It’s been two weeks and I’m finally coming down from the high of my Australian vacation. Prior to this trip, I had only been out of the country one time and it was a resort in Mexico, so essentially it was still America. Over the next few weeks I’m going to be going back through my 10 day trip of Australia’s east coast to share my favorite places that we ate, shopped and visited in a five part east coast city guide that includes Sydney (beaches and cities), Byron Bay, Gold Coast and Brisbane.
We started out travels in Sydney and the first city guide will be covering the two main beaches – Manly and Bondi. Up first, Manly!
To get to Manly we took a ferry that departed from Circular Quay Wharf 3. We loaded up our Opal cards (the Australian subway/train cards) and paid about $9 AUD to get from Circular Quay to Manly one way. It was around a half hour ride and provided incredible views of Sydney. The ferry drops you off at the Manly Wharf which is full different restaurants and booths and is only about a 10 minute walk to the main beach. Like most beach towns, Manly’s main restaurants and shops were all within a 5-7 block radius.
We decided on Fusion Point after we got into Manly in the afternoon. After walking around starved for 20 minutes trying to choose a place, Fusion was a welcomed choice. I ended up going with their Breakfast Board which was served on a wooden cutting board that I low key wanted to take home with me.
17/23 Wentworth St, Manly NSW 2095
Since we were only in Manly for one afternoon we didn’t get to hit all of the food places I had on my list but if you’re there for a few days I would also recommend Manly Wine, Hemingways, Hugos, and Ora that all got stellar reviews.
Out of all the places in Manly, Desire was the one at the top of my list and in person it was even better. Hundreds of used books and records all in one charming little shop and I was in absolute heaven.
3/3 Whistler St, Manly NSW 2095
Bow And Arrow reminded me so much of a Free People/Urban Outfitters but with more cultivated items. Full of clothes, accessories and beauty products, Bow And Arrow was an adorable little beach shop.
15 Whistler St, Manly NSW 2095
The Modern Furniture Store was very Finnish inspired as shown by their huge collection of Marimekko designs. I fell in love with some of their homewear but ended up not buying a set for fear of it breaking on the plane.
5-7 Raglan St, Manly NSW 2095
Obviously at Manly Beach you have to go to the beach which we did for nearly the entire afternoon that we were there. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as Bondi ended up being on our day there which was lovely and across from the beach they had a little promenade full of shops.
Of the two, Bondi was my favorite purely because it had a coastal walk that was insanely gorgeous and stretched on for a few miles. On the day we decided to go to Bondi we had our rental car so we were able to drive the 20 minutes to the beach from our hotel. WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD DRIVING WOOOO.
Right on the beach is the most amazing cafe in 500 shades of blue that perfectly match the ocean. While a little expensive, The Bucket List is literally steps from the beach and had great drinks INCLUDING frose (frozen rose) which I obviously had to try and was very happy with.
Bondi Pavilion, 1 Queen Elizabeth Dr, Sydney NSW 2026
Every single travel guide I read prior to going on my vacation told me I had to try Gelato Messina, a chain gelato place all over Australia. I ended up getting gelato twice over the course of my 10 day trip and IT WAS SO WORTH IT. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
6/61 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Another city, another bookstore. Gertrude and Alice is another used bookstore with a cafe in the front and it was BEAUTIFUL. Stacked to the hilt, tons of comfy seating and they even had a little stationary section at the front. 10/10 would recommend.
46 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Earthy, relaxed, beachy, Me and Moo does all of this. With brands like Levi’s and also a few Zimmerman dresses it does both low and high brow clothing.
5/157 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
The Totem Road pop up shop had crystals in it so I was all in from the second I stepped in the door. It was a small showing of their larger collection on their website and was very beach and minimalist inspired.
95 Roscoe Street (Corner of Gould Street) Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Uashmama was an entire store filled with bags. Tote bags, lunch bags, small pouches, any type of bag you could ever dream of. And the kicker? They are all washable. The actual term they use is “washable paper” but the fabric feels more like leather to the touch. I was especially in love with the blush pink totes.
7/157 Curlewis St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Just like Manly, when in Bondi, hit the beach. Bondi is much more touristy in comparison to Manly but we still didn’t feel suffocated on the day we went (and it was even a state wide school holiday!). Bondi itself isn’t a huge stretch of beach but it is beautiful and a must see on a Sydney trip.
Everyone who visits Bondi talks about the Iceburg Pools and for good reason. I mean where else do you see a pool IN the ocean. You can either stay at the little hotel that houses the pools or pay $6.50 AUD to swim as a visitor. Either way, THOSE VIEWS are insane.
Bondi Beach Coastal Walk
This was my probably my favorite thing we did in Sydney. From the edge of the beach in Bondi you can follow a coastal trail that goes on for about 4 miles and wraps around the ocean. IT. IS. GORGEOUS. I stand by the fact that I have never seen an ombre ocean as gorgeous as Australia’s and these Bondi photos prove that. I LOVE YOU BONDI.
That wraps up my city guide to Sydney’s two main beaches! See you back here soon to dig into the city half of Sydney.