OMG international travel! To celebrate the AU/NZ travel bubble, we asked some Aussie mates to share their favourite spots in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Beck Wadworth’s Sydney
Founder of An Organised Life
“Sydney is one of my favourite cities in the world and the place I called home for six years. Beautiful beaches, too many amazing restaurants, a relaxed culture and always something new to do and see.”
Ballet at The Opera House
One of my favourite things to do when I visit Sydney is go to the iconic Opera House to see The Australian Ballet. Get dressed up and make a night of it with dinner in the city beforehand, followed by a night of pure magic.
The Bondi to Bronte Walk
This walk was my go-to when I lived in the city, and one I never got sick of. It gets crazy busy so get it done early in the morning before the crowds and the heat.
Get out on the water
To see the city from the sea, I love taking the fast ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. Stop at Hugo's for pizza and a cocktail, then catch the ferry back to the city at sunset for the most incredible views.
My go-to dinner dates (both are reliable favourites)
Visit the Art Gallery of NSW
Established in 1871 and located in the Domain, this gallery is always my favourite.
For some pampering, my favourites are Jocelyn Petroni for nails (they use beautiful Chanel nail polish). Her facials are also at cult status! Hair wise, if you need a blow wave, Paloma in Paddington is the place to go.
Ben Clement’s Melbourne
Founder of Good Sport Magazine
A beautiful Sicilian restaurant in Brunswick East. Just enough “comfy I'm at someone's home for dinner” and fine dining mixed together. A lot of great Italian and Australian wines and a menu that never fails.
The friendliest crew making great coffee and food. They offer fresh organic produce and also host a run club a few times a week from the store. They are working on a farm project, and support their local community with food and meal packages for those in need. Plus sitting outside on the communal tables is a welcome vibe compared to most cafes where you are fairly separated from other people.
An artisan bakery - everything I've tried always becomes a talking point for the rest of the day.
The best and unique selection of Japanese and American selvedge denim, clothing and accessories. Shop if you're into pieces that are considered, unique and well made.
As they say, 'We Make Nice Clothes" and that they do. Handsom is so consistent in their ranges, yet always pushing their own style. Styles that can be layered or a base to make other pieces pop. Or they work well in a full outfit head to toe from their range.
Ashlene Nand’s Melbourne
Op Shops on Chapel Street
Chapel Street is great for lots of things, but what I love most is book hunting through the op shops. I've always loved bargain hunting and I think I found a sustainable way to feed my joy without collecting useless items. Some of my recent finds include Michelle Obama's book for $2!
There are lots of fancy and underground places to eat in Melbourne but let me tell you about something a little different. As a Fiji Indian woman, I crave mum's food. I love this cafe so much! The food is authentic and it's sooo delicious - highly recommended.
If you are looking for something closer to the city, try Mya Tiger at the ESPY hotel in St Kilda. There is nothing like eating amazing food while overlooking the water. But in Melbourne, you won't find a shortage of places to eat.
I think the rainforest walk at Melbourne's Botanical Gardens is one of my favourite places to go. This garden is so serene and peaceful, it's hard to imagine you are just minutes away from the city.
So I know NZ has some of the best hot springs in the world, so I'm not sure how this compares, but I was pleasantly surprised on a recent trip and will definitely be back. The clay showers and the mountain top spring bath were my favourites.
Kirsha Whitcher’s Perth
Founder and designer of Salasai
My favourite eating spot in Perth. Nestled in the hip part of Perth on William Street in Northbridge, Bivs is best with a group of friends to share in the Mediterranean style cuisine. Perth’s little go-to spot for the best flavours, good service and low key atmosphere.
This is our local go-to; set at Eden Beach only a few minutes from home. The international chefs never disappoint and the views of the Indian Ocean are uninterrupted. My favourite lunch is the Moreton Bay bugs and fried bread.
Each year this exhibits a collection of works by local and international sculpture artists across the beautiful Cottesloe Beach. This is Australia's largest outdoor art exhibition and one of the world's largest free public events. It feels pretty special because of the sheer magnitude and size of the sculptures, a very cool experience.
A must-see if you come to Perth. To be honest, my first experience of Rottnest, after living in Perth for almost nine years, was only this summer gone. But I think it has to be one of my favourite destinations to visit here in WA. You arrive by ferry to this idyllic island and you can hire bikes or catch the bus around, stopping at any beach destination along the way. Each cute little beach stop has jade crystal waters to swim in, where you can snorkel or just sunbathe. It is such a beautiful place although it does have a dark history: you feel that presence when you arrive and appreciate that you can actually visit such a spiritual place.
For organic food, street style food trucks, vintage clothing stores, street entertainment and a carnival atmosphere, the Fremantle Markets are a must-visit. We go for the fresh donuts and the seafood paella.