Melbourne Day 2 - Extra Green Holidays, Ballarat Wildlife Park, Sovereign Hill, Ballarat Wine Valley

If you haven't read Melbourne Day 1 yet, I'd recommend you to read it up for general info about Melbourne!
Day 2 in Melbourne was an exciting one as it was our first tour!

We booked all of our tour packages from Extragreen and they are, hands down, the cheapest tour packages you will ever find in Melbourne. But there's only one drawback, the cheapest tour packages they offered were Chinese speaking tour. We were absolutely fine with it as we understand Mandarin, but for those who don't, you may have to top up a little more for English speaking tours. 

Anyway, we pre-booked the Ultimate Package, which we could enjoy 3 day-tours only for the price of 2! An absolute steal! We did also decide to top up a little more for the Chocolate factory (which you will see on the 4th day) and the total price was only $152 per person
I'd highly recommend pre-booking these tour packages as they are in popular demand and seats get sold off really quickly, especially if you are visiting in a big group. 

Anyway, you're free to arrange the dates of the tour according to your preference. 
We wanted something light for the first day, so we decided to locate our first day for Sovereign Hill - Gold Trail
And it's probably my favourite of all the day tours! 

Note: We also decided to top up another $10 per pax to visit the Ballarat Wildlife Park.  
Total check: $162 per pax

We gathered in front of the Extragreen office in Chinatown, Melbourne about 7.50 am. 
Once they have gathered everyone, we were brought to our tour bus and we departed at 8 am

Our first stop was the Ballarat Wildlife Park.
This was where we went a little cray-cray because we got the chance to get up close and personal with these cute fellers! 
These wallabies especially were absolutely friendly, they would come really close to us and start sniffing us to investigate if we had food. 

I am afraid of animals, but I had so so so much fun looking at D feeding them, and D who is an absolute animal lover was basically jumping around to play with these animals. Hahaha! 

Koala spends most of their time sleeping so we were super lucky to be able to see them walking around trying to feed themselves. 

We were also lucky enough to watch a WWE show by the kangaroos! 
They were fighting for lord knows what reason but boy was it an aggressive fight. 

The third person came in and resolved whatever they were fighting for. LOL.

I have also managed to spot some ALPACAS! 
Never did I think I'd have the chance to see an alpaca up close! 

Again, D had loads of fun feeding the alpaca! Haha!

I really love visiting wildlife park in the winter, as you could probably tell, it's an open space, I couldn't imagine walking under the sun to see these animals. 

The sky was a little gloomy and it got pretty nippy! 
And that's my kinda weather! 

Aus' breed of wild dog. 

They also have quite a variety of reptiles, which we obviously have seen a ton, but we still enjoyed nonetheless. 

Crocodiles. Heh

Managed to snap a picture with the ever so active wallaby. 

Also! FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE where I have witnessed a joey in the mother's pocket! 
It's the cutest thing ever!
I was squealing at the top of my voice when I spotted this! 

After a good couple of hours making new friends, we hopped on the bus and departed to our next, or main destination of the day, the Sovereign Hill- The Gold Museum

I absolutely adore this place! 
This open air museum re-creates Ballarat’s first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851 when people all around the world rushed to this land of gold in search of fortune.
I wished we could stay till the evening for the incredible show entitled ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ which practically brings the dramatic story of the 1854 Eureka Uprisin to life! 

Once we arrived, we headed directly to the gold smelting factory to watch the process of gold smelting in the ancient days. 

The entire process just happened in the blink of an eye. LOL. 
But it was so cool to see gold turned from solids into molten then into solid gold again! 

It was drizzling most of the time so it made the entire place super super cold and I am not complaining! 
We had so much fun strolling around the ancient streets and puffing cold cold condensed air out of our mouth! 

We also stopped for lunch at the New York bakery

It is an interesting restaurant with a setting dated back to the gold mining era! We enjoyed feeling as we traveled back in time surrounded by staffs dressed in vintage Victorian costumes!
The food here was definitely not the cheapest, but it was well worth the money!

After feeding out growling tummy, we continued wandering around the ancient street while marveling at the beauty of this town! We also caught a costumed police officer for a photo or two! 

You could also purchase tickets for horse cart riding or head to the Red Hill Gully Diggings where you can pan for real gold and keep them as your souvenir!
It was such a shame that we didn't have enough time for these, but if I were to visit here again, I would definitely take my time to take in the beauty of this place without rushing here and there!

Anyway, the highlight of the day was definitely the underground gold mining tour. 
It was absolutely creepy yet extremely fun! 
I highly recommend everyone to try this out! 
Make sure to stay till the end and watch an interesting screenplay about the Sovereign Hill! 

We were also shown how gold looked like in their rawest form! 
Those stones on the wall reflecting light are gold!!!

After the adventurous underground tour, we headed out to the outer world and enjoyed the beautiful view of Ballarat and Sovereign Hill for one last time! 

We couldn't leave this place without tasting their infamous pies! 
So we hoped into Hope Bakery for an apple crumble pie!

It wasn't as crispy as I'd expected it to be, but it was most certainly buttery and fragrant! 

After leaving Sovereign Hill, we stopped by a winery at Ballarat for some wine tasting! 
I had the best time drinking all the not-so-wine-kinda-wine! LOL! 
There were so many choices and after taking one sip of each wine they had, my face was flushing already. Hahaha! 

We hopped onto our tour bus and headed back to the city after that! 

I wish I had documented our delicious ramen @ Hakata Gensuke but I just realised I didn't take any photo of it! 
But if you're in Melbourne, I'd recommend you guys to try out this authentic ramen place! 
The hot and hearty soup was the perfect after a day out in the cold! 

Stay tuned for day 3! 

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