The sunset I am sharing today is from 12 weeks ago in Bondi, Sydney. You don’t actually see the sunset but the colours that were on show were absolutely stunning. I haven’t seen anything quite like the colour changes here of the sky anywhere else, from yellow to orange and then pink to lilac. I was just standing in the middle of the road, outside our friend’s apartment, in complete awe, as were many other locals.
I hope you enjoy the colours and have had a lovely relaxing weekend.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to yet another weekly post featuring some more of my favourite doors in Sydney.
With all the rain we have been having lately, it’s great to be able to look back at photographs that make you smile, back to when we had sunnier days. There have been no new doors spotted this week due to the wet conditions and also me working a lot this week but that’s ok as my collection is pretty big at the moment.
Take a look at my chosen doors for this week and see if you have a favourite.
I like all of these but I am really drawn to number 4. I love the door for its colour and carvings but I also love the hallway to the door and the little lantern hanging outside.
What are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite and if so, what are the reasons? I’m always intrigued to hear other people’s perspectives.
June’s monthly word prompt makes me think of an event I attended a couple of nights ago at the OPENing of the new Hijinx Hotel. This is not a hotel to stay overnight in, rather each room of the hotel has a challenge room where you have to partake in different activities with your friends.
Invited guests on the opening night had a red carpet entrance and were able to see first hand what the Hijinx Hotel has to offer. You can see some of my pictures below to get a feel of what is in store when you visit this funky hotel. We had an absolute ball at this event, made even more enjoyable by the fact that we are now learning to live with covid and returning to a new kind of normality. It was unbelievably refreshing to be out socialising again, meeting new people and experiencing new things to do in Sydney.
There you have it. My fun night at the Hijinx Hotel and the opening night just so happened to coincide with my WordPress monthly word prompt 🙌🏼. I hope you also have the chance to partake in this month’s word challenge. I previously found it difficult to find the prompt but if you follow WordPress on Twitter, they will announce the monthly prompts there. Also, be sure to check out this amazing new venue if and when you happen to be in Sydney.
Happy Friday everyone. Hooray for the weekend…even if I am working tomorrow but let’s not dwell on that. For today’s flower of the day I am showcasing the tea rose. It’s basically an ornamental, garden rose and can have a variety of colours. When I discovered these yellow tea roses, it just so happened that I was matching with the colour on this particular day with my bright yellow jumper. You have to love yellow, such a bright and cheerful colour.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another weekly post featuring some more of my favourite doors in Sydney. This week show cases doors that I discovered last weekend in Glebe, an inner-west suburb of Sydney. I hadn’t been here in donkeys so really wanted to revisit for a stroll and a coffee. The doors seen were an added bonus. Feel free to let me know which one you like the best. Some of the images you may have to zoom in as I really liked the whole setting or building as well as the door and wanted to include that.
Many thanks for checking out my doors again this week. Did you have a favourite by any chance? I love them all but I am really drawn to number 4, mainly because I love the architecture of the whole building. I do love the design, shape and colour of the door too. How about you?
Vivid Sydney is a yearly light show that is on display in many key parts of Sydney. You can find light displays around Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Taronga Zoo, The Royal Botanical Gardens and many more spots around Sydney. You can find lots of information on the official website https://www.vividsydney.com with timings, locations and what’s on offer.
This year is a special Vivid as the last two years have been cancelled due to Covid, so every is very excited to witness the event. It truly is a spectacular show and a real feast for the eyes. It starts as soon as the sun sets, making the lights really stand out and the best thing about it, is that it’s a free event for everyone.
I would say the best time to visit is during the week as it becomes pretty busy at the weekends. Pick a location to start and spend some time walking around and to take it all in. There are food trucks around and plenty of portable toilets around Circular Quay and on the route to Barangaroo, which is great if you have a weak bladder like myself. You could head over after you have had your dinner or pick somewhere nearby for a bite to eat. We chose to eat at a Thai restaurant at Circular Quay and watch the sunset at the Sydney Opera House.
We really wanted to see the Opera House lighting up first before we started our walking light tour. We headed from Circular Quay around to Barangaroo and there were many light installations on the way. Many impressive buildings also have light shows depicting different stories and show case the distinctive areas of Sydney. These shows are pretty magical for children and the whole family.
We never had the chance to see the Royal Botanic Gardens but we will try this week to visit Vivid again before it finishes on the 18th June. Be sure to head down and visit if you’re living in Sydney and if you live abroad, you can check out the website or my pictures below 👇🏼🤗.
Let me know if you have heard of Vivid, have ever been or plan to go in the future. It really is quite the spectacle, with locals and tourists really looking forward to this event every year.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another edition of Doors of WordPress. I want to show you all some doors that I happened to stumble across last week in Darlinghurst, Sydney. I couldn’t believe my luck when I passed a couple of streets with the most amazing houses, featuring beautiful and colourful doors. It was a feast for the eyes!
Do you have a favourite this week? Mine has to be number five. I love the colour of the door with the yellow brick work.
Thanks for taking a look at my doors and take care.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my latest edition of Doors of WordPress. I am further showcasing doors from my neighbourhood in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. They were all spotted on my daily walks 👣 . I hope you enjoy looking and please let me know if you have a favourite.
I think number five is my personal favourite. I used to find it really strange that doors here in the eastern suburbs have an exterior security door. I thought maybe the areas were unsafe and prone to burglaries. However, I have noticed that this is a very common practice here and most doors will have this external door. It must be simply a security thing, so you can leave your front door open for air but have the security of the exterior door 🤷🏼♂️.
Welcome to another week featuring some amazing Doors of WordPress. I was fortunate enough to spot some fantastic doors last weekend when we were staying at The Rocks in Sydney. Therefore, the doors featured this week were all spotted there at The Rocks, almost like a Rocks special episode of doors. This is a very popular tourist spot with a very interesting history. You can read more about this area here if you so wish.
I was really hoping to explore Darlinghurst and Five Ways today but alas, the rains have returned again to Sydney. That will be for another day, all being well. Please check out my doors below and do not hesitate to let me know which one is your favourite this week.
That’s my lot for this week. Which one do you prefer? Have you ever been to The Rocks in Sydney? It is honestly such a beautiful area, with cobbled streets and meandering pathways all around. You can spend a lot of time here and I never tire of visiting. It’s a bonus that there are so many amazing doors to discover and I have only scratched the surface.
Today I think of my partner and how it is his birthday today! Unfortunately we are both working today so we will celebrate modestly this evening. On the other hand, we were able to celebrate during the weekend just past and had a really lovely weekend together in Sydney.
I planned a secret outing on Sunday in the CBD. I wanted us to participate in an event or excursion and it just so happened that there was an Oyster masterclass happening, courtesy of Sydney Oyster Farm Tours. This was part of a larger event that was happening all weekend in the Sydney CBD to celebrate food, drink and live entertainment.
We were able to shuck our own oysters (the process of opening the oysters) and thankfully none of us managed to injure ourselves. There was a girl in front of us who nearly chopped her finger off! We learned some history and gained knowledge regarding oyster farming and we were able to eat them afterwards. We had a collection of Sydney Rock Oysters and Pacific Oysters and I’m sure we managed to eat nearly a dozen each! This was a great experience and one that we had never done before.
We then checked into our hotel for the night. I thought it would be cool to stay in a really nice hotel with stunning Sydney views, just for one night. You have the novelty of being away from home but with the luxury of not having to travel too far. Being a tourist for the day and night was fun. We stayed in the Shangri-La and really, thoroughly enjoyed it. I would say the only negative point was that it was a long weekend, therefore, it was pretty busy and had lots of kids. It was impossible to get a window view at the bar for drinks and also for breakfast the next morning. Out of season would be better. However, the bottle of bubbles in the room for my partner’s birthday was a really lovely touch and the staff were so, so friendly. The views of Circular Quay were stunning and I’m sure if you have a Harbour Bridge view, that would also be pretty epic.
We had dinner at The Spice Room at Circular Quay. Delicious Indian food in a really quaint and authentic setting. I had been here before and loved it. Thankfully, my partner loved it too 😊. When you see many Indian and Nepalese families eating there, that’s a sure sign the food will be tasty and authentic 🇮🇳.
On the following day, it was ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), remembering the soldiers lost at war. We had a dip in the pool and checked out. We had breakfast at The Rocks which was beautiful and watched the parades honouring the service men who fought in the World Wars. I always find this day really moving and I love how people of all ages come out to remember those who lost their lives fighting for their country.
We headed home for a quick change and then out for lunch with friends at The Chiswick in Woollahra. Absolutely stunning venue and food. If you ever have the chance to visit here, do not hesitate. It’s definitely up there.
That was our weekend in a snapshot. I really feel like birthdays deserve to be celebrated as we only have one a year and life is so short.
How was your weekend? I apologise as it’s Tuesday but we were off work yesterday 😛.
Happy Friday everyone. This is the day of the week that I post some flowers that I have seen recently or I have managed to haul from the archives, as part of Cee’s Photo Challenges (you can find here).
Today’s flowers were taken at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and are known as Wax Begonia. They are native to South America and are often used as ground cover.
I really need to return to the Botanic Gardens soon as they have such an array of flower and plant species and it’s a really beautiful spot to take a relaxing stroll through.
Have you ever seen these flowers? Have you ever visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney?
Please do let me know and thanks for checking out my FOTD.
As it’s Thursday Doors today, courtesy of No Facilities, here are my latest offerings. I love walking around Sydney and finding new doors. I feel blessed to live somewhere with such an array of fine looking doors 😛. Have a look below and let me know which ones are your fave? 👇🏼
As you can see, many of my Sydney doors are from Woollahra. I love this suburb in the eastern suburbs and it’s right on my doorstep. It’s very quaint with lots of character and charm.
That’s me just finished work for the week. I am sitting on the train home, tired but delighted to be off for a few days. I hope you all have a lovely long weekend and if you celebrate Easter, enjoy the celebrations, enjoy your time with those nearest and dearest and treat yourself to some chocolates.
Take care everyone and thanks for checking out my selection of doors.
Today I am flying solo. I am off from work and the sun is finally shining in Sydney. It feels strange but exciting to see blue skies after having so much rain. I am dying to get out and about so I take myself off for a really long walk, wanting to soak up as much vitamin D as possible and to increase my step count for the week. I can’t do the Bondi to Coogee walk as it will be packed on a Sunday. So I decide to walk to Watson’s Bay via the residential streets, hoping to encounter as few people as possible. I pass Macquarie Lighthouse and from there I walk to Camp Cove, just past Watson’s Bay. It’s a little beach that is not as well know, unless you live here in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I take the South Head heritage trail to Hornby Lighthouse and return to Watson’s Bay. Here I take the coastal walk from the Gap Lookout and return home via Rose Bay.
As well as being a beautiful walk and a good distance for gaining the steps, it also gives me the opportunity to take many photos, most of which I can add to my future posts for my Doors of WordPress and my Friday Flowers ☺️.
I hope you enjoy some of the scenic shots from today. This is my happy place. Walking in beautiful weather, with stunning scenery and the chance to see what I can photograph.
All in all, my walk was about 3.5 hours with a lunch stop. My feet are walked off me but I feel great for having done it and I can now put the feet up at home.
I hope you all are able to have a lovely Sunday wherever you are. Take care and keep safe,
My fourth instalment is here, featuring doors found in and around Sydney. These posts are creating a door monster within me! Now every time I see a door that I like, I have to photograph it. I just hope the person behind the door doesn’t mind. If ever questioned, I will explain my love for doors and inform them that they are part of my blog post. That is quite the achievement to be featured 🤣 (jokes). I hope you enjoy my selection of doors this week 👇🏼
I do love a good word prompt! I was scrolling through my junk emails and spotted this one from WordPress (swiftly moved to my inbox). I like the idea of having a monthly word prompt and luckily for me, I discovered this on the last day of March 😅.
Coincidentally, I also have a love for bridges. I’m not sure what it is that I love about bridges. It doesn’t even have to be a big or majestic bridge. I like any sort. I love the design of them, I love how many of them travel over water. I love the excitement of seeing what is at the other side of a bridge. Does anyone else have the same sentiment regarding bridges?
Most of you will know what my passions are from my previous blog posts, for example, photographing anything quaint, scenic, architectural etc. and a good bridge definitely falls into these categories. I have so, so many pictures of bridges but I don’t want to bore you all with them today. It is more than enough that I share my doors, flowers and sunset pictures 😆.
However, I will share one of my favourite bridges that is right here in my current city. You can maybe guess it already. Every time I see this bridge I am in awe. It also always reminds me that I am living in Sydney, one of the best cities in the world, in my humble opinion. I think I have photographed this bridge from every angle possible. I have walked under it on numerous occasions, sailed under it, walked over it, travelled over it by car, bus, train and even had the opportunity to climb this bridge with my Dad when he came to Australia. It is of course, the Sydney Harbour Bridge 🙌🏼.
What is your favourite bridge that you have seen so far???
I want to share with you today some flowers from a very popular place here in Sydney at The Grounds of Alexandria. Presently they are showcasing their Secret Garden, where lots of people come to take some pictures and pose with the flowers, mainly girls for their social accounts but it is a really impressive spectacle. I’m unsure if the flowers are real or artificial or maybe a combination of both but it really is a feast for the eyes either way. You can see more information about the event here.
If you’re looking to check out somewhere different near Sydney, then this could be your next stop. Situated near Botany, this park has it all, including a walking trail, a sports oval, themed gardens and ornamental animals, a maze, shaded walkways and picnic benches dotted around the park.
This park is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours on a sunny morning/afternoon. It’s always a blessing to find a new spot to discover and explore.
I feel very lucky that I have the opportunity to live my ideal day many times a week or month living here in Australia, mainly due to the weather and lifestyle. Even if I am working, I will take the opportunity to carry out activities that I enjoy before or after work.
I will break down an ideal day for me if I am on my day off, that is, not working.
• Wake up after a good sleep about 6am. Make myself a coffee and walk/run to the gym for a strength workout at 7am. An hour later I will come home to shower.
• I then love to have a good breakfast. Sometimes I will head out with my partner or I will meet friends for a catch-up over breakfast.
• After this, I love to go for a walk. Either along the coast, taking in the beaches of the eastern suburbs or around Centennial Park or even more so, a new place to walk. I love finding new spots to explore and taking many, many photographs. Maybe even go for a swim.
• Try to stop for lunch somewhere quaint or perhaps take a packed lunch. I am happy with either ☺️.
• Come home for a lovely home cooked meal and have a couple of glasses of wine or if I’m free in the evening, head out to meet friends for a few sociable drinks after having eaten.
• Finally, I would round the night off with a big cup of tea at home and have a reasonably early night, say 10 or 11pm. I am all about a good nights sleep.
I want to share with you my experience of seeing this musical and hopefully inspire you to go also 🙌🏼. I’m not sure if you have heard of this one as it’s relatively new so I will give a quick synopsis soon. First of all, being back in the theatre to see any show was such a novelty and a welcome back to normality. It’s one thing that I have really missed, live entertainment. I used to work in a theatre in Belfast, The Grand Opera House and it was from there, where my love for theatre began and grew. Being able to see every show that entered the Opera House many, many times was such a treat, especially the musicals as they’re right up my street. Anyway, being able to return to the theatre for a musical that I have been dying to see for ages was a real joy 🤩 (postponed so many times due to covid). Even just having a drink at the theatre bar was amazing!
Come From Away takes place from 11th September 2001 (can you believe it’s 20 years ago?) over a few days and tells the remarkable true story of those stranded after the events that occurred that day. I’m sure we all remember or know about the 9/11 attacks and the Twin Towers/Pentagon etc. However, you may not be as familiar with the aeroplanes that could not land as they were diverted due to the American airspace having completely shut down.
A total of 38 aeroplanes were told to land suddenly in the small town of Gander in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon (to clear the American airspace). The characters in the musical are based on real Gander residents who rallied around to help the 7,000 stranded travelers that had just landed there. They found them accommodation, provided food for the people and showed great kindness and hospitality. People were stranded there for several days and it managed to double the entire population of Gander temporarily. On a side note, those people not from Gander are known locally as those who “come from away”. Interesting fact ✌🏽.
I won’t say too much as I don’t want to spoil it for you but the story is really fascinating and one that I had never heard before. The music is amazing, really uplifting and memorable and tells the story wonderfully. It makes you realise also how far we have come from that time space, for example, no one really having mobile phones then, making it harder to call loved ones etc when in a time of panic and uncertainty.
If you’re looking for a night out that lifts your spirits and highlights the kind nature of human beings in troublesome times, then this is the show for you! I feel like we can all relate to this in some way, especially now with us living through a pandemic and needing to be empathetic with one another.
This musical is only 1 hour and 40 minutes long with no interval. So bring your drinks and snacks in with you. We saw this at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, one of my favourite venues so far in Sydney 🤩.
Please let me know if you have seen this also or if you plan to see in the nearby future.
The most epic tree I ever did see 😜 or is it a plant? Does anyone know what we call this fine specimen? I was honestly so delighted to have seen this today. It’s a really stunning tree (or plant). I think it also really stands out due to the white wall behind it. It’s the little things in life, am I right?! ☺️
Have a lovely Sunday everyone, wherever you are in the world.
Ps. Post update: apparently this tree is in fact Bougainvillea. Confirmed by my WordPress and Instagram friends. Thanks everyone ☺️
90% of people here in New South Wales are double vaccinated. I am so thrilled for everyone here for pulling together, listening to the health professionals and getting their shots. I know it hasn’t been easy with some people divided over having the vaccine. However, the fact that it has been made almost compulsory to have the vaccine has enabled us to be safer in our daily lives and get back to some sort of new normal.
I’m hoping things continue to improve for us here in Australia and for everyone around the world 😷.
When you need a break but can’t have more than a weekend off, 1 night will have to suffice. We just wanted to get away for a couple of days for a change of scenery. So we decided on Manly. Although Manly is still within Sydney and easy to travel to, we have never stayed overnight here. You see, you normally would catch the ferry here from Circular Quay and have a day trip in Manly, normally catching a ferry back home at around sunset. There are a few lovely bars and restaurants at the harbour and we would often have a couple of drinks here while waiting on the ferry to come in and take us home. However, when the craic is great and the drinks are flowing, you seem to just watch the ferries arrive and then they depart, without you on them. There’s always time to catch the next ferry 😉. This could go on for about 3 or 4 ferries until we have decided, enough is enough and head back home.
So this in itself would be a novelty for us to stay here and not have to worry about catching the ferry home. There’s lots to do at Manly and we still hadn’t seen all that is on offer. You have the harbour, bush walks, beaches and rock pools, as well as, amazing bars and restaurants. We decided to stay at Hotel Steyne. It’s a hotel but more so, it is a restaurant and pub, with outdoor areas, a glasshouse bar, whiskey bar and a rooftop with stunning views of Manly beach. It has charm, character and is right in the heart of everything Manly has to offer. We loved this place.
I could not recommend Manly enough for a short stay (more than 1 night would have been amazing) or a longer holiday. It honestly has everything and really feels like a holiday destination. I am seriously looking forward to a longer break but for now, 1 night will have to do 🙏🏼
The beaches and walks are stunning. We didn’t do any bush walks this time but they’re really worth checking out.
Is anyone else planning a night away? Where’s your favourite place to travel for a weekend break?
Is Halloween a big deal where you live? I feel like it’s pretty big here in Sydney. Parents go to great lengths to make it fun for the children. They really decorate their houses well and also outside their houses. I once seen hoards of children and their parents travelling the streets en mass here to go trick or treating. I had never seen this before.
Where I’m from in Northern Ireland, the kids would get dressed up and parade the streets to find sweets and candy from the neighbouring houses (you were devastated if someone gave you fruit or nuts!). I had never seen parents also getting dressed up and travelling with their children. Maybe that’s a sign of the times.
I used to love Halloween as a student. It was a great chance to be dressed up in anything really and head to a party with other like minded souls. The outfits didn’t have to be particularly scary. I never really understood that part. As I grow older, Halloween means less and less to me sadly. What about you? Does anyone else look forward to Halloween and it’s festivities?
I happened to stumble across these gardens when working in Caringbah, within the Sutherland Shire recently. I was trying to walk somewhere pleasant and increase my step count when these gardens appeared like an oasis in a desert. It was such a awesome surprise to find. I just wanted to share some pictures of the gardens and the nearby Kareena Park Reserve. Here you can find an abundance of camellias and other flowers, a quaint tea house, numerous bird species and many sleepy flying foxes. This is the perfect spot for a picnic or simply getting lost in nature. If you want to read about the history of the gardens you can click here.
This is somewhere you should check out if looking for a day trip out of Sydney to see something a little different. It honestly made my day to spend some time here and I felt I should share with others who may not have heard of this spot.
We made it guys! After 106 days we are now officially out of lockdown. Boy it feels good…but also a bit nerve wrecking. It’s so nice to have our freedom again, seeing people out and about, hustle and bustle everywhere. However, you can’t help but think, the virus is still out there. I’m still in favour of social distancing and trying to be as safe as possible. Although I’m double vaccinated, I’m still keen to avoid contracting coronavirus 😬.
People of Sydney, or anywhere in the world that has lived through a lockdown (I’m sure everyone has), what was the first thing you did when the lockdown was lifted???
For me, it was work as usual. Being a nurse, we didn’t have any time off during lockdown. Yes I am forever grateful to have been in employment and have some sort of normality. At least we could see our work colleagues and chat about the ever changing pandemic days whilst still earning an income. However, I’m sure I speak for many nurses, it would have been lovely to have a couple of weeks off at home. Not annual leave or being off sick but just days at home to chill out and reset. Alas it wasn’t meant to be and that’s ok.
Finishing work, it was really amazing to see people out on the streets, seeing people sitting through cafe windows enjoying their soy caps and shopping malls with shop doors finally opened again. There was a real buzz around Sydney today and it felt good, albeit a bit strange. The first thing I did was go to the gym. As much as I was slightly nervous, I couldn’t wait to get back to training and seeing friends. Finally I could lift a heavy weight again 🏋️♂️ and maybe feel the burn the next day 😅.
I hope you all enjoy the next few days/weeks of having no lockdown. What are you excited to do/see? I personally can not wait to be able to travel again ✈️.
This week we enter our 15th week of lockdown and hopefully the last, as restrictions will ease here next week. As you may or may not be aware, we have been restricted to moving within 5km of where we live or our local government area. I can honestly say, I have exhausted my 5km radius, having walked almost every area possible 🤣. I want to display a few photos to show you my 5km radius from when lockdown here began and you will see for yourself how diverse a small area in Sydney can be 🙌🏼.
1 – Coastal walks – Bondi to Coogee (or anywhere in between)
2 – Centennial Park
3 – Double Bay
4 – Rose Bay
5 – Hermitage Foreshore Walk
This encompasses many of Sydney’s intimate beaches along the harbour with great views of the Sydney city skyline. Includes Milk Beach, Parsley Bay & Nielsen Park.
6 – Paddington
That’s it folks. Thanks for taking a look around my 5km radius. It has been great to be able to show some photos again as it has been a while.
What a year it has been. I think most of us will be glad to see the back of 2020. Coronavirus has a lot to answer for…but it hasn’t been all bad. For me personally, it hasn’t been the worst year. It was sad not to be able to go home this year to see family and friends but thank goodness for the internet and learning to socialize online with video calls etc. Here is a look at my year with 12 photos for each month of 2020.
Happy New Year everyone! May 2021 be better for you than 2020.
If you are looking for an awesome way to spend your day off in Sydney then this is the place to visit. Many people have done the Bondi to Coogee walk but have you done the Coogee to Malabar walk via Maroubra? If that’s too long, you can catch the bus to Maroubra and walk from there to Malabar. The beginning of the National Park is only a 10 minute walk from Maroubra beach.
Malabar Headland National Park boasts dramatic coastal views and walks between Maroubra and Malabar beaches, in the east of Sydney. Follow the path within the National Park. There are many steps, areas of bushland and at times rocky terrain so my advice is to wear comfortable footwear. It takes about 20 minutes to reach Malabar Beach along the western section of the walk. The views on the route are incredible. The beach itself is quite small but has lots of character and is a really beautiful spot. From the beach you then follow the path along the eastern section of the park. This can be closed at times so be sure to check the opening times at https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/malabar-headland-national-park. The views on the return leg to Maroubra are stunning and you can often see whales here migrating from May to November on their annual migration route.
Honestly, this is one park you will want to check out. I had no idea it was there, a real hidden gem in the eastern suburbs that’s right on your Sydney doorstep.
As you may or may not be aware, I havent written a blog post in quite some time. I mainly write about my travels and positive experiences in Australia, however, 2020 has been a very strange year so far. Australia had a rough ride at the end of 2019 and entering 2020 with the insane bush fires that were reported all over the world. This coupled with drought was very catastrophic for most of the country. Even here in Sydney the amount of smoke was crazy and pretty scary as you worry about your physical health with regards to breathing and being outdoors ( it was, at one stage, the worst air pollution in the world). You could feel it with every breath, even sitting in your home and sleeping at night. So dear help those who were living in the middle of it all and the poor animals who lost their lives.
This was then followed by severe flooding, which crazily enough, initially made putting the fires out even harder. So when the fires, finally, after many months began to be contained and controlled, people here believed the worst to be over. Enter the coronovirus.
This needs no explaining, as every country in the world and every person is being affected in some way or another. Thankfully, Australia has been doing really well up to this point and long may it continue. I have just been grateful to still have a job and maintain some sort of normality. I think the fact that we can’t travel is the least of anyone’s worries. Everyone just wants to be healthy, both physically and mentally, ensure safety of our loved ones and come out of this covid situation being able to have a new way of normal life.
As we begin to ease out of lockdown here, we begin to live our lives in a new era of social distancing and strict infection control measures. We may not be able to travel internationally here, however, I am extremely grateful that we are now in a situation where we can travel locally and soon to be inter state. For us, it provides the opportunity to see more of Australia, as will be for most people here and in turn will help the economy and the tourist industry. Therefore, I will be continuing to write about day trips to make in and around Sydney for now, with the hope to expand to places more further afield in Australia. We were meant to be travelling home to Ireland this month but that will have to be placed on hold for the time being unfortunately.
Hi everybody!!! It has been a while. I haven’t written a blog in about 4 months, sorry for that. To be honest, I haven’t had much to say or write about as there has been no travelling for the past few months (except Melbourne twice but does that even count?!). I have been attempting to lay low and save my pennies/cents for the big year that is to come in 2020. A fellow blogger has been carrying out 12 months and 12 photos and I loved this idea. It’s a great way for me to create a blog and keep me in the game. It’s the first time I saw another blog post and thought, yes, I want to do that. So thanks to Tanja from @theredphoneboxtravels for the inspo. I have picked my 12 photos (not an easy task by the way, if you have a few things going on each month) and added a little caption to each one. I hope you find them of interest 🙂
Leura is a small town situated in the Blue Mountains. We wanted to see somewhere different within the mountains as we have been a good few times now and luckily there is still always something new to see. Blackheath, Katoomba and Leura are the 3 main towns and so we had already visited the other 2 towns. It was my birthday at the start of the month, so we thought it would be fun to have a weekend away, a mini vacation. We wanted somewhere that we could travel to by train, so we could save the hassle of hiring a car like we normally would do. Leura has its own train station and is less than 2 hours to get to from Sydney. Perfect spot because you are within the Blue Mountain region, great for stunning scenery and long walks ☺️. I had heard Leura has lovely cascades with picnic areas, so for me, that’s what I really wanted to see. I also wanted to simply see the mountains and feel a million miles away from the normal daily routine.
We used booking.com to book a lovely cottage in Leura, a 5 minute walk from the train station. The cottage was The Priest’s Cottage at St Raphael (no priests were spotted) and it was really special. Extremely cosy with its own little electric fire and it even had electric blankets that was a really nice touch. It was freezing at night when we were there but luckily you wouldn’t have known staying in this cottage. It was very easy to find and so close to the town. A really quaint little place that was pretty spacious and had all the amenities you would hope to find. Outdoor seating area too that would be great in the summer.
First thing you do on a holiday/mini break, check in and check out your surroundings. We took a walk to the town and had a look around. The main street is really quaint with lots of cafes and really cool shops. Our favourite findings were the vintage shops (particularly The Leura Emporium Vintage Collectables) and the really cool Teddy Sinclair’s Man Cave. This shop was awesome, you could spend all day in it. It smells amazing as you walk in with all the leather wallets, bags, coats, jackets etc and it has lots of men’s accessories from shaving utensils to travel bags, jewellery, watches and gifts.
This is the best spot, in my opinion, for a beer and some food. This bar/restaurant is situated in a heritage listed mansion overlooking Leura. The outdoor space and gardens are stunning. This is a really cool spot to try out some Belgian beers and gourmet food. The beers were delicious and the atmosphere here is quirky and cosy. Be sure to check this place out this month as the restaurant/bar will be leaving the premises here for new pastures.
Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum
If you love tea as much as I do then this is the place for you. You can pay $5.50 in to see the museum or you can be admitted for free in the condition that you purchase a cup of tea after. The museum has the largest collection of private tea ware in the world and boasts more than 5,500 teapots from all over the world and from different eras. The staff here are super friendly and helpful and the atmosphere and surroundings create the perfect place to have a cup of tea, where you can choose from an array of different varieties.
I was super excited to see these!! I was just looking forward to heading out for a walk into unknown territory and seeing something a little different. We walked to the cascades, it takes about 30 minutes from Leura itself. We brought a picnic as we’d heard there are lovely spots to sit and have lunch, plus there are no cafes or shops nearby so best be prepared. The cascades themselves are stunning. Not overly big but tucked away amongst the trees and rocks to create a special ambiance. The walking trail is pretty easy to navigate with some steep stairways if you want to head upwards and see the views overlooking the Blue Mountains. Definitely worth the trek up as the views are spectacular. As soon as you see the mountains it’s a truly breathtaking moment. You really feel the vastness of the area and at one with mother nature. There are lots of areas worthy of having a picnic, with some picnic benches also provided. You can walk as far as Katoomba from here but we decided against it. All in all the walk takes about an hour and a half.
We did, however, head to Katoomba later that day as it’s only 5 minutes from Leura on the train. We always feel we have to see the infamous 3 sisters. Although we’ve now seen them multiple times, they still manage to make us feel in awe.
Two places to check out for dinner:
1- Miss Lilian Tea House
This is authentic Asian casual dining. If you want something tasty but not overly fancy or overpriced, this place is the ticket. Food was delicious and the decor is pretty funky with a stress on birdcages. It’s in Katoomba but a bit of a walk to so we travelled by taxi here. Definitely worth the fare 😉
2- Leura Garage
This award winning restaurant and bar has been on my list for a while as I have always heard good things about it. Using all local ingredients and wines, it was really amazing and didn’t disappoint. It is really handy, basically across the road from the train station. It is always busy so be sure to book ahead.
So that’s my mini weekend guide to Leura. Hopefully some of you find it helpful. This little town is most definitely worth seeing and is often a looked over little gem of a find. Next time your in the Blue Mountains be sure to check it out.
Hi there! Welcome to my latest blog post. I have been laying low for the past couple of months as I have been travelling a lot and need to build the funds back up again. In addition, we are going home at the end of this week!!! Exciting and definitely worth it, being sensible for the last couple of months 😆. Nevertheless, laying low in Sydney as autumn arrives is not too shabby at all. It has been really enjoyable to take it easy, have lots of home cooking, working out in the gym, early nights and wearing some warmer clothes. Therefore, I thought it might be the perfect time to write about activities to carry out when in the autumn season. Things to do that do not require a lot of money or effort. Appropriate for when trying to save for the next holiday 😉.
1 – Spice Alley
I had always heard of this place and people always had a good word to say about it. I had assumed this was a restaurant. I had no idea that it is in fact what the name suggests, an alley way!! It is an alley tucked away in Sydney’s CBD (very close to Central Station) that offers an array of Asian cuisine. There are numerous kitchens in the style of street food stalls and you could be forgiven for thinking that you are entering a street taken right out of the Asian continent. It is a fantastic place, full of life and the smells of tasty Asian cuisine. This is definitely a place to check out for some authentic street food and something a little different and quirky. A very ‘Instagrammable’ place too (this is a thing now). 💁🏼♂️ You can see the types of food available here.
2 – Gin Lane
If you want to try an array of different gin concoctions then this is the place for you. As part of Spice Alley this place is also a feast for the eyes. Set in an old historic house, the atmosphere is perfect for treating yourself to something a little fancy. The taste, presentation and uniqueness of these gins/gin cocktails is exquisite. The outdoor sitting is pretty cool and provides the sense of sitting in an old backstreet of 18th century London. The happy hours are daily and at different times depending on the day of the week. Find out more at the Spice Alley website above. Unfortunately I don’t have a decent photo to show you as it was quite dark inside and I didn’t want the flash on my phone to illuminate the whole room 🙈.
3 – Vaucluse House
I have always had a love/fascination with old stately homes. Back home in Ireland we have heaps but it was cool to be able to find some here (albeit not as old 🙊). Living in Bondi, I wanted to check out Vaucluse House as it’s pretty close being in the Eastern suburbs too. We took a tour of the home and thoroughly enjoyed the inside, informative knowledge. It was interesting to learn the history of the home and gardens that had once been owned and lived in by the Wentworth family. I won’t go into the details but it is worth checking out here. The gardens surrounding the mansion are really impressive and the tea rooms are extremely quaint if you are in the mood for a scone or something more substantial 😋.
4 – Seven Shillings Beach
After visiting Vaucluse House we took a short bus ride to a beach in the Eastern suburbs that we had not seen before. It’s called Seven Shillings Beach and can be found by walking through Blackburn Gardens at Double Bay (so many names!!). The gardens aren’t that big but are quite pretty and lead to this spectacular beach. I couldn’t believe that I had never heard of this place, let alone see it. It’s a really cool beach as it offers an enclosure for swimming in the sea called Murray Rose Pool. A walkway takes you out to the sea, almost like a jetty but in the form of a walkway and back again to the beach. A really amazing spot to relax with city views in the near distance. There is also a cafe situated here for food with a view. called Red Leaf Cafe. Perfect if you forget your picnic! We cannot wait to return here 😁.
5 – Angel Place
This street is very much a hidden gem of Sydney’s CBD with many locals having never even been. It is home to a piece of art called ‘Forgotten Songs’ by Michael Thomas Hill and features many, many empty birdcages hanging from a great height. It represents all the birds that were once present and even has all of their sounds playing, changing throughout different parts of the day. It’s a real feast for the eyes and is usually pretty quiet if you are looking to take photos without any other people popping up in the picture (a rare find these days unfortunately). We were able to find this with help from Google maps.
6 – Lavender Bay
This place was a find by chance for me. I was strolling around Milsons Point over in North Sydney when I came across this beautiful bay and gardens. Here you can find Wendy’s Secret Garden, apparently Sydney’s worst kept secret 🙊🤣. Here you can find many native flower species, stunning flowers and impressive views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is a simple garden but I found myself strolling around here for ages, it’s so tranquil and feels like a safe haven from the busy every day life in Sydney. You can read more about this garden here and find out why it was created by Wendy.
Thanks a lot for taking the time out to read my blog. Sydney remains an amazing city with so much to see and do, not only in summer but also heading into Autumn 🍂.
Ps. I have just returned from Seven Shillings Beach for the 2nd time and I honestly think it is even better again. My new favourite beach area in Sydney!!!
Hello there. What’s the craic? I have been debating for a long time whether to start blogging or not, mainly down to the time that may be required. However, I feel it is something that could be fun, therapeautic and provide a platform to interact with others from all walks of life. I’m very new to this so please bare with me.
So a little about me. I’m a man in my near mid thirties and I come from Northern Ireland. I had been living in Belfast for the last decade but my ambition was to 1 day return to the land down under. Having already spent a year in Australia on a working holiday visa, I soon acquired the desire to return in the future. 7 years later a lot has changed in my life and I have reached my goal of becoming a permanent resident. It has been a lengthy process with many highs and lows, however, it has been an incredible journey that is still continuing to this day.
Please follow me on my Australian adventure and I will aim to keep you updated and entertained.
Thanks a lot,
When I saw this landmark I knew I was in Australia! 👌🏼