Posts by: "Aprilia"

Having grown up in Sydney my whole life, I thought I’d share some of my best tips as a local to fellow adventurers looking to make their way to the Harbour city.

Sydney Harbour Small

For you first-time visitors, Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales, located on the south-east coast of Australia. It is one of the, if not the largest cities of Australia and one of the most beautiful cities that I have personally visited (and even better, lived in!).

This guide is essentially going to give you the best of the best of Sydney, or in other words, a must-see/do list for things that you won’t want to miss out on, on your weekend stay. Yes, a few of these things may seem a little touristy however, I still even do a couple of these things just to remind myself how much of a beauty this city is to live in (I’m a frequent traveller on the Sydney to Manly ferry and the views still make me pinch myself!).

Sydney Opera House Small

What to see/do:

  • Watch the sunrise over Bondi Beach. On a clear, fine day, you’ll be treated to a spectacular sunrise coming up from the horizon of the ocean. What better way to start your day?
  • Take a stroll through Circular Quay. Easily accessible by public transport (just hop on a train to Circular Quay station), start your walk from the station and walk around towards the Sydney Opera House where you’ll witness a spectacular view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you’ve got a spare couple of hours to kill, keep walking around to Farm Cove and up to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. I recommend packing a bite to eat and having a little picnic whilst you soak up the beautiful harbour views!
  • Catch a Sydney Ferry to Manly. Just 30 minutes away by ferry is the gateway to Sydney’s northern beaches. The ferry trip in itself is a great excuse enough to take the trip as you probably won’t be able to see Sydney Harbour in a more cost-effective way (just $15 for a round-trip ticket). Once you arrive in Manly, choose one of the many cafes or restaurants along the beachfront to grab lunch at, before taking a short walk around Manly Beach to Shelly Beach.

Where to eat:

I’m not going to lie – eating out in Sydney can be pretty expensive, you just need to know where to find delicious food that is still affordable (this is where I come in!). Here’s a list of some of my favourite places to eat in Sydney.

  • $ Chur Burger: $10 burgers that are extremely tasty – you can’t really beat that! Located in Surry Hills and Manly.
  • $ About Life: The closest thing to Wholefoods that Australia has, and it’s pretty damn good. Grab a takeaway box for $10 and fill it up with as much as you can in their Superfood Quarter – it’s a win/win with a healthy and affordable meal! Your most convenient location would be on Crown St. in Surry Hills.
  • $ Gelato Messina: The ice-cream that everyone raves about and yep, there’s a queue for a reason! Have a taste of the salted caramel/white chocolate; I’d be surprised if you didn’t like it! Conveniently located in Surry Hills and Darlinghurst.
  • $$ Bodhi Restaurant and Bar: Something a little bit different, but one of my favourite places to eat out as a vegan. During the day (11am-4pm), Bodhi does an all-vegan yum cha and for dinner (5pm – 10pm), they offer an all-vegan a la carte menu. I’ve only tried the yum cha, but I’m definitely due to go back for more!
  • $$$ Quay Sydney: Being Australia’s most awarded restaurant, it’s no surprise that Quay is on the more expensive side of this shortlist. You’re going to Quay for a top, fine dining experience, not to mention a million dollar view of Sydney’s beautiful harbour.

Where to shop:

  • If you’re down for some serious shopping in Sydney’s CBD, look no further than Pitt St. Mall. You’ll find a multi-storey Westfield complex, the Galeries Victoria, the Strand Arcade and Mid City Plaza – all on one street. A few of the most recent international chain stores that have hit Australian shores include Zara, Uniqlo, Topshop and H&M (due to open this month) which can all be found in Pitt St. Mall (except for Topshop which is located on the corner of Market St. and George St. and H&M which will be open at Glasshouse on Pitt St. Mall in 2015!)
  • If you’re after a taste of Australian designers, check out the Strand Arcade where you’ll find the likes of Dion Lee, Jac + Jack, LIFEwithBIRD, Lover, Manning Cartell and sass and bide just to name a few. For more Aussie designers, including Bassike and Zimmerman, visit the David Jones store on Market St.
  • While you’re in David Jones, navigate your way to the David Jones Food Hall – if you’re a foodie, this place is not one that you’ll want to miss!

Where to stay:

  • I recommend staying somewhere quite central in Sydney’s CBD, close to Wynyard/Circular Quay. The Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel on O’Connell St. in Sydney is just a stone’s throw from Sydney’s beautiful harbour and easily accessible by public transport.

When to visit:

In my personal opinion, the later months of spring (October and November) are the best time to visit Sydney as the temperature is generally above 20 degrees celcius and warms up to 30 degrees celcius. Arriving before December also generally means cheaper airfares and accommodation (because travelling anywhere at that time of year is generally more expensive due to holiday season) plus, you’ll also hopefully encounter fewer crowds.

Sydney Circular Quay Small

If you’ve got any questions about visiting Sydney, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to help you out as best as I can!

There are days when you feel like dressing up and looking schmick, but there are also days when you want to put in very minimal effort into how you look and just feel comfortable. The latter is often how I feel on a regular basis.

For those of you who are somewhat familiar with my personal style, you’ll know that I’m all for comfort when it comes to dressing. Most days, you’ll likely see me in a pair of jeans, t-shirt, sweater/jacket/coat (whichever is weather appropriate) and a pair of sneakers. On the off day (basically, when I need to be client-facing), I might take a leap and swap the sneakers for a pair of boots (extreme, I know).

Thanks to Somedays Lovin, Arrow Divine and Shambhala Resort, I was invited to take part in their Off Duty style challenge where I was to select a piece from Somedays Lovin’s collection, and style it in my own ‘off-duty’ look. As boyfriend jeans are already a uniform staple in my wardrobe, where I have 4-5 different variations to choose from… I really couldn’t go past this pair of slouched, distressed boyfriend jeans to style and add to my existing (and growing) collection.

Paired with sneakers and an oversized sweater, this is my ultimate go-to comfortable look for those days off-duty.

Wearing: Somedays Lovin Boyfriend Jeans, EVIL TWIN Sweater, Converse Chuck Taylors, Celine Audrey Sunglasses and Bag

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One of my favourite things about living on the northern beaches of Sydney is that there are a number of walking tracks that are not only close-by and easy to access, but are extremely beautiful too. Last weekend, some friends and I ventured out to walk the Gulgadya Muru walking track, located at Manly Dam.

Manly Dam (also known as Manly-Warringah War Memorial Park) is an extensive, tranquil bushland valley containing Sydney’s largest freshwater lake created by the damming of Curl Curl creek in 1892. It wasn’t my first visit to Manly Dam; being less than 10 minutes drive from my apartment, it’s often been one of my go-to spots in the summer to enjoy a picnic and a swim in the lake. While I live quite close to the beach, the dam can be much nicer on a windy day due to it being quite protected.

The walk itself averaged out to be approximately 8km and took around 3 hours to walk at a pretty easy pace, not to mention that we also stopped a couple of times to take a few snapshots and generally, soak up our surroundings. I would consider the track to be quite a relaxed walk however, there are a few stairs and rocks to climb over from time to time. It’s also important to note that some parts of the track are shared with mountain bikers, so just be cautious of incoming riders to avoid any collisions!

Scroll down to see some of the highlights from the walk, and for a map of the walking track.


Plant life in the dam



Bees making the most of the winter sunshine, gathering pollen from native flora



Just a couple of the many flowers throughout the walk


Close-up shot of a little lizard – he was basically camouflaged amongst the tree’s bark


Bees need to stay hydrated too!


An old cicada shell, still latched onto a tree


Just one of the spectacular spots on the walk

Manly Dam Map

The outline of the track – click on the map to see a larger version!

How to get there: There are several entry points to Manly Dam, however the only vehicle access is through the main entrance at the end of King Street (off Condamine Street, Manly Vale). From this entrance,  Sir Roden Cutler V.C. Memorial Drive provides access to the four picnic areas and carparks.

Attractions: Rock pools, a waterfall, native flora, insects and even echidnas (if you’re lucky)!

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