Looking for Australia travel tips and the best places to visit in Australia?
Of course, there are some places that you have to go - Ayers Rock, Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef spring to mind. But what about those places that the locals don't want you to know about? The places they want to keep all to themselves? Read on, as this local is about to spill the beans.
The Beaches around Sydney
Most visitors head to Bondi Beach. I guess you have to visit it at least once but you don't have to spend much time here. I'd recommend getting off the main Campbell Parade and heading up some of the side streets. You'll find much better food and cafes here and I'd recommend Hall Street (Ravesis is on the corner.)
From Bondi you should do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. It takes you right along the cliff edge and the views are stunning. It's a little hilly and there are steps in places so pick a good time of the day to do this walk. Stop off at Bronte Beach. Now this is a Sydney beach that the locals love. It's smaller than Bondi, generally full of locals and has a great green area behind for ball games and there's BBQ facilities too. The small strip of cafes here are lovely. Swell at the end is the most upmarket and good for a treat. Jennies and the Bogey Hole are more value for money and do great breakfasts.
Sydney's best beaches can be found in the Northern Beaches. It means getting out of the city. You can catch a bus that will take you all the way to Palm Beach. It takes about an hour and a half though so its better to hire a car so you can stop off where you fancy. I'd try Dee Why as the beach and cafes are great. Avalon is good for browsing its boutique shops and a stop off at the Newport Arms Pub is a great way to experience a real Australian Pub, overlooking Pittwater River.
My favourite beaches up there are Whale Beach and Palm Beach. There is a restaurant at Whale beach called Jonah's. It's expensive and is strictly for a special occasion, but the view is stunning. Palm Beach is where "Home and Away" is filmed and has very orange sand. There's Barren Joey Lighthouse that you can climb and I recommend having lunch at Barren Joey's Guesthouse. The interior is delightful and the there are glimpses of Pittwater opposite.
The Bay of Fires, Tasmania
Tasmania itself is a hidden gem as most tourists fail to make it here. That's a big mistake as this state offers dramatic scenery. Some would say its the best scenery in Australia. The key tourist sites are Cradle Mountain and Wine Glass Bay. Head north though and visit the Bay of Fires. A protected area, the sand here is so white, it's blinding and the waters are bright blue.
To really appreciate this area, consider doing the 4 day Bay of Fires Walk. You get to see amazing scenery and stay in some wonderful accommodation. The most famous of which is the Bay of Fires Lodge. If you don't want to do the walk, you can still stay in the lodge providing that it's outside the walking season. Dates the lodge is available is between 9th May and 15th September.