Blue Mountains: A Photo Diary

The Blue Mountains are just an hour and a half outside of Sydney – and definitely somewhere you need to visit if you’re into nature. I went here for the weekend (drove up Saturday morning and drove back Sunday evening), and it was an amazing little getaway. Check out my full post on the Blue Mountains.

GRAND CANYON HIKE & EVANS LOOKOUT 

I spent Saturday hiking the Grand Canyon trail to Evans Point. You can park at Evans Point if you’d rather skip the hike. It’s a steep one, but there are beautiful views along the trail. Parking is free – just don’t forget some snacks and lots of water!

Blue Mountains SydneyBlue Mountain Grand Canyon HikeBlue Mountains Evans Lookout

Try to get to Evans Lookout around sunset – the lighting on the canyon is beautiful! If you do this, make sure you are parked at the lot by the lookout (walking back in the dark is not recommended!). I hiked back from the lookout and then drove back to the lookout just in time for sunset. The lookout is right next to the parking lot, and just down the street is street parking (where we parked). Blue Mountains Evans Lookout SunsetBlue Mountains Evans Lookout SunsetBlue Mountains Sydney Grand Canyon Hike PhotoBlue Mountains Grand Canyon Hike

The Three Sisters

We made a quick stop at the Three Sisters on Sunday morning. The Three Sisters has an epic tale behind it – there is an aboriginal legend stating that the three sisters lived in Jamison Valley as part of the Katoomba tribe. They fell in love with three brothers from another tribe, but were forbidden to marry the brothers.Three Sisters Blue Mountains

The brothers approached the Katoomba tribe to capture and marry the sisters, starting a massive war. A witch doctor then turned the sisters to stone to protect them during the war, but then the witch doctor was killed in battle, and never able to return the sisters to their human state. I was entranced by this story – I’m a sucker for a good love story. However, on this cold and windy Sydney day, I decided to snap some pics and move on.

The Blue Mountains Three Sisters

Wentworth Falls

I spent the rest of Sunday at Wentworth Falls. We ended up on an impromptu 3 hour hike, trying to find the waterfall. After hiking down steep steps, over cliffs and through the canyon, we came to the first stop along the falls. Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Sydney Weekend TripWentworth Falls Blue Mountains SydneyBlue Mountains Wentworth Falls TrailBlue Mountains Wentworth Falls Meditation

Empress Falls

After continuing on the track from Wentworth Falls, determined to find the bottom of the falls, we instead stumbled upon a completely different fall – the Empress Falls. This beautiful, multi-tiered fall did not disappoint. I even filled up my water bottle, had a little meditation, and sufficiently recharged from the long hike. Water has such a calming effect on me.
Blue Mountains Sydney Empress FallsEmpress Falls Blue Mountains SydneyBlue Mountains: The Perfect Weekend Getaway From SydneyBlue Mountains: Weekend Getaway From Sydney

Recommendations
  • Accommodation: I stayed in this airbnb. Use my link to get $25 off your first Airbnb trip!
  • Food: We stopped at IGA to pick up lunch and snack supplies for hiking, but we did get a chance to have dinner out at Thai Kitchen in Springwood, which I can definitely recommend! I had the yellow curry – it was one of the best I’ve ever had.
  • Coffee: We had really good coffees at Dan’s Coffee Haus (which is right on the freeway, and there’s an IGA next door!).

Dan's Coffee Hause Blue Mountains

 

Weekend Trip From Sydney: The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are just about two hours west of Sydney – it’s the perfect weekend getaway. If you’re tired of the city life and craving some fresh air, chill breezes, and solid hiking trails, read on for the perfect weekend away.

Blue Mountains: The Perfect Weekend Trip From Sydney

blue mountains sydney

I took Friday night to pack, eat some Lord Of The Fries, and plan out my weekend. I’d rented an airbnb (ps use my link to get $25 off your first airbnb trip!) just outside of the Blue Mountains, in Leonay.

We headed up to the Blue Mountains on Saturday morning, leaving Sydney around 9 am. Fueled up on a breakfast of porridge, we just stopped for a coffee and some lunch supplies on the way, and arrived at our first destination at 12:30.

Saturday: Grand Canyon Hike

The trip started off with a long hike in the Grand Canyon of the Blue Mountains National Park. The Grand Canyon loop is about a two to three hour loop. We went there and back the long way, which added up to 4 hours.

Blue Mountains Sydney Grand Canyon Hike PhotoBlue Mountains Grand Canyon Hike Blue Mountains Sydney Grand Canyon Hike

After completely exhausting ourselves, we stopped at the Thai Kitchen in Springwood for some curries (I love a good yellow curry!). Next, we headed to the airbnb, where we took showers, had a glass of wine, and promptly fell asleep with sore legs and tired feet.

Sunday: Three Sisters and Wentworth Falls

On Sunday, we set off at 9 AM for coffee and food supplies. We found a cute little strip mall with a new coffee shop and a Supa IGA. My new favorite thing is having coffee “for here” – it’s such a better experience than takeaway! Dan's Coffee Hause Blue Mountains

Next, we headed toward the Three Sisters, a rock formation with an incredible tale behind it. It was cold and windy, so we didn’t stay for long.

Three Sisters Blue Mountains After getting the best views of the Three Sisters, we headed east to go home, planning a quick stop at Wentworth Falls (ps check out Wentworth on Netflix – it’s a great show! It’s the aussie version of Orange Is The New Black, maybe even better than OITNB).

Our “quick stop” at Wentworth Falls somehow turned in to a 3 hour hike. I was not going home without seeing the waterfall! In the end, I saw three waterfalls. It was worth the three hour hike, but I think I learned a valuable lesson here: be prepared for anything. I ended up filling up my water bottle under a waterfall because we ran out of water. That water was pretty good though!

Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Sydney Blue Mountains Sydney Empress FallsEmpress Falls Blue Mountains Sydney

After a long weekend of hiking, it felt so good to come home. I got home around 7 on Sunday night, took a long hot shower, and slept sooo well.

Funky Pies: Vegan Pies in Sydney

After being in Australia for eight months and never trying a classic Australian meat pie, I was so excited to find a vegan version of this Aussie dish. I never thought I would find vegan pies in Australia. Even better, Funky Pies is located right up the street from Bondi beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Sydney.

Funky Pies: Vegan Pies in Sydney

Funky Pies Vegan Sydney

When I arrived at Funky Pies, I could not believe the vegan selection they had. The whole place is vegan, and they offer a wide variety of pies, but also vegan desserts like candy bars, ice cream, loads of healthy drinks (kombucha, I’m looking at you), and you can even get frozen pies to take home! Walking in to Funky Pies is like walking into an Australian vegan heaven. The assortment of pies is incredible.

Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Though there are loads of choices, we picked right away. I went for the Funky Chunky, and my friend went for the Tuscan Mushroom. We chose one of each side (the options are mash, peas and gravy or salad) and split the lot.Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Funky Pies Vegan Sydney

My favorite was the funky chunky. The tuscan mushroom was amazing as well, but I could seriously eat 5 of those funky chunky pies! My friend couldn’t choose a favorite – they were both too good! All in all, this was one seriously satisfying meal. Funky Pies Vegan Sydney

We left the restaurant full, happy, and ready for some more Bondi beach walking.

Check out Funky Pies website, or visit the shop at 144 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi.

 

 

Best Beaches In Sydney

Since being in Sydney, it’s been my mission to find and photograph the most beautiful beaches that this city has to offer. These are the best beaches in Sydney, Australia.

Best Beaches in Sydney

Best Beaches in Sydney

  1. Bondi Beach

Bondi is one of the most well-known beaches in Sydney – there is even a TV show filmed here! It’s beautiful. Make sure to get a photo of the Icebergs club while you’re around (check out the beautiful insta photos of the icebergs club). Bondi is surrounded by quaint little restaurants and cafes. Most noteworthy, Bondi offers a really great hiking path, heading through Bronte to Coogee beach. Best Beaches in SydneyBondi is also a great place for vegans – check out Speedo’s Cafe for their epic vegan burger, or head over to Funky Pies for an epic Aussie pie, vegan-style. Because of the incredible vegan options here, stop by around meal time.

2. Manly Beach

Manly is Bondi’s little sibling. This beach is surrounded by any shop you’d want to visit, including lots of big name Australian and worldwide brands. The beach is long and boasts lots of restaurants and tourist shops just across the street. Best Beaches in Sydney

3. Coogee Beach

Coogee is the beach you go to for a relaxing, chill afternoon. First of all, it’s surrounded by a park (great spot for a picnic), a few coffee shops, and some great cafes. It’s not quite as busy as the other beaches; therefore, it makes it a great spot for a relaxed Sunday session. Best Beaches in Sydney

4. Bronte Beach

Located between Coogee and Bondi beaches, Bronte beach seems like a hidden gem. It’s on the smaller side of Sydney beaches. This one is located in a little cove, surrounded by cliffs on both sides. In addition to the adorable location, this one is a perfect beach for families. Best Beaches in Sydney

5. Burning Palms Beach

While Bondi is a major tourist attraction, Burning Palms is a bit of a secret. Located in the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney CBD, you’ll need to take a 45-min hike to find the beach. Hike a bit past the beach, and you’ll stumble upon the insta-famous Figure 8 pool. Just watch the tide warnings – a high tide means that you’ll be in a danger zone.

Best Beaches in Sydney Best Beaches in Sydney

6. Palm Beach

Head to Palm beach to gaze in awe at the sparkling water, flanked by the Barrenjoey lighthouse and the bay. The Australian soap opera Home and Away is filmed here. Take a hike to the top of the lighthouse for some unforgettable views of the ocean meeting the bay (and get all the instagrams).

Best Beaches in SydneyBest Beaches in SydneyBest Beaches in Sydney

As a result of my time searching for the best beaches in Sydney, I’ve drank more coffee, eaten at more vegan restaurants, and even ran into some cheeky garage sales and a celebrity!

Best Beaches in Sydney

Tell me in the comments – what is your favorite beach in the world?