A First Time Travelers Guide To Australia

If you’re anything like me then you’ve been dreaming of visiting Australia’s Golden Coast to dive the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney for the iconic Opera House or Melbourne for their modern architecture, healthy, organic eats & artistic culture.

The flight is long, really long (like 15 hours long), so make sure to bring some healthy snacks, headphones and store your gadgets with offline playlists, books and movies.

SYDNEY

From the airport I’d suggest taking a taxi ($20-$30) or Sydney’s Airport Link ($14-$15) to Circular Quay (pronounced circular Q). If you’re wanting to explore further than Circular Quay (where the infamous Opera House is located) I’d highly suggest purchasing an Opal card, which you can purchase once you reach any harbour. Please note, the Opal card DOES include the ferry.

Circular Quay

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Walk past the harbour towards the Opera House and stay to the far left. You’ll find an epic strip of outdoor seating, free wifi and healthy eats & drinks to fill your appetite.
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Gazing at the Sydney Harbour Bridge while walking to the Opera House. FUN FACT: Did you know you can literally WALK over the Bridge?? Take a WALK on the WILD SIDE!
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Take a stroll even farther past the Opera House to find a beautiful botanical gardens. There’s a delicious (super healthy) breakfast spot just up and over the far hill of the garden.

The Rocks

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The Rocks is a fantastic shopping & dining area to the left (looking towards the water) of the Opera House (should be on your right).
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Open air markets on the weekend!
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Looking across the water from The Rocks to see the Opera House
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Night time view of the Opera House from a rooftop bar at The Rocks

Darling Harbour

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Walk along the water in Darling Harbour for all kinds of food & drinks

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Manly Beach

Only a 35 – 45 minute ferry ride (plan your trips accordingly with this ferry guide) north from Sydney, Manly Beach is a fantastic exploration of open air markets, more delicious food and beach life. From the harbor, take a stroll through town to reach Manly Beach and head South for Shelly Beach (literally, as the beach sand is full of sea shells!) or North towards Freshwater Beach for beautiful scenery.

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Bondi Beach

Jump on another ferry (30-45 minutes) to head south of Sydney to the breathtaking surfer hangout, Bondi Beach. A perfect beach town with fresh local eats and a beautiful landscape.  Lay back and relax on the beach, but don’t miss out on the coastal walk from Bondi to Tamarama, Bronte and Coogee Beach for more stunning beach views.

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Stunning coast line views while cruising the coastal walk trail to Congee beach.

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Melbourne

Comparable to Seattle, Washington – Melbourne is a city filled with modern architecture, artistic people, fresh organic fare and superior coffee. My time was cut short (along with my photo opps), but if you find yourself around the Yarra River on the Southbank then take a stroll down the Southbank Promenade.

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Brisbane

Full of lush gardens and floral walkways, man-made beaches and a hip night scene, Brisbane (pronounced Briz-bin) is an excellent city to visit Australia’s ‘Golden’ coast. Walk along The Arbour for scenic views, happy hour and dining, or across the Goodwill Bridge to the City Botanic Gardens.

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City Botanic Gardens

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