Musings // We're off to Australia so let's catch up...

January 21, 2018

Hello! I hope your 2018 is going well so far? I just wanted to apologise for the slight change to regular posting for the next few weeks as we’re off to Australia on Tuesday {!} some more details about our trip below if you’re interested in our upcoming adventure {and perhaps could offer any tips of your favourite places if you’ve been?}...

Ben & I have both visited Australia before, separately, with our families a long time ago. It’s a trip we’ve talked about taking together for a couple of years now. Ben’s uncle lives on the West Coast and although the flight is stupidly long {and has been at times offputting}, last January I realised that we just had to visit this year to escape the grey and have a couple of weeks of summer. We realised it was now or never, it’s not a trip we’d take often given the distance so before we start to think about children it seemed like January 2018 would be the perfect time. We started planning it a whole year ago with non stop rainy weekends leaving us holed up in bed or in the sofa trip planning. We realised with the journey and jet lag {and sheer scale of the country} that we’d need three weeks to make it really worthwhile. I called up the travel agents for flights before they were even released! There were so many places we wanted to visit but also we were conscious we didn’t want to be on the go the whole time going from place to place. We wanted a decent enough amount of time to really get a feel for an area and relax in, booking Airbnb’s for the whole trip so we feel a little more local and have access to a kitchen to not have to eat out the whole time. I wanted to go as soon as possible after New Year but it’s school holiday season in Australia so prices would have been peak and the beaches packed so we decided to wait until the end of January so by the time we get to the east coast beach towns it will be into a Feb with schools back. In the end our trip looks something like this;
  • We fly on Tuesday evening and arrive into Perth late on the Wednesday. We’ll pick up a car to drive south a couple of hours to Dunsborough in the Margaret River area. This is where Ben’s uncle and his wife lives that we’re so excited to visit. Some of his other family have been out and it’s an area I’ve researched lots online. The beaches look insanely gorgeous and the area is known for its scenery, food and wineries. We have 5 days here to visit places like Smith’s Beach, Hamelin Bay, Busselton etc. Lawrence will show us the best places and we can go out on his kayaks, borrow bikes etc. 
  • From there we have 2 nights in Fremantle, mainly so we can visit Rottnest island for a day. I’ve been dreaming of visiting for so long and cycling around stopping at all the different bays. The water looks so beautiful. Fremantle itself looks great too and we might have a half day in Perth if we fancy? Or we might like Fremantle so much? Then we fly overnight to Sydney. 
  • In Sydney we have 4 nights/5 whole days. Again in an Airbnb in what looks like a central but quiet part of the city {I’ll share all our accommodation and thoughts after}. I’m hoping to do some of the spectacular looking coastal walks as well as ride the ferries and take in the botanic gardens and famous harbour views. I hope to wander around Surrey Hills and find some trendy brunch spots. The grounds of Alexandria is also top of our list for a morning. We’re not wanting any typical tourist stuff like walking the harbour bridge or Darling harbour. Just any nice Sydney lifestyle bits that combine pretty beaches, food or on trend parts of the city I guess. Haven’t quite worked out transport in the city yet as this will be the only place we won’t have a car. 
  • From Sydney we fly up to to Gold Coast airport and drive to Byron Bay. We’ve got 4 nights here and this was probably one of the main focuses of the whole trip. I visited years back and love the laid back, endless summer surf vibe where anything goes. After following ‘that’ tribe on Instagram {Courtney and Jet Set Mama} and seeing the endless pink sunset skies and beaches during our winters I couldn’t wait to experience all the fab looking healthy brunch spots for ourself. We’re looking forward to lighthouse walks at sunrise, visiting the hinterland like Bangalow and The Farm, eating allll the brunches and finding hidden beaches/tea tree lakes. 
  • We’d originally booked a whole week in Byron but then so many people said we couldn’t miss Noosa which feels v similar to Byron but is a little more polished? I deliberated a lot, the main reason for having a week somewhere would be a more relaxed trip getting to really know an area rather than keep moving around. But Noosa looked amazing and so we’ve booked 3 nights there to end our stay. I hope we won’t regret it! It’s always hard knowing just how long you’ll need in a place before you get there. From Noosa we then fly home from Brisbane. 

What do you think? Are you Australian or have you been? Any suggestions will be gratefully received and thank you to those of you who have already sent messages our way. I really love talking travel and will try to blog once a week whilst we’re there so I can recap on what we’ve been up to and share/back up some of my favourite photos.

Finally, I know we’ve already been incredibly lucky to have some winter sun with that unexpected rescheduled trip due to Hurricane Irma to the Turks & Caicos last week but that was mostly for work. This Australia trip is purely for our chasing the sun in winter dreams that we’ve been planning for a long long time. Travel is something we really prioritise and feel incredibly grateful to be able to experience. We’re both taking our laptops though - being self employed is a huge blessing but also means you feel you should stay on top of everything and do a little work whilst we’re away!

Three weeks to me feels like a really long time to be away for. But I’m sure once we’re there it will fly by. It’s also a perfect time to escape England with the days pretty desolate and no garden/allotment to worry about at present. I’m a little apprehensive about the spiders, sharks and snakes down under but will report back! Let’s hope we don’t see any of the above eeeek. Some of you may also be aware of Ben’s skin cancer in the past, and we know how strong the UV is in that part of the world but also how sun safe they are as a nation so will be interested to buy lots of suncream there. I’ve heard that in some cities they have free suncream stations if you forget which sounds like a great idea. We’ve also bought this shade for the beaches as most are v wild without umbrellas like you’d find in Europe or at resorts, it looks amazing and fits into cases even hand luggage so we can take it with us in carry on this summer for European beaches.

We’re almost all packed! I hope you’ll enjoy following along with our Aussie Adventure. I know we travel fairly often but this feels like the biggest most wild trip we’ve taken in years {since our south east Asia trip in 2011!}.

Back soon and will have lots of renovation news. We start our new loft the day after we return!

R <3 xx

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  1. We moved to Sydney from the UK four years ago and love so much about it. So many suggestions but off the top of my head in Sydney the Bondi to Coogee walk is lovely, a trip from Circular Quay to Manly on a ferry is a must as you get to see so much of the harbour. When you get to Manly head to the beach then follow the coastal path round to the right to Shelly Beach and have brunch/lunch or coffee and cake in the boat house @theboathousegroup_ they also have cafes at Balmoral Beach (which is another gorgeous beach but it gets very busy especially at weekends) and Palm Beach if you get that far! Fab food and great settings plus all of their cafes are full of flowers it’s my favourite place. At Palm Beach they also have a great homewares store @theboathousehome. Another great brunch spot is if you hop on a ferry to Kirribilli wharf where you’ll find @celciuscoffeeco the waffles are amazing and it’s right on the water.

    It sounds like you already know quite a few good places in Byron all the places you mention are great as are most cafes, it’s probably a bit far but if you fancy a drive I’m told @whitecottage_flowerfarm_ is well worth a visit, her Instagram photos look lovely I’m definitely going there next time we are up that way.

    We love Noosa it’s so relaxing and the beach is amazing. A lovely walk is if you head into the National Park and follow the path around the coast. Bistro C is great for breakfast right by the beach and if you like gelato go to Massimo’s on Hastings Street.

    Have a fab trip x

    1. Hi Amelia, Oh wow thank you so so much for all of these tips. All sounds just up our street so have added lots to the list! How incredible that you live in Sydney, I bet you don't miss our rainy grey cold winters! Thanks again, Rebecca xx

    2. Funnily enough in this heat I’m dreaming about cold winter days! I’m new to reading your blog and Instagram it’s so lovely to read. I’ve just read about your love of all things stationery so you will love Bespoke Letterpress, they currently have two pop up shops in Sydney one of which is in the city centre in the lovely Strand Arcade. You said you don’t have a car in Sydney but if you fancy a trip they are based in the Southern Highlands in Bowral which is about 1.5hrs from Sydney. They have such a pretty shop and cafe there and you can see all their old presses that they print on. Also next door to that is The Potting Shed full of lovely plants, pots and old shutters. And Dirty Janes which is full of vintage goodies! So much to see x

  2. Noosa is fantastic!! I also highly recommend Bistro C for brunch or dinner, it has great views of the beach if you can get a table outside. The Surf Lifesaving Club on Hastings Street allows visitors and is also a great place to eat dinner - they have a balcony onto the beach and it is magical to watch the sun setting. As it will be busy at this time of year in Noosa I’d suggest booking ahead or going early for dinner. And as for spiders in Australia, I’m pretty sure no one has died here since the 1970s from a spider bite so I wouldn’t worry about that. The Steve Irwin adventure park is not too far from Noosa if you are wanting to see any crocodiles ☺️ Have a fantastic trip. xo

    1. Hi Elissa, phew that makes me feel better about the spiders. Ah another vote for Bistro C thank you! And the Surf club sounds fab too, really appreciate your suggestions. Rebecca x

  3. Im from Perth and live with my British husband in St Albans. My parents have a small vineyard in Margaret River and I adore it down there. You must drive through the Boranup forrest on your way to Hamelin Bay, its stunning! Contos and Redgate Beach are both beautiful and there is a great coastal walk that is part of the larger Cape to Cape walk from Contos. My favourite wineries to both visit and eat are Vasse Felix, Cullens and Xanadu.
    In fremantle I would recommend Bread in Common for food and Strange Company around the corner for a drink. If you want to find good tips all around Australia Urban List is a good website to use
    I was in Noosa last Easter and the best food we had of our 4 weeks in Australia was dinner at Locale, really incredible italian. Id also commend Bistro C for lunch.
    Have a great trip, I'll be following the instagram posts and counting down the next 4 weeks until our trip to Australia.

    1. Hi Marnie, these tips are all perfect thank you so much. Ah small world we're v close to St Albans! Really appreciate your suggestions I'm off to google them all now. And another vote for Bistro C! xx


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