The Best Bagels In Sydney

As an American, I love bagels. I grew up eating bagels like the Aussies grew up throwing down vegemite. After a year and a half of travel, I’ve had my moments where all I wanted was a solid, well-made, boiled-to-perfection, American-style bagel. This is a story of my quest for the best bagels in Sydney.

Best Bagels in Sydney

Luckily, this weekend I came across everything I’ve ever desired. I stumbled upon Brooklyn Hide, a new york bagel shop. Brooklyn Hide is located in Surry Hills, which is just south of the Sydney city center and a very cute suburb to spend the day in. best bagels in sydney

best bagels in sydney

I ordered up a soy cappuccino and the Greenwich bagel – the only vegan one on the menu. Mine came with pickled veggies and hummus. It was amazing, and I would definitely recommend it.

best bagels in sydney

My friend ordered a Tribeca bagel – it comes with with cream cheese and smoked salmon {#notvegan}.

best bagels in sydney

best bagels in sydney

The ambiance of this place is super cute {#chillvibes} and the bagels are top notch. The coffee is also really well made, and they do latte art. I would highly recommend a visit to Brooklyn Hide if you’re craving a good classic bagel! They are open for breakfast and lunch, and if you stop in for lunch, you could even grab a beer, wine, or cider with your bagel. Brunch, anyone? best bagels in sydney

The Breakdown
  • Coffees are $3.50 each, plus $.50 each for soy (but they use the best soymilk in Australia – Bonsoy – so totally worth it)
  • All sandwich-style bagels are the same price – $11.50
  • Brooklyn Hide does more than just bagels – try a wrap, salad, or muesli
  • Check out the Brooklyn Hide website for more information.
The Menu

This place has options! If you aren’t feeling a whole sandwich-style bagel, try a bagel with spread (I’m looking at you, avocado), or go for muesli, granola, or a fancy salad. The beverage menu is abundant, the coffee is amazing, and the bagels are truly top-notch.

best bagels sydney brooklyn hide menu

best bagels in sydney

Brooklyn Hide has amazing bagels. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to fulfill all of their carb filled dreams, or just looking for a little slice of some American goodness with an Aussie twist.

If you liked this post, check out my list of the best vegan restaurants in Melbourne!


The Best Things To Do In Melbourne, Australia

Your flights and hotel are booked, and now you’re wondering what you should do in Melbourne – worry not, little grasshopper! Amanda Round the Globe has you covered 😉

Best Things To Do Melbourne Australia

The Best Things to Do In Melbourne

After living in Melbourne for a few months (most of my time here being unemployed), I have experienced quite a bit of the city. Here are the absolute best things to do in Melbourne, Australia – whether you have a few days or a few weeks, try to fit in as much of this as you can. Melbourne is one of my favorite places in the world and you don’t want to miss any of these!

Twelve Apostles, Australia

1.The Great Ocean Road

Even if you only have a few days in Melbourne, make sure you spend at least one of those driving down the Great Ocean Road, all the way to the Twelve Apostles. It’s my favorite thing I’ve done in Melbourne so far. The scenic drive down will take about 4 hours along the coast, but you can take the inland highway and make it back in about 3 hours.

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Day Trip from Melbourne

I’d recommend packing snacks, plenty of water, coffee, and a lunch to go. I ate in the car, got my groove on to the radio, and stopped along the coast only to take some photos. We also stopped for a quick coffee break at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie, which has a full breakfast/lunch menu if you’re so inclined (and a lot of chocolate).

2. Eat all the Vegan Foods

I’ve been eating out extensively, all in the name of research, to curate this epic list of the best vegan restaurants in Melbourne. Check it out and let me know your favorite! Pro tip: about half of them are in Fitzroy, so head there first.

Burrito Bowl Urban Projuice Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

Red Sparrow Pizza Pizzeria Melbourne

Red Lentil Dal Sister of Soul Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

3. Tram it to St Kilda

St Kilda is an eccentric little suburb – it has a full on beach vibe, an adorable little pier (if you stay until sunrise you can see the penguins roll in), and loads of cute restaurants and shops. Pack a jacket, cause it gets windy, and check out my favorite restaurant in St Kilda.

St Kilda Beach, Melbourne, Australia

4. Cruise the City by Bike

Cruise through the city by bike for a more local perspective! Did you know that you can rent these adorable blue bikes at one of fifty stations throughout the city? Rides under 30 mins are free, and subscriptions start at just $3 per day.

Melbourne Things to Do Bike Share

5. Go to Hipster Paradise aka Fitzroy

Fitzroy may be home of the hipsters, but it’s also a heavenly place for any vegan or trendy millennial. The Fitz is full of vegan restaurants, vintage shops, record and book stores, and Australia’s largest Cruelty Free shop.

Best Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

My go-to Fitzroy stops are Smith and Deli, Vegie Bar, the Cruelty Free Shop, and Yong Green Foods. Don’t forget to grab a doughnut from Doughnut Time to take home for later (or scarf it down on the tram).

6. Take Advantage of the Insane Amount of Op Shops

Op Shops (short for Opportunity Shops, basically a second hand store), are rampant in Australia. They are everywhere, and they are amazing. I have scored some major designer branded clothes for extremely cheap in some of these stores. If you’re in need of new clothes, check out the op shops around the city.

7. Photograph the City

Melbourne is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been to. The Yarra River, the parks spread through the city, the street graffiti; bring your camera and take it all in. Melbourne is truly one of the most instagrammable cities in the world. [This view is from the Eureka Skydeck, 88 stories up in the air]. Eureka Skydeck, Melbourne, Australia

8. The Touristy Spots

Of course, check out the spots that every tourist must see: go to Hosier Lane for street art, walk down DeGraves Street for a coffee and cupcake, and have a glass of wine on the edge of the Yarra River.

Street Art Melbourne

Yarra River, Melbourne, Australia

9. Brighton Beach Houses

Take a trip down the coast, a bit past St Kilda, to check out the beach huts lining Brighton Beach. There are about 100 of them!

Best Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

10. Edgars Mission

Take a trip to visit some rescued animals at Edgars Mission!

Best Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

Edgars Mission Melbourne

11. Lentil As Anything; Abbotsford Convent

Lentil as Anything is a fantastic vegetarian, pay-as-you-feel restaurant. The Abbotsford location is nestled into a convent, surrounded by a massive farm. Take a friend and spend the day surrounded by animals, nature, and amazing food.

Best Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

12. Check out the View From the Shrine Of Remembrance

The Shrine of Remembrance is just outside of the city on St Kilda Road. Walk up to the top (for free!) for a stunning view of the city.

Best Things To Do Melbourne Australia

13. Shop in Melbourne’s Famous Royal Arcade

Take a stroll through the famous malls in Melbourne. The Royal Arcade is one of my favorites.

Best Things To Do Melbourne Australia

Melbourne is an amazing city and  there is so much to do. Let me know in the comments what your top places in Melbourne are!

Solo Travel Tips: 15 Things You Need To Know

Traveling alone was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. After over a year and a half of solo travel, here are my best tips:

Solo Feamale Travel Tips: What You Need To Know

1. Don’t Be A Stress Mess 

I will be completely honest here – I had a MASSIVE breakdown in San Francisco airport, while I was standing in line to go through security, immediately after my parents dropped me off for the first flight on my never-ending solo journey around the world. I had to resort to taking deep breaths in my hands. If only I could tell my SFO-breakdown-self what I know now – take it one day at a time! After that initial round of questioning why you would ever sign up for this, you’ll realize how amazing and rewarding solo travel really is.

2. Carry the Right Gear

As a solo traveler, you won’t have any strong man candy to lug around those extra large suitcases, so try packing light. I carry only a 44L backpack, and a day bag. By packing carry on only, you’ll be able to easily carry around your own luggage, plus you’ll save on checked baggage fees – ka-ching!

Tortuga Around the World Backpack 44L

3. Stay Where You’re Comfortable

When I was traveling through Europe, I did Couchsurfing, and loved it. In Central and South America, I tried out hostels. I was not too keen on the large dorm rooms full of anywhere from 8 to 16 people, but I was a fan of private rooms. I can be a light sleeper, so though it was more expensive to get a private room, I was able to sleep. I’m now a huge fan of Airbnb, as they have some excellent budget options (and some crazy cool villas, if you’re looking to splurge). Sign up to Airbnb here to get free travel credit when you book your first place!

4. Don’t be Afraid to Splurge

When I first started traveling, I was a bit freaked out to see so much money going out of my bank account and not much coming in. This sometimes made me want to stay home all day and inhale mass amounts of baguettes and red wine. But remember – you may never come back to this place. Carpe diem, seize the day, mi amor! Take advantage of where you are and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do – it’s been scientifically proven that we feel best when spending our hard earned money on experiences, so why not book that coffee tour in Colombia or go to the elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai?!

Solo Female Travel Tips: What You Need To Know

5. You WILL Make Friends

I’ve met so many people while traveling the world. I’ve made far more friends in the past year than I have in any previous year of my life. If you are looking to make friends while traveling, check out my video on the subject. Also, consider couchsurfing (you’ll become automatic bff’s with your local host), and private or dorm rooms at hostels (check out reviews to make sure it’s a social hostel).

6. Learn to Take Your Own Travel Photos

The number one mistake I made when I started traveling was being shy about asking people to take my photo. I was even shy about taking selfies. I was happy to be immersed in the place I was visiting, but now I have no photos to look back on of myself in those places. Learn from my mistakes and take your own solo travel photos.

Take Your Own Solo Travel Pics

7. Research Before You Go

I felt fully prepared when I left for my trip, because I had done hundreds of hours of research on budget and solo travel. I scoured the internet for weeks to learn everything I could about travel hacking, solo travel on a budget, solo female travel, couchsurfing, and what you need to know as a solo female traveler. If you want to save some time, consider downloading a copy of my ebook, where I’ve compiled all the info into one easy resource.

8. Know And Prepare for What Makes You Unique

Everyone has their thing. For me, that thing is veganism. Though it’s been surprisingly easy to find vegan food around the world, I’ve made it even easier by using resources such as the Happy Cow app and searching for vegan friendly restaurants before I get to a destination. (See my favorite vegan restaurants in the most vegan friendly cities in the world).

Finding Vegan Food Around the World

9. Get Inspired

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to read travel websites and blogs. Research the places that you are going, pick the restaurants you want to visit, and search on instagram to see some of the beautiful photos taken there of places you may want to visit.

10. Be Smart, Cautious, and Aware

I have quite a few tips on safety in my book, but the main point is to just be aware of your surroundings. Know which areas to avoid, don’t carry your phone in your back pocket, and if you’re in a busy place, keep an eye on your stuff.

11. Dress Like a Local

To avoid looking like a complete tourist, try dressing like the locals. This will help you blend in, and help prevent you from being a target of a mugging.

Tips for Solo Female Travel

12. Walk Everywhere

I always prefer walking over using public transport, because it’s usually a much more immersive experience. Don’t get me wrong, I still use public transport, but taking the long way has definitely resulted in finding more than a few hidden gems.

13. Try To Arrive During the Day

Believe me, this one will save you so much hassle. I’ve arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport at midnight, train system down for the night, with no way of getting to my airbnb. I ended up taking a very sketchy taxi. I would have felt much better arriving during the day when I would have had the chance to take the trains.

Tips For Solo Female Travel

14. Keep a Copy Of Your Passport and Important Documents

Maybe keep a few in a couple different places (suitcase, purse, money belt, etc). I also keep a photo of my passport on my phone and computer.

15. solo travel is Easier Than You Think

Most importantly, take that flight, explore, and have an amazing trip. Solo travel is insanely liberating and so powerful. Bring your positive attitude, embrace whatever comes, and explore to the best of your capabilities.

Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.

Check out my ebook full of tips and tricks for solo female travel!

How To Travel The World On A Budget


Sydney Hikes: Bondi to Coogee Beach

One of the most famous of Sydney hikes, the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk was high on my list of treks to take. After the hike to Bradley’s Head, I was excited to see the views of the more coastal Sydney hikes. The total distance of the Bondi Coogee walk is 6 km, or 3.5 miles. If you’re not interested in a 1.5 – 2 hour walk, some people take the shorter route and just do Bondi beach to Bronte beach.

Coogee Beach

I decided to take the long way in reverse, starting from Coogee Beach, so that I could experience the dramatic reveal of Bondi.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

10 am. I quickly made my way to the first coffee shop I found ( #priorities ) and picked up a coffee. I stopped in this adorable little pavilion, and ordered up my favorite, a soy cappuccino.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

When you head up the hill from Coogee, you’ll get epic, cliff-side views of the ocean.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Along the way, you’ll discover countless hidden beaches.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

The path even leads through a cemetery overlooking the ocean.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Bronte Beach

Soon after the cemetery, you’ll come to Bronte Beach.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

It’s the perfect stopping point for a swim!

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

After a stop off at Bronte Beach, take the rest of the trail just over the hill to Bondi. This way, you’ll run into even more hidden beaches.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Bondi Beach

Soon you’ll run into Bondi Beach, and the reveal is truly epic.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Check out the Bondi Icebergs Club, then head down to the beach.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

If you’re tired from the walk, head into Speedo’s Cafe (on the north side of the beach) for a vegan burger and green juice! It really hits the spot 😉

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

I highly recommend the Bondi Coogee Beach walk – it’s a must-do when you visit Sydney! See the Sydney Coastal walks website for all the details of this walk (toilet stops, water stations, etc). Also make sure to check out the Bradley’s Head walk – it has a great view of the Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Let me know in the comments:

  • Have you ever done this walk?
  • Would you try it out?




Bradley’s Head: Sydney Hiking

One of my favorite things about Sydney is the great hiking. One sunny Saturday, I took the trek along the harbor from Chowder Bay to Bradley’s Head. I started out at Clifton Gardens, the park inside of Chowder Bay.

Chowder Bay

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

Here, I found the tiniest coffee shop I’ve ever seen. The coffee shop is inside an old military bunker, and the patio outside makes for great scenery to sip on a hot cup of coffee.

Bradley's Head Hike Sydney

After I was all fueled up on my {favorite aussie coffee} soy cappuccino, I headed up the trail toward Bradley’s Head.

The Trek

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

The path is meant to take about an hour; it’s 2.5 km long. It’s one of the most beautiful walking paths I’ve found in Sydney. Stroll through the dense vegetation with harbor views to your left – the views on this walk are breathtaking!

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

Bradley’s Head

At Bradley’s head, see a massive lighthouse, plus the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House!

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

Once you get to Bradley’s Head, sit and have a picnic on the grass (if you packed one); the park is very cute. Or walk a few more meters to the ferry terminal at Taronga Zoo and take the ferry to the city. The ferry is super fun and I highly recommend it; Sydney has very cute ferries and the scenery isn’t bad, either.

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

This is a great way to spend a sunny Sydney day – get your runners on, pack some water and snacks, and get outside! Just don’t forget your camera 🙂

Check out the hike I did the following weekend: the Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach coastal trek!



Day Trips From Melbourne: Edgars Mission

Looking for something to do in Melbourne? Edgars Mission is an incredible and uber popular animal sanctuary just under an hours drive from Melbourne. Rescued farm animals are taken to Edgars Mission to be rehabilitated and live happy, full lives. Edgars Mission is completely not-for-profit, and they run free tours of the farm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The only catch is that you have to book it! Check out their website to schedule a tour.

Edgars Mission, Melbourne, Australia

I had been dying to go to Edgars Mission since I arrived in Melbourne in September 2016. Today, my dreams came true, and I finally made it there!

Edgars Mission is a bit outside of the city, which means that transportation is often a bit of a thing. My friend Renae and I borrowed a car from a friend, and with a bit of money each for petrol, we headed out to the countryside.

Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary Melbourne Australia

We pulled up to the gates and immediately were so excited. We took the 10 AM tour, and though it looked like it may rain, the storm clouds subsided and we ended up with a lovely partly sunny day!

Chickens Edgars Mission Melbourne Australia
                                                                   making friends

Edgars Mission Melbourne

We kicked off the tour with an introduction to the chicken pen. We learned a bit about chickens and then got to feed them!

Chickens Edgars Mission Melbourne Australia

Next, we moved on to the piglets. The pen next to the chickens housed three baby pigs and their momma pig – the three babies were so sweet, running around the pen to see everyone.

Piglets Edgars Mission Melbourne

Edgars Mission Australia

Piglets Edgars Mission Melbourne

It took me awhile to get my fair share of these adorable little babes – but eventually we moved on to the sheep.

Lamb Edgars Mission Melbourne

The sheep were so cute and so soft! I tried to hug them all.

Lamb Edgars Mission Melbourne

We walked past a massive cow next, named Hansel. We got to feed him over the fence; he would wrap his tongue around his little snack, leaving slobber everywhere.

Hansel Cow Edgars Mission Melbourne

Hansel Cow Edgars Mission Melbourne

Renae got an extra slobbery one.

We fed some goats next, and then headed to one of my favorites: ALPACAS. I love alpacas, especially after seeing them in Machu Picchu.

Alpaca Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary Melbourne Australia

Alpaca Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary Melbourne Australia

Alpaca Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary Melbourne Australia

We had such a great time at Edgars Mission. Next time, I’d pack a {vegan} picnic and stick around for lunch after the tour. There are picnic tables at the farm entrance.

I highly recommend adding Edgars Mission to your trip to Melbourne – it was so refreshing to get out of the city, pet some animals, and get a little dirt on my sneakers.

If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?

Lentil As Anything: A Pay-As-You-Feel, Melbourne Vegan Restaurant

Are you looking for a good, inexpensive vegan restaurant in Melbourne? Lentil As Anything is a sustainable, all vegetarian (sometimes totally vegan) restaurant with locations throughout Melbourne. I live in the Northern suburbs, so I like to frequent their Thornbury location.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

Located directly at tram stop 36 on route 86, Lentil As Anything (Thornbury branch) is an entirely vegan, non-profit, pay as you feel restaurant.

Pay-as-you-feel restaurants are picking up traction in Melbourne. This means that anyone can come in and eat a meal, whether you can afford to eat or not. If you can’t afford to pay for your meal, you don’t have to. If you can afford to pay for your meal, it’s good karma to do so – and pay it forward, if you can.

I like to go in, get a coffee and a meal, and throw $20 into the donation basket – this covers my meal and a meal for someone who can’t afford it.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

Each Lentils location is unique in it’s own way – some of them have buffets, and some of them have servers. The Thornbury location has servers, who come take your order. This time, I opted for the winter lentil pie (on the bottom of the photo, with a lil pastry puff), and my friend got a winter curry with a daal wrap. I also got a soy latte, because… coffee.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

Lentil as Anything consistently delivers amazing, high quality, healthy and tasty vegan food. Every time I leave, I have ideas for what I want to make next time I cook at home. It amazes me how much good this place does.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

If you’re in Melbourne for a while, consider volunteering at Lentil As Anything! Other ways you can support are by donating goods or just spreading the word about this incredible restaurant via social media.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

I’ve been to a few Lentils locations now, and though I’ll usually go to the closest, I would highly recommend taking a day trip out to Abbotsford and visiting the Lentils location there. They are located right next to a farm, where you can pet goats, sheep, and cows, if you’re lucky. The Abbotsford location also has a great outdoor area – a perfect place to go on a sunny Melbourne day.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

I love Lentil As Anything and would highly recommend it to anyone spending time in Melbourne! For more vegan restaurant suggestions, check out my favorite vegan restaurants in Melbourne.

Getting To Machu Picchu: The Lost City of the Incas

Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world – and for good reason. It’s absolutely breathtaking.

I visited Machu Picchu in May 2016; it was the end of my first trip to South America. I started off by spending a few days in Cusco, the adorable little city that acts as the hub for tourists to acclimate to the elevation before going to Machu Picchu, which is located in Aguas Calientes.

Top Destinations for First Time Travelers

I stayed in Cusco for five days before heading to Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu. I didn’t think I had any problems acclimating to the elevation, until I took a flight of stairs to get to my hostel dorm. It was a bit tough to get up, but I’m not sure if that is from the elevation or the shape I am in 😉

I booked a tour from a local tour company to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu, which cost $200 USD and included the following:

  • Transport by van to the railway to get to Aguas Calientes (there is a 3 hour drive before a 30 mins train ride), and back to Cusco
  • Hotel room for one night (one room, two twin beds, shared with my brother)
  • Lunch, Dinner on day one; Breakfast on day 2
  • Tour guide for your exploration of Machu Picchu
  • Ticket entry to Machu Picchu

This tour did NOT include the following:

  • train service from Hidroelectrico to Aguas Calientes (a 30 min, $30 train ride, or about 3-4 hour hike)
  • the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (a 10 min, $18 bus ride, or 1 hour hike)

We left on this tour early in the morning on Day 1. We met at the city center, hopped in a taxi van, and were driven about 3 hours out of Cusco to Hidroelectrico. We had a pit stop to use the restroom and grab a coffee/lunch/snack if we needed it. We drove a bit more and then had another stop off for lunch, at an open concept, local restaurant surrounded by mountains.

We arrived in Hidroelectrico (where the road ends) at about 2:30 PM. My brother and I were interested in a little hike, so we strapped our backpacks on and began the trek along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes with the rest of our group.

Getting To Machu Picchu

Getting To Machu Picchu

The hike had some beautiful views, and took us about 3 hours to get to Aguas Calientes. We trekked up the mountain into the city just as the sun was about to set. We were assigned a room at the hotel, had a briefing with the tour guide, and then went to sleep, as we had an early morning.

Getting To Machu Picchu

We woke up at 4 am the next day to head up to Machu Picchu. My brother and I had purchased round trip tickets for the bus to get up to Machu Picchu the night before. Another option is to hike up the mountain; it’s a very steep, 1 hour hike, which you’ll have to begin at 4 am. I’m not a morning person, so bus tickets were worth the $36 round trip to me. Pro Tip: if you are in decent shape before going to Machu Picchu, you can save a pretty penny on transport by hiking.

We got in to Machu Picchu early in the morning and walked through the ruins with a guide. It was so foggy, but the guide said it could clear up before we left.

Getting To Machu Picchu

Getting To Machu Picchu

After our guided tour, which was very informative, we had a couple hours to wander. The llamas were all over the place. I actually had to jump out of the way while walking up some stairs to avoid getting stampeded by a llama!

Getting To Machu Picchu

Getting To Machu Picchu

We walked up to the top of the mountain for the best view – but it was still a bit foggy.

Getting To Machu Picchu

Overall, it was a great trip. If you’d like to see Machu Picchu, I’d highly recommend going sooner rather than later. The tour guide mentioned that the tourism at Machu Picchu is causing some erosion of the mountain – meaning that it could be shut down to tourists as soon as two years from now!

Tips for Visiting Machu Picchu: 

  • Save money by hiking versus taking expensive transport
  • Bring food into Machu Picchu – there is one restaurant there and it’s very expensive
  • Don’t overpack – this will make it easier to hike and get around in general
  • I would recommend not booking a tour, or booking a 3+ day tour, to get the most amount of time at Machu Picchu (I was only at Machu Picchu for about 4 hours total; not very much time considering how long it took to get there)
  • Bring water
  • Wear layers, as it gets very cool and windy
  • Bring an umbrella and rain poncho even if you don’t go during the rainy season
  • If you have time, spend a couple days in Aguas Calientes. It’s a cute little town and full of natural beauty – take a soak in the hot springs or take a hike outside of the town to see waterfalls

Machu Picchu





Day Trips from Melbourne: Great Ocean Road & Twelve Apostles

On a cloudy Wednesday morning, I woke up, packed a lunch, made a to-go coffee, and hopped in the car. A friend and I were off to drive down the famous Great Ocean Road!

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia

The drive was estimated at 4 hours, so we planned to be at the Twelve Apostles by 3 PM, after leaving at 11 AM. We had snacks, we had water, I had a large supply of black coffee. We were set.

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia

We took the long way, driving to Torquay, along the ocean. The cliffs and beaches reminded me a bit of home in California, but the color of the ocean here is so much lighter.

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, AustraliaGreat Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia

It’s fall in Melbourne right now, and as typical of Melbourne weather, we had a bit of wind, a bit of rain, and a bit of sun. Luckily, we were able to get some sun at all of the places I had wanted to stop off.

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia

We drove past Torquay, through Anglesea, and along the jagged cliffs of the ocean. The road was beautiful, though it could be a bit rough if you are prone to car sickness. Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia

We stopped to take photos at a few places, and ended up cutting our time pretty close. The sun sets at 5:30 PM in Melbourne during the fall. Luckily, after a bit of stress, a bit of car dancing, and a lot of snacks, we made it to the Twelve Apostles at 4:45 PM – just in time for the sunset! Twelve Apostles, Australia

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Australia

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Australia

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Australia 5

It was freezing cold and super windy, but the view of the cerulean ocean and the steep, jagged cliffs made the long drive completely worth it. I was blown away by the natural beauty of this magical place.

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Day Trip from Melbourne

We took the shortest way possible home, singing in the car, dancing, and eating potato chips all the way back to Melbourne. It was a wonderful ending to an unforgettable day.

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Day Trip from Melbourne

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Day Trip from Melbourne

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Day Trip from Melbourne

Let Me Know!

  • Have you ever driven the Great Ocean Road?
  • Would you add it to your list?





The Best Vegan Restaurants In Melbourne

After living in Melbourne for three months – and spending a large part of that time eating out – I’ve come up with a list of the best vegan restaurants that Melbourne has to offer. This list is not comprehensive, as there are new places popping up monthly here! My favorites so far are:

Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

1.Urban Projuice

This place is amazing. Located in Albert Park, they do the best breakfasts and lunches. My goal is to try everything on the menu. I’m pretty close, and so far everything has been completely drool-worthy. I am a big fan of vegan restaurants that are health conscious; Urban Projuice delivers nutritious and delicious food.

Burrito Bowl Urban Projuice Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne Urban Projuice Tofu on Toast

The ambiance of Urban Projuice is fab – perfect for a coffee date with your best friend, but also a great spot to spend the morning working online. There is great indoor seating, but I usually like to snag a seat on the front or back patio.

A meal at Urban Projuice will set you back about $15-$23, depending on additions (avocado is $4.50). Breakfast runs a bit lighter, with tofu on toast for $8; you backpackers on a budget can make it work here!

I rate Urban Projuice as a DO NOT MISS.

2. Red Sparrow

If you are tired of healthy food and are looking to dig into a chewy, cheesy and [faux] meaty pizza, Red Sparrow is the place to go. Located in Collingwood, Red Sparrow is a newly opened Melbourne pizzeria, and it doesn’t seem like the buzz is going to die down anytime soon here. Every time I walk past, it’s packed. I’d recommend going early or making a reservation if you can. I love this place so much I wrote an entire post about it.

Red Sparrow Pizza Pizzeria Melbourne

The pizzas at Red Sparrow are by far the best pizza I’ve ever had in my two years of being vegan. I’ve never had such an impressive mock pepperoni or such perfectly melted and gooey cheese. The specials are quite impressive, offering up daily pizzas like chick’n curry pizza (which was very good) and italian sausage pizza topped with feta and arugula. They also offer a large selection of vegan wine and beer, juices, and even kombucha, if you’re in the mood.

Red Sparrow Pizza MelbourneRed Sparrow Pepperoni Pizza

Red Sparrow is a DO NOT MISS. Pizzas will cost you about $17-$20 each.

3. Sister of Soul 

Located just south of Melbourne CBD in St Kilda, Sister of Soul offers up a wide variety of cultural dishes – choose from dal, noodle stir fries, gnocchi, burritos; Sister of Soul has it all. This place will satisfy any picky eater.

Red Lentil Dal Sister of Soul Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne Sister of Soul

Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne Sister of Soul

Meals here range from about $17- $23. I rate Sister of Soul as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

4. Vegie Bar

Located in the vegan heaven of Fitzroy, Vegie Bar is one of the most popular vegan restaurants in Melbourne. Everything is vegetarian, and anything can be made vegan. It’s focused on traditional foods made vegan – think nachos, burgers, pizzas, pasta.

Vegie Bar Nachos Vegan Melbourne

Vegan Melbourne Vegie Bar

I tried the nachos and just about died, they were so amazing. They are pretty filling and would probably be best shared. We also had the tofu and quinoa burger, which was super tasty, but a bit small – don’t try to share this one 😉

Vegie Bar Burger Vegan Melbourne

Vegie Bar pricing is standard, roughly $15-$20 for a meal. I rate Vegie Bar as definitely recommended. 

5. Smith and Deli

Smith and Deli is my favorite place to stop in for a low-key nosh. It’s deli-style, which means no seating, but a great place to grab a breakfast sandwich and coffee to go. They have three walls filled entirely with vegan groceries, which can be very tempting. Almost as tempting as that pastry case…

smith and deli melbourne

I wrote an entire post on how much love I have for this place too.

inside smith and deli fitzroy melbourne vegan food deli

I love the hipster vibe and the variety of foods. I always seem to get breakfast foods here, and can highly recommend the egg mcmartinez. The coffee is also top notch. I definitely recommend giving this place a try out.

vegan breakfast sandwich melbourne

Breakfast sandwiches run from $7- $12. I rate Smith and Deli as DO NOT MISS.

6. Yong Green Foods

If the Melbourne weather has got you down (seriously, the weather is by far the worst part of Melbourne), hop into Yong Green Foods for a hot bowl of vegan pho. I can’t resist a piping hot bowl of goodness when it’s wet and raining outside and I’m near Brunswick Street in Fitzroy.

Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

I usually get just tofu and veg in my pho, but they also offer mock meat if you are into that.

Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

A bowl of pho will set you back about $17. I rate Yong Green Foods as highly recommended.


What do you think of my list? Which place would you go to first??