Dear readers, I am very delighted to post this article by Marie Nieves. It’s a great post about Australia and tips on where to stay, eat and what to do. I feel very honored to finally have a post on my blog about Australia. Because my first travels as a vegan have been to Australia. So, thank you very much Marie!
I have a confession to make: I love to travel but I simply can’t settle for a trip that’s cut out and served on a fancy plate. I’m a huge believer in freedom and custom-tailored holiday deals, and I want to have my adventures my way anywhere I go, thank you very much. As it happens, I’ve travelled Australia far and wide over the past couple of years, and I’d be happy to fill in vegans who’re about to embark on a daring exploration of the Land Down Under on hotels, restaurants, and attractions handpicked by yours truly. If you’re going the Aussie way any time soon, include these cities in your trip agenda and you’ll be loving every minute of your stay in the country.
As the country’s capital, Canberra is a perfect destination for first-time Australia visitors. If you love summer heat, the best time to visit Canberra is November-February. If you want to avoid the peak tourist season, however, you can book your accommodation in a cooler month such as March or April.
Where to Stay: Peppers Gallery Hotel, 15 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra
A place where modern art marries advanced technology and luxury accommodation, Peppers Gallery Hotel is situated in the heart of Canberra, within walking distance from the city’s main attractions such as National Museum of Australia, Questacon, and the Parliament House.
Where to Eat: Sweet Bones Bakery & Café, 8/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
Sweet Bones Baker is what you get if you put together organic whole foods, vegan recipes, and a laid-back, rustic backdrop, with just a touch of Wild West and rock ’n’ roll. I fell in love with their CocoWhip at first bite, and I promise you’ll love it too.
What to Do: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton
A go-to for first-time Canberra visitors, the National Museum of Australia will take you on a fascinating tour of the country’s history, culture, arts, and lifestyle. With over 200,000 exhibits, the Museum’s National Historical Collection is the Holy Grail of Australian historical heritage, so be sure to check it out.
The second most populous city in Australia, Melbourne belongs on every traveler’s bucket list. The best time to visit the southern Australian jewel is March-October, as summer temperatures tend to get pretty high here – as high as 46°C in February, the hottest month of the year.
Where to Stay: The Como, 630 Chapel Street, South Yarra
If you’re going to spend your holiday in Melbourne, you may well do it in style. The Como’s an institution with a reputation for celebrity sightings and premium hotel amenities such as jacuzzi, the grand piano, and lavishly adorned rooms.
Where to Eat: Yong Green Food, 421 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
If you’re hankering after plant-based delights, check in at Yong Green Food and sate your hunger on tastiest vegan noms in Melbourne. The restaurant interior’s as tastefully thought-out as the menu which features raw, vegan, organic, gluten-free, and Asian delicacies.
What to Do: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra
A haven for nature aficionados, Royal Botanic Gardens spans 38 hectares of land and it’s a home to over 10,000 exotic and local plant species. Pro tip: to truly savor the Gardens, set aside an entire afternoon for the tour, and be sure to dip your pinkie in the Yarra River just for kicks.
The fourth largest city in Australia, Perth is slowly climbing up the country’s tourism ladder fast, so you’d better check it out before its streets get crowded with throngs of tourists.
Where to Stay: Mantra on Hay, 201 Hay Street, East Perth
If you’re after city fun, Mantra on Hay is the perfect spot to call your home away from home. In the centre of Perth’s CBD and within a walk from buzzing bars and bustling markets, Mantra has a room that suits every tourist’s vacationing style and budget. As a swimming fanatic, I loved the fact that I could take a long, refreshing dip at a heated indoor rooftop pool.
Where to Eat: Little Bird Café, 63, Bennett Street, Northbridge
If you’re into delicious smoothies and all-day breakfast deals, Little Bird is just the café that fits your bill. Known for its cozy, home-vibe interiors, the café serves first-rate smoothies, brunches, and vegan delights centered on fresh, organic ingredients. Simply scrumptious!
What to Do: Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Western edge of Perth’s CBD
If you’re looking for the Garden of Eden, head to Kings Park. A place where nature thrives in all her glory, Kings Park and Botanic Garden is home to over 300 native plant varieties and 80 bird species. Due to its impressive biodiversity, the park is a real magnet for tourists, and its annual visitor count exceeds 5 million.
Over at the top of the list of Australian landmarks, Sydney is the most popular destination for both first-time and seasoned visitors. The Opera House, Sea House Aquarium, and Harbor Bridge are only a few attractions on the list of Sydney born ‘n’ bread tourist attractions. Whatever your sightseeing preferences may be, Sydney won’t disappoint.
Where to Stay: The Old Clare Hotel, 1 Kensington Street, Chippendale
If you want to get the biggest comfort bang for your accommodation buck, The Old Clare Hotel is the place to go. With its unique old-meets-new charm, superb food, and premium service, the boutique hotel over on Kensington Street is one of Sydney’s best-kept tourist secrets. I loved the laid-back yet unmistakably contemporary feel of the two-bed rooms, and the staff went out of their way to make me feel at home.
Where to Eat: Green Gourmet, 115 King Street, Newtown
A family-owned restaurant with first-class foodie delights, Green Gourmet is known throughout Sydney for its organic and gluten-free delicacies. If you’re into traditional Chinese dishes, cakes, and homemade tofu ice cream, you’ll be glad to hear that the restaurant menu packs as many as 133 items, which is more than enough to sate any vegan’s plant-loving tooth.
What to Do: The Rocks, Sydney city center
A historic locality and tourist precinct, the Rocks is one of Sydney’s top attractions in for a good reason. A place where craft stores thrive side by side with vintage-looking diners, galleries, and other arts venues, the Rocks is a great place for history and culture fans to pick up a few lessons on the city’s past and its ways.
If Queensland’s on your travel agenda, don’t forget to stop by Brisbane at least for a day tour. A city that brings together a range of foreign influences, the city on the east Australian shore will show you the many faces of the Land Down Under and inspire you to return again and again for a fresh dose of Brisbane’s diversity, culture, and fun.
Where to Stay: Gambaro Hotel, 29 Caxton Street, Brisbane City
A byword for luxury and unparalleled service, Gambaro Hotel may be up in the pricier lane, but it made the top of my list of Brisbane hotels because it’s worth the extra ka-ching. An award-winning hotel in the city downtown, the hotel is famous for its world-class catering and lavish rooms, and it also offers cool honeymoon deals to newlyweds.
Where to Eat: Mirch Masala Chaat Court, 3/110 Logan Road, Woolloongabba
If you want to add some Indian aromas to your Brisbane bites, try Chaat at Mirch Masala. Although the store has limited plant-based menu, it’s by far worth a vegan tourist’s cash. When in doubt, ask the staff to help you pick the tastiest vegan treat of the day: those guys are by far the most obliging store assistants I’ve come across so far.
What to Do: GOMA, Stanley Pl, South Brisbane
To spice up your Brisbane adventure with a dose of arts, head over to GOMA. Australia’s largest modern and contemporary art gallery, GOMA is known across the world for its breath-taking exhibitions featuring paintings, sculptures, and ornamental objects created by Australian and international artists.
I love every inch of Australia, and I can’t wait to embark on another wild adventure across the amazing country. I think the Land Down Under has yet much to show me – and if you haven’t been there already, make sure to put that mistake right before long. Bon voyage!
About the author
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.