Short Stay in Brisbane, Back to Syndey, Going to the Opera and Saying Goodbye | Diary 010

Friday 9/11

We enjoyed a last breakfast in Surfers Paradise and then took the bus to go to Brisbane.
This time we rented an Airbnb in Petite Terrace, only 15 minutes by foot away from the city centre. It was a very nice place and we had an amazing breakfast-/ and sunset views every day.

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We walked a bit through the centre, looked around, went food shopping and cooked dinner while watching the sunset.

Saturday 10/11

Saturday was market day at Devies Park, so we walked to West End and I completely fell for that cute market.
A lot of much cheaper fruits and veggies than in the supermarket…
…and so many great food stands with amazing smelling baked goods, yummy food, amazing banana bread, falafel, cute purses and more.

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After shopping a lot of good stuff, we walked back and it was so so hot in comparison to Sydney before – you could really feel that you just travelled 1000 kilometres. So we made a small siesta.

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I bought avocado toast with scrambled tofu and tomato chutney at the market from a completely vegan food stand and it was so so delicious!

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Afterwards, we walked to the Botanical Garden and strolled along the river.

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Sunday 11/11

On Sunday we went to another market, as there is not just one market every day in Brisbane (like in Melbourne), but there are different ones on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.


We went to West End again and there is a vegan market every two weeks and I was so in love! We tried vegan Donuts that where so fluffy and yummy and I had a vegan coconut ice cream with fruit and rawnola which was so good as well. They had so much yummy food there: Asian, Lebanesian, Pizza, cupcakes and more and I wish I would have been able to try it all!

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Afterwards we went to the Streets Beach in South Brisbane also called ‘the Lagune’ and it is super nice there. Almost feels like a beach with the sand, but it’s human made and in the middle of the city. It was super nice to relax in the heat and we really enjoyed the afternoon.

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Monday 12/11

The next day, we went to the beach again and chilled there for the whole day.

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At night, after dinner we went to the cinema as it was 8$ cinema Monday and we watched ‘A Star is Born’ which was such a wonderful movie! Truly one of the best ones I saw in a while and I am in love with the film music! We also had some treats and just a great night overall.

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Tuesday 13/11

Today we decided to go to the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane which was nice.

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We had ‘Bagel Boys’ Bagels for lunch that were super delicious – I really love bagels and it reminds me of Canada, because we always had them on our vacation there.

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And we couldn’t help ourselves having Gelato Messina’s Ice Cream once again as their Ice Cream is just the best! Even though it is so expensive…

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Wednesday 14/11

Wednesday was market day again right in the city centre and they once again had a lot of food stands and I wished again to be able to try it all :D I’m just such a foody!
And then we went to the Lagune again… yep, we loved it there as you can tell.

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Thursday 15/11

On Thursday we had to leave our Airbnb and Brisbane behind to fly back to Sydney.
Originally we planned to take the train instead of the plane but unfortunately, it is cheaper (and quicker obviously) to fly… very sad for my eco-heart, but I’ll try to avoid flying if possible from now on.
We arrived late in the evening in Bellevue Hill, which is not far from Bondi Beach, we had Quesadillas for dinner (alright, but I just don’t like the taste of soo much cheese anymore..).
Out Airbnb was super cute, small but very clean and our host was so lovely. Those where two last nights for Lisa’s and my trip together and I already knew that I would miss her and having a travel buddy in general, as well as staying in Airbnb’s instead of hostels. They are so much quieter and more private, even though I also really enjoy the hostel-life usually.

Friday 16/11

On our last whole day together, we had an last exciting thing on our to-do list: we went to see a ballet training and behind the scenes of Spartacus and Cinderella ballet.
It was so great to see professional dancers so close in their training, practicing and I would have loooved to see the real performance for both (Stücke), but unfortunately the tickets are pretty expensive. But it was still such a great experience and I would recommend to everyone who loves ballet or theatre to ask for behind the scenes tickets (they were only around 30$).

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For lunch we had Sushi Hub (the last time for Lisa eating super cheap and delicious sushi rolls…) and of course we had to go to Jet Café Bar once againto  eat their carrot cake again.
We shopped some souvenirs and treats that Lisa wanted to take home with her to let her friends try, because they have many different things (a bit like in the US) here when it comes to sweets. For example triple chocolate Twix, chocolate mind Kit Kat and of course the famous Tim Tams!


Back at our Airbnb we had a relaxed last night together with a delicious candle light dinner (sweet potato, salad and homemade guacamole) and just laid in bed, ate chocolate and watched series…

Saturday 17/11

Before both of our flights where meant to leave in the evening, we had some time to go to Bond Junction and have a look around in the Westfield shopping centre. Lisa was looking for a bikini/bathing suit the whole trip but she never found something that she loved – but if that’s the case in Australia, I don’t know how to help her :D I could have already bought 20 new bikinis!


For lunch we ate burgers at Grill’d that I wanted to try for a while already. They have a vegan Cheeseburger that was very delicious, but it missed on some greens and tomato to be the perfect burger in my opinion and their sweet potato fries where weird: wedges not fries and seasoned very spicy…but it was still yummy.
As you have probably already realised Lisa and I are real foodies. We love to eat, try new recipes, dishes and restaurants, go food shopping, look at food on Instagram and talk about food. We would both consider ourselves as trying to eat healthy (for me that means mostly vegan, for her high protein :D so pretty different) but we looove to have treats!
So we ended up having a last desert in the shopping centre. I had an apple Danish that was to die for: pastry, pudding and apple – such a good combo!


Afterwards, we had to leave for the airport and say goodbye to each other after being together 24/7 for three weeks. This time really (schweißen uns zusammen) and I am so happy what we did it! It will forever be in our memories and who knows, maybe we’ll end up travelling together again.
So she flew back home to Germany and I wanted to fly to Perth but unfortunately my flight got cancelled.
After some stressful calls, not knowing what to do, figuring out what to do… I ended up going to Bondi again (my happy place in Sydney) and now I’ll try to fly to Western Australia a few days later…

 

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Up North We Go! – Travelling the East Coast | Diary 009

After my cousin and I spend a wonderful week in the big city Sydney, it was time for us to drive through the countryside and explore some cute towns and cities up the east coast as we headed to Brisbane.

Unfortunately, we only had a week time to travel up north to Brisbane because my cousin only had three weeks of vacation in total, so we could only stay for one or two days at each place and had to minimise the stops.

That’s why I will probably travel this part of the East Coast once again myself and go to the places that we didn’t make it to this time.

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Sunday 4/11

Our one and only day in Port Macquarie started with pancakes for breakfast at Port Macquarie Backpackers. The hostel is super cute, very small and I really liked the relaxed and familiar atmosphere there.

We walked to the city centre, strolled through the streets and later on to the koala hospital. This is the highlight of Port Macquarie for sure and it is definitely worth to stop by.

At 3pm they do a free tour of the hospital where one of the volunteers tells a lot about the history of the hospital and its patients, how the koalas get treated, as well as some stories of already released patients.

It was super interesting and so nice to see koalas awake (they sleep about 20 hours per day, but at 3pm it is their meal time so they wake up) and very close, but without them being used as a show animal and to amuse tourists.

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Afterwards, we walked to the beach with the famous coloured stones and back to the hostel to eat and go to sleep early as we had to wake up in the middle of the night to catch our bus to go to Byron Bay.

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Monday 5/11

After trying to sleep half of the night in the bus we arrived in Byron Bay, had some struggles finding a place to store our bags for the day (because we couldn’t check in that early) and strolled through the city centre.

I really like Byron and its chilled, relaxed surfer vibes with cute little cafés, surf and bikini shops and stores with the cutes hippie chic fashion – I love it!

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In the afternoon we decided to do the lighthouse walk and started along the main beach, barefoot in the sand. Later, it got a bit steeper and it was super hot but we made it to the top and had an amazing view. I really want to do that walk once again for sunset as it must be magical lightning at that time!

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On that hike you also pass the most eastern point of the Australian main country and get to the famous lighthouse.

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On the way back you walk through a beautiful forest and see so many birds and plants.

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After the hike, we treated ourselves with some cake. I got a vegan chocolate berry cake and Lisa went for a berry cheesecake.

We checked into the best Airbnb we had on our whole trip. Super big, clean and calm.

 

 

I cooked some yummy cheesy vegan pasta. It only took me about 12 minutes and it’s healthy and delicious –  you can find the recipe and many more in my blog post on Quick, Cheap, Healthy & Vegan Dinner Recipes!

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From that day I got my first little sunburn ever :D I usually never get sunburned, but I probably didn’t apply sunscreen carefully enough. Luckily it didn’t hurt and was already gone after two days.

Tuesday 6/11

In the morning Lisa and I worked out in the Airbnb together and had breakfast afterwards.

We went to Tallow beach that was just two streets away from our home and we were almost completely alone at that beach. It is not the main beach in Byron Bay and very long so it felt almost like we had the whole beach to ourselves. But it was also pretty windy which means it was sandy and after that beach day, we had sand EVERYWHERE.

 

In the late afternoon, we walked to the city and I met Steph again who I met on the Outback tour and I was so so happy to catch up with her and see her before she left to go home to Guatemala a few days later.

 

Wednesday 7/11

The next morning we had a few hours left in the city before we drove further north to Surfers Paradise.

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Surfers Paradise is part of the Gold Coast. A part of the east coast south of Brisbane that is very long and includes many cities without endings and beginnings of new cities – they all flow into each other.

 

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At least the view from our Airbnb was nice :D

We walked through the centre of Surfers Paradise, sat at the beach and later drove to our Airbnb by Uber. That Airbnb was the least nicest and I wouldn’t recommend it, but it was cheap so we survived the two nights there :D

We went grocery shopping at Coles, cooked dinner and enjoyed the wi-fi (a big advantage for Airbnbs! Their internet is always so much better than in the hostels).

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Thursday 8/11

We worked out again that morning and had a wonderful view for our daily breakfast: porridge, cooked with oats, cinnamon and water, with fruit and some nuts on top.

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Then we walked to the city which was another good workout (1h 15 min) and talked a lot which made it way shorter and more enjoyable. Because the weather wasn’t that great, we sadly couldn’t make a beach day on the Gold Coast…

For lunch we decided to eat very unhealthy that day because we wanted to (and we deserved it :D ) and we had Domino’s pizza. They have a 5$ deal here in Australia with a few of their pizzas and I tried their pizza and their vegan cheese for the first time – and it was great! If I ever crave pizza again, I’ll eat that one again.

And as a dessert we got the Churros from Dominos that were pretty good as well, but not as good as the ones from the Churro shops here.

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Even though that day wasn’t that exciting, we were super tired and exhausted from all the walking (and eating :D ).

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Next day we went to Brisbane and I’ll tell you all about our days in Brisbane in the next post!

The Most Livable City in the World?! One Week in SYDNEY | Diary 008

After a wonderful week in Bondi, I now had another week to fully experience Sydney together with my cousin that just arrived from Germany to visit me for three weeks and be my travel buddy.

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Sunday 28/10

Sadly, it wasn’t just Lisa’s first day in Down Under… it was also Meikes last day and I had to say goodbye to a wonderful travel mate, that I spend a lot of time with over the last month. Three days on the Great Ocean Road, one week in Adelaide and then we met again in Bondi.

But that’s also what makes travelling and backpacking so amazing! You meet so many great people and we will probably stay in touch forever and meet again for sure back in Germany!

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So it was our first day in Sydney and it kind of was a special feeling to walk through its streets – I mean it’s Sydney!

As you only pay 2,70$ for the whole Sunday on the Opal Card (a prepaid card you need, to use the public transport in Sydney – in Melbourne it’s called Myki) we decided to go to Manly by ferry to make the most of the cheap fare.

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The ferry drive was already a spectacular thing hence I really would recommend to take the ferry at least once from the Darling Harbour! We saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from the water as well as the city skyline and it was an amazing view!

 

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In Manly itself, we did the coastal walk along the shore which was truly beautiful and we saw so many colourful birds, flowers and lovely houses. Manly is really a great place to live in Sydney!

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We went to the main beach and there were markets and lots of the popular shops in the pedestrian precinct.

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For lunch we had super delicious sushi rolls with brown / black rice that I had for the first time and I completely fell for the black rice! It tastes so so good and I’ll for sure always eat that now when it’s available. It has so much more flavour (and it’s super healthy as well!).

We walked to Shelly beach as it’s meant to be the most beautiful beach in Sydney (I’m not sure if that’s really true tho :D )

 

Then we found these crazy Nutella filled Bombolinis and my cousin still declares them as the highlight of her whole vacation :D

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After 28.000 steps we were completely exhausted when we came back home in our little apartment back in Surry Hills, but it was a wonderful first day!

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Monday 29/10

On Monday we walked to the Royal Botanical Garden. There are so many different and beautiful parts and we probably didn’t even managed to see just half of them.

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From the Mrs Macquarie point, we had a stunning view over the city, the harbour and the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge in the back.

It was crazy how many joggers were in the park and used their lunch break to run along the Botanical Garden – but I also have to say that this view even tops my running view in Bondi Beach!

 

 

We went to the Opera to see it from close up, but I have to say that it’s definitely more impressive from far away. We bought tickets for a behind the scenes ballet training for Spartacus and Cinderella which I was so so excited about! I really wished we would have been able to see one of them (or both) in a real performance, but sadly the tickets are super expensive…

For lunch, we had Sushi Hub (they sadly don’t have brown or black rice – you need to change that Sushi Hub!), which is always the cheapest and most delicious choice when it comes to eating out.

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Afterwards, we walked over the Harbour Bridge and had a great view over the Sydney Opera and the skyline of the city.

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Tuesday 30/10

Tuesday we went to Newtown and walked through the two big shopping streets there. I feel like you could compare Newtown to Fitzroy in Melbourne as both are very hipster and cool with a lot of vintage stores and many famous vegan restaurants, that I already knew from one of my YouTube favourites Bonny Rebecca, like Gigi’s pizzeria, Golden Lotus, Gelato Blue, Soul Burger and Lentils as Anything.

I really want to go back, to at least try one or two of them and have some more epic vegan food. Sydney hast (just like Melbourne) so many great options and places – I’m in heaven!

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For lunch, I took my cousin to Lentils as Anything as I was so so in love with it when I was there in Melbourne. We had yummy vegan food and the great thing about it is, that you only pay as much as you want to. But I have to admit that the food in Melbourne was much better when we ate there for dinner… but it was still good!

 

Later on, we shared a Macadamia Brownie that was amazing, as well as three scoops of super delicious ice cream! It’s sad that the ice cream is so freaking expensive here, but it is also so so good!

When we came back home we just cooked some food and chilled in bed as our feed were completely exhausted again from walking so much.

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Wednesday 31/10

On Wednesday we went to Paddy’s Market in Chinatown. They have a lot of souvenirs and other knick-knacks for very cheap prices but also fruits and veggies stalls that are super fresh, delicious and cheaper than in the supermarket.

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I also bought some nuts for my porridge in the morning (nuts are so so expensive here!) and some apricot and strawberry squares with shredded coconut (they are a bit similar to bliss balls but without the nuts and much cheaper – a great healthy treat that is not too expensive).

 

 

 

 

 

In the shopping centre above Paddy’s Market, they have an IGA supermarket that mostly sells Asian food so we had a look around and I for sure buy tofu, rice, rice pasta or soy sauce in Asian markets only in the future as it is so much cheaper!

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We bought some vegan Mango Ice Mochis that where made with coconut milk and they were so so delicious! I have never eaten Ice Mochis before and they were just amazing! If you don’t know what Mochis are: they are rice dough and filled with savoury or sweet stuff and in this case, they are filled with ice cream.

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Afterwards, we had a lunch salad at TheSandwichShop which was super good! They also had amazing looking sandwiches but I craved some greens!

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We walked past the Chinese Gardens and to the Darling Harbour into the city centre to stroll around the Queen Victoria Building and ended up at Jet- Bar Café where I’ve already been last week that have super yummy carrot cake for a fairly cheap price. Nevertheless, I tried their cheesecake which was amazing as well and as Lisa also loved the cake, it wasn’t the last time we went there!

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For dinner, we bought frozen Dumplings at the Asian supermarket as we never had them and wanted to change that. I got mixed veggie ones and mushroom, pack-choi ones and they were super delicious! They basically are Asian Ravioli / Tortellini :D

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Thursday 1/11

The Blue Mountains are located in the west of Sydney, only one-and-a-half-hour drive away from the city and very famous for the citizens as a near nature-hiking-weekend-place and for tourists because of the beautiful nature and the famous Three Sisters.

 

We booked a Sunset Tour to go a bit hiking, learn something about nature and the wildlife there, have some amazing views over the mountains and see the Three Sisters for sunset. It was a great tour, even though it was very short, but it was still worth it as we really wanted to see that place.

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Friday 2/11

On Friday I took my cousin to my favourite place in Sydney: Bondi Beach! We enjoyed the hot 37 degrees (Yep! It was HOT and it’s only spring :P ) at the beach with literally whole Sydney – it was so crowded!

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For lunch we had sandwiches at ‘Cali Press’ and I ate the yummy Avo Smash Toast.

 

We also had the best Ice Cream at Gelato Messina and strolled through the shops for a bit.

For dinner, we had poké bowls that were very delicious and healthy. As you can already tell, my cousin and I share the love for good food so we ate out and spend a lot of money on food when we were together those three weeks :P

 

Saturday 3/11

Saturday was our last day in Sydney for the moment and we went to the National Art Gallery of New South Wales which was great. I really enjoy going to museums here and there, even though I believe that you shouldn’t go to every sight and every museum as a tourist and better experience the city by walking through it and doing things that locals do.

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In the afternoon we took the Premier Hop-on-Hop-off Bus to drive north to Port Macquarie. The Premier buses are basically the same as the Greyhound buses, but they are cheaper and less travelled (because they are not that popular for backpackers).

We arrived late at night and went straight to bed the hostel we booked for two nights.


What an amazing week in Sydney! Have you ever been in this beautiful city? Do you want to go?