All posts tagged: Australia

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 …

Love is the Ultimate Outlaw – Our Kiama Wedding

One month ago I got hitched to my long haired lover from Liverpool. The big day was a goddamn joyful explosion of love, colour, wine and tunes on a property on the edge of Kiama on the South Coast. As anyone who has been married would know, there are a mind-boggling amount of decisions that go into tying the knot. I will never underestimate that the single best one is obviously saying ‘YES’ in the first place (love you millions babe!). I’m also over the moon that Australia said YES to marriage equality this week! Everyone deserves the right to marry whoever they wish! Another was the choice of my bangin’ bridesmaids that were there through all the other steps and I couldn’t have made this wedding such a hit without my beloved bombshells.  Also, how hot do they look in these jewel-toned dresses?! Putting the spunky artist groom Phillip Marsden in charge of all things stationary and signage will be making couples jealous AF for years to come (unfortunately not pictured – will post …

Cafe Love: Cuppa Flower, Waterloo

Little black sesame Totoro cakes are just the tip of the cream-berg at this newish Waterloo cafe, that doubles as a florist and is heavy on kawaii. A short stroll from home, I’ve been to Cuppa Flower for coffee twice already, sitting by the window and jotting down plans for the week. The red velvet cake, sculptured into a icing rose at the summit, was too much temptation on my last visit so I succumbed to this soft, scarlet beauty and realised that this cafe has the goods when it comes to baking skillz and decided that a full brekky visit was in order. A tad nervous about coming on a Sunday (Sydney Instagrammable cafe = lines be cray), to the point where we had nearby back-ups in mind (old fave John Smith Cafe and newer local Portman if you’re interested), we waltzed in like rock stars to the round turquoise outdoor table, next to a heater lamp, and then watched the line start to form a few minutes later…and it got looooong, so we …

Chasing the Twelve Apostles, Victoria

Freewheeling through the evergreen patchwork of Victorian countryside, a Samoan chief (with a kiwi accent) steering the ride, this day trip down to the Great Ocean Road’s Apostles (once there were Twelve), was worth the long day journey to this gloriously  eroded stretch of coast. Heading Southwest out of Melbourne, we took an early pit stop in Geelong, a bay city of just over 170,000 people around an hour from Melbourne city. One of my (and probably yours too) skills is to be able to seek out places to eat/stay/shop/visit in a place at short notice. Which brings us to breakfast at Freckleduck (I didn’t say I’m skilled at seeking out well-named places!). And holy shitballs will you take a look at that ricotta, seed and maple covered, mascarpone (how do you hide a small horse?)-topped hotcake pile of deliciousness!? The coffee was great too. This was a very good omen for the day ahead. For this trip, I was reuniting with my ‘ol buddy Phil (not my fiance Phil, this Phil) who moved to …

Daylesford Lake sunset ducks swim

Daylesford: A winter break in spa country, Victoria

Daylesford, a mere ninety minutes from the centre of Melbourne, is one of the most charming Australian towns I ever did see. You’d assume that it’s status as the jewel of Victoria’s spa country would mean it is gentrified to within an inch of it’s white-slippered life – and there are the gourmet dining options, ornate interior shops and grand lake house accommodation you would expect from such a title – but there are also cracked historical building facades, simple country bakeries and stores with locally knitted finger-less gloves. It retains the heart of a rural town, with the trimmings of an indulgent weekend stay. And after a stroll around the peaceful lake, or a soak in one of the many natural mineral spring bathhouses, you’ll be daydreaming about relocating to country Victoria – or at least Melbourne, so you are within comfy reach. STAY: Daylesford Hotel Ain’t nothing wrong with a stay at the local pub, I say! In fact, with many pub/hotels renovating their rooms to include crisp white linen and designer touches, …

Some Cafe, Collector

When I was a teenager, we used to leave Sydney on road trips to the snow at 2am and drive through the night – a convoy of little snowboarding ragamuffins. One time we broke down just outside of Collector, a tiny town not far from the ACT border. We waited for hours for the one service station/general store to open at 8am. It was a long morning in what felt like the tiniest country town on earth. So when researching a weekend trip to Canberra, I was surprised to hear that exact general store had been bought by a young couple and turned into a destination foodie spot, simply called Some Cafe. On arrival, the almost-full parking lot out front made it obvious the secret is out, especially as it was only Friday. I’m guessing it wasn’t all locals – as there are barely 400 of them in this small country township, just tucked off the Federal Highway. Turns out the busy carpark was a non-issue, given the large front verandah and multiple rooms to …

Chinese New Year Lunar Markets, Sydney

Hello Year of the Rooster! Sydney has brought the festival vibe this Chinese New Year with giant zodiac lanterns, Asian artworks splashed across town and the cutest rooster macaroon you ever did see. The Sydney Morning Herald Lunar Markets have their final weekend this weekend (get down there if you haven’t already!) at Pyrmont Bay Park. Hanging lanterns, origami workshops, stilt walkers and DJs abound. This is Sydney though, so all we really care about is highly instagrammable food made by the stars of the local culinary scene (which is quite ridiculous behaviour that I wholeheartedly endorse).   THE FOOD: Absolutely everything we put in our mouths here was darn delicious. But let’s break it down in order of tastebud joy. Despite being Japanese food mad, I only discovered YAKISOBA when my cousin cooked it for me two weeks ago, and the kewpie-covered delight that you can get at the Lunar Markets has cemented it as THE SHIZNIT. Thankfully there was a line for this dish or I would have thought the world had gone …