Australia was never in my “countries I really really want to go to” list. To be honest, this was an impromptu trip in a sense that I just impulsively booked my ticket one random night last January (and the Sydney-Melbourne-Sydney one just a few days before I flew out). Actually, I was already getting annoyed with this trip because… the ticket was expensive, getting an Australian visa was expensive, and all the accommodations both in Sydney and Melbourne were… expensive! It came to a point that I didn’t want to do my itinerary anymore because I just felt like the whole trip was such a hassle… Lo and behold, I was in for a big surprise as this trip turned out to be one of my best ones!
8 days and 16 cups of coffee after… I FELL IN LOVE WITH AUSTRALIA! It’s such a liveable country! (It’s really just the erratic weather that’s a bit hard to adjust to HAHA.) They have amazing coffee, yummy food, and efficient public transportation! People are warm and the country is very open to welcoming different cultures! I can super imagine myself living here in a few years time.
Everyday was an adventure- I wanted to do so much, I would wake up really early and go home late (that’s why I was so tired when I came back home to PH HAHA). I wanted to drink as many cups of coffee in a day, I felt like 24 hours a day wasn’t just enough! Also, it didn’t feel like it was a solo trip at all as I have a lot of friends who are now based in AUS (told you how liveable this country is) and I was meeting at least 1 friend a day!
Check out the photos below to see why I had the best time of my life in the Land Down Under!
Depart Manila at 12am -> Arrive in Sydney International Airport at 11am -> Late brunch at Paramount Cafe -> Check-in at Zara Towers -> Rest for a bit -> Artsy afternoon at Museum of Contemporary Arts -> Afternoon snack at Guylian Cafe -> Stroll along Circular Quay -> Dinner at Ribs & Burgers -> Sleep!
After 8+ hours of flight… Touchdown, Sydney!First cafe for the trip!Every spot is so Instagrammable!!!Super spacious and relaxing room for my first 2 nights in Sydney c/o Zara Towers.First commute! I love this station (the nearest to the hotel). Love the classic old school vibes.1st touristy spot for the trip is Circular Quay area!Made it to MOCA Australia before their closing time (which is a bit early at 5pm), yay!Lucky to catch the 21st Biennale of Sydney Art Exhibit!After spending about an hour in the museum, I was supposed to take photos of the Sydney Opera House when it started to rain hard so…I needed to look for a shop where I can shield myself from the crazy rain first.Didn’t know my favorite chocolate brand has a cafe! You know what happened next (clue: I went wild with their vast chocolate offerings.)There’s truly a rainbow after the rain (literally and figuratively!) I wanted to take a photo of the Sydney Opera House from across with a blue sky as the backdrop but I couldn’t since it was so gloomy. I was apparently in for a treat as a double rainbow appeared right above the Opera House just before the sunset!Dinner time!I really liked my 1st dinner! A lot of people said they have the best fries in Sydney 😉
Brunch with Erika at The Potting Shed -> Go around the area of The Grounds by Alexandria -> Bondi Beach -> Apple Store in Bondi Shopping Area -> Check-out an art exhibit at Carriageworks -> Back to the Circular Quay Area -> Royal Botanical Area -> Dinner at Pancakes by the Rocks!
Perhaps the one place that everybody was telling me to go to in Sydney!So lovely to finally catch up with Erika. She’s my college batchmate back in UP. I’m so glad we were able to keep in touch despite her leaving PH when we were still in our Sophomore year. She moved to Australia to pursue a degree in Science and research!Check-ed out the rest of the area after our brunch!I didn’t expect the compound to be this huge!!!Ahhhh so beautiful everywhere!Next stop was to visit the famous Bondi Iceberg where the pool and the ocean meets!After Bondi Beach, next agenda was to visit an Apple store since my phone’s camera’s still broken up until now 🙁Since we had time to spare before sunset, we decided to visit Carriageworks.It used to be an industrial railway carriage that has been transformed into a contemporarymulti-arts center. This was the exhibit of Katharina Grosse.Back to the Circular Quay area!Had the famous Gelato Messina for snacks!Erika and I were supposed to go to Manly Island and take a ferry back to see the sunset across the Opera house but didn’t push through since it was super gloomy that day (definitely no sunset.)Passed by the Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney… View from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair- The Opera House and the bridge together in 1 shot.Dinner time at this famous 24-hr pancake + ribs joint.Yum!!
Fly out from Sydney at 7am -> Arrive in Melbourne at 9am -> Arrive in Southern Cross Station and Store luggage in the locker -> Brunch at Seven Seeds -> Artsy afternoon in National Gallery of Victoria -> Coffee with Arisse at Proud Mary-> Visit Chemist Discount to buy medicine for my wound -> Pick-up my luggage -> Check-in in my Melbourne Airbnb -> Hosier Lane photo taking with Jacqui -> Dinner at Chinchin -> Dessert at Brunetti
I was so afraid that I won’t wake up in time for my flight to Melbourne… but I’m glad I didn’t!Touchdown, Melbourne!They easiest to transfer from the airport to the city (and vice versa) is via the Sky Bus.There’s a luggage locker right in the station where the Skybus dropped us. And I needed to store mine there as my airbnb can only accommodate me at 3pm -_-Southern Cross Station!Hellooooo Melbourne! I can immediately see how different Melbourne is, compared to Sydney!First things first in a new city= understand its transport system.Of course, my first agenda was to visit a cafe!Loved this Bacon Waffle Benefict of Seven Seeds Coffee!Next up: National Gallery of Victoria…I super enjoyed the multi-sensory exhibits!“Mass” by Ron Mueck
And imagine… everything was FREE!Love this souvenir photo that I got!Afternoon coffee time!Love how I was able to catch-up with Arisse in Melbourne (out of all the places in the world!). After coffee, I needed to pass by the Discount Chemist (it’s like a discounted pharmacy) beside the train station as I badly needed to treat my wound.Time to pick-up my luggage!Love how my airbnb looked way better in real life than in the photos. It’s actually a good deal as it was the cheapest option I saw for Melbourne and it’s already right in the middle of the city!While waiting for our table for dinner, Jacqui (L’Oreal colleague who moved to the Australia office), took me to Hosier Lane…to have a photoshoot! She’s already an expert as she has already brought so many guests to this exact same spot, haha!Time for dinner! It was SOOOO packed! It truly is Melbourne’s busiest restaurant.Oh my gosh… THE BEST BUTTERED CHICKEN EVER!!! They were not overhyping, after all!My date, Jacqui <3Had dessert at Brunetti to cap off the day!
Breakfast at Hardware Societe -> Walking Tour Around the City -> Lunch with Maybelline’s International Makeup Artist Nigel -> Coffee Run at Market Lane Coffee -> Cycling at Bodhi and Ride -> Dinner at Hawker Chan with Jacqui -> Drinks at Good Heavens-> Golden Gaytime Ice Cream Run
I woke up really really early on this day to make sure I would have enough time for breakfast.Best Mocha I’ve had in my entire trip! And that Lobster Benedict Burger was purely HEAVEN!Joined the free walking tour around Melbourne.It’s free ’cause you don’t need to pay outright. Just pay after the tour on how much you think the service was worth.ChinatownThe Parliament HouseThe ACDC LaneOne of Melbourne’s LanewaysFlinder’s Street StationFederation SquareState TheaterYarra RiverEnded our tour with this city view.Late lunch with Maybelline’s International Make-up Artist Nigel Stanislaus. Ate in one of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants- D.O.C.Of course, I needed to get my afternoon coffee!So glad to discover that there’s a cycling studio just right in front of my airbnb! No excuses not to ride!After riding, I met up with Jacqui again to have dinner…Finally tried Hawker Chan, the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant.Jacqui was able to convince me to go with her to this nice rooftop bar :)) Met up with Jenn (current officemate who was also traveling around Australia the same time that I was there) and spent a few minutes there before I craved for dessert…Everyone kept on telling me to try the Golden Gaytime ice cream in Australia!
Brunch at Higher Grounds -> Long Commute to Brighton Beach -> Photoshoot with the Brighton Beach Houses -> Afternoon Coffee at Brother Baba Budan -> Check out the State Library of Victoria -> Dinner at Attica -> Night Cap at Queen Victoria Night Market
Woke up a bit late and had brunch at this famous cafe.Higher Grounds doesn’t only have beautiful interiors… their food is also beautifully plated!Rode the train from the Southern Cross Station. It wasn’t supposed to be a long commute but there was a train glitch in one of the stations that I was passing by. Nonetheless, the government’s so efficient and arranged temporary bus transports from that station to Brighton area.Finally arrived in the Brighton area 🙂So happy that the weather was nice! It was the nicest day in Melbourne during my entire trip!Met a fellow solo traveler while strolling beside the beach 🙂 Colorful beach houses with the perfect blue sky backdrop.So while I was enjoying the beach… I got an email from Attica saying 1 seat suddenly freed up for dinner and if I wanted to take it. The catch is, I need to be there by 6pm!Being the maximizer that I am, I immediately hurried back to the city to finish my remaining to-go places for the day so that I can make it to Attica by 6pm.Got my afternoon coffee from Brother Baba Budan at 4:50pm! 10 mins before it closed for the day (I really felt like I was doing amazing race during my entire trip… in a good way!)Next agenda was to visit the State Library of Victoria! If only my city’s library like this… You know where to find me on weekends 😉And… I made it on time! #1 Best Restaurant in Australasia and #32 Best Restaurant in the world.Food was AMAZING!!! Australian cuisine with a twist!This definitely was one of the best meals of my life!!!After the last dish, I immediately booked an Uber and sprinted to Queen Victoria Market (I normally just ride the tram/bus but Attica was off the city and it was already 9:50. The night market was closing at 10pm.)Yay!!! I made it! A lot of the shops were still open when I arrived!So happy to have seen how the Aussies mount their night market. They only have this every Wednesday of the week and it just runs on certain months of the year.
Deposit luggage at the Southern Cross Station -> Breakfast at Lune -> Lunch at The Kettle Black with Pia -> Go around the St. Kilda Area -> Post Office to drop Melbourne Postcards -> Snacks and Coffee at Higher Grounds -> Pick-up luggage -> Depart Southern Cross for Airport via Sky Bus -> Goodbye Melbourne -> Arrive in Sydney -> Late dinner at Chin Chin -> Check-in at Veriu Central
The line was super long even during early in the morning!Best croissant I’ve had in my entire life!Also… isn’t this place super lovely?!?Rushed to somewhere off the city center to…meet up with W Talent Management’s Pia Campos for a lovely brunch!Everything was so good!!! Especially the avocado toast!Since we were already there, we decided to go check out the St. Kilda area.Thankful for another beautiful day!St. Kilda Beach!And the famous Luna Park…After a while, Pia and I dashed back to the city for me to not miss my flight! But before I headed to the station, I dropped my postcard first!Off they go, my Melbourne Postcards <3Dropped by Higher Grounds once again to get my afternoon coffee before I went to the station.This cafe is just 3 mins walk away from Southern Cross Station so perfect quick stopover for people who are catching the bus from there.Goodbye, Melbourne! You’ve been amazing. I’ll definitely be back soon 🙂Touchdown, Sydney! And hello again, Museum Station!I rushed from the airport to the city because I wanted to have my late dinner at Chin Chin. Yes, the restaurant I super liked from Melbourne has 1 branch in Sydney as well! And the best news? It’s literally 3 minutes away from my hotel!Home for my last 2 nights in Sydney…Veriu Central <3
Early morning cycling at Scenic Cycle -> Morning Coffee and photoshoot at Veriu Central -> Brunch at Devon’s Cafe with Feliche -> Walking Tour around Sydney-> Rest in the hotel -> Afternoon Coffee + Postcard writing session at Bills -> Dinner at Ms. G’s with Kim and Krissy
Good morning, Sydney! My last full day in this beautiful city!Started my day with a ride at Scenic Cycle!Next up, brunch time!So happy to be reunited with my kindergarten bestfriend! She is now based in Sydney studying culinary…Breakfast with Sakumas, Croissant Saint Denis, Special Mentaiko Prawn and Mussel Pasta… Everything’s SO GOOD!I was supposed to join the Free Walking Tour (the same one I joined back in Melbourne) but Feliche said she’ll just bring me around… Why not?The Queen Victoria Building. Sadly, everything was closed inside since it was a Good Friday.Darling Harbour.Kids happily playing in the public park.Chinatown!Paddy’s Market…I wanted to explore more but it was really too hot that day, I couldn’t stand the heat so I decided to head back to the hotel first…Binge watched Netflix’ Grand Design series the whole afternoon HAHAHeaded out before the sun set to write my Sydney postcards over coffee and pancakes from Bills.Last stop for the day was dinner at Ms. G’s!They serve Asian fusion cuisine!So amazed at how I was able to catch up with 2 of my childhood best friends within a day… and in Sydney for that matter! Meet Kim, she’s my best friend from swimming days (We started training for competitive swimming together 20 years ago… ) Obviously, I was the one who retired earlier, haha! She went on to become one of the best swimmers of our age group (competed in UAAP, and in various international competitions!) Proud of this girl!
Early Breakfast at Sticky Fingers-> Hotel Check-out -> Reload my Opal Card + Buy Pasalubong -> Arrive in Sydney International Airport -> Buy food -> Fly back home
Woke up extremely early because I wanted to have 1 last good Australian brunch before I head back home 🙁Good thing Australian cafes open really early! Perfect for energizing the early risers! Pulled Pork Benedict for my last meal in AUS!Wrote my Sydney postcards while eating brunch! Off to the airport…16th and last coffee for the trip! Goodbye, Sydney… Goodbye, Australia! This trip was truly memorable and beautiful in so many ways. I’ll definitely be back!
Until the next #SingTravels!