17 useful apps for backpackers!

When you are out travelling, it's important to know the best places to eat and where to sleep and most important, how to find wherever you are going! Here we've listed the 17 best and most helpful travel Apps that make you a real travel pro "down under", with Australia's best backpacker apps!

  • Rome 2 Rio, Free 

A door to door travel app, that helps you find every kind of transportation from A to B in the fastest, easiest and cheapest way.

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/rome2rio-rail-air-road-sea/id569793256?mt=8

  • Sydney Australia Official Guide, Free

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/sydney-australia-official/id575072873?mt=8

The best app if you want to explore Sydney. Here you find attractions, shopping, food and nightlife, there's also a lot of local tips and seasonal information.

  • Webjet, Free

With this app you can book your flight, accommodation and car hire all at once. Now you don't have to search through the whole internet for hours!

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/webjet/id361122959mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.webjet&hl=en

  • Kayak, Free

Another wicked good flight and hotel search app. For free. And it can even send you push messages when a deal comes along that is in your price range!

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/kayak-flights-hotels-cars/id305204535?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kayak.android&hl=en

  • Zomato, Free

The ultimate Foodie app, you will never have a disappointing meal again! Find out what everyone else thinks, read reviews, see the menu, and check out loads of photos from every restaurant in town!

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/zomato-food-restaurant-finder/id434613896?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.application.zomato&hl=en

  • Tripadvisor, Free

The crowned-king of travel review sites, this will keep you from accidentally booking into that dirty and horrible hostel that was such a good price... Be prepared with tripadvisor!

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/tripadvisor-hotels-flights/id284876795?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tripadvisor.tripadvisor&hl=en

  • Townske, Free

Live like a local everywhere you go with Townske, featuring "best of" lists made by locals all over the country. Be in the know!

Applehttps://itunes.apple.com/au/app/townske-stunning-city-guides/id1018136179?mt=8

  • Couch Surfing, Free

If everything is overbooked, or if you are just on a tight budget, this app is your new best friend. The app connects you to friendly people's couches, and let's you leave and read reviews too (so you don't end up at some creep's home...).

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/couchsurfing-travel-app/id525642917?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.couchsurfing.mobile.android&hl=en

  • Google Translate, Free

Always good to have Google Translate if you're stuck with the language and just don't get what people mean or write sometimes!

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/google-translate/id414706506?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&hl=en

  • XE Currency App, Free 

Not the most fun app ever, but very useful and simple, and a must-have for currency conversion.

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/xe-currency/id315241195?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xe.currency&hl=en

  • Yelp, Free 

Best app to find reviews on everything. Very useful if you don't know the city so much and don't want to end up with a bad haircut and a burger at Hungry Jacks ;)

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/yelp/id284910350?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yelp.android&hl=en

  • Uber, Free 

This driver service offers you a much cheaper ride than the regular taxi, and a much more slick mobile experience! You just make an account with all your details, then you can track a car, book and also pay with the app. So simple and cheap to get where you want in the city!

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/uber/id368677368?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab&hl=en

  • NextThere, Free 

Shows exactly when the bus or train is at the stop in real-time, so you don't have to waste your time standing around and waiting.

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/nextthere/id870393074?mt=8

  • Sunscreen, $2.99 

Even if you want a good tan, it's good to know how much it's gonna damage your skin. This app shows exactly how strong the sun is and if you need to watch out to not get burned by it. Very useful app, especially here in Australia (there's a hole in the ozone, don't you know??)

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/sunscreen-uv-index-protect/id687082193?mt=8

  • AirBnb, Free 

One of the best apps to find places to stay on your trip. People put up their homes, apartments, and rooms for you to stay in or rent, and you can find everything from a small and cheap apartment to a big castle (literally!).

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/airbnb/id401626263?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.airbnb.android&hl=en

  • National Public Toilet Map, Free 

If you're out in the city and need to visit the toilet, this amazing app helps you find every public toilet close to you. A real pant-saver sometimes!

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/national-public-toilet-map/id323279108?mt=8

  • Wifi finder, Free 

This app will help you track down every WiFi hotspot in town. Enough said.

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/twc-wifi-finder/id492768487?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.timewarnercable.wififinder&hl=en

Do you know any other must-have apps?  Add them in the comments!

 


10 amazing & free things to do in Sydney

Sydney is one of the world's most expensive cities, and if you are traveling on a tight budget and still want to experience as much as possible, you can actually do amazing things for free. Below we have listed 10 amazing things you can do in Sydney that are completely free-of-charge!101189-aerial_sydney-large-13700147361-carousel

1. Royal Botanic Gardens
Located in central Sydney, east of the Opera House and Macquarie Street, you find this oasis of beautiful gardening, walking trails and wildlife. If you walk out to the point of "Mrs Macquarie's Chair", you have an amazing view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Just walk around, maybe have a picnic, and spend some time enjoying this beautiful place in Sydney, especially because it's free!

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2. Walk over Harbour Bridge
If your budget is not big enough to have a go at the Harbour Bridge Climb, you can always walk across it yourself. From the bridge, you have a fantastic view of the Sydney skyline, coastline, and the (always impressive) Opera House. Once across, you will have the chance to explore Sydney's northern areas like Kirribilli, Lavender Bay and Mahones Point (Hint: there's good, cheap restaurants on Sydney's northside).

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3. The Beaches
To visit Sydney's beaches is simply a must; this city has some of the best beaches in the world. You have several different beaches to choose from within a reasonable distance, the most known ones being Bondi Beach, Bronte Beach and Coogee Beach. Bondi and Coogee are larger beaches where you have the best chance to go surfing, while Bronte is a smaller beach with a stunning saltwater pool perfect for a swim. Another beach to visit is Manly Beach, and make your way up the northern beaches like Shelly Beach (go snorkeling!) and Palm Beach. To get to Manly, the easiest way is to go by the ferry; a good day to do that is on Sundays, when it only costs around $2.50, and the view from the ferry is worth the trip!

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4. Museums

Learn about Australia's History, Archaeology and Religion by visiting some of Sydney's free museums. Here are 4 of them:

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5. Walk to Observatory Hill Park
To take a walk up to Observatory Hill Park doesn't make you disappointed. On the contrary, it might send you into ecstasy! Here you have a stunning view of the Harbour Bridge, with Luna Park, Lavender Bay and Kirribilli in the background. The park is perfect for a picnic and just sit and enjoy the view, you don't get a view like this everyday!

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6. Walk the Sydney Beach Walks
Sydney has many fantastic walks, one of the best being along the eastern beaches. This most famous promenade is the Bondi to Coogee walk, which takes about 2 hours depending on pace, and during the walk you will pass Tamarama Beach, Clovelly Beach and Bronte Beach. So, for no cost at all, you get an incredible walk by Sydney's finest beaches with spectacular views, cliffs and pounding waves! (Hint: the Manly to Spit Bridge walk is also a must-do)

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7. The Markets
On the weekends in Sydney there are loads of markets, offering colourful and creative products of various kinds. It is completely free to enter these markets and, even if you do not shop, it is a really fun experience to see all the beautiful things and also to meet some of the coolest locals. You might just make a new friend!

Here are 5 great markets:

  • The Rocks Markets - Open Friday 9am - 3pm (food market) and Sat-Sun 10am - 5pm. To read more about it: www.therocks.com
  • Glebe Market - Open every Sat 10am-4pm. Probably the hippest market in Sydney with around 200 stalls that offers cool vintage clothes, jewelry, books and so much more. Read more here: www.glebemarkets.com.au
  • Paddington Market - Open every Sat 10am -4pm. This is a community based market with a lot of handmade art, jewelry and crafts. Great place to support the local entrepreneurs. Read more here: www.paddingtonmarkets.com.au
  • Bondi Markets - Open Sun 10am - 4pm. A lovely beachfront market with hand made jewellery, designer clothing, arts, crafts, retro furniture, vintage clothes and so much more. Read more about it here: www.bondimarkets.com.au
  • Kirribilli Markets - Open once a month, Sun  8:30am - 3pm. This market has a vibrant atmosphere with good vintage clothes, great live music and international food. Read more here: www.thekirribillicentre.org/market-dates/

 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 2, 2014; Sydney Opera Hosue illuminated in geometric vibrant colour during Vivid Sydney annual festival of light, music and ideas

8. Festivals and Events
Sydney is a city with some of the best festivals and events in the world, and many of them are totally free! Here are 3 of the coolest events you can go to anywhere, at any price:

  • Vivid Sydney transforms the city into a wonderland of 'light art' sculptures, innovative light installations and grand-scale projections for all to enjoy. It's amazing, and entirely free! Read more here, we promise you don't want to miss this one: http://www.vividsydney.com/
  • Mardi Gras - The annual gay parade (and party) on Oxford Street, and one of the biggest gay festivals in the world! Read more here: www.mardigras.org.au
  • Outdoor Cinemas - All around Sydney, and especially around summer, there are many great outdoor cinemas to enjoy, and some are free. To read more about them: www.au.timeout.com/sydney/film/features/13918/sydneys-best-outdoor-cinema-seasons

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9. Visit St Mary's Cathedral
This church is found in the centre of Sydney, perched just east of Hyde Park. It is Sydney's largest and oldest church by far, and totally worth a visit. You can go to one of the masses, or just go take some pictures of the beautiful building and architecture.

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10. Visit Luna Park

There's no entry fee to this magical amusement park just across the Harbour Bridge to the north. If you are looking for a fun night with a killer view, you should absolutely visit Luna Park! If you really want to take one of the rides, it only costs $10, so still a totally budget friendly thing to do.

Do you know of other free things to do in Sydney? What's your favourite one?  Tell us with a comment below :-)


10 Reasons To Book a Trip to Tasmania

Tasmania (or “Tassie” in local-speak), is one of those magical places that truly has it all. You'll find natural wonders abound, with rugged mountains, beautiful beaches and lush forests; a nature-lover's dream come true. If you ever manage to set your foot on this Southern Australian Island, we can pretty much guarantee you will have an unforgettable adventure.

Here's 10 Reasons Why:

 

 

The Tasmanian Devil

No, it doesn't look like the one from Looney Tunes, but it is quite ferocious! Tasmania has a rich wildlife, and is the only place where you can find the Endangered Tasmanian Devil living in the wild. You very well might see one of the road attacking an animal carcass, but if you want to make sure to see one of these magnificent creatures you can visit the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, an ultra-modern zoo where the animals live more free than a usual zoo.

 

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A chance to see the Southern Lights

Tasmania is one of the best places in Australia to have a good chance of seeing the Southern Lights - or, technically speaking, the Aurora Australis. The best time to see the lights is in September, but they can show up anytime all-year round. The best places to make sure you can see the lights is from a mountain, beach or shallow bay, any place where there’s less light. Why not go camping and catch the lights?

 

 

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Four seasons

Tasmania is the one of the few places in Australia that has four distinct seasons. In the summer you can visit one of Tassie’s beautiful beaches, watch the leaves fall in Autumn, feel the amazing weather of Spring, and in Winter hit the slopes in the mountains of Ben Lomond in the north or Mt Mawson in the south.

 

 

Great Short Walks - Waterfall Bay Track

Tasman Peninsula

The Tasman Peninsula is one of the most beautiful spots in Tasmania, a beautiful coastal scenery where you can do everything from fishing, kayaking, and rock climbing, to horse riding and surfing.  For the bushwalkers, you'll find over 35 different walks and hikes on the peninsula!

 

 

 

 

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Cradle Mountain National Park

This world heritage-listed national park is one of the most visited parks in Tasmania and an absolute must-see while you are in Australia. You'll get the best experience exploring by foot, and there are loads of different day tours to choose from.

 

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Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay, part of Freycinet National Park, is one of the world's most beautiful and tucked-away beaches. Can't you see yourself relaxing surrounded by the beauty of Tasmania?

 

 

 

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Bruny Islands

Bruny Islands are the two south eastern islands tied together by Bruny Island Neck (see the picture). With a stunning 360 degree view, and some of the most adorable animals you'll ever see (like Little Penguins!), this one is a sure shot. If you take one of the boat tours, you'll get to see seals, dolphins, caves and vertical cliffs too!  It's an adventurers delight!

 

 

 

Hobart-harbour

Hobart

The capital of Tasmania, and it has something for everyone. Here you'll find historical museums, amazing food, and a civilised gateway to all the mountains, beaches and forests just a skip away.  (Hint: stop by the Travel Desk to get recommendations on the best hostels to stay at in Hobart!)

 

 

 

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Taste of Tasmania

We all know how much we love good food here in Australia, and Tasmania is no exception! Taste of Tasmania is one of Australia’s most popular food festivals, attracting over 265,000 visitors each year. The festival is running between December 28 until January 3, so go ahead and make New Years plans to be there!

 

 

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The Fresh Air

Did you know that Tasmania has the cleanest air in the entire world? It's worth the trip just to give your lungs a break from the Sydney air!  Head to Tasmania, take in a deep breath of the fresh air, look around at the amazing natural beauty, and then call us and tell us you had a bad time. Yeah, we don't think that's going to happen ;-)

 


Farewell Sydney, from beautiful Watson's Bay

Sydney has never stopped surprising me, there is just so much to see and do in this city, it feels endless – you never get bored! My last trip during my internship at WTC was to the beautiful Watson's Bay – what a great way to finish this trip to Australia!wb6

The unique suburb Watson's Bay is only a short ferry ride away from the city. It offers some nice views of Sydney’s magnificent skyline and there are restaurants, bars and cafes in the area to suit anyone's tastes.

The Watson's Bay Beach Club Restaurant is one of a kind and definitely my favourite. The Restaurant has the perfect spot overlooking Sydney and the gorgeous Watson's Bay Beach. The atmosphere is unbeatable and is definitely an amazing spot to catch up with some friends or just enjoy the view with your favourite drink in your hand.wb5

I highly recommend to catch the Ferry and see Watson's bay. It’s beautiful, it is only 30 minutes from the city and it only coasts you a couple of dollars to get there; so why not? While you are there and have some spare time, you should walk the five kilometre cliff-top walk (‘The Federation Cliff Walk’) from Watson's Bay to Dover Heights. It's a stunning postcard view out to the Pacific Ocean and, if you are brave enough, there are some places where you can go cliff jumping (tick that off your bucket list!!)wb3

This is my last post for the WTC blog and my interning has sadly come to an end :-(  I am so very grateful for this amazing and unique opportunity and I couldn't have been happier with my time in Sydney and at WTC. I have learnt that anything is possible, you just have to believe in yourself and it will all work out! Over these past two months I have grown so much, and learnt a lot about myself. I have gained invaluable experience which will be useful for my studies and my future carrier in the Travel & Tourism industry. I have created life-long memories for which I will be forever grateful.

Thank you Sydney for the amazing time and I will see you again one day (for the fifth time!)  Like the WTC travel agent said (in his charming Aussie accent) when I said goodbye: ‘You are like a boomerang, you just keep coming back!’ And I guess he is right, this was definitely not the last time I will travel to the land down under.wb4


Home and Away in Palm Beach

Recently, I was lucky enough to get a chance to go to Palm Beach, also called the "Jewel of the Northern Beaches". Palm Beach is the northernmost of Sydney's beach suburbs, and this place is pure paradise! The beautiful beach and suburb is about 28 kilometers from Manly and less than an hour drive from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the CBD. You can get here by bus, which is very convenient, but I recommend to go by car if you can - you will want to stop for pictures and to gaze at the spectacular ocean views and beaches along the way.  This was my second trip to Palm Beach and it is definitely worth visiting more than twice – the breathtaking views, the ocean breeze and the friendly locals with the most relaxed lifestyle, it just makes you want to stay there forever...

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Palm Beach has a few nice little restaurants and cafes, but my favourite one is the amazing little Boathouse (see all the pics). The food is delicious (especially their freshly made juices), this place will definitely be one of the things that brings me back on my next trip to Australia. The restaurant is located right on the water, and what could possibly be better than listening to the sound of the ocean while you’re enjoying your lunch?

12312342_10153143036036790_382160340_nIf you have some spare time, catch one of the small ferries that run across Broken Bay to Patonga and have a look at the National Park Ku-ring-gai, which is a Bushland reaching down to the water. Make sure you don’t miss the the fascinating Aboriginal Heritage walk, where there is rock art and engravings of the Guringai people of West Head (this part is also ideal for cycling, fishing and bushwalking). This is a great way to experience a little bit of Australia's history.

Palm Beach is also the home of TV series Home and Away, a perennially popular Australian television show that has been on TV from 1988, with over 6300 episodes! I’m fortunate enough that my Australian friend, who also came with me on this trip to Palm Beach, is an actor on Home and Away. She told me it is an amazing experience to work with such a popular Australian TV series, which she has grown up watching; can you imagine growing up to work for your favourite show as a kid? The actors and the rest of the Home & Away team are very friendly and easy going too!

Palm Beach is also known for its famous lighthouse bushwalk. The uphill walk is 1.2 kilometers and it is definitely worth every step when you finally get to the top. I have seen a lot of stunning views in Sydney, but this particular one from the historic Barrenjoey lighthouse would have to be one of my favourite views. With spectacular 360 degree views, you can see the uninhabited rocky island resembling a resting lion which guards the entrance to Broken Bay (Lion Island, fitting name!), its northern arm Brisbane Water, and Pittwater. The lighthouse was built of sandstone in 1881 and its light can be seen 19 nautical miles out to sea; yes, it still operates! If you go to Palm Beach sometime during May to November there is a chance you would see whales during their annual migration, which by itself makes the trip worth putting on your bucket list...


42 Degrees and a Few Glasses of Wine

It was already over 30 degrees Celsius when I got to the YHA pick up location at 7.15 am. And it was predicted to be about 42 degrees in the Hunter Valley today. What would be better than relaxing at an exclusive wine tasting tour this particular day? Not many people would say no to a day trip out to Australia's oldest wine production region, especially not if you mentioned that a wine crawl is included in the price!

As soon as we left the city behind us I could feel how relaxed and calm I was. The city is nice but nothing beats being surrounded by open fields and the atmosphere of the farmland and vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see.  We were a small group of 10 people including me and we were all from different places around the world, like America, Mexico, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

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Our professional tour guide took us to three different wineries and we tasted like 20 different wines; red, white, sparkling, fortified and rose! We started off with the world-famous McGuigan wines, which has won “International Winemaker of the Year” at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London - 3 times!… and they also had a nice little shop with their own wine and some delicious cheese.

WIne Tasting

After the second winery we sat down and had lunch in the shade, and finished off at the Wynwood Estate winery (my personal favourite). The whole experience there felt genuine, and the host made us feel very welcomed... AND the wine was absolutely amazing!

Even if you are not a massive wine drinker, you would absolutely love this trip and will probably love wine after the tastings. You'll at least feel like a wine expert after this tour, since the winemakers explain in detail the process and the character and quality of every wine you get to taste. A really good thing is that you will also support the small local family producers who are so important Australia’s wine making, so it's a feel-good experience beyond just a load of wine! And who doesn't like cute boutique shops, incredible cheese shops, and a brewery tour too??

I have always liked to meet new people and have always been interested to hear their stories; it's inspiring to hear where they have traveled and what has led others to where they are today. As we drove back to the city, I couldn’t stop thinking of how lucky I am who get to do all these amazing things with my life and see all these beautiful places.

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***Want to book the famous ‘Hunter Valley Winery Tour’ for yourself?  Message the Travel Desk to get the best deal in town.

Hunter Valley


Why hike it when you can bike it?

The great thing about Sydney is that there is so much to see and do, it seems endless! And what could be more amazing than experiencing beautiful Sydney by riding a bike through it! (it's such a nice change from public transport, buses and taxis too) I highly recommend this tour as it's such a different experience, it really takes your breath away: the fresh air, being outside soaking up the sunshine and the beautiful weather!

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The harbour bike rides takes you on a 12 km joy ride around some of the most iconic Sydney harbour scenes. It's a nice way to see a different side of the city (the north) and enjoy the cute cafes and sights along the way. It takes about 2 hours, and you are free to stop whenever you want and take photos or just stroll around in North Sydney.

 
It’s an easy ride and anyone can do it, even if you are a beginner! You get a close up look at some of Sydney's most iconic scenery, like riding across the harbour bridge - you can't get any closer than that! I thought climbing the bridge, which I did a few years ago, was the most amazing experience; well, this topped it, just when I thought it couldn't get any better. Riding a bike though Sydney wasn't something I dreamed of doing, but it's made me more grateful of the beautiful world we live in. Many friends back home in Sweden would love to have this amazing opportunity!

 

It's never too late to try new things. Sometimes it may be a simple thing like a bike ride, but I'll never forget it. Do more of what makes you happy!

 

Call or Email the Travel Desk to book your bike ride today! You might be surprised how cheap it is :-)  travel@worktravelcompany.com.au

 

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Buying Travel Actually Makes You Richer

Captain James Cook was about 19 years older than me when he first discovered Australia. I was 23 years old, and pretty much didn't know what to do with my life so I booked a flight to Australia ‘the land down under’ and applied for a Working Holiday Visa. People told me that Australia would be an easy country to travel, work, and meet new people - even if you're travelling alone. And they were right!

I didn't have a plan. I didn't think about it at all to be honest. I just jumped on that plane, and moved from Sweden to the other side of the world; I didn't know what to expect. I took a risk and, to be honest, Australia wasn't one of the countries to tick off my bucket list, but I couldn't have been happier! It was the best decision I have ever made in my life and I wouldn't change a thing.

This is now my fourth trip to Australia; every time I left, I promised myself I would come back, and so far I have... I lived in a beach house (with 4 Aussies and an American) on the Northern Beaches where I made friendships that I never thought could exist. I've worked in a beach side restaurant, and I've worked in a local pub in what felt like the middle of the outback in Queensland where I experienced the 'real local' life living in a big house in a small country town ('becoming a local' in QLD is an unforgettable experience everyone should have!)

Four years later, I am back in Sydney again, doing my internship with the Work and Travel Company and loving every minute of it! It's been great to use my own experience as a traveller to help WTC members with all their questions, because I really know what they are going through firsthand. I get the opportunity to develop myself and my career, working alongside experts in the industry I love the most: Travel! This beautiful country has so much to offer and there is so much to see and experience. Even having done so much already, I still have plenty more places in Australia I would love to experience one day! Working at WTC, I will get to see so much more of Sydney this time, and create more life long memories for which I will be forever grateful.

I believe everything happens for a reason, and good things do come to those who wait... but they also come to those who go out and get what they want and chase their goals. I believe I achieved mine by getting on that plane all by myself and taking a massive risk: travelling alone, not knowing what to expect. I just believed in myself, and knew that I could do this on my own; if I can do it, anyone can! You just have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Travel is one of the few things you can buy that actually makes you richer.

My name is Emelie and this is the story of my Australian experience. And it's just the beginning.

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Aussie Coffee…

Coffee is an Art Taken to a Whole New Level in Australia

 

This may sound ridiculous, but I get extremely excited about having a cappuccino every morning here in Australia… and sometimes I let myself have another in the afternoon too, if I really want to indulge.

Back in America, I never chose to drink a cup of coffee for the taste.

But here in Australia, a cup of coffee is a treat I look forward to everyday.

Sure, a small cup of coffee does not seem like a big deal. But it is such a simple thing that makes my day that much better.

To me, it has become a reminder of how happy and grateful I am everyday that I am in a wonderful new country and that I need to continue to make the most of my experience here.

Cappuchino at The Crabble Hole @ Bondi Icebergs

 

I will try to explain the difference, but you really have to taste Australian coffee yourself to fully understand.

First of all, Americans tend to drink drip-brewed coffee, it takes less time and money and it is able to be produced on a larger scale. Most homes and cafes in the United States brew a large pot in the morning and drink or serve it throughout the day as needed.

On the other hand, Australian coffee is espresso-based, and it is way stronger than American coffee. Each drink is made individually and to order, meaning the coffee is not waiting in the pot for the next customer’s order.

Basically, you can get the same caffeine effect from a small sized Australian coffee as you would from a 12-ounce (tall size at Starbucks) American coffee.

Historically, Australia’s coffee culture is partly influenced from the large Italian immigrant population. They brought with them their barista skills and excellent coffee, and you can find some of the best Italian baristas in Sydney; notice the Italian brands of coffee everywhere, such as Segafredo Zanetti, Vittoria and Lavazza.

Local cafes serve artisan Australian-roasted coffee too. Some of the best are known to be Campos Coffee, Toby Estate and Single Origin. You will be sure to get a great cup of coffee at the cafes serving these!

To get to enjoy this amazing taste, you first need to learn all the different names and ways to order each style of coffee here. To clear up any confusion you may have when you arrive from overseas, here is an Aussie coffee guide to help you order your first drink:

Coffee-in-Australia

Short Black: A single shot of espresso

Macchiato: Espresso with milk froth on top

(In case you didn’t know: "Froth" is the common name for micro-foam, which is created when steaming the milk, it is smooth and creamy)

Long Black: Espresso with hot water – about 1/3 espresso and 2/3 water

(If you want a close approximation of a regular cup of American coffee, order a long black)

Cappuccino: Espresso, steamed milk, milk froth and chocolate powder on top J

(This is my go to, it is delicious!)

Latte: Basically a cappuccino without the chocolate powder, usually served in a glass

Mocha: A latte with hot chocolate

Flat White: Espresso with steamed milk—about 1/3 espresso and 2/3 milk

(The closest approximation in America would be a latte with no foam)

Piccolo: Same as a latte but with less milk

Iced Coffee: Generally means cold espresso, milk and a scoop of ice cream :-)

(Definitely better than in America, the scoop of ice cream is a great touch!)

If you are going to drink a cup of coffee here in Australia, you are meant to fully enjoy it. I luckily discovered the joyous experience of drinking an Aussie cappuccino my first week here, so now I can take advantage of having one (or two) every day that I am here in Australia.

Bourke Street Bakery

 


New Path, Same Feet

Being new to Sydney, I want to see and do as many different things as I can, and there are endless places to explore. But at the same time, having somewhat of a routine helps me feel more comfortable and makes the adjustment of living in a new city much easier. I have learned that it is all about finding the balance between my adventurous spirit and a regular activity that keeps me grounded.

In order for me to see as much of this city as I can while also maintaining a healthy habit, I have combined my desire to explore with my running routine. I love to run on a regular basis, so I try to go somewhere new on each run. Even if it is finding a new street, I am still getting to know my neighbourhood better and, when I have enough time, I can really find some exceptional beauty. On my runs, I have discovered three of my favourite places in Sydney: The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, The Royal Botanic Gardens (with the amazing view of the Opera House), and the Centennial Parklands.

I can not pick one favourite! They are all equally and uniquely amazing places that look beautiful at all different times of the day. They are all must see places while in Sydney and they are all FREE!

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is about 6 kilometres along the cliff tops in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The views of the beaches, parks, rock pools, bays and cliffs are stunning. Along the way you see several beaches. If you start in Bondi Beach, the closest ocean beach to the centre of Sydney and just a bus ride away, you will see Tamarama Beach next, then Bronte Beach, Clovelly Beach and end at Coogee Beach. Most beaches offer a place to change, rest, swim and eat at one of the cafes, some even have free eclectic barbecues!

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The Royal Botanic Gardens

 

The Royal Botanic Gardens are wonderful.  The first time I saw them, I was, indeed, running. I just stumbled upon them; it was the most breathtaking surprise! The Royal Botanic Gardens were established in 1816 and they are the oldest scientific institution in Australia as well as the home to an exceptional collection of plants from Australia and overseas. These gardens are a haven of 30 hectares in the heart Sydney. They are in a brilliant location, right along the Farm Cove at the edge of Sydney Harbour. In addition, there is a great running path along the water where you get a beautiful view of the water and Opera House.

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Centennial Parklands

Centennial park

Centennial Park is also magnificent. It is a grand public park and recreation area in the heart of Sydney’s busy eastern suburbs. It is a playground for people of all ages. It opened in 1888; it is full of history as it was a grand park in the Victorian period tradition. Today is still features gardens, grand avenues, ponds, statues, sporting fields and historic buildings. Furthermore, it is one of the only inner city parks among the world that offers facilities for horseback riding.

 

 

For more info, check out:

 

http://bonditocoogeewalk.com.au/

http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/

https://www.centennialparklands.com.au/

 

Or go for a run or walk yourself to discover the spectacular beauty in person!

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