I was still not over the mesmerising Great Ocean Road tour and here I was the next day, standing at Fed Square waiting for my tour bus yet again. Yesterday I had taken a tour to the Great Ocean Road, if you missed the post, read it here. And here I was today, on another day tour from Melbourne. I felt extremely comfortable today as I no longer felt like a newbie but little did I know that I’d enjoy this trip as much I had. The bus on this tour was pretty small (much like a van) and accommodated only a few people. The tour guide (Shaun) was an awesome person and greeted us with such enthusiasm and friendliness. The journey started and we got to know our fellow travellers during the course. In other tours, people become family only at the end of the day but here we were already bonding in the first 10 minutes of the drive. There were people from all over the world from all walks of life, there were Chinese, a girl from the U.S taking a break from her studies, a Russian girl (who pretty much looked like a doll ) accompanying her mother and a few others.
We stopped at the Brighton Beaches which is just half an hour from Melbourne. Apparently, the beach itself is not the greatest attraction here :p. Although I loved the clear sparkly water at the beach, the beach is very pebbly with white sand. If you have seen numerous beaches in your lifetime, then this might not be the most spectacular beach, but if you are somebody like me with just nothing but love for beaches, then you wouldn’t mind spending some time here. But I cannot deny how sparkly the water at this beach is and the sand kinda has a unique texture to it (almost white). But then, you are probably wondering what my topic has to do with a not-so-great beach. Why are we here then? That’s when Shaun told us to turn around. Turning away from the beach we saw these colourful beach houses which I had noticed when we got out of the bus, this is something that is hard to miss. How much do you think these few square feet of boxes cost? Any guesses here? Well, I was pretty dumbfounded when I heard the price from Shaun!!! The last record price at the time of writing this post is a whopping $337,000 for a few square metres of land. One of the most expensive to buy real-estates in Aussie and an expensive one to maintain as well.
The beach houses built in the 1800's are the remnants of a bygone era where they were originally built to serve as changing sheds for females. However, now they only serve as a symbol of wealth. Shaun told me that these boxes did not have running water nor power nor is it allowed to be rented out for a night nor can the owners stay in the box. Everything that made these beach huts useful wasn’t allowed. This box was pretty much useless :p. This box is only used as storage by the owners. These boxes are also painted every now and then to keep it looking nice and attractive. But I should say that these boxes are pretty intriguing in every sense. These boxes are brightly coloured and eye-catching and make for a wonderful photo opportunity. There are about 80 boxes, but I did not have the energy to walk along the shoreline to have a look at all the boxes, the sun at this particular place is quite harsh most of the time. Would you buy this hut for half a million dollars? Probably just a hypothetical question because these boxes are just sold to locals!!! So no pressure here :p.
We spent some time here clicking photographs in front of these boxes. Every box has a unique eye-catching design to it. They make wonderful backgrounds for photographs and you need to wait for your opportunity to click photographs as these boxes are quite famous and always crowded.
After this, we left the Brighton Beach houses and headed out towards the Mornington Peninsula’s beautiful hinterland to do some strawberry picking. This region is famously known for its wineries and vineyards, you will be probably be spoilt for choice with more than 50 cellar doors to choose from. Nestled amidst the various vineyards are the Sunny Ridge strawberry farms which is the largest producer of strawberries in Australia. This farm offers a variety of experiences, families and groups can pick fresh strawberries for themselves from their farm and have great fun. Later, we spent some time relaxing at their cafe treating ourselves with their indulgent desserts and berrylicious ice-creams.
Just next door to Sunny ridge farms are the T’gallant Wines which are famous for the Australian wine varieties Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio (white wine varieties). This was when Shaun asked all of us if we were above 18. I pretended to not have heard the question because as an enthusiastic curious teenager, I wanted to taste wine and I didn’t want to be left out when everybody around me was tasting it. Unfortunately, Shaun knew my age and did not allow me to have wine as it is not legal to have alcohol in Aussie before 18. To top it all, while getting down from the van, I slipped on the stair and almost fell, Shaun had to catch me to stop me from falling down. Shaun had something to say immediately :), he told me that I was this steady without even drinking and that he couldn’t imagine what would happen if I drank. I had no choice but to sit and look at people drinking, while I had a slice of pizza. Although everybody was sweet enough to offer me the drink, I politely refused it so as to not disappoint the ever so sweet Shaun :p.
The many ways of getting to the Brighton Bathing Boxes:
The first time I was in Melbourne, I took a tour to the Bathing boxes as I did not know that there were other means to get to the Bathing boxes. After multiple visits to Melbourne, I figured that there were multiple means of getting to the Brighton Bathing Boxes. If you are going by car or by train, the google map is an absolute saviour. I took the train to Middle Brighton, on the Sandringham Line, I walked past houses and reached the beach, which was merely a 15 min walk from the train station.
With this, we come to the end of our post on the Bathing Boxes and the wineries along the Mornington Peninsula but out tour was not yet over. Join me as we continue on our tour in the next post.