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Libby's Guide to Aus

19 Nov 2016

After retturning from Sydney, I cannot get over how amazing my experience was. In order to make it easier for all you future Aussies, I decided to put together a list of the best trips, resturants, hotels, and everything in between! 

Trips to do:

- If you want to see the Great Barrier Reef, we went to Cairns (but don’t go), snorkel the reef in the Whitsundays, it is so amazing and the snorkeling is SO much better there (we stayed at the Heart Hotel and it was really good location and very clean, nice and not too expensive)...Only need to go for 3 nights

- Melbourne: we went from Friday morning to Sunday night and it was the perfect amount of time — do the Great Ocean road with Oceania Tours (it is a small group in a Mercedes van with wifi and easily the best tour I have ever done, honestly amazing)... Go to the Croft Institute for drinks, it is an old insane asylum is super cool

- New Zealand: THE BEST PLACE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!! Go for as long as you can and do everything and anything you can!!!!! Queenstown is basically heaven on Earth, it is all people in their 20’s and 30’s who are always down to hang out and drink, everyone is SO friendly — I would try to go here for reading break at the end of the semester or whenever its warm bc its pretty cold there

  • For dinner go to Madam Wu’s and Toro, and go to Vudu Cafe for breakfast
  • We started in the Heartland and it was such good location and all you need or get an Airbnb
  • You cannot leave NZ without going to FergBurger, they are the best burgers in the entire world, no joke

- Fiji: Obviously fiji is absolutely amazing, we stayed at the Westin for 4 nights and could’ve stayed longer — definitley go to Cloud 9 (its legit a floating bar in the middle of the ocean) and is just so fun and cool, the second day we went snorkeling with sharks on a remote island while our friends went island hopping to the island where Castaway the movie was filmed — wish we could’ve done both but both were equally as fun, you can’t go wrong in Fiji

- Byron Bay: Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go here but I had friends that did and you only ever hear amazing things about it, it’s basically a hippie town — if you’re into the whole hippie thing I would reccomend the happy bus one day to Nimbin (it’s legit a town that is still stuck in the 70’s) and stay in a hostel or get an air b n b but if you do make sure its good location! if you’re not into the whole hippie scene the beaches are still unbelievable and a place where a lot of people take surfing lessons (you only need 2-3 nights here)

- For Spring Break: I went to Japan which was definitley so awesome if you can go (contact me if you do go, I can give you more specifics on that) but originally we were going to Thailand with a program called ThaiIntro (they also do a trip to Bali which I would recommend but book this one early because it fills up!!) — that being said, a lot of people do a trip called 1 Fish 2 Fish and say really good things, I honestly wouldn’t do 1 Fish 2 Fish bc it seems to be going downhill and is just insanely ratchet unless you have an amazing group which is pretty rare

Breakfast/Brunch in Sydney:

-  Bloody Mary's (darlinghurst)

-  Coogee Pavilion

-  Tropicana (coogee)

-  Barzura (coogee)

-  Surry hills 485

-  Cali press (coogee)

-  Speedos (bondi)

- Eatery on the hill (bondi)

- Hello kitty diner (forget the real name)


Lunch/dinner in Sydney:

- The royal hotel paddington (fun Saturday day parties)

- Coogee Pavilion

- Bills bondi/bills surry hills

-  Neighborhoods (bondi)

- Mama San surry hills

-  The buffalo dining room (darlinghurst)

-  Long grain (surry hill)

-  Soy in bondi

-  Spice alley (sydney)

-  Sushi on Stanley (darlinghurst)

-  Fish called coogee 

-  Opera bar (just get drinks, don't eat there)

-  Mad E Pizza bar in Bondi

- North Bondi Fish

- Swell (bondi)

- Two & twelve (bondi)

-  Yullis (surry hills)

-  Zushi (surry hills)

- The winery (surry hills)

- The dolphin hotel (surry hills)

- Sake (Sydney—it is equivalent to Nobu)


Going out in Sydney:

- Mondays and Tuesdays: Side Bar or ScuBar (next to each other in the city, you can take a cab or take the train to central and its right around the corner)


  • The Golden Sheef, it closes at 1 am but it is SO fun. It reminds me of Skeeps and everyone goes, lots of Australians go too
  • World Bar

Thursday – not a big going out night but if you do go to the Ivy (it’s free for Uni students that night)

-  Friday and Saturday

  • Argyle (in the Rocks) it has a cool outside cobblestone area and trendy inside
  • The Ivy- $20 cover on Fridays, go to the pool area first and pay there and then you have access to the main part too (which is the area upstairs). If you pay for the main part, you have to pay again to go to the pool
  • Marquee Sydney (located in the Star Hotel) - $20 cover, might be more on nights with famous djs, very worth it to make the trip there.
  • Cargo Bar- (Darling Harbor) its where the TV show the Real World went
  • Anywhere in Kings Cross is AMAZING and so much fun. I loved the cross, it’s such a cool area and the train goes right to it.

o   Piano Room

o   The Club

o   World Bar

o   Hugo’s

o   Iguana Bar- good place to meet Australians

o   Kings Cross Hotel (5 levels and every level is different type of music and theme)

o   SoHo- younger crowd (Australians don’t like it)

Overall Tips for Australia:

- For every trip you go on use, it gives you amazing deals on hotels and flights and saved us a ton of $!!!

- When you land in the airport stock up on hard alcohol because it’s super expensive to buy

- Definitely go to the Blue Mountains but you only need a day trip there

- Do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk every chance you get

- Go to the Races at the Randwick race track every Saturday!!!! They are a ton of fun

- Australia does not have a liquid rule. You can fly with as many ounces of liquid as you want and you can also get through security with water bottles

- Australia is VERY strict with weight. Your carry-on can only be 7 kg and if an airport worker thinks it’s too heavy they will stop you to weigh it and if you need to check it, it can cost you up to $40. So, I recommend buying a checked bag when you purchase your flight if you think your bag will be overweight because that will be much cheaper.

o   You can fly with 2 carry-ons but they need to be a combined weight of 7 kg.

o   If you are flying with your iPad or laptop, carry that through separately because that will significantly add to your weight and then put in back in your bag once you’re through security.

-  Flying INTERNATIONALLY: Use Virgin Australia or Qantas or if flying to New Zealand, use Air New Zealand (its SO nice)

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