Sunshine Coast to Cairns & Further North – Road Trip, Australia

After I finished my time as an AuPair on the Sunshine Coast, my plan was to travel up north once again so that I could leave Australia from Cairns to go to Bali.

Even though I’ve already travelled the East Coast with my family in a caravan from Cairns to Sydney, we only had a very short time for this long distance and therefore I didn’t felt like I had actually seen much of it.

Luckily a friend of mine, that I met right at the beginning of my travels in Melbourne about 8 months before wanted to join me for this trip and so we had a really great road trip together.

Before, we already did a little mini road trip in Wilsons Promontory, Victoria for a few days, to see if we would fit together travelling in a small camper and after travelling on my own for a long time, I was really happy to share this experience.

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Home on Wheels

We rented a camper at travellers-autobarn for little over a month in Brisbane and he picked me up on the Sunshine Coast, where we stayed for the first two days.

In the beginning, when you get your new car, everything feels weird, not homie and you might wonder how you are going to survive five weeks in this little space. But after everything has it’s place and you are into a routine, you can really imagine how people live in vans fulltime.

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On the Road

Because we had over 5 weeks for our trip, we could really stop wherever we wanted and only had to plan for a few days in advance, never rushed to get anywhere in time.

I know that is not the case for everyone, but I will just share out experience and the best places we visited and you can pick and choose what places you actually want to/have time to go to and I bet that there are still places that we haven’t visited ether – Australia just has so much to offer!

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Money Money Money

I tried to write down what we spend on this trip, but it is really hard to remember. Also, the costs really depend on season, if you try to find free camps as much as possible, if you eat out or do lots of activities and trips.

I’d say we spend around 700$ + 600$ for the costs of the van for those 5 weeks. So it was definitely not a cheap month on my travels. But on the other hand we went to soo many places, did so many amazing things, had the freedom of our own car to go places and that was definitely worth it.

When you first hear camping and van life, you think of a very cheap way of travelling. But actually renting a car, fuel & campgrounds are pretty pricey. It’s probably cheaper to travel by Greyhound Bus and sleep in cheap hostels but you don’t have the freedom of your own car to go places…

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FOOOOOD

As I said, the costs of your trip also really depend on what you eat, what you buy & cook and how much you eat out. And we definitely weren’t super thrifty.

Food is a really big passion of mine. I love eating out, trying restaurants and healthy eating and cooking is important for me and I would rather spend a bit more money on it – in my opinion, that’s worth it.

We did cook mainly vegan (meat and cheese is pretty expensive anyways). Lot’s of chickpea curries, wraps with egg or falafel, avo toasts, porridge, burgers & sandwiches…

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But we also loved a good Aussie brekkie in a nice café and with an epic view. Coffee is also pretty expensive, so I’d recommend not having coffee out all the time.

App Recommendations

There are some apps that have been really helpful to plan our trip, find free camps, find campgrounds, free toilets, water to refill our tank and to find cheap fuel.

  • Campermate
  • Fuel Map
  • Here we go
  • Wikicamper

As well as google maps obviously :D

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Our Trip

Our trip started on the Sunshine Coast, where I was living with my AuPair Family at that time. James picked me up and we spend one day in the Hinterlands of the Sunny Coast with another friend of mine.

We went to the Glasshouse Mountains, Maleny & Montville. A very beautiful landscape and drive and two very cute little mountain towns, that are pretty touristy (in a good way) and offer a lot for daytrippers.

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Then we continued to Rainbow Beach and had a night in Maryborough, before we went to Hervey Bay & Fraser Island.

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In the Bundaberg region we went to Coral Cove and Mon Repos Conservation Park. A very beautiful place where you can learn a lot about sea turtles and if you are lucky (and there at the right time) you can even see baby turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean.

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We further north to Rockhampton and Yeppel, where we stayed for two nights to have one full day on Great Keppel Island. A very small and beautiful tropical island where you can hike, explore, snorkel and enjoy – without many other tourists!

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In Mackay, we stayed at my friend’s families place and explored Eugella NP. I would really recommend going there as you can very likely see wild Platypus at Broken River
– which is really special, as they are super shy. And the Finch Hatton Gorge is very nice to have a cooling bath as well.

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Afterwards, we went to the famous Cape Hillsborough NP where you can experience a sunrise with Kangaroos at the Beach. Unfortunately, it was foggy in the morning, but nevertheless, this place is really beautiful.

Also, I can highly recommend doing the walk to the Turtle Lookout as we saw soo many turtles and the water has an epic colour.

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We spend a few nights in Airly Beach. Had breakfast at the Fat Frog with a beautiful view. Went to the Cedar Creek Falls, did a two-day sailing tour with Southern Cross to the Whitsundays and to snorkel & I also did my very first SkyDive which was such an epic experience and a really awesome view!

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Further north we stopped in Bowen for a night and went snorkelling at Horseshoe Bay – a really nice place to go to.

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I really fell in love with Townsville. The view from the Castle Hill for sunset is amazing and we also enjoyed an adventurous day on Magnetic Island.

Magnetic is really great for snorkeling, hiking, exploring and they also have some cute cafés, but it is definitely a more common and more touristy place than the Keppel Islands – very worth it though.

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Next up was exploring Little Cristal Creek, Jourama Falls and Wallaman Falls. A very beautiful area and we had so much fun exploring all day, swimming and wondering around.

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Mission Beach is probably a really beautiful place, but unfortunately, it was not the best weather, so we couldn’t really enjoy it to the fullest. We still did some rainforest walks and did a little Lookout drive around.

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Somewhere I really wanted to go was the Milla Milla waterfalls circuit. A bit off the Coastline but so worth going there in my opinion.

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In Cairns, we again stayed at my friends families place at Palm Cove / Clifton Beach and I can really recommend this area. Central Cairns isn’t really that special, but the northern Beaches are so beautiful!

The lagoon in Cairns is really nice as it is a free swimming pool area and the Art Gallery is really nice as well if you like to see some local and aboriginal art – it’s free to visit too!

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We went on a day-trip to Fitzroy Island, which I can really recommend, to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef from the Island.

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Also went to the rainforest village Koranda for a day to explore the markets and go to the Butterfly Sanctuary.

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Obviously, we had to do another boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef for a day. They are so worth the money as it is so fun to snorkel and I also did my very first scuba dive trial which was a lot of fun as well.

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From Cairns, we went up further north: along the famous beach with stone architecture to Port Douglas, to then go even further to Daintree Village to do a Croc Tour on Daintree river.

We crossed the river with the ferry to go into Daintree rainforest. The ice cream at the Ice Cream Company is really amazing and so worth a stop as they have flavours of fruits you have never seen or heard of before – and they taste so epic and tropical!

That’s why I also decided to do a fruit tasting in Cape Tribulation to try all different kinds of tropical fruits and learn about them – so interesting, fun and delicious.

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We had such an epic time on our road trip and even though I would say I’ve seen a lot of Australia and had such a long time there – I still feel like I really need to come back to explore more and to go back to places I love.

Being in Australia for 10 months and really feeling like I belong there. I am already excited to come back!

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My last picture in Australia <3

Nachhaltige Geschenkideen & Verpackungen // #lesswaste

Endlich ist wieder Weihnachtszeit! Es duftet nach Orangenschalen, Zimt und Fruchtpunsch, Plätzchen werden gebacken und Geschenke für die Liebsten gekauft und verpackt.

Da ich im letzten Jahr in Australien nur wenig wirkliche Weihnachtsgefühle verspürt habe, freue ich mich jetzt umso mehr auf die gemütlichste Zeit des Jahres. Allerdings gibt es auch so einige Bedenken und Veränderungen, da mich Nachhaltigkeit auch (oder vor allem) in der Weihnachtszeit beschäftigt.

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Ich will mir gar nicht ausmalen wie viel Müll vor allem im Dezember produziert wird. Die Schaufenster sind überladen mit Zeug und Gedöns. Menschen kaufen Pullover, die sie nur einen Monat im Jahr tragen können, Unmengen an Schokoladenweihnachtsmännern, Lebkuchen, Plätzchen und Pralinen werden eigens für das große Fest produziert und verpackt und das bei diesen Mengen nicht alle in unseren glücklichen Bäuchen landen können, ist bereits klar. Päckchen werden mit dem schönsten Papier ummantelt und der größten Schleife versehen, nur um unter dem Weihnachtsbaum schön auszusehen. Und dann?

Letztendlich werden zu Weihnachten nicht nur unsere Schubladen und Mägen gefüllt, sondern vor allem auch unsere Mülltonnen und um dem etwas entgegenzuwirken möchte ich euch ein paar Ideen mit auf den Weg zu geben um eure Wunschzettel, Einkaufswägen und Geschenkverpackungen nachhaltig zu gestalten.

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Nachhaltige Geschenkverpackungen

Ohne die Verpackung, ist ein Geschenk nur halb so spannend. Es ist gerade schön etwas zu überreichen, was zumindest kurz eine Überraschung ist und die leuchtenden Augen des Beschenkten zu sehen, wenn er das Geschenk auspackt und sich über den Inhalt freut.

Das dabei jedes Jahr mehrere Rollen ausschließlich zum Verpacken produziertes beschichtetes Papier, teilweise sogar mit Glitzer versehen draufgeht ist jedoch wirklich nicht notwendig.

Um euch ein paar Ideen zu geben, wie man Geschenke nachhaltig verpacken kann, habe ich ein kleines IGTV Video gedreht im dem ich euch zeige, wie man wunderschöne Verpackungen aus „Müll“ macht.

Dafür eignen sich Zeitungen oder Recycling-Papier, welches man bei Bestellungen im Internet oder wenn man z.B. etwas bei Depot kauft bekommt. Genauso gut kann man natürlich auch Boxen,Papier  oder Tüten und natürlich Band und Schleifen wiederverwenden, die man selbst einmal geschenkt bekommen hat.

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Nachhaltige Geschenkideen

  • Naturkosmetik (von Weleda, i+m, Aveda…)
  • Seifenstücke wie den Duschbrocken*
  • Praktische Dinge wie eine Metall-Wasserflasche oder -Brotdose, Holzbesteck für Unterwegs, Metallstrohhalme…
  • Praktische Geschenke, die der andere wirklich braucht und benutzt (einfach mal nachfragen! Es muss ja nicht immer eine Überraschung sein!)

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  • Gebrauchtes: Was ist so schlimm daran für Kinder Lego zu kaufen, womit bereits ein anderes Kind gespielt hat? Oder ein Buch zu verschenken, welches ein anderer bereits gelesen hat?
  • Digitales: Ein Abo für eine (nachhaltige?) Zeitschrift, jedoch digital. Oder ein ebook Kochbuch.
  • Selbstgemachtes: Keine verpackte Schokolade. Lieber selbstgemachte Plätzchen, Riegel, Gewürzmischungen, Backmischungen oder auch Badesalz oder Peelings.
  • Gutscheine mit denen man etwas anfangen kann (eine schöne Massage, Bio-Laden, nachhaltige Online Stores)
  • Rabatt Hafte für eine Region (in Leipzig gab es ein nachhaltiges Rabatt-Heft für Leipzig und Halle für 9€ durch welches man z.B. 10% Rabatt in einem Unverpackt-Laden, den 2. Kaffee umsonst in einem Café, eine Gratis Vorspeise im Restaurant uvm. bekommt. Dadurch spart man immer etwas Geld und wird dazu angeregt neue Läden und Cafés auszuprobieren und mehr zu Entdecken. Gleichzeitig ist es auch immer ein Geschenk für gemeinsame Zeit und schöne Erlebnisse)
  • 10er Karte für einen Sportkurs oder Yogastunden
  • Spenden! Wenn man alles hat, warum nicht etwas geben. Spenden um Bäume zu pflanzen, Kinder zu ernähren, Schulen zu bauen, Schulmaterial, Korallen zu pflanzen, Tiere zu schützen, ein Stück Wald kaufen… es gibt so viele Möglichkeiten.
  • Erlebnisse und gemeinsame Zeit! Das ist sowieso das allerschönste.

Wir müssen alle gemeinsam einfach damit aufhören diese Verpflichtung zu verspüren zu jedem Anlass und an jeden etwas Verschenken zu müssen. So oft bekommt man die unnötigsten Sachen, weil dem anderen nichts besseres eingefallen ist und man eigentlich ja auch alles hat was man braucht.

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Wir müssen aufhören uns ständig gegenseitig vollzumüllen – mit Kerzen, unnötiger Deko, oder Beauty-Produkten zu überladen, die kein Mensch braucht oder haben will. Das Geld sollte jeder einfach in seiner eigenen Tasche stecken lassen und wenn man mal wirklich eine tolle Idee hat, worüber sich der andere tatsächlich freut und womit er tatsächlich etwas anfangen kann, dann kann man auch lieber mal mehr Geld ausgeben.

Wir müssen mit diesem ganzen unnötigen Konsum aufhören!

Versteht mich nicht falsch. Ich liebe es zu schenken und natürlich auch ein schönes Geschenk zu bekommen. Aber dann, wenn jemand sich dabei wirklich etwas gedacht hat oder ich damit etwas anfangen kann und mich dann immer daran erinnere, wenn ich es benutze. Der Gedanke dahinter ist das schöne, nicht das Geschenk an sich.

Da bekomme ich lieber nur eine süße selbstgemachte Karte mit ein paar lieben Worten und etwas Süßes (etwas, was ich auch wirklich essen möchte! Und nicht den hundertsten Schoko-Weihnachtsmann :D ), anstelle von Dingen die nur rumliegen und einstauben.

Redet mit euren Freunden und Familie! Sagt, was ihr euch wünscht, wenn ihr eine Idee habt. Wünscht euch explizit Bücher (oder andere Dinge) die gebraucht sind. Beschenkt euch nicht sondern unternehmt etwas schönes zusammen. Oder wichtelt, sodass jeder Freund nur einem anderen etwas schenkt und habt dann lieber ein etwas höheres Budget, damit man auch wirklich etwas vernünftiges kaufen kann. Oder beschenkt euch nur, wenn ihr eine wirklich gute Idee habt.

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Selbstgemachtes

  • Jaw full of Moments (ein schönes Einwegglas mit kleinen Zetteln auf denen ihr  gemeinsame schöne Momenten, Situationen, Konversationen und Lacher festhaltet)
  • Plätzchen in der Weihnachtszeit als eine kleine Aufmerksamkeit
  • selbstgemachte Süßigkeiten, Riegel, Energy-Balls anstelle von gekauften, ungesunden und abgepackten Süßigkeiten
  • ein selbst gestaltetes Fotobuch oder Kalender
  • Pflanzen in einem schönen Übertopf (hält länger als Blumen)
  • selbstgemachtes Badesalz oder Peeling

Schreibt euch das Jahr über auf wenn euch eine Idee in den Sinn kommt oder ein Freund/Familienmitglied etwas erwähnt und schreibt auch selbst eine Liste mit Dingen, die ihr gebrauchen könnt. So hat man dann auch wirklich etwas von seinen Geschenken, wenn man sie ohnehin braucht.

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Gemeinsame Erlebnisse

  • einen Tagesausflug in eine Stadt oder in eine schöne Region zum wandern, spazieren gehen, ins Café setzen, Tourist sein oder für ein dortiges Event (z.B. zum Poetry Slam, Theater, Ballett etc.)
  • zusammen ein drei Gänge Menü kochen (das habe ich selbst mal von meiner besten Freundin geschenkt bekommen und hier ist unser Veganes 3-Gänge Menü)
  • Konzert, Theater, Musical oder Ballett Karten (evtl. in Kombination mit Essen gehen)
  • Einladung zum Frühstücken oder Brunchen
  • 2 Nächte in einem AirBnB für ein Wochenendtrip

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Meine Wunschliste

Das sind Dinge, die ich mir über das Jahr aufgeschrieben habe.

  • Die Bücherdiebin (gebraucht)
  • Metall-Brotbüchse
  • Aluminium Trinkflasche
  • hochwertige Ohrstecker für mein zweites Ohrloch
  • einen Kalender bzw. Planer für 2020
  • eine 10er Karte für ein Studio die Yoga, Pilates, Boxen und Fitnesskurse anbieten
  • meinen Flug nach Australien mit einer Spende zu kompensieren

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Lasst uns die schönste Zeit des Jahres gemeinsam genießen und nicht mit stressigem Weihnachtsshopping, unnötigem Konsum und Müll verschwenden, sondern uns auf das besinnen was wichtig ist:

Liebe, Freundschaft und Familie, gutes Essen, gemeinsame Zeit und schöne Momente!

Was haltet ihr von nachhaltigen Geschenken, was sind eure Ideen und wie findet ihr meine Verpackungsideen?


*Werbung/PR-Sample. Wie immer mache ich nur Werbung für Produkte, die ich wirklich liebe!

Food Porn in SYDNEY – mostly VEGAN Food Guide

Sydney is the best place to eat vegan that I have ever been to. So many health food cafés, restaurants and so many completely vegan places.

I already wrote a general Travel Guide for Sydney with all my tips on where to go, what to do and also some important things to know. So this post is supposed to be the addition to that, talking about all the food hotspots, cafés and restaurants that I tested and loved and recommend to you!

I hope you are ready for some serious mostly vegan + mostly healthy food porn!

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But before I start with the restaurants & cafés, you definitely need to check if the SYDNEY VEGAN MARKET is on! They host it once a month and it’s a paradise for vegans and foodies (and vegan foodies obviously). Unfortunately, I never made it there, but I would do everything to go there next time.

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Speedos Café, Bondi Beach

Goals for every food blogger and photographer. This place is not just heaven for the mouth but also for the eyes. Vegan banana pancake stack, different avocado toast options, amazing juices & smoothies, and a berry-licious breakfast pannacotta. Sounds like a dream? It is. I’ve been there twice and even though it’s pretty loud and squishy, the food is just 100% worth it.

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Bodhi, Asian Vegan Restaurant

Located near Hyde Park and St. Mary’s Cathedral this restaurant overlooks into Cook + Phillip Park and has a wonderfully quiet location. The menu is completely vegan and offers so many different meals and little dishes that it is hard to choose. It is a bit more pricy but soo delicious and great to order different things and share with friends and family.

I remember the Japanese taco, cauliflower chicken, spring rolls, mushroom dumplings and „nachos“ as super delicious.

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Café in Westfield Shopping Centre Burwood

For my last breakfast with my parents, we found this little surprise in the Westfield Shopping Centre in Burwood. We didn’t expect to find something that delicious and pretty in a shopping centre, but we got surprised.

Avocado and poached egg on black sourdough with beet hummus, fruity honey crunchy muesli on yogurt and I also had a great Acai bowl. Super photogenic and great taste – we did not expect that at all! Only the juices where disappointing because they weren’t fresh pressed and super watery…

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Shift Eatery, Surry Hills

I saw them on Instagram and immediately knew that I had to try one of their toasties. 100% vegan, fresh sourdough, tofu ham, creamy „cheese“, garlic aioli and tomato – so freaking delicious and they had so many more options. Vegan bacon, sauerkraut on toast, breakfast toasties and other deliciousnesses. Perfect snack or lunch when walking around in the city all day.

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Preach Café, Bondi Beach

At daytime an epic breakfast and lunch spot. In the evening an 100% vegan restaurant. Unfortunately, I only tried their dinner and not one of their healthy buddha bowls, vegan pancakes or acai bowls, but I can really recommend their vegan mac’n cheese, burger and nacho bowl.

Cali Press, Bondi Beach

Famous for acai bowls, sandwiches and toasts, juices and smoothies. They offer many different options and everything I had was really good. They also make all their juices themselves and you can order juice cleanses with them.

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Lentils as Anything, Newtown

I discovered this amazing chain in Melbourne. They have a daily changing menu with three different all vegan meals and you pay as much as you want/can in the end. I like the vibe & food in Melbourne better, but it was still a super delicious vegan health lunch.

Toast Café, Surry Hills

Australians just love their breakfast. That’s why they have so many cafés that do amazing all day breakfast and so we had no struggles finding a new place to eat every day (and for ever meal).

And even if their Avo toast contains fetta or poached egg, it’s never a problem to ask for vegan options!

Max and Co, Manly

I love good Mexican food, but I think it can be boring and similar everywhere you go. It’s always Burrito, Nachos, Tacos, Enchiladas and Quesadillas. But if a restaurant really knows how to do it nicely, it’s so delicious. And this place in Manly really did it great! But still not as good as the Mexican restaurant I went to in Byron Bay.

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The Sandwich Shop, Haymarket

Between all the big skyscrapers and offices you find amazing bistros to eat lunch or have a snack. Because that’s what the Sydneyaner and business people do in their break as well. At lunchtime, you see so many of them meeting for a quick lunch or coffee with friends, business partners or just to eat and be outside.

At The Sandwich Shop, you get super healthy sandwichs, wraps or salads and mine, with avocado and hummus was really good!

Umu Vegetarian, Bondi Beach

Breakfast heaven, snack bar, lunch spot and daily dinner menu – all vegetarian. Me and my friend shared a dream of a breakfast. Vegan avocado toast, sweet potato zucchini breakfast stack with beetroot hummus and vegan cheese and a berry ricotta pancake. Everything was so so good!

Jet Café & Restaurant, Townhall

I’ve been there 4 times, I know, crazy. Never to eat lunch because it’s pretty expensive, but to have cake. Because their carrot cake is heavenly, so moist, creamy and with pecans on top and it’s only 5$ (3€).

Lord of the Fries

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Surfers Paradise. This chain is slowly taking over Australia (and hopefully the world soon) with their completely vegan menu of burgers, hot dogs, nuggets and fries. Not healthy and definitely fast food, but you can find all those „cheese burger“, „bacon and egg breakfast burger“, „fish burger“ and more made vegan – how amazing is that! No need to mention that it tastes amazing.

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Two Daughters, Surry Hills

Super cute hippie café that offers amazing vegan options. I had a tofu scramble avocado toast and their juices were really good too.

 


Oh and by the way… it’s not just Sydney that is amazing when it comes to healthy food places, vegan meals and beautiful cafés and restaurants. Australia in general is so so good when it comes to amazing food!

Melbourne is probably Nr. 2 on the vegan heaven! Here are my tips. And I also made a ‚Eating out vegan – What I Eat‚ blog post.

Byron Bay – Acai bowls, fresh coconuts and raw vegan treats everywhere you look around. I tested many places and still haven’t tried them all, but here you find my top tips for you.

Perth also has many great places and I love seeing vegan options everywhere. Here are my tested places.


And there are more blog posts and food guides in planning. One for the whole East Coast and general (vegan) food tips for Australia. A Sunshine Coast food guide because they just know how to make the best breakfast. And I am also freaking excited to eat out in Bali soon!

Which Cities can you recommend for great (healthy & vegan) food? Have you tried a few of these places in Sydney? What are your favourite meals when eating out?