Port 3 & 4: Melbourne and Burnie
After Sydney, our next stops were Melbourne and Burnie, but first, there was another sea day thrown in between Sydney and Melbourne, just for good measure because we hadn't spent enough days at sea already.
We spent Christmas Eve at sea, which was actually kind of nice, we got to chill out and relax, rather than rush around doing last minute prep for Christmas Day like we usually do.
We spent the morning playing rummy cup and team trivia before we went our separate ways and I went and watched Love Actually as per Christmas Eve tradition, and got ready for the Christmas Eve gala night.
Port 3: Melbourne
When we arrived in Melbourne it was Christmas Day, so we had quite a leisurely start to our morning. We had breakfast, then the ship has a Santa that arrives to take photos with the children. But it is quite a production, there are carols, then a video for Santa’s arrival, then he actually arrives, so we headed to the showroom to watch that. Then after that, we assembled in mine and my aunt's room to do presents. Then we managed to leave the ship around 10 – 10:30ish.
The public transport was free and there were buses and trams on from the Port into town, so we jumped on a bus, and it dropped us off at the Arts Centre, so we walked down over the bridge to Federation Square, marvelled at the Christmas tree, then carried on down to the Myer Christmas Windows. Looked at the windows and enjoyed the story, before jumping on a tram and going to Docklands. My Aunt wanted to do the Melbourne Star, which is the wheel, so she did that, and we walked down to where the Volvo Ocean Race boats had come in. Four of the boats had arrived by the time we got there, my Aunt saw Mapfre coming in when we were sailing in that morning. The boats are a lot smaller than I imagined, but I find it remarkable how far they have travelled.
After that, we went back into town via another tram, and got off near Flinders Station, and walked along the river for a little while. Then we headed back to the ship, obviously being a public holiday not many places were open and there was a surcharge on most things. But wandering around was nice, but there were loads of people around, it was incredible the number of people that were just walking around.
We got back to the ship around 3:30ish, had something to eat, then it was time to get ready for dinner.
Port 4: Burnie, Tasmania
Much like Sydney, we had very specific plans for Burnie, and much like Sydney they involved shopping.
We arrived in Burnie, Tasmania, on Boxing Day, which means only one thing, Boxing Day Sales. Usually, when we’re at home, we spend Boxing Day eating leftovers, playing with presents, going for walks, and doing my sale shopping online.
When you arrive in Burnie, you have to get shuttled off the port, as it is a working port. So we left the ship at around 9ish, so the shuttles are free, they are put on by the town, and they make three stops and run every 10-15 minutes.
The first stop is the Makers Workshop, which is where local makes can set up stalls and workshops to sell their goods to both locals and tourists.
The second stop was the Arts Centre and local museum, and then the final stop was the city centre.
We spent the morning shopping, the shops in Burnie, are ones that you would find in the suburbs, so we went to places like Target, Rockmans and Coles, which we didn’t go to in Sydney.
We finished shopping around lunchtime, so we decided to hop back on a bus and head back to the ship to drop our shopping and have some lunch. Before heading back into town.
On our second trip into town, we got off the bus at the Makers Workshop, wandered around there for a little while. Before walking along the boardwalk back into town.
We wandered around for about another hour, before calling it a day, and heading back to the ship around 3ish.