Reports and Pictures from Australia
From February 2003 to February 2004 I spent a year “Down Under”. I studied in Melbourne for two semesters, which only left me limited time to travel... still this page is mainly about spare time activities like bike rides and about traveling in that distant yet popular (in Germany at least) country. This web site on me in Australia developed over time. I tried to update it at least once a month, to have my friends and relatives at home take part in my adventures.
- I took and brought home around 3000 digital photos.
- There are more than 750 photos in the 14 galleries on this Australia web site.
- I cycled more than 5000 km on my Hillman bike and bought a similar racer here in Germany.
The Time Difference between Europe and Australia is considerable. Central Europe generally has UTC+1, Universal Time “plus one” (CET - Central European Time), in Victoria the time zone is UTC+10 (AEST - Australian Eastern Standard Time). In fact the actual difference is never nine hours, though, but eight or ten, depending on where it is summer with daylight saving time.
- 12. - 27.03.2003: The flight and the first days in Melbourne
- 28.02. - 05.03.2003: Pictures from the uni and from an anti-war-protest in the city
- 06.03. - 16.03.2003: Quite different pictures from ten days, days in which I developed kind of a daily routine
- 18.03. - 29.03.2003: The demonstration on the beginning of the second war on Iraq, “2003 Orange Great Melbourne Bike Ride”, the “Adventure Trip” to Phillip Island...
Bike Ride Panorama
- 06.04. - 22.04.2003: Lots of pictures from bike rides, mainly along the Yarra Trail to the city
Victoria‘s Number Plates
Three panorama pictures
- 27.04. - 10.06.2003: 18 pictures of nature, city and bicycle breakdowns...
- 28.06. - 08.07.2003: La Trobe University 11 Day Central Australian Camping Adventure
Three panorama pictures
- 22.06. - 20.08.2003: Another Rally, the City, Churches, Bike Rides, the Uni...
- 09. and 10.08.2003: Great Ocean Road
- 20.08. - 17.10.2003: bicycle rides in and around Melbourne, a week-end trip to a farm in NSW, a protest camp near Coober Pedy and three days in Adelaide
- 30.10. - 07.12.2003: photos from Melbourne, a ride to the Dandenong Ranges National Park, and the Great Victorian Bike Ride
- 11.12.03 - 08.01.04: one month of traveling between Sydney and Cairns, most photos are from Sydney
- 29.01. - 25.02.2004: some days of hiking and driving across Tasmania
- 17.01. - 10.02.2004: my last days in Australia, some photos I already wanted to have made months before...
- 10. and 11.02.2004: the flight back with a one-day stop-over in Singapore was way better than the sleepless flight to Melbourne.
In 2006 I returned to Australia for about five weeks. Of course I visited friends in Melboure, but I also explored the westcost for the first time.
2008 marked my third trip to Australia, but only to Victoria this time.
The weather is fine
- Melbourne Weather, featuring a graph of last week‘s temperature.
- Melbourne Weather (The Age), more commercial and with the well known sun/cloud symbols.
- The mini weather forecast on this page is only available in German - but with the symbols and the temperatures it still has an information value for people who do not understand that language. And there are ⇒ dictionaries on the web, in case you‘d like to learn some German weather terms.
The web is great because everything is linked - so here are some links to Melbourne/Australia. Some of the web sites are more interesting for those who are in Melbourne (city map, public transport), others more for those who are not here (webcams, university). If you are interested in where I come from, you can now find some information on that on the ⇒ Dortmund page.
Australia Map Directory - after searching in vain for a while I now found a good online map for Melbourne.
La Trobe University - Melbourne - almost like at home, the uni is “a bit” out of the city center...
Victorian Channels Authority offers up-to-date pictures from Melbourne‘s harbour with several webcams.
Public Transport in Melbourne is not only completely privatised, but (to make it worse) there are a number of different companies for different parts and lines. Fortunately one can use the same three zone tickets in all trains, trams and busses (except Night Rider). The uni is at the border of zone 1 (center zone), I‘m already living in zone 2. Two hours zone 1+2 cost $4.80, day tickets the double.
For the Night-Rider Bus one paid $6 per trip, no matter how far. The Eltham Bus brought me home from the CBD (city centre) in about 40 minutes
The biggest problem with the different companies was that I could not find a common timetable information website (like vrr.de). Victrip and Meltrip seem to be the best that exists here. One can only find direct connections and the other show only which lines there are in a given suburb. Both refer to the respective companies for actual timetable information.
From the university to the CBD the 350 "Express" from National Bus is quite nice: it uses the highway for some kilometres and makes the hole distance in 48 minutes. The "normal" 250 needs nearly half an hour extra for the same tour.
In that respect the monopolies in Germany also have their positive sides. There is Connex as well, and they call themselves "Germany‘s second biggest railways company", but they are of little importance compared to THE railways company, Die Bahn.