Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jalan-Jalan Melbourne: Lake Mountain

Let me come back to Day 1 of our Melbourne holiday later and dive straight into what we did on the 2nd day; main snow! : )

There are several alpine resort options around Melbourne, but we picked the nearest one, the Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, about 120km from the city.With the help of a borrowed GPS from my friend Raj, the journey was a smooth one. Well, after the initial stage at least where the GPS re-started and was giving us directions to Raj's friend's house instead!

Anyway, I had rented a Hyundai Getz and I must say that it's one piece of a sturdy and reliable machinery. In total, I must have driven more than 1,100kms during our stay and the car gave us no problems whatsoever. And to digress even further, driving in Melbourne in general was just a great pleasure. Apart from the good road conditions, we did not come across any Malaysian-style moronic motorists who would tailgate, speed irresponsibly or beam you for the slightest reason. And this is not a hasty verdict, seeing how I've also driven in different parts of Australia several times before.


OK, back to the main story. We left Melbourne early in the morning, so the weather was just fine and pretty. And I don't have to tell you how picturesque it was all the way up the mountain.

Going through the Yarra Valley, there were many different wineries and farms, as well as small quaint towns. And really, I love small quaint towns as it's always interesting to see what shops they have and how people live their lives.

Also memorable along the way was the Maroondah Reservoir, somewhere we just had to stop and snap a few pics.

Like I said, the road conditions were pretty good, BUT it can be quite a challenge for inexperienced drivers. It was very winding at some parts, and you're constantly driving by pretty steep cliffs. I mean, all may look fine and dandy, but kat sebelah tu, gaung ok??

We then got to the checkpoint/entrance and paid AUD40 to pass through. Already nearing the top, we still hadn't seen any signs of thick snow though, just some patches here and there on the road and on trees.

And that's how it looked like when we finally reached the very top as well. Lake Mountain is well-known for its ski trails, but it didn't look like there was enough snow to do just that.

No matter, the toboggan area looked good although the white stuff came from snow-making machines. It was damn cold then and we quite enjoyed the walk and our brief snowball fight. Hehe.

It got even colder then and since it was already lunch time as well, we retreated into the restaurant for some hot drinks and fish n' chips.

Then it started to rain... After which hale came. Suddenly things looked more promising. We went to the rental/souvenir area and rented the bodysuit and boots for Tia, who was already freezing. Then...

... snow started to fall. Woohoo!

We were ecstatic and promptly proceeded to tobogganing the afternoon away!

Then the snow fell even more. And more. And more... Best giler!

After a while though, we realised that we should be making our home before the snow got too thick and rendered our humble Getz immobile. But not before buying a new fleece for myself, as my jacket was totally soaked, and a couple of other souvenirs.

The drive down proved to be quite a challenge. Firstly, the car was covered in ice. Then we had to content with the mist and poor visibility. I had to drive really slowly and at some points it felt like I was one of those Ice Truckers on the History channel!

But the conditions got better as got further down, and the rest of the drive back to Melbourne was quite a breeze.

Overall, a fantabulous experience for the whole fam, including this 40-year-old who saw (real) snow for the first time in life!

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