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Epic 3 Day Guide to The Grampians Australia

Epic 3 Day Guide to The Grampians Australia

Visiting The Grampians National Park in Australia has been on both Dave and mines bucket list since arriving in Australia. Back in the UK, and in Australia though not as much as we hoped, we are both avid climbers! Rocking climbing is our go-to spot for fun and exercise so of course, The Grampians was always going to be a place we wanted to check out. As our year in Australia went on, the likelihood of us actually getting there was pretty slim! But we did what we always do in life and made it happen! I invite each and every one of you the visit this national park in Australia because it is mind-blowing! Having visited the Blue Mountains in Sydney just months before I had to say The Grampians truly blew us away! In this guide, I’ll be telling you how to spend a brilliant 3 days in The Grampians to have an epic time as we did! It doesn’t matter if you’re not a climber or walker, the landscape here is phenomenal just to look at.

Couple at The Balconies Lookout

Beautiful views of The Grampians are everywhere!

Where is The Grampians?

The Grampians National Park is in Victoria. If you take away one thing from this blog post and don’t read past this line just make sure that you understand this. The Grampians is not in Melbourne. So much information that we find on the internet can be misleading and this fact is very misleading. The Grampians by car is three days west of Melbourne. Of course, when in Melbourne it makes for a brilliant weekend away. What I’m saying is that, if you only have a weekend in Melbourne then you’re probably not going to want to take a day trip to The Grampians (Just one traveller’s opinion).

Driving From Melbourne

Driving to The Grampians from Melbourne will take approximately three hours including stop-offs. Don’t forget that traffic getting in and out of the city can be like hell on earth so plan wisely! The roads that lead up to The Grampians are windy and often narrow so make sure you’ve got your wits about you. Kangaroos are everywhere too especially once you nearer some of the villages located in The Grampians. See the driving route from Melbourne below that you can use as a guide. The end destination is Halls Gap, a popular town in The Grampians where we stayed and in my opinion where you should stay too!

Other ways of getting to The Grampians

The nearest large airport to The Grampians is Melbourne. The quickest to get to The Grampians is to drive but there are other options. You can find a train service that runs to Arat and then buses that take you further into The Grampians. There are numerous tours that you go on for days out in The Grampians as well usually on a mini-bus or coach. 

When to Visit the Grampians – Time of Year/Weather

The weather in The Grampians varies all year round. The first thing to always remember is that Australian seasons are backwards. When the British are toasting their feet by a roaring fire, the Aussies are playing volleyball with the whole family on the beach in the blazing sunshine.

Summer in Australia is anytime from the end of December – February

Autumn in Australia is March – June

Winter in Australia is June – September

Spring September – December

It’s a little confusing to get your head around at first for nationals of the other side of the world. In the summer the temperatures in The Grampians can soar above 30 degrees Celsius and plummet below negative 6 in the winter. We visited in autumn, and though it was cold with some rain we still managed to have an epic time. Pack wisely when it comes to visiting The Grampians in the cooler months especially if you’ve become custom to the Australian heat like us.

The weather in The Grampians won’t stop you from enjoying it if you don’t let it. A fun little quote I love when it comes to rainy days:

When life gives you rain, play in the puddles. Click To Tweet

Where to Stay in The Grampians

The Grampians is bursting with gorgeous little towns and villages all offering unique places to stay. The Grampians, though rural, has every kind of accommodation you could need. Vast numbers of campsites, hostels including an Eco-Friendly YHA, motels, hotels and even resorts! Of course, we were in a trust camper van during our visit staying in at Halls Gap Caravan Park which was amazing, I cannot recommend this campsite more for its facilities and Grampians experience!

Halls Gap

Kangaroos in Halls Gap

Dave’s new friends!

Halls Gap is one of the many small towns in The Grampians. Halls Gap is located in the heart of The Grampians hidden amongst the locals and the cutest town I’ve stayed in for such a long time! Being from the UK, I’m obsessed with cute villages and towns, so much of the UK screams cute and I just love it! So when we arrived at Halls Gap I could feel the outsides of my mouth turning upwards. Halls Gap has all you need during your stay in The Grampians. A shop, Petrol Station, Swimming Pool, Play Park, Restaurants x 4, Bars and an Ice Cream Parlour, for such a little town its full to the brim with amenities!

As the gateway to The Grampians, you also get easy access to all of the show-stopping lookouts, walks, hikes and wildlife in The Grampians. For the ultimate Grampians experience, I recommend camping one way or another!

Halls Gap Caravan Park

We made this campsite our home for a few nights in The Grampians and I can’t fault it. The campsite is one of the biggest in the national park and so convenient for getting into the national park. The tourist road to find numerous lookouts and walks starts in Halls Gap so you’ve got it all on your doorstep. The staff at the campsite were super friendly making sure you’ve got everything you need and giving you any tips that you need for your stay!

The campsite offers sites both powered and unpowered suitable for cars, tents, camper vans, caravans and more! If you’d rather stay inside then they multiple cabins available that you can book too! The price is reasonable for immense location costing us $40 per night for a powered site/20GBP. For an unpowered site, it’s a little cheaper at $32 per night/15GBP. These charges were correct when we visited in March 2019 and may change depending on the time of year/holidays.

Kangaroos in Halls Gap Caravan Park

Kangaroos in Halls Gap Caravan Park

The facilities at Halls Gap Caravan park were more than adequate. Toilets and showers were kept clean and tidy. Cooking facilities and BBQ’s were located throughout the park, pets are allowed and campfires are specific areas are also allowed. The highlights of staying at Halls Gap Caravan Park were definitely the close proximity to various walks and lookouts in The Grampians. And not to mention the wildlife!

Even though we’ve been in Australia for almost a year and in that time we’ve seen plenty of kangaroos, I still find it sensational seeing them in the wild! As we approached Halls Gap we were greeted by over 50 kangaroos grazing in the grass! These kangaroos literally camped with us all weekend hopping around at night and during the day to which made our stay extra special. You’ll also find Emus, Cockatoos and different breeds of Parakeets around the campsite and in The Grampians.

If you do have any more questions about the campsite then don’t hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected] or check out their website here!

What to do in The Grampians

The Grampians National Park is the perfect getaway for nature lovers, avid walkers, keen photographers and pure wanderlust. Activities in The Grampians consist of getting out in the fresh open air and enjoying some of the worlds awe-inspiring landmarks here in Victoria. Our three days in The Grampians involved lots of hiking, wildlife watching, chasing incredible views and of course, a cheeky BBQ and beer to round off the days. If you’ve got kids then obviously your itinerary may be a little different to mine but you can check out this post on this blog for what to get up to alongside your little people. For us, our weekend was all about finding adventure and all the best lookouts over all of which I’ll be telling you about in detail in this guide. I’m going to split what to do in The Grampians into days of which things go better with others. Usually because if location because I’m all about making travel easier for everyone, it doesn’t have to be hard.

Day One in The Grampians

Upon arrival in The Grampians check in at the campsite. I always like to do this when I arrive at a particular destination because the campsite often has helpful tips for us! Like, the best places to see, eat or they give out maps and all that good stuff. We can research the internet until we go blue in the face but to me, the locals know it best!

Wildlife Watching in Halls Gap

Halls Gap is the place to be in the Grampians. It’s the only place we stayed but the experience we had was out of this world so we’d probably go straight there again if we were to return. The wildlife that hangs out in Halls Gap is pretty magical. The UK is filled with beautiful creatures from small songbirds, robins, foxes, deers, rabbits but Australia’s wildlife is one another level. Though the Australians have no love for the Kangaroo as a tourist it’s a once in a lifetime pleasure to watch a kangaroo hopping around in the wild, you just don’t get them anywhere else in the world. If you want to see multiple Kangaroos hanging out with their pals then you won’t be disappointed in Halls Gap. Over the course of the weekend, we saw over 50 different kangaroos (at a guess, I mean they do all look the same!). But the kangaroo wasn’t the only animal we found at Halls Gap.

You’ll be able to hear the native Aussie birds before you see them. Cockatoos and Parakeets fill the streets of Halls Gap searching for food and boy are these birds beautiful. Parakeets come in all different colours but my favourite has to be the red and blue feathered ones we saw here at Halls Gap. Emus also stroll around in the wild in The Grampians so keep your eyes peeled at all times and don’t get too close!

There are various signs around the town asking visitors not to feed the animals so please please pay attention. We saw so many people trying to feed the kangaroos human food which then makes them dependent on humans. Not to mention it can make them quite sick, same goes for the birds.

Mackenzie Falls at The Grampians

Chasing waterfalls in the best way to spend an afternoon at The Grampians or anywhere in Australia. Some of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen were in the Atherton Tablelands, see more in this post. The Grampians has many a waterfall but the most impressive and a waterfall you must have in your itinerary is Mackenzie Falls. The Atherton Tablelands is home to some majestic waterfalls all of which are pretty and delicate. Mackenzie Falls in The Grampians is powerful, hungry, a little less majestic and a lot more wow. Mackenzie Falls holds the title for my favourite waterfall in Australia so far. It’s a haven for photographers.

View of Mackenzie Falls from the bottom

Because what a great backdrop?!

Getting to Mackenzie Falls

Mackenzie Falls is 17 km from Halls Gap. The drive is straight forward. Follow the tourist road from Halls Gap and just continue. Note that the road is windy so plan for plenty of time, you can’t overtake and you’ll find a lot of campers on the road. You won’t be able to take a caravan so make sure you’ve dropped that off at the campsite first. Mackenzie Falls is on your right so just watch for the signs and wildlife! You can park for free at all the stop-offs in The Grampians but no camping overnight.

You look down on Mackenzie Falls from the lookouts or hike down to the bottom. I recommend doing both!

Lookouts at Mackenzie Falls

The lookout to see Mackenzie Falls is easily accessible with paths forming the way. The viewing platform opens out over Mackenzie Falls exposing all the cascades that make up the waterfall. The walk to the lookout starts at Mackenzie Falls carpark, 1.9 km return taking 20 minutes – 1 hour or more depending on your speeding and ability. The lookout is show stopping giving a full view of the magnificent falls you can hear from miles away.

Hiking Down to the bottom of Mackenzie Falls

To make the most out of Mackenzie falls you need to see it from below. Listening to the water crash into the pool at the foot of the waterfall is incredible. You’ll find stepping stones and a gorgeous river walk down there too. It’s well worth the 260 strenuous steps to get there! Yes, you heard me correctly 260 steps. Getting to the foot of Mackenzie Falls is easy, follow the path and steps all the way to the bottom. But remember what goes down must come up so make sure you are well prepared! Take plenty of water, sun cream, a hat and all the essentials to make sure you reach the top safely. The steps can be slippery is wet conditions so judge it sensibly.

Upon reach the bottom the views speak for themselves. Enjoy the waterfall, embrace the nature before your eyes and of course take plenty of photographs, We could’ve been there all day snapping shots of Mackenzie Falls.

If you fancy a bit more walking follow the river walk that zigzags in and out of the smaller pools. If you do the full river walk it’s 1.2 km. You can spend hours at Mackenzie Falls we spent at least three hours here on our first day. It was a perfect start to our weekend in The Grampians. No matter when you fit in Mackenzie Falls it will be awesome just make sure it’s a the top of your to see list!

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Day Two – Walks in The Grampians

Walking in The Grampians is no doubt the best way to see the vast landscapes and rocky formations. Find various walks/hikes throughout The Grampians National Park for varying abilities. As keen adventure seekers and very keen climbers, Dave and I aren’t scared of a little challenge when it comes to walking so we tacked a walk to The Pinnacle from Halls Gap, 10 km round trip.

The hike up to The Pinnacle lookout is one of the most popular walks in The Grampians. The views over the national park leave you breathless (quite literally after the walk). Unfortunately, there is no way to drive up the lookout due to its positioning. But some of you may be pleased to know that there are shorter versions, but we think the full 10 km is the most fun!

For the full 10 km walk from Halls Gap to The Pinnacle start at the Botanical Gardens in Halls Gap. You’ll find the gardens just before the primary school set back from the road that goes through the caravan park.

The hike up to The Pinnacle is beautiful winding in and out of rocky terrain, climbing over big rock formations and up high into The Grampians. The ascent to The Pinnacle is the hardest leg of the walk as it’s all uphill. Some paved areas, some scrambling over rocks and even grassy overgrown areas so this walk is definitely not for the faint-hearted or ‘unfit’.

Some of the beauties, thanks to mothers natures handy-work, you’ll explore on the way are:

The Venous Baths

Splitter Falls

Numerous Bridges

Very narrow and impressive stairwells

The Grampians Grand Canyon

Cool Chamber

Bridal Veil Falls

The Pinnacle

The track can be difficult to follow at times so make sure you stay on route and follow the yellow arrows that are painted onto the rocks. The only part of the walk where we got lost was at Splitter Falls. In March 2019 Splitter Falls was dry and with no signs, we had no idea this was the actual waterfall! If you follow Alicia Overseas on Instagram then you may have seen our story where we clambered to the top of this waterfall, thinking that it was part of this track! Turns out we were very wrong and we subsequently had to climb back down. Luckily we did do unharmed – round of applause please, it was very slippery!

So, top tip, if you do divert to Splitter Falls then once you reach the falls turn around and head back towards the bridge you just passed, walk over it and continue onto the track!

But what if you really don’t want to hike 10 km?

Lucky for the less adventure hungry traveller there are two shorter walks you can take to The Pinnacle. The second most challenging walk up to The Pinnacle lookout is the hike from The Wonderland Carpark. This where you hop onto too

The view from The Pinnacle look out in The Grampians

Even on a cloudy day the views from the Pinnacle is pretty great!

the same route as outlined above just a little higher!

Note to walking enthusiasts doing the 10 km round trip, when you see a sign for The Wonderland Carpark don’t follow it. There definitely isn’t anything wonderland about it and it really is just a place to park the car, indeed very boring.

The walk in The Grampians from wonderland carpark is 2.1 km, a lot shorter than the full hike but still difficult in areas. Expect this trek to require some climbing up and around steep rocks, slippery surfaces when wet and phenomenal views of The Grampians. You’ll experience The Grampians Grand Canyon, Bridal Veil Falls, the Cool Chamber (which you’ll be thankful for on a stifling hot day!) And of course those picture perfect views that make all the sweat and burning thighs worth it.

Still not feeling it?

The final option to get to The Pinnacle lookout point in The Grampians is to walk from Sundial Carpark. This is the easiest of them with a well-paved track to walk along with ease from the car to the point. Still 2.1 km in distance taking just 45 minutes to one hour. If hiking really isn’t your jam then go for this option so you can still see those epic views from above. Trust me, you really won’t be disappointed.

No matter which route you decide to take one thing is guaranteed. What goes up must come down. If you choose to tackle to 10 km round trip from Halls Gap then prepared for a rocky trip back down to the valley complete with a lot of stairs! Yes, my legs were shaking when we reached the bottom.

Essentials to note/bring for your hike to The Pinnacle

A few important things to note before you venture on any of these walks.

There are no toilets

There are no water filling stations

No food to buy

Little to zero phone reception

Don’t forget your suncream!

Bring plenty of supplies and empty those bladders (and whatever else) before you set off! As highlighted above, the terrain you’ll experience on this walk is rocky, slippery and challenging. Make sure you wear appropriate shoes, no converse or pumps if you’ve any sense and of course don’t forget the suncream! Even in March, on a wet rainy day, my nose burnt. Like any adventure that takes you off the beaten just be prepared and know your limits and of course, have fun!

I’ll admit Hiking to and from The Pinnacle in The Grampians left us feeling tired so we didn’t do too much more with the rest of the day. After the walk, I invite you to talk about the opportunity to explore Halls Gap or wherever you may be staying. We ventured into some of the small shops and a cafe. Afterwards, we headed back to our beloved home on wheels and cooked up a storm, spag bol, to revive our bodies after a great day of walking.

Day 3

The final day in The Grampians, I couldn’t help but wish we had longer here. We left The Grampians in the late afternoon so spent the morning hopping from lookout to lookout to catch our final glimpses.

The Best Lookouts in The Grampians

Fire up the engine and head up the tourist drive from Halls Park. Find some spectacular lookout points to get your final Grampians fix before leaving.

The Balconies

After googling lookouts in The Grampians ‘The Balconies’ will have most definitely come up in your search. One of the most impressive views out over The Grampians National Park along with some pretty unique rock formations. The Balconies is named the Balconies as two rocks stick out above one another, take a little look below!

The Balconie

The Balconies in the lookout, read below how people attempt to sit on the edge!

Of course, once upon a time, these balconies made for epic travel photographs. If you Pinterest The Balconies or Instagram them, then, sure enough, you’ll be met by travellers sat on The Balconies. The drop beneath them is hundreds of feet and I’m guessing that’s exactly why a fence has been put in place. But of course, there are always people who are out to break the rules and to some, Instagram is more important than their lives. I got pretty pissed off when I saw a group of idiots climbing over the fence to try and get that ‘viral image’.

As a nurse, I understand how precious life is and how quickly tragedy can strike. I also know how bloody expensive a rescue helicopter to The Grampians would cost, all because you couldn’t play by the rules and be sensible. Imagine if a member of your family had innocently fallen over during a hike or taken ill unexpectedly. The only way into those trails is by helicopter and your loved one could be waiting a long time if the helicopter is already out because someone did something causing injury, or worse, that was preventable. I probably sound like a granny right now but as a nurse and human being, please please don’t climb the fence at The Balconies. Because if you lose your balance then you’ll be lucky to come out alive, no photograph is worth your life. Be Safe travellers!

View of The Grampians from the Balconies lookout

See it is possible to get a great photograph without risking your life.

On that cheery note enjoy The Balconies and of course Reeds Lookout, found at the same car park as The Balconies. The walk to The Balconies is 1 km from the car park with a marked path the whole way. Get there early morning to try to miss the crowds.

Boroka Lookout

Views from Bokora Lookout of The Grampians

The stunning views from Bokora Lookout

Personally my favourite lookout in The Grampians! Boroka Lookout is 5 km off the tourist road but well worth the short detour. Enjoy paranamic views over The Grampians and out towards Lake  Bellfield. You’ll find two lookout points both easily accessible a mere 200 metres from the carpark. Take your camera and prepared to be stunned.

The Grampians or The Blue Mountains?

The Grampians! I found these amazing landscapes to both be beautiful, similar and at the same time unique. Unexpectedly, I found myself comparing the two throughout the day and realised that for me The Grampians will always win. I think it’s because of how raw The Grampians still feels. The Blue Mountains is quite built up and most lookouts are literally on the edge of small towns. What I loved about The Grampians was how rural it still felt and the feeling of adventure during our short time there! & of course, there would be some epic climbing when we have the correct gear with us!

However, you choose to spend your three days in The Grampians I hope you take a few pointers from this guide or at least get a taste of how breathtaking this national park is. As always I would love to hear from you so hit the comments below! For any more advice on The Grampians feel free to email me at [email protected] and don’t forget to share this post if you enjoyed it – I couldn’t do this without you!

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Happy and Healthy Travels,

Alicia

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Your Quick Guide on What to do in Canberra – In just one day!

Your Quick Guide on What to do in Canberra – In just one day!

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Your Quick Guide on What to do in Canberra – In just one day!

Canberra, often mistaken as just another small city in Australia competing with Sydney and Melbourne for glory. What so many tourists that visit Australia still don’t realise is that Canberra is actual the capital. Yes, that’s right Canberra is capital like London and Paris are to England and France. Canberra was actually invented to be the Capital of Australia because nobody could agree whether Sydney or Melbourne should hold the title. I imagine like myself that people ask questions like well where is it, how will I know what to do in Canberra, is it worth visiting during your time in Australia? I asked these questions to myself too! (I used to think Sydney was the capital of Australia until we started planning our move out here – guilty!) 

To me, Canberra was a little bit of a mystery. Knowing it’s the capital but not really knowing much about the city we decided there is only one way to find out! We recently took a quick trip to Canberra to see what it was all about. It was quick as we only spent one full day in the city but we felt that’s all you need! In this post on what to do in Canberra, I’ll guide you through how to make the most of the city even if you only have one day to visit! 

First, Where is Canberra?

Before you decide what to do in Canberra is pretty important to know where this city is and how you’re going to get there. Canberra actually has its own state! Nestled in-between New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria (VIC), Canberra sites in the Australian Capital Terrority otherwise known at the ACT. It uses the same time zone at NSW and VIC making it around a 3-4 hour drive from Sydney. If you’re driving from Melbourne then you’ve got a long road ahead (almost 7 hours), so probably to pencil Canberra in as part of a stop off on a big trip, rather than a day out.

When choosing the best time to visit Canberra October-January seem to be the most popular months, probably because of the weather! Canberra does get cold in winter, we visited in March (not even winter yet) and it experienced lows of 7 degrees – when you’re used to highs of 20 it hurts! In the summer months, Canberra can have sunny days up to 30 degrees. You’ll find the capital can get a lot of rainfall so pack a jacket just in case!

Second, How to get to Canberra

Planning how to get there is also a good idea before deciding what to do in Canberra. Being the capital city Canberra has good transport links with the rest of the country so fairly easy to get too. We opted to drive from Sydney because we were at the start if a road trip but you can easily fly or get a greyhound/other coaching company.

Driving from Sydney

The drive from Sydney – Canberra is really straight forward. In fact, the most difficult part is actually getting out of Sydney! I’ll let you into a little secret here, it took us well over 4 hours to reach Canberra because it took us that long to get out of Sydney. That may or may not have been due to me missing the turn off for the tunnel and due to an abroad amount of tram work and dodgy GPS we drove around a LOT of circles in the city until we reached a way out. But once we managed to find that great open road the rest was a total breeze!

It’s basically one straight road down to Canberra from Sydney. You’ll take the M1 out of Sydney and stay on the M31 Federal Highway for the next 212 KM following it all the way to Canberra. I’ll link a map below with the driving route.

Top Tip: About an hour before hitting Canberra you’ll reach Lake George also known as Weereewa Lookout. The lookout is literally at the side of the highway so you don’t need to detour but it is worth stopping at. Lake George used to reach road level but hasn’t been full for some years now. When we pulled over it was bone dry but we did get a little surprise when out at the view. Because we reached the lookout at 4 PM the kangaroos were just starting to come out to play! It was amazing to see these creatures in their natural habitat bouncing around.

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What to Do in Canberra

Enough of the boring, but very important, bits here are my recommendations on how to spend a relaxed day in Canberra. When you’re deciding what to do in Canberra it kind of depends on your hobbies, interests and what you enjoy! Canberra is full of history in the form of museums, if you’ve got a politics buff on board then they’ll be right at home or if you just like wandering around and enjoying a new city then you’ll be happy too! I guess I like a little bit of everything when exploring a new city, I enjoy finding local independent coffee shops and going to museums to learn a little more about that destination. We also love being outside so I’m always looking for any hikes or walks around the area. In Canberra, we mixed all three together for a great day.

What to Do in Canberra – Morning

Australian War Memorial

Canberra is home to the Australian War Memorial located just off Adelaide Parade, approximately 10 minutes drive from Canberra CBD. When thinking about what to do in Canberra I would highly recommend this memorial. Dave and I both enjoy our history. In fact, once upon a time, Dave wanted to join the army himself so he loves learning more and more about our previous war history. The museum offers reams of knowledge and pays a huge tribute to soldiers, medics and civilians affected by war, past and present.

Australian War Memorial Building Photograph

A rainy day didn’t make for great photography but still a magnificent building!

The museum is huge and spreads over three floors. If you know you’ll want to explore it all then you probably need at least 3 hours to really make the most of it. We spent about two and a half hours here and did rush around the end. The memorial offers free tours which operate every day lasting 1.5 hours, also helpful if on a tight schedule.

You can find out more information on the memorial itself here and all the facilities inside. Entry is free but they do accept donations. I have to give some time to speak about the grounds and building which is beautiful. The architecture of this building is amazing and so symmetrical (like most of Canberra!) With spotless gardens full of statues and tributes to those who fought for Australian and New Zealand. Parking is free for four hours (March 2019) and you can find a cafe called Poppys on site. We didn’t get anything from the cafe but it was packed to the brim on this particular wet and windy morning – always a good sign!

The Houses of Parliament

Once you’ve finished up at the memorial why not head down the road to do The Houses of Parliament. After paying for tours in London I was thrilled to find out that the tours/walking around by yourself in Canberra are free! Parliament is open every day except for Christmas Day and you can check the schedule online here to see if anything is on that particular day. You can also watch question time at The Houses of Parliament which starts at 2 pm on the selected days. Book this online or when you arrive, note you must be seated by 1:30 pm so don’t turn up too late. Take some time to admire the views around the building and notice just how well thought out the building of Canberra really was. The red-bricked area on Adelaide Parade reminds of the walk up to Buckingham Palace.

What to Do in Canberra – Lunch

Feeling a little peckish? My favourite part of exploring any new city is finding gorgeous coffee shops and cafes for a little snack! We do try to stay on a budget when we are travelling but I always keep aside a little extra cash for treats like this!  In Canberra, we found a beautiful independent coffee shop called The Coffee Lab. Located in the heart of the CBD this quirky cafe come restaurant offers a great menu full of relatively healthy meals, snacks and not to mention cakes! We arrived at around 12 pm so opted to have a full lunch here and we weren’t disappointed!

Photograph of the outside of the coffee lab in Canberra

The Coffee Lab, Canberra

Dave opted for a breakfast burger consisting of bacon, eggs, hot sauce and of course cheese in a soft brioche bun. It may sound simple but the flavours were mouth watering good! I went for a more snack like lunch with grilled halloumi avec homemade chilli chutney it was divine! Dave tells me the coffee was good and I can vouch for the chai latte being awesome too! Definitely worth a stop-off! There’s plenty of parking opposite the cafe but it does get full but the streets in the immediate area all offer ticketed parking.

What to Do in Canberra – Afternoon/Evening

Lake Burley Griffin

Running through the centre of Canberra is Lake Burley Griffin. This lake was man made back in 1963 and is one of Canberra’s most stunning places for a stroll. The shoreline runs a vast 40 km so is perfect for walkers and cyclists no matter how far you intend to go! There’s lots of fun to be had on the lake from kayaking, fishing or even paddle boarding! The lake is lined with cafes and restaurants if you prefer staying dry! You can read a little more about the lake here…

Visit Mount Ainslie

sunset photograph from Mount Ainslie

The sunset from Mount Ainslie

This was by far my favourite part of Canberra, Mount Ainslie sits tall over the city offering stunning views of Canberra before your eyes. You can either drive or walk up to the top for these scenic views of the city below. The mountain is steep so wear comfortable shoes and take plenty of water if you do opt to walk! We did drive because we arrived in Canberra pretty late and didn’t want to miss the sunset. If you get a good day the sunset will be spectacular, hands down one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in Australia!

As the sun goes to bed for the day the city glistens under the golden tones of the sky, wildlife surrounds you, kangaroos hopping and parakeets swooping. Watch the capital of Australia fall asleep around you. You’ll also be able to see what I mean when I talk about Canberra being so symmetric! When deciding what to do in Canberra then Mount Ainslie, preferably for sunset, has to be at the top of your list!

Sunset photograph from Mount Ainslie

Another sunset picture from Mount Ainslie

You can park for free at the top or if you do opt to walk you can park for free in the Australian War Memorial car park. Again, Mount Ainslie is quite central at the top of Adelaide Parade just up the road from The Houses of Parliament.

Where to Stay in Canberra

Wondering where to stay when visiting Canberra? If you’re camping or in a motor home or some sort then I can recommend a great campsite! I can’t really comment on any other accommodation as we were only here for one day! I do find that booking accommodation on booking.com always saves me money when compared with other travel sites! Use the search box below to find some accommodation. As for the campsite we stayed at Exhibition Park. Canberra’s show-grounds where there’s always something going on from shows to markets. At the rear of the show-grounds is a campsite where they offer powered and unpowered sites at a reasonable price. We paid $35 for a powered site which one of the cheaper sites we’ve stayed at this time around (March 2019).



Booking.com

You’ll find all the basic facilities you need here including, toilets which were clean, showers, laundry and a camp kitchen! The reception is open daily from 8 am – around 4 pm. The guys who run the site are very laid back! We knew we were going to be later than 4 pm so we just called and he said to just find a site and pay in the morning – easy! But I will let you into a funny story…

Imagine two brits in their rental camper van excited to be on the road again. We just enjoyed a beautiful sunset and were high on life. We arrived at the campsite a little confused as to where to park our camper van. There were so many motor homes taking up power cables! Anyway, we find a site right at the end, plug in, make dinner and praise the campsite on its facilities. As we are just getting ready for bed a couple come and tell us that we are in the wrong campsite!!! Yep, we had placed ourselves amongst the market stall owners getting ready for a big show the next morning – starting at 6 am! That would’ve veep one embarrassing wake up call! We found the campsite a good 5 minted away at the other side of the grounds! So if you do stay here note that the campsite is around the back, not the grass section where you can see the main road!

You can have a little look at the website for Exhibition Park here as it is shut for some shows depending on the time of year!

So, should you visit Canberra when you’re exploring Australia?

Absolutely! Canberra is the capital city of Australia so it would be kind of rude not too! It’s a great city with friendly locals and a nice easy going feel about it! We only spent a day here and felt like we’d seen a good chunk of the city. You could spend longer but if you’ve only got a day then it’s definitely doable! It’s also easy on a budget too as most of museums and memorials are free! If you’ve been to Canberra and have anything else to share then make sure you leave a comment below! Make sure you save this post if you did enjoy it, some of your friends might like it too!

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Happy Travels!

Alicia

 

Ultimate List of the best campsites in Australia: on the East Coast

Ultimate List of the best campsites in Australia: on the East Coast

The East Coast of Australia. The most famous and popular backpacking destination for all travellers alike. If you’re going to visit Australia then the east coast has got to be somewhere you explore. From the treetops of the Daintree to the white swirls of the Whitehaven beach the east coast is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world. No matter how you travel down the coast your bound to have a fantastic time but, I must say the best way to do it is to drive! Whether that’s in a car or campervan you can’t go wrong. The most popular route is Cairns to Sydney which stretches over 4000 km and I dread to think how much fuel but it’s honestly the best road trip I’ve ever been on.  It converted me to van life, living in campsites in Australia and showed me how amazing this planet really is.

Van life with a little luxury

It was October 2018 when we headed off on our first road trip down the Aussie east coast in a campervan! Now, even though I have been converted to living in the great outdoors I do still like a few luxuries. By that, I mean a hot shower and flushing toilet. Which I don’t think is too much to ask. So, one thing I knew that was certain was that I probably wouldn’t be staying on many free campsites! When browsing on Pinterest, which if you’re a travel blogger you’ll do all the time, I noticed that when looking for campsites in Australia a lot of posts talk about the free ones! Free campsites sound great. However, most of these campsites don’t include the above luxuries of a loo and a shower.

So that’s basically what inspired me to write this post! We stayed in some amazing campsites in Australia and I can’t recommend some of them enough! So, if you’re like me and heading off down the east coast in a campervan but still want to enjoy some facilities then I’ve got you! Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive these are just the campsites that we stayed at. I wouldn’t want to recommend any that I hadn’t been too. If you’d like any more information about any of these sites or just need some more camping in Australia tips, then please comment at the bottom of the post or just email me – I would love to help!

Ultimate List of the best campsites in Australia: on the East Coast

I apologise in advance that this post is going to be rather wordy as I didn’t take many photographs of the campsites! (Something I’ll be sure to do next time around!)

Cairns

The starting point for most road trips down the Australian east coast, Cairns. Where two world heritage sites come together it really is somewhere that must be on your Australian bucket list. Cairns is where the rainforest meets the reef. Find yourself snorkelling with Nemo one day and hiking deep into the rainforest the next.

Cairns is surrounded with magnificent views of the Daintree rainforest everywhere you look, it really is spectacular. Hopefully, you’ll be able to spend a few days in Cairns and explore all it has to offer. The city itself is popular with backpackers offering a vibrant nightlife and cafe culture.

For our two night stay in Cairns, we choose NRMA Holiday Park. As our first holiday campsite in Australia, we were a little apprehensive about what we would get for a buck but after this stay, it was clear we had nothing to worry about.

NRMA Holiday Park Cairns

Locations: 10-minute drive from the centre of Cairns

Facilities: Powered and Unpowered sites, Lodges, Swimming Pool, Toilet and Warm Showers, Reception, Free WiFi & BBQ Pits/Camp Kitchen.

Price:

An unpowered site from $31 AUD / 17 GBP

Powered site from $38 AUD / 20.50 GBP

Atherton Tablelands

I like to call the Atherton Tablelands the hidden gem of Far North Queensland. It isn’t because it’s very well known by travellers and locals but I hadn’t heard too much about this place until we arrived in Brisbane. A friend was raving on about how amazing it is and how we just had to go and visit.

So we decided to add it into our itinerary and I’m so glad that we did! The Atherton Tablelands is like taking a vacation to the countryside, away from the coast and into the peace and quiet. Most tourists stay in Cairns so it was lovely to be away from the hustle and bustle and out amongst nature. You can read a little more about The Atherton Tablelands here.

We stayed at Lake Tinaroo during our stay and camped at Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park, after wonderful campsite with great facilities. But it wasn’t the facilities that made this place special it was the fact it was on the Lake.  We star gazed at night and walked around the Lake in the early morning. If only we had longer at this place and we’d have been kayaking and all sorts on Lake Tinaroo!

Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park

Location: Lake Tinaroo, Tablelands

Facilities: Powered Sites, Unpowered Sites, Lodges, Caravan sites, Pool, Jumping Pillow, Cafe, Shop Fuel, Boat, Paddleboard, Kayak Hire, Toilets, Showers, Camp Kitchen, BBQ areas.

Price:

Unpowered site $27 AUD/15 GBP

Powered site $35 AUD / 18.84 GBP

Kangaroos at Agnes Water campsite
The Kangaroos at Horizons Campsite Agnes Water – Scroll down!

Townsville

I haven’t spoken much about Townsville on my blog or social media accounts, follow us on Facebook here and Instagram here! Honestly, there isn’t much to in Townsville. It’s a small town on the beach with some cafes and shops. The reason that travellers go to Townsville is because of Magnetic Island. Townsville is the gateway to Magnetic Island where you can hire barbie convertibles and see heaps of Koalas! Unfortunately, we got caught up in a huge storm and didn’t make it across to the island. Luckily we had a nice campsite to enjoy for our stay inside away from the rain.

Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park

Location: Townsville Centre

Facilities: Toilets & Shower, Unpowered, Powered, Lodges, Beachfront, Gas, Ice, Shop, Tours available to purchase from reception, Free WiFi.

Price:

Unpowered site $31 AUD/17 GBP

Powered site $37 AUD/19.95 GBP

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Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach! The most popular destination on the Australian east coast has got to be the Whitsundays. You won’t be spending much time at your campsite in Airlie Beach because it’s too amazing to not be exploring the area! Not to mention you’ll probably be on a boat for the majority of your stay here! It was in Airlie Beach where we made our first rookie camping mistake!

As we were about to set sail for three days we weren’t staying in our campervan. So we booked ourselves four nights in a campsite to leave the campervan there. Obviously, this was a pretty big expense for something we weren’t using. We later found out that other travellers had paid $10 to leave there cars and campervans in a carpark on the harbour. In hindsight, this would’ve been a much cheaper option so do think about that as you approach Airlie Beach.

That said, it was safe. The carpark isn’t secure and we had our lives crammed into that one campervan so I’m actually glad that we chose to leave it at the campsite as it was much safer and less likely to be broken into.

Island Gateway Holiday Park 

Location: 10 minutes drive the main strip in Airlie Beach

Facilities: Toilets & Showers, Pool, BBQ areas, Camp Kitchen, Lodges, Tents for hire, Unpowered sites, Powered sites, Free WiFi, laundry, daily bird feeding to watch, children’s playground and go-karts/buggies for hire.

Prices:

Unpowered Site: $30 AUD/15 GBP

Powered Site: $40/ 21.70 GBP

Book with booking.com to save on campsites in Australia!


Booking.com

Agnes Water

A town often skipped by many backpackers on the east coast of Australia. Agnes Waters is a small beach town that comes hand in hand with 1770. Both tiny but equally as beautiful. Head to these towns for a sleepy few days away from the crowds and no phone reception. Another reason to visit is that Agnes Water is home to the best campsite this side of the east coast…

Horizon’s Kangaroo Sanctuary

If you’ve ever dreamt of seeing over fifty kangaroos all in one places then your dream may be about to come true! Welcome to Horizon Kangaroo Sanctuary. The owners of this campsite live on the premises and rehabilitate orphaned joeys from the area. The funds that they receive from the campground go towards helping these little fellas out. There aren’t many pitches and it the campsite is really only available for campervans and cars. Go to sleep and wake up with Kangaroos bopping around, it’s the ultimate Aussie experience! Kangaroos aren’t all you’ll find at this campsite either we saw possums, peacocks and an array of birds. There’s also an epic sunset that you watch from over the hills too!

Location: 10-minute drive from the beach at Agnes Water

Facilities: Toilet, Shower and fire pit.

Price

Powered from $30

Unpowered from $25

The sign 'Joeys Ahead' in Agnes Water

Noosa

Ah, Noosa another beach town classic! Popular with surfers Noosa is a beautiful beach town lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and boutique shops. I often feel like Noosa and Byron rival each other and for me, Byron always wins but Noosa is lovely. We visited a little shop as we strolled the streets of Noosa and a local said to us…

Welcome to Noosa, nothing much happens here which means nothing bad ever happens here either...a local chatting about his beloved Noosa - sounds like the opening to a horror book don't you think? Click To Tweet

Like many of the Australia beach towns, nothing much does happen in Noosa but that’s the beauty of it. After living in Australia for a year there’s nothing I loved more than packing up a campervan and taking off for a weekend on the beach. The Australians live for their lazy weekends in places like Noosa. If you like drinking, surfing, sunbathing and BBQing then you’ll enjoy Noosa no matter what.

Ingenia Holiday Park 

When we arrived in Noosa it was first of many stays we had in the Ingenia Holiday Parks and I must say, their facilities are wonderful. After very basic toileting and showering needs in Agnes Water, it was lush to have a hot shower with no time limit! These holiday parks come with everything you need and even had a little bit of luxury to your camping trip! We also stayed at Igenia Holiday Parks in, Coffs Harbour and Hervey Bay so I won’t talk about them again in this post. The prices can vary depending on location so make sure you check, Noosa being a little more expensive.

Location: 20 minutes drive down into Noosa.

Facilities: Shower, Toilets, Powered sites, Unpowered Sites, Lodges, Pool, Jumping Pillow, Camp Kitchen, BBQs, Reception area.

Price:

Powered Sites: $50 AUD/30 GBP

Unpowered Sites: $40/20 GBP

Byron Bay

Ah havening been to Byron twice it was hard to decide which campsite to list here as they were both awesome! Check out this post for my review of both of these campsites! But the one that triumphs the other again has to be Discovery Parks. The main reasons being that on the weekends they offer free yoga – what else could you ask for?!

Discovery Parks Byron Bay

Location: 15-minute drive from the town centre

Facilities: Free Yoga, Pool, Kids Waterpark, Swimming Pool, Tennis Court, Jumping Pillow, Cabins, Lodges, Tents, Powered and Unpowered Sites, Camp kitchen, Toilet, Shower

Price:

Powered Site: $45 and upwards / 24 GBP

Unpowered Sites: $30 AUD/ 17 GBP

Coffs Harbour

We stayed at a gorgeous little campsite in Coffs Harbour which was actually an Ingenia campsite. Head back up to Noosa for the review as they are more a less identical. Though I felt that there wasn’t much to do in Coffs Harbour it’s going to look at the marina and Sealy lookout. Sealy lookout looks out over Coffs and out onto the ocean with views for miles, the hill to climb up is pretty steep but if our old Toyota Hiace can make it then anything can!

Lake Macquarie

The view from the van on Belmont Holiday Park

Not to be mistaken for Port Macquarie. We stumbled upon Lake Macquarie by accident. Our plans were to stay at Port Macquarie but when we arrived at lunchtime there wasn’t much going on and two campsites that we phoned were fully booked. So we got back on the road and ended up staying at Lake Macquarie and wow were we impressed! This was our final night on the road and to end up staying in this beautiful place was just amazing. We parked our campervan right on the edge of the lake and watched the sun go down from afar. There was wildlife everywhere from pelicans to families of ducks it was peaceful and exactly what we needed to finish our spectacular road trip off.

Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park

Location: Right on the lakeside

Facilities: Lakeside, Toilets and Shower, Camp Kitchen, BBQ areas, Free WiFi, gorgeous walks around the lake – bonus!

Price:

Powered: $50 upwards / 27 GBP

Unpowered: $36 standard / 19.50 GBP OR Lakeside $41 / 22 GBP

And then we reached the big city of Sydney, so we said goodbye to our van! Don’t get me wrong there are a few campsites you can stay at for free on the east coast. But campsites in Australia that are free are few and far between. Of course, you can camp in national parks for a lot cheaper but you don’t get your power etc then! Dave is diabetic which also adds to why we have to stay at campsites that have power so we can keep his medication insulated! and we enjoy some luxuries like a hot shower and nice-ish toilet!

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Ultimate Weekend Itinerary on What to Do in Byron Bay

Ultimate Weekend Itinerary on What to Do in Byron Bay

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Cheer Up, Slow Down and Chill Out. Click To Tweet

Cheer Up, Slow Down and Chill Out. The words painted on the welcome sign as you approach Byron Bay have you instantly break a smile. Byron Bay has everything you need to make this exact remedy come alive. It’s the ultimate hub of relaxation where nobody is in a rush and all that matters is what time you’re heading to the beach. As one of the most popular backpacking towns on the East Coast of Australia, hundreds of travellers make their way to Byron Bay for a slice of the magic every day. It’s the town famous for its laid back surfer lifestyle with some of the best waves in Australia. A question that has been asked to me many a time is, how long do you need in Byron Bay? And I simply cannot answer that question.

Why?

Because I adore Byron Bay with every inch of my body. I know I could spend months even years here without getting bored or feeling the need to move on. But that won’t be the same for everybody. After all wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all loved the same places? That said, in terms of travelling and experiencing some of what Byron Bay has to offer a long weekend is a good place to start. We had planned initially to stay three days and ended up staying five but that’s because we simply fell in love. You can explore a good chunk of Byron Bay in a weekend which is why I’ve put together this Weekend Itinerary for you to follow or at least get some ideas of what to do in Byron Bay from.

You can easily find what you’re looking for in this guide by clicking through the menu below!

What to Do in Byron Bay – Ultimate Weekend Itinerary

This Guide:

Inside this travel guide, I’m going to share all of my tips when it comes to visiting the beautiful Byron Bay for the weekend. Of course, it can be used for any other day of the week too! When it comes on to deciding on what to do in Byron Bay during your visit you won’t be short of options. Even though it’s small Byron Bay has an array of things to do for everybody. Backpackers young and old, couples, families, friends and solo travellers, from lounging on the breathtaking beaches to hiking to the lighthouse spotting wildlife Byron Bay is a place for everybody. In this guide on what to do in Byron Bay, I’ll be exploring the highlights of Byron Bay, where to stay, eat and play! (FYI, By play I mean giving you tips on the best bars!)

You can also download this guide as a PDF and I’ve even put together a cafe checklist which you can download or save to your phone, just fill out the form below!

Getting to Byron Bay

Byron Bay may be one of Australias smaller tourist towns but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to get to. Located just an hour south of the Queensland border and a mere two-hour drive from Brisbane it’s very easy to reach!

Driving

If you’re driving from Brisbane simply follow the M1 straight down the coast, you can see the map below for driving instructions from Brisbane:

From Sydney, the journey is a little longer but again quite simple. A lot of people incorporate Byron Bay into their East Coast road trips which is exactly what we did the first time we visited. You can see another map below for driving instructions from Sydney:

Flying

If you’re going to Byron Bay for the weekend then flying is the easiest option! It’s quick and you can fly to Byron Bay from most airports in Australia. To fly directly into Byron Bay the airport you want is Ballina which is the gateway airport into Byron, you can check out their website here. The airport is located approximately 25 minutes away from Byron Bay so your usual modes of transport from the airport are available! Bus, Taxi or Shuttle. Please note that there is no train service. I’d advise booking in advance to Ballina airport as fares do have a tendency to skyrocket, we always fly into Brisbane and drive down to Byron to save money. The other closest airport to Byron Bay in the Gold Coast.

Transport

Public Bus Service: The public bus running from Ballina Airport to Byron Bay is the 640 service which runs daily to and from the airport. The easiest way to check up on the latest bus time tables in New South Wales is to download the NSW Transport App or visit this website to plan your journey.

Taxi: You’ll find a free taxi phone at the airport that you can use but this will probably be your most expensive option. A taxi into Byron Bay will cost anything from 40 AUD/20 GBP upwards.

Shuttle Bus: Another popular option is the shuttle bus. There is an information desk at the airport to give you all the information you’d need about getting into Byron from the airport. The airport uses a few different shuttle bus companies which you can have a look at here. Shuttle bus prices start at $20 and $35 return.

Where to Stay in Byron Bay

Before I dive into how to spend your weekend in Byron Bay I want to talk about where to stay. In my opinion the closest to the beach you are better! On our various trips to Byron Bay, we’ve always stayed at campsites and I can’t recommend them more! The first time we hit Byron in October 2018 we had our trusty campervan so where we were staying wasn’t up for negotiation. The second time we went with a group of friends and found staying in a lodge on the campsites cheaper than both hotel and Air BnB options! Of course, Byron Bay is full of backpacker hostels where you can stay if you’re looking to save money or perhaps meet other travellers.

Hostels in Byron Bay

Wake Up! With many a hostel all over Australia, I’ve heard nothing but good things about this hostel. Located about 1.6km from the centre of Byron it’s within a short walk, public transport or cycling distance to all the excitement. Ideal for backpackers looking to save on accommodation so that you can spend more on the important stuff like beer! A night in Wake Up! will set you back 40 AUD/20 GBP.

Aquarius Okay now this hostel from the outside looks like a five-star hotel, not a backpackers! Located on the road out of Byron and up to the lighthouse, you’ll find this gorgeous little hostel. Complete with five-star reviews it seems to be one of the top picks for backpackers in Byron Bay! This hostel comes with an abundance of shared dorms for up to 10 people and various privates rooms too. There’s entertainment on site every night and a bar/grill to enjoy as well, it seems like the perfect place to socialise with other travellers when deciding what to do in Byron Bay! Oh, and did I mention the pool?! A stay here will cost you anything from 31 AUD/16.70 GBP per night.



Booking.com

Campsites in Byron Bay

Campervan parked in Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park

Travelling the East Coast of Australia, in my opinion, is best done in your very own home on wheels! Yep, I’m a huge lover of the camper van life after this road trip and can’t wait to embark on it again at the end of March 2019! There are some beautiful campsites in Byron Bay and you’ll find them a lot cheaper than the hotels/hostels too. There are over six different campsites in the heart of Byron Bay so you can be close to the action! When you do decide what to do in Byron Bay during your stay I’m guessing most of it will be near the beach so you don’t want to be too far away!

I’ve been lucky enough to stay in both of the campsites below and had a fantastic experience both offering something a little different!

Discovery Parks – Byron Bay Located on the main road into Byron Bay discovery parks is one of the most popular choices when staying at campsites in the bay. These parks are well known all over Australia with a glistening reputation in offering you a wonderful stay! When we stayed here we actually stayed in one of their modern lodges. Not quite sure what to expect, we were thrilled we turned up for the weekend to a gorgeous 2 bed, 1 bath, 1 living room/kitchen unit. It was kitted out with everything we could’ve needed and perfect if you’re visiting with friends/family on your trip to the bay! For a night in one of these lodges, you’re looking at around $50 per person per night. It isn’t the cheapest option but worth the money if you don’t like camping or hostels – definitely cheaper than most hotels/Air BnB in the area!

If you do have a campervan/tent then a night for a site here will cost you 30-50 AUD/16-27 GBP depending on if you need powered/unpowered.

As far as the facilities go you really do get great value for money here! Clean toilets and bathrooms for those camping and camp kitchens. You’ll find multiple BBQ areas around the park and plenty to do! Complete with a tennis court, swimming pool, waterpark and jumping pillow you won’t be stuck for anything to do on the campsite. I’m not a family blogger but this campsite would be ideal for children! We went with our friends and their 18-month daughter who loved playing in the water park! They also offer free yoga on Saturdays and Sundays! As for ease it’s just over a mile into Byron and takes about 25-35 minutes to walk so easy to get to and from if you don’t mind stretching your legs!

Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park Located in Suffolk a mere 10-minute drive from Byron Bay was where we stayed with our beloved camper the first time round in Byron Bay. This holiday park was a little cheaper than the others but well worth the extra driving time. This holiday park is located on Tallow Beach one of my favourites in Byron! If you read my top things to do in Byron Bay then you’ll see the sunrise is a must do! The beach is a 2-minute walk from your van, tent or lodge so you don’t have to go far at all!

The facilities at this park were equally as good with clean toilets and camp kitchens. This site doesn’t have a pool but who needs one when the beach is on your doorstep? A night here will cost anything from 39 AUD/20 GBP a night. You can also stay in a safari tent which looked pretty cool!

If you do stay here make sure you check out Suffolk Bakery, you’ll go past every day on your drive out to Byron! The food and coffee are simply sensational!

Ultimate Weekend Itinerary on What to Do in Byron Bay

For this purpose of this post, I’m going to chat like your in Byron Bay for the weekend. That said, you can do most of the things in this post on any day of the week! Just be careful when it comes to the markets because these are specifically on a weekend!

Day 1 – Friday

Beach Day!

Arrive too Byron Bay early on Friday morning so you can make the most out of your long weekend! You’ll hopefully miss the traffic that way too! Head to check-in at your accommodation if you can but if not you’ll find a free car park on Butlers Street Reserve, this isn’t always available due to the markets but make sure you take a look there first! More on parking here!

First things first, change into your swimmers and head for the beach! Follow the crowds into the centre of Byron and head towards the ocean! Starting at the main beach you’ll walk past the lush grass area where there will be someone playing live music! You can soak up the sunshine and atmosphere here or head down onto the Main beach. Hang out on the main beach, bathing, hire a surfboard and make sure you’re swimming between the flags! This area is popular with swimmers and families and often quite busy.

If you fancy escaping the crowds (what I recommend) then take a walk all the way along the beach. Walk towards the right-hand side (if you’re looking out to sea) and take in the views. If you keep walking you’ll eventually come to The Pass, the best waves to surf in Byron Bay are found here so expect some great surfers to watch/join if you want too! If you do swim here just be mindful of the surfers.

Fishermans Lookout!

As you keep walking past The Pass you’ll see Fishermans Lookout, a lookout that stretches back over the beach. Carefully make your way up the rickety stairs for sensational views at the top. Make sure you go when the tide is low so you can access the stairs.

Byron Bay Beach Hotel! 

All that relaxing has got to be thirsty work and no doubt you’ll be a little peckish too! Head to the Byron Bay Beach Hotel for reasonably priced food and drinks! The cocktails are awesome and the pizza looked amazing too! You can also get nibbles like chips and nachos for as little as 10 AUD/5 GBP.

Cook at the campsite! 

Once you’ve enjoyed a cocktail or two why not chill out at the campsite for the evening have a BBQ and enjoy being away from the big cities. Or if you’re a partier you’ll find bars open until the early hours all over Byron, you won’t have to search far!

Day 2 – Saturday

Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk! My most favourite part of Byron Bay is the Cape Byron Light House Walk! The views along this walk are unbeatable and will you speechless for days! The walk starts down near the beach and weaves in and out of cliff tops, grassland, beaches and walkways. A total of 3.7km it’s a decent trail and is difficult in some parts. You won’t be able to take a pram or wheelchair unfortunately due to the uneven walking tracks, stairs and steep inclines. I’ll be honest me and Dave are in pretty good shape but even we were knackered by the time we reached the lighthouse! That said, it was totally worth it!

You can find heaps of information about this walk here!

Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk Map

Highlights – Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk

The lighthouse walk is simply beautiful and will always steal my heart when it comes to coastal walks in Australia, it’s the best. But there are a few highlights on the way that make it extra special.

Dolphins being the main attraction

Yes, you heard correctly Byron Bay lighthouse is a great viewing spot for wildlife. On both of our visits to the bay, we’ve been lucky enough to see multiple pods of Dolphins (can you spot them on the photograph below?). It’s magical to be able to watch these creatures in their natural habitat. As a native Brit seeing creatures like this in real life blows my mind. It’s something that I’ve only ever watched on Blue Planet before! Hopefully when you visit you’ll be lucky enough to see a Dolphin or two!

Dolphins in Byron Bay

Wategos Beach

Also another favourite of mine! This gorgeous beach is away from the hustle and bustle and offers a tranquil spot popular with families and locals. You’ll find plenty of facilities at Wategos beach including toilets, BBQ pits, an outdoor weight training area and an all round chilled vibe.

The Most Easterly Point of Mainland Australia

Have you stood on the most Easterly Point in mainland Australia? Because I have! So if you’re visiting Bryon Bay you have to go up to the lighthouse simply to grab this tourist photograph! It’s great for the gram and of course amazing memories, of which you make plenty here in Byron Bay.

Driving up to the Lighthouse

If walking isn’t your jam or you can’t for health reasons, children etc then you have to visit anyway! You can drive all the way up to the lighthouse to enjoy the views and try to spot some Dolphins. Just follow the signs straight through Byron and head for the lighthouse. I’ll give you a map below!

Grab a Brownie from ‘the hole in the wall’

Spice cafe in Byron Bay

After the adventure to the lighthouse, you’ve definitely deserved a treat after that walk! Head back down to Byron to the main street and you’ll find a gorgeous little brownie shack. Spice sell the best brownies in Byron Bay from a tiny little hole in the wall! Don’t worry they aren’t ‘Byron Bay’ brownies or from Nimbin, these are just pure gold chocolate brownies! The walk back to Byron takes about an hour. It can take up to 2 hours to reach the lighthouse but it’s uphill mostly and the amount of stops for photographs is high!

Dine at Miss Margaritas!

A lover of Mexican food? then this is the place for you! For the best Mexican food and cocktails make sure you get tonights out dinner at Miss Margaritas. Happy Hour on all cocktails is 5-6pm so time if for then if you can. We ate here on our first visit to Byron and have been dreaming of eating it all again soon! See the bottom of this post for a list of other bars I recommend visiting.

Top Tip: It’s very small and extremely popular, you’ll need to either book a table or be prepared for a long wait! It’s 100% worth it though! 

Day 3 – Sunday

Sunrise at Tallow Beach/Lighthouse

Sunrise at Tallow Beach

Rise nice and early on your final day in the bay to watch some amazing sunrises. We watched the sun come out to play on Tallow Beach and it was gorgeous, the lighthouse is also supposed to be an epic view for the sun rising! We haven’t done the lighthouse sunrise but from Tallow beach you can see it so I know it would be amazing!

For your final day in Byron Bay, or maybe you’ll extend for a few days if you loved it as much as we did, there’s still plenty to enjoy! The main attraction in Byron Bay every Sunday is the markets!

Byron Bay Butler Reserve Markets 

Remember that huge free car park I was talking about? Well, you can’t park there on Sundays because it’s home to the markets! Every Sunday you’ll find the majority of the Byron population hanging out at the markets and you’ll find everything from gorgeous food, clothes, candles, artwork and pretty much everything you can think of! If you need to take something home for a loved one then the market is a great place to grab something. Most of the designers are local and most sold items locally or hand made. Even if you buy nothing it’s great to go and have a look!

The locations and types of the market do change each week so keep up to the date with the timetable here!

Lunch/Coffee Folk Cafe

Folk Cafe Byron Bay

Now even if you opted not to stay at Discovery Parks you have to go anyway so you can visit Folk Cafe. A cute little plant-based cafe with something for everyone! I must admit I’m a big meat eater and definitely am not plant-based but I did really enjoy the egg roll that we ate here! The chai latte was also beautiful! They have featured in the Good Food Guide as one of Australias Top 20 destinations, so must be worth a visit right?

Visit Nimbin 

Depending on how much time you’ve got in Byron to spare on Sunday I would recommend visiting Nimbin. About an hour inland from Byron Bay lives the hippy central. It’s hard to explain the vibes Nimbin to anyone unless you’ve been. If you know you know kind of thing. But imagine rainbow painted houses and being offered ‘cookies’ on the street and that’s Nimbin. It’s a far cry from anything I’ve experienced before but you just have to go and see it for yourself! You can read here for a little more detail into the history of the town

You’ll find during your three days in Byron that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. You’ll also see that’s it has an amazing cafe and bar culture which is why I’ve put together two lists of Cafes and Bars to visit during your stay! You can find these below!

A Few Cafes to Visit in Byron Bay

  • Folk Cafe
  • Spice (Brownies)
  • The Pass Cafe
  • Suffolk Bakery

A Few Bars to Visit in Byron Bay

  • Balcony Bar & Oyster Co
  • The Sticky Wicket
  • Miss Margarita
  • Byron Bay Beach Hotel

There’s definitely plenty more than just these few but these are some of my favourites and ones I think you should try on your next visit to Byron Bay! I hope that you enjoyed reading this post on what to do in Byron Bays even if for only three days! If you liked it don’t forget to share it because your friends might like it too! Also, don’t miss out on any of my upcoming adventures in Australia and New Zeland by subscribing below!

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A Complete 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney: Free Download!

A Complete 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney: Free Download!

Sydney, Australias most famous city without a doubt. Home to the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge landmarks that are well known all over the world. Travellers flock in every day to catch a glimpse of these sights for themselves. I can assure you that they don’t disappoint. After living in Sydney for six months I can tell you confidently that three days just won’t be enough to experience all this city has to offer. That said with a well planned out 3-day itinerary to Sydney you can explore a lot of this bright and wondrous city. To jump to any section of this guide just click through the links below!

DOWNLOAD PDF FREE HERE!

The History of Sydney

Before I dive into this perfect 3-day itinerary to Sydney. Let me share some history into this city built on the harbour. We call those who live in Sydney a ‘Sydney Sider’ but the first real Sydney Siders were the Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal people who lived in Sydney were the Gadigal people who still lived and hunted in Sydney long after the Europeans came in 1788. There are still Aboriginal people living in Sydney today. Australia was put on the map by a British Explorer name James Cook the first European to explore Australia and it’s East Coast on one of his three Voyages. He also explored New Zealand mapping out his every move along the way. It is Captain who first came into contact with the Aboriginal people here in Australia in 1770.

It was James Cook who claimed the Eastern Coastline for Britain and then some years later in 1788 Sydney Captain Arthur Phillip led the first British Fleet to Port Jackson in Sydney. With 11 vessels they used Sydney as a prison settlement for British convicts. But over the years as more people learnt about Sydney the more they came. Settlers came and the British convicts stopped arriving in 1840. Over the years the population of the Sydney as did the popularity of the harbour, remaining one of the most famous in the world today. To learn more about the history of Sydney follow this link or make sure you visit one of the many museums on your visit!

3 Day Itinerary to Sydney – What’s Inside 

This 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney is perfect for first timers visits to Sydney! When I visited Sydney on my first trip to Australia in 2018 I too was a first timer. After six months I can call myself a slight Sydney expert! Sydney is a city that keeps on giving to all that visit. If you’re a foodie on the hunt for culinary delights, a history buff or a tourist after a glimpse of the famous sights, you can do it all here in Sydney.

My mission is to make travel easy for first timers and share my advice so you can make the most out of the places you travel to! I’ve been disappointed by many a trip I’ve taken usually down to bad advice and untruthful tips! Hint: overly edited Instagram photographs that look nothing like the real deal!

Getting to Sydney from the Airport

Distance: 8 km, 8.4 miles

Time: 25 minutes

There are multiple options available when getting into the city from the Airport. With only 3 days in Sydney, you don’t want to be wasting time so no dilly-dallying in the airport! Get yourself straight to baggage collection and on your way into the city! The main transportation options to get into Sydney from the airport are, train, bus, taxi and shuttle. Each comes with a different price so it depends on your budget!

Bus – Getting the bus will be the cheapest option by far but equally the most difficult. There isn’t a public bus running straight from the city centre to the Airport. So you’ll need to research which buses you need to reach your accommodation. Use the New South Wales Travel Planner instead of Google Maps. It keeps all its times updated so you can see when your bus is running late.

Download the App or Take a look at the website here.

Train: When getting into Sydney I would always opt for the train. It’s easy and goes straight to the city centre just follow the signs and most other people! It isn’t cheap but you’ll come to learn that not much in Sydney is (sorry to break it to you) a one way trip to the city and back to the Airport will cost you $17-20.

Be warned: the transport service in NSW will advertise that the train takes 15 minutes to the CBD, it doesn’t. It will take at least 25 minutes.

Taxi: Taxis are available from each terminal with a taxi rank located out the front. Taxi is the most expensive way to get into the city setting you back at least $40-60. It should only take 20 minutes but traffic is often against you here in Sydney so it will more often than not take a lot longer, especially as you get closer to the city.

Shuttle: The other option is to get to the city via shuttle bus. The two companies the airport use are Ready2Go and Mozio both have information desks in both terminals inside the airport. The cost of the shuttle bus varies depending on how what time you land and where your accommodation is based. Follow the links above which will take you to the websites required for a price estimation.

Opal Cards: To travel on public transport in Sydney you’ll need an Opal Card. Opal Cards are the equivalent of a GoCard in Brisbane or Oyster Card in London. Top them up via a pay station or via the Opal App and tap on and off on each journey. You’ll be able to use these cards on all transport in Sydney. You can still pay on some buses and trains but the expectation is that you have an Opal card – your fare will be cheaper with one too! You can purchase from the airport, newsagents, supermarkets so you won’t have trouble getting hold of one! It’s $10 to buy one which you can get back if you return it at the end of your trip!

Sydney Travel Tip: On Sundays, public transport is capped at $2.70! Perfect for those expensive ferry journeys! #Sydney Click To Tweet

Be Savy: Weigh your options up wisely when it comes to transport into the city. What is going to be the cheapest and fastest option? It’s more than likely going to be the train which is the mode of transport I always suggest and opt for myself! But if your travelling in a large group a shuttle or taxi split between you all may be cheaper so make sure you think outside the box! Do you have a friend, relative in Sydney with a car? Could they pick you up!

For more Information on public transport from the airport in Sydney go here!

Getting Around Sydney

Sydney is a big city and with only a 3-day itinerary there’s going to be some walking and public transport involved. Get your Opal Card as mentioned above, a robust pair of shoes and your phone fully charged, you will need Google Maps!

The easiest way to navigate the city circle is via walking or the trains.

The Ferry’s to the bay’s surrounding the city, basically, if you cross water you can catch a ferry there BUT they are expensive!

Buses are very regular and go to most places in Sydney.

Where to Stay in Sydney – 3-Day Itinerary to Sydney

In Sydney when it comes to finding some accommodation you’ll be overwhelmed with choice. From backpackers hostels to swanky hotels boasting spectacular views of the Harbour. It all really depends if you’re in town to save or splurge! 

No matter where in the world I am I usually book my accommodation through either booking.com or Air BnB! We are budget travellers so always looking for the best offer! With booking.com you almost always have to the option to cancel up to 48 hours before. So top tip? Book through booking.com and keep searching if you find a cheaper deal you can always cancel and rebook other accommodation on booking.com or elsewhere. I did this for my trip to New York as the prices were constantly fluctuating and I stumbled on a corker of a deal giving me an upgraded room for a quarter of the price!

Location of Accommodation

Sydney is one huge place that can be overwhelming. There’s Air BnB’s and hostels everywhere you turn so it can be tricky to know where to base yourself. For the purpose of this 3-Day Itinerary to Sydney, I’m going to be sharing places to stay in the city centre. Over these 3-days you’ll be exploring the city, some beaches and some areas North of the Harbour Bridge so being in the city places you right in the middle. This means you’ll have easy transport links throughout your stay in Sydney.

If you do want to stay on the beach then I’d recommend staying in either Bondi or Manly.

To save money on your accommodation in Sydney then I would recommend either staying in a hostel or an Air BnB. With only a 3-day itinerary to Sydney, a hostel in a shared room or room in an Air BnB will be perfect. You’re not there for long and you’ll be saving a lot of dollars to spend elsewhere! Like the bar?

Hostels in Sydney

YHA Sydney Harbour: One of the most popular Hostels in Sydney make sure you book in advance. The Sydney Harbour Hostel is a great place to stay during your visit. It’s got all the facilities you need and gorgeous views of the harbour for cheap prices! Travel Blogger Mollie Bylett recently hosted one of her Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Tours here which you can check out on her blog here! Dorm rooms start from AUD 35 per night = GBP 16.80 Per Person Per Night.

The YHA even has a rooftop terrace!

The POD Pitt Street: The Pod Hostel on Pitt Street is another great city centre option. Hot with backpackers as one of the coolest hostels in Sydney you’ll be close to everything you need in the city. With multiple dorm options available its a great choice for those not bothered about sharing rooms. A night at The POD again starts at approx 40 AUD = 21 GBP

Air BnB Air BnB is by far my favourite way to find great places to stay for a great price! We’ve stayed in loads of rooms found on Air BnB since arriving in Australia and haven’t been disappointed with any of them! The hosts have all been great and often given us tips and tricks that go beyond the guidebook! I love being able to chat with the locals and get their take on the city!

If you’d like any recommendations on which suburbs to stay in on your trip to Sydney then please email me at [email protected], leave a comment below or send me a direct message over on Instagram and I would love to help you out!

Hotels in Sydney – Splurge!

Okay if you’ve got the cash to spare then I’m going to recommend a hotel that I’ve heard some really great things about. The Shang Ri La Hotel located on Circular Quay towers over the city offering some magnificent views of both, The Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. It’s an extremely popular choice with holidaymakers, businessmen/women and Instagrammers! The famous shot of people looking through the window out onto the harbour? You can find that here!

But all that luxury is going to cost and prices start at 200 AUD Per night = 100 GBP

Take a look at available accommodation in Sydney below using the interactive map!

For more information on how to book the best accommodation for your stay in Sydney then head over to this guide by AllTheRooms.com This guide travel guide to Australia goes into the best places to stay in the land down under. It also goes into the price/availability of accommodation over the year, which I know will be helpful to some of your budget travellers! Check it out here!

Now we’ve got all the logistics out of the way lets get onto the good stuff, how to spend 3 days in Sydney!

3 Day Itinerary to Sydney – Day one

Visit Circular Quay 

sydney opera house circular quay

Circular Quay is the Sydney tourism hub, you may love or hate that fact. But it’s true. Circular Quay is filled with busy tourists from all over the world all with one mission. To visit The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s the busiest place in the city and probably the most extraordinary. Once stood before these famous landmarks you’ll have to pinch yourself that you’re really living that moment.

Spend some time taking in the views, enjoying the scenes of both the Bridge and Opera House. You can see both the famous sights for free. If you want to go inside the Opera House but don’t have time to watch a show, which with just 3 short days you won’t, you can take a tour inside for just 40 AUD/20 GBP. Tours run daily lasting around one hour. Always book in advance for an extra discount. The tours are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.

If the views enough for you then make sure you grab a drink at Opera Bar and enjoy it even more! A beer with views like this, who can complain? Alcohol starts off at AUD 10/6 GBP upwards per drink in Sydney. Beer is cheapest then wine and then cocktails. I wouldn’t order a cocktail at Opera Bar as they take an age to be made! – Just being honest.

Visit the Botanical Gardens  

As you walk past the Sydney Opera House you’ll see the Royal Botanical Gardens. A scenic haven filled with lush green lawns, beautiful flowers and far cry from the madness of the city. Take a picnic and a stroll around the gardens. My favourite place to enjoy life in the gardens is at Busbys Bar, a little bar that sits in a shipping container. Grab a deck chair and watch the world go by. There’s also usually exhibits on in the gardens if sitting around isn’t your thing!

As you walk past Busbys at the far side of the Botanical Gardens keep walking to Mrs Maquiries Chair. Here you’ll find the epic postcard view of the harbour! This is also a brilliant place to watch the sunset over the city, I haven’t included it in this 3-day Itinerary to Sydney but if you’d prefer it over Darling Harbour then head back here! The gardens lock the gates at 8 pm November-February during the summer but it does vary at other times of the year. Keep updated here. But you can still access Mrs Maquiraires Chair via the road.

Visit The Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is located at the other side of the Botanical Gardens to Mrs Maquiraires chair and is completely free to enjoy. If you enjoy art then you’ll love the four levels of art located at the gallery with different exhibitions from all over the world! You can keep up to date on what’s going to be on when you visit through their website.

Sydney Tower Eye

For 360 degree views of the city beneath you, it’s time to head to the Sydney Tower Eye! The Sydney Tower Eye is located inside the famous sphere building you see in the photographs. It’s a view you don’t want to miss! Buy tickets online for the cheapest option starting at 23 AUD per person/12.50 GBP.

Dine at Darling Harbour

Check what time sunset is during your visit and head to Darling Harbour for an evening of great food, drinks and an amazing sunset. The weather is usually uncredible in Sydney so the chances of you getting a good sunset are high! Darling Harbour is filled with over 100 places to dine and drink making you spoilt for choice! If you are watching the cash then get there early as everywhere has an early bird option!

Top Tip: if you’re visiting on a Saturday then you can enjoy free fireworks every Saturday from 9 pm at Darling Harbour Sydney.

Day Two – 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney

Bondi – Coogee Coastal Walk

Coastal Walks are Sydney’s thing! I can think of six straight of the bat without even thinking about it. So trying to decide which one to include in this guide was so hard! I’ve gone for the Bondi-Coogee coastal walk because it’s one of the most famous and also one of the most beautiful. On my first trip to Sydney, we tackled this walk on one of our first days and it took my breath away. The views of the coast are epic along with great beaches and snorkelling spots throughout. You’re going to want your swimmers for this one! 

The Bondi-Coogee walk stretches along beaches, cliff tops and amazing footpaths winding along the coast. The walk itself is 6 km, just over 3 miles. It takes around two hours but I’d spend the majority of the day exploring the walk, lounging on the beaches and swimming in the ocean and various free swimming pools Sydney has to offer! I’d say the walk is easy-medium in difficulty. There are a few steep hills and stairs to climb on the way. It isn’t really wheelchair friendly and taking a pram/stroller would be difficult.

For more in-depth information about the trail then head to this website!

Start at Bondi Beach

To get to Bondi Beach from the city you need to get the train to Bondi Junction and then the 333 bus to Bondi Beach. Don’t be alarmed if the bus doesn’t stop. The 333 is full to brim with eager beach goes every day and won’t stop when it’s full just be patient and wait for the next one. They run every 6 minutes so you’re never waiting for long.

Get off the bus where everybody else does or as soon as you see the beach. I have a feeling you’ll be surprised by how beautiful Bondi is. I expected it to be trashy and full of tourists, whilst the latter is true everybody is there to have a great time. Spend some time on the beach and taking in the cool street art that lines the broad walk just above the sand. Pick up some snacks from the shops and then walk towards the iconic Bondi Icebergs which is where the coastal walk begins. There are signs throughout on which way to go but if in doubt follow the crowds! You can swim at the Bondi Icebergs but you do have to pay and there’s a tonne of other swimming holes on this walk so I’d sit tight on that one!

View from above of the Bondi Icebergs

Bondi – Tamarama 

As walk past Australias most famous beach, past the Icebergs and onto the footpath that weaves around the coastline. The distance to Tamarama is 1.2km taking half an hour. There’s an aboriginal rock engraving on the way around and great spots to get that beautiful photo! The beach at Tamarama is one of the smallest on this walk and though not as popular as Bondi or Bronte it’s one my person favourites. We have plenty of memories here including Christmas Day 2018! The beach is good and surf even better!

Tamarama – Bronte 

This is the shortest distance during the walk taking only minutes from one beach onto the next! Bronte is one of a kind. The beach is golden in colour and has some special swimming spots! Where the ocean meets the shore on the right-hand side of the beach is the Rock Pool where you can swim in if you don’t fancy taking a dip in the open water! A little further on you’ll find the Bogey hole which is a free public swimming pool and my favourite one in Sydney. Sydney is full of free swimming holes like this you’ll find at most of the beaches so make sure you have a little look around!

Bronte is a great place to grab some lunch if you didn’t pack a picnic. There’s a short strip of cafes and restaurants as you walk away from the beach on the left. We ate at Jenny’s Cafe the first time we took on this walk filling up with Eggs Benedict to get us around the rest of it!

Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.

Bronte – Clovelly 

Okay, since meeting a Welsh girl out here in Australia I can't say the word 'Clovelly' without putting a Welsh accent, anyone else? PS DO IT RIGHT NOW! Click To Tweet

Clovelly is a popular place to snorkel in Sydney so if you’ve got on then bring it along! The walk to Clovelly is fairly easy and takes 40 minutes to about an hour at 2.2 km or 1.3 miles, depending on how fast you walk. You’ll enjoy the scenic views of the ocean and can look back on Bondi Beach from a distance! Walk past the historic Waverley Cemetary and down onto Clovelly beach before embarking on the final leg of the walk.

Clovelly – Coogee 

The final few miles! Again taking up to an hour at 1.8 km or 1.1 miles this stretch is the most difficult. Your walking on steep cliff tops, up some very steep slopes and up a lot of stairs! They save the best til last right? But that soft white sand and ocean waves crashing against the Coogee are well worth it! When you arrive in Coogee you can pull out your towel and head to the beach, giving yourself a well-deserved rest. There’s plenty of bars and ice cream stands nearby so treat yourself after all that walking! If you’re looking for more swimming then head to Wylie Baths, another free swimming pool!

You can see from these photographs how beautiful this walk really is and it’s better in person. Coastal walks are around every corner in Sydney but this is one of if not the best! The only one that I think comes in close is the Watsons Bay lighthouse walk because there you get amazing views of the city from afar, but only one beach! It’s definitely swings and roundabouts with most things in Sydney.

Dine at The Rocks

After all that walking it’s time to explore historic Sydney and chill out at The Rocks. The Rocks are what I like to call a slice of England in Sydney. It reminds of The Shambles in York, I think because of it’s cobbled streets! The Rocks are amazing to see at night because it’s all strung together by fairy lights looking all pretty and magical!

If your budget is tight then go back to your accommodation to cook a meal if you have the option but The Rocks have some fantastic options for food! For you pub lovers out there this is where you’ll find your traditional pubs in Sydney rather than bars. Visit Sydney’s oldest pub The Fortune of War in The Rocks! I’d also recommend visiting the Glenmore Hotel for an awesome view of the city with your drink in hand!

The oldest pub in Sydney

For a full list of other places to eat and drink take a look at what’s on at The Rocks here. 

Final Day – 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney

Queen Victoria Building

With so much fun to be had in and amongst this city, it was hard trying to narrow it down for the final day but I managed it! The final day of this itinerary is all about taking in the heart and culture of the city. And of course, catching more views of that all impressive Sydney Harbour. On your last day make sure you’re up bright and early to start the day in the city. Head over to the Queen Victoria Building which is impressive from head to toe, inside and out.

The architecture of the outside is phenomenal and the detail inside is just as inspiring. You’ve got to visit the top floor and to experience The Royal Clock which you can see photographed below, it is really quite something! The QVB building is now a shopping centre where you can find more upmarket buys if you wish – personally I just love looking around the building.

The Royal Clock in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney

Walk the Harbour Bridge

It’s not really possible to visit Sydney and not get close to the Harbour Bridge! There are few options when it comes to this grand piece of Sydney from climbing, walking and cycling. Hire a cycle and cycle over the Harbour Bridge taking in the views whilst having a laugh at the same time.

The second most popular option is to tackle the bridge climb! You’ll be guaranteed picture-perfect views of this majestic city when you reach the top but it isn’t for the faint-hearted! It’s also expensive around 200 AUD that’s around 100 GBP to climb the bridge! If your heart is set on conquering this climb then you can find out more here. For a cheaper option and one with less adrenaline, you can go up Pylon lookout for just 50 AUD or 25 GBP which might be more up your street.

But if you prefer to have two feet firmly on the ground at all times simply walk the bridge. You’ll get the same views just a little lower down. The bridge takes around 30-60 minutes to walk across depending on how fast you are and how many times you stop for photographs on the way!

Milsons Point

The best views of Sydney are from Milsons point. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I adore the views from Milsons point. You get the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and City Skyline all in one! There are lovely little walking tracks that go along the front of the water down here. It’s a wonderful spot for a picnic and home to Sydney Harbours Olympic swimming pool. If you’ve got little ones or are still a big kid yourself you’ll find the Luna Park here too even if just for a photograph. It’s free entry but you do have to pay to go on the rides.

Once you’ve finished exploring Milsons Point jump on the ferry back to Circular Quay. It does cost $7 but the views from the water are worth it, especially on the final day of this 3 day itinerary to Sydney.

Sydney Opera House

I hope you enjoyed this 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney! If you want to print out this guide and take it on your travels you can download the PDF here! (It would make me so freaking happy so if you do be sure to take a picture with it and tag me!) This is definitely not the only way to spend 3 days in Sydney but for first-timers, it’s a great way to get all the major sights in. Of course, there are heaps more things to do like, going to Manly, Taronga Zoo, Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk, Watsons Bay and not to mention all the suburbs there are to explore! I can’t wait to dive into some more guides and help make your travel time in Sydney easier!

Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action here at Alicia Overseas either by subscribing below! When I wrote this in March 2019 we’d been living in Australia for almost 9 months with many more travel plans in the making! Make sure you keep up to date with where we are now by visiting this page every now and again!

And don’t forget to Pin this post and save it for later AND share if you enjoyed!

Happy and Healthy Travels

Alicia

Pinterest pin of Queen Victoria Building

Pinterest Pin of Bronte Beach

Where to Next?

Where to Next?

Where to Next? 

I love reading travel blogs. When a blog post really draws me in I’m often left with the excitement of wondering where said travel blogger is heading too next! Sometimes you can find out via social media but I also love it when you can read all about their future travel plans in a blog post too! It makes me feel like part of their journey knowing what adventures are in store for them next. So that said, I thought I’d better create my very Where to Next page! If you’ve been around for a while you’ll know I haven’t updated my previous ‘where to next’ page in a little while. 

After living in Australia for a year it was time to hit the road again. We left Australia in June 2019 and found ourselves not too far away in the beautiful country that is New Zealand. 

Read my travel tips for Australia here 

Read my tips for nurses wanting to work in Australia here

From Australia to New Zealand

When I first imaged our life after we got to Australia I thought that we would be here for good. But you don’t really know what a place will be like until you’ve lived, breathed, cried and relished in all that it has to offer. 

This adventure started with one dream. My dream to see Australia, I have no idea what but something was pulling me there. Living in Australia was nothing other than amazing, educational, liberating whilst being challenging and difficult too. The big thing that I’ve learnt since arriving in Australia is that the world is a BIG place with so much more to see! It’s left me with an even bigger wanderlust than before and now we are on a mission to travel the world, starting with New Zealand, I mean we are so close it would be rude not to right?

I have no idea how long we’ll stay in New Zealand but we’ve got a Working Holiday Visa which gives us up to 23 months in the country if we want it!

All my New Zealand Posts will go here!

It’s hard to give you any more than that for now because though we want to travel the world who knows what could happen in another year? One thing is more certain though, we aren’t done with the world just yet, travel is who we are right now and I can’t wait for our next string of adventures. I hope you join us for the journey, your love and support is everything because without it I wouldn’t be sat here writing any of this. 

Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter that I put out every month – subscription box in the footer! I talk about the month’s blog posts, what we are up to in terms of travel and what’s next! I also love sharing my favourite blogs from that month & favourite books! I’m a huge reader whether it’s fiction, self-development or travel my nose is always stuck in a book!

So now I’ve told you, you tell me where is your next adventure taking you?