Hey guys and happy Monday! We are finally back in the office today after our trip to Australia and although it feels like we were gone for ages, it also feels we blinked and it never even happened haha! It was truly a trip of a lifetime and we LOVED the whole experience. So, before I forget everything, I wanted to put together a little travel guide for any of you planning or hoping to visit Sydney in the future. Being totally honest we hadn’t done much research before getting there but thankfully my friend, Christina, was able to bring us to all of her favourite spots. That was a God sent for us so I’m hoping you’ll find this guide just as helpful.
HOW WE GOT THERE
– Kaelin & I actually travelled separately on the way there. I went from Ireland as I was home for my event with Arnotts & Kaelin went from NYC. I had promised myself for quite a while that I would treat myself to a Business Class trip in 2019 and seeing as this was such a long journey, I finally bit the bullet. Flying from Ireland instead of NYC actually made it a lot cheaper to do so too. I flew with Emirates & had the best flying experience I’ve ever had. I actually vlogged quite a bit of the trip so stay tuned for that video. It should be live this later week.
– Kaelin, on the other hand, flew with Qantas from New York and found them great too. Although, she does sleep a LOT on flights so she’s probably not the best judge haha! She usually never eats plane food but thought the food was great on this occasion & loved the service too. She got SUCH a great deal on her flights – under $700 return (crazy!!) – so overall, she was delighted with her experience too.
WHERE TO STAY
The main reason we went to Autralia was to visit our friend, Christina, so we were lucky enough to get to stay with her while in Sydney. That means unfortunately, I don’t have any hotel recommendations but here is another article that I came across with some options if you are stuck.
WHAT TO SEE/DO
– Bondi Beach/Icebergs
A must see! Bondi reminds me of a mix between Miami & Venice Beach – very cool. The Icebergs are also amazing to see in person!
– Darling Harbour
A lovely harbour to visit for a drink or dinner. We caught a beautiful sunset there!
– Milson’s Point
We got the train to this spot on our last day & LOVED it! It reminded us so much of Dumbo here in New York. It has a gorgeous view of both the bridge & the opera house along with Luna Park and the olympic pools. Great for pics too!
– Watson’s Bay
We got the ferry to Watson’s bay at the beginning of our trip and I really liked it. It’s a super chill seaside town but really gorgeous. We got fries & wine in the Boutique Hotel right next to the water and felt like we were in heaven.
– Bondi to Coogee Walk
By far one of our very favourite days included the Bondi to Coogee walk. This was STUNNING! So many amazing beaches & views along the way. A must do!
– Gordon’s Bay
This little bay was along the Bondi – Coogee walk and was so beautiful that we actually went back again on our last day. It reminded me of somewhere in Italy. Incredible!
– Bronte Beach
We saw many many beaches throughout the two weeks but this was one of our favourites. We even watched the sunset here on out last evening!
WHERE WE ATE/DRANK
– Grounds Of Alexandria
This was the very first place we ate and was such a great spot. Unfortunately, it rained while we were there but I would go back in a heartbeat. Very very cute and amazing food/coffee!
– Hotel Ravesis
This hotel in Bondi is the perfect place to grab a cocktail and snack with a view of the beach. SO chic!
– The Paddock
We were staying in Surry Hills so we ended up trying a lot of cafes there. This was one of our favourites!
A very snzzy rooftop bar with views of Darling Harbour.
– Four Ate Five
Another one of our favourite Surry Hills breakfast/coffee spots. Really nice service too.
Another bar we went for cocktails in. It’s right next to the Opera House and has great views of the Bridge along with beautiful decor! A little overpriced for what it is, but nice for one drink.
This was a spot we stumbled across while shopping in Paddington and we loved it. We got sushi and delicious green juices. The people watching was great in there too – everyone was very stylish in that area.
– Maya Da Dhaba
An indian restaurant really close to where we staying that was so good! It wouldn’t be a proper travel guide on my blog without including at least one Indian haha!
My favourite coffee throughout the whole trip! They have cafes in Bondi & Coogee and I went to both – loved it.
– Coogee Pavilion
This restaurant/cafe is right next to the beach in Coogee and the perfect place to cool off after doing the walk if you start in Bondi. We actually went here twice and loved it both times. Kaelin said the chips were some of the best she ever had and that says something haha!
– 5th Earl Rosebery
When we went to the Zimmerman Outlet in Rosebery (which I will get to) we found this cafe close by. The portions were huge and just like everywhere else in Sydney the coffee was amazing.
– Cuckoo Callay
Another really fun spot in Surry Hills. We woke so early while in Sydney so we went here one morning for a coffee with Christina before she went to work and we all loved everything about it. A great atmosphere & menu!
And last but not least, one more cafe we wandered upon one morning. Loved the coffee & really lovely service too. I’m beginning to think after writing this post that it’s impossible to find a bad cafe in Sydney haha! Missing them all so much already.
– Westfield Shopping Center
All of the usual high street shops and a few department stores too. Definitely enough shops for a full day of shopping if that’s what you are looking for.
– Surry Hills
As I previously mentioned, we stayed in an area called Surry Hills. We loved it there, it reminded us a little of Williamsburg in New York and it had some great vintage/thrift stores.
If you are looking for boutiques like Zimmerman, Alice McCall, etc. A really relaxed area to do some browsing.
– Zimmerman Outlet
And last but not least, my personal highlight of the entire trip – the Zimmerman Outlet! I ended up getting 7 things!! Can’t wait to show you in a vlog soon. Amazing value!
THINGS THAT SURPRISED ME
– Most cafes close at 3/4pm which we couldn’t get our heads around. Coming from New York where everything is so accessible this was a big change but we got used to it and made sure to get out coffee’s early haha!
– Australia isn’t always sunny, who knew?! It rained a few days while we were there and when I say rained, I mean it poured. However, when the sun came out it definitely made up for it.
– Waiter’s don’t take your order in 80% of the places. You go up and order yourself and sometimes go back up to collect the food too. There was always so much staff so we found this bizarre.
– Everyone is a morning person and I loved it! People get up super early and go for coffee/breakfast’s most morning’s before work. I would LOVE to bring that over to NYC. It was such a lovely way to start each day.
– The food is AMAZING! I’m not sure why this surprised me but I guess I just wasn’t expecting it. We are honestly missing it so much already.
– It’s not as expensive as New York which I was not expecting. I thought they would be on par but I definitely think you get more value for your money there in most situations. However if you are going from Ireland you may find it a little pricey but definitely keep the conversion in mind.
I really hope you found this guide helpful. We loved every single minute of the trip and the laid back Australian lifestyle. I can already see myself going back there in the future hopefully. Be sure to keep an eye out for my VLOG from the trip later this week :)