to their parents. Awwww.

Penguin Parade is truly an experience in itself.  I would go again to Phillip Island again and visit other attractions and the surrounding towns as well. I’m sure there are plenty of treasures to be found.

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Australian Grand Prix 2013

Formula 1 F1 Australian Grand Prix 2013 Albert Park Melbourne Lezgomelbourne

The Australian Grand Prix 2013

I can’t help but think of the Disney movie Cars when I went to the Australian Grand Prix. I don’t know why. Lols. Maybe it’s because Lightning McQueen’s mantra kept popping into my head, “I am speed“ over and over again.

I didn’t know what to expect since it was my first time to attend such an event. But one thing’s for sure, the cars were definitely fast and furious. You could hear them go zoom zoom miles away from the tracks.

Albert Park is a great venue, even though there were huge crowds everywhere you go, it was more than enough to accommodate everybody. It has been mapped out really well so there is room for people to move about. You can go and walk to different turns, so picking out and finding a spot won’t be a problem. And even though the entire grounds or track is huge, the exhibits and facilities are well spaced so you get a little taste of everything and still get a whole experience.

One case in point are the cars on exhibit. It was massive! The variety is dizzying and includes from the most vintage cars and race car models to the latest and most expensive ones. You could spend a whole day just looking at each and every single car parked out on the greens. But what I do love looking and ogling at are the vintage ones.

Vintage race cars Australian Grand Prix 2013 Albert Park Melbourne Lezgomelbourne

Vintage Lotus car models on exhibit at Albert Park grounds. These are gems for me to see since they are so rare.

Mini cooper exhibit Vintage race cars Australian Grand Prix 2013 Albert Park Melbourne Lezgomelbourne

We were giddy with excitement to see these Mini Cooper. We just love these little buggers.

The closer the time came for the final race, the louder everything became. The sky was buzzing with jets and airplanes flying overhead. The acrobatics was ridiculous! And the Qantas aircraft flew so low it feels like it was just at the height of skyscrapers in the city.

Air Show Australian Grand Prix 2013 Albert Park Melbourne Lezgomelbourne

One of the many air shows during the Australian Grand Prix

All sorts of race cars were out on the track that day, from vintage models to rally cars.

Race cars Race Track Formula 1 F1 Australian Grand Prix 2013 Albert Park Melbourne Lezgomelbourne

And then, I suddenly felt singing Tracy Chapman’s song, You’ve got a fast car….

And then, the main event. It was such a challenge to get a decent picture of these F1 cars since they are just whizzing past you. What’s more challenging is that you have to do it at such a distance and behind those fences.

Ferrari Race Track Formula 1 F1 Australian Grand Prix 2013 Albert Park Melbourne Lezgomelbourne

One of my lucky shots, a Ferrari on the race tracks.

It was such an exhilarating experience, I would eagerly watch them burn rubber again. And before I forget, congratulations to the 2013 F1 Australian Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen.

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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The Tintin Bersola and Dr. Camille Garcia on Being Gay Column: For shame!

I cannot ignore what is happening in the Philippines or the Philippine media, especially when they touch on the subject of homosexuality. So when this local television show attempts to discuss the topic, “What should a parent do if the child shows early signs of being gay?” without the slightest hint of impartiality, it becomes a disaster.

The show aired and even went as so far to print the interview on a column in a local publication. What did the “noted psychologist” Dr. Camille Garcia advice parents to do? In two words, practice bigotry.

Yes, you read that right. She’s a psychologist advising parents to “arrest the situation” when a child shows signs of being gay, because that is the right thing to do. She states that being gay can be corrected, thereby presuming that being gay is not right or normal and that it is a choice.

There are so many wrongs with this interview, with this doctor that a single blog post would not suffice. And now, this doctor claims she is merely offering her personal opinion and not a professional one. Really? You took an oath and wear the coat. When a television crew or a journalists asks you for an interview, don’t you think that they are soliciting you for an expert and professional advice?

The thing is you chose to be a bigot. It’s mighty shameful that you are a psychologist, and in this day and age, for you to freely give out this kind of advice is mighty alarming.

And to add insult to injury, the host and columnist, Tintin Bersola Babao, who had interviewed this doctor went as so far as to “share” and “expound” on the doctor’s views. She goes on to narrate how her own brand of parenting lives up to these “truths” expressed by the doctor.

I am enraged, to say the very least. It is highly irresponsible for the host, the doctor, the network TV5, and even the Philippine Star to air and print this homophobic and highly discriminatory interview. What were you people thinking!? Were you even thinking at all?!?

You have done a great disservice to the LGBT community.

There is no excuse for this.

This is the kind of thinking that promotes parents to mistreat and disown their lesbian or gay children. This is the kind of thinking that breeds fear. This is the kind of thinking that promotes discrimination. And this is the kind of thinking that disadvantages the LGBT community from having the same rights as everyone else.

Shame on you.

And by the way, you may want to rethink the title of your column. I think it’s more accurate to say “Being Homophobic” or “Being Bigots”.

For the full article, you may read it here.

On a lighter note, here is a column written by Laurel Fantauzzo in response to this ill and misconceived article on raising a gay child.


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Melbourne’s Moomba Parade 2013

I have a confession to make. I missed the White Night event in Melbourne. I mean, how could I, right? It was published in the papers and all. Besides, all I had to do was walk in the city. It’s impossible to miss. I had caught just a glimpse, but I was just too exhausted . The energy I had left was just enough for me to haul my ass home and straight to bed.

This time around, I knew I couldn’t afford to miss another wonderful and colourful event in Melbourne.

So even if this post is late, I would just like to say I truly enjoyed Melbourne’s Moomba Festival. I love how the city gathers all the young and the young at heart to celebrate and have fun. And it was a good thing too that the parade started at noon. The late-night revellers and hardworking folks would have been able to sleep in on the holiday and still catch the parade.

Here are some photos that I took that day.

Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Dancers Performers

Kicking the start of the Moomba Parade 2013

Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Dancers Performers
A performer wheeling her way around town. She really is pretty impressive.
Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Dancer Performers Stilt Walkers

Stilt walkers. I wish there had been a troop of them during the parade.

Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Dancers Performers Indian

A lively performance by the Indian dancers.

Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Dancer Performer

She makes me want to dance out on the street with her.

Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Dancer Performer Flag Bearer

One of the many beautiful women in the parade

Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Dancer Performer Asian

One of the many colourful Asian dancers dressed with really intricate garments.

Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Circum Float

The lively circus float with the elephant upstaging everyone else.

Moomba Parade 2013 Festival Melbourne Float

An Egyptian-inspired float. Frankly speaking, I don’t know what it’s supposed to be or about.

Moomba Parade Float 2013 Melbourne Arts Centre Spire

One of my favorites – Melbourne Arts Centre Spire

Where the Wild Things Are Float Moomba Parade 2013 Melbourne

Where the Wild Things Are

Moomba Parade 2013 MelbourneTreehouse Float

The Treehouse Float

The parade was greatly anticipated and warmly received by everyone who came. Even though the heat was close to becoming unbearable, it was nice to see the dancers, the performers, and all the communities participating in the parade still smiling, dancing, and singing. Even the children were all doing their best.

The show of supporters is undeniable. I can only see this parade growing more in number, both in participants and in spectators.  I’m sure it will continue to get bigger and better. Who knows, maybe next year, each and every community will have their own float too. Wouldn’t that be great? Also, it might help to have some commentators in place to help introduce the participating communities and floats to the eager audience.

All in all, well done Moomba!

By the way, if you’re like me wondering what Moomba means, I have found a great link explaining its history and etymology here.

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Eat, Breathe, Live Like a Local Part 2

They say it’s autumn but it still feels a lot like summer. Is there a sign that would signal the start of autumn? I really have no idea. The abundance of dry leaves on the streets isn’t much of an indication since trees have been shedding all summer.

Anyway, I’m giving you the second part of my list which includes shops you need for particular necessities, recreation, and of course, food.

1. Your Barbeque Spot
Summer is about the outdoors, the picnics. So put on some sunscreen and grab a bit of sun. Fire up the briquettes and grill some sausages and burgers. Man the barbie or laze out on the grass. The choice is yours. The parks here are amazing. There are trees everywhere, so you really have plenty of shade. So pick out a nice spot and spend the afternoon with your friends. Afterwards, maybe you can walk off some of that meal.

Lezgomelbourne Goodness Me Gelato Bridge Road, Richmond, Melbourne

Goodness Me Gelato on Bridge Road, Richmond

2. Gelato
Summer is the best excuse to have some gelato. I’m glad I am within walking distance to two famous gelato shops. Why is it essential you ask? Well, it seems I can’t find a tub of pistachio ice cream on the grocery aisles. So, if you want a good range of flavours, this is the place to go. Many popular gelaterias include Il Dolce Freddo, Casa Del Gelato, Fritz Gelato, Goodness Me Gelato, and Trampoline Gelato among others.

3. Sushi Rolls
Anywhere ranging from $2 to $3, these sushi rolls are compact and really filling. The city is littered with them, there’s a stall every corner. This is one of the cheap eats you must try and have on your list.

4. Convenience Store
Groceries stay open till late, so why would you need a convenience store? I could give you three reasons. One, for when you run out of smokes in the middle of the night. Two, when you just want to get some slushie on a really hot day. Three, and the most important one, when you need to top up your Myki.

5. Video Place
There are just some titles you can’t find anywhere. I was able to rent Fingersmith at my neighbourhood video store. Hooray for lesbian titles!

6. Chemist or the Pharmacy
Need a first aid kit or your prescription filled? The chemist is the place to go, especially when you need some advice on which over the counter medication is best suited for you.

7. Locksmith/ Key cutter
People moving to a different country or area would most likely have the number of the police or the fire brigade as a standard practice. However, as a precaution, you need to keep the number of a locksmith near you as well.

8. Shoe Repair Shop or Cobbler
A really good shoe is worth an investment, but what happens when your scruff it or wear out the heel of that stiletto? A good shoe doctor is handy to be around.

9. Op Shop
Where can you get a bargain every day of the week? Op shops or opportunity shops are somewhat similar to the thrift shops we have back home. You may also identify it as “ukay ukay”. Op shops are run by charitable groups and institutions who sell donated items from clothing to house wares. A lot of the items here are second hand, but there are also new stuff mixed in their shelves somewhere. And if you fancy some vintage pieces or clothing, this is the place to go. Some of the popular ones include Salvos or the Salvation Army, Savers, and Vinnies among others.

10. Recreation Facilities
Fancy a game of tennis? How about a dip in the pool? Organizing a game of basketball? Pumping some iron? You might want to consider a membership at the local recreation centres near you or you can scout a good gym that provides you exactly the facilities and services you need. However, if you can’t afford an annual membership just yet, remember you can make casual visits to the local recreation facilities. For example, a casual visit to the pool can cost just $5 for adults and $2.50 for students.

You can view and read Part 1 by clicking here.

PS. If you have some ideas to share, please do 🙂

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.