Big city livin’

Besides seeing the Vivid Sydney Festival, it has been fun getting to explore Sydney with my travel and foodie Arichi! You can definitely feel the different types of lifestyles between Brisbane and Sydney. While Brissy is very laid-back and for some people a “big country town”, Sydney is very big and very fast-paced. Shops closes much later (this we really do need in Brissy) and there are many 24 hours food places (wouldn’t be bad either to have in Brissy).

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Sydney Opera House really is a spectacular piece of architecture. Way to go Jørn Utzon!

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FLOWERCHILD CAFE

This little café is placed in the Westfield mall up in Chatswood. Its a bit out of the city area but definitely a place worth going for breakfast and lunch. We were quite surprise by the amount of people queuing up when we arrived at 10.30 am. Luckily we didn’t have to stand in line the whole time, but just had to write down our number and then they would call when our table was ready. An hour later we finally managed to get a table and as you can probably tell by the pictures, it was so worth the waiting! Everything did taste just as good as it looked.

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We ended up ordering the French Toast and Fruit Salad. And for drinks a Chai Latte and Lychee and Mint smoothie. Edible flowers always does a dish very nicely.

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Now, careful not to drool all over yourself.

 

DARLING HARBOUR

Playing pirates and captains for a day, we went to the Darling Harbour to see the replica of the ship James Cook once sailed and discovered Australia with back in 1770 . You can get one ticket from the Australian National Maritime Museum that lets you enter the museum, the replica, a real submarine that was commissioned during the Cold War and a destroyer ship which is one of the last of Australia’s big gun ships.

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BEACH WALK

It was quite shocking to me how cold the winter would get in Australia. For the most part the winter is kind of similar to the summer home in Denmark. At least in Brisbane but the more south you go you can definitely feel the difference! Never thought I would ever be the one saying that it could get too cold since I’ve been living my entire life in a cold climate lol, but yes it do get cold here! Though it didn’t stop people from going in the water. We, however, decided to enjoy the view of surfers catching waves at Bondi Beach.

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BREAD & CIRCUS

This wholefoods canteen had the cutest decorations ever. Pink theme with tiles, cupboards, flowers, yeah even the menus. Also decorated with lot of healthy and organic fruit and veggies which makes you feel like you’re living the right healthy lifestyle. Only lasted for a few hours if ya know what I mean.

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Here we ordered the Parmesan-Not-So-Scrambled Eggs and Toast w/ Avocado and Fresh Tomato and for drinks a Green Juice and Cafe Latte.

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BLUE MOUNTAINS

Since we didn’t consider to go hiking in Sydney before we actually arrived there, we didn’t pack the proper shoes or clothes. Therefore we took one of the shorter routes around the mountain and we still got some pretty great views.

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Here is The Three Sisters from Echo Point Katoomba.

We even passed a little waterfall. Just a little one.

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Lights, lights and more lights

Oops oops, another late update. Sorry! I honestly thought that maintaining a blog would be easy. Turns out it really isn’t haha!

There is something about light installations and interactive art that continues to amaze me. I went to Sydney a little over a week ago to see the Vivid Sydney Festival and it was even better than expected. Can I just say that pictures almost does not justify the pretty views and stunning lights in real life. It was amazing.

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They projected an animated movie on this building, and it was also possible to view an augmented reality version through Huawei smartphones. The extra effects were siiiiick.

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Also cool lights along the food stalls. Had the best Pho there yum yum

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The Cathedral of Lights was one of the most beautiful installations. You could already see everyone pull up their phones and cameras as soon as they stepped into the queue, which was like severel of hundred meters long. The lightwalk itself was only 70 meters long and it was definitely worth going back in line for. Yeah we totally did that a few times. The lights created pure magic.

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I love the type of act that encourages the audience to engage and interact with it and of course there were a lot of those to find including this light installation that senses your movements and transferres them in different colours and lightning.

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Looking into infinity.

 

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Lots of changing patterns projected on the Opera House

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Its selfie time!! Kids nowadays lol

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This one was my favorite. They call it the Jellyfish. Everyone was jumping up and down to get the jellyfish from the bottom up to the surface. Cool art!

If you’re ever in Sydney or close by around June, make sure to check out the festival its so worth it.

Weekend getaway guide: Brisbane – Byron Bay

 

The great part about living in Australia, is that you have some of the most beautiful nature and beaches only a few hours away! For a small weekend getaway, Arichi and I decided that Byron Bay would be the destination.

But if you don’t have a car, how do you get there? Where do you stay? What can you do? The decision for this trip was pretty spontaneous and was decided like 8 hours prior to departure. Personally I believe that spontaneous experiences might be some of the best, because you don’t have any expectations and you just go with the flow. Though I know that its not for everybody, so I made a little guide of tips and whereabouts for a little weekend getaway to Byron Bay.

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How to get there:

The fastest way to get there is without a doubt by car. Though if you, like me, don’t have a car or perhaps can’t rent or drive a car, there is other alternatives:

The public transportation, though this includes four bus transfers and a train too, with a total amount of 4,5 hours. I don’t know about you, but that is too long for me. I mean going with the car is only about 2-2,5 hours!

However there is the Brisbane – Byron Bay express busses. I went with The Byron Easy Bus – got picked up from Roma St. and arrived at The Visitor Information Centre, which is basically the stop for the main station. The trip took about 2,5-3 hours because the driver went and picked up people from different places. The ticket was $42 one way.

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Where to stay:

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There is plenty of options for accommodation around Byron: motels, hotels, hostels, airbnb etc. We were looking for a cheap place to stay because of the few nights we were there and decided to go with a hostel. Also staying at hostels is a great opportunity to make new friends. We met a lot of female solo travellers there and it’s always interesting to hear what they have been up to. Personally, I’ve always thought it was a bit intimidating backpacking the world alone as a female, but meeting all of these cool ladies and hearing about their stories, makes you want to consider doing it yourself sometime in the future.

Anyways, we stayed with The Arts Factory Lodge and can totally recommend it. This hostel is super chill and has a nice and laid back vibe. The decoration is very artsy with paintings on the walls, apart from the usually dorms, you can sleep in teepees’, or cottages facing the little lake. If you’re keen on sleeping in a tent, there is a camping ground there too. Also there is a brewery on the opposite side, where they throw parties. Every monday is Reggae night!

Where to eat:

Byron Fresh Café has a cute beachy and romantic atmosphere, and a live performance playing in front of the café which makes everything a bit more authentic. We never tried any main dishes there (they looked really good though!!), however we went there for coffee and dessert. The Macadamia Brownie Fudge with vanilla icecream, strawberries and blueberry colis is definitely worth trying! What a guilty pleasure.

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Have lunch or dinner (or both) at Fishmongers Gourmet Fish and Chips. They have hands down made some of the best fish and chips I’ve have tried so far while living in Oz. Also the portion is pretty big, so you won’t leave on an empty tummy, thats for sure.

And if you’re in a hurry, check out Kahwa Coffee Bar. For our last day we decided to grab some breakfast to go and eat it on the beach. I can definitely recommend the croissant w/ ham and cheese and the watermelon juice!!

 

What to do:

Of course the main reason I came to Byron was to see the Beach. But make sure to check out the Lighthouse. Take the route along the beach, this way you also get some pretty amazing views of the ocean on your way to the top.

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When in Byron Bay, it is a most to go surfing! Neither of us have tried surfing before, but we were all aboard on trying new things! We booked our first surfing lesson with Happy Travels for $69 dollars, and this was with everything included: surfboard, pick-up from the hostel, wetsuit and/or t-shirt when surfing, and of course lessons with the instructor including him jumping in the water and helping you catch waves.

Can I just add that surfing in itself, is not easy at all, so throwing in an angry wind and aggressive waves, almost seems like a suicide mission for a first time surfer! However with a bit of help from the surf instructor, I did manage to catch a few waves. This was def the best experience yet!

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Lastly, make sure to go for drinks! If into pubs, Railway Friendly Bar is an option, and if you’re into the dance and clubbing kind of scene, Cheeky Monkey’s is probably the most popular choice. The only right way to dance here, is on the tables haha! Oh, and you get one free drink if you run into the promoters on your way there.

 

This spontaneous weekend getaway turned out to be a successful trip for Arichi and I. We had no expectations to this trip and ended up falling in love with this little beach town. It is without a doubt a place worth going back to!

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P.S did I tell you about this pretty piece of work we discovered? Rumor has is that the artist is unknown and he travels all over the world just to paint these pretty patterns in the sand, and then he leaves again. #Humanityissocool

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Top 9 things to do in Melbourne

My trip to Melbourne was actually a month ago, but better late than never right?

As mentioned in the earlier post, I went to visit a childhood friend that I haven’t seen for many years! Now the great thing about visiting a friend who lives in Melbourne, is that she knows all the tricks and tips of what to see, where to go out, or where to eat. Of course I did some of the typical sightseeing, I mean I am a tourist, so might as well act a bit like it!

Anyways, here is my top 9 of things to see, where to have cocktails and where to eat in Melbourne.

 

1. Hosier Lane

Now the first thing is the most obligatory one. Hosier Lane. Melbourne is known for being one of the worlds most liveable cities and I understand why! Melbourne has everything and it is such a vibrant and cultural city. Generally you will find graffiti all over in Melbourne, but there is particularly Hosier Lane in the CBD that has some pretty awesome graffiti art.

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2. Spice Market 

As you walk in to this exotic bar and cocktail lounge you will instantly feel the vibes of an Middle Eastern and South East Asian atmosphere. On thursdays it’s ladies night, which means you can get 5 cocktail cards for 10$ from 8pm to 10 pm! Not bad I must say! Definitely a place to check out if you’re looking for a night out in Melbourne.

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3. Lui Bar 

Another place to have cocktails is in The Lui Bar. It’s placed on the 55th level in the Rialto Tower, and you will experience the most beautiful view over Melbourne city while enjoying a cocktail.

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Crazy view right? It’s funny too see how far out Melbourne stretches compared to Brisbane. Notice where its all black and just cuts of. Yeah thats the water.

 

4. Night Market at Queen Victoria Market

Every wednesday during the summer they host a night market where you will find food from almost every country. I was lucky to experience the very last night market for this summer. If you are a fan of night markets and buying food from the cute little food trucks, this is definitely a place to check out as well!

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5. Brighton Beach Boxes

Most people might say this is the typical place to go for tourists, and that is probably very true, cause when I went there, there was only tourists posing and taking pictures of the beach boxes. So you know I had to do the same.

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– Find a box you like, and pose it front of it. You know how we asians do.-

 

6. Watch the Penguins peek at St. Kilda Beach

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By sunset the penguins return to the rocks from the ocean and if you are lucky you might spot a few of them. If you want to take pictures of the penguins you have to use red flash lights. I didn’t have that, so unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the penguins.

 

7. Johnny Pump

So burger and fries are 16$, throw in an extra 3$ and you get a milkshake. Need I say more?

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8. Izakaya Chuji

In Melbourne you can find a lot of yummy taste asian food for a cheap price too. For the one week I was there I got to try Korean food, Chinese dumplings and on my last evening there, I went for Japanese food from Izakaya Chuji!

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We ordered wakame salad, gyoza dumplings, rice w/ ebi tempura and ramen noodles. Good food for a cheap price!

 

9. Grab a dessert at Merchant in the Rialto Tower

The Merchant is a restaurant in the Rialto Tower owned by Guy Grossi an Australian Celebrity Chef. Now luckily my friends bf works there and he managed to fix this pretty plate of dessert for us!

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It was a chocolatey fudge brownie with caramelised nuts, fresh berries, ice cream and a pretty yet edible flower (that was a new experience for me).

Now this was only a snippet of what I managed to do and see in Melbourne while staying there for a week. You definitely need a lot more time to explore Melbourne. With that said, Melbourne – I will be back!

What should I see and where should I eat the next time I’m in Melbourne? If you know of any great places, let me know!

The Beeripmo Walk on Mount Buangor

So during the first semester mid break also known as the Easter Break, I went to Melbourne to visit a long time childhood friend who I have know since the age of three or younger. She comes from Denmark too but decided that something new needed to happen for about two and a half years ago. After traveling around Australia and New Zealand she noticed that there was one city she always felt more appealed to and so Melbourne became her new home. But the funny thing is though, that she and I hasn’t seen each other for like eight years! Back in Denmark, it was for some reason way to difficult to see each other and we only lived one hour away. Apparently it had to take moving across the world and being about 1600 km away from each other, to bring us together. So I guess it is safe to say that we were both a bit excited to see each other and man did we have a lot to catch up on.

So what this post is actually about is my 2-day hiking trip to Mount Buangor!

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This was my first activity when I arrived in Melbourne and also my first time hiking and I came so unprepared. Everyone had like a real backpacker bag, you know, the one that you lock on your hips to give more support and reliefs the baggage from your shoulders. I was too focused on buying a backpack that looked good and which would function as a carry-on baggage on the plane that I didn’t think hard enough about being practical. Luckily Laki brought a scarf with her, so we used it to put more support on my hips and relief the weight of my shoulders.

So I think we hiked for about 6,5 hours before we arrived at our campsite. We camped there for one night and it was so effing cold!! Note to self: next time I want to go camping BRING ALL YOUR WINTER CLOTHES, JACKETS, DUVETS. No I’m kidding, but it was cold though. I did feel like I was back in Denmark in the early winter months. It was really nice camping though. We had a bonfire and did the typical: roast marshmallows, make wannabe smores out of roasted marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies (not too successful but still very much eatable) and tell scary stories.

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How awesome is the view from the Grevillea lookout? And this was only halfway up!

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Next day we packed up and did another 6,5 hours. This route was mostly down hill which actually turned out to be not as easy as I thought. When you walk a lot down hill you put a lot of pressure on your knees compared to going up hill where you can activate your glutes and thighs when walking. Anywho, on our way down I got to see my very first wild life kangaroo! They jump so fast though!!

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We ended up walking for a total of 24 km, this including a few detours. Some because we got lost or wanted to see  caves, which we btw had no luck with finding. As we driving from the mountain we saw a lot more of wild kangaroos! Can you tell how new I am in this country yet?? I get too excited about the smallest things.

Where have you been hiking at? And do you know of any great places around Brisbane to hike and great views besides Mount Coo Tha? If you do let me know in the comment box below!

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