Author: katiemayor

Sydney Weekend Getaway: Ettalong

Determined to explore more of Sydney and surrounds by water, we escaped the city for the Central Coast by ferry from Palm Beach. A rather beautiful way to spend a sunny summer birthday weekend. First stop was The Boathouse at Palm Beach, but as is typical, we didn’t really leave enough time, so just had a little squizz, found non-metered parking (outside The Boathouse Home), and walked over the hill and down to the ferry wharf, knowing we would dine as soon as we docked on the other side. The ferry trip only takes around 25 minutes from Palm Beach Wharf and is done through FantaSea Cruising. You can get your ticket on board. We were blessed with a stunning day so the water passage of this trip was just one big tempting swim land. Sitting inside was never considered. We sat on the back lower deck and jumped up often to hang over the rails and watch as the ferry went past bush-covered land and little inlets. It felt miles away from Sydney. It was sizzlingly …

Hawaii Cool: Surfjack Hotel, Waikiki

Aloha bitches! What if I told you there’s a renovated hipster hotel in Waikiki with 1960s surfer vibes, a killer restaurant by one of the hot names in the Hawaii food scene, and that it’s reasonably priced – oh, and just a couple of blocks from the beach?! Nobody told me any of that, but when trawling online through all the hotels available in Honolulu, I was left feeling pretty uninspired. It was all flashy chain hotels (apart from the glorious Royal Hawaiian Hotel in which we were to spend our first night) or places that looked like they lacked character, especially for the hefty price tags. So to not only discover this relatively new and stylin’ hotel The Surfjack, but discover that it had the name of one of my favourite songs emblazoned on the bottom of the swimming pool, it was definitely a no brainer for me. We arrived here for the last few days of our honeymoon, just fresh from 5 nights in Kauai. Having only spent one night in Honolulu on …

Wild Spin of the Web {5}

From Mexico City to Nova Scotia, and Arizona to China – it’s time we took another little flitter (I made that up) across the web to see what adventure goodness we can find… TRAVEL – When I was 21, I spent a year in Canada. I was on my way to New York City on September 11, 2001. Yup. We were in Toronto and heading via Niagara Falls to NYC when the World Trade Buildings were hit, which saw us get stranded (poor us) in Canada for 3 weeks. I should tell that story here in more detail at some stage, but what happened was we were left to travel more of the East Coast of Canada than planned. We went as far as Newfoundland via a road-trip on the Cabot Trail. I was delighted to see the beautiful blog This is the Place I Was Telling You About do a piece on the Cabot Trail of Nova Scotia, which stretches up to Cape Breton. Check out their beautiful photos HERE. STAY – So, friends, …

Wild Wander in Berowra: Camping and Hiking Near Sydney

New hubby Phil keeps telling me I shouldn’t post about this wild little gem of a camping spot, because why give away a secret sanctuary on the edge of the city that we can keep to ourselves? We even scored a spot here for New Years Eve – two days before the fact. In his ‘shush’ request, I think he’s (wildly) overestimated my influence, my ability to keep travel secrets and to hold on to my photos for no one to see. Sweetie! *newlywed gush*. OK, back on topic. The campground is called Crosslands Reserve and is tucked into the back of Hornsby Heights, down in the Berowra Valley National Park. It took us less than an hour to get there from central Sydney. INTERESTED IN HIKES NEAR SYDNEY? Here’s 3 more for your nature fix: Wild Wander: Bundeena Wild Wander: Kiama Coast Walk Wild Wander: Burning Palms The site is essentially a couple of adjoining parks down in a bush-clad valley with a skirting creek along one side. It was New Years Eve and …

The Slow Canggu Best Hotels Bali

Bali Cool: The Slow, Canggu

In room tunes curated by the Allah-Las, Japanese minimalism meets surfer chic design, a restaurant with an ex-Rockpool chef at the helm, and smack bang in the heart of Canggu – there is loads to love about The Slow: Island Stay. I was lucky enough to interview co-owner (of Ksubi label fame) George Gorrow for my Bondi Beach Radio show while I was staying here. He’s a stylish, laid back guy originally from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, who now calls Bali home and lives there with his young family. “It was actually going to be our dream island home,” explains Gorrow, who bought the place for such a purpose, but after returning back here after a lengthy stint in New York, realised that Canggu had become suddenly hugely popular. It instead became the ‘Island Stay’, and we’re not complaining. This place is ace. AESTHETICS The Slow is unique, it’s stylish as hell, comfortable, has well-curated snacks and toiletries, the rooms were large and the materials are mindful of the tropical location – polished concrete …

Helicopter tour Hawaii Kauai Sunshine napali coast jagged cliffs

Kauai from the Skies – a Hawaii Helicopter Tour

The sweet icing on our Hawaiian honeymoon adventure was flying above the waterfalls, canyons and jagged cliffs of Kauai. Putting aside my slightly claustrophobic tendencies to strap into a wee little flying craft and soar over this luscious, ‘Garden Isle’ was proof that some of the best things in life come from taking your fear by the short and curlies. Despite said apprehension, I had originally wanted to take a helicopter trip with the doors off (for best photos of o’course!), but as is often my fly-by-seat (soz about that) way, they were all booked out when. So we reserved first class tickets (means you sit up front with the pilot) at Sunshine Helicopters instead. Leaving it a little late had its benefits though, as Kauai is the green isle for a reason – it rains here a lot and flights were cancelled on our first couple of days on the island. Despite a mild bit of spitting on the windscreen at one point, we had clear skies and low wind, allowing us to reach …

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel, Norway

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel – one of my faves of all the hotels over all the years – features 15 cute, white rooms, an on-site restaurant serving up appetising Nordic cuisine, and a welcoming owner who really is living out his picket-fenced dream – and inviting you to be a part of it. Do people still harbour the ‘white, picket-fence house’ dream from the 1950s or whenever? Pretty sure for my friends (in Sydney at least), it has been downsized to the ‘owning real estate at all’ dream. Either way, if you’re not there yet, you should consider finding a homely, white hotel in which to live out these fantasies – even if for a little while. Like, perhaps one that hangs over the water in the fjords of Western Norway, that has a bright, window-encased sitting room with little book stacks on the sills. Charming Communal Spaces I couldn’t stop gushing at the front sitting room, with it’s large windows that keep the fjord in view, cosy chairs and scattered stacks of books – this …