A Day in Kyneton |What to do|Where to Eat and Drink

Your trip to Melbourne/Victoria would not be complete without a trip to visit a country town such as Kyneton. It is one of my personal, all-time favourite country-towns, and it is so easy to get to from Melbourne! The one transportation network that is actually quite decent here in Victoria is the V/Line Regional Train system, and Kyneton is one of those beautiful country-towns where you don’t need a car to drive around. You will be getting the Bendigo bound or Swan Hill bound V/Line train, and it will take you a bit over an hour from Southern Cross Station. If you can’t see these on the departure boards, ask the train staff, as sometimes the regional trains will terminate randomly at a stop before Bendigo or Swan Hill. Never fear, Kyneton isn’t too far along, so your train will most likely get you there even if it does terminate earlier than usual on the line. I will be guiding you through Kyneton as if you too have arrived by train on a Saturday, which is hands-down the best day to visit due to the Farmers Market that runs every second Saturday. It is just a 10-15 minute walk down the main drag from the station to the town centre (click here for directions). So without further ado, let me show you around.

Things to see and do:

Kyneton Botanic Gardens and Kyneton Community Park

Mollison St, Kyneton VIC 3444

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You cannot possibly miss these beautiful gardens. You will actually walk past them when you walk down the main drag into town from the station. You can start your day in this lush little bit of paradise, or you can end your day here as you walk back to get the train home. Allow yourself plenty of time before the train if you choose the latter option, as you will lose track of time while wandering around. I saved it for the end of the day and made sure to get plenty of photos.

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The gardens date back to 1858 and they were a ‘gift to the people of Kyenton’. If you enter via the corner of Mollison Street and Clowes Street (click above for the google-maps shortcut), you will see a plaque that says exactly this. The plant specimens you will see are just magnificent, with 17 protected by the National Trust of Australia.

Behind the Botanic Gardens, you will find the Kyneton Community Park. It features a rustic playground, table tennis tables, and it is the modern-garden landscaper’s dream – with tropical trees and exotic grasses patterned around the park. You do not need to be a kid to enjoy this community park!

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Explore Piper Street

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If you started your day at the Kyneton Botanic Gardens, we are now going to keep heading down the main drag into town. It is a gorgeous walk, so take your time. If you have walked past the Kyneton War Memorial, then you are heading in the right direction to reach our next stop (or stops) – Piper Street. We will be turning left off the main drag down the historic centre of Piper Street.

Really, you do not need me to guide you along here, but I will show you my favourite shops and galleries to stop in. We will also be having lunch and a glass of wine along the way, so take your time.

The Stockroom

98 Piper St, Kyneton VIC 3444

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Back gallery space

Whenever I am in Kyneton, I always make a stop at this unique, contemporary art gallery. They always have new artists on rotation, so you’re going to be in for a wonderful treat here. When you enter, you will see all sorts of wonderful decor, clothing, hand-made crafts, sculptures, and quaintly artistic everyday items. You could spend almost all day in this part alone, but there is a walkway located at the back of the shop where you will find even more exquisite artwork.

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There are two major gallery spaces indoors. If you head down the rightmost walkway to the gallery space, you will eventually be lead to a shed-like area where you will find a permanent weather-art feature. After you have gazed into the installation for a solid five minutes, as I tend to do, pondering life and how the artist made this, you can keep heading out into the ‘Sculpture Yard’. This is an antique, scrap metal, recycled paradise.

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Colours of White

38 Piper St, Kyneton VIC 3444

This art gallery/shop makes my heart sing. When you walk in, be prepared for all the colours of the rainbow to smack you in the face. Don’t be fooled by how small this shop looks from the outside, as there is a back room that is full of paintings, handmade crafts, and amazing eco-ware. I think I know where I am going to buy my first ever kitchenware when that day eventually comes!

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Gallery and Home Décor Shop (Name Unknown)

Piper Street

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I regret not buying this glass bird sculpture

I stopped in this amazing shop as it had a sale on and boy, was it worth it! I restrained myself from buying anything, but I almost wished that it was my partner’s mother’s birthday again just so I could buy her some of the amazing coloured glassware and sculptures. I couldn’t seem to find the name of the shop, as it was very busy inside and I told myself, ‘oh I will find it on Google Maps, no problem…’ Yeah, no. Google Maps in Kyneton has not been updated since 2010 (which is why I am providing you with the shortcuts). Anyhow, it is on the same side of Piper Street as the rest of my pit stops in this blog. There are so many galleries, vintage wares, and décor shops, so you can choose a handful (or all of them) and just explore. Some of you may think – why would I explore a gift and décor shop? Well, the owners of these shops are genuine artists and they stock the work of other local artists from the region. If you buy something from one of these shops rather than a touristy souvenir shop in the city, you are stimulating the local economy of a small country town, and I am all about that ethical travel. So, buy your gifts here in Kyneton. Your friends and family will not be disappointed!

Quick Growth Garden Centre and The Garden Tap

36 Piper St, Kyneton VIC 3444 and 96 Piper St, Kyneton VIC 3444

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The Garden Tap

If you are feeling inspired after the exotic plants you saw at the Kyneton Botanic Gardens, or you are wanting to put yourself in the mood for some nature before you head there on your way back to the station, make a pit stop at both of these beautiful nurseries. Whenever I walk into nurseries, I just want to buy everything and landscape my own garden. The sad thing is I don’t have my own garden, but, alas, one day, one day!

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Quick Growth Garden Centre

If you aren’t an interstate or an international traveller, go ahead, buy a cute plant – if you have the means of getting it home (or the willpower… and a garden to plant it in).

Where to Eat and Drink

Pizza Verde

62 Piper St, Kyneton VIC 3444

Every time I go to Kyneton, I stop at this pizza restaurant. I know, I really should expand my horizons, as Kyneton is known for its great food, but when a pizza snob like me has what she describes as the perfect pizza, she just has to keep going back. Cut me some slack, I got to eat Naples-style Pizza in Naples for a week- I have been broken for pizza.

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A delicious vegan and gluten-free pizza

The tasty pizzas served here are New York Style. Usually, I could not care less when I see a pizza shop in Australia say ‘New York Style Pizza,’ as I am happy with a beautifully chewy woodfire pizza and have never quite seen the appeal. But, this has to be the best New York Style Pizza restaurant Victoria has to offer. They use fresh, local produce and have some extremely unique creations. They are also very accommodating for vegetarians and vegans. Usually, when I ask for the cheese to be taken off at a pizza place, I get scoffed at. But here, they are more than happy to substitute out things and make your experience at Pizza Verde a great one. We always get the Fungi Pizza, which has onion jam – yes, onion jam – instead of passata or olive oil, and my oh my, it is so flavourful! If you live the gluten-free life, like I try to do, (#stomachproblems and #skinproblems), they have the best gluten-free pizza base I have ever had. It holds together very well and has substantial bite to it.

Pizza Verde also has a small-plate menu, with delicious country classics like corn on the cob. I have had this before and it was divine. Vegans, just politely ask for the parmesan and butter taken off, and ask for a drizzle of olive oil instead.

 

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The vegetarian-friendly Margherita pizza

 

The Royal George

24 Piper St, Kyneton VIC 3444

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Your day in Kyneton will not be complete without stopping at the Royal George. Craft beer, local wine and a rustic, antique style interior that will make your heart happy – except for the deer head on the wall… I am going to live in my little fantasy world where I hope that this deer died of natural causes and was taxidermied afterwards as a symbol of its beautiful legacy. Anyhow, they have a wall of badges from the rotating taps of beer. Collections like this just make you so happy, don’t they? If you are feeling peckish, they also have a very tasty looking bar menu.

The Final Verdict, Honourable Mentions, and General Travel Tips

Well, I had an amazing day in Kyneton. I got to take photos, look at art, eat amazing pizza, and drink local wine. I really hope your time in Kyneton is as special as mine was and I hope it is a place that finds a special place in your heart. To wrap up this post, I will be finishing with a few final travel tips and honourable mentions.

 

Honourable Mentions

Blackhill Reserve

110 Blackhill School Rd, Kyneton VIC 3444

So, you are going to need a car to get here, which is why we didn’t make it on this occasion. Blackhill Reserve is lovely if you want to start your day with a bushwalk that isn’t too long but that gives you the country-town nature kick that we all love and enjoy.

Dhaba at the Mill

4/18 Piper St, Kyneton VIC 3444

I have always wanted to go to this modern-style Indian restaurant, but I always choose the New York style pizza at Pizza Verde instead. However, I have heard amazing things about this place and they are very vegetarian and vegan-friendly.

Travel Tips (Things to Know Before You Go)

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  • If you want a top-notch visit to Kyneton, go on a Saturday. This is the day that the entire town comes alive, and every second Saturday the local market is on too.
  • Plan what train you will be getting both to and from Kyneton. V/Line trains only run every 1-2 hours, so if you just miss one, it will be quite a wait.
  • Start your day a little earlier and finish it a little earlier if possible. Try and get the train home after 2 pm or just after 3 pm. All of the country-towners living in Bendigo and the stops in between tend to get the trains after 4 pm on the weekend into the city for a night out, and consequently, it can get quite busy.
  • Travel off-peak or on the weekend – you will get a reduced fare when you use your Myki (Melbourne’s public transport ‘ticket’ system).
  • Always ‘touch-off’ or ‘tap-off’ your MyKi when you hop off a V/line train. If you don’t, you could incur a $30 penalty on your Myki next time you go to use it.

 

Vienna Vegan Food Guide

Vegan and vegetarian food in Vienna is endless and wonderfully creative. Vegan or vegetarian options are often available where ever you go, which came as a pleasant surprise considering this is a meat and cheese loving city. As I similarly described in my Munich Vegan Food Guide, you won’t need my help scouting out delicious food at entirely vegan or vegetarian restaurants. But, I wanted to create a list of my favourite places, as well as places you wouldn’t expect to have great vegan or vegetarian food. Food in Vienna is highly affordable and you can score a falafel kebab (or ‘kebap’ as the Austrian’s say) for 3-5 euros, pretty much where ever you go. Let’s jump straight in, shall we?

Das Augustin Restaurant

All-time favourite restaurant, Märzstraße 67, 1150 Wien, Austria

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I just had to start my list off with Das Augustin as this wins the award for the all-time favourite restaurant for my entire Europe trip. If your someone who really appreciates warm ambience in a restaurant, you must make it to this restaurant. Vegans, they had a bio-vegan Wiener Schnitzel with vegan Austrian-style potato salad. Now, this is what I came here for, to try a traditional cultural dish but veganized. Just to top off the experience, there are cats who reside in the restaurant. And don’t worry, they aren’t interested in your food. Rather, they will literally sit on a comfy chair with you at your table if you are lucky. As you can see, I got to eat dinner with this beautiful tabby cat.

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They also have a wide selection of vegan starters. They were out of the vegan wurst (sausage) so we had the hummus and bread- highly, highly recommend if you are a fussy hummus lover like me. To top it off with, they have meat options for your omnivore friends or partners and a great selection of vegan and organic wines.

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Aida Cafe Vienna

Bakery cafe, Multiple Locations around Vienna

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In your time walking the beautiful streets of Vienna, you will probably see a few of these cafes. Typically, I stay away from chain cafes, at least back at home, but Aida Cafe Vienna will not disappoint. It is the perfect place for a small bite to eat or for an easy lunch. Austrian service is top notch and you will love sitting in this awesomely pink and cute bakery cafe. You are going to get hungry on your travels in Vienna, particularly in wintertime and simply due to the amount of walking you will find yourself doing. The first Aida Cafe I went to had a poster on the wall that said “Vegetarian-Friendly”, which was lovely to see.

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They had a range of small bowls of soup, served with a delicious Vienna-style bread role. Vegans, politely ask to hold the cream or if that isn’t possible for some reason, order the Pasta al Pomodoro, pasta with tomato sauce. It was actually some of the nicest Pomodoro sauce I had on my trip to Europe, who would have known! You can see in the picture I forgot to hold the cheese. Vegetarians, go ahead and enjoy that cheese. Aida Cafe Vienna also will have options for your schnitzel loving and omnivore friends. If you want a treat, indulge yourself in their pastries. Every product has allergy information marked, which was great to see.359278480_IMG_1579

Xu’s Cooking

Kaiserstraße 45, 1070 Wien, Austria

As you walk the streets of Vienna, you will quickly come to realize how international this city is and how welcoming it is to foreigners. Austria opened their borders to many displaced Vietnamese people after the Vietnam war, so Asian-fusion restaurants are abundant and they are extremely high quality. Xu’s Cooking has to be the best Asian fusion buffet I have ever eaten at. Everything is super fresh and almost entirely vegan, with the exception of a few clearly marked dishes that contain egg. Monday-Friday their lunch buffet is only 8.90 euros per head. Eat your heart out here, it is so worth it!

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Swing Kitchen

Vegan burger joint, Schottenfeldgasse 3, 1070 Wien, Austria

I would probably go as far to say that these are the cheapest but most scrumptious vegan burgers in the world. We got the ‘cheese’ burger and the vegan Wiener schnitzel burger. Less than 6 euros for a burger? I swear I was dreaming. They even track the amount of carbon emissions that Swing Kitchen saves everytime someone orders one of their burgers over a regular meat burger. Wonderful!

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Veggiezz

Vegan burger and comfort food joint, Salzgries 9Wien, 1010, Austria

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If you would like a bit of a fancier burger or vegan comfort food experience, Vegiezz has you covered. The decor is just beautiful and the wait-staff are just lovely, you can tell they enjoy their job. They have a wonderful selection of vegan-friendly alcohol and the experience really capped off our last night in Vienna. I forgot to note down specifically what I got but you really cannot go wrong here at all.

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Biosk

Bar and Cafe, Museum Quarter, Vienna

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There always seems to be one or two places that I am desperate to go to but either they are way too busy or they are closed. Biosk was one of them! I am unsure if it is open year round, but it is a permanent fixture in the Museum Quater. They have organic and vegan-friendly beers and wines and I am sure it is an awesome spot to sip on some cruelty-free alcohol, fair trade coffee and eat some organic snacks.

StrudelBox

Take away strudel kiosk, Schulhofpassage, 1060 Wien, Austria

Vegan Apple Strudel? Yes please! I just wish I got to try it… yes this was another one of thsoe places that I stupidly saved for my last day in Vienna and did not check when it was and was not open. Please, eat all the vegan strudel for me- do it for me.

Cafe Freud

Cafe and Restaurant, Berggasse 19, 1090 Wien, Austria

If I ever wanted good quality, museum cafe food at a reasonable price in Australia, I’d probably get told to bugger off. In Europe, however, this is actually a possibility. After a pilates workout in my pension room, a long walk and an amazing visit to the Sigmund Freud Museum, I was getting quite ‘hangry’. So, we hedged our bets and were pleasantly surprised by Cafe Freud. I got a fresh and homemade vegetable soup with a piece of sourdough bread and yet another Cafe Americano. The soup was 3.50 euros and it was the perfect warm and tasty snack I needed to continue with my day. Also, the cafe is full of Freud decor, as you’d expect and its really quite charming.

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Noodle King

Fast food Japanese/Chinese, Approximate address: Museumstraße 12, 1010 Wien, Austria, also multiple locations around Vienna

Fresh, cheap and high-quality sushi and Japanese food are surprisingly easy to come by in Vienna. Being one of my favourite cuisines, I often get hankerings for Japanese food. I apologise in advance as I could not find the exact address as for some reason they are not listed on the internet very well but there are multiple Noodle King and Mr.Noodle locations around. The one I went to was near the Museum Quater, so it should be easy to find. They have vegan maki rolls and avocado maki rolls (what I call inside-out sushi), as well as freshly cooked stir-fries. I had the Avacado Maki roll and got 12 pieces for less than 5 euros. Bargain!

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Nordsea

Fast food joint, Multiple locations around Vienna

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With the sheer amount of wonderful things to do in Vienna, you will often need a quick lunch to have on the go. I know back at home, the last thing I would expect to see at fast-food franchise selling fish and chips is an advertisement for a Vegan Avocado Wrap, but what do you know, Vienna is often full of pleasant surprises. So if you’re desperate, grab an avocado wrap to go or indulge in one of Vienna’s ‘kebap’ shops.

Wintertime Bonus: Christmas Markets

Multiple locations around Vienna

Whichever market you go to, you will always find candied almond, Austrian style hashbrowns and spiraled potatoes on a stick, chestnuts, mulled wine and perfectly salted pretzels. Explore the markets if you are lucky enough to be in Vienna in the wintertime. With this amount of treats. you won’t be jealous of the wurst stands!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Transport in Melbourne’s CBD

First up: Getting a Train into Melbourne’s CBD/City

Melbourne is our hometown, and we live in the inner North-Western Suburbs. If you are staying outside of Melbourne’s CBD, rest assured, it is easy to get into the bustling city. Firstly, find the nearest station and navigate your way to Platform 1. Platform 1 is almost always the platform for city bound trains. If not, most  inner/outer suburb stations are easy to navigate. We have a fairly basic train system here in Greater Melbourne, in which each Metro line goes into a central city-based hub – Flinders Street Station. Mind you, this system can be VERY frustrating for those who live here, although it also reduces the chances of you getting lost among endless amounts of platforms if you are unfamiliar with the city – something you may experience in countries such as Japan.

Buses and Trams

Continue reading Public Transport in Melbourne’s CBD