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Go Australia!

Years ago, when Paul and I met, we made a list of places we wanted to travel to. Number 2 on that list was Australia. (The first was France, and we ended up moving there.)  I had started noticing all the amazing designers and brands coming out of Australia and I realized there was something cool going on down there and I wanted to see more of it. So I was over the moon when my friends at Go Mighty said that they were putting together a really cool project with Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand. I feel super lucky to be going with 10 other bloggers to Australia where we are going to check some things off our life lists and share our experiences over at Go Mighty.

I’ve never been to Australia and have just started to do some research. Do you have any places you recommend in Sydney and Melbourne? Especially great places to eat and places to shop. When I travel I like to go to party supply shops and office supply shops, sometimes the practical stuff is the prettiest without even trying. Also, my 15 year old self is very interested in making out with Jim from The Man from Snowy River. How do we make that life list goal happen?

Bondi Beach

A huge thanks to Tourism AustraliaAir New Zealand and Go Mighty for making this adventure possible. If a trip Down Under is a dream you’ve had, please be sure to check out the Tourism Australia site for all sorts of information about Australia; in addition, Tourism Australia, Air New Zealand and Go Mighty are running two additional campaigns to help make your dream come true in 2014:  the first, Fill-A-Plane, where you can sign up to be one of 322 people to get a special discount on air travel for folks who take the pledge to travel to Australia next year; the second, “Win a Wild Card ticket to Australia,” for a chance to win a trip to Australia, by simply becoming a member of Go Mighty and adding your wildest Australia-based dreams.  You can check out all the details here.

Photo of Bondi Beach by Mark Allen

  1. ginny

    September 23, 2013

    What an awesome opportunity. Australia is on the top of my life must see list, has been since I was in 6th grade. (which was a very long time ago). And thank you for admitting your crush on Jim from The Man from Snowy River. I thought I was tho only teenager that felt that way. Now I feel validated. Hee Hee.

  2. rayna

    September 23, 2013

    I lived in Australia for a year and it was for sure the best year of my life! Very jealous you are going – what a great opportunity! Sounds like a great project you will be a part of. I love Kikki K. Check out their stores, if you don’t know of them already! They are all over Australia and I still order from them all the time (to Canada). Everywhere you will go you will stumble upon amazing party and office supply shops guaranteed! Lots of markets too! HAVE FUN!!

  3. Brittany

    September 23, 2013

    WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!? JEALOUS!

  4. Rebecca Lately

    September 23, 2013

    That’s so awesome!!!

  5. Maddy

    September 23, 2013

    That’s amazing, you’ll have the best time! Funnily enough I’m an Australian (from Queensland) who recently moved to San Francisco. You’ll absolutely love Melbourne, the food, coffee and little lane ways are highlights. For Sydney I’d recommend hopping on a ferry to Manly beach, while you’re there visit Zumbo he makes the yummiest and unusual flavoured macarons.

  6. Laura

    September 23, 2013

    “Man from Snowy River.” Only the best movie EVER. And soundtrack!! 🙂

  7. giulia

    September 23, 2013

    that’s so exciting! now… you’ll end up moving there!

  8. Erica

    September 23, 2013

    I follow Liz at One Twenty Five ( and she lived there for a bit. I would check out this page for her tips. ( post on Melbourne/Great Ocean Road/Yarra Valley looks amazing! Have fun and bring us lots of pics!

  9. Sarah

    September 23, 2013

    It is several years old, but “In A Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson is one of my favorite books – so very funny. It is basically a travelogue of his journeys in Australia, with a lot of history thrown in for context. He loves the country and writes about it in an endearing and sympathetic manner (and did I mention how funny?).

  10. juni

    September 23, 2013

    go to bourke st bakery!

  11. Stephanie

    September 23, 2013

    I am an American girl who fell in love with an Aussie boy and have made a life in Sydney. I call Australia HOME. The list of fabulous places to eat is endless. Some of my favorites are Cafe Sydney (Dinner overlooking the Opera House and Syd Habour Bridge), Burnt Orange (Breakfast or Lunch with a lovely shop.), Ripples at Milson’s Point (Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner with the perfect view), Cafe Moncur, Jamie Oliver’s Italian in the city (awesome food with an urban vibe), and drinks at Opera Bar (Sydney Opera House) or Argyle (the Rocks). Shopping in The Strand Arcade and The QVB (Queen Victoria Building) are essential to any Sydney trip. While in The Strand Arcade, check out The Strand Hatter. I love Aussie designers. Alannah Hill and Cue are my top two. For stationary, visit Kikki K. You must have High Tea while in Sydney. I can highly recommend The Gunners Barrack, but there are many other lovely spots. Oh, and yum cha lunch too. Sky Phoenix at the Westfield on Pitt St in the city does good Yum Cha. Finally, you have to see Taronga Zoo. The giraffes have the best views in Sydney. If you want to know more about dining in Sydney, you need The Good Food Guide. I would be happy to send you one.

    A visit to Melbourne is perfect for lovely cafes and great shopping. The little lane ways are beautiful. You can get lost for hours exploring the city’s hidden shops along stone lanes the lead one to another, and be in heaven! Dinner at Punch Lane while in Melbourne is always on my list of things to do.

    Finally, if time and the itinerary allows…visit Kangaroo Island. It is stunning and so relaxing. Cliff House at Snelling Beach is the perfect spot on the island.

    Enjoy every moment!

  12. Penny

    September 23, 2013

    I LOVE AUSTRALIA! (and New Zealand). I spent one year in Melbounre and I absolutely loved it. It’s such a beautiful place, and honestly, I only had yummy food. Every place I went to, it was marvelous. South Yarra, Fitzroy and St Kilda were the places to be, but it’s been 14 years, so the hot spots might have changed. I’m a teensy bit jealous even. Sigh, Australia!

  13. Robyn

    September 23, 2013

    I thought you were going to tell us you were moving there too!
    I might head to Melbourne for my first visit for Christmas to visit a great friend- so I’m looking forward to your tips!

  14. Anja

    September 23, 2013

    Our favorite place in the whole world is Wilsons Promotory National Park which is a 3-hour ride from Melbourne. I would move there if I had the chance although no there won’t be any party supply shops at all.

  15. Trish

    September 23, 2013

    I LOVE Australia! If you have the time to drive north of Sydney a bit, I’d highly recommend a day (or three!) in Byron Bay. Such a beautiful, artsy town filled with amazing shops, restaurants and the most gorgeous sunsets over the beach I have ever seen. Maybe go ocean kayaking out in the bay, there are inexpensive guided kayaking tours that last just a few hours and great opportunity to see dolphins and sea turtles in action!

    Have fun!

  16. Sally from Little Hiccups

    September 23, 2013

    Yay! I’m an Australian living in the Bay Area so I’m happy to give you advice if you like 🙂

    I’m originally from South Australia, which isn’t usually on most tourist’s list of places to visit unless they’re really into wine. South Australia grows the best wines in the country (especially reds); in particular the Barossa and Clare Valleys and the Limestone Coast.

    I really think that you will love Melbourne. It has that same artsy vibe as San Francisco and is full of Victorian architecture. The food and bar scene is great and there are lots of fantastic galleries. I love all of the little alley ways full of tiny cafes and bars. Melbourne is also a great place for shopping. There are so many great designers in Melbourne so you’re always sure to pick up something original. A lot of people find the weather in Melbourne kind of gloomy as it does rain a lot and it tends to be cooler than most other cities but that’s one of the things I like about Melbourne. Coming from San Francisco you won’t have any problems with Melbourne’s weather 😉

    I lived in Sydney for years before I had my kids and it’s a pretty exciting place to visit. Make sure you do all the regular touristy things: Ferry ride to Manly, take in the views over the city and harbour from Sydney Tower, visit Taronga Zoo (especially if you’re taking the kids – they’ll love it), walk across (or over the top!) of the Harbour Bridge, hang out in Darling Harbour, and, of course, spend a day at Bondi Beach. I personal don’t find Bondi all that great (there are MUCH better beaches around) but it’s super popular with tourists. Even though it looks like a fairly sheltered cove it has really dangerous rips so make sure to swim between the flags. Oh, and make sure to pronounce it properly – it’s Bond-eye, not Bondee 😉
    If you get the chance to go sailing on Sydney harbour that would make for a wonderful day.

    The QVB in Sydney is a nice shopping centre in one of the most beautiful buildings. Lots of nice stores to look at (mostly expensive touristy stuff though) and beautiful Victorian architecture. The staircases are lovely and one of the bathrooms upstairs has all original tiles, which sounds like an odd thing to go check out but they really are pretty! The clock in the middle of the QVB is a must see too.

    I second the suggestions above to visit a Kikki-K store. I love that place and was quite upset when I moved to the US and discovered that it doesn’t exist here 🙁 Had I known in advance I would’ve stocked up even more than I did. I also used to spend a lot of time window shopping at Pepe’s Paperie which is a little more upmarket (lots of letterpress), however a quick google search just showed me that they have closed their stores outside of Canberra. So, if you’re headed to Canberra, check out one of their stores. My favourite place for stationery in Australia is an online store called For ages it was the only place to buy washi tape and they carry a lot of Japanese brands that are not generally available in stores outside of Japan. Even here in the US I still order from notemaker as they carry a lot of stuff that I can’t find in SF.

    What time of year will you be heading to Australia? Summer can be horribly hot – one thing I definitely don’t miss. Sydney is pretty humid, and if you head further north it gets really humid – and hotter. Winter in Sydney is not really all that different to our Summers here, except that it rains. Melbourne gets pretty cold in Winter (even the odd sprinkling of snow every now and then) and can be really hot in Summer (40c is not uncommon). It’s a much dryer heat though so more bearable than Sydney in Summer.

    Keep in mind that Australia is super expensive compared to the US, even by San Francisco standards. The Australian dollar is lower than the US at the moment (and will hopefully stay that way for a while) so you’ll have that in your favour, but even so it’s a pretty pricey place.

    One last thing, you must try Haigh’s chocolates. They’re from my hometown of Adelaide but they have stores in Melbourne and Sydney too. Best chocolate ever. You have to try the shiraz truffles. Mmm…

    Ok, I think I’ve bombarded you with enough for now!

  17. maggie

    September 23, 2013

    What an awesome opportunity! I would love to visit Australia…one day!!

  18. Jon

    September 23, 2013

    great blog. amazing stories. keep up.

  19. Emma

    September 23, 2013

    SO EXCITING! 🙂 Newcastle and Geelong are the oft overlooked side kicks to Sydney and Melbourne 2 hours and 1 hour respectively away from their bigger counterparts they both have spectacular beaches and amazingly creative communities full to the brim of people and activities a definite must visit!!! 🙂 hope you enjoy yourself in our sunny happy Australia 🙂

  20. Catherine

    September 23, 2013

    well hi there! long time follower, first time commenter from Sydney! I love my city and we have some really awesome places here that you should totally visit!

    So food wise, some great places to suggest, are the Grounds of Alexandria (in Alexandria) kid friendly, organic, delicious food open every day, Then there’s Mr Wong’s for yummy Australian Chinese food, but you could always wander down to China town in Haymarket and take your choice from many Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants. We have a huge Asian influence in our food which you will see everywhere!
    For our best small eats there’s Gelato Messina in Darlinghust and Bourke Street Bakery who has the best sausage rolls in Sydney. Make sure you try that or a meat pic when you come here.

    In terms of places to go, there’s Bondi beach where EVERYONE goes, but i would suggest Manly if you want something easily accessible and different and also Taronga zoo as someone else mentioned. The Australian Museum has a great selection of all kinds of Aussie creatures and prehistoric animals and their skeletons! great for the kids as well as the Powerhouse Museum which is super kid friendly with good exhibits for mum and dad also. The Botanical gardens is one of my favourite places ever. You can walk through there from say the Art Gallery of NSW and end up right in front of the Opera House and look across the water to the Harbor Bridge. The gardens are beautiful and picnics are ideal.

    Places to shop, I would suggest, Kind Street area of Newtown or Crown street in Surry Hills for vintage/one off fun pieces. Lots of boutique stationary, clothing, shoe stores, cafes etc If you want more developed kinds of shops there’s the QVB in the city centre which includes Kikki K our best stationary store, and the galleries Victoria which is right next to each other! And oh wow what else… um… oh wow there is so much. ill let other people comment now!

  21. Sonya

    September 23, 2013

    I have tips! In sydney, Paper2 on crown st, surry hills for sweet stationary, cards and gift wrap and then gelato Messina down the road for Sydney’s best gelato (people queue for it in winter). And in Melbourne hardware societe on hardware lane for brekkie, it’s in the CBD and little cupcakes in degraves lane – teeny tiny shop but so good! for dinner chin chin on flinders lane. Enjoy!

  22. Angela

    September 23, 2013

    the suggestions above are great, but the city can be very touristy. my suggestions for alternative shopping and eating areas in sydney and melbourne:
    – surry hills (crown st mainly) with great shops like the collector store, holy kitsch!, mushu and paper2 (mentioned in another post), and for eating in surry hills i would definitely go bills for breakfast, gelato messina (also mentioned in another post), or billy kwong for great asian food.
    – paddington: oxford st is so long, and it has great shops all up and down it, from australian designers to boutiques to alternative chains (eg. American Apparel). for shops i would definitely check out acne, aesop, funkis for cute clogs, gorman (a fave quirky australian designer!) and the society inc. for cute knick-knacks! there are cute cafes all along oxford st too 🙂
    – newtown (my digs!)): cheaper than the above two areas and with a great selection of thai, vietnamese and modern australian restaurants all along the main st, king st. shops not to miss: mag nation (amazing selection of magazines both known and unknown!), t2 (great australian tea shop), monster threads, pentimento (great stationery and other assorted cuteness), art on king (again, great art supplies and stationery), better read than dead (bookshop), origami doll (cute fashion), cream (vintage and reworked fashion), reclaim by monica trapega. food: hartsyard, bloodwood, the pie tin (amazing pies of all kinds!), black star pastry, suzy spoon’s vegetarian butcher.
    – cbd: hardware société, mentioned in an above post, is a must! the wait is worth it. other than that, there is so much great food in melbourne, but i would particularly recommend cumulus inc., brother baba budan for coffee, dognation for hotdogs hehe, hopetoun tea rooms for high tea (though a little bit of a tourist trap), la belle miette for macarons. shopping, there is so much in the little laneways, and in paticular i would go to flinders lane (leonard st. fashion, retrostar vintage, alice euphemia, lenko boutique, quick brown fox, incu).
    – brunswick st, gertrude st, and smith st, in fitzroy: so many hipsters… i love it! there are a few outlets along brunswick for alannah hill etc. shopping: alphaville, aunt maggies (great organic deli), cottage industry (crafty stuff!), dagmar rousset (woollies and other frenchy stuff), hudson, kinki gerlinki, third drawer down (YOU MUST GO HERE! it’s a collective of artists and they do the coolest stuff, the shop is amazing), yarn and co. food: brunswick st alimentari (best brownies!), birdman eating, merry cupcakes, and there are great cafes all around, its not hard!

    yay you will have the best time!

  23. YoungMild&Free

    September 23, 2013

    How exciting! I’ve never been to Australia, but I hope to make it over there some day!


  24. Stacey

    September 23, 2013

    Just to add.. If you do find yourself Bondi way, make it the Bondi to Bronte walk. The most wonderful views! I lived at Cremorne Point, so im more of a Northern Beaches girl. Not far from the city (although over the Harbour Bridge) is the Bathers Pavillion, cafe and restaurant sat on the waters edge. There are many beautiful little beaches nearby but further north, not far from Manly, is Freshwater beach, by far more stunning and there’s a wonderful restaurant overlooking the water. For shopping, especially Australian designers, try Oxford Street and the surrounds in Paddington, they have great eateries too. You can’t possibly go wrong with a day there. Enjoy your trip!

  25. Pauliina

    September 23, 2013

    Lived in OZ for a year, such an amazing country! I lived on the countryside so don’t know Sydney and Melbourne that well. But you should def visit Kikki K shop, sure you’ll love it!! It has really cute office supplies. And morning walk from Gucgee to Bondi is a must trying different beaches!

  26. Sarah J

    September 23, 2013

    In Sydney:

    For a day out:

    Pitt street mall; take the streetside escalator up to max brennar for hot chocolates with waffles – the escalator is tucked in between sportsgirl and the soul and pattison chemist and goes up 6 levels! Also have an explore of the independent designer markets on the lower ground floor inside the westfield on pitt street.

    Museum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks, complete the day with freshly baked scones and high tea from The Tea Cosy on The Rocks market strip.

    For coffee:
    Lady Marmalades in Bondi Junction (Think a giant blackboard wall, couches and crate stools Tip: try the eggs benedict for breakfast!)

    I hope this helps!

    Much love as always,


  27. JoanieO

    September 23, 2013

    So excited you’re coming to visit! I’m from Melbourne and obsessed with paper goods, and my best friend is an event planner in Sydney- am sure we can put together a must see list just perfect for you 🙂

  28. Carolyn

    September 23, 2013

    Ah!!! How exciting!! It’s a shame you’re not going over to Western Australia as there are so many hidden gems over there!

    But make sure you check out Kikki K while you’re here! Super sweet Swedish office design that will definitely tickle you fancies! Typo is great too for some amusing/vintage looking pieces as well.

    The thing I love about Melbourne is that every suburb has it’s own personality. Some of my favourite places to get coffee outside of the city are in Brunswick and Fitzroy. Anything on Smith St in Collingwood is fabulous too! We have some amazing vintage shops in Gertrude St and around the area. And of course, Melbourne is pretty famous for our little laneways with delicious coffee shops and food! I just love walking through them and observing life.

    As someone mentioned in another comment, Geelong and the Surf Coast are also beautiful, I’m biased because I live there, but they’re only an hour away by car. There are some amazing beaches that are often quite secluded and The Great Ocean Road is full of beauty.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing your travels! It would be lovely to meet you, if you find yourself with some spare time while in Melbourne!

  29. Lana from Pineapple Dazzle

    September 23, 2013

    How fabulous, you are going to love Australia! As you are heading to Sydney you should check out Papier Damour in Double Bay. It is an amazing party supply shop. When I used to live in Double Bay I would grab a coffee and wander around the store tempting myself with all the prettiness.

    Lana |

  30. A Kiwi

    September 23, 2013

    Wow! I’m sure you’ll love Oz. I’m from New Zealand, and yeees I’ll definitely recommend a visit to kikki.K!! 😀

  31. Amanda

    September 23, 2013

    THIS IS RAD! What a fun experience, can’t wait to see how your trip goes. Would so love to go to Australia but I feel like when I finally do, I’ll have to spend months so I can see everything I want to see.

    Oh, and Jim? Yessssssss. YUM.

  32. Erin

    September 23, 2013

    That’s so so fantasy! From the sound of it, it’s just bloggers, so is Paul gonna go anyway!?

  33. Jess

    September 23, 2013

    I am a local Melbournian and I would recomentd looking at this
    Its what I look at everyday for ongoing local events.

    Have fun while you are here. I love it everyday

  34. emily / the daily smudge

    September 23, 2013

    Wow… how very exciting!! I’m a Sydneysider and second lots of the suggestions written here… a few more to add:

    – Bronte to Bondi walk… finish with a swim and sauna at icebergs pool (an institution)
    – ‘Koskela’ in Rosebury is abit in the middle of nowhere but they have a great cafe, amazing homewares and often an art/craft exhibition too. You can easily spend a few hours there.
    – Palm beach and Whale beach (northern beaches) are both stunning. (Palm Beach is the setting for Aussie soap opera, Home and Away! Ooo lala) The Boathouse cafe at Palm Beach is beautiful for a colour filled lunch. For a fancy and incredible dinner go to Jonah’s up on the hill at Whale Beach.
    – Newtown (King st) is good for shopping as other people have said… then go to Black Star bakery on Australia St for the most incredible beef brisket pie you’ll ever eat… and then to the Courthouse pub abit further up the road for a very aussie pub with a lovely courtyard out the back.
    – Walk over the Harbour bridge at night to Kirribilli (my hood) where you can have great Thai food or fish and chips under the harbour bridge and look at the city light. Then you can get the ferry back into town again.
    – White Rabbit Art Gallery in Chippendale is great and they have a cute little tea house downstairs too.
    – The Everleigh markets at the Carriageworks are great (food and artisan depending on day) There are often art and other things going on inside too.
    – Check out Broadsheet website for lots more places and ideas:

    + If you want to come over for dinner on our rooftop you’re very welcome too 😉
    Have fun… will look out for you. hehe x

  35. Caroline

    September 23, 2013

    What an exciting trip! Having lived in Melbourne for twenty years – oh I am getting old- I think I am a bit of an authority on this- bayside around south Melbourne, Albert park and middle park is my favourite part. There is the sth Melbourne market and lovely little boutiques, book shops and places to eat. Also, there is a tiny area in st kilda east called Ripponlea that is choc full of creative people and interesting places. Lulu and little lulu are a good place to start on carlisle street. Sydney I know nothing about- but I hear it is absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to see your take on my home!

  36. Jessie

    September 23, 2013

    Having read this blog for a while (and being a Sydneysider) I have a few places in mind that I know you would just love.

    It’s been mentioned before, but while you are in Sydney you MUST check out the Grounds of Alexandria. Amazing food, stunning grounds and fun little stalls and food carts dotted throughout the herb gardens and patios.

    Bread and Circus is not too far away from there and also a must for those who love a great interior and whole foods.

    Gelato Messina has been voted the best ice cream in Australia and I’ve never tried better anywhere in the world. Think crazy creative flavours like peanut butter and white chocolate covered pretzel, lamington or earl grey tea.

    Have an amazing time, can’t wait to see the pictures!!

  37. Kara

    September 23, 2013

    WOW! How exciting!
    I live in Australia and it is one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit!

    I think a few must sees for you are in Melbourne: Lark Store they open a new shop this coming Friday!, The Woodsfolk in Hawthorn. Fitzroy in general is a great shopping area with lots of wonderful shops to wander through! In both Melbourne and Sydney you will be spoilt for choice with amazing places to eat out at.


  38. Katie @ Grow. Cook. Sew.

    September 24, 2013

    Where to start?!

    I assume you will be staying in the Sydney CBD? Take a long walk around the Domain and Botanical Gardens popping out at the Art Gallery of NSW. Check out the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and take the kids on a few ferry rides.
    Lots of people have mentioned the Zoo.. and I know that there is a zoo in almost every major city.. but taking a ferry across the harbour to the Sydney Zoo and taking a chair-lift to the main entrance is well worth the trip.

    Then get out of the CBD.. no one really hangs out there unless they are at work or a tourist!
    Bondi is mandatory for any self respecting tourist 😉 The coffee/ food at Gertrude and Alice is pretty good.

    Surry Hills has it all.. great coffee, cool shops and very easy to walk around. As everyone has said.. Bourke St Bakery is amazing.. go there early in your trip because I can guarantee you will want to go back! (Especially if living in France has done anything to your pallet!)

    Looking forward to reading all about your trip!

  39. Lauren

    September 24, 2013

    Yay! I am an Aussie & love your blog. I live on the West Coast…another beautiful part of Australia that you’ll have to come to next time! Both Sydney & Melbourne are beautiful cities and I am sure you’ll love both!

    How great is it that we are so global & wonderful collaborations bring so many opportunities!

    Have a wonderful time & watch out for all those dangerous animals 😉

    Lauren. xx

  40. Waimihi

    September 24, 2013

    Wait!!! You mean Air New Zealand are in on this and you’re NOT COMING TO NEW ZEALAND!?!? We’d love to have you!

  41. Jade

    September 24, 2013

    Another Sydney-sider here that supports all of the previous tips!
    I love getting lost in any City and without a doubt would recommend it if you have the luxury of time!
    I actually think some of the Touristy places are a great experience. Climbing the Harbour Bridge is amazing and the views of the skyline from the birds of prey ampi-theatre at Taronga Zoo is stunning!
    QVB is a beautiful shopping experience (the building itself it the main attraction to me)
    for more independent designers check out smaller places in Newtown and the surrounds.
    The Bondi Markets however on sunday mornings is a great place to check out up and coming designers for fashion and jewellery and the Rocks Markets is a great place to get touristy souvenirs that aren’t really really cliche but kitsch enough to be cool.
    For food you really can’t go wrong (especially in Melbourne- it has a Cafe/Creative culture that reminds me of San Francisco!) there are cafes everywhere and a well established Coffee Culture.
    Kiki-K is a swedish chain of more luxurious stationery- letterpress cards and leathers so don’t expect party supplies per say but it is lovely. Typo is another cheaper chain store that has a few bits and bobs that might be of interest if you happen to find one in passing.

    Being born and raised in Newcastle a few hours north of Sydney there are quite a few nice cafes that way but the beach is the primary attraction! If you have time to go further north places like Forster and Byron Bay are well well worth a visit – Byron in particular is a stereotypically creative but lovely community!

    I am so excited for you and to hear (read) your opinions!
    I would love to know which other bloggers are on board!

  42. jimjam

    September 24, 2013

    There is an amazing fromagerie on Fitzroy Street in Melbourne called ‘Milk the Cow’ If you’ve lived in France you must love cheese and they have amazing European ones there.

  43. Kaela

    September 24, 2013


    Everyone will tell you that in Melbourne you need to visit Brunswick St for gorgeous cafes and quirky shops, boutiques etc. This is true – it’s a great street!! But the streets that actually run parallel are just as good and maybe even cheaper?

    Here are good sites for off the beaten track suggestions and things that are happening locally:

    Hope you have an amazing trip and take advantage of our low Aussie dollar compared to the US at the moment! xx

  44. Sam

    September 24, 2013

    I live in Sydney! I second everyone’s great suggestions – here are mine for Syd.

    1. Newtown is a must. Such a cool place, great for food or a night out.
    2. There’s a charming and teeny-tiny hidden away cafe called La Foccacia on Hunter Street in the city. It’s cheap, gorgeous, delicious, and so friendly. No-one seems to know about it – would highly recommend.
    3. kikki-k is my life. Visit he QVB one.
    4. In a suburb called kirribilli very close to the city there are great markets every few weekends in burton street tunnel. Cannot recommend these more highly!

    have so much fun!

  45. Izzy

    September 24, 2013

    Definitely check out the Veggie Bar on Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Melb. Amazingly delicious vegetarian and vegan food, and a super funky interior, with a communal table and great lime green vinyl chairs! And while you’re there, make sure you have a stroll along Brunswick and Gertrude streets and check out all the funky little shops. And a definite must is Queen Victoria market: think a huge market space with an amazing deli and delicious souvlaki!

  46. nicole

    September 24, 2013

    I agree with hardware society and Brunswick street in Fitzroy. There is also a really cool cocktail bar in Melbourne city called Blue Diamond, delicious cocktails! Also St Ali has awesome coffee

  47. Caseyj610

    September 24, 2013

    I think you’re going to LOVE Australia. The plane ride is rough, but totally worth it. I went to Melbourne for school, so I didnt visit any paper or party shops, but would 100% recommend you peruse the Queen Victoria Market. It has soo many things/sights/sounds and very good food to snack on. Also, as mentioned above, the Great Ocean Road is an awesome experience. These are more touristy things, but I hope you have time for them! Enjoy! 🙂

  48. meg

    September 24, 2013

    Australia is on my bucket list of places to visit. It looks so lovely!

  49. Anne

    September 24, 2013

    I went to Australia for my honeymoon, and loved it! Sydney is super expensive, but so much fun. I went to the Barracks (a World Heritage Site) and that gave a fascinating look into convict life in Sydney. The Rocks is also a great place to go, with museums, restaurants, bars, and we saw and impromptu dance competition! It’s so much fun, you will love it.

  50. irene wibowo

    September 24, 2013

    wow!! that’s so awesome! Some of my mom family’s have been lived in there for almost ten yours! Since then, i always dreaming to go there. Maybe, after i go to Europe. But, if i can go to Australia first, why not! I think Australia have a many great place to go. I heard, they have a lot of vintage shop. I really want to go there! You are so lucky!

    I looking forward for your another post about Australia! 🙂
    Irene Wibowo

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